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Helpful (Financial) Things to Consider If You’re Contemplating Divorce

Practically everyone thinks that 50 percent of marriages in the United States end up in divorce, and while that may be somewhat true, it is not entirely accurate. Still, divorce is definitely NOT an uncommon thing, and not only in the United States. In other countries where divorce – or some form of it – is legal, more couples are facing the sad reality that is divorce.

divorce

Source

If you are still not 100 percent sure about getting a divorce, there is absolutely no reason to rush it! There might be other options, and you might actually be worse off if you go down that road. So here are some financially helpful things that you really need to ponder on if you’re thinking about getting a divorce.

  1. Be informed. Consult the pros. Let’s get this out of the way – at the end of the day, the decision to get a divorce will be affected by so many factors that finances may not matter anymore. Whatever the reason may be, however, being informed and having professionals guide you is the best route to take. Don’t just take on any lawyer, but make sure that the firm/lawyer is specialised in family and/or divorce law. In the Milwaukee area, Campo Blumenfeld LLP Attorneys at Law is a prime choice.
  2. Create a balance sheet of your current finances as a couple. Whether you’ve been living as husband and wife for a year or for a decade, you will have to face the fact that a divorce will affect your income. Before you can look at the financial future, though, assess your current finances. More than your joint income, pay particular attention to all your liabilities and assets as a married couple. Then, label each liability and asset according to whether it is joint or individual. Once you’re done with this, you can easily assess if you’re going to come out of a divorce financially okay.
  3. Peruse your joint IRS tax returns. Preferrably, take a look at the last 3-4 years. This will give you a better idea about your finances, as well as things such as pension/retirement accounts.
  4. Create your future budget. Pretend you’re actually divorced and living on your own (or perhaps with the kids). List down all your potential income and expenses, and create a budget out of this information. This will help you see into the future and perhaps help you decide if you can hack it yourself financially.

Whether you decide to get a divorce or not, at the very least, you have a better grasp of the state of finances, right?

Men And Pregnancy: Six Tips For Survival

Men And Pregnancy Guide To Survival

Men and pregnancy: we often get left out of the discussion because all the attention is on the mother. Why should that be? We’ve got a hand in this, too. Shouldn’t someone be telling us how to cope with it? Well, hang on for a bit and I’ll try to do just that. As a father-to-be, here are some tips that I’ve picked up for surviving the turmoil.

One: Hold Her Hair (Unless She Doesn’t Want You To).

If she’s going to be miserable, then be miserable together, provided she doesn’t tell you to get the heck out of the bathroom while she’s busy retching up a turkey sandwich.  

Two: Clean Up After Her.

Seriously, it’s just easier. When the sickness strikes — and it will at the most inopportune times (e.g. 20 minutes before the 7 p.m. movie when you’re just about to walk out the door, when you’re heading into a restaurant on date night, etc.) —  take care of it. If she has to clean up after herself, it will just launch into a cycle of endless sickness and vomiting.  

Three: Join Mom In Taking Ownership Of The Child.

If you’re a deadbeat dad — if you think it’s just her responsibility and don’t want to be a father because it’s too inconvenient and a lot of work — if you don’t go to the pregnancy classes with her — if you don’t rub her back or legs or whatever part of her is swelling — if you don’t talk to the baby while it’s in her stomach — then who do you think you are, because you’re not a man. 

Four: Her Appointments Are Your Appointments.

As WebMD contributor Martin Downs writes, you’ll have about 15 routine prenatal visits if all goes well: “once a month until 28 weeks, three or four times up to week 36, and once a week for the last month,” he states.

Start planning for them from the beginning. Join her on these days, and it’ll help her sanity knowing she has your support. If she’s sane, chances are you will be during the home stretch.

Five: Take On More Housework.

Your partner’s body is being terraformed to support life. She’s carrying around 20 extra pounds at all times of the day. Her stomach is being pushed up towards her throat by an expanding uterus. To get any release, she has to pass something the size of a watermelon through something the size of a garden hose. (And you probably couldn’t do it.)

That concludes 36 to 40 weeks of discomfort. She’ll get to the point where she can’t bend over without it being a huge production. So take on the dishes, laundry, and any other housework that needs doing, okay?  

Finally: Do Not Complain In Equal Or Greater Portions As She Does.

