How to Save Money Ahead of Having Kids

You’ve probably heard that it’s expensive to have kids. But do you know the true cost? Some estimates show that it costs the average family over $230,000 to raise a child to adulthood. That doesn’t even include the costs of sending them to college. Chances are, you don’t have that kind of money sitting around. While that number is certainly high, there are some things you can do to start budgeting for kids before you have them. 

Create a Budget

Budgeting is a good idea for anyone trying to save a bit of money. This is particularly true for individuals who are planning to be parents soon. There are two ways budgeting is going to be beneficial for soon-to-be parents. First, it’s going to save you some money before your baby arrives. But you’re also going to learn how to live a more frugal lifestyle, which will be essential to making things work once you have a kid.

Here are the steps you need to take in order to create a budget:

  • Get all your financial statements in one place. This includes anything that shows an account balance, or any kind of income or expense. Make sure you get everything, or else you won’t be able to create an accurate budget.
  • Total up your monthly income and costs. This will show you exactly where your money’s going and will give you an idea of how you can save more.
  • Distinguish between your constant and changing expenses. Constants are going to be things like rent or a mortgage payment. Changing expenses are spending money going out to eat—or even things like utilities if you use significantly more energy during certain months.
  • Find ways to cut out expenses to save more money. You’ll want to look at both your constant and changing expenses to find ways to save more. Try to limit the amount you dine out or consider cutting back on some of your subscriptions and memberships. You can also save by reevaluating your constant expenses. Consider downsizing to a smaller living space or getting a less expensive vehicle. 

No matter how much you decide to cut out of your monthly expenses, it’s important that you come up with a plan. Determine how much you’re going to need when the baby arrives and figure out the best ways to reach that goal. 

Try to Eliminate Your Debts 

You’re going to be hit with a lot of new expenses when you have a child. You can prepare for a lot of these, but many will also be entirely out of your control. Eliminating or lowering your current debts is one of the best ways to prepare for this increase in new costs. It’s a good idea to increase your debt payments when you figure out your budget.

If you have debt in the thousands or tens of thousands and are worried about how this will affect your future family, now is the time to start chipping away at it. Some consumers with extreme debt have found success through settlement. Debt relief programs like the one offered by Freedom Financial Network require enrollees to make monthly deposits into a designated account for months or years until they’ve saved enough. Then professional negotiators contact creditors, aiming to settle existing debts for less. Since these programs require some time to complete, it’s smart to start now so you’re squared away when your bundle of joy arrives.

Use Saving and Investing Apps

If you have a baby on the way, you need all the help you can get to put more money into your savings. A lot of people are uncomfortable with the idea of investing because it comes with a risk that you might lose money. However, when done correctly, it’s one of the most effective ways to save for the long term. There are now a ton of apps out there that help people invest their money for a very low cost. Stash is one of the most popular, as it comes with an extremely low cost—only one dollar per month if your account is under $5,000, and unlimited free trades. Wealthfront is another good app for people who want to start a college savings plan early. It offers a low-cost solution to helping people prepare for that big expense later in life.

Sell Your Unused Items

It’s a good idea to sell things you’re not using at a garage sale or online. This will instantly give you some extra cash that can either go to savings, paying down debts, or purchasing necessary items you’ll need for your baby. You’ll also be doing yourself a favor by making some extra room in your home. 

There’s a lot you need to think about when preparing for a child. While having kids is an expensive endeavor, starting to save now can help you pay for all those added expenses down the line.

Tips to Select the Apt Bra Sizes for Women with Smaller Breasts

Choosing a properly fitting bra for small bust sized women is a bit of trouble for those who don’t have appropriate measures. In fact, it becomes much easier after getting properly sized and on getting answers for a few frequent questions. Let’s explore.

What is a user looking out of a proper bra? The usage of the proper bra is expected to give proper shape, support, lift, and accentuating options. However, the confusion is about which one to choose? Should the bra have an underwire or not? Is padding needed? What kind of style will e ideal for you?

