Tag Archives: Moms

4 Reasons Why Real Estate Investment is Great for Time-Seeking Moms

May 9, 2016


4 Reasons Real Estate Investing is Great for MomsAt Checklist Mom, we are all about helping moms find more time freedom.  One of the best ways that I’ve found to get more time freedom, while making money is through real estate investment.

I’ve been a real estate investor for 11 years now.  I started with duplexes and single family home flips and my husband and I are now moving to bigger properties.  I have found real estate investment to be great for my family’s finances and lifestyle.

It’s a wonderful business for women, especially moms, but there are relatively few women in this space.  I’m always striving to improve my skills and knowledge, so I attend a lot of real estate conferences and seminars.  When I’m in these conferences, I’m always surprised at how few women are there (often it’s less than 10%).  It’s surprising because real estate is a particularly great investment opportunity for women – especially moms.

Here are 4 reasons why I think real estate investing is particularly great for moms:

Photo courtesy of Ken Teegarten www.SeniorLiving.Org

CC. Photo courtesy of Ken Teegarten www.SeniorLiving.Org

  1. Cash flow –  Provided you invest well, your real estate investments should provide cash flow from day 1.  In other words, after you deduct expenses from the income from your tenants, your have profits that you get to keep.  It’s a GREAT way to make money, and it’s mostly passive income (i.e., you don’t have to work for it – the money just comes to you).
  2. Life-style Friendly Business – remember that part about receiving cash flow that’s mostly passive?  That means that while you are making money your time is freed up for you to spend more time with your family, travel, etc.  Since we are all about helping moms find more time for themselves, we love this.
    Photo courtesy of Obra Shalom Campo Grande cc

    CC. Photo courtesy of Obra Shalom Campo Grande 

  3. Appreciation – Property values aren’t always rising, but over the long term all real estate values tend to rise or appreciate. This means that in addition to the cash flow, your net worth is also increasing as the value of your properties increase.  This is helpful for you and can be a vital part of leaving a legacy for your children.
  4. Tax Benefits – the federal government decided that they wanted to promote property ownership, so there are all sorts of tax benefits in the tax code for doing so.  First, unlike other businesses you might own as an entrepreneur, rental cash flow is not subject to self-employment tax.  In other words, if you make $25,000 in rental income in a year or $25,000 with a side-business selling crafts on Etsy, you’ll pay less taxes on the rental income. Another way in which you get to keep more of your cash flow is through something called depreciation.  It allows you to deduct a portion of the property value from income and pay less taxes.  In some cases, even though you’re getting income from your investment property, your property will reduce your overall tax burden (so you’re paying less taxes on all your income – not just on your income that you receive from the property).

For these 4 reasons and more, I think real estate investing is great for moms.  I am passionate about helping more moms/women get into this game, and from the conversations I’ve had with women I know the biggest barrier to getting into investing is knowing how to start.

That’s why I am presenting a free live webinar on Wednesday August 10, 2016 at 12 p.m. PST/3 p.m. EST for women called “How to Get Started Real Estate Investing Like a Goddess

In this webinar I’ll share:

  • the 7 biggest benefits of real estate investing
  • who are the members you need on your team to make sure your investment is a success
  • how you can find a great property that will cash-flow on day 1
  • how to get an investment property using little to none of your own money
  • what are the first steps you need to take to get started
  • and much more!

If you are interested, click here to sign up for the free live webinar on Wednesday August 10, 2016 at 12 p.m. PST/3 p.m. EST “How to Get Started Real Estate Investing Like a Goddess“.

We won’t be sending out a recording of this webinar, so make sure you’re there live and ready to take notes!  Also, please forward this to any other women you think might be interested.


Monick HalmMonick Paul Halm is the Chief Creative Officer at the Checklist Mom.  She has made it her mission to empower women and moms to thrive in their lives, families, and careers.  She’s a busy mom and stepmom of 3, certified life and career coach, author, speaker, and real estate investor.  She’s a wearer of many hats, and juggler of many duties and loves connecting with our moms.  You can connect with her on the Checklist Mom Facebook Page and on twitter as @monickpaulhalm.

