kids http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1165/all en-US 10 Frugal and Delicious Meals to Make With Your Kids http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-and-delicious-meals-to-make-with-your-kids <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-frugal-and-delicious-meals-to-make-with-your-kids" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000080725467_Large.jpg" alt="cooking healthy and frugal meals with your kids" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are a lot of great reasons to cook with your kids. They'll taste and sample ingredients during the process, which I have found is a good way to introduce new foods. Secondly, cooking is an excellent time to hang out and bond with them. Lastly, they'll need to know how to cook eventually, when they go off to the real world. So having an arsenal of frugal, easy recipes will come in handy.</p> <p>Children can begin to learn to cook at a very young age. In fact, in the Montessori method, cooking is part of the school curriculum, and you can purchase small-hand size cutting and slicing tools.</p> <p>The first step is to teach cleanliness &mdash; show them the importance of washing hands and how to wash fruit and vegetables. Then, demonstrate. It's hard to explain to someone how to crack an egg. You just have to try it.</p> <p>Here are 10 frugal, fun recipes to make with your kids.</p> <h2>1. Stone Soup</h2> <p>You may remember this wonderful book by author <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0689711034/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=0689711034&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=4QKL4RDZ63H437HD">Marcia Brown</a> about three hungry soldiers. My mother used to make this <a href="http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/stone-soup">soup</a> in her kindergarten classroom with the children after reading the story. The children each brought ingredients and would prep the ingredients, add them, and make soup for their lunch. It was a huge hit. Besides working on chopping and measuring skills, they'll learn how to chop an onion, which can be a real challenge.</p> <h2>2. Chicken in Cracker Crumbs</h2> <p>This is a very simple, yet really delicious dinner. To serve four, pop four boneless, skinless, chicken breasts into Ziploc bags. Zip, place on a sturdy breadboard, and hand your kid a mallet. Let them pound away to about &frac34; inch thickness. When all have been pounded, fill a clean Ziplock with a sleeve of crackers and let them pound again until you have crumbs. Add a cup of shredded cheese (another great kid chore) and combine the cheese with the crumbs. Dip each breast into melted butter (use about half a stick), and then into the cheese-crumb mixture. Spray a baking pan with non-stick spray, add the chicken breasts, and sprinkle the top with the remaining coating mix; drizzle with another two tablespoons of melted butter. Bake at 375&ordm;F for about 45 minutes, until thoroughly cooked through. Serve with rice or pasta and vegetables.</p> <h2>3. Stuffed Baked Potatoes</h2> <p>These are one of the easiest things for kids to make, and if you let them choose their own &quot;stuffings,&quot; they'll really get a kick out of them. I like to use russets. Preheat the oven to 400&ordm;F. Scrub each potato and prick with a fork. This is important! I like to rub mine with a little butter before they go into the oven, directly onto a rack. Bake for an hour. Assist the kids with removing from the oven safely, and carefully cut open. To make it a meal, add chili, or broccoli with cheese. They can even make a potato &quot;taco&quot; with cheeses, olives, salsa, etc. Pre-teens might also like to make a potato &quot;bar&quot; with various fillings for parties.</p> <h2>4. Dutch Baby</h2> <p>A Dutch Baby is a sort of a puffy popover pancake. This is a good recipe for practicing egg-cracking and juicing skills, as well as measuring. If have an oven with a window, these are fun to watch while baking with your child. It is loaded with egg, which causes it to puff up when baking. As it cools, it will mostly deflate. They go together quickly in the blender.</p> <p>Here is an easy <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/239993/chef-johns-dutch-babies/">Dutch Baby</a> recipe. I don't use a cast-iron skillet &mdash; melting butter into a large casserole dish works just fine. I like them with butter and lemon juice, as suggested in the recipe, but younger palates may prefer Nutella, peanut butter, or sliced, sauteed apples. These also work for a savory meal. Try filling with cheese, chopped ham, well-drained broccoli, and sliced green onions. Yum!</p> <h2>5. Grilled Cheese</h2> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/GyLX64aJY80" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>My father was a big fan of <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyLX64aJY80">grilled cheese sandwiches</a>. He taught me how to make them at age seven and I thought they were divine. Here is a classic, easy, method using American cheese.</p> <h2>6. Mini-Pizzas</h2> <p>There are two ways you can make these. One is to split English muffins and spoon over pizza sauce, cheese, pepperoni, olives, etc., and then bake. Another method is to use biscuit dough (the refrigerated kind in the can) and flatten. If you want to try this, place the biscuit dough between two sheets of wax paper. Either use hands or a rolling pin to flatten, then put toppings on and bake as usual (400&ordm;F oven, about 12-15 minutes). I like to set the toppings in small bowls and just let the kids go to town on choosing their own.</p> <h2>7. Chicken &quot;Curry&quot;</h2> <p>My mother-in-law loved to recruit her grandchildren for help when making this recipe. It's a huge family favorite and kids love it because after preparing the toppings, they can put whatever they want on their own plate. Kids can grate cheese, crush tortilla chips, slice olives and green onions, cut up hard-boiled eggs and avocados, etc.</p> <p>Method:</p> <p>Cook a pot of rice; set aside, covered. Prepare two cans of cream of chicken soup; heat. Add curry powder to taste.</p> <p>Toppings: Hard-boiled eggs, avocados, tortilla chips, black olives, tomatoes, pickle relish, grated cheese, raisins, green onions&hellip; the sky's the limit.</p> <p>To serve, put a large spoonful of rice on a plate. Add the &quot;curry sauce&quot; and any toppings you like.</p> <h2>8. Eggs</h2> <p>At age four, my niece was making herself eggs. It was quite a thing to watch her drag a stool into the kitchen and go at it. Her method was to make <a href="http://www.incredibleegg.org/recipe/microwave-coffee-cup-scramble/">scrambled eggs in a cup</a>. After spraying your cup with non-stick spray, add two eggs (stir with a fork), two tablespoons of milk, and add two tablespoons of grated cheese, once cooked.</p> <h2>9. Crepes</h2> <p><iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/C1DgmbMMOgA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1DgmbMMOgA">Crepes</a> might sound sort of fancy for a cook-with-kids project, but it's easier than it seems. My daughter, who loved them from an early age, finally figured out she needed to learn to make them herself, because I didn't make them often. A single recipe makes seven or eight crepes. As a young adult, she'd fill them with spinach and goat cheese for dinner, then with jam and powdered sugar for dessert. A nine-or 10-year-old can make these; just make sure you supervise, since the stove will be in use.</p> <h2>10. Tortilla Roll-Ups</h2> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Nj_Y-SovfwM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>These <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nj_Y-SovfwM">tortilla roll-ups</a> are really kid-friendly, and as another bonus, kids love them in their <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-school-lunches-that-will-make-your-kid-smarter">school lunches</a>. Make several rolls on a Sunday and you'll be ahead of the game. I prefer using &quot;light&quot; cream cheese in mine, rather than a mayonnaise (and it makes a better adhesive), but let your child decide.</p> <p>Nervous about kids cutting with sharp knives? <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzZyUErS76U">Here</a> is a good demo. Keep safety in mind and supervise, but get creative and have fun!</p> <p><em>What are some other meals that are fun for the kids to cook? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-and-delicious-meals-to-make-with-your-kids">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-delicious-dishes-you-can-make-with-a-can-of-tomato-soup">11 Delicious Dishes You Can Make With a Can of Tomato Soup</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-delicious-and-frugal-power-bowls-you-want-right-now">10 Delicious and Frugal Power Bowls You Want Right Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tasty-treats-to-make-with-mulberries">Tasty Treats to Make With Mulberries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-delicious-raw-recipes-to-try-this-summer">11 Delicious Raw Recipes to Try This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/skewer-this-13-dishes-you-can-put-on-a-stick">Skewer This! 13 Dishes You Can Put on a Stick</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Food and Drink cooking lesson cooking lesson for kids easy dinners frugal meals how to cook kid-friendly activities kids recipes Wed, 18 May 2016 09:00:04 +0000 Marla Walters 1712071 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Bad Money Habits You're Teaching Your Kids http://www.wisebread.com/4-bad-money-habits-youre-teaching-your-kids <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-bad-money-habits-youre-teaching-your-kids" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/child_hammer_piggy_bank_000070437303.jpg" alt="You are teaching your kids bad money habits" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Money is a taboo subject in our culture, which means it can be tough for parents to know how to talk to their kids about it. But children are little sponges, and the lessons they learn about money may not be the ones you intend to teach them.