Top 7 Best Stay at Home Mom Apps that Every Mom Needs

Most people would agree that today’s world is incredibly complex. Luckily, at the same time, modern technology has given us amazing things that can alleviate our daily burden by a great deal. Being literally at the tips of our fingers, software programs such as smartphone apps can help us face quotidian problems more successfully. For that reason, there are specialized apps that cater to different needs. Without a doubt, everyday life can get difficult for everyone, including stay at home moms.

a tablet next to a computer on a desk

Stay at home mom apps provide their users with services that, in a nutshell, help keep things organized around the house, particularly regarding the kids. Even though there are many useful ones in the market, this guide will focus on providing a well-rounded, comprehensive selection of apps that will help stay at home moms with all the different aspects of their noble occupation.

The Top 7 Stay at Home Mom Apps

Before going into the recommendations, it’s important to note that these apps are no replacement for patience, good judgment, attention, and love. Instead, they should be used in a complementary fashion to these important attributes. That said, it’s safe to say good stay at home mom apps can make your family life easier and more enjoyable. Without further ado, here are some of the most useful stay at home mom apps on the market:

1. Budget Touch

a pile of dollar bills on a table

No matter their level of income, all stay at home moms know how important it is to stay within a budget. However, amid the controlled chaos of routine family life, it’s easy to lose your grip on every single spending. That is where a sharp piece of software such as Budget Touch comes in.

This great app helps you keep track of all your spending. In order to do so, it organizes them by putting each one in a separate virtual envelope. It also provides users with options for calculating percentages, balancing accounts and organize your transactions by month, quarter or year.

2. Home Routines

Successful people from all walks of life know the importance of having a routine. Routines help you stay organized and on time, freeing up more time for other activities while avoiding mistakes and confusion. With that in mind, Wunderbear developed Home Routines, an app that keeps track of everything you need to do within specific periods of time.

With it, you can create your own routines and checklists. Additionally, you can control your progress and try to beat your own streaks. It even features a reward system that will keep you motivated to continue adhering to the schedule.

3. All Recipes: Dinner Spinner

the dinner spinner app page

Most people know what it’s like to have food but not know what to cook with it. To solve that problem, this useful app provides you with recipes based on what you have at hand. After you have entered all the ingredients you have available, the app generates hundreds of delicious and practical recipes that you can cook without having to go out grocery shopping.

As if that wasn’t good enough, it also learns your preferences increasingly as you use it. It even gives users the possibility of following specific chefs to get new recipes from them periodically.

4. Cozi

Similarly to the Home Routines app, Cozi allows you to create and oversee schedules. However, this app focuses less on routines and more on synchronizing schedules between different family members. Without a doubt, this is incredibly useful to keep track of your kids throughout the entire day.

Additionally, it allows parents to create and share chore lists, improving their ability to make sure everything gets done in the house. Practical, intuitive and easy to use, Cozi employs a color-coded system that will surely help parents organize their entire family life.

5. Mom Maps

For kids, going outdoors from time to time highly important. It is a great way to decompress, experience new things and become acquainted with mother nature. However, parents often don’t know where to take their children.

Positioning itself as one of the most creative stay at home mom apps out there, Mom Maps solves this problem by displaying all the child-friendly locations in a determinate area. It works in most urban areas, which means it’s great for traveling. However, it’s also great for discovering new spots that are near your home.

6. Yowza!

a white smartphone with apps

In most urban areas, there are many discount opportunities for buying things like grocery and household items. However, it’s often hard to find out about these opportunities. This wonderful app will alert its users of any interesting offers near their location. Additionally, it will send coupons to them directly, eliminating the need to go looking for them. One of the most advantageous stay at home apps available, Yowza! will allow you to save an impressive amount of money.

7. Remember the Milk

Unlike most stay at home mom apps out there, Remember the Milk does not offer a greatly innovative service. It’s, in fact, one among dozens of to-do list apps. However, Remember the Milk stands out due to its family-oriented simplicity. Without a doubt, this family-friendly attitude makes this app one of the most useful stay at home mom apps.

Remember the Milk makes it easy to organize your tasks into different categories. It even allows you to break down every item into subtasks, expanding the amount of control you have over each step necessary to complete each important task.

Let’s Recap

Many people will feel more hopeful after going through this list of useful stay at home mom apps. Even though they are not a substitute for good parenting, they are definitely capable of making everyday family life easier and, why not, more enjoyable as well. Without a doubt, technology can be extremely beneficial when applied to something as important as raising a family. Do you know any other apps that moms will love? Let us know in the comments!