The questions go endless. In real, choosing a bra is first comfort and second aesthetics. It is good to go for padding if you want it to enrich the looks, but it is not ideal to feel pressures just to wear it, especially if tampers your comfort for the entire day.

Choosing an appropriate bra which has the most appropriate feel and fit can surely make a difference in both comfort and aesthetic aspects for the wearer. In fact, wearing a bra is purely a personal choice, so anything related to choosing the ideal product is also personal. If you are uncertain about what to choose and which you like, here are a few particulars to check for women with small breasts to make an appropriate choice of bra.

 

  • Convertible Bra

 

These types of bras may be very lightly padded with push-ups. There can be options like cross backed, racerback, single-shouldered, halter, or sometimes strapless based on the comfort and style choices of the wearers. For those with small busts, convertible bras will offer proper shape and support while making it easier to change for any attires with different necklines or go in combination with styled tops.

 

  • Full coverage bra

 

As considered to be one of the most popular options, full coverage bra models offer a natural shape and soft feel to the users with lightweight bra variants. There are many models in this category, which are subtle and beautiful in various designs. You can also find them in many all the cup sizes. It is the choice of many women, especially for those who are with small busts to accentuate the shape and offer a comfortable soft feel.

 

  • Front-closure bra

 

Compared to many other designer models, the appeal and comfort of the front-closure bras at babeappeal.com are matchless. These multifaceted bra variants offer an extra boost to those who are with smaller breasts. This can be more appealing when you get the front-closure bras which have gel padding too. There are solid and stationary straps at the back which ensure no lipping off from the shoulders, and there are plenty of designs available in front-closure bra style. For small-breasted users, front-closure bras offer solid support and more convenience. These are soft to wear and ensure optimum comfort.

 

  • Bandeau Bra

 

Bandeau verities of bras also have the same issues like many other strapless bras have, but this is well addressed with the silicone padding inside the top part of the bandeau, which will help avoid any slipping off. There are many verities and which types of bandeau bras you choose to make the whole difference. With additional boning to support on the sides as well extra stretchy laces, bandeau bras are more comfortable for smaller breasts than other variants of strapless bras. As of late, top bandeau bras are made of many materials and offer different coverage options; however, the shape remains almost the same in all variants. For the small breasted wearer, bandeau bras offer a noticeable accentuation. 

 

  • Wireless Bra

 

There are considered to be one among the most comfortable and reassuring bras for the small-breasted wearers. Across the globe, wireless bras as high in demand, which have a very subtle look and sex appeal at the same time. This offers an amazing finish to the busts when combined with different types of outerwear. Most of the wireless bras have custom adjustable straps, which provide enough support and can also fit in very comfortably. In most of the wireless bra models, the structure and design of the bra will help evenly distribute the weight and also ensure proper shape as you want. The wireless bra models for small breasts will provide some adjustable comfort also and appropriate shaping for adequate support.

 

  • Padded Bra

 

Lined or padded bras are coming in a wide range of verities to help keep the users comfortable by providing that extra support needed. Padded bras will also provide perfect shaping and also the extra volume; however, without looking much unnatural. The padding may be of gel or foam, which can be adjusted based on your comfort. There are padded bras available with liquid lining too with may give a more natural look. The actual difference between the natural everyday look and the real Va-Va-Voom comes from the proper placement of padding. The lighter lined bras get the lining over the cup to have a natural look. Some other types of padding are placed at the bottom, which makes the push-up bras. There are lighter lining bras too, which are like the T-shirt bras, perfect for everyday use. For small breasts, padded bras offer shape, privacy, and support with optional volume.

 

  • Bralettes

 

These latest version bras are becoming increasingly popular lately, which are perfectly designed with small breast busts women in mind. In fact, bralettes don’t offer excessive support, but they offer a perfect shape. They are able to offer ideal shape based on the body habitus of the individuals and may function like the yoga or sports bra with a beautiful design. Bralettes more look like lingerie which can be worn anytime without discomfort. For small breasts, bralettes offer proper shaping and a stunning definition.