</p> <p>Here are four bad money habits you might be passing along to Junior and Sis, without even realizing &mdash; and how to start teaching them positive money lessons. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-fun-games-that-teach-your-kids-about-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Fun Games That Teach Your Kids About Money</a>)</p> <h2>The Bad Habit: Entitlement</h2> <p>Every single parent has had this moment. You have made it clear to your kid that they may <em>not</em> have the candy bar or Thomas the Tank Engine figurine or other coveted <em>object du jour</em> &mdash; but the fit they throw in the store is worthy of a gold medal at the temper tantrum Olympics, and it's easier to give in than fight your sobbing child all the way back to the car.</p> <h3>How You Teach It: Caving in to the Tantrum</h3> <p>We all know this is the wrong move, but some days your nerves are stretched to the breaking point and it's just easier to buy the candy bar. However, making a habit of caving to a tantrum can lead to a child who rivals Veruca Salt in feeling entitled to anything and everything money can buy.</p> <h3>The Better Move: Acknowledge Your Child's Wants</h3> <p>The best way to head off an incipient <em>I want it NOW</em> temper tantrum &mdash; and thereby teach the difference between needs and wants &mdash; is to recognize that to your child, this <em>is</em> a big deal.</p> <p>For instance, with my own kids, I will often respond that the candy bar <em>does </em>look delicious, but that it's going stay at the store and not come home with us. Similarly, I encourage my kids to say &quot;bye-bye&quot; to toys or books they want me to buy, giving them the opportunity to make the transition from coveting the item to letting it go. It's not a foolproof method, but it does help them to at least have a framework for letting go of wants that they can't have.</p> <h2>The Bad Habit: A Scarcity Mindset</h2> <p>Knowing how much to tell your kids about big topics is something that all parents grapple with, and money is no different. That's why many parents end up simply falling back on stock answers like &quot;We can't afford it&quot; when their kids ask for something.</p> <h3>How You Teach It: Saying &quot;We Can't Afford That.&quot;</h3> <p>The problem with doing this is twofold. On the one hand, it can make kids feel resentful about how money is spent in the family if they do not understand why you make the financial decisions you do. They might notice that their sibling got new shoes but you couldn't afford the video game they wanted that cost the same amount.</p> <p>In addition, hearing that something is unaffordable can make kids worry about money and start focusing on instant gratification. Kids who hear that their parents can't afford something are learning that money is a scarce commodity, and that it should be used up quickly when it is available.</p> <h3>The Better Move: Invite Your Children to Plan Their Purchases</h3> <p>The big problem with the scarcity mindset is that it leads to zero-sum thinking and takes control out of your child's hands. If your teen wants to go on a ski trip with her friends, saying &quot;We can't afford that&quot; simply shuts down the entire discussion and makes her think that things might be more affordable if it weren't for that bratty little brother of hers.</p> <p>Instead, you could ask your teen &quot;How can you afford this?&quot; and put the control right back in her hands. That will allow her to start thinking of money as something she can earn and control, rather than something that controls her life.</p> <h2>The Bad Habit: Relying on the Bank of Mom and Dad</h2> <p>Your son has spent all of his allowance for the week when he is invited to go to the fair with his friends. Even though you swore you wouldn't give him an advance on next week's allowance again, you hand over some cash so he doesn't miss out on fun with his friends.</p> <h3>How You Teach It: Solving Your Kids' Problems for Them</h3> <p>This is such an easy habit to fall into, but it's a terrible lesson for your child. Watching your kid miss out on something &mdash; even if the problem is their own making &mdash; is tough for parents. You want to give them a fun childhood.</p> <p>But it is so important for children to learn that financial decisions have consequences, and spending all of their allowance money as soon as they have it means there's no money for other opportunities.</p> <h3>The Better Move: Let Your Kids Be Disappointed</h3> <p>It is far better to learn the lessons about financial planning when the stakes are low than when your child is an adult and has to ask you for rent money. Feeling the disappointment of missing out on the fair and understanding that you are not there to bail them out of financial woes is a lesson that will stay with your child &mdash; and keep you from having to maintain the bank of Mom and Dad into their adulthood.</p> <h2>The Bad Habit: Seeing Work as a Chore</h2> <p>Unloading about your terrible day at work is a natural reaction to stress. It's not a big deal to let your spouse and family know that you've had a tough day and that no one is to say the word &quot;spreadsheet&quot; within your hearing for the evening.</p> <h3>How You Teach It: Complaining About Your Job</h3> <p>The problem is when the only way you talk about work is through complaints. This teaches your children that work is a chore that must be gotten through in order to collect a paycheck. And while work can sometimes be that, it can also be a satisfying career, or even a higher calling that energizes you. Even if you do not have that kind of relationship with your job, you do want your kids to know that it's possible.</p> <h3>The Better Move: Express Whatever Gratitude You Can for Your Job</h3> <p>One of my favorite parts of the truly terrible final episode of <em>How I Met Your Mother</em> was the running gag about how much the character Marshall hated his corporate law job, but refused to say anything negative about it. Instead of complaining, he would say that his chair was reasonably comfortable and that he didn't cry at work more than twice that week.</p> <p>Though this is clearly an exaggeration, it is a good method to adopt when your job is stressful. Not only will you remember the good things in your job &mdash; even if it's just the fact that you're grateful to have a paycheck &mdash; but it will also help you remember that your kids are learning about the world from you. You don't want them to think growing up is the worst thing in the world.</p> <h2>Teach Your Children Well</h2> <p>Money habits are often picked up unconsciously, rather than taught. Instead of letting your children unknowingly learn negative financial habits, make sure you are intentional with your money lessons. It will pay off in the long run, even if it does cause more temper tantrums in the short run.</p> <p><em>Are you teaching your kids these &mdash; or other &mdash; bad money habits? What are you doing instead?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-bad-money-habits-youre-teaching-your-kids">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-having-kids-makes-you-more-frugal">8 Ways Having Kids Makes You More Frugal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-i-learned-about-money-after-getting-married">8 Things I Learned About Money After Getting Married</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-fun-games-that-teach-your-kids-about-money">6 Fun Games That Teach Your Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tax-mistakes-new-parents-make">4 Tax Mistakes New Parents Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-time-management-skills-that-will-help-your-kid-win-at-school">10 Time-Management Skills That Will Help Your Kid Win at School</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Lifestyle allowances bad habits children job stress kids money lessons spoiled Wed, 11 May 2016 10:00:11 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1703949 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Keep Your Kid's Prom From Ruining Your Budget http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-keep-your-kids-prom-from-ruining-your-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-keep-your-kids-prom-from-ruining-your-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girls_prom_dresses_000036547446.jpg" alt="Girls learning how to keep prom from ruining their parents&#039; budget" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You knew this day was coming, moms and dads, and you've dreaded prom at least since the beginning of the school year, perhaps even longer. But this penultimate high school milestone for your kid doesn't have to clean out your bank account. By being proactive about your purchases, using your resources, and applying a bit of savvy spending, you can send you junior or senior off to the last(ish) dance in style. Here are a few ways to save on the big night.