It’s not easy going through what you’re going through, but it’s a lot tougher on her. If you have to complain, do it to a close friend or start talking to yourself. 

Men, what pregnancy tips helped you survive? Share yours in the comments section!

The Major Expenses of Having a Baby

Baby-Sitting-Holding-Money-Shocked

The cost of a new baby, you probably know, can be a bit expensive, but you might not realize exactly how expensive a new baby might be. Many people don’t realize that new babies start to cost money before they’re even born.

The cost of prenatal care, hospitalization, and birth are plenty, even if you have a good health insurance plan. The average cost of prenatal care after insurance is considered could be anywhere from $500 to $3,500; and the cost of your hospitalization and birth after insurance averages $1,500 to $5,000.

And that’s just for a healthy birth, quick labor, and standard stay. [Read more...]

5 Ways Your Term Life Insurance Can Protect Your Children


Via: Life Source Direct

3 Ways You Can Make Any Small Space Appear Larger and More Stylish

how-to-make-small-house-look-bigger

Small spaces are not a decorator’s nightmare. In fact, if you have a small space in your home, you can easily make it look much larger and much more comfortable.

Small spaces might lack room, but they certainly needn’t lack style. All you have to do is use a little creativity when decorating. [Read more...]

Planning a Halloween Themed Party

Image source: WIkimedia Commons

Image source: WIkimedia Commons

If children look forward to Christmas, the holiday adults look forward to with as much anticipation as kids would be halloween. It’s probably the one time in the year where it is completely acceptable for adults to let their hair down and have a lot of fun. When else can adults wear outrageous and bizarre costumes and not feel remotely out of place?

If you’re planning to host a party this halloween, here are some tips to help you organise your halloween bash.

Pick a Style

Like all parties, you have to have a theme, and no, a generic “halloween” theme does not count. It’s just too broad. By having a theme, your guests would know how to prepare for your event and they would also know what to expect when they get there. Some themes you might want to play around with include:

  • Haunted House
  • Fairytales
  • Pumpkin (all things orange and black)
  • Graveyard
  • Zombies
  • Vampires and Werewolves
  • Costume Party (anything goes, as long as your guests arrive in costume)

Plan Around Your Theme

Once you have your theme sorted, sit down and make a list of all the things you need to prepare and plan out how you’ll go about making sure these would fit your overall concept. Your decorations, type of food, drinks, music, invitations, the costumes your guests will wear will all depend on your theme.

Prepare your guest list

The number of people you’ll invite would depend mainly on the size of your party venue, and of course, your budget. If you have a small house and a limited budget … forget about inviting all the people you know and just invite your closest friends and relatives. If you have unlimited funds and can afford to hire a venue and feed the masses – by all means, invite all you want to invite. Remember though, that your guests are your responsibility. You not only have to make sure that they are having fun – you have to ensure their safety as well.

Send out the invites

When you know who to invite, you can start preparing invitations that would match your theme. Yes, it’s easier to buy mass-produced invitations from your local stationery shop, but it’s a lot more fun to make your own personalised invitations (provided, of course, you don’t have to prepare hundreds or thousands). Let your imagination run wild and be creative. Don’t forget to include your number if you want guests to RSVP.

Decorate your space

Once the invites have been mailed out – you can start preparing the decorations for your party. Again, this would all hinge on your theme and budget. Apart from the special decor that’s based on your concept, you can use pumpkins, black cats, and spiderwebs. These are fairly common halloween decor that you can use regardless of the theme you have decided on.

Enjoy and Have Fun

On the day of the party – you know you’ve done your best to make sure your halloween party turns out to be a smashing success. Once the guests arrive, just relax and have fun. Worry about tidying up tomorrow.

Image source: Flickr

Image source: Flickr

Happy Halloween!

 

Studying Asian Languages: Learning Thai, Mandarin and Nihongo

Learning a foreign language is not the easiest thing to do, especially if you plan on learning one that is linguistically very different from your native tongue. That said, learning a second or foreign language has always been viewed as something desirable. After all, there are many advantages to knowing more than one language including easier integration for those moving to a foreign place, better business relations for those dealing with people with different nationalities, and a deeper sense of self for those with mixed races and second generation immigrants. Of course, there’s also the matter of learning a new language for pleasure since it opens up new worlds to appreciate as you watch movies and read books in the original language.