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8 Tips for DIY Landscaping – How to Save Money by Not Hiring a Decorator

Conserving your hard-earned resources is your biggest concern. It’s taken a lot of effort for you to have your own schedule, so it’s understandable that you would want to put in the same effort to beautify your landscape. Although DIY landscaping can be done little by little, there are a few steps that need to be followed to make your landscaping project successful.

a cozy terrace landscaping

Whether you have a little or a lot of landscaping knowledge, your key focus should be on buying materials that can make your investment worthwhile. If you’re determined to do your DIY landscaping project on a frugal budget, read the following article to help you get started.

The Cost of Landscaping

several piles of dollar bills

Hiring a professional decorator involves several costs which are based on the details of your landscape project, its location, and its size. First, you’ll need to pay for a professional consultation that can range from $50-$100 an hour.

Next, you’ll need to pay for your decorator’s time to create a layout design for your property. The average cost for a basic layout design of your property is $4,200, but can cost $6,000 and higher the larger the scale of landscaping work is involved.

You’ll also need to buy the recommended materials to successfully complete your project. With so many costs associated with a landscaping proposal, it’s worthwhile to investigate how to decorate your landscape in a more affordable way.

Top DIY Landscaping Tips You Need to Know

#1. Find Inspiration Online

Find your DIY landscaping inspiration from garden scenes online or in magazines to get a feel of what the final layout will look like. However, you’ll need to learn whether or not the greenery chosen to decorate your exterior surroundings is compatible to your soil, climate, region, and location.

#2. Do a Soil Test

someone's hand holding a bit of soil

Test your soil before you start planting. Use a soil test kit to find out your soil’s pH and any nutrients and minerals it needs to make your greenery flourish. There are soil test kits that also provide a list of plants or flowers ideal for your soil type. Combine your local or mail-order purchases with friends and neighbors and buy plants, used tillers, lawn aerators, seed spreaders, for example at estate or yard sales.

#3. Opt for the Proper Type of Grass

green tall grass close-up

Choosing the right type of grass is key. If you want a healthy turf that requires less maintenance, minimal watering, and fertilization, choose a species that can tolerate various temperatures and weather conditions in your region.

To save on costs, plant grass seed as opposed to laying down sod; as an alternative, you could lay sod for the visible part of your yard and spread grass seed in less noticeable areas. Tall grass greatly inhibits weeds growth, so you don’t have to spend on herbicides.

#4. Use Organic Mulch

Adding a layer of organic mulch helps the soil stay moist longer. Mulch reduces your need to water and fertilize your landscape, plus minimizes your need to buy and use weed herbicides. Research which type of mulch is the best for your lawn and buy it in bulk.

Sawdust is a clean, ready-to-spread mulching material that helps your plants receive adequate nitrogen and can be used to create garden paths. Manure is a readily available fertilizer that you can often get for free if you agree to pick it up and haul it yourself.

#5. Look for End-of-the-Season Sales

Many garden centers and nurseries want to free up their surplus of plants and trees during this time which can cut your expenses in half or more by waiting to buy your greenery during end-of-the-season sales. Share local and mail-order costs with friends or neighbors who are willing to help you with your landscaping project. You can even buy flowers, shrubs, trees, plants, used tillers, seed spreaders and more at yard sales.

#6. Use Embellishment Items

a beautifully-arranged porch

Select wood chips, river stones, old bricks, reclaimed wood, pine needles, or shredded leaves. Use flat-cut stones for eye-catching stepping-stones, garden walls, flowerbed and pond edgings and integrate seashells, marbles, flagstones or other handy materials to design plain concrete paths instead of purchasing expensive garden path materials.

#7. Prune Regularly

Unkempt flowers, plants, trees, and shrubs will ruin your DIY landscaping project’s overall appearance and can be costly to fix. Moreover, allow your outdoor pruning (including kitchen scraps cut grass, fallen leaves, sawdust) time to break down and use this mixture as compost to enrich and aerate your soil and fertilize your lawn.

#8. Go for Native Species of Plants

yellow and orange flowers

Choose native plants species that are naturally present in your region to avoid frequent maintenance, extra watering, chemical supplements, and soil adjustment costs. Also, store surplus flower seeds in a cool, dry location so you can plant the rest of them the following year. Buying self-seeding annuals prevents you from replacing flowers every year.

If you prefer to buy perennials, choose those that grow quickly, such as zebra grass, allium blooms, or primrose. Split large bunches of hens and chicks, hostas, and trumpet lilies, into several plants to maximize the volume of your landscape’s greenery. Clip the roots of easy-to-grow shrubs, such as Red Diamond Loropetalum, or Daphne to grow new ones.

Final Thoughts

The cost of your DIY landscaping project will depend on whether you want to build it from scratch as well. However, you’ll save more money if you incorporate some parts of your existing landscape design into your new DIY landscaping plans.

