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Does your husband’s work-life balance affect your own?

Categories: Career, Frugal Living, Making Time, The Juggle, Working? Living?, do more with less

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I think that one of the reasons my own work-life balance is so awful is that my husband’s is nearly nonexistent. He has a demanding job, at the same company at which I work; and he’s a journalist, same as me — which means we’re both facing with the same industry meltdown and accompanying stress. But he’s dealing with a wrinkle that I don’t: As a man, no one really expects him to be struggling with work-life balance.
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I totally forgot about Earth Day

Categories: Frugal Living, Hacking Life, The Juggle, do more with less

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Earth Day came and went with nary an acknowledgement from me. I woke up today, realized that I missed it entirely, and felt a wee bit guilty. For about a minute.

It’s not that I’m not interested in saving the Earth or conserving resources. It’s not that I don’t want to “go green.” It’s that I reduce, reuse, and recycle as much as I can already — why should Earth Day be any different?  It’s becoming a bit like Valentine’s Day, in some ways, but with CFLs instead of cards and candies. It feels like we’re encouraged to do all sorts of little things to mark the occasion, and then we’re in the clear to go back to our wasteful ways for the rest of the year. 
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5 Ways to help a friend who has been laid off

Categories: Career, Hacking Life, do more with less

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The axe is falling at my company right now. Twenty of my coworkers were notified last week that they had been laid off; more will find out today. Some of them have been there as long as I have; some even longer. Understatement: This is a stressful time.

While I sit here with my fingers crossed and my heart in my throat, I’ve been thinking about other friends of mine in other industries who have lost their jobs. I’m hardly in a position to help much, given my own precarious situation. Or am I?

Support doesn’t have to involve money, and you don’t have to be in a position to hire in order to help someone else get back on their feet. Here are five simple things you can do to help a friend who has been laid off:
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How to make yourself more valuable as an employee

Categories: Career, Working? Living?, do more with less

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My company is talking layoffs, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t stressed out about it. Who stays and who goes may come down to things we can’t control — seniority, for instance, or full-time vs. part-time status, or the number of people in a given job category. But there are a few variables that can be controlled, and they can make a big difference in how valuable you are as an employee: Dedication, visibility, and special skills.

Here are five tips for keeping up with the things you can still control.
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Natural remedies for cold and flu season

Categories: Hacking Life, Working? Living?, do more with less

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I’m going to make this quick, because I am seriously worried that the sinus pressure is about to cause my eyes to pop right out of my skull. I want to believe this is a cold, only because I’ve always insisted that the flu shot isn’t for me, but I may be wrong.

I’ll spare you the details, and instead I’ll share my five favorite, drug-free ways for easing whatever illness it is I’ve got right now:
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Saving money online: Do more with less

Categories: Frugal Living, Hacking Life, do more with less

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My husband recently said something about how I seem to have gone beyond “frugal” and well into “bunker mentality” when it comes to money; I countered with the fact that he’s the one running his truck on waste vegetable oil and stoking the wood stove for the night. But the fact of the matter is that while we’re all feeling the economic pinch right now, we’re also reluctant to give up the little luxuries in life (him: steak; me: bourbon). Here are five of my favorite websites that help me do more with less:

1.) Coupon Cabin. Wondering if you could make a sweet deal even sweeter? A quick search through Couponcabin.com and you could end up with some percentage off your total, or maybe even free shipping, with their coupon codes to websites from Abercrombie to Zappos.

2.) Baby Cheapskate. If you’ve got an infant or toddler at home, you’re going to want to bookmark this site. They offer plenty of online coupons for baby essentials, but also information on cloth diapering resources, formula feeding, and buying carseats — among (many) other things.

3.) Want not. You might know Mir from her great blog about living the freelance life, Cornered Office, here at Work it, Mom!, but my wallet had a crush on her long before, when I first stumbled upon her fab shopping blog, Wantnot.net. She combs the web to find the best bargains out there and delivers the deals with smart, funny commentary — what’s not to love?

4.) Money Saving Mom. If you’re learning how to coupon effectively, roll with the CVS extra bucks, or reap the Walgreens rebate savings, Money Saving Mom has got you covered.

5.) Consumer Savvy Tips. For those of you who are looking to save money over the long haul, rather than a few dollars right now on a particular purchase, check out the archives at Consumer Savvy Tips. From choosing a snowblower to choosing a pet, there’s a wealth of information here that could help you keep a little more wealth in your bank account.

Where do you look for online deals?

I put the “slow” in “slow cooker.” And the “crock” in “crock pot”

Categories: Career, Hacking Life, Making Time, The Juggle, Uncategorized, do more with less

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It goes against every fiber of my working mom being, but I have to admit it, right here, right now: I’m not in love with my slow cooker.

Oh sure, it’s a fine mini appliance. It does its job well. We can probably be friends, but I’m not sure that my crock pot is, you know, “The One.” Obviously, the problem in this relationship is me, not it. It’s done nothing wrong, it functions perfectly well, it does what it’s designed to do.

It’s me. I don’t think I have enough patience for the crock pot.
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Learn online for free: Do more with less

Categories: Career, Frugal Living, Hacking Life, Making Time, The Juggle, Working? Living?, do more with less

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With the economic outlook plummeting and the cost of tuition on the rise, now is the perfect time to go online to further your education or supplement your child’s.

You won’t be able to earn an actual degree for free, but if you’re trying to increase your expertise at the office, wondering whether to switch careers, or just wishing you had taken that film course back when you were in college, there are some truly amazing opportunities out there.

(I’ll admit, my first thought was “I don’t have the time!” But the beauty of learning online is that you can do it at your own pace. And if you have a chance to study something you’ve always wanted to, and to study it for free? Find time. You’re worth the investment.)

If you’re looking for ways to give your kid a boost in the science, vocab, history, or math departments, there are plenty of great online resources to choose from, and you don’t have to be a homeschooling veteran to find them. Here are five of my favorites sites for getting an awesome, and free, online education for adults, plus five more online destinations for educational games that your kids will enjoy.


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Keep little kids occupied: Do more with less

Categories: Career, Frugal Living, Hacking Life, Making Time, The Juggle, do more with less

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It’s a fact of life for most working moms: At some point or another, whether you work from home or out of the house, you’re going to be trying to get your work done with a little one at your side. Maybe your caregiver has the day off. Maybe it’s a school vacation day but you can’t afford to take one of yours to cover it. Maybe your child is sick. Maybe you’re snowed in. Whatever the reason, here are eight things you can do to help keep your little angel occupied while you make deadline:
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Giving to charity: Do more with less

Categories: Frugal Living, Hacking Life, Uncategorized, do more with less

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If you’re feeling the economic pinch right now, just imagine how much tighter the belt is getting for people who didn’t have much to begin with. The organizations that help the less fortunate are having a harder time doing so this year; the number of the needy has skyrocketed, as have operating costs, while the amount of funds donated has dwindled.

Even though times are tight, there are plenty of ways to give — and to let your dollar do more than you thought it could. Here are a few options:
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