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June 11, 2014

Herald-Sun Special Publication

Mastering the Juggling Act How to balance a career and new motherhood

Saving and Single Mothers How single moms can cut costs

Strength training

Tips for women


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June 11, 2014 • The Herald-Sun

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Testosterone and its role in women’s health Make the most of your next shopping trip Strength training tips for women Is there a link between the weather and fibromyalgia? Juggling a career and new motherhood Enjoy a successful ladies’ night out Which doctor to see and when How moms can help kids to go green and protect the planet Switch jobs with grace and decorum Money-saving tips for single moms

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June 11, 2014 • The Herald-Sun

Testosterone and its role in women’s health Testosterone is commonly thought of as a male hormone, but people may be surprised to learn that testosterone is present in the female body as well. Testosterone serves a few different functions in the female body and could be instrumental in some therapies, including those for menopause and low sexual drive. An androgen group hormone, testosterone is derived from cholesterol. Women produce testosterone in their ovaries and adrenal glands. Even after a woman enters menopause, her ovaries will still produce testosterone. Although women produce only a fraction of the testosterone found in men, it still serves some key functions in the female body. Muscle development: One of the main functions of testosterone in the female body is muscle development. It is key in maintaining the structure, cell growth and function of muscles in the body. Testosterone also helps turn fat into muscle. Since women produce less testosterone than men, females may not be thought of as overly muscular. However, without testosterone, women’s muscle tone may be minimal and women would feel weak. Sexual health: Testosterone affects libido and sexual response in both women and men. Low testosterone in the body can cause a lack of sexual desire, as the hormone will not trigger the receptors in the brain that signal sexual awareness. Furthermore, testosterone in women is responsible for sensitivity in the breasts and genitals and can further enhance the sexual mood and experience. Because testosterone levels begin to diminish when a woman begins menopause, testosterone therapy may be considered to renew libido. Fertility: Women of childbearing age may be surprised to learn that testosterone, in addition to estrogen and progesterone, plays a role in fertility. Testosterone, which peaks around the middle of the menstrual cycle when ovulation occurs, can, according to a paper published in the journal Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, increase the chances of conception. Some

Men aren’t the only ones with testosterone in their bodies. Although present in much smaller concentrations, testosterone is key to many functions of the female body.

androgens, such as testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone, may work together to encourage development of eggs in the ovary in the early stages of oocyte (egg) maturation. Mood and mental health: Testosterone is sometimes referred to as the “person-ality hormone,” as it can play distinct roles in mood and emotional health. According to the organization Natural Hormones, healthy levels of testosterone have been found to produce a sense of power, motivation, well-being, assertive-ness, and happiness. Testosterone may protect against depression and alleviate stress. Testosterone also affects brain health, potentially protecting against conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Hormones can play pivotal roles in the female body, and it is important that women recognize the various roles testosterone plays in their bodies.

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The Herald-Sun • June, 11, 2014

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Make the most of your next shopping trip With the economy on the rebound, shopping trips are once again becoming an indulgence for men and women alike. Responsible shoppers know to spend within their means, but shopping excursions can still be enjoyable even for those shoppers with limited budgets. The following are a handful of ways shoppers can make the most of their next shopping trips. Employ the buddy system. Most activities are made more enjoyable when friends are along for the ride, and shopping is no exception. Shopping with friends can make the trip more fun, and friends can offer their opinions on everything from clothing to appliances. In addition, friends can discourage one another from spending beyond their means. Comparison shop. Many shoppers feel that finding a good deal is the most fun part of shopping. Anyone can walk in off the street and pay full price for an item, but savvy shoppers pride themselves on finding the best deals. Shoppers can start their comparison shopping even before they visit their favorite retailers, comparing online prices with the prices they are likely to pay in-store. Such research may also unearth sales that are not heavily advertised, netting shoppers even more savings. Shoppers who find items at heavy discounts online may even be able to find retailers who will match those discounts in-store. But that requires shoppers do their homework first.