 

  • Underwire Bra

 

Underwire bras are another most popular bra variety for small breasts, which can offer adequate support. These models of bras will look stunning while worn under a range of loose and fit tops. The best in case of an underwire bra is the category which has an invisible look. There are very attractive along and also under clothes, which comes in many incredible verities and durable designs. Providing proper support and shape, underwire bras are ideal for small breasts to attain noticeable shape.

In fact, one need not have to worry about their babe appeal with small busts, instead can look for the most appropriate bra which can offer you the most needed accentuation along with optimum comfort.

Pesticides In Cosmetic Products: What Should You Be Aware Of?

One of the best things about using organic cosmetics is that you know they’re not made using synthetic pesticides and chemicals. However, there are many cosmetics out there that are not completely organic. These cosmetics don’t comply to the strict standards of organic cosmetics and may well be treated with pesticides during their production.

Here we are going to look at three commonly used cosmetic ingredients and the pesticides, insecticides and chemicals that are frequently found in them. Remember that there are plenty of great organic makeup products out there.

Sweet Almond Oil

Almond oil is a very common natural cosmetic product. This is an oil that is used in body butters, mascaras, foundation, lipsticks… the list is endless! It’s a light carrier oil that works well with most skin types. The way they extract almond oil is by cold pressing the nuts, producing a light yellow liquid. The largest producer of almonds is the USA, which provides around 80% of the world’s supply.

Although the almond has a hard shell that protects the nut inside before it’s pressed to extra the oil the almond has to grow. Almonds don’t appear to be some of the most heavily sprayed crops, however, there are reports of various pesticides and chemical residues being found on them.

One insecticide that is commonly found on an almond is called chlorpyrifos. This is found almost 35% of the time. The exposure to this insecticide has been linked to neurological effects, autoimmune disorders, and persistent developmental disorders. The use of this insecticide has in fact been banned in homes and domestic settings because of the side effects. However, it still remains one of the most widely used insecticides.

There is also another pesticide called phosmet that is found on almonds about 5% of the time. This has high toxicity through the skin. Sourcing organic can help. Pest control doesn’t have to be toxic when growers choose companies like Diamond Pest Control Ltd that practice green pest control.

Cocoa Butter

Cocoa butter is used a lot in natural cosmetics because of how moisturizing it is. We often find this in lip balms, lipsticks, mascaras and eye creams. It’s the pale yellow hard fat that is extracted from the cocoa bean.

Unfortunately, cocoa production is frequently blighted by diseases and insects. This is why a lot of pesticides are used in the countries that produce the beans. The amount of cocoa that is being demanded of these countries is on the rise as more and more chocolate and cosmetics are needed, and the regulations for pesticides aren’t being monitored as closely.

As a result, these chemicals are finding their way into our skin and more importantly, the environment.

Citrus Essential Oils

There are over 400 different chemicals used to extract the citrus essential oils. Pesticides used on these fruits gather on the peel – one of the main areas the oils are extracted from. The concentration of pesticides in citrus essential oils is higher than any other cosmetic ingredient. In fact, the pesticide levels found in the oils are higher than if you actually ate the fruit itself.

Thankfully most pesticides are poorly absorbed through the skin. Only 10% of chemicals can be absorbed through our skin. However, no one wants to choose to apply pesticides to their face or body. Which is why the organic movement is on an upward trend and will continue to increase rapidly.

It’s Time for Some Garden Care – Tips to Enhance Its Beauty

Beautiful gardens soothe our senses. Lush greenery is like a refreshment for the soul. And for those who love gardening and maintaining their own piece of lush green gardens, this process is like therapy. It takes weeks, sometimes months, to grow a seed into a plant and then take care of it so it can blossom into a thing of beauty.

Just like the rewarding bit of gardening, there is the constant worry to take care of plants and secure them for weatherly and other external factors. If you live in an area where weather changes are massive, your plants have to be taken care of in a way that they can sustain the weather. There are many other situations that can steal the beauty of your garden if you are not vigilant.

So, for the vigilant gardener who is constantly on their toes, we have some garden care tips and tricks today. Go for a walk around the neighborhood and good gardens will catch your eye almost instantly. Here is where you start taking inspiration and apply things to your garden that you may have overlooked earlier.