</p> <h2>1. Create a Budget With Your Kid</h2> <p>Prom spending can get out of hand quickly if you're not vigilant in putting your foot down. Your kids will push you to buy whatever they can get out of you because they want the best. They also know that your emotions are vulnerable as they head toward graduation, which makes you and your wallet a prime target for swindling. According to a Visa Inc. survey published by Fortune last year, the average American family will spend $919 on prom, one-third of which is the elaborate &quot;promposal,&quot; which has become the requisite method of inviting a date. One guy skydived out of a plane to pop the question, and I recently saw a teen ask his date with a huge sign at a Dodgers game. Kids these days.</p> <p>Nonetheless, the key to keeping costs down is to create a realistic budget. Make prom an opportunity to teach your children about budgeting and money management.</p> <p>Saving expert Andrea Woroch suggests having your son or daughter create a spreadsheet of all the expenses related to the event, and ask them to research prices so estimates are accurate.</p> <p>&quot;Once they see how much the dance will cost, talk to them about which expenses are most important and which ones can be economized,&quot; she says.</p> <h2>2. Share the Cost of Some Expenses</h2> <p>I believe wholeheartedly in teaching kids the importance of work ethic at an early age. You don't have to sentence them to 40 hours at the shoe factory at age 10, but by age 16 they should at least have a part-time job to pitch in for gas, weekend recreation activities, and some additional things they really want/can't live without &mdash; like pricey prom purchases.</p> <p>&quot;Though we want to give our kids the very best in life, going into debt to do so is not smart, nor does it set a good example,&quot; Woroch says. &quot;Suggest to your kids that they share the cost for prom and contribute money toward the dress or suit, dinner, transportation, flowers and more. Encourage them to chat with their friends about sharing costs too, so everyone's expenses can be reduced.&quot;</p> <p>Plus, it's easier than ever for kids to earn extra cash these days.</p> <p>They can take on extra jobs around the neighborhood or sell unwanted clothes on consignment. In fact, Macy's is <a href="http://www1.macys.com/recommerce/refresh?cm_re=2016.03.08-_-HOMEPAGE_INCLUDE_1-_-CATEGORY%20--%205125%20--%20:Thred%20up%20Clean%20out%20your%20closet">partnering with consigner thredUP</a> to help consumers trade gently used clothing in exchange for a Macy's gift card. If you have old gadgets lying around, suggest they sell them for cash through sites like Gazelle, Nextworth, or Glyde.</p> <p>Bonus &mdash; it'll help cut some of their clutter before they abandon it for you to deal with when they leave for college. Totally gonna happen.</p> <h2>3. Scour Savings and Compare Prices</h2> <p>If you practice good personal finance in your day-to-day dealings, the same principles should be applied to prom shopping. Look for deals and compare prices before you commit to anything.</p> <p>&quot;If your teen falls in love with a certain dress, tux, or limo, suggest they check the price of that item or service in multiple places,&quot; financial expert and SAFE-Money Alliance founder Mark Goldstein recommends. &quot;This is always a great habit to teach. Remember, prom is a great way to get their attention and teach them skills they will use the rest of their lives.&quot;</p> <p>Skills like how to use coupons and discounts to shave off a significant amount of money from purchases will come in handy now and later.</p> <p>&quot;Point them toward such money-saving tools as discount gift cards and daily deals, and suggest they haggle for the best price on transportation or tuxedo rentals,&quot; Woroch says. &quot;Some of these strategies are easier than others, but all offer tools for use beyond prom night.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Consider Dress-Buying Alternatives</h2> <p>Purchasing a dress is typically a big expense, especially since the garment will only be worn once. Instead of buying, scan sites like <a href="https://www.renttherunway.com/">Rent the Runway</a> for designer gowns at a fraction of retail prices. Often times, celebrity-worthy dresses can be rented for less than $100. You also can suggest shopping consignment stores and sites like Poshmark, Tradesy, or even <a href="https://bridesmaidtrade.com/">Bridesmaid Trade</a>, which offers thousands of formal dress styles for a discount.</p> <p><a href="http://www.offerupnow.com/">OfferUp</a> is another great local resource that makes prom dress shopping on a budget a pinch. Users/parents take a picture of the item they want to sell, set a price and category, then post. From there, you can easily chat with sellers through the app to settle on price. Plus, at the end of the night, you won't have to hang your dress up in your closet to sit there for a few years &mdash; you can easily post it right back on the app and sell it to another girl in your neighborhood looking to pinch pennies on prom.</p> <h2>5. Spring for a Forever Tux Instead of a Rental</h2> <p>There are plenty of differences between boys and girls, one of which is that most girls wouldn't be caught dead in their prom dress twice while guys will wear the same tux over and over for the rest of their life (or until their waistline starts to reject it). What I'm getting at here is that it may be more economical to spring for a tux that your son will own outright &mdash; saving him a good chunk of change down the line on a would-be rental when life calls for formalwear.</p> <p>&quot;The average cost of a groom's tuxedo &mdash; or your teenage son's prom apparel &mdash; is $197, according to the Bridal Association of America. Tuxedo rentals cost anywhere from $50 to $100, and if your son attends all three proms in high school (plus a host of other formal events), it's better to invest in a nice suit than pay exorbitant rental fees each time he needs one,&quot; says Woroch.</p> <h2>6. Skip the Real Flowers</h2> <p>Real flowers are so passé &mdash; and downright costly. There are several alternatives to flowers (that you also can cherish as a keepsake well after the event), like boutonnieres and corsages make from paper, ribbon, fabric, and even feathers. I personally own a fabric flower boutonnieres, and I enjoy when I get to wear it very much. Check out this awesome tutorial for some exquisite <a href="https://liagriffith.com/paper-flower-diy-corsage-and-boutonniere-tutorial/">DIY paper corsages and boutonnieres</a>.</p> <p>If real flowers are a must for your kid, Woroch recommends keeping it simple to keep costs lower.</p> <p>&quot;Carnations and alstroemeria are cheapest (up to $20) while Calla lilies will cost upwards of $55. Roses and orchids are moderately priced and can typically be used singularly to save costs,&quot; she says.</p> <h2>7. Shop Online (Smartly)</h2> <p>While this is an obvious tactic that offers the potential to save you a bundle, it's wise to make educated decisions regarding purchases, especially dresses. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Don't let the deep discounts sway you if you don't feel good about the purchase.</p> <p>&quot;Deals on attire and accessories can be found online, but the parents and prom goers should be wary of dress scams,&quot; Woroch warns. &quot;Some websites with overseas inventories offer beautiful-looking gowns for very cheap prices, and the garments rarely meet expectations. Quality, fit, color, and style can be drastically different than advertised, so it's better to work with trusted sites and brands.&quot;</p> <p>As an alternative, look for prom coupons for big savings from places like Kohl's, Macy's, Lord &amp; Taylor, and other reputable brands known for slashing prices.</p> <h2>8. Schedule an Updo at a Beauty School</h2> <p>Part of the prom experience is getting your hair and makeup professionally done. Seek out salon or cosmetology schools in your area and ask about services from students. For example, an updo at Phagans School of Hair Design in Portland, Ore., will cost only $22, while a blow dry style with shampoo and conditioner runs only $8. If you go this route, make sure you reserve a time well in advance; you won't be the only parent with this bright idea.</p> <h2>9. Play Amateur Photographer</h2> <p>In today's camera-at-the-ready society, your smartphone can capture all the memories you'll need with brilliant clarity and color. Plus, they're instant &mdash; you can edit and share immediately so your friends and family can experience the day with you. If you want to frame a few, upload your favorites to the online photo shops at CVS, Walgreens, or Rite-Aid, and pick up your prints in about an hour.</p> <h2>10. Host the Pre- or Post-Prom Party With Other Parents</h2> <p>I'll be honest, when I was a kid I didn't want my parents involved in much of the prom experience. I wanted to go out and have fun with my friends &mdash; without parental supervision &mdash; ASAP. But, if you have one of the &quot;good&quot; kids, Woroch's last tip might work well for you.</p> <p>&quot;Cut back the pricey pre-prom restaurant meal by hosting a formal dinner for your kids and their friends,&quot; she says. &quot;Head to a warehouse club to save on bulk ingredients if the party consists of a big group. While a house full of high school students at odd hours of the night may not sound very appealing, hosting the after party will help everyone save money. Connect with parents to split food costs and possibly a DJ to make the at-home party more appealing to your teens.&quot;</p> <p><em>Is your child going to prom this year? How will you save on expenses? