Skip to main content

DIY Eco-Friendly Carpet Cleaning: How To Green Clean Your Carpets

Carpets are great for giving your home that ultrachic look. Once installed, it becomes one of the most important aspects of your home decor. However, you’ll need to take good care of it to maintain its original pristine condition and protect your investment.

Regularly cleaning your carpet prolongs its life by keeping dust and stain from building up in between its fibres. It’s important to clean it every few weeks and more often for those in areas of heavy traffic. Having them cleaned by an expert, however, can be quite costly — but it doesn’t have to be.

You can actually rid your carpet of dirt and stains yourself without having to spend a fortune or use harmful chemicals that are not safe for your pets and children. Just follow the four easy steps below to thoroughly clean your carpets or rugs while promoting a more sustainable environment.

1. Prep the Area

Prepare the area beforehand by picking up any bigger objects, like toys or papers, that can get in the way of your cleaning. You can also take the opportunity to dust nearby areas of the house, like the furniture, windowsills, baseboards, and even your blinds, so falling dust can be cleared up in the next step.

2. Collect Dry Dirt

If it’s pet hair or dry dirt that you wish to remove from your carpet, you can simply use an eco-friendly vacuum to get it out. You should do this as part of your regular home cleaning routine.

Alternatively, you can use a lint roller for small areas with crud and crumbs, or a Squeegee for pet hair that is difficult to remove with just a vacuum cleaner. Just water the Squeegee a bit and carefully wipe the carpet like you would a window to effectively remove loose fibres, especially on short-haired carpets.

3. Scrub it Out

There may be times when the dirt or minor stain burrows deeper into the carpet and becomes a little bit harder to remove without some deep cleaning. You can resort to using a few organic cleaning ingredients at a time and scrub the area well to clear up minor stains.

For oil stains, baking soda works like magic. Apply a liberal amount of it on the stain and let it absorb the oil. Once they’ve formed a pretty dry crust, scrub the baking soda loose and vacuum the area until there’s no powder left. You’ll be left with a much lighter stain or none at all. Just don’t scrub too hard to keep the carpet from fraying.

Bodily fluids, like blood stains, can be removed with diluted hydrogen peroxide, while smelly pet pee can be treated with a dry vapour steamer that saves water, gets rid of the smell, and sanitizes your rug in the process.

In case you have peskier stains that still won’t disappear, continue on to the next few steps.

4. Use a Homemade Cleaning Solution

There may still be an unsettling stain on your carpet, but this also means the fun is about to start. The goal now is to clean your carpet or rug using only natural remedies.

Fortunately, there are highly effective carpet cleaning solutions that you can concoct using ingredients that you can find in your very own home.

Not only are they much cheaper alternatives compared to store-bought cleaners, they also allow you to take good care of your rug without harming the environment.

Here are two kinds of cleaning solutions that you can try for spot cleaning stains or for shampooing the entire carpet:

Basic Carpet Cleaning Solution

  • 1 ½ cups of water
  • ¾ cup baking soda
  • Glass container with lid
  • Clean white towel

Mix and moderately heat up the two ingredients in a pan until it foams up. Turn off the heat and let it cool for approximately 4 hours until it shrinks.

Pour out the excess water and whisk the mixture again in a bowl until you reach a consistency similar to shaving cream. Once you’re ready to clean, lightly rub the mixture onto the stain with the towel and let it sit.

Despite having very few ingredients, it’s more than enough for certain carpets that don’t need any added ingredients or fragrances.

You should be able to get visible skid marks and regular stains out—and add fluff to your carpet at the same time. Store the cream in a tight lid and use up the remaining mixture within 2 weeks for best results.

Ultimate Carpet Cleaning Solution

  • 1 teaspoon clear dishwashing liquid
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 tablespoon fabric softener (optional)
  • 5 drops essential oil of your choice (optional)
  • Clean white towel
  • Small spray bottle

For a more powerful solution, you can add vinegar into the mix and create carbon dioxide bubbles that will effectively make stains disappear. The clear dishwashing liquid doubles the cleaning and clarifying power while adding some fragrance to your carpet.

Add the clear dishwashing liquid into the empty spray bottle, then the vinegar, and top with warm water. Lastly, add the baking soda and quickly screw on the top of the spray bottle before the mixture fizzes and spills.

Generously spray the stained area, and then dab it with a towel. Repeat the process and incorporate some rubbing (while being careful not to spread the stain) until it is completely removed.

You should be able to see — and feel — the results following the process. Thanks to the essential oil, vinegar, and fabric softener, your living room carpet or rug should look as good as new to your guests.

However you decide to clean your carpet, it’s also important that you check its material and do a test with your chosen mixture on a discreet area beforehand.

Although these are commonly used methods and ingredients for general carpet cleaning, some of them don’t work too well for some carpet fibres and dyes. If the colour fades, try another solution.

Check with your dealer or do some careful research to find out what you shouldn’t be using for your particular rug type, colour, and quality.

 

The Working Woman’s Guide To Financial Planning At All Stages Of Life

These days, more women are working toward their own financial independence than they ever did in the past.

It’s not unusual to see young women focusing on their ambitions with a drive and passion that was previously reserved only for their children or spouse, as well as working women who manage to find a balance between family and career.

While it’s great to see that so many of us are taking charge of our earnings and savings, we’re still lagging behind in one key area – financial planning.

This has traditionally been considered a man’s domain, but we can never be truly independent and self-reliant until we understand and implement the right moves on our own.

Achieving Financial Bliss Through Effective Money Management

Managing finances effectively goes far beyond planning a monthly budget and sticking to it. It’s also a little more complex than saving a little extra money every month.

Don’t get us wrong, savings are great, but they aren’t enough on their own. You also need the right investments and strategies to achieve your financial goals.

As working women, it’s critical to gain more insight into financial responsibility and money management. With basic financial literacy and some smart investment choices, nothing can stand between you and your goals at any stage in life.

The best part is, you won’t have to depend on anyone else to make your dreams come true!

6 Different Life Stages And Financial Planning Tips For Each Stage

Your needs and wants keep changing with time.

The decisions you make while you’re in college will be quite different from those you make when you’re planning a family, and what you want while starting a career will be a far cry from what you want when you’re near retirement.

Just like your personal goals, your financial goals will evolve at each stage of life.

Here are some tips that will help you achieve them by managing money better:

  1. Late Teens & Early 20s

At this stage, you’re probably pursuing higher education or have just completed it. Depending on where you went to college, you might have an education or student loan you need to start paying back.

You may be considering moving out of your parents’ home and renting your own place. Perhaps you’re even looking to buy a vehicle, save money for travel, or invest in professional courses to help your career.

This is the stage where you learn how to live within a budget as well as understand what you can afford to spend on and what you cannot. Keep track of your expenses and avoid the temptation of using a credit card or personal loan for unnecessary spends.