Either way, the finished product doesn’t have to look shoddy. Make sure to research the basics of landscaping before you get started to help prevent costly mistakes. Be ready to maintain your landscape according to the season and your species of grass, flowers, plants, shrubs, and trees.

Although some DIY landscape projects may still require professional touches, you’ll be able to the basics yourself. Feel free to leave your suggestions and comments on how to save money on DIY landscaping below.

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Freelance Work from Home: Top 5 Platforms to Subscribe to

Working from home is the dream for many. The option of getting to work in pajamas if you so choose and setting your own schedule (for the most part) is pretty enticing. Freelance work from home is also a tremendous convenience for stay at home parents as well as the disabled.

a cartoon showing a freelancer

Or if you just prefer to be your own boss then you will discover freelance work from home may be the means to success in your career. Follow along to find out the five best platforms for freelance work from home.

How to Find Freelance Work from Home

There are far too many scams out there preying on those that want to do freelance work from home. Be aware and do your research on any company you’re interested in. Some companies do charge membership fees in order to gain access to their jobs.

Most of these are legitimate, but if a website is claiming you can “get rich quick” and then asks you to send money for their “how-to guide,” you should click off of that page.

Inputting “freelance work from home” into a search engine will typically bring up a list you’ll need to wade through to find what you’re actually wanting. A better method for starting your search is to be specific. Do you want to be a virtual assistant (VA)? Or would you rather be a writer or even do data entry?

There are even mobile app developers and computer engineers doing freelance work. You will want to determine which way you’re leaning before you start. Doing so can save you a lot of time and anxiety. Then you can search “freelance writing jobs” and not end up having to sort through all of the non-relevant results. You don’t have to know which one you want to do, but it helps.

Additional Tips

The beauty of freelancing is finding your niche by being able to try different jobs. You aren’t typically required to stay if you find the job satisfactory unless you’ve contracted to stick around for a project. The fact remains, when that project is finished you are free to move on to something else if you so desire.

The ability to test different jobs is a valuable asset to those wanting a new career freelancing from home, but unsure of what they want to do. The skills learned from freelancing from home are also a viable way to enhance your resume.

Top 5 Freelancing Platforms to Consider

a smiling young woman

1. Upwork

Upwork is a free platform for freelancing work from home. You start off by making a detailed profile to draw the attention of prospective clients. Then when you find a job you’re interested in, submit a proposal.

It’s very traditional in the sense that you will apply for specific jobs and hope your profile, which acts as your resume, garners the attention it deserves. There are no fees involved for the freelancer, which is not the case for all of the sites I have included in this list.

2. Freelancer

Freelancer is a top platform due to the reputation of the site and the number of jobs available. There is a paid membership tier, but it is optional. Similar to many other freelancing jobs, you will bid on items of interest to you. You will have the option of buying more bids to increase your chances of landing the jobs you want.

Freelancer runs much like a profitable business, in that they have paid options for nearly every choice you make. Even though they charge for premium services, there are still many opportunities available without paying a dime.

3. Toptal

Toptal hires the best of the best. The application process is stringent because they offer top quality freelancers to their clients. The clients are usually very well-known big names. Freelancing from home for any of the companies they represent will certainly add some flash to your resume. This is one to aspire to. The top freelancers make serious bank. Toptal claims to only accept the top 3% of freelance applicants.

4. iFreelance

a woman working on her laptop

iFreelance makes this list because you get to keep 100% of what you earn by freelancing through their platform. Most sites usually take a piece of the pie for providing you with a job. iFreelance does require a monthly subscription fee, but once you obtain jobs, it should be possible for anyone to afford.

They have nearly every type of job available you could imagine. On iFreelance, you bid on the jobs you want and create a flashy profile, much like Upwork.

5. Textbroker

Textbroker is for content writers. You can make as little or as much as you want. It all depends on your speed. Once you sign up, you must take a grammar test as well as submit a short essay in order to get rated. When you get your rating, you are then given access to many categories of writing jobs with difficulty levels up to your rating.

This is a fantastic platform for anyone wanting to break into the freelance work from home writing business. There is no bidding for jobs, and there are no fees whatsoever for the writer. Clients post descriptions of what they need to be written, and the freelancer fulfills their order by the deadline.

Summing It Up

Freelancing from home offers a staggering amount of opportunities to advance your career, as well as your life. Before obligating yourself or pouring resources into a field that may not be a good fit for you, do some looking around and testing out.

Trial and error can lead to some beautiful progress. Most jobs don’t afford one the chance to “test drive” different careers. Freelancing from home will do help you attain valuable experience in a wide variety of fields while helping you narrow down your niche and grow your freelance work from home business.