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-keep-your-kids-prom-from-ruining-your-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-cheap-fun-things-to-do-with-kids-this-weekend">20 Cheap Fun Things to Do With Kids This Weekend</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-bad-money-habits-youre-teaching-your-kids">4 Bad Money Habits You&#039;re Teaching Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unexpected-ways-stay-at-home-parents-save-big">7 Unexpected Ways Stay-at-Home Parents Save Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-amazing-board-games-you-can-diy">8 Amazing Board Games You Can DIY</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-your-kid-need-an-ira">Does Your Kid Need an IRA?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Family formal clothes high school juniors kids prom teenagers Mon, 02 May 2016 09:30:25 +0000 Mikey Rox 1698661 at http://www.wisebread.com Does Your Kid Need an IRA? http://www.wisebread.com/does-your-kid-need-an-ira <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/does-your-kid-need-an-ira" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/child_piggy_bank_000073782665.jpg" alt="Child needs an IRA and here&#039;s how to set one up" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's a big day when you open a savings account for your child, but opening an investment account on their behalf takes the financial conversation to a whole new level &mdash; especially when you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-why-a-roth-ira-may-be-better-than-your-401k" target="_blank">invest through a Roth IRA</a>. Here are a few reasons why your kid needs one.</p> <h2>1. They'll Learn About Investing &mdash; And More</h2> <p>Investing is arguably the most complicated and intimidating aspect of money management, so the earlier you get your kids acclimated to the process, the better.</p> <p>You could open a plain old investment account for them, but investing through a Roth IRA provides powerful additional benefits by teaching them about (and saving them) taxes.</p> <h2>2. They Start Saving for Big Purchases &mdash; Like College or a House</h2> <p>A Roth IRA is a flexible, tax-efficient way to invest. Contributions can be withdrawn at any time without taxes or penalties. Earnings can be withdrawn on the same basis as well if the account has been open for at least five years and the money is used for qualified college expenses or a first-time home purchase (up to $10,000).</p> <p>Of course, the Roth really shines as a retirement savings vehicle. All of the money &mdash; contributions and earnings &mdash; can be withdrawn tax- and penalty-free after age 59&frac12;, and the benefit of those tax-free earnings really adds up over time. So, if your child has another way to pay for college and a house, all the better to keep adding to the account and let it build for later life. But it's nice to have the flexibility to pull money out earlier if needed for college or a house.</p> <h2>3. They'll Still Be Eligible for Financial Aid</h2> <p>Money held in an IRA, whether owned by a parent or a child, does <em>not</em> impact the financial aid calculation, at least not <em>initially. </em>By contrast, 20% of the money a student holds in a taxable investment account will reduce the financial aid they're eligible for.</p> <p>However, if money is withdrawn from an IRA to pay for college, that money <em>will </em>reduce financial aid. It's treated as income, 50% of which is considered to be available to pay for school. One workaround is to use such money only to pay for the last year of school since no aid will be required the following year.</p> <h2>How to Set Up an IRA for a Minor</h2> <p>Setting up a Roth for a kid is as straightforward as setting one up for yourself, but there are a couple of wrinkles to be aware of.</p> <h3>Qualifying for an Account</h3> <p>A child has to have earned income in order to qualify for an IRA, which can come from a job or their own self-employment efforts, such as babysitting, mowing lawns, shoveling snow, pet walking, and more.</p> <p>As long as the child meets the income qualification, they don't have to contribute their own money; parents or others could make IRA contributions on their behalf. Either way, annual deposits to the account cannot exceed the amount of income earned by the child, and is currently capped at $5,500 per year.</p> <h3>Opening an Account</h3> <p>The account must be set up as a custodial account since you need to be the &quot;age of majority&quot; (18&ndash;21, depending on your state) to have such an account in your own name. Any adult can open a custodial account on behalf of a minor &mdash; a parent, grandparent, other relative, or just a friend of the child. The assets transfer to the young person when he or she reaches the age of majority.</p> <p>Many brokers, including Fidelity, TD Ameritrade, and Schwab, offer custodial IRA accounts with no or very low minimum opening balance requirements.</p> <h3>Funding an Account</h3> <p>As for specific investments to consider after opening an account, mutual funds may not be the best choice since they often require $1,000 or higher minimum investment amounts. You might consider exchange-traded funds (ETFs) instead. They can be purchased one share at a time, offer great diversification, and many brokers, including the ones mentioned above, offer plenty of commission-free ETFs.</p> <p>Opening a Roth IRA for your child is one of the best financial moves you could make. Just be sure to involve them in the process of choosing investments and understanding the tax benefits. That combination of education and hands-on experience will set them on a path toward becoming a knowledgeable, confident, successful investor.</p> <p><em>Have you opened an IRA for a child?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/matt-bell">Matt Bell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-your-kid-need-an-ira">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unexpected-ways-stay-at-home-parents-save-big">7 Unexpected Ways Stay-at-Home Parents Save Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tax-mistakes-new-parents-make">4 Tax Mistakes New Parents Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-the-sandwich-generation-can-get-ahead">6 Ways the Sandwich Generation Can Get Ahead</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-set-up-an-ira-to-build-wealth">How to Set Up an IRA to Build Wealth</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-sibling-discounts-that-can-save-you-big">6 Sibling Discounts That Can Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Investment dependents kids retirement accounts Roth IRA saving money taxes Fri, 22 Apr 2016 10:30:06 +0000 Matt Bell 1693266 at http://www.wisebread.com Should You Cosign Your Teenager's Credit Card Application? http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-cosign-your-teenagers-credit-card-application <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/should-you-cosign-your-teenagers-credit-card-application" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/teenager_credit_card_000088123561.jpg" alt="Wondering if you should cosign your teenager&#039;s credit card application" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's not easy for teens to establish a credit history. It's not like most teens take out mortgage, auto, or personal loans that they can pay back on time to build a solid credit history.</p> <p>One way teens can establish a good credit history is to take out a credit card, charge items, and pay off their balances on time and in full every month. The challenge? Many banks won't approve teens for credit cards because these teens don't have any credit history.</p> <p>This is why your teen might ask you to cosign on a credit card application. With you as a cosigner, banks will be more likely to take a chance on issuing a credit card to your teen. They know that if your teen runs up too much debt and starts missing payments, you'll be there to help cover those missed payments.</p> <p>So, yes, cosigning a credit card application can help your teen establish a credit history. But before you take this step, be warned: cosigning <em>could </em>send your credit score tumbling.</p> <h2>How Cosigning Works</h2> <p>When you cosign, you are agreeing that you are equally responsible for your teen's credit card debts. This means that if your teen can't or won't make a payment, you'll be responsible for making it.</p> <p>And if neither you nor your teen makes a payment? Then <em>your </em>FICO credit score will fall. A missed payment by your teen will be reported to the three national credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. These bureaus will record the missed payment not only on your teen's credit reports, but on yours, too.</p> <p>If your teen is at least 30 days late on a payment, expect your credit score to take a hit &mdash; often falling by as many as 100 points. This missed payment will remain on your credit reports for seven years.</p> <p>This will happen even if your teen doesn't tell you about late or missed payments. You must trust that your teen will pay on time if you decide to cosign a credit card application.</p> <p>To help protect yourself, review the monthly statement of your cosigned credit card every month. Make sure that your teen is making the required payments and that your child isn't charging more than he or she can pay back each month.</p> <h2>What Are Some Potentially Better Options?</h2> <h3>Secured Credit Card</h3> <p>Most banks offer what are known as <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-are-secured-credit-cards">secured credit cards</a>.