You don’t really have major financial responsibilities right now, but it’s the perfect time to start planning for the future in a smart manner.

  1. Mid-20s to Early 30s

This is the early career stage, where you’re beginning to find your feet professionally as well as personally.

Your financial goals at this stage might include making a down payment on your own home, paying back loans or credit card debt, saving for a big wedding or starting a family.

You might also want to put money aside for holidays, travel and personal interests.

While career growth, marriage and family become important for most working women around this stage, it’s essential to look even further.

This is the time when you want to start making investments for retirement instead of just saving money.

Not only will this help you be more comfortable and independent later, but it can also help you save on taxes. Make sure you’ve invested in insurance as well!

  1. Mid-30s to Early 40s

For most women, this period is generally defined by family obligations. Even working women usually juggle career and family at this stage, so they can help raise their children and give them a good education.

Even if you haven’t gone the family way, you might be supporting your own parents around this time. Don’t let your financial goals slide, though.

This stage might place a heavier burden on you, especially if you have home loans, car loans and other debt to pay off. Make sure you and your spouse are on the same page when it comes to joint and personal goals.

If you haven’t started making regular contributions to your pension plan, repaying debt and building some assets in your own name, consider getting investment planning advice from an expert.

  1. Mid-40s to Mid-50s

These are the pre-retirement years for most people when they take a serious look at how much they have saved, invested and accumulated over the course of their career.

This is the time to review your insurance coverage as well, since health issues are likely to start showing up, and unexpected medical expenses can wipe out your savings if you haven’t protected against them.

Depending on your lifestyle and income, you may have some decent savings in your nest egg already. If you aren’t on track with your retirement goals, take a good hard look at your expenses and cut down where you can.

Unless you want to be working all your life, it’s essential to make some changes to your incoming and outgoing funds so you aren’t dependent on anyone else as you get older.

  1. Late 50s to Mid-60s

Early retirement is usually the time when you can spend more time doing what you love instead of worrying about how to make ends meet. Of course, this will only happen if you’ve saved and invested wisely.

This is the time when you should have a passive income from your nest egg, so you can travel, take up a hobby or even look into starting up a new business in retirement.

By now, you have probably managed to build up a good credit score and you may have access to a personal line of credit for emergencies or investment opportunities.

Your children, if you have any, have grown up and might even be starting families of their own. This is a good time to review your will, health and life insurance coverage, emergency funds, and what you plan to leave behind for future generations.

  1. Late 60s and Beyond

The later stages of retirement are generally not as carefree as early retirement years since age-related issues make it difficult to do everything you’d like.

This is the time when most women become dependent on their children or other family members for support, especially if they haven’t planned their finances to outlive them instead of the other way around.

Even if you don’t want to be a burden on your loved ones, you need to consider your safety and security at this stage. You may lose your spouse at any time, and single older women become targets for all sorts of foul crimes in our society.

It might be a good idea to consider living with your children or other trusted relatives, especially if you can help them share expenses instead of living “off” them.

No matter what stage of life you’re at, your financial independence and security should be considered the most important goal. Learn about different kinds of investment options and how they work, and start managing your finances more effectively from the day you start earning. There’s plenty of help and advice available, but no one else can make your decisions for you. At least, no one should!

Shiv Nanda is a financial analyst who currently lives in Bangalore (refusing to acknowledge the name change) and works with MoneyTap, India’s first app-based credit-line. Shiv is a true finance geek, and his friends love that. They always rely on him for advice on their investment choices, budgeting skills, personal financial matters and when they want to get a loan. He has made it his life’s mission to help and educate people on various financial topics, so email him your questions at shiv@moneytap.com

10 Creative Marketing Tips To Find Clients For Your Freelance Business  

Marketing is a vital part of growing a freelance business to reach new target audiences and present new services to existing customers.

A surprising fact about the freelance lifestyle is most people’s time is spent marketing services to potential clients. The rest of their day is used to complete assignments for clients.

Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive. Here are 10 creative ways to help you start marketing your freelance business offline and online.

  1. Re-use Old Content

One of the tricks of the top freelancers is using recycled content in an article or blog to a new marketing platform. It can help you save time in research to create new content to send to customers, clients and potential customers.

Here are a few ideas to help you recycle content:

  • Turn an article into an e-book
  • Turn a blog into a podcast
  • Use points in a listicle into a one pager
  • Use a listicle for a PowerPoint presentation
  1. Self-promotion

When some of us hear the word self-promotion we think of television or radio station advertisements that are costly.

Self-promotion is free, and it is something that most entrepreneurs do every day whether they start a conversation with someone at the grocery store and mention their business or meeting new people at a networking event.

The key to self-promotion is to be personal, ask questions, use listening skills and build a rapport with people. Here is a list of marketing techniques to use:

  • Be Social:

In a casual or professional environment, you can start a conversation with like-minded people. Ask people about the personal interests, their line of work, and their extracurricular activities.

In return, people will be interested in learning about you which gives an opportunity to speak about your freelance business.

  • Follow-Up:

After you meet new people, send an email or call them after a week. You can meet them at a coffee shop to discuss your services. A phone call to find out if they had a chance to look at your website is helpful.

  • Use Social Media:

You don’t need an education or years of experience to successfully communicate with social media users.

All it takes is creativity in sharing your blogs, capturing moments of you working with clients in photo’s or posting YouTube videos of trending news topics.

It is important to find the social media platforms that prospective clients use the most.

  1. Start a Blog

One of the best ways to direct traffic to your site is writing frequent blogs on topics that will help readers solve a personal or business problem.

For example, if you are a freelance human resource recruiter, writing a blog to help organizations with employee engagement tips to lower high employee turnover rates can potentially attract new clients.

Think of a blog as an online conversation with customers. The readers that appreciate your advice can help share it with other businesses, which is free exposure for your company.

  1. Co-Marketing with Competitors

Jim Henson once said, “if you can’t beat them, join them.” In business, working together with a more experienced freelancer in your industry can improve marketing outreach.

It can reduce the cost of spending money on expensive advertising if the competitor has an established and larger audience. An example of co-marketing is spending 50% of the cost to set up a booth with a competitor at a seminar.

Another example is writing a paragraph to add to a competitor’s email marketing campaign with a link to your website that will be sent to their customers. The competitor in most cases will ask for a percentage of revenue.

  1. Be Active in the Community

If you are in graphic design and are invited to do a presentation at a community event, bring marketing materials that include business cards, brochures, and a one-pager of what you offer.

Another idea is to attend seminars that potential customers will attend. For example, if you are a consultant for retail businesses, attend business events that present information on the retail industry.

There’s a chance that you’ll be one of the few consultants in the room to meet new clients.

  1. Start a Podcast

A Podcast is an effective way to connect with non-freelancers in your industry. You can interview clients to share their customer success stories after working with you.