Take advantage of retailer apps. Many retailers now have their own smartphone apps, which can net shoppers even more savings. Before heading downtown to shop till they drop, shoppers should download apps from their favorite retailers. Such apps can alert shoppers to any sales and may even make them eligible for special discounts available only to the smartphone users who have downloaded the store app. In addition to retailer-specific apps, shoppers may be able to take advantage of coupon apps that collect information on various in-store and online promotions and alert customers to such deals when they are within spitting distance of the stores. Such apps are typically free and can save shoppers substantial amounts of money. Develop a plan. Once they have set aside a day for some retail therapy, shoppers should plan where they want to shop and make a list of what they need. Shoppers can still make some time for window shopping, but spending too much time gazing into store windows can cost shoppers time to purchase those things they truly need. Make a list of stores anyone going on the trip wants to visit, and then allow yourselves ample time to get what you need and gaze at what you want. Many shoppers find their shopping trips are now few and far between. But there are ways that savvy shoppers can still visit their favorite retailers without busting their budgets.

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June 11, 2014 • The Herald-Sun

Strength training tips for women Many women might be surprised to know that strength training can be just as beneficial to the fairer sex as it can be to men. But according to the National Center for Health Statistics, only one in every five women include strength training in their weekly workout routines, a disconcerting figure that could be making it more difficult for women to maintain a healthy weight and protect themselves against potentially debilitating conditions such as osteoporosis. So why are so many women avoiding the weights in favor of the cardiovascular machines? Though the answer to that question remains a mystery, it’s fair to speculate that many women are hesitant to lift weights out of a fear that they will bulk up and appear muscular. Such a fear is largely unfounded, as the Women’s Heart Foundation notes that the average woman’s estrogen levels are so high that it’s difficult for her to become overly muscular. In fact, women who lift weights tend to benefit without adding the bulk by building muscle that is firm and tone, a look that’s both healthy and vastly different from that developed by men who strength train. In addition to producing toned muscles, strength training can help women to control their weight, as strength training reduces body fat and burns calories more efficiently. Muscle built during strength training also reduces a woman’s risk of injury by improving her balance and coordination. Strength training also benefits a woman’s bones. As women age, their bone density decreases thanks to hormonal changes. That decrease in bone density puts women at risk of injury should they fall and also increases their risk of developing osteoporosis, a condition in which bones become brittle and fragile due to a loss of tissue. But strength training slows that deterioration, helping bones maintain their strength longer. While strength training pays numerous dividends for women, that’s only the case if training is done correctly. The following are a few tips for women about to begin a strength training regimen. Don’t go it alone. Beginners, both male and female, should always enlist some help when starting a strength

training regimen. Many fitness centers offer one or two free personal training sessions to new members, and women should take advantage of such offers to learn how to use certain machines and the proper form for the various strength training exercises they intend to include in their routines. If a facility does not offer the sessions free, consider hiring a personal trainer for a few sessions until you are comfortable with each exercise and confident your form is correct. Proper form

prevents injury and promotes long-term health. Keep it simple. Part of the difficulty with beginning a strength training regimen rests with the abundance of advice out there, whether “out there” is in your own gym or online. But simplicity is good when beginning a strength training regimen. Learn some basic exercises for each muscle group at first. Once you are comfortable with these basic exercises, and it might take several months to feel comfortable, you can then look to master additional exercises and create a more specialized strength training routine. Speak with a professional trainer at your gym to develop a good beginner’s routine and then expand on that routine later. Don’t abandon cardiovascular exercise. Strength training should not be introduced at the expense of cardiovascular exercise. An adequate exercise regimen includes both strength training and cardiovascular exercise, which improves heart health (remember, the heart is a muscle, too), helps to boost metabolism and improves recovery time, among other benefits. As you grow more accustomed to your workout routine, increase the intensity of your cardiovascular workout and not the volume. Don’t be discouraged. It’s easy to feel discouraged when beginning a strength training regimen, as results don’t come overnight, leaving some to question if they will ever get stronger and reap the rewards of their efforts. Significant cosmetic results such as finely toned muscles and considerable weight loss won’t be immediate, but if you stick to your routine, you will likely begin to notice your energy levels are improving and you feel better, and those kinds of results often come sooner rather than later. Use such encouraging developments as motivation if necessary and always keep in mind that strength training will pay off in the long run. Many women avoid strength training out of fear that will develop large muscles that compromise their femininity. But such fears are unfounded, and strength training is a great way for women to get in shape and foster longterm health.