But why study Asian languages instead of “more popular” languages like French, German, Italian and Spanish? And what Asian languages should you bother learning?

thai letters flower bedPhoto Credit: MandalayBus

Business

Believe it or not, the most common spoken language on Earth is actually an Asian language – Mandarin. With over a billion speakers worldwide, Mandarin speakers actually outnumber English speakers by about 150 million, making it THE Asian language to learn, especially if you are targeting the Chinese market with your business.

Nihongo, which is the language spoken by the Japanese, is not nearly as common as Mandarin or any of the other Western languages mentioned above but is still a pretty useful language to learn if you are serious about tapping the Asian market. You cannot ignore Japan’s economic and technological presence in today’s world market, and since majority of the Japanese are not fluent in English, you need to learn their language to get an advantage over your competitors.

Pleasure

If you want to be fluent in an Asian language for pleasure opting for more exotic, albeit less practical, Asian languages like Korean and Thai is the way to go. Both languages look very distinctive with the “letters” unlike any other. You bet that even if people don’t understand a thing you write in either language, they’ll be quite impressed with the pretty writing.

When it comes to the spoken language though Korean is actually very unique and is unlike any other language, being classified as a language isolate. This means that it was not derived from any other language that existed on Earth! Thai, on the other hand, is a mishmash of Pali, Sanskrit and Old Khmer, making for a rather really interesting sounding language. Thai is also considered to be an analytic language and is tonal (like Mandarin), which makes it quite different to learn. So if you are planning on learning Thai on your own, you’d better rethink your strategy because it is pretty unlikely that you’ll end up fluent in the language unless you take Thai classes or have a native speaker as a friend/tutor.

Whatever your motivation may be for learning an Asian language though, keep in mind that you’ll always be in the winning end each time you learn something new.

Trick or Treat! (10 Easy to Make Halloween Costumes for Kids)

It’s HALLOWEEN once again and it’s time to prepare costumes for your little angels for their annual trick or treat activity around your neighbourhood.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to dress your child in ghoulish and scary costumes. You can dress them up as teddy bears or cupcakes – and you don’t need to spend a fortune on the costumes either. Most costumes can be purchased from thrift stores and, if you want to be creative, you can just make your child’s halloween costume!

Here are 10 costumes that you can easily make for your little angel (click on the image to be directed to the source page).

Bubble Bath

Image source: Parenting.com

Image source: Parenting.com

Sunshine

Image source: Parenting.com

Image source: Parenting.com

Frankenstein’s Monster

Image source: Parenting.com

Image source: Parenting.com

Ghost

Image source: Parenting.com

Image source: Parenting.com

Little Red Riding Hood

Image source: Parenting.com

Image source: Parenting.com

 Corn on the Cob (those are egg boxes)

 

Image source: Parenting.com

Image source: Parenting.com

Fairy

Image source: Parenting.com

Image source: Parenting.com

Snow Storm

Image source: Parenting.com

Image source: Parenting.com

Cloud

Image source: Parenting.com

Image source: Parenting.com

Little Red Devil

Image source: Parenting.com

Image source: Parenting.com

Of course you can create other kinds of costumes, depending on what your child wants to be come trick or treat evening. You can transform your child into a princess, a mermaid, an elf – or even an ice cream cone. Just let your imagination and your creativity run wild.

Have fun creating!

Keep Calm and Eat On (10 food items that can help you keep calm)

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It’s a known fact that having too much stress in your life can cause a whole lot of undesirable effects on your body. Too much stress can cause headaches, migraines, upset stomachs, nausea .. and who knows what other long-term effects this may have on the body.

Unfortunately, no one can totally eliminate stress from their lives. Even the pious buddhists monks somehow encounter stressful situations. The only defence we have against this is to learn how to deal with it. This can be done via mental and physical exercises such as doing yoga; going on holidays or short vacations; doing something new; going shopping; and (would you believe it) eating!

Yes! Eating can help you keep calm. However, this doesn’t mean you can go out and binge on burgers and pizza. The key to eating for calmness is to eat the right kinds of food items. Having a proper diet can greatly affect how a person thinks and feels. If you’re keen on lowering your stress levels, try to include more of the following food items in your day-to-day consumption.

[Read more...]