In a podcast, a discussion about changes in the economy or technology that has an impact on your business is another idea.

You can promote the podcast using social media and add a link to your website. It will present you as a subject matter expert, strengthening a prospect’s confidence that you thoroughly understand your products or services.

  1. Price Comparisons

On your website you can write an article of the benefits people can gain from using your services over a large organization. A respectful way of doing this is to add a bullet list that includes the following:

  • Pricing
  • Services
  • Products
  • Turnaround time to complete work

The idea in price comparisons is to not write negative comments about competitors. It is a way of highlighting each section to show what you can offer in a better way compared to a large company.

  1. Live Stream Videos

A marketing technique that can gain online attention is to film a live stream video of you completing an assignment. It can be a video of you at an industry event interviewing public speakers to offer tips for customers.

If you are an independent realtor, live streaming a video of on-site at a new real estate development project in the neighbourhood can attract people to contact you to learn about the opportunity.

Think outside the box and film video content the competition is not posting online. Here are some tips to create effective Facebook Live videos.

  1. Education and Certifications

As a freelancer, you may not have plans to complete a Bachelors or Masters degree. However, online learning programs offer certifications for you to gain new technical or education related skills.

Most certification programs are inexpensive and depending on your tax situation, you can deduct education on your taxes. We highly recommend that you speak with an accountant for more information.

  1. Personalization

Personalized marketing is a simple task of using the personal information of customers to surprise them by thanking them in a creative way.

A few examples of personalized marketing strategies that can help customers remember you is to send thank you notes in the mail to long-time customers.

A ‘Happy New Year’ email with the name of a client in the messaging. An unexpected gift card mailed to a customer for their birthday.

A freelancer’s business plan needs a marketing strategy that fits within a budget. A few questions to ask yourself before you get started are:

  • How can I add value to my customers?
  • What are the customer demographics?
  • What marketing strategies are trending this year?
  • Can I use more transparency to connect with new audiences?

The more information you know about what stimulates the interest of your customers, it will be easier to use a series of marketing strategies that will help you increase business revenue.

How To Keep Your Child Safe On The Internet

The internet is a boon for those who use it the right way (for searching information, for their academic pursuits, or to inform a curious young mind).

It’s no surprise that children have taken to the Internet in a big way and that India’s urban children spend over 4 hours a day on the mobile internet.

Whether on the internet or on social media sites, young millennials rely on their smartphones for every type of decision-making – food, entertainment, social life, or fashion.

This also means that they are exposed to the negative side of the internet. Pornography, dubious characters, misinformation, cyberbullying and hate speech – all of these can impact the formative years of children and teens and leave lifelong scars.

With about 134 million Indian children coming online in 2017, the online ecosystem needs to be made secure enough for them to browse freely without any harmful effects or negative sentiments.

The extent of the menace

While there are many forms of cybercrime (hacking. phishing, or copyright violation), perhaps the vulnerability of children to social media offences is the most prominent.

Though the legal age for many social media sites is 13 years, it is not surprising to see children as young as 9 years have their own active accounts on these platforms.

As parents too, we are seldom aware of the harmful repercussions of posting messages and photos on the social media. From paedophiles to cyber bullies, there are many waiting in the anonymity of the internet, to access materials that could compromise your child’s identity and safety.

The most common forms of harassment against children online include cyberbullying, online eve-teasing, and impersonation. Add to this mix the youth-centric functional model adopted by some sites like Snapchat, and we see a whole new level of safety issues that we need to address as a modern-day parent.

Some children may face acute bullying, sexual harassment, or other forms of online exploitation, thanks to the ephemeral nature of content within apps like Snapchat. It is no wonder that 32% of the parents interviewed in a survey said that their children faced a negative experience online in the past.

Here are some ways you can protect your child from negative experiences online.

  1. Lay down ground rules

As a parent, you need to set the standard for safe internet browsing rules at home. Imagine if you’re letting your child play in a new park or garden. Wouldn’t you stick around and check out at the different rides and swings to ensure their safety? The same principle applies to the internet.

Ideally, you have to be around them when they are browsing online. Once they turn 12 or more, they may demand privacy to do their own thing. It is completely natural for them to want that, but privacy is earned.

So don’t let them shut the door. Keep checking on them at frequent intervals. This way, you can be certain that you are there for them without being ever-present.

  1. Make your devices child-safe

You need to child-safe your child’s mobile device, computer and search engines to ensure that your children aren’t exposed to the dangerous side of the Internet. You can download a kid-safe browser for Android devices or iPads.

For Internet Explorer, you can traverse to ‘Tools -> Internet Options -> Content -> Content Advisor’ to filter out aspects like language and nudity. You can tune up your Google search with the SafeSearch option that only returns results that are suitable for younger children. The good news is that both these settings are free to use.

You can also subscribe to and encourage the use of child-safe websites over their more popular alternatives. Examples include YouTube Kids (instead of YouTube, for videos). You can also download parental control apps for iPhones and Android devices.

  1. Monitor ‘ephemeral posts’

The short life of posts on platforms like Snapchat is a major cause of worry for parent across the globe. The ephemeral content posted on Snapchat means that other children, adults, and criminals can traumatize your child and get away with it, with nary a trace of their shenanigans.

If you’re worried about the time your child spends on Snapchat, look to counter potential issues with the best snap spy apps. While Snapchat automatically deletes snaps after a few seconds, you can download these apps and track the content that your child received.

  1. Educate yourself

The large-scale and rapid proliferation of the Internet means that children have received little to no sensitization and training on internet browsing best practices.

A good remedial first step towards educating your child about basic protocols on the internet and digital safety would be to fortify your knowledge base first.

For this, you can refer to this handy app. The IT Act, 200 & Cyber Law India app has a repository of knowledge around cyber laws and best practices.

It also has a separate section about cyber safety tips for children. As a concerned parent, you can check out this section and help your child be a better Netizen.

Now that you are aware of the laws, you can teach them basic rules like

  • Not disclosing name, address, contact number, school name, etc. without checking with you
  • Not opening emails from strangers
  • Not responding to hate messages or bullies
  • Not agreeing to meet face-to-face with someone they have recently befriended.

The internet has a lot to offer in terms of learning enhancement and virtual social interaction. However, it can also turn out to be a damaging experience, if you’re not careful.

With these tips, the Internet need not become a scary technology for your young kids. Help your child have a safe browsing experience with these handy tips.

Got any other exciting ways to protect the internet safety of your child? Want to share them with us? Do comment below and let us know your own tips for staying safe online.

7 Tips To Stay Active When It’s That Time Of Month

There was a time when a woman felt coy about speaking about menstrual blood, but now the wave of menstrual activism has started and this can be compared to the women’s liberation movement that was prevalent in the 1960’s era.

