5 Ways to Be Less Stressed as the Kids Go Back to School
My kids are still in school: college and high school. I dread the supplies list as it grows more extensively every year. From college textbooks to clickers to graphic calculators and finding that folder in the perfect shade of green, it gets to be a lot. Then there are the fashions! With 3 daughters, I am very up on the style trends by osmosis. It always seems like a heavy lift and a huge sigh of relief when the actual first day of school gets here. So what are some things we can do to make it easier on our hectic lives:
- Hire a concierge. If you don’t have time to run around with the school shopping list, there are people whose business it is to do errands for others. I have just learned about this in my own town and am looking forward to trying it out when the errands list is long and time is short.
- Use instant cart. Grocery shopping is a necessary chore. Your family wants to eat - every day! Such nerve! Ordering your groceries online can save time and it can be packed and ready for curbside pickup. This can save a lot of time gabbing in the aisles, which your kids will love! Some stores even offer home delivery service. For dry goods, bottled beverages, and cleaning supplies, consider an online pantry service, where you can get a large box sent for a minimum shipping fee.
- Meal prep. Doing all your cooking at once, say on a Sunday afternoon, for one to two hours can save you an enormous amount of time the rest of the week. Whether you make casseroles or meat loaves, or different kinds of salads, knowing what you are going to eat saves time and money. You can buy compartmentalized containers and pre-set lunches for the week. By making this a family activity, everyone can help and it may even be fun. Your wallet - and your waistline - may also thank you.
- Go home for lunch. If you work nearby, consider going home for lunch if you can. This is a great time to keep up with the household, especially if there will be a lot of running around after work such as advance the laundry, sort the mail, clean a bathroom, unload the dishwasher. Even one task out of the way can make a difference and eating at home can save some money besides.
- Don’t do it alone. Every member of the family can help with something from feeding the dog and watering the plants to vacuuming, dusting, and putting things away. Make a chart and include everyone in the family. Switch up the chores to keep things interesting. They’ll get used to it! Besides you are building “life skills”. They’ll thank you one day!
There are many ways to save time and mitigate stress. Be sure to take care of yourself when the hustle and bustle gets to be too much. Doing “nothing” can be doing “something” indeed! Is the bus here yet?
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author. Seek advice from a qualified professional before taking any action regarding your finances.
Todd A. Slingerland, CFP®
6 Tower Place
Albany, NY 12203
(518) 867-4000 x105