</p> <p>These cards operate much like traditional credit cards, but they have a credit limit based on a cash security deposit that consumers must first make with the bank issuing the card. A teen who makes a deposit of, say $500, will have a credit limit of $500. If the cardholder misses payments, the bank can use the security deposit funds to make the payments itself.</p> <p>The benefit of a secured credit card is that because banks have more protection, they are more willing to pass them out to consumers with little to no credit history. This is why many consumers <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-the-successful-use-of-secured-credit-cards-looks-like">use secured cards to build a credit score</a>. Banks issuing these cards will report payments to the national credit bureaus. Enough on-time payments, and a teen can slowly but steadily build a solid credit history and score. Once their credit score rises high enough, teens who have been relying on secured credit cards can then apply for a traditional unsecured credit card. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-secured-credit-cards?ref=seealso">Best Secured Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p>Your teen then might be able to build a credit history with a secured card without asking you to cosign on an application for a traditional credit card.</p> <h3>Authorized User</h3> <p>Adding your teen as an authorized user on your credit card is another easy way to help boost their credit score using a card you already have, in your name. This should be a card you're already in good standing with. If you're worried about overspending, you can also choose one with a low credit limit, or a card that allows you to set a limit on an authorized user's card. Know that when you add anyone as an authorized user, they will receive their own card in the mail &mdash; but you are still on the hook for making all payments. Even if your teen racks up a hefty bill while you weren't looking, the liability is yours. Delinquent payments will leave a ding on both your and your child's credit reports, so make sure your teen clearly understands this before they start spending.</p> <p>This can also be a great way to establish a sense of responsibility and financial discipline in your young adult child, with you watching over their shoulder as a sort of safety net. You can set certain rules for them, such as they can only use the card in emergencies or must pay you a certain amount each month toward the bill, which will help prepare them for using their own credit card in the near future. You should already be doing this, but having your teen on your credit card account makes it even more important to monitor all activity on the card. Even if your teen is responsible, the risk for identity theft goes up every time there is another card out there.</p> <p>Once your teen is responsible enough or has enough credit history to apply for a card of their own, you can simply remove their authorized user privileges and have them apply for their credit card.</p> <p><em>Have you ever cosigned a credit card?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-cosign-your-teenagers-credit-card-application">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-a-good-credit-score-and-why-is-it-important">What Is a Good Credit Score and Why Is It Important?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-unfounded-credit-card-fears">5 Unfounded Credit Card Fears</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fico-vs-fakes-are-you-getting-the-wrong-credit-score">FICO vs. Fakes: Are You Getting the Wrong Credit Score?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-scores-across-the-country-which-third-are-you-in">Credit Scores Across the Country: Which Third are You In?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/building-a-credit-history">Building a Credit History</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards building credit history cosigning credit score fico kids teens Fri, 15 Apr 2016 09:00:13 +0000 Dan Rafter 1687113 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Lessons That Teach Your Kid to Be Their Own Boss http://www.wisebread.com/5-lessons-that-teach-your-kid-to-be-their-own-boss <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-lessons-that-teach-your-kid-to-be-their-own-boss" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kids_lemonade_stand_000082855427.jpg" alt="Kids learning lessons that teach them to be their own boss" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Even if you don't want &mdash; or expect &mdash; your child to be in business for themselves, fostering an entrepreneurial spirit can be beneficial in many ways. Strong leadership skills and confidence can go a long way, no matter what career path your child ends up pursuing.</p> <h2>1. Teach Kids the Importance of Passion and Purpose</h2> <p>Ask your child what their wildest dreams are, and what they would do for the rest of their lives, even if it didn't make much money. The point is to see what they are passionate about. While not every passion of theirs will be profitable, it is important for them to pursue something they love so that they don't experience burn out later in life.</p> <p>Teach them to chase fulfillment rather than a filled wallet. For example, if they are really interested in being an EMT and helping people, but choose to pursue being a lawyer because it means more money, then they will feel unsatisfied with their lives no matter how much money they make.</p> <h2>2. Goal Setting Is a Must</h2> <p>Setting goals is more than just picking random resolutions in the beginning of the year. The act of goal setting is essential for developing discipline and giving a child the first taste of success.</p> <p>What kind of goals can your children have? Start with goals that center around what your children love and find interesting. For example, if your child loves to read or is on the soccer team, set slightly challenging goals that they will enjoy working at, such as reading two books in a week or scoring goals in consecutive games.</p> <p>As your children become more interested in goal setting, set goals for their weaker areas, such as getting an A or B on the next math test or keeping their room clean for a week. Your child will understand that continually setting goals helps shape them into the person they wish to be &mdash; and it can be fun. Goal setting can dramatically improve every area of an individual's life, so don't underestimate the importance of it.</p> <h2>3. Encourage Creative Thinking and Problem-Solving</h2> <p>When your child comes to you with a complaint or problem, encourage them to think outside the box on how to solve it. Maybe their problems include keeping their lunch warm or dealing with another kid who teases them at school. Brainstorm possible solutions to each problem, encouraging both logical and off-the-wall solutions.</p> <p>Some of the most successful people today are individuals that solved a problem with a unique or out-of-the-box idea.</p> <h2>4. It's Never Too Early to Teach Networking</h2> <p>Effective communication skills are essential for building up relationships. Kids naturally think and talk about themselves all of the time. Many adults have this same problem, too. The issue with this is that they miss opportunities to connect and learn from others. Encourage your children to ask others thought-provoking and non-invasive questions that others will love to answer. Have your children try these simple questions out on adult family members and family friends:</p> <ul> <li>What is your favorite thing about your job?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>What would you tell your x-year-old self (using your child's age)?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>What do you wish you learned in school if you could learn anything?</li> </ul> <p>These questions are meant to teach your children how to engage others in a thoughtful discussion, while practicing deeper listening skills. They might even learn something along the way. Sadly, most teens and young adults are well-versed in text messaging and social media, but cannot effectively network in person.</p> <h2>5. Get Hands-On Experience</h2> <p>While teaching goal setting and effective communication are essential, it is also important to jump into a small business to get hands-on experience. The business does not have to be the next greatest thing or one that is time-consuming. Try starting a weekend lawn service, pet walking service, or a mobile car washing business. Be sure to understand the child labor laws and income limits for your area before starting.</p> <p>The goal is to have your child to think about advertising, gaining clients, keeping clients, and working hard. While making a few bucks on the side will be a great incentive for your child, the real lessons come from doing. Even a failed business will teach your child or teen valuable lessons.</p> <p>Growing an entrepreneurial spirit in your child is a slow and steady process. Schools are so great at teaching children how to read and do complicated math equations, but when it comes to fostering an entrepreneurial spirit, many schools do not even touch on those valuable lessons. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-places-teens-and-adults-can-learn-about-money?ref=seealso">7 Places Teens (And Adults) Can Learn About Money)</a></p> <p><em>How have you helped encourage an entrepreneurial and business-savvy spirit in your child or teen? </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-lessons-that-teach-your-kid-to-be-their-own-boss">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-bad-money-habits-youre-teaching-your-kids">4 Bad Money Habits You&#039;re Teaching Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-keep-your-kids-prom-from-ruining-your-budget">10 Ways to Keep Your Kid&#039;s Prom From Ruining Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unexpected-ways-stay-at-home-parents-save-big">7 Unexpected Ways Stay-at-Home Parents Save Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-your-kid-need-an-ira">Does Your Kid Need an IRA?