Menstruation in our society is still considered as a stigma or a taboo. It’s something that is not openly discussed. Though it is a biological function, still people feel shame talking about it.

Keeping aside the social aspect, it is true that the modern, active, and dynamic lady of today’s times does have to rise above the physical, social, and mental difficulties that come up during the monthly periods.

Doing so will allow her to continue carrying out her responsibilities at college, work, and home. While it is not possible to know when the monthly cycle might start, the good news is that we can control a lot of things at this time of the month.

All of us have different ways of dealing with our period. While some prefer going about their daily routines, others may call in sick and relax at home.

However, we increasingly see women who continue with their daily work, irrespective of whether or not their periods have arrived.

If you’re one such female of today’s times who doesn’t believe in staying idle and doesn’t want periods to be a barrier to her success, then this post is for you. Here are 7 handy tips to help you stay active while on your periods.

How to stay active during your periods:

  1. Exercise

Most of us think that we should not exercise during our periods. But in reality, exercises do help us battle PMS and produce the feel-good hormones need to combat the stress during those days.

Those who hit the gym for heavy workouts should stay off from lower back exercises for the first two days. However, low-intensity workout using a foam roller or mild stretches can do wonders for your body. A milder form of exercises like walking or yoga is also beneficial for your body on these days.

  1. Eat right

Eating right can help you to minimise menstrual cramps. There are some foods that are labelled as nutritious, healthy, and are a pain reliever for these monthly cycles. Examples include nuts, green vegetables, eggs, peanut butter, and more of protein and iron-rich food.

The veggies and fruits you will be consuming will help you stay active and let you compensate for the pain and feeling of being down. Avoiding caffeine, junk food, and sugary drinks too can help you stay fit and feel good.

Some people think that the familiar case of sugar cravings are triggered by PMS, but in reality, there is no medical connection between sugar and PMS. The mind knows that it is a comfort food and hence most women reach for a tub of ice cream during their periods.

  1. Feminine hygiene products

In order to remain active and carefree during periods, it is important to choose a good quality of feminine hygiene products.

Today, a wide range of options are available, including sanitary napkins, tampons, and menstrual cups to remain hygienic.  Sanitary napkins also come in different types for different days like heavy flow or mild flow.

Choose a brand that you’re comfortable with and also consider the benefits of reusable menstrual products versus disposables, for their lower environmental impact.

  1. Minimise body odour

One thing that most of the teenage girls complain is the body odour that comes from the menstrual blood. In order to avoid this, it is important to change your sanitary pad once in every six hours and tampon once in two hours.

That being said, you need to check your body clock and schedule the changes accordingly. Changing pads frequently also helps to avoid the risk of the medical conditions like urinary tract infection, skin rashes and vaginal infections.

But before you change your pad, it is important to wash your labia with water, toilet paper or tissue. This will help you minimize odours and stay confident and active during your period.

  1. Use period underwear

Teenagers often feel miserable with the first-time changes happening inside their body. The first-time use of traditional sanitary napkins might make them jittery.

They would constantly check for leaks and stains. Coupled with the discomfort of putting on pads for the first time, this means a difficult time for young teenage women.

However, today, there are a lot of alternative options that seek to take away the feeling of being miserable inside and outside. Try using super-protective teen period underwear, to prevent leaks and make it easier to face your daily routines with confidence.

  1. Drink lots of water

You also need to drink an adequate quantity of water on these days. Having water keeps you hydrated and eliminates the bloating that accompanies this time of the month.

You can also augment water with other liquids like fruit and vegetable juices, or milk. If you need to remain outdoors for your work or college, make sure to carry a bottle of water with you.

  1. Track your menstrual cycle

The best way to be prepared is to track your menstrual cycle. Record your periods each month on a tracker and see how long it lasts, its flow, and its side effects.

After a few months, you’ll understand the pattern better and be prepared for the future. Nowadays there are also apps that help you track your period.

The upside of being a girl of today’s generation is that you can explore options beyond traditional sanitary napkins. Period-proof underwear for teens will definitely be a boon for young women who are stressed out, physically and emotionally, by the onset of their monthly periods.

By using these tips and following a healthy and active outlook to life, you can easily cope with these difficult days of the month.

Freelancers, Here’s How To Write A Resume To Win Clients

A day in the life of a freelancer is full of responsibilities that include marketing, meeting clients, and submitting an online portfolio for opportunities.

The top professionals know how to promote themselves using online and offline platforms to show an employer they are subject matter experts when compared to other freelance competitors.

According to the Payoneer Blog, “India has the second highest number of freelance professionals (about 15M), standing next only to the US (approx. 53M).” It means the freelance business is booming and you have a chance to conveniently work from home to assist some of the top employers in your field.

One of the top marketing tools to showcase your work is to write an effective resume that reflects your freelance experience and how you helped a company succeed. Most prospective clients need to see percentages and examples of achievements that will persuade them to contact you for an interview.

The next time you decide to start writing your resume, we encourage you to pay attention to these helpful tips.

Effective Keywords

A careful selection of resume keywords throughout your resume is helpful because after a resume is received by a recruiter or hiring manager, the individual will scan the document to verify if the words that match the job description is included. It helps the recruiter save time by reading hundreds of resumes when selecting candidates for an interview.

The next step is to think about action verbs that describe skills that include communication, teamwork, and multitasking. A few examples of action verbs are listed below:

  • Achieved
  • Delegated
  • Organized
  • Pioneered
  • Educated
  • Partnered

I recommend that you add action verbs as the first word of the beginning of a sentence for each bullet point of your work responsibilities.

Showcase Your Results

If you are a freelance marketing writer, adding details that show results can include the percentage of the conversion rates that your writing helped a company earn on its return on investment. Another example is to write the number of clicks that an email campaign you completed, attracted to a company’s site.

You need to think of yourself as a business first then a writer when completing a resume. Most organizations that hire freelancers need to know how their investment in hiring you will help them earn revenue and the best way to communicate your previous achievements is describing it in a resume.

High-Impact Profile Summary

A profile summary is listed under your career objective. It can be no more than one paragraph describing your experience from the beginning to present stage of your career.

In this section, you need to write high-impact sentences. For example, “Accomplished freelance graphic designer with experience developing effective designs for B2C and B2B marketing campaigns for some of India’s top organizations.”

It is one of the first descriptions of your experience that will inspire a recruiter to select you from a list of other freelance candidates.

Share Contributing Guest Blogger Experiences

Do you write for a reputable news site? If you add this information at the top of your resume, a hiring manager will have the impression you are a subject matter expert because a reputable (I.e., Forbes, Business Insider, Huffington Post) has accepted you to write for their platform.

As a subject matter expert, you can be a graphic designer, writer, consultant or editor. If you write articles or blogs that relate to your industry, it can result in an online following which is an attractive trait to have as a freelancer.