Is there a link between the weather and fibromyalgia? Fibromyalgia, a chronic disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and tenderness in localized areas, remains largely a mystery, both to those who suffer from the condition and the medical professionals treating them. Though the cause of fibromyalgia may be unknown, there may be a link between the weather and the symptoms of this often painful condition. In a study published in June 2013 in the journal Arthritis Care & Research,

Dutch researchers examined 333 middle-aged women with fibromyalgia, which is more common in women than men. Over the course of a month, the researchers paid attention to various weather conditions, including atmospheric pressure, temperature and exposure to the sun. In some cases, the weather had very small effects on pain and fatigue — not enough to support the case that rainy days or those with a drop in barometric pressure can cause fibromyalgia to worsen.

However, many other fibromyalgia patients may beg to differ with these findings. Numerous people living with fibromyalgia insist that changes in the weather directly impact many symptoms synonymous with the condition. In 2002, a study was conducted in Cordoba, Argentina, where there are four distinct seasons every year. The study examined fibromyalgia sufferers and a healthy control group. Participants were asked to rate their

pain symptoms on a scale from one to 10 every day for 12 months. After 12 months, these symptoms were matched up to the year’s weather patterns. Researchers found that pain symptoms of the participants with fibromyalgia correlated directly to weather changes, with pain being more persistent when the weather was especially harsh. Fibromyalgia can be debilitating for many people, causing pain, weakness, fatigue, and irritability.


The Herald-Sun • June, 11, 2014

Juggling a career and new motherhood The role women play in society and within their own households has changed dramatically over the last half-century. According to Pew Research Center analysis of the Decennial Census and American Community Surveys Integrated Public Use Microdata Sample files, in 1960 just 10.8 percent of married mothers were the primary earners in households that included children under the age of 18. That figure rose steadily over the next 50 years, reaching 40.4 percent by 2011. Though the steady rise in those percentages makes the 2011 figure less than surprising, the fact remains that today’s working mothers have more on their plate than ever before and are under more pressure to juggle those responsibilities than their predecessors. Juggling a career and motherhood is difficult for any woman, but the transition to wearing two hats can prove an especially difficult adjustment for new mothers. The following are a handful of tips for new mothers about to embark on the challenging task of juggling a career and a growing family. Carefully consider career decisions. Some new mothers respond to motherhood by making changes with regard to their careers. While adjustments will almost certainly need to be made, it’s important that women avoid knee-jerk reactions. Some women feel guilty about not spending enough time with their children and ultimately allow that guilt to govern their decisions about their careers. But women who don’t give ample consideration to such decisions may grow to regret them when they find they miss their old jobs and the responsibilities and sense of purpose that comes with those jobs. When making career decisions as new motherhood is approaching or after it arrives, make a list of the pros and cons to each decision and the motives behind each decision you might make. The more thoughtfully you approach each decision, the happier you’re likely to be with that decision once it’s been made. Avoid going overboard at the office. Working mothers are often driven to show their employers that new motherhood will not affect their on-the-job performance. In their haste to prove motherhood won’t prove a

distraction, new mothers may take on more they can chew. Recognize that being a working mother does require an adjustment period, especially in the immediate weeks and months after maternity leave has ended and your body has yet to adjust to its new schedule. Accept help when it’s offered and recognize that good employers understand the adjustments you will need to make in the immediate aftermath of a pregnancy. Look for ways to reduce your workload at home. Juggling a career and new motherhood won’t just have an impact at the office. Part of making a successful transition from working professional to working mother is recognizing that adjustments need to be made at home as well. Both new parents are in the same boat, but mothers are the ones who spend the first three months at home with their new child, and during those three months new mothers typically develop a certain rapport with their new babies that new fathers do not. Babies may prove more comfortable being fed or rocked to sleep by mom instead of dad. In such instances, look for ways to reduce your workload at home, whether that’s sharing cooking duties or other chores around the house that were once your responsibility alone.