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Top 5 Tips to Help You Balance Your Life As a Mom

March 15, 2016


5 Life Hacks to Help You Balance Your Life as a MomFinding life balance is one of the hardest tricks to accomplish as a mom – especially when you’re also juggling a career.  I know as a working mom of 3, finding balance is a definite challenge.  Here are our top 5 hacks to help you balance your life as a mom.

1. Keep a Realistic Schedule

The main word is “realistic.” When I first became a mom I thought I could do 1000 things at once. Though to be honest, I tried to do that even before motherhood.
Then, I realized that it wasn’t about doing 1000 things at once, it was about accomplishing specific tasks throughout the day. It’s not doing things it’s about making things happen.  And making the RIGHT things happen.

The more you’re trying to juggle, the more important it is to make a good schedule and keep to it. Block out times where you need to sleep, exercise, and not be bothered. Set specific times where you assign yourself to work, housework, cooking, errands, and even “treating yourself outside of work commitments.”

If you don’t plan a realistic schedule that makes sense then you won’t go anywhere. Remember! Don’t forget to schedule your breaks! Moms definitely need stay healthy and to treat themselves once in a while (;

2. Learn to say “No.”

NO is a very powerful word that I don’t like to say often! If you’re like me, you don’t like to refuse favors because you’re too nice and you don’t want to miss out on something. Do your best to really consider saying the word “no” to plans that can hurt your realistic schedule. You need rest. You have a ton of things to do!

When there is a ton of things on your plate – it’s okay…actually, it’s necessary to say no!  You’re saying YES to balance and peace of mind.

3. Group Your Work Together!

This is a fun one! All you need to do is group tasks that are similar and do them together. You’ll get things done faster because your mind will be only on one thing, which will be easy to forget once done! For example, it’s good to group all your bills together and just focus on it for a block of time on one day (nothing else). Another example, is to wait till all the dishes are together (and no one is eating) before you clean the kitchen.

This also goes for working moms as well (like me!). For example, block time for e-mails (e.g., 10:00 – 11:00), rather than responding to them as they come in.  And then turn off notifications, ringers, and other distractions to help you stick to your time blocks and schedules – it’s very easy for ringing phones, e-mail or Facebook notifications, kids who want to play, etc. to throw you off.

4. Keep it Organized

This goes without saying that keeping it organized is pretty crucial. Besides using the Checklist Mom app. Here are some cool tips:

  • woman-hand-smartphone-deskHave as little out as possible: Keep your surfaces as clean as possible – meaning knick knacks, decorating items. A cluttered surface can lead to a cluttered mind.  My desk has nothing except my computer, a pad to write on, and a phone. This maybe boring, but I get things done. The other bonus is that when there is little out, there is less cleaning and less dusting. When you’ve got kids and they’ve got SO MUCH STUFF (why do the littlest ones have the most stuff??), it can be challenging, but try to keep things put away as much as possible.

  • Give away what you don’t use “regularly” or doesn’t “spark joy”: As I’ve been writing about, I’ve been doing the KonMari De-cluttering method, and I’ve been loving giving away things that don’t spark joy in my life.  I feel lighter when I give things away, and giving it to someone with a bigger need makes me feel less guilty for getting rid of good items.

  • Going paperless:
    my office is almost entirely paperless. I scan and digitally file what is necessary and then toss the rest.  Need I say more? There’s no getting up looking for files, misfiling, paper waste, toner waste, buying folders, buying paper. Oh, and being able to fax and email documents in seconds saves so much time.

5. Keep Your Attitude Positive

Last but not least… your attitude is everything! No matter how organized you are, no matter how many times you say no, and no matter how many times you schedule your schedule… if you’re not keeping a positive attitude than everything will be lost. You got this! Just tell yourself you’re amazing and you deserve to have a balanced life because you are and you do!

Yes, You’re amazing!!! 😀

Do you have any other cool hacks and tips? Share in the comments and let me know!snappa-1458067147

Monick HalmMonick Paul Halm is the Chief Creative Officer at the Checklist Mom.  She has made it her mission to empower women and moms to thrive in their lives, families, and career choices.  She’s a busy mom of 3, certified life and career coach, author, speaker, and real estate investor.  She’s a wearer of many hats, and juggler of many duties and loves connecting with our moms.  You can connect with her on the Checklist Mom Facebook Page and on twitter as @thereikicoach.