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-protect-your-business-during-a-divorce">5 Ways to Protect Your Business During a Divorce</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Family creative thinking entrepreneurial skills finding passion goal setting jobs kids lessons teens Tue, 12 Apr 2016 09:00:07 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1687116 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Allergy-Free Snacks That Are Safe for Almost Everybody http://www.wisebread.com/10-allergy-free-snacks-that-are-safe-for-almost-everybody <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-allergy-free-snacks-that-are-safe-for-almost-everybody" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kids_eating_popcorn_000060513018.jpg" alt="Kids eating allergy-free snacks that are safe everybody" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Now that my daughter is in school, we've been put on a monthly snack helper list. At the beginning of the year, the school explained that our snacks needed to be free from allergens to be safe for all students. If you're unfamiliar (I know I was!), the eight ingredients that most&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/food-allergy/in-depth/food-allergies/art-20045949">commonly trigger food allergies</a> are milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat.</p> <p>Whether you, your child, or a friend has food allergies, you can still cook up some amazing snacks in your very own kitchen. Here are some fun, allergy-free snacks that will dazzle adults and kids alike.</p> <h2>1. Fruits and Veggies</h2> <p>You can't really go wrong with serving fresh fruits and vegetables. One of our go-to snacks for kids? Cut up trays of fresh produce arranged in a cool way. You can get really creative by slicing and dicing different shapes and designs, like with these&nbsp;<a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/apple-butterflies-142820">apple butterflies</a>. One of my favorites is to use cookie cutters to make shapes out of watermelon slices. Dried fruit is another solid alternative. And those applesauce or fruit cups you can buy at the store also work well in a pinch.</p> <h2>2. Cereal Mix</h2> <p>Many cereals are free from the common allergens. Try making a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.realthekitchenandbeyond.com/frugal-nut-allergy-friendly-cheerio-trail-mix-for-kids/">cereal trail mix</a> for quick noshing on the go. Combine Cheerios, raisins, sunflower seeds, chocolate chips, pretzels, Goldfish, or whatever else suits your needs and hungry tummies. I'd add dried bananas and pumpkin seeds. That's the cool thing &mdash; this snack is totally customizable. Just make sure if you're serving it to a crowd that you've read all the labels for details on the allergens to make it safe for everyone.</p> <h2>3. Chickpea &quot;Nuts&quot;</h2> <p>These&nbsp;<a href="http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org/page/recipe-page.aspx?recid=1934&amp;name=Rosemary%20Chickpea%20Nut-Free%20Nuts">rosemary chickpea &quot;nuts&quot;</a> are sure to please those crunchy, savory snack-lovers. Combine rinsed garbanzo beans with olive oil, rosemary, garlic powder, and salt. Then roast for 30 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, mixing about halfway through to make sure everything gets equally cooked. I've eaten these hot and cold. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tasty-and-frugal-chickpea-recipes?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Tasty and Frugal Chickpea Recipes</a>)</p> <h2>4. Popcorn</h2> <p>If you're pressed for time and need to provide an allergy-free snack for a class, try grabbing a big bag of popcorn. There are a variety of brands and flavors on the market today. I stick with plain and lightly salted. What else is cool? Popcorn is a healthy, whole grain snack and also happens to be an excellent source of fiber.</p> <h2>5. Protein Bites</h2> <p>My daughter loves these chocolate&nbsp;<a href="http://ohsheglows.com/2013/07/29/super-seed-chocolate-protein-bites/">super seed protein bites</a>. Just blend Medjool dates in your food processor until they become a chunky paste. Then add hemp, chia, and sesame seeds along with cocoa powder, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt. Then fold in some mini dark chocolate chips (read the label for allergens) and freeze until firm, around 20 minutes. These little treats taste like dessert, but they're packed with all sorts of good stuff.</p> <h2>6. Chips and Dip</h2> <p>Corn chips are usually allergy-friendly as well. Try serving tortilla chips with salsa or a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.glutenfreeandmore.com/recipes/sesame_free_hummus-2026-1.html">homemade hummus</a> that doesn't contain tahini (helps bring the price down considerably). To make, combine chickpeas, water, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, salt, and olive oil. Blend in a food processor until smooth and store in your refrigerator.</p> <h2>7. Rice Cakes</h2> <p>My daughter makes herself &quot;rice cake sandwiches&quot; with nut butter spread on top. To make this completely allergy-free, try using sunflower butter, which is a tasty substitute for peanut butter. This snack is a wonderful accompaniment to carrot sticks or other fruits and veggies.</p> <h2>8. Granola Bars</h2> <p>If you watch your ingredients closely, you can make delicious&nbsp;<a href="http://www.eatingwithfoodallergies.com/nutfreegranolabars.html">granola bars</a> that are free from common offenders. This recipe combines the goodness of gluten-free rolled oats, sunflower seeds, sunflower butter, flax seeds, vanilla extract, salt, molasses, oil, and brown sugar. Mix everything together, press into a large baking dish, and bake for 18 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.</p> <h2>9. Crispy Rice Treats</h2> <p>For special occasions, like birthdays, give them something exciting and simple to make. These allergy-friendly&nbsp;<a href="http://realfoodandicecream.com/allergy-friendly-rice-crispy-treats/">rice crispy treats</a> contain that magic ingredient &mdash; sunflower butter &mdash; again in place of peanut butter. You'll mix together the butter with brown rice syrup on your stove-top. When they're fully combined, pour the mixture over the cereal and coat well. Then press your mixture into a greased baking dish and let set. You might consider doubling this recipe to serve a crowd or cutting into shapes for added flair.</p> <h2>10. Brownies</h2> <p>These&nbsp;<a href="http://petiteallergytreats.com/fudgy-gluten-free-egg-free-brownies-vegan/">fudgy brownies</a> are gluten-free, egg-free, vegan, and more. They also taste great (I've made them) and come together relatively easily. You'll need to create a gluten-free flour blend that contains rice flour, teff flour, as well as tapioca and potato starches. It may seem expensive and labor-intensive at first, but you can use this all-purpose mixture for other recipes once you get more into allergy-free baking. Mix together with the rest of the ingredients and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 to 30 minutes.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite allergy-free snacks? Please share a bite in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-allergy-free-snacks-that-are-safe-for-almost-everybody">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-and-delicious-meals-to-make-with-your-kids">10 Frugal and Delicious Meals to Make With Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-uses-for-food-thats-about-to-go-bad">10 Smart Uses for Food That&#039;s About to Go Bad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-gluten-free-living-delicious-homemade-gluten-free-bread">Frugal Gluten-Free Living: Delicious Homemade Gluten-Free Bread</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-creative-delicious-things-you-can-make-in-a-blender">15 Creative, Delicious Things You Can Make in a Blender</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-gluten-free-living-easy-pizza-crust">Frugal Gluten-Free Living: Easy Pizza Crust</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Allergies gluten free healthy food kids recipes school snacks Wed, 30 Mar 2016 09:30:25 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1678008 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Fun Games That Teach Your Kids About Money http://www.wisebread.com/6-fun-games-that-teach-your-kids-about-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-fun-games-that-teach-your-kids-about-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kids_playing_games_000020528687.jpg" alt="Kids playing fun games that teach them about money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Parents want their kids to be financially savvy, and kids just want to have fun. Games that teach financial skills are a win-win for both the parent and child. Try adding these fun games to your family game night to get your child interested in investing, saving, and spending wisely. