Tips For Surviving the Sandwich Generation

 

If you are currently responsible for caring for your elderly parents while trying to look after your own children, you’re officially a part of the sandwich generation. This is a time in almost every adult’s life that can be challenging, emotional, and frustrating. You are being pulled in all directions, are carrying the responsibility of two (if not more) people. You might not have time to catch your breath.

Here are some tips to help you get through it.

Plan ahead

If you are not quite in the sandwich generation period of your life, but you can see it looming on the horizon, start planning now.

Save up money for childcare or home care. You can find quality assistance throughout the contrary, from assisted living in California, to home care in League City. There is no doubt that you are going to need a helping hand, so you might as well ask for assistance in advance.

It may sound bleak, but it is also worthwhile speaking to your parents about their estate planning needs and their wishes for their care in case they become mentally or physically incapacitated.

Communicate with your employer

The worst thing that you can do is try to conceal your home-life situation from your boss. Be upfront and honest regarding your responsibilities. In this way, you are almost certain to have his or her support if ever you need to leave work early in an emergency.

Seek out support

Taking care of your children in conjunction with an elderly loved one can take a lot out of you. It is mentally and physically exhausting, and definitely isn’t something that you should do alone.

Luckily, there are multiple support groups out there specifically for individuals that are trying to survive the sandwich generation. These support groups are either in-person or online. You are likely to be surprised at just how big of a difference talking to others in similar situations will have on your overall mood and outlook!

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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Effective Ways to Save on Your Energy Bills

 

 

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Keeping the home at a comfortable temperature is a common priority for many homeowners. However, they often want to keep their energy bills as low as possible at the same time. If this sounds familiar, there are several ways you can reduce the money spent on energy bills without making dramatic changes to your lifestyle.

Lower Your Thermostat

Have you ever stopped to think about how you might be keeping your home too warm when you’re not even in it? Statistics indicate that you could save approximately 10% on annual heating and cooling costs by turning your thermostat down by 10-15 degrees for at least eight hours per day. Think about doing that when the house is empty or when you’re asleep. That way, it’s easier to make the adjustment.

Check for Leaky Seals

Doors, refrigerators, and freezers are some of the things around your home that may have improper seals. In that case, air could leak out or come in, causing unwanted temperature changes in your home.

For example, if your front door has an extremely leaky seal, there could be a cool draft that comes in even when the door seems tightly shut. It’s easy to take care of poor seals yourself by buying replacement sealing material from a home improvement store. Also, if you notice air entering a room from underneath the door, think about using a draft stopper.

Use a Smart Thermostat

Many households want to make their homes “smarter” by investing in intelligent gadgets like smart speakers, smart security cameras, and smart plugs. Those things typically connect to apps and let users control items in their abodes without being in the same room. If having smart stuff in your residence sounds appealing, smart thermostats could help you save money, along with offering other benefits.

For example, some have a special display that shows you the optimal thermostat temperature for achieving the best energy savings. Others can track trends over time and show you if you’re keeping the home cooler or warmer than usual from month to month. Other smart thermostats have sensors that detect whether a room is occupied or not. They respond accordingly so that you’re not wasting energy in an empty room.

Upgrade Your Windows

Installing new, energy-efficient windows can have more positive effects on an energy bill than many people think. For example, choosing a window with an ENERGY STAR energy rating could save you several hundred dollars per year. Also, choosing particular kinds of glazing for the new windows can affect heat transfer and insulation.

If some areas of your home receive substantial amounts of direct sunlight during the day, consider adding shades to your new windows. Then, you can take advantage of the natural heat source during the colder months of the year and use the shades to avoid excessive warmth when summer arrives.

These tips will get you off to a great start if you’re thinking seriously about simple ways to save on your energy costs. It’s also smart to consult with a professional and let them know that cutting your energy bill is a priority. They may have ideas you haven’t thought of yet.

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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Money Miracles – 3 Amazing “Last Resort” Options That Can Save You From Digging Deeper Into Debt

Image by Alexander Mils on Pexels.com

Consumer debt has been mounting over the last few decades. Getting a handle on your debt and being able to pay down what you owe can be a hard process. Stripping your budget back, reducing spending, and finding better interest rates can only take you so far. Check out these three last resort options for when everything you have tried to reduce your debt hasn’t panned out.

No Interest Loans

Many so-called solutions can put you into deeper debt than when you first started out. One low-risk way to get on top of your payments is to use money loans with no interest. These loans are made for people wanting to pay down multiple sources of debt. By securing such a loan, you can eliminate multiple sources of debt and roll them into one monthly payment, with no crippling interest to worry about.

Getting a break from interest rates allows you to get a handle on your debt without exorbitant fees piling up. Places that offer these types of loans sometimes also offer free financial counseling to help you create a better plan for staying out of debt.

Payment Plans

One of the first things you should do if you are taking drastic measures to fix your debt is to talk to your creditors. This can be a daunting task, so if you don’t feel up to it, you may wish to have a credit counseling agency be your advocate.

You or your credit counselor can negotiate with your creditors to set up a payment plan that will take the strain off your budget. This kind of plan should allow you to consolidate all of your payments into one. Usually, these payment plans will also reduce your interest rate and protect you from other fees being tacked onto your debt because of repayment issues.

Sell Your Assets

If you need to come up with a large sum of money to put down on your consolidated debt, a good way to manage it is by looking at your collective assets and selling what you can. 401ks and retirement plans can be cashed out early for a nominal fee if the need is urgent. Though please note, this should only be done when you have exhausted all your other last-resort options.

Some viable alternatives include looking into tenable assets, such as your house, car, or other big items, and selling those for cash if you have equity in them. Then, you should consider downsizing your living and driving arrangements. If you have your own business, you may need to look at selling off any assets that aren’t essential to your day-to-day operations. Or, you may consider selling your business altogether.

If you have stocks or other investments, these can also be sold to give you more money towards paying off your current debt. Any property you have can be sold or rented out to generate some passive income while you work on downsizing.

Whichever of these options you choose to go ahead with, it is highly advisable to seek out a credit counselor or debt solutions advisor to help you make a plan and provide strategies to stick to it. Being stuck with payments that are throttling your life isn’t sustainable. Making a concerted effort to pay down your debt before filing for bankruptcy is your best choice.

 

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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