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10 Ways to Save Time, Money and Stress this Holiday Season

December 15, 2015


10 ways to save time, money & stress this holidayIt’s mid-December. All your holiday decorations are up and sparkling. You’ve already bought, wrapped, and skillfully hidden all the gifts you need to buy. You’ve got your holiday party planned and fully organized (all you need to do at this point is to shower, dress, and show up). You’ve got this holiday season totally under control — on time and under budget. Right?

Yeah, me neither.

But it’s definitely not too late to get it together. How can you create a holiday that is fun and friendly on your wallet and mental health? Here are 10 tips for saving time, money and stress.

1. Make a Holiday To-Do List

Ready for Christmas with the Checklist MomFirst make a list of all your holiday to-dos.

Some to-dos are:
-getting and sending out holiday cards
-holiday decorations
-planning your holiday parties and holiday meals
-taking care of holiday travel
-receiving guests over the holidays
-buying or making presents

There are a lot of moving pieces to juggle and a good to-do list will help you to plan and take the right steps.  It will also help you remember important things to do.  This will ultimately save you lots of time and stress.

A great place to start is the “Christmas Planning” list under “Ready for Christmas” on the Checklist Mom app.  There you will find pre-populated lists that will help you plan for holiday cards, holiday decorations, holiday parties, holiday meals, receiving holiday guests, etc.

2. Make a budget and gift list before you shop

Next make a list of everyone you need to buy a gift for.  Include gift ideas for each person as well as how much you are willing to spend – per gift and in total.

Need some gift ideas?  Try the pre-populated Gifts lists from the Checklist Mom app.  There you will find gift ideas for all ages and genders.

3. Enlist Help

Child helping bake Maybe your mother or grandmother seemed to do everything all by themselves, but you certainly don’t have to.  Enlist help.

First, get your kids and spouse helping with decorations, baking, wrapping gifts, shopping. You definitely do not have to do it alone, and it’s part of the holiday experience to do things together.

If that’s not an option or you find you still need more help, there are some budget-friendly ways to hire help.

A friend of mine hires help on Task Rabbit to help her handle her large holiday party.  She prepares all the food and drink in advance, and during the party she relaxes and talks with her guests while her “Tasker” picks up and washes dirty plates, replenishes the food trays, makes and distributes drinks, etc.  For her it’s worth every penny.

You can also use Task Rabbit for anything from putting up holiday lights around the house to wrapping your gifts.

Another gift wrapping service Kalamazoo Gift, a full-service gift concierge that will receive your shipment of gifts and return them to you professionally gift-wrapped. Gift wrapping starts at $15.

Last, but not least you can hire a virtual personal assistant, through a service like Red Butler, to take care of errands such as paying bills, buying plane tickets, making reservations, tracking down that out-of-print book your father wants, and more.  Outsourcing these and other tasks will free you up to have more time to enjoy yourself and your family during this season.

4. Keep the Festivities Comfortable

Formal holiday parties and meals can be stressful and expensive.  If it stresses you out and stresses your budget, you can let go of some of your stuffier holiday traditions.  Your holiday party need not be a formal affair.  Casual parties take pressure off of you and your guests.  You don’t have to cook all the food.  Consider hosting a potluck.  Also, you can have meals that are buffet style, rather than a sit-down dinner.

5. Have a few extra gifts on hand

basket-full-of-presentsSometimes we find there are extra guests, or we forget someone, so we can save time and stress if we have an extra gift or two lying around.  Buy certain gifts in bulk, especially gender neutral “make everyone happy” gifts like boxes of chocolate or bake some extra goodies.  Who doesn’t love a gift of fresh baked cookies?

6. Give everyone the same gift

Another time saver is to give the same gift to everyone.  This will help you eliminate the long hours you normally put in towards finding the perfect individual gift.  You can give gifts like engraved glassware, label-making machines, or homemade fudge. If you can’t think of one gift to suit all of your family and friends, break your list up into groups and give one type of gift to women, one type to men, and something different for all of the children.