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June 11, 2014 • The Herald-Sun

Enjoy a successful ladies’ night out

Women are busier today than ever before. The demands of work and the responsibilities of family life can dominate a woman’s time, making it increasingly difficult to find time to kick back and relax. As their careers take off and families grow, many women find it challenging to make time for social interactions, particularly with their female friends. But ladies’ night out is a great way to relieve stress and maintain social contacts. Making time to hang out with friends can be good for the body and mind. Give plenty of notice When planning a ladies’ night out, give several weeks’ worth of notice so more people can carve out time to attend. Begin plans for a get-together a month or more in advance, asking friends which dates work and which will not. Treat a night out with friends just like you would any important obligation.

Enjoyable evenings out with friends require forethought and ingenuity.

Try something new It may be tempting to lean on old habits and make ladies’ night out the run-of-the-mill dinner and drinks. Instead, think

Did you know?

A few tricks of the trade can help women achieve a flawless complexion when using cosmetics. Begin by moisturizing the face, which will remove any dry skin and plump up fine lines. Next, apply a primer with silica, which has a filling effect and will make wrinkles less noticeable. Use a creamy, moisturizing foundation, but one that offers sheer coverage. This way you won’t look too “made up” and the makeup won’t settle into the lines of your face. Match the foundation color to the tone of your neck so there will not be an evident “mask.” Less is more when applying makeup, so go sparingly, only adding to cover up any blemishes or imperfections. Use clean cosmetic sponges and brushes to apply makeup, as this ensures that bacteria is not transferred to the face, which can result in breakouts.

unconventionally and find ways to make time spent with friends more engaging. How about signing up for a cooking class where you can socialize and learn a few new culinary secrets? Otherwise, do something out of character. Attend a poetry reading or visit an art museum. Have a plan Plan activities before everyone leaves the house. Otherwise, you may waste precious time brainstorming where to go or what to do. There is a good chance those participating in the night out are pressed for time, so maximize moments spent together by planning the night in advance. Downplay the role of alcohol Alcoholic beverages are often at the center of social occasions. Women are largely social drinkers, but alcohol does not need to be a part of the festivities. Overconsumption of alcohol has been linked to the development of breast cancer and may cause damage to the heart and liver. Look for ways to spend time together that don’t involve alcohol.

Hire a sitter A night out with the ladies is a chance to enjoy some adult time with friends. Having kids in tow can make it difficult for women to relax. Rather than worrying about what the children are up to at home or if your spouse is going to call, hire a trusted sitter to stay with the children. This way everyone can relax and know the kids are well cared for. Keep activities private Women who move between different social circles may have some friends that overlap. Rather than risking hurting a friend’s feelings, try not to advertise social plans with everyone. This could mean restricting postings on social networking sites. Flagrant checkins or streaming photos from your night out could seem disrespectful of others and may lead others to feel left out. A night out with the ladies is an ideal way to unwind and enjoy a respite from packed daily schedules. Following a few suggestions can make these social opportunities even more enjoyable.

Did you know? Many countries have passed laws that legally mandate paid leaves for mothers of newborns. While some might expect the United States to be among those countries, working mothers in the United States are actually not guaranteed paid leave, though many companies offer it for a certain period of time anyway. In fact, according to the International Labour Organization, since 2010, when Australia passed its own parental leave law mandating paid leave, the United States has been the only industrialized nation that does not guarantee paid leave for mothers of newborns. No country is more generous to mothers of newborns with regard to paid leave than Russia, which allows mothers to take 140 days with 100 percent pay after their children are born. Brazil (100 days), France and Spain (112), Germany (98), and China (90) round out the top six, while Indonesia, India and Mexico mandate that new mothers receive 100 percent of their pay for 84 days after giving birth. Australia offers 126 days of paid leave at the federal minimum wage, while the United Kingdom offers 280 days of leave, the first six weeks of which are offered at full salary, while the remaining days are paid on a flat rate.


