Thursday, July 16, 2009

Working Mom's Guide to Shopping on a Budget!

I feel like every article I read lately starts off with, "In these economic times." Gloom and doom is no fun for those of us that would like to keep our working wardrobe chic! Here are some great money saving tips to keep you at the mall!

Buy Timeless Pieces:
Your basic staples such as that little black dress, a great white shirt or a blazer can be dressed up or down and will anchor an outfit. Spend on accessories such as bags, shoes, or jewelry to make the look different with each wear!

Shop Your Closet:
Use what you have! Mix and match pieces, belt that cardigan you never wear with a thin leather belt. Throw a vest over a shapeless dress to add flare or wear a bold necklace with a plain top! Put on a pair of shoes that will stand out and have everyone asking, "How does she pull THAT off?"

Find a Good Tailor:
This will help you prolong the life of your clothes. You can have buttons re-sewn, pants taken in or out, dresses re-himmed, etc.

Shop the Clearance Rack:
Of coarse items placed in the front of the store are going to grab your attention, but guess what? In a week or so, they will be on the clearance rack and you will pay sometimes less than HALF for it! Do what I do and skip to the back right to the clearance rack! You will get so much more for your money!

Buy What You Will Wear:
No matter how great the sale, don't waste your time on something that you won't wear! Don't invent scenarios to justify a purchase! Its better to keep searching that sale rack until you find the perfect wearable piece!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Time Management

At the end of the day when my husband comes home the first thing he asks is, "honey what did you do all day?" Most days, I can't even tell him! I am the worst when it comes to time management so I started researching helpful tips for managing my day as a work at home mom! I hope these will help you too! These tips are courtesy of the Mayo Clinic staff!

* Plan each day. Planning your day can help you accomplish more and feel more in control of your life. Write a to-do list, putting the most important tasks at the top. Keep a schedule of your daily activities to minimize conflicts and last-minute rushes.
* Prioritize your tasks. Time-consuming but relatively unimportant tasks can consume a lot of your day. Prioritizing tasks will ensure that you spend your time and energy on those that are truly important to you.
* Say no to nonessential tasks. Consider your goals and schedule before agreeing to take on additional work.
* Delegate. Take a look at your to-do list and consider what you can pass on to someone else.
* Take the time you need to do a quality job. Doing work right the first time may take more time upfront, but errors usually result in time spent making corrections, which takes more time overall.
* Break large, time-consuming tasks into smaller tasks. Work on them a few minutes at a time until you get them all done.
* Practice the 10-minute rule. Work on a dreaded task for 10 minutes each day. Once you get started, you may find you can finish it.
* Evaluate how you're spending your time. Keep a diary of everything you do for three days to determine how you're spending your time. Look for time that can be used more wisely. For example, could you take a bus or train to work and use the commute to catch up on reading? If so, you could free up some time to exercise or spend with family or friends.
* Limit distractions. Block out time on your calendar for big projects. During that time, close your door and turn off your phone, pager and e-mail.
* Get plenty of sleep, have a healthy diet and exercise regularly. A healthy lifestyle can improve your focus and concentration, which will help improve your efficiency so that you can complete your work in less time.
* Take a time management course. If your employer offers continuing education, take a time management class. If your workplace doesn't have one, find out if a local community college, university or community education program does.
* Take a break when needed. Too much stress can derail your attempts at getting organized. When you need a break, take one. Take a walk. Do some quick stretches at your workstation. Take a day of vacation to rest and re-energize.