1. Weeds:

Where there is a garden, there will be weeds. You have to keep an eye out for these little intruders, as they can destroy your plants in days. The first and the foremost tip for staying secure from weeds is to plant your seeds densely to remove the least space for weeds to grow.

Since weeds steal the food and water of your normal plants, they need to be eliminated as soon as you spot one. However, that’s not enough during seasons like spring when pollens are flying around in large quantity. In this case, you can use a product which is similar to bed bug spray but is to be applied to plants and plant beds. It is a spray-on formula which is easy to use and gets the job done in minutes.

Moreover, the use of mulch stops weeds from growing, and if the weeds still keep growing, use a weeding trowel to uproot them and clear the mess.

2. Lawn maintenance:

Firstly, you have to monitor the temperature around your lawn to enhance the growth of all plant species. For example, temperatures around 26 degrees Celsius are good for plants, but anytime it shoots above 30 degrees, plants will suffer.

In case it gets this hot, don’t cut your grass to short and leave it to grow around 5 centimeters. This will prevent the soil from getting dry and affecting the grass. The best time to water your grass is from 4 to 8 in the morning. You can do this manually or buy a computer based trigger system that turns the sprinklers on.

When watering manually or putting sprinklers, remember the formula is to use 10 to 15 liters of water per square mile, and anything less or more will destroy the grass. One of the major reasons for plant deaths is over watering! Timely maintenance and monitoring is the key to lawn maintenance.

3. Flower beds:

Every gardener loves flowers. They look pretty to the eyes and their view in full bloom in unmatched. When watering your flower beds, keep the soil evenly moist and not too overdone. Water them only 1 to 2 times each week, and that’s it.

In the case of watering plants, it is better to water them in the morning or evening because the chance of evaporation is lesser than day time. Avoid putting water on the leaves and above the plant as it can lead to mold formation, which looks disgusting in a pretty garden. Water gently to avoid damaging the leaves and sensitive flowers.

If you are going away from the house for a long time or travel frequently, you can try an irrigation system. Irrigation system regulates the amount of water in the soil and maintains it. The soil can get more or less water from this, depending upon the need.

Other tips:

  • Sugars left in your plant compost invite annoying little bugs and flies. Don’t spill tea or coffee in the lawn, because it can result in a fly attack!
  • Your plants are alive. When you are off for a vacation, they need the same amount of care. When you go, make sure someone is looking after the plants, or you can deploy a computer based system that waters the plants
  • Plants take time to adapt their leaf structure based on each surrounding, so make sure you don’t move them a lot and let them settle into a good spot
  • You can create a mini garden indoors! Design experts suggest little hanging planters or succulent plants that require lesser water, not much mud and still grow beautifully. Make sure you read up on mini gardens before taking the project
  • Keep pruning your plants to stop them from being leggy. Because once the foliage on their lower branches falls, it is impossible to grow it back
  • Add lights to enhance the beauty of your lawn or garden! The lights falling on leaves and flowers enhance their beauty
  • Add fun little elements to your lawn or garden, like little ceramic birds or wooden gazebos to compliment the greenery. Make sure you choose a size that suits your space

Last word:

Wherever you live, garden care is required according to the climate and other factors. It is like a hobby of a lifetime that turns into a daily duty if you are dedicated. That’s why people with stress or chronic depression are often asked to invest their time in gardening because it is a fruitful project (pun intended).

With the right gardening tools and the right amount of care, gardening blesses you with organic produce, good looking flowers and amazing greenery. So, if you have started or are starting soon, it is time to make your little spot the eye candy of the neighborhood! Let us know if you have any more questions regarding bug prevention or monitoring the weather, we will respond to comments.

Author Bio:

About Michelle Joe: Michelle Joe is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences, and express herself through her blogs. You can find her on twitter: @michellejoe524

3 Ways Your Appearance Changes When You Quit Drinking

If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to alcohol, you already know how difficult it can be to overcome this challenge. Alcohol abuse is one of the most common addictions in the United States. This is likely because drinking is so widespread and accepted, and many people don’t realize they have a problem until it’s too late.