Include a link to one of your top shared articles to your online portfolio that is included in your resume.

Share Your Logo

If you incorporate a company logo on your resume, it is a good idea to add it at the top right or left corner of your resume. A logo will project professionalism and creativity on your part. It will tell the recruiter that you understand the value of corporate branding.

A logo can help define what you represent as a freelancer in your field. For example, if your favorite color is green or a symbol that tells the story of how you started as an independent professional.

If you’re not a graphic designer, we recommend that you hire one to help you capture the true essence of your personality in your company logo.

Include Your Best Photo

You can add a professional headshot of yourself at the top right, middle or left corner of your resume. It can be added beside or under your name. A personal photo on a resume is eye-catching, and your smile can create attention in hiring managers responding to your application.

In most cases, a hiring manager will search for you on LinkedIn to review your profile. You can use your LinkedIn photo to add to your resume if it is a self-reflection of how you currently look.

It is essential to use a recent picture because potential clients can invite you to a video interview on Skype before proceeding to the next step of the hiring process.

Highlight Collaborative Assignments

As a freelancer, a natural thought process is to write examples of how you work independently on assignments. There will be a time when you need to work with a remote team for a job opportunity.

Remember to include collaborative assignments that highlight how you successfully worked on a project with the CEO of a company, a public relations firm or the lead marketing specialist at an organization.

Clients need to understand that you can work remotely from home and you have the personality to work with other people if the role requires a collaborative team effort.

Professional Development

Depending on your profession, it is essential that you attend webinars and courses throughout the year to improve your skills. It is vital to add formal education (i.e., Bachelors of Arts, Masters degree) and career development such as seminars, online courses, and books you read.

If you are not an employee, in most cases clients will not provide you with training. A recruiter will be impressed to see on your resume that you have taken the initiative to learn how to improve as a freelancer.

Online Resumes

In my career as a freelance writer, I notice freelance job applications that request a link to an online resume that is separate from a LinkedIn profile. There are cases where employers do not want a Word document or PDF attachment of your resume.

You can set up an online resume on Upwork, Guru or your freelance website. The online resume should have different content than what you included on your LinkedIn profile

Concluding Thoughts

If you are a new freelance professional, you can add projects completed at work or university. Think of what you would like to see if you wanted to hire a freelancer for your company.

As you read the job description, you can tailor your resume to the specific skills and experience the client needs. The goal is to complete a useful document you will be proud to share with potential clients.

Reusable Menstrual Products Vs. Disposables: Which Ones Are Best For You?

There are more options than ever for feminine hygiene products. Compare this to even two, or three hundred years ago when our sisters had far fewer choices.

Some of these included old rags, sheepskin, or cheesecloth stuffed with cotton. I certainly don’t envy them—that must have been quite difficult to avoid stained clothes and bedsheets!

These days, we can choose from reusable (menstrual cups and cloth pads), or disposable (pads or tampons) menstrual products. There are organic, and non-organic versions of most of these products as well.

Let’s look at these two basic categories of reusables and disposables and compare health benefits, environmental factors, cost, and usability. The goal is to figure out which one will work best for each of us.

Health Benefits

Many disposable, non-organic tampons and sanitary pads contain trace amounts of chemicals and pesticides. The chemicals are from the manufacturing process; bleaches and dyes are particularly toxic. The pesticide is from the cotton growing process.

A big part of the problem is that in most countries, manufacturers aren’t required to disclose what’s in these products. In the USA, they’re considered “medical devices” by the FDA and therefore don’t have to list ingredients. In India, these products are tested according to standards that haven’t been updated since 1980.

These chemicals and pesticides, at worst can cause some serious health problems. It’s not certain that there is a link to things like cancer because it’s an under-researched area. There is, however, most definitely a link between tampon use and toxic shock syndrome. Hopefully, more long-term studies will be done.

Menstrual cups, as long as you buy a top-quality one made from medical grade silicone don’t have these risks associated with them. Nor have there been any reported cases of toxic shock syndrome (TSS) being caused by cups, unlike tampons.

Cloth menstrual pads have far fewer chemicals and pesticide in them than disposable pads, especially after a few washes (wash them first before using). It’s even better if you buy the organic version of this product.

Overall, reusable menstrual products are the clear winner in the area of health.

Environmental Factors

Next up is the environment. It’s thought that the average woman throws away 250-300 pounds of period products into the landfill during the course of her life. That seems like a lot, especially when considering that much of it is plastic and not biodegradable.

The alternative are reusables like a menstrual cup and cloth pads. The average menstrual cup lasts for around five years with proper care and cleaning. Many of them last for up to 10. Cloth pads are similar in terms of lifespan.

If the average woman menstruates for 40 years, that’s 4-8 menstrual cups, and perhaps 50 cloth pads during that time. Menstrual cups can often be recycled, depending on where you live; cloth pads are biodegradable because they’re usually made from all-natural materials.

In terms of the environment, reusables have the clear edge.

Cost Factors

Consider all those pads and tampons that go to the landfill. To state the obvious, they cost money! And often, a lot of it, particularly if you have a heavy and/or long period.

Let’s say that the average woman uses $5 USD worth of period products each month. That’s $60 per year, and then multiply this by 40 years. That comes out to a couple thousand dollars.

Compare this to reusables. A reputable menstrual cup (Diva Cup, MoonCup, Lunette Cup, Anigan EvaCup, Me Luna Cup) costs between $15-30, while cloth pads are about $5. If you use six cloth pads, and one cup, you’ll have recouped your upfront costs in just a few months when compared to disposables.

Short-term, disposables have the edge. But over the long-term? Reusables can save you a ton of money.

Usability

The last thing we’re going to look at is usability, with the most important thing being not leaking. This is after all, why we use menstruation products!

Disposable period products work extremely well at preventing leaks. It’s very difficult to insert a tampon incorrectly and the only time it leaks is if they aren’t changed often enough.

Disposable pads are super-absorbent, wick away moisture from the skin, and don’t leak through the back due to the plastic lining. They stick to underwear very well and usually don’t shift around, even during heavy exercise. In short, they’re great at doing what they’re designed to do!

Menstrual cups have a bit of a learning curve associated with them, and it can be difficult to figure out the correct sizing. The learning curve is related to inserting them – it’s not easy to get them positioned correctly and make sure that they suction well to the vaginal canal walls. If they’re not suctioned, they’ll leak like crazy!

As far as sizing of menstrual cups goes, there are usually two options from most companies-a small, and a large. There are some companies offering a much wider range of choices, but it can often be difficult to decide which one to buy initially.

The general guideline is to go with a smaller version if you’re under 30, or have never given birth vaginally. Then, stick with the large if over 30, or have given birth vaginally. The other major consideration is low vs. high cervix. If you have a low cervix, you’ll need a shorter cup, and vice-versa. It can be quite confusing!

