Back in 2002, when I was just embarking on my career as a journalist, my Nana gave me a copy of the 842-page “Big Book of Hints from Heloise.” “This book will help you with many things,” she inscribed. Heeding her advice, I brought the big blue book with me from one New York apartment to another and then cross-country to San Francisco.
It even made the cut when I purged about 500 books during a move last year (book purging hint: see below). I knew the book would come in handy one day, but it remained unopened until shortly before my daughter’s first birthday this summer.
As I was planning her party, I pulled the blue book off the shelf to see what tips Heloise had for throwing children’s birthday parties. While I didn’t like the gist of her first hint (“many parents make a rule that the number of guests equals the child’s age”) as it would mean we’d be having a really small gathering, I perused her other tips covering topics ranging from general money saving ideas to instructions for caring for a sick child to creative ways to deal with leftovers. And it hit me: Hints like those from Heloise can help me (a new mom and household managing novice) get my parenting and financial life more in order, while also helping me help others.
Welcome to HintMama.com, a resource to help make life as a parent easier, cheaper and a bit more humorous. Think of it as a big blog of hints.
In my former life, as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal and the lead writer for The New York Times’ now defunct “Bucks” personal finance blog, I specialized in providing news-you-can-use advice and hints to readers on topics ranging from finding the best savings rate to selling toys for cash.
Since making the switch to the corporate world two years ago, I’ve missed having a place to share the really helpful hints I come across in everyday life — the types of tricks that inspired many of my articles, including ones on why to “bank one salary” and how to work out for less.
Enter this site. Here, I’ll be reporting the best hints I encounter from a myriad of sources, including old world sages like my Nana, more modern outlets like the blogosphere and my own experience attempting to improve my money and household management skills, make it through the big blue book and work full time while raising a child. My hope is that the hints I share here are helpful to other mamas and dadas out there also trying to get their parenting and financial lives more in order. What topics would you like hints on? Let me know in the comments section below.
* Hint: I only allowed myself to keep the amount of books that would fit in one small bookshelf. Interestingly, most of what I kept were self-help books.