The Herald-Sun • June, 11, 2014

Which doctor to see and when Women who split their health management among different doctors may not know which doctor to turn to when their health comes into question. They may ask themselves, “Is this issue best addressed by a family doctor or a gynecologist?” Answers to such questions depend on personal preferences and the type of condition you’re looking to treat. Family doctors or general practitioners may be qualified to provide many of the screenings and services for which a woman may visit a gynecologist or women’s health practice. Such doctors can perform routine pelvic examinations, oversee screenings for cervical cancer and conduct breast exams to check for lumps and other abnormalities, just like a woman’s specialty doctor may run tests to calculate body mass index or check for cholesterol levels. A woman who feels more comfortable with one specific doctor may see him or her for a variety of health concerns, provided that doctor offers certain services. However, there are instances when certain healthcare questions are best answered by specialists. The following information can help women determine which doctor to see when certain situations arise. Annual physicals: Gynecologists and family doctors can conduct physical examinations. Both can order blood lab tests and urinalysis to check cholesterol levels and for any vitamin deficiencies. Heart rate, blood pressure, weight, and height are other screenings that can be handled at either office. Bacterial and yeast infections or urinary tract infections: A general practitioner or gynecologist can address these infections. However, some women feel more comfortable discussing genital issues with their gynecologists. A gynecologist may be more experienced at identifying problems and ordering appropriate follow-up exams. A family doctor may not require an examination unless you request it and may treat broad symptoms. Colds and coughs: In theory, a gynecologist may be able to diagnose and treat common health ailments. But the majority of a gynecologist’s work concerns the female reproductive system, so common colds and coughs are best left to general practitioners who diagnose respiratory and bronchial conditions daily.

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Mood disorders: If changes in mood seem to stem from hormones or the result of a pregnancy, a gynecologist or obstetrician may have treatment options available that can alleviate specific triggers. Many women initially turn to a family doctor if they are experiencing depression or changes in mood or behavior. Both a family doctor or a gynecologist may refer a patient to a mental health specialist if the situation seems to warrant more action. Nutrition and weight loss: Many patients see a family doctor to seek advice on adopting a healthy diet. Some medical offices have a nutritionist on staff who can offer food counseling and exercise advise. Infertility: It is best to visit a gynecologist or obstetrician to talk about any infertility issues. Such doctors have more intimate knowledge of the female reproductive system and could be more learned regarding the latest therapies and studies pertaining to fertility. Cancer screening: PAP tests and breast exams can be performed at either doctor’s office, although patients may feel more comfortable if a gynecologist performs these screenings. It is important to note that not all gynecologists are obstetricians. Some handle women’s reproductive issues but do not deliver children. Patients who prefer a doctor knowledgeable about reproductive health and won’t be busy handling child deliveries should select a gynecologist.

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June 11, 2014 • The Herald-Sun