However, one huge advantage to menstrual cups in terms of usability is their capacity. The average tampon has a capacity of 5 ml, while a jumbo tampon has a capacity of 10 ml or so. Compare this to an average menstrual cup that comes in at 30 ml.

There are even some high-capacity cups with capacities of up to 40 ml (Super Jennie, Anigan EvaCup, and Meluna Cup). If you have a heavy period, this might be exactly what you need. If you pair one of these high-capacity cups with a nighttime pad, you may be able to sleep through the night without having to get up!

The other factor to consider is care and cleaning. Disposables pads and tampons are very easy to deal with—just throw them in the trash when you’re done and don’t have a second thought about it. This is, however, not the case with reusables.

Cloth menstrual pads can be laundered with regular laundry and most of them are very stain resistant and/or have dark fabric. When you’re out on the road, it’s a bit more difficult and you have to carry a wet bag with you to store the used ones until you get home.

Menstrual cups require some care if you want them to last for more than a year or two. During your period, wash them with soap and water. After your period, boil them in a pot of water for five minutes in order to sterilize them. You can clean the holes, ridges, and stem with an old toothbrush if necessary.

To sum this up, if you find a menstrual cup that works for you and doesn’t leak, reusables have the edge. If not, disposables come out ahead in this one.

Reusable Period Products vs. Disposables: The Final Takeaway

In terms of health, the environment, and cost, reusables have the clear edge. There are no toxic chemicals in them, and you can use them for up to 10 years.

However, when you consider usability, it’s a bit of a toss-up. Disposable pads have the edge over cloth ones simply because they don’t shift around, and are better at preventing leaks.

Tampons are easy to use and dispose of. Menstrual cups can be quite a bit more difficult to figure out, and they also require some care and cleaning to keep them in tip-top shape.

The choice is yours! But, if you do decide to go with disposables, please consider using organic ones. Although they are a bit more expensive, they are much better for your health because they don’t contain chemicals and pesticides.

Author Bio

Jackie Bolen is a tree-hugging, friend of the Earth that can often be found catching a wave, on top of a mountain, or drinking organic coffee. When not doing these things, she’s usually working away on her website, Reusable Menstrual Cups. Her hope is that one day, a reusable feminine hygiene product will be found in the hands of every single menstruating person, because this has the potential to change the world for the better.

 

Your Life, Your Money, Your Terms: Key Takeaways From Amanda Steinberg’s Book

When it comes to professional careers, Indian women have come a long way in the last century. In fact, it’s normal for a woman to have a day job or run her own business.

As a result, today many women are making a significant income, if not equal or more than their husbands.

However, when it comes to managing our money, we have a lot more work to do. Specifically, we continue to rely on our husbands on money matters, we’re overwhelmed with investment jargon, and we are narrowly focused on income and budgeting.

I recently have the privilege to meet Amanda Steinberg, the author of “Worth It – Your Life, Your Money, Your Terms” and blogger behind DailyWorth, that helps women earn more, save more and spend smarter.

In this article, I’d like to share with you my key takeaways from Amanda’s book as it relates to Indian women and how you can apply these learnings in your own life.

Our Problems with Money

At the most fundamental level, our problem with money arises from the stories we tell ourselves. Our personal experiences, thoughts, perceptions and ideas about money, shape our beliefs.

Specifically, there are four problems we have with money.

  1. I need to spend money on luxury goods, nice car and clothes

You have an excellent, well-paying job. You frequently meet with customers or are seen as a role model in your community of friends and family. Or you are expected to buy expensive gifts for loved ones just because you’re getting paid a hefty amount at your job.

This puts tremendous pressure on you. You’re expected to dress well and exude confidence. You’re expected to be a nice, giving person.

This type of external pressure knowingly or unknowingly forces you to purchase luxury goods, expensive cars or the latest fashions. These costs up quickly, leaving you little or no savings.

  1. I can’t be spiritual and care about money – they’re opposites

Men are “built” to reason and provide. Women are supposed to emote and nurture. This belief is highly prevalent among Indians.

Specifically, Indian women are expected to be religious. A woman’s job is to pray for the family’s well-being. Women are not expected to manage money. That’s best left to their husbands or men in the family.

It’s true that women are responsible for the monthly budget or bringing in a steady income. For instance, housewives are given a set amount each month. Or professional women bring in a paycheck each month.

A major portion of the paycheck, if not the entire amount, is deposited in the bank account that is managed by the husband.

The point here is that women generally don’t to have the overall financial picture.

  1. Asking for a salary raise will get me fired

In the workforce, men are associated with aggression, independence, and competitiveness. Women, on the other hand, are associated with being nurturing, nice and altruistic.

Women who exhibit the feminine traits are seen as lacking leadership qualities. On the other hand, women who exhibit the masculine traits are seen as unfeminine, mean and unlikable.

This “double-bind” works against women and they are frequently not given appropriate salary increases. According to Amanda, this problem can be solved as soon as women take ownership of managing their money.

Women can and should ask for salary increases without apprehension, guilt, fear or shame.

  1. Managing money is too technical

The money jargon we hear in the news or from our significant other can be overwhelming. Words such as stock (also known as shares or equity), bond, index, portfolio, diversification, asset class and asset allocation sound too technical.

We’re already tired of working all week in addition to taking care of our family. So trying to learn money jargon is one more thing that we don’t want to do.

But managing money doesn’t have to be technical. All you need to do is carve out less than two hours to understand the basic terminology to get you started.

How to Overcome Your Money Problems

  1. Change your money story

We need to change the stories we tell ourselves. For example, we need to stop saying:

  • My husband/partner will take care of me, should we run into money issues
  • People will think I’m selfish if I talk about money and don’t give gifts
  • Men are solely responsible for managing money
  • I have bad luck with mone

Instead, we need to replace these statements with:

  • I’m good with money, money is force for good
  • Money is a spiritual expression
  • Saving money doesn’t mean I’m selfish
  • My earning capacity is limitless
  1. Focus on Net Worth and Self Worth

“Net Worth” are the two golden words. All this means is that you want to take an inventory of your assets and loans/debt. Add them up and you’ll end up with your net worth. Your goal should be keeping your net worth headed in the positive direction.

Assets are primarily composed of the market value of your home, cash savings, investment account, and any other savings accounts. Loans and debt include any mortgage on your home, car loans, credit card debt, and any other types of loans.

If you have a negative net worth, don’t be hard on yourself. Instead, you need to take the steps towards a positive net worth by reducing your loans and debt.

In addition to Net Worth, you want to focus on Self Worth. You are the best judge when it comes to self-worth. Don’t sell yourself short.

  1. Take the time to understand basic financial terminology

As we discussed, investing and money management doesn’t need to be difficult. Below are definitions of common money jargon in plain English.

