POSTS WITH TAG: jobs & money

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    Believe it or not, the holiday shopping season is upon us. Even though many of us didn't even get to soak up the Halloween season thanks to Hurricane Sandy, it's time to shift gears and prepare to fill our bellies up and empty out our pockets ... and our piggy banks ... and our savings accounts. But believe it or not, there are a helluva lot of ways to beat the AMEX charges and save cash on toys.

    Now, if you're anything like me, you're shaking your head and saying 'Oh yeah, sister, been there, tried that ... it just ain't gonna work', but just trust me on this one, k? There's a way to save, stay in line with your budget, and actually enjoy the holiday season with friends, family, and without all the added stress. Check out our top five money-saving tricks:

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    The Here Comes Honey Boo Boo clan has a hit TV show on their hands and a big raise from TLC to come. So what is Mama June Shannon going to do with all that money? Improve her kids' lives? Nah, she's putting the cash away ... for the future.

    Wait, what?

    June and Honey Boo Boo herself, little Alana Thompson, showed up on Jimmy Kimmel this week where the 7-year-old made her now viral announcement that she wants to see President Obama re-elected. But while everyone's talking about whether kids should get involved in politics, June's big announcement has been seriously ignored.

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    Being a girl is hard. Some are barely out of pre-school when they realize there are mean girls and encounter body image and self-esteem issues. It's frightening, isn't it.

    We see it happening and know exactly what they are going through because we went through it too. It's hard watching, wondering how to make growing up easier.

    So when I recently came across a blog on Mommyish.com about a mother's desperate attempt to find positive female role models for her young daughter, it got my full attention. She had spent weeks trying to find a female firefighter or police officer to show her child that she could do and be anything she wanted. I was certainly touched by the effort. Then I thought, why is she looking for some random lady for her kid to admire? Shouldn't she be the woman her daughter looks up to?

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    Would you lie about being a mother in order to get a job in this economy? A down economy is hurting a lot of families. There are a lot of unemployed people out there and a lot of those people are moms. A new study, which looked at the outcomes for laid-off workers across the United States, found that married women with kids, moms just like you and me, spent more time in between jobs than married dads. Why you ask?

    Employers see women who have children as a liability because they might put their children first. *Gasp* Isn't that exactly what people are supposed to do? Put their children first. Isn't that the first line of the new parent handbook?

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    Hey moms, have you heard about the new app that promises to make your kids "beg" to do chores? That's right, it's called -- um, look, you're really gonna need to stop laughing if you want me to tell you more. Can you stop that, please?

    Okay, where was I? Oh yeah, so this app is called "Choremonster," and it's basically the smartphone generation's take on Ye Olde Sticker Chart (you know, those things you put stickers on every time your kid washes the dishes or whatever and then when the chart's all filled up and/or you run out of stickers they get a prize?).

    Now, some parents have a problem with this idea because they think rewarding kids for doing stuff around the house they should be doing anyway sends the wrong message. That they'll grow up spoiled and entitled and lazy. That they won't lift a finger unless some sort of compensation is involved.

    And you know what? Why should they?

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    Kids can coach you through the set up of a Skype account. They can recite the full lyrics on any MTV playlist. They can bring you up to speed on reality show melodrama. But when it comes to money matters, they are completely and totally clueless. And if you don’t teach them to care, they’ll run roughshod all over your bank account until they have one of their own to destroy. I’ve already concluded that, should a fairy tale character show up here in Washington, D.C. peddling magic beans or secret potions, Girl Child would be the line leader. Homegirl has a real cavalier attitude about money that I just can’t seem to shake. That became quite clear when she lost a $20 and didn’t even break a sweat.

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    Moms Who Work Have It Easy

    posted by Ericka Sóuter May 21, 2012 at 10:52 PM in Big Kid
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    Taking care of kids around the clock can be hazardous to your mental health. It's a fact!

    A Gallup survey of 60,000 women discovered that stay-at-home moms are more likely to have depression, sadness, and anger than working moms.

    Sad, but not exactly a big shocker. It's a grueling existence. Something -- or someone -- always needs to be changed, cleaned, and preened. All it takes is a 10-week maternity leave for a new mom to realize that taking care of kids full-time is literally the hardest gig in the universe. It's no wonder so many woman are excited to get back to the grind. Basically, working moms are getting off easy.

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    I've never had what you might call a picture-perfect career path. Years of working in the tech industry taught me how to run a tradeshow and write copy that snapped, crackled, and occasionally plopped—but it also taught me to be leery of layoffs, dysfunctional management teams, and pedantic software engineers. I increased my income over time, but my responsibilities and job titles were all over the map. One year I was a manager, the year after that my business card read "marketing weasel." Hilarious ... ly stupid.Freelancing, by comparison, has been wonderfully ambiguity-free. I do X amount of work, I get paid Y. No cutesy titles or useless staff meetings. No soul-sucking commute. No vacation days, benefits, profit sharing, or cushy corporate salary either, but oh, it's been so much better, in so many ways.

    Still, now that I've been working from home for over a year, and my career trajectory has taken an even less traditional turn, I can't help wondering ... what's next?

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    Starting at age 8, my parents began to give me an allowance. I can't tell you how much they gave me every week and I don't know what I did with it -- I only remember that I got my allowance faithfully every Friday.

    Each week, I gleefully waited for Friday (in part because it meant no more school for two! whole! days!) and pounced upon my father the minute he got home to give me my allowance.

    It was, perhaps, the smartest thing my parents ever did. Which is why I will happily be giving each of my children (yes, even the 3-year-old) an allowance in the New Year.

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    Every year, around mid-December, my husband and I sit down to make a list of the people we need to tip or buy gifts for during the holiday season. Every year the list grows longer. And since we've had kids? Well, honestly, it's gotten a bit crazy. There are teachers and teachers' aides, babysitters and school bus drivers, and the people who cut our children's hair (in addition to the people who cut our own). There's the woman who cleans our house twice a month -- a luxury, yes, but also a concession to the fact that as working parents, we simply couldn't keep up with the mess made by two children and still expect to spend any quality time with them.And that's not to mention the mail carrier and the garbage collectors and the newspaper-delivery guy and all the other workers who frequently populate holiday-tipping checklists. Is it me, or can the holidays just about bankrupt a well-meaning family?

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