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/great-financial-gifts-for-children?ref=seealso">Great Financial Gifts for Children</a>)</p> <h2>1. Pay Day</h2> <p>How can we not start with one of the most classic games on money management? <a href="http://amzn.to/1S02fh3">Pay Day</a> makes finances fun and helps teach kids where money goes. It instructs on the fundamentals of budgeting and helps encourage an entrepreneurial spirit. If you can get your hands on an original 1970s version of this game, then you will get the version that comes with insurance options and savings options, which are also important to teach children.</p> <h2>2. Dave Ramsey's ACT Your Wage! Board Game</h2> <p>If you are a huge fan of Dave Ramsey's money principles, then the <a href="http://amzn.to/1S02HvY">ACT Your Wage!</a> board game could be a fun way to introduce your children to the same method of thinking. The board game does not come with as many decision-making options (such as in Monopoly) where players are allowed to decide what to buy, sell, and what property to expand to make more money. The main purpose of the game is for the player to do the following:</p> <ul> <li>Save $1,000 into an emergency fund</li> <li>Budget spending by using the envelope system</li> <li>Pay off debt using Ramsey's snowball effect</li> <li>Be the first player to get out of debt and yell, &quot;I'm debt-free!&quot;</li> </ul> <p>All four steps of the game are definitely wise money habits to instill in your children. This game can also be a great tool to open up conversation about the consequences of debt and how freeing it can be to live debt-free.</p> <h2>3. Charge Large</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/1V6Zrle">Charge Large</a> seems like a stark contrast from Ramsey's board game. While this game does promote credit card usage, the ultimate goal is to be debt-free. This game can help kids see that using credit cards is simple and can help you get what you want, but eventually it will lead to expensive debt if they do not use credit cards wisely.</p> <p>For a player to win, they must upgrade to a black card, save $2,500 in cash, and have zero debt. While some families wish to be 100% debt-free and never rely on credit cards, there are times when individuals will need to take out loans or use a credit card. Telling your children just to avoid credit cards altogether could backfire on you &mdash; since they will then be lured by the temptation of using &quot;free money&quot; later in life, not fully understanding the consequences of debt. It would be better to teach them how to use credit cards wisely rather than avoid the subject all together.</p> <h2>4. Cash Flow for Kids</h2> <p>Finance guru Robert Kiyosaki, best-selling author of <a href="http://amzn.to/1XqAiAp">Rich Dad, Poor Dad</a>, developed <a href="http://amzn.to/1SNdFqG">Cash Flow</a> and <a href="http://amzn.to/1V70mlD">Clash Flow for Kids</a> board games. This game teaches children the difference between assets and liabilities. It also teaches basic accounting and investing, while emphasizing the importance of passive income and giving money to charity. The kid's version is a good option for children ages 6-12. Once your children hit the tween and teen stage, try playing the adult version with them.</p> <h2>5. Net Worth</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/1XqArUI">Net Worth</a> is a card game that plays like Crazy Eights. The goal of the game is to collect financial assets and get out of debt. The card game also teaches players to strategize how to navigate financial perils, such as a stock market crash or job loss. The player with the highest net worth at the end of the game is the winner. The best part is that this game is less than $6 and takes 7-15 minutes to play.</p> <h2>6. Daytrader</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/1QST96M">Daytrader</a> is similar to Monopoly but much faster in pace. It simulates the stock market and helps teach young and old alike how the market works. No financial knowledge is needed to start playing. The game allows players to work at different jobs and to buy and sell stocks in the companies they work in to increase their savings. The first player to have enough cash to retire must get to the bank before the stock market sets them back in order to win.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite way to teach your kids about money management?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-fun-games-that-teach-your-kids-about-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-bad-money-habits-youre-teaching-your-kids">4 Bad Money Habits You&#039;re Teaching Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tax-mistakes-new-parents-make">4 Tax Mistakes New Parents Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-time-management-skills-that-will-help-your-kid-win-at-school">10 Time-Management Skills That Will Help Your Kid Win at School</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-easy-ways-to-keep-your-family-organized">8 Easy Ways to Keep Your Family Organized</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-things-science-says-you-should-do-for-your-family">5 Easy Things Science Says You Should Do for Your Family</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family budgeting children kids money games money lessons for kids Wed, 23 Mar 2016 09:30:28 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1677288 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Reasons the Easter Bunny Should Give Money Instead of Candy http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-the-easter-bunny-should-give-money-instead-of-candy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-reasons-the-easter-bunny-should-give-money-instead-of-candy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000008240280_Large.jpg" alt="the Easter bunny brought money instead of candy" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In 2015, the <a href="https://nrf.com/media/press-releases/consumers-the-hunt-candy-new-spring-apparel-this-easter">average family spent about $140</a> on Easter-related goodies. That's a lot of cash for a lot of sugar. Is it a good idea to be spending so much on something that's gone by the end of the spring? (Aside from those immortal Peeps, of course.) Or is it better to save your dough and give them some lessons in personal finance instead?</p> <p>Now, I'm not going to be the one to suggest that the Easter Bunny forgo candy in favor of sensible financial gifts. It's the Easter Bunny, not the boring Easter Financial Planner, after all.</p> <p>But there may be ways to weave in personal finance lessons while letting your kids gorge on some treats. Here are some good &quot;financial&quot; alternatives to chocolate bunnies and jelly beans, and why they're so much sweeter as gifts than sugary, empty calories.</p> <h2>1. Kids Need an Early Lesson in Saving</h2> <p>Many banks offer savings accounts for people under age 18, with parents having joint custody and control. Other banks, including Wells Fargo, have some accounts allowing children over 13 to have full control. Your kids are free to use the savings account and learn about deposits and withdrawals, interest, and even how to use an ATM card.</p> <h2>2. Savings Bonds Teach the Power of Patience</h2> <p>It's easy to purchase U.S. Treasuries through Treasurydirect.gov and gift them to whomever you want. You can even have a gift certificate delivered with the bond. Savings bonds are very simple financial instruments that are virtually guaranteed to grow in value over time and teach children about interest. And if they are long-term bonds, they'll get lessons in patience, as well.</p> <h2>3. Becoming a Choco-Stock Holder Is Way More Fun Than Just Eating Chocolate</h2> <p>If you want to let your kids embrace chocolate, but give some financial lessons along the way, give them a few shares of a chocolate or candy company. Hershey [NYSE: NSY] is the largest chocolate company in North America. Its stock is a solid performer with a 2.5% dividend. Another solid option is Rocky Mountain Chocolate Company [NASDAQ: RMCF]. And it's also possible to invest in international chocolate makers including Nestle and Cadbury.</p> <h2>4. They Can Learn How to Build a Nest Egg</h2> <p>Let's say you take that $140 you're planning to spend on Easter and instead, place it in an index fund that mirrors the S&amp;P 500. If you do that every year for the next 10 years, you'll have more than $2,000 to give to your kiddos, according to most investment calculators. Do it for 20 years and you'll have more than $6,000. Do it for 30 years, and you'll have more than $14,000. Seems a lot better than cheap baskets and piles of fake grass, am I right?</p> <h2>5. Give Them an Early Start on Saving for College</h2> <p>It's hard to think about your kids going off to college when they still believe in the Easter Bunny. But college ain't cheap, and there may be no greater gift than helping them avoid thousands of dollars of debt when they graduate. A 529 college savings plan will allow you to put money into the stock market and have it grow tax-free, provided the funds are used for college later. And you may also get some additional tax breaks from your state. The annual cost of public college tuition in 2030 could top $40,000, while private school tuition might run you $90,000 or more, according to the College Board. Start saving now! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans?ref=seealso">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</a>)</p> <h2>6. You Can Help Them Start a Business</h2> <p>When your kid is opening a Hershey bar, consider telling him the story of how Milton Hershey founded several businesses before hitting it big with chocolate. Your kid has great ideas. Why not help them see if they can turn their smarts and creativity into a money-making operation?