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Smart Ways to Thrive as Homemakers

Being a stay-at-home mom has its upsides like the ability to take care of the children and run the household yourself. However, it may also mean that you rely on a single paycheck, which can be challenging with the current economic times. However, homemakers can still thrive.

dollar bills in the ground

When you have to send in your mortgage payments in time, pay utility bills, and the children’s schools among others, one paycheck may not be sufficient. Besides the necessities like food and water, you have to struggle with savings.

Of course, you want the children to have plenty of chances when they have to go to college, but that is only possible if you can meet the financial burden. For homemakers who want to bring in a bit of cash to the table, there are different options out there. You can easily arrange some of these activities to fit your schedule without even leaving home. Depending on your abilities and dedication, you can boost the income section of your budget plan significantly.

How to Make Money as a Homemaker

Start by assessing your skills when looking at the most efficient ways for homemakers to make money. Maybe you had a career before you opted to be a stay-at -home mom. You can utilize those competencies in one way or another.

Moneymaking opportunities are also present for anyone with different types of talents. With the internet so readily available, you can exploit your creative side in various ways while taking care of the kids. You may even have to put up a home office if your moneymaking venture requires some professional element.

The time that these income generating activities demand varies depending on how involving they are, so choose wisely. If you have a toddler, it may be difficult to find a few hours to work in front of the computer. However, if your children are school going, then you can take on more work. A homemaker who decides to work from home needs discipline and commitment. Some activities may seem easy, and you may be tempted to put them off for chores around the house. Manage your time efficiently, and you will see positive results.

Top Ways Homemakers Can Earn Extra Cash

#1. Blogging

a woman writing on her blog

Blogging is by far the most popular way for stay-at-home moms to get extra income for the household. People go online for advice on all sorts of matters, and you can put your experience to use by providing that information on a blog. The range of potential blog topics is wide.

You can give tips on housekeeping, share your thoughts on parenting or even give your expertise on something you are good at like finance or law. Take the time to grow your blog, and it will start to earn money through advertising.

#2. Virtual Assisting

a woman typing on a laptop's keyboard

Virtual assisting is another gig you can pull off, especially when you have school-going children. A virtual assistant handles almost all the duties of conventional assistants but remotely. You would have to get a stable internet connection for this moneymaking venture.

There are professionals out there who need help organizing their days but don’t want all the responsibility that accompanies traditional hires. Homemakers with experience in administration work can find this particular job quite fitting.

#3. Coupon Shopping

a large pile of coupons

Shopping with coupons is one tactic that homemakers can use to generate money by saving on their grocery budgets. With online shopping in high demand, you can find coupon codes for practically every product and service.

Even some home repair services offer coupons for customers. A stay-at-home mom can collect coupons and use them to purchase everything they need, which means they don’t have to spend everything they intended to, and the difference can go to the savings account.

#4. Homemade Products

three cute jars of homemade jam

Homemade products are another great platform that homemakers can use to supplement their income. Natural oils, shampoos, and perfumes can get you started on a small home business. You can utilize online resources to find ways of making some of these products if you are not already familiar with them.

A good number of consumers prefer natural products that offer healthier benefits. With the world trying to be environmentally friendly, there is a good market for products that capitalize on sustainable raw material and no harmful chemicals. Besides organic products, crafts are also perfect for a home-based business. Hobbies such as knitting, making jewelry, and flower arrangements can turn into moneymaking opportunities with the right customer.

#5. Student Tutoring

a teacher tutoring students

For a stay-at-home mom with knowledge in a particular subject, tutoring students is a viable avenue when looking to thrive. The advantage with tutoring is that it only takes a few hours a day. You can also teach online, meaning that students don’t have to come to your home.

There are even tutoring sites that hire part-time instructors, so check them out. A tutoring job doesn’t only have to be for school subjects; it can also be for talent. You can give lessons on playing piano, chess, or tennis among many other activities.

#6. Mystery Shopping

a smiling woman with shopping bags

Mystery shoppers have become very popular in the modern culture. These individuals receive payments for shopping at particular stores and brands then they have to provide insights for the purpose of research. Homemakers who can spare a few hours from their days can make money through mystery shopping. If shopping is your forte, then this will be a fun activity, not to mention you get to keep flexible hours.

#7. Babysitting

the legs of a small toddler next to some wooden toys

If you can handle two or three more children, then babysitting is another opportunity that can bring in extra cash. You may have neighbors or relatives who can’t afford daycare or full-time nannies. Find them and offer to look after their children for a fee. With you already gained experience as a stay-at-home mom, you can pull off this job quite well. Some homemakers even turn babysitting into a full-time jobs or businesses.

Let’s Recap

The prospects for homemakers who need to make money are limitless, especially for someone who can set aside a few hours. You can get creative with some of these activities to improve the chances of success. Find ways to set yourself apart from other homemakers who may have the same idea. Put in the work and passion into any activity you select, and the rewards will speak for themselves.

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