7. Do your holiday shopping online

Do I really need to spell out how not having to drive to the mall, drive around for hours looking for a perfect parking spot, walking through store after store and aisle after aisle will save you time?  I didn’t think so.  Online shopping will definitely save you time.  It can also save you lots of money.

Once you’ve made your holiday shopping list, you can sign up for email newsletters, download apps and set social media alerts for your favorite retailers. You can also do quick comparison shopping online to make sure you get the best deals.  Last, but not least, you can find lots of online coupons at sites like RetailMeNot or get rebates back using Ebates.com to ensure that you get the best deal on your holiday purchases.

8. Wrap simply

Use gift bags and/or wrap all of your gifts in one signature style — saving time and creating a finished appearance.   You’ll save time, but it can still look good.  Any solid wrapping paper will look elegant with fancy satin ribbon or cord.  Simple can be chic — and it allows you to add gift tie-ons and tags tailored to the recipient’s interest.

9. Buy a lot of staples

Buy a lot of baking staples (butter, flour, granulated and brown sugars, baking powder and soda, yeast, vanilla extract, etc.) and entertaining staples (crackers, nuts, cheese, etc.). This will save you time from having to make last minute trips to the grocery store. If you buy these things in bulk, you’ll further save money.

10. Enjoy activities that are free,

Making a SnowmanFree activities, such as taking a drive to look at holiday decorations, going window shopping, attending free holiday concerts, or making a snow person with children, are great for stress and budget. In the end these activities end up being more meaningful and contribute more to overall happiness than things, and they definitely help the bottom line.

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Quick Last-Minute Halloween Costumes for the Whole Family

October 31, 2015


quick halloween costumes-01-01OK, mamas.  It’s the 11th hour and you and your kids don’t have Halloween Costumes?  Don’t despair, we’ve curated some of the best articles to help you find quick and easy, but clever Halloween costumes for the whole family.

For the Kids:

Here’s a great article from Parenting Magazine of 35 no-sew costumes you can make for kids: Parenting Article.  I’m especially obsessed with this no-sew “corn on the cob” costume made with painted egg cartons as the corn, over-sized green sweatshirt, and some felt.

Photo Credit: Frank Heckers. How To at http://www.parenting.com/article/corn-on-the-cob

Photo Credit: Frank Heckers. How To at http://www.parenting.com/article/corn-on-the-cob

On a budget?  Here are 51 Cheap and Easy Last Minute Costumes: BuzzFeed Article . My favorite from this article – a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle that uses a spray-painted roasting pan as the shell, green clothing, and some felt for the mask and arm bands.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Costume from anightowlblog.com

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Costume from anightowlblog.com

Here are 12 clever and easy DIY costumes for Kids: Huffington Post Article. My favorite costume from this article is this adorable bubble bath costume – made with white clothing, white balloons, and some dollar store bath accessories.

Bubble Bath Costume https://www.pinterest.com/pin/258675572320641270/

Bubble Bath Costume https://www.pinterest.com/pin/258675572320641270/

For the Adults:

This is a great article about 7 clever Last Minute Costumes you can find in a grocery store: kitchn.com Article  These costumes are punny and budget friendly, like this “Thyme Capsule” costume:



This Women’s Day Article is filled with 20 great super-easy costumes for the whole family: Women’s Day Article.  This totally clever “French Toast” costume is my favorite.  All you need is a beret, striped shirt, little scarf to look trés français, and some toast made of construction paper.  It’s magnifique!

"French Toast Costume" from @ShonteMarie on Instagram

“French Toast Costume” from @ShonteMarie on Instagram

Lastly, here’s an article with costumes for the whole family.  Real Simple Article I particularly love this Lion Tamer and Lion Costume because you can get the family dog in on the show too.  And who doesn’t love a dog in a Halloween Costume?

Photo Credit: Glenn Glasser; Styling: Kristine Trevino

Photo Credit: Glenn Glasser; Styling: Kristine Trevino

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