How moms can help kids to go green and protect the planet Today’s kids are growing up in a very different world than the one their parents inhabited as youngsters. One of the biggest differences between now and then is that kids growing up in the 21st century are being taught to embrace eco-friendly activities and lifestyles on a far broader scale than their parents were. While parents of school-aged children might have learned about the planet and even celebrated Earth Day when they were kids, their kids are growing up in a world where Earth Day is just one of the many opportunities to protect the planet and respect the environment. Because today’s kids are growing up in an eco-conscious world, it’s no surprise that kids are often enthusiastic about joining in environmental efforts. Moms tasked with finding productive outlets for that enthusiasm may want to employ the following strategies to make the most of their kids’ passion for the planet. Organize weekly events with other kids. Much like adults, kids often find activities more fun when their friends are around. Mothers who want to inspire their kids to protect the planet can organize weekly eco-friendly events for their youngsters and their friends. Consult local park officials and set up a park cleanup where kids can pitch in by picking up litter. Do the same if you live near a beach or lakefront area. Kids will benefit from enjoying the great outdoors while simultaneously doing something good for the environment. Take kids on trips to the grocery store. Mothers are often in charge of stocking the family pantry, and this, too, can be used as an opportunity to teach kids about the environment. When visiting the produce aisle, explain to your youngsters why you’re purchasing organic fruits and vegetables instead of those that might have been genetically modified or grown with the use of pesticides. When it comes time to visit the snack aisle, choose organic items and remind kids come snack time that their new favorite treats also happen to be eco-friendly. This reduces the likelihood that kids will grow up associating healthy and eco-friendly foods with a lack of taste, potentially laying the groundwork for a lifetime of healthy eating. Involve kids in the garden. Moms who plant flowers or tend to their own

Switch jobs with grace and decorum gardens can invite kids to join them. As you and your youngsters plant vegetables, explain to them that growing your own fruits and veggies reduces your reliance on trucks to transport these items from afar, which helps to conserve fuel and reduce pollution. If there is room on your property to plant some trees, involve youngsters in the planting and use this as an opportunity to explain the many ways in which trees benefit the environment. Start a neighborhood carpool. Simple everyday tasks make for great learning opportunities, especially when teaching kids about the benefits of an eco-friendly lifestyle. Moms can organize a neighborhood carpool to get kids to and from school, explaining to each child that carpooling reduces fuel consumption and air pollution. Volunteer with an environmental organization. Kids benefit from volunteering in numerous ways. Moms looking to get their kids involved with local volunteer organizations can combine the lessons learned with giving back to the community with their youngsters’ passion for the environment by signing the family up to volunteer with a local environmental organization. Such organizations might clean up heavily littered roadways, plant trees in public parks, help remove debris after harsh storms or long winters or promote environmental awareness. Each of these activities teaches kids the value of giving back while also providing for them an outlet to pursue an eco-friendly lifestyle.

Women leave jobs for various reasons. Some women cite disparities in pay, an inability to advance through the company or incompatibility with a particlar place of business as their reasons for seeking new employment, while others leave jobs to take time off for family obligations, only to reenter the workforce at a later time. The Bureau of Labor Statistics say the average person changes jobs 10 to 15 times (with an average of 11 job changes) over the course of a career. Reports about employees in Fortune 500 companies have found, while women make up nearly 50 percent of these companies, they represent just 7.5 percent of top earners. Dissatisfaction with their income encourages some women to look for greener pastures. Transitioning between jobs is common, but professionals can take certain steps to ensure their transition works out for them and does not burn any bridges along they way. Have a definitive reason for leaving.

It’s foolish to change jobs on a whim. Be clear about why you are leaving and whether problems can be remedied by speaking up or if leaving for another company really is the best solution. Having firm reasons for your resignation will enable you to leave with more confidence and conviction.

Provide enough notice to the company.

If you have been working in a particularly poor environment, it may be tempting to run out the door even before your written resignation has finished printing. This may not bode well for future recommendations and leave your name tarnished within the industry. Instead, give ample notice and find a mutually acceptable window of time in which your position will be filled. While

two weeks is standard, some positions may require more or less time. It’s best not to drag your exit out too long though. Meet with your boss first. Don’t let a boss find out about your intentions to leave the company through the workplace gossip mill. It is always more professional to keep plans to yourself and show your boss the respect of hearing about your decision to leave first. Do so in person and not over the phone or via email. Continue to do your job to the best of your abilities. Giving notice is not a ticket

to goofing off or participating in an office vacation. Slacking off damages good will and is a surefire way to burn some bridges. Put in your best effort until the day you leave the company behind. Avoid making negative comments.