Asset: It is a financial thing you own

Stock (also known as shares or equity): Ownership in a given company

Bond: A loan you make to a government or company

Index: A number that measures a sector of the economy. The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) is an index of Indian companies.

Portfolio: Your investment in assets such as stocks, bonds, and gold.

Diversification: Owning different kinds of assets

Asset Class: Categories of various things you own. For example, “stocks” is an asset class. Similarly, “bonds” and “real estate” are also asset classes.

Asset Allocation: The distribution of your investment across different asset classes.

Fund: A mix of stocks, bonds, and other cash equivalents.

  1. Manage our money without shame, apprehension, guilt or fear

Once you start taking ownership of your finances and understand how money works, you’ll experience long-term happiness.

When you start to manage money, do so without shame, apprehension, guilt or fear. If you are married or in a relationship, be honest with your partner and explain why it’s necessary for you to have the overall financial picture.

Two Actionable Tips For Your Money Problems

Now that you have an understanding of our problems with money and how you can overcome them, I’d like to wrap up with two actionable tips that you can implement right away.

These tips will allow you to increase your Net Worth, so you can experience an excellent financial future.

  1. Invest in Lost Cost Funds such as an Index Fund

When you make an investment, be sure that you are paying very low investment fees. For instance, if you hire an investment advisor, you may be paying a hefty fee for someone to manage your money.

Investment fees of 0.05% to 1% are generally acceptable but anything over 3% is high.

Paying high fees, means you get to keep less profits from your investments. Higher investment fees are not only detrimental to you in the short term but also in the long term. You’ll earn less compound interest on your investments and can negatively impact the value of your overall portfolio.

  1. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Compound Interest

Let’s use an example to illustrate the power of compound interest. Say you had an extra Rupees 15,000 each month that you decide to save in the bank at a fixed deposit rate of 8% per year.

After 10 years, you would end up with 26 lakh rupees. After 20 years, you would end up with 83 lakh rupees. And after 30 years, you would have a whopping 205 lakh rupees.

Thus, money that compounds over a long period of time, grows significantly.

Summary

I hope you got much value from this article. In summary, Indian women need to take greater ownership of managing their money. Budgeting and income generation isn’t enough. Managing your money is necessary.

When you start ownership of your finances, it is necessary to have control over your emotions. This means not rushing into making investment decisions and not letting your own stories about money get in your way.

Finally, be fearless and don’t let shame or guilt get in your way.

Author Bio:

Jinal Sampat is a jewellery designer at Sampat Jewellers Inc. Her focus is on innovation and creation of jewellery pieces that are meaningful and hold long-term value. She creates versatile mangalsutra designs with Indo-Western elements. Jinal holds her graduate degree from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). You can find her on Instagram.

Naaree Interviews Riticka Srivastav Of Book Thela

New graduate, Riticka Srivastav is an inspiring example of a successful woman entrepreneur in India. Her online bookstore, Book Thela, offers both new and pre-owned books at throwaway prices all over India.

Book Thela has a huge collection of books of different categories ranging from fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, featured library editions, 49 club, bestsellers and will soon be adding entrance exam books as well.

Riticka always had a passion for entrepreneurship and has worked with many startups in the past for her internships. The main purpose behind starting the venture was to spread happiness by uniting bibliophiles with their favourite reads at affordable prices.

Naaree caught up with this young entrepreneur to find out what drives her to do what she does.

What inspired you to become an entrepreneur? Did you always love it or was it something you got into?

After doing a side entrepreneurship stint in college where I was selling packaged food products to hostel students (who had no access to food at night except the mess), my passion for entrepreneurship deepened and that’s when I realized that I wanted to start something on my own one day.

Also, coming from an entrepreneurial family, my parents always encouraged me to follow my dreams and passions and therefore I started my own company, Book Thela.

When do you know that it is no longer just an idea in your mind, and that you can really turn it into a lucrative business?

Research plays a very important role to understand if the business will be profitable and sustainable or not. Before starting any business, proper research and analysis should be done to understand the target market, the profitability of the business model, the feasibility of the product/service and other major aspects of the business.

I did a thorough research and analysis about the business before starting my venture. It helped me in making a lot of tough decisions like outsourcing shipping, the supply-chain of the business etc.

What inspired you to start out on your own or with your partners? What learning lessons can you share from your startup experience?

I was in my last semester of college and was actively looking for internships for my training period when my father, Dr. Niraj Srivastav, who is an International Award winning author for the book “Daggers of Treason”, suggested the brilliant idea of selling used and second-hand books online.

He knew about my passion for books and entrepreneurship and encouraged me to follow my dreams. Whenever I was in doubt of whether I should go for a job instead of starting my own venture so soon, he always used to tell me that stating my own venture is not going to be easy but it will be worth it and he’s absolutely right about that.

I did a lot of research after that to ensure that Book Thela becomes a sustainable business and officially launched it on 22nd March, 2017.  The main aim of starting the venture was to unite broke bibliophiles like me with their favourite reads without the hassle of travelling to far off places to buy cheap books.

As a college student with a limited budget, I had to travel a lot to different places to buy cheap second-hand books. This is when I realized that I could mold my business idea around this problem and provide a solution for the same.

The learning lessons from my startup experience are:

  1. Always be prepared to face challenges
  2. Innovation is an integral part for running a business
  3. Age is just a number. All you need is determination and perseverance to run a start-up.
  4. Having the right team is really important

What are some challenges that you faced initially when you started out? Do you have some examples to share and advice to women entrepreneurs on overcoming them?

The major challenge which we faced was getting the shipping done on time to create a pleasant experience for the customer.

As logistics is the backbone for any e-commerce company, we decided to outsource our logistics to different courier partners like FedEx, Delhivery, Holisol etc. to ensure that shipping is carried out smoothly without any delays.

And now we are happy to say that Book Thela was able to achieve its break- even point within the first month itself.

My advice for women entrepreneurs:

  1. Have a support system in place whether it’s your family, your friends or even your colleagues.
  2. Always believe in yourself and your business and don’t get knocked down by criticism.
  3. Innovation is necessary to compete in the market.

What are all the things that an entrepreneur needs to keep in mind? I.e. apart from your great idea, what do you need to be armed with?

I would say apart from a great idea, you need to be armed with the following things:

  1. Determination and Perseverance
  2. Passion for entrepreneurship
  3. Support system with people who believe in you and your idea

Do women entrepreneurs find it tougher to get funding for businesses? If yes, why do you think that is?

I personally don’t think that gender has anything to do with getting funding. Investors mainly look at your idea and its profitability and also whether you have the skills to carry out the business while investing. Once you’re able to convince them about the idea, it doesn’t really matter if you’re a man or a woman.

Is it beneficial to have a mentor when you’re starting out on your own? What does a mentor bring to the table?

