Advice for the Single Parent: Time, Energy and Money for Fitness

Advice for the Single Parent: Time, Energy and Money for Fitness

There are an endless amount of challenges that single parents face every day. Balancing a busy work schedule and raising kids doesn’t leave much time for anything else. Daily exercise and fitness often gets put to the wayside because we feel we don’t have the energy or time in the day to dedicate to an exercise routine. Studies have shown less than half of American adults get thirty minutes of exercise five times a week. But, we need to remember to take care of ourselves. As little as thirty minutes a day of exercise can go a long way towards getting in shape and even preventing heart disease. It is important to make physical fitness a priority for ourselves. Taking care of ourselves enables us to better take care of others. Sticking with a daily routine doesn’t have to take a lot of time, and the added benefits of a healthy lifestyle and extra energy will help you better tackle the challenges of being a single parent.

Where do we find the time and energy? After a busy workday, getting the kids to their soccer game, and making dinner, the last thing we want to do is work out. All our energy and mental focus is gone and we just want to wind down and relax with what little time we have before bed, by spending time with the family. There doesn’t feel like there is enough time to drive to the gym, get your workout done, and drive back, along with all of the other obligations in the day. Even if your gym is close by and you limit yourself to a thirty minute workout, you are looking at least an hour, if not more. This is where exercising at home can be incredibly convenient and a huge time saver. So when should we do it? First thing in the morning. This has several advantages. It is easier to dedicate time first thing in the morning. The kids might still be asleep and you have less emails and other distractions. Also, you are not worn down by the day yet. Working out in the morning can boost your mood and give you more natural energy to start your day. And, once you’ve done it, you’re done. You don’t need to worry about it again for the rest of the day. You can save your gym workouts for days you have more time, like on the weekends for instance.

Building a home gym doesn’t have to be outrageously expensive or take up a lot of space. With just a few reasonably priced purchases you can get what you need to assist you in your fitness goals. A healthy exercise regimen will consist of both cardio and muscular exercise. Here are a few workout and equipment ideas to get you started.

Jump Rope, Walking, and Jogging: A simple jump rope is very inexpensive and provides a great cardiovascular workout, and helps tone your legs. It can also bring some of that joy back from being younger, skipping rope on a playground. Even going for a moderately-paced walk can help you get in shape. Jogging around the neighborhood is another example of a good cardio workout. Try doing it for shorter distances to help build up stamina.

Bodyweight and Resistance Bands: For muscular fitness, there are a variety of options. Bodyweight exercises are an excellent way to get into shape. They utilize multiple muscles and don’t require any equipment, so they’re free. Who doesn’t like free? Some examples of bodyweight exercises are squats, lunges, pushups and dips. Another inexpensive option is resistance bands. These are like large rubber bands that offer resistance as you pull on them, simulating weight-lighting. They are easy to store, lightweight, and you can increase or decrease the resistance to best fit your needs. These are great for muscle toning and stretching.

Yoga: One of the best pieces of home equipment you can buy is a quality yoga mat. Yoga is an excellent form of exercise due to its efficiency. It is one of the best workouts for those with very little time to spare. A quick yoga routine can increase heart rate, stretch, and tone muscles. Yoga can also be very relaxing, so it is a great way to unwind if you need a little break. When shopping for a yoga mat, purchase one with a thicker layer of foam and avoid ones made with PVC chemicals for a healthier home environment. You may have to initially shell out a little more money for a nicer mat, but the thicker ones will last much longer and provide better cushion and support.

Getting just a few pieces of home gym equipment doesn’t have to break the bank and will allow you to fit that quick workout in a busy schedule. Even if you decide to expand on your home gym equipment later on, it is often cheaper than many gym memberships in the long run, and you have everything within reach.

It may seem difficult, but making time to take care of yourself needs to be a priority. There are a lot of people counting on you and you need to take care of yourself so that you can take care of them. Working out at home can save a lot of time and money, and still provide great health benefits. You can purchase relatively inexpensive items or just use your own bodyweight and still get a great workout. Beginning each day with a quick and efficient workout will give you the energy and focus you need to be charged for the day.

Article submitted by Alexis Hall

Photo courtesy of Pexels 

Moving Is Child’s Play: Tips For Moving With Children

Moving Is Child’s Play: Tips For Moving With Children

Okay, so moving isn’t really child’s play, but it can be fun when you involve your children and make it a game. Plus, including your children in the plans and work of moving can help them to be less stressed about the changes going on in their lives.

Here are some tips to make it easier:

  1. Pack their room last and unpack it first in the new home.
  2. Stick to the old meal and bedtime routines throughout the move to give them a sense of familiarity.
  3. Hire movers – you will thank yourself and you’ll have more time to help your children.
  4. Include your kids in some decisions: decorations, new plates, which new park to visit first.
  5. Find child and pet care for moving day to alleviate stress.
  6. Involve your kids in unpacking so they feel more invested.
  7. Prepare them mentally but be prepared for anxiety – adjusting can take up to 6 months.
  8. Get them pumped about their new school by taking a tour or even walking or driving by.
  9. Help them create a memory book of the old house, school, neighborhood, friends, babysitter.
  10. Remember to practice self-care so that you’re on top of your game for your children.