When discussing your reasons for leaving, be diplomatic but honest. Similarly, do not talk poorly about your former job to your new employer. You may inadvertently portray yourself as a disgruntled employee. Furthermore, word travels fast within many industries, and a loose tongue may compromise future networking opportunities.

Maintain decorum even if it was not your idea to leave. Being fired or

downsized can hurt, particularly when you thought you were doing a good job. Remain cool and always be professional. How you conduct yourself when facing adversity could speak well to your future employers. William Shakespeare may have said that a person is remembered for his entrances and exits, and this is particularly true in the workforce. When it is time to leave an employment position for a new one, do so with grace and humility.


The Herald-Sun • June, 11, 2014

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Money-saving tips for single moms Life as a single mother is not easy. In addition to the challenge of raising a child without another parent in the household, single mothers face many of the same challenges faced by married parents, only they must do so on just one income. Stress is a reality for many single parents, and much of that stress can be traced to the financial burdens of single parenthood. Single parents often find themselves looking for ways to save money, and the following are a handful of ways to do just that. Resist the urge to overextend your budget. Many expenses, such as groceries and housing, are necessities. But single parents know there is also tremendous pressure to spend money on things that have nothing to do with need. For example, come the holiday season, single parents may feel pressured to buy youngsters everything on their holiday wish list. It’s easy to succumb to such pressure out of guilt or in an attempt to make sure kids don’t feel cheated when they receive less gifts than their friends. But if succumbing to such pressure will

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stretch your budget, this might have grave consequences down the road. The same approach can be taken when making bigticket purchases. If a new car will bust the budget, then shop for a preowned model, ideally one that is dealer certified and still covered under its original warranty. Explain your financial situation to your kids. Keeping kids in the dark about your finances may lead to trouble or create undue stress. For instance, if kids are not aware that money is tight, then they may struggle to understand why they can’t have the latest must-have sneakers or fill up the grocery cart on trips to the store. But single mothers who explain the idea of a budget and define that budget for their kids will likely find their kids are willing to cooperate and make good partners with regard to staying within the budget. Pay bills on time. Allowing bills to go unpaid or routinely paying them late is only adding stress to a situation that, for many single mothers, is already stressful enough. Interest payments and penalties for paying late can quickly add up and turn

The symptoms women feel when suffering a heart attack are often different than those exhibited by men. According to Jeanette Yuen, M.D., a cardiologist at New York’s White Plains Hospital, women’s heart attack symptoms can be so mild that women may mistakenly believe they are suffering from a more innocuous medical issue, such as acid reflux or even the flu. But symptoms such as nausea, cold sweats and radiating pain in the stomach are recognized by the American Heart Association as possible indicators of a heart attack in women, and these signs should not be written off as signs of a cold or stomach ailment, as women are at risk of heart disease and heart attack despite the misconception that such ailments are exclusive to men. Women at risk for heart disease and heart attack include those with a family history of heart disease; female smokers; female diabetics; women with high cholesterol and/or high blood pressure; and women who are post-menopausal, physically inactive or overweight. Women, particularly those over 50, who begin to feel physical discomfort in their chest or any of the aforementioned symptoms should consult their physicians immediately.

a significant but manageable bill into an albatross that can loom over your finances for months if not years. If your credit card bills have already spiraled out of control, consult the credit card company to see if you can work out a payment plan in which interest will stop accruing so long as you continue to make agreed-upon monthly payments. Companies may be willing to work with you, and such a payment plan is less likely to have a negative impact on your long-term credit, something that cannot be said for declaring bankruptcy. Trim entertainment costs. Another way for single mothers to save money is to trim the amount of money they spend each month on entertainment. Cable television has become increasingly expensive in recent years, but single mothers have alternatives that can be considerably less expensive. In lieu of paying for cable television, single mothers can subscribe to a streaming service, such as Netflix or Hulu Plus, that charges a fraction of what cable companies charge but still offers a substantial amount of current content.

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Women Today - June 2014  

A special publication of The Herald-Sun

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