 

In fact, 86% of Americans over the age of 18 report drinking alcohol at some point in their lifetime, and over half engaged in drinking alcohol in the past month. To take this statistic even further, 26% of people 18 and older report engaging in heavy binge drinking at least once in the past month.

 

Alcoholism is scientifically known as Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), and it’s very common in the United States. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, over 15 million adults suffered from AUD in 2015.

 

This doesn’t have to be the norm for you or your loved one. When you drink, your body is affected in a large number of ways. One of the most notable changes once you’ve found freedom from AUD, or even just regular alcohol consumption, is a change in your appearance.

 

In this guide, we’ll share tips for leaving drinking behind for good. In addition, we’ll explore the 3 ways your appearance changes when you quit drinking once and for all. Are you ready for a change?

Why You Should Quit Drinking

Even if you’re not struggling with an addiction to alcohol, there are a lot of reasons to quit drinking. Alcohol is often idolized above all in this country, but that type of mindset quickly becomes toxic. When is just a few glasses of wine at night too much?

 

To answer this question, we need to think about what’s “normal” and what’s “abnormal.” According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, moderate alcohol consumption is defined as a single drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men. However, this isn’t a set rule since many factors can affect how your unique body reacts to alcohol.

 

The issue arises when you’re unable to separate a fun time from alcohol, or when you need a drink to enjoy yourself. When it becomes something that you’re dependent on, it’s a health risk not only to your body, but also your mental health.

 

If you suspect you have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, it’s time for a change. The good news is your body will start to adjust as soon as you give it up, and these changes will inspire you forward. If you suspect your dependence on alcohol is an addiction and you need assistance recovering, try Transitions Recovery Program for help from a medical professional.

Your Body Changes When You Quit Drinking

Removing alcohol from your diet comes with big side effects. While most people expect to lose a few pounds, they’re surprised to see just how impactful this life change can be. Alcohol is an appetite stimulant, leading you to eat more than you need, but it also has no nutritional value. Alcohol is also very damaging to your liver and other areas of your body.

 

So how does your appearance change after you quit drinking? Whether you’re giving up your daily glass or wine or a lifetime of substance abuse, you can look forward to these changes below.

Image via Pexels

1. Your Hair Will Grow Faster.

If you see those advertisements for hair supplements, you should know this is much more effective. Alcohol affects both your skin and nails, and it can even lead to your hair falling out if you’re malnourished.

 

When you quit drinking, you’ll likely notice your hair growing more fully. Better yet, your hair will be shinier and healthier. This can lead to a huge boost of self-confidence for both men and women. Who doesn’t want healthy, luscious locks?

Image via Pexels

2. Your Skin Will Clear Up

Skin care can be complicated, but it’s especially difficult for anyone struggling with an alcohol dependency. Alcohol naturally dehydrate the skin, denying it of proper nutrients to keep it clear. Even worse, alcoholism has shown to lead to some unpleasant skin side effects like visible veins, again, broken capillaries, and redness.

 

If you’re experiencing any of these more damaging effects, you’ll need to see a dermatologist about managing these conditions on an ongoing basis. However, your skin will clear and look healthier after giving up alcohol.

Image via Pexels

3. You’ll Experience Less Bloating

Last but not least, when you stop drinking, you’ll notice your stomach slimming down as well. That unpleasant bloated feeling is one of the worst side effects of drinking. This is caused by your body retaining water to make up for all of the liquids you’re losing.

 

When you stop drinking, your gut no longer needs to retain water to compensate. You’ll notice swelling go down in your abdomen, hands, feet, and face.

Final Thoughts

It’s time to make a change for the better. Many people don’t realize the effects alcohol has on our appearance, but these can have a huge impact on self-esteem. If you or someone you love has an alcohol dependency, it’s never to late to make a difference.

 

Ultimately, if you need help, don’t hesitate to find the right recovery program. Your body deserves to be treated with respect, and alcohol gets in the way of more than just your physical appearance. Let’s achieve a brighter future for ourselves and those we love.