Moving into a new home can be stressful for the entire family, but especially for the kids. By making some thoughtful plans to include them in the decision making and work, you can help ensure that they feel more in control and less stressed. That will make everyone feel better.Screen Shot 2017-11-26 at 10.23.58 PM

Photo Credit: singleparent.info

Blogger: Alexis Hall

I Quit My Job: Budgeting as a Single Parent with @clevergirlfinance

I Quit My Job: Budgeting as a Single Parent with @clevergirlfinance

Finances and Parenting!!! I got a chance to chat with Bola Onada Sokunbi of @clevergirlfinance about the challenges of single parenting and entrepreneurship along with this new sense of freedom of living in my purpose.

Things have changed over the last 3 months for me and my budget looks a lot different from when I was making six figures a year at my previous job. I used to shop at Target once a week – literally. But now, I am very intentional with my purposes and I have to pay attention to what I am spending. Recently I opened up my daughter’s savings account and this year, she wants to visit Hawaii!!!

Of all places, she wants to one of the most expensive trips yet, to the Aulani resort this year. But guess what, we have a budget and a plan for it! See how we are STILL going to save for our annual trip to Hawaii here! 

As always, I love you all. Thanks for your DM’s, messages, inboxes and checking on me. The journey continues….

Be sure to subscribe for updates and exclusive prizes on my page jjonthemic.com and check out the video diary every Thursday at 2PM to keep up with my journey!

#xoxoxo#

JJ

Budgeting for Entrepreneurs: Finances

Budgeting for Entrepreneurs: Finances

Now that I’ve quit my job, I need to pay EXTRA attention to how much I’m spending AND bringing in. Being an entrepreneur is so not for the weary. It really takes working 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, SEVEN days a week. It’s all about your hustle, networking and relationships with like minded people. This week, I talked with Wealth Strategist, Jaelsa Ann and she had a chance to look at my own personal expenses, savings and investments. She shares with me some REAL advice. I’m not an over-spender, but here’s what Jalesa had to say about MY finances… Check it out here! 

You can follow Jalesa Ann on Twitter @jalessaann or visit her website at www.mymoneymogul.com

Be sure to subscribe for updates and exclusive prizes on my page jjonthemic.com and check out the video diary every Thursday at 2PM to keep up with my journey!

#xoxoxo#

JJ

Don’t Break the BANK for Christmas

Don’t Break the BANK for Christmas

With the holiday season here, it’s filled with cheer and plenty of spending.   The holiday season has turned into a time of the year where the quantity of material possessions trumps thoughtfulness and the true reason for the season.  Whether you celebrate Christmas, Kwanzaa or Hanukkah; they all symbolize spending time with loved ones.   This is the time of the year when stores and credit card companies make a killing getting shoppers to overspend.  The holiday season allows individuals the chance to rationalize overspending and to dust off credit cards.  These should be the days of Giving Thanks and being Jolly, Merry and Bright!  Not Broke, Greedy, Stressed and In Debt.  So who says we have to go into debt to enjoy the Holiday Season?  Let’s NOT break the bank for just Christmas sake!

We don’t have to give in to the temptation and overextend ourselves financially for the sake of buying unnecessary gifts.  So, here are some tips to attempt to get through the holiday season without any new debt. 

List & Limits 

Create a holiday shopping list, set a spending limit for each person and only buy for who’s on it.  Leave your emotions at the door. With sales and deals in every retail window, it’s easy to get sucked into purchasing items that you never planned to buy.  Using the money you have set aside in your budget, or using cash you have readily available (don’t use credit), create a cash-only Holiday budget – and stick to it!  Keep track of your spending. Remind yourself of all other debt responsibilities like your car payment, rent or mortgage, etc. that will be still be due after the holiday season. 

Cash Christmas

Pay cash, pay cash, pay cash. Christmas Savings Clubs and Christmas Bonuses are cash options that allow debt free spending.  Avoid using credit cards and do not charge purchases.  Buying gifts with cash will avoid the unwelcoming surprises, interest rates and fees that will come knocking in January. When the cash is gone, stop shopping and refuse to use credit. 

Thoughtfulness over cost

Pay attention to family and friends and purchase gifts that make the person feel special.  Pay attention to hints or comments throughout the year.  And, do not rule out handmade gifts. Sometimes handmade gifts mean the most.  Remember the cliché’, “It‘s the thought that counts”?  Well, it may be corny, but it’s true.  Put time into choosing the gift that the person wants, not the gift that makes you look generous. 

Start Saving for Next Christmas

Christmas is the same time every year, yet somehow we manage to wait until the last minute to make purchases, often without a budget. Consider joining a savings club or opening a savings account that you can’t touch. By putting away $50 each month you will have $550 to spend by the time Christmas rolls around. Also consider picking up gifts throughout the year, which will definitely be easier on your wallet come December. 

Buying gift cards monthly or every pay period is an automatic saver for year-end holiday spending.  These gift cards can be used to purchase Christmas gifts for family and friends or just given as gifts themselves. 

We tell ourselves it is fine, we will worry about it in the New Year. When the New Year comes we are faced with a “financial debt hangover”, where we then spend the entire year trying to pay off our debt, only to do it all over again! Don’t create new damage and repeat the cycle. 

Cicely Jones is the owner of MPA Financials, a Full Service Accounting Firm with 15 years’ experience.  Cicely has a passion to spread knowledge of financial empowerment by educating clients and giving sound financial advice.

Website: http://mpafinancials.com/

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/mpafinancials