Absolutely.  Having a mentor not just initially, but through all stages is very important as they help you in making important decisions which would impact the business.

I would say, for me my parents and my friend Akshay, have been my mentors as they’ve helped me in making a lot of tough decisions related to the venture.

Having a mentor brings a lot to the table, as they are able to provide a new perspective of looking at things.

How did you recruit your first team? How difficult was it to get people on board during the initial stages?

I haven’t recruited a team till now but will be expanding soon.

What are 3 key things that you have learned as an entrepreneur?

  1. I have learned that each day will have a new challenge and you will get to learn new things every day.
  2. Making mistakes is important as you get to learn from them.
  3. Understanding the market and their requirements is of utmost important for your business.

What would you describe as your biggest moments of success in your business?

The journey of a start-up is filled with moments of success as you are achieving something new each day whether it’s getting new customers on-board or even getting good reviews from the customer.

All of them add together to make the journey memorable. But one of the biggest moments of success for Book Thela was achieving the break-even point within the first month of starting the business.

You can connect with Book Thela at @book_thela

 

8 Habits For A Successful Marriage When You’re Busy Being Parents

Being a parent takes a lot of time and energy. It’s worth every single second, and there will be just as many laughs and moments of joy as there will be frustrations along the way.

But let’s be honest, sometimes your marriage takes a backseat to your kids.

By the time you’re both done with work and childcare, plus school meetings, sporting events, lessons, summer camp, and selling girl scout cookies, there’s not always a lot of time left over for your marriage.

It’s not uncommon for couples to drift apart as every conversation becomes about family and kids and your relationship gets less and less attention.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Having a successful marriage when you’re busy being parents is possible, and that’s better for everyone. You and your partner will feel closer and happier, and your kids will benefit from being brought up by close, committed parents.

Try to inculcate these eight habits for balancing parenthood and marriage.

1. Make Touch A Part Of Your Day

If you’ve ever spent time with a newlywed couple, you know that touch is a big part of their love language. Couples who are still in the honeymoon phase frequently hold hands, put arms round each other, or sit close together.

As your relationship matures and you get busy being parents, these little daily touches are often forgotten. Try bringing them back – regular touch builds intimacy with your partner.

Make time daily to hug. Hold their hand when you’re out together, or just relaxing on the couch. Put your arm around them. Regular touch is a mood booster for both of you and cements your bond.

2. Don’t Neglect Date Night

Dates can soon become a thing of the past when you’re both busy being parents. Time together as a family is vital of course. Family meals and family days out bring you all closer and give you and your kids regular quality time together.

But what about you and your partner? You need regular quality time together too if your marriage is to thrive.

Make date night a regular event, and stick to it. Get a sitter or enlist a willing family member to take care of the kids at home, or even take them for the night.

You and your partner can get dressed up and go out to eat like you used to do, or even enjoy a home cooked meal and a relaxing bubble bath at home. Nurture your marriage by spending time on it.

3. Make Time To Talk

Adult conversation sometimes goes by the wayside when you become parents! Can you remember the last time you had a conversation that wasn’t about school, outings, how to referee a fight between your kids or maybe, sometimes, about work?

Make time every day to talk about everything else in your lives. Just ten minutes over coffee or while cleaning up the dinner things is enough.

Find out what’s going on with each other. Talk about your hopes and dreams and worries and plans. When you can, make time for a longer conversation. Regular talks keep you close and connected.

4. Stay In Touch Throughout The Day

Remember when you were dating and you would text or FaceTime regularly? You don’t have to stop that just because you’re married with kids.

Take time every day to leave your partner little messages. You can text, call, video chat, or even post on their Facebook timeline (don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your mother to see!)

A quick love note, a “hey how are you doing?” or sharing an interesting article, funny story, or video you think they’ll love will keep you in their mind and recapture some romance, too.

5. Look After Each Other

It’s really easy to get caught up in the stress of parenting, work, and daily life. Before long, your partner becomes someone you take for granted or someone you mostly communicate with about who’s picking the kids up from football practice this week.

Put a little energy back into your marriage by taking the time to look after each other. After all, you’re a team, and more than that, you’ve chosen to share your lie and raise children together.

Show each other a little appreciation through simple gestures. Maybe make your partner a cup of coffee, or take them up on the offer of a foot rub.

6. Give Each Other Space

Sometimes looking after your marriage means giving each other a break from it! When you become parents, self care often goes out the window.

But if you put your kids and spouse first all the time, you’ll eventually drain your own battery and feel tired and irritable.

Being worn out doesn’t do anyone any good – you or your kids and spouse. Give each other the gift of a little me-time by taking turns to look after the kids alone for an afternoon or evening.

That way you each get time to do something just for you, whether that’s seeing friends, going for a spa day, or just taking a book to the local park for some quiet time.

7. Make Sure You’re On The Same Page

Having a happy marriage while parenting isn’t just about making time for the two of you. It’s about how you are when you’re actively parenting, too. Disagreements about child raising and discipline are a sure fire way to put your marriage under stress.

If you don’t agree on topics such as discipline, they’ll be more tension between the two of you. In addition, kids pick up on discord and might even try to play you off against each other (knowing that if one parent says no, the other will say yes, for example).

Sit down and agree on ground rules for discipline. Decide on guidelines for every aspect of parenting, from bedtimes to pocket money to TV time.

When an unexpected situation comes up, make time to sit and discuss it together and reach an agreement before taking action.

8. Look For The Good In Each Other

It’s natural to get a bit stressed when you’re both busy being parents, especially as one or both of you will most likely have job stress to deal with too.

Add in family issues, illness, or even fun things like a full social calendar, and it’s normal to feel a bit frazzled.

And when you feel frazzled, it’s easy to snipe at each other.

Looking for the good is a simple way to make your marriage happier. Take time every day to find things you love about your partner. Notice all the things they do that remind you why you love them.

Maybe they’re amazing with the kids, or full of fun ideas for family days out, or always ready to support you. Perhaps they took care of a couple of your chores or cooked everyone a fabulous meal.

Look for the good, and you’ll find more of it. Your focus will shift from all the things that are stressing you out and you’ll be reminded why you love being married to this person.

Even better, tell them! Giving each other regular compliments is a fantastic self-esteem boost and brings you closer, too.

You can be busy parents and still have a vibrant marriage, too. Remember, your kids benefit too if both their parents are happy.

By having a healthy, fulfilling marriage, you’re modeling good relationships for your children and setting up healthy but realistic expectations for their future.

Try out our tips and enjoy feeling closer than ever – and enjoy a more harmonious and happy home, too.

Author Bio:

Rachel Pace is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships. Her mission is to provide inspiration, support, and empowerment to everyone on their journey to a great marriage. She is a featured writer for Marriage.com, a reliable resource to support healthy happy marriages.