</p> <p>You can help them craft a business plan, learn how to develop and market products, and even keep a balance sheet. Many schools offer real-world business lessons through the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, so it's worth exploring whether the program is available in your area. Even if your child isn't ready to start a business now, giving them lessons in entrepreneurship can open up a world of opportunities later.</p> <h2>7. Make Chocolate With Them Instead of Buying It</h2> <p>Adults know it takes time to properly save for big ticket items like homes and cars, and that the most patient investors are the ones that come out ahead. By teaching your children to make chocolate instead of getting store-bought candy, they will learn the value of patience over immediate gratification. They'll also learn how to be frugal by exploring DIY options, rather than immediately spending money on pre-made, overpriced items. Because, after all, their homemade chocolate is bound to taste better than whatever the Easter Bunny drops off.</p> <h2>8. Give Them an Allowance &mdash; And a Budget to Buy the Chocolate</h2> <p>Depending on the child's age, it may be time to pay them for doing chores around the house. It's often recommended to give a child 50 cents a week for every year they've been alive. So a six-year-old might get $3 a week if they take care of their responsibilities. But the allowance should also come with lessons on spending. Set limits on what a child can spend each week, so they understand the power of accumulating savings. Who knows? Perhaps they'll realize they can afford even more than what was left on Easter morning.</p> <p><em>What other gifts should the Easter Bunny give other than candy? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-the-easter-bunny-should-give-money-instead-of-candy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-diy-easter-baskets-that-cost-10-or-less">7 DIY Easter Baskets That Cost $10 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-fun-games-that-teach-your-kids-about-money">6 Fun Games That Teach Your Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-lessons-about-money-i-learned-after-having-twins">7 Lessons About Money I Learned After Having Twins</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-save-on-a-shoestring">25 Ways to Save on a Shoestring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/unusual-ideas-to-save-an-extra-100-a-month">Unusual Ideas to Save an Extra $100 a Month</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Family budgeting candy Easter interest kids saving Tue, 22 Mar 2016 09:00:05 +0000 Tim Lemke 1677120 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 DIY Easter Baskets That Cost $10 or Less http://www.wisebread.com/7-diy-easter-baskets-that-cost-10-or-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-diy-easter-baskets-that-cost-10-or-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_kids_easter_000057869206.jpg" alt="Mother making DIY Easter baskets for $10 or less" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The Easter bunny will hop across America on Sunday, March 27. Four out of five Americans will participate in the celebration, spending upwards of $17 billion, or $145 per person, on everything from greeting cards and flowers to food and candy. If you're looking to cut back on this year's holiday splurge, a great place to start is the Easter basket. Read on for our guide to architecting a basket full of simple, stellar fillers for $10 or less.</p> <h2>1. The Beach Basket</h2> <p>If you live on the shore or you're planning an upcoming family beach vacation, try out a sunshine-and-sand-themed Easter basket. Start with a sand bucket. If you already own one, clean it up and use it, otherwise you can buy a new one for a couple bucks at your local party store. Fill the pail with low-cost beachy items, such as an inflatable beach ball, flip flops, or stuffed sea life animals.</p> <p>If you have multiple children, consider drawing up paper invitations to a sand castle building contest! Give the contest a nifty name and be sure to outline the rules. For example, you might want to institute a one-hour time limit and declare yourself the judge. And don't forget to set the date! For inspiration, print out photos of spectacular sand castles and staple them into an idea book.</p> <h2>2. The Wellness Basket</h2> <p>Revolt against sugary jelly beans and the Russell Stover chocolate rabbit with a healthy spin on this year's Easter gift. To begin, swap the traditional wicker basket for your child's lunch box and fill it with healthy snacks. Think almonds, tangerines, grapes, and little boxes of raisins. If your child has a favorite fruit or veggie, be sure to include it. Toss in a jump-rope, fun Band-Aids, a stopwatch, or a cool pair of running socks for good measure.</p> <h2>3. Spring Has Sprung Basket</h2> <p>Dig around the garage for an empty flower pot. Scrub it clean and fill it with tulip bulbs and seed packets. Toss in a pair of gardening gloves, a shovel, and instructions on how to grow your own spring flowers &mdash; and voila! You've got yourself a green thumb spin on the traditional Easter basket.</p> <h2>4. For Your Little Artist</h2> <p>Got a wicker basket sitting around the house? Find some simple <a href="http://www.coloring.ws/easter5.htm">Easter-themed clip-art</a> on the computer and print it out in black and white for homemade coloring sheets. Staple a few favorites together and you've got yourself a custom coloring book. Include a small box of crayons or a paintbrush and a set of non-toxic paint.</p> <h2>5. For the Tech-Head</h2> <p>For the child who's always glued to a screen: Fill a basket with handmade coupons redeemable for prizes. One iTunes song download. One movie download. One new smartphone app priced under $2. To make it last, add the stipulation that only one coupon can be redeemed per week. Staple the coupons into a book so they don't get lost in the shuffle of the holiday.</p> <h2>6. For Your Little Handyman</h2> <p>Clean up an old tool box and fill it with a toy hammer and wrench, a clipboard and paper, and a measuring tape. You can also pick up a <a href="http://amzn.to/1WeCx9Q">kid-sized hard hat</a> for $3 to $6 on Amazon. If you don't have a spare tool box sitting around the house, you can buy a plastic crate for about $1 at Walmart.</p> <h2>7. For the Fashionista</h2> <p>An inexpensive purse or a statement hat make for perfect replacement Easter baskets for little girls who love style and design. Fill the purse or the head of the hat with mini bottles of nail polish (navy, beige, gray, and apple red are <a href="http://www.refinery29.com/nail-polish-trends-2016#slide">trending right now</a>), a pocket mirror, a brush, and a set of colorful barrettes.</p> <p><em>What are you planning to spend on Easter baskets this year? What do you plan to include in them?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-diy-easter-baskets-that-cost-10-or-less">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-the-easter-bunny-should-give-money-instead-of-candy">8 Reasons the Easter Bunny Should Give Money Instead of Candy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-things-to-do-with-leftover-easter-goodies">10 Smart Things to Do With Leftover Easter Goodies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/go-ahead-take-candy-from-a-baby">Go Ahead -- Take Candy From a Baby</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-sibling-discounts-that-can-save-you-big">6 Sibling Discounts That Can Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-have-a-cheaper-easter">10 Ways to Have a Cheaper Easter</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living baskets candy Easter kids saving money Fri, 18 Mar 2016 10:30:12 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1673871 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Tax Mistakes New Parents Make http://www.wisebread.com/4-tax-mistakes-new-parents-make <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-tax-mistakes-new-parents-make" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mom_dad_baby_000068517403.jpg" alt="New parents making common tax mistakes" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Raising a child in America isn't cheap. CNNMoney and FutureAdvisor reported that it would cost $245,340 to raise a child born in 2013 from birth through age 18.</p> <p>That's a lot of money. But your children can actually save you dollars one time each year: When you're <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-important-tax-changes-for-2016">preparing your income taxes</a>. Kids come with some valuable tax deductions and credits. The problem? Many new parents, understandably overwhelmed with the burdens of taking care of a baby, fail to claim these savings.</p> <p>And that can cost them thousands of dollars. If you are a new parent, don't pass on these key tax savings.</p> <h2>1. Skipping the Child Tax Credit</h2> <p>The <a href="https://www.irs.gov/uac/Ten-Facts-about-the-Child-Tax-Credit">child tax credit</a>&nbsp;shouldn&rsquo;t be overlooked. If you had a new baby in 2015, whether through birth, adoption, or the foster care system, you can claim this additional $1,000 tax credit. It doesn't matter, either, on what day of the year you became a new parent. You can claim the credit even if you had your child on Dec. 31. Your child just needs to be younger than 17 at the end of the tax year in which you are claiming the credit.</p> <p>&quot;Having a baby gives you access to a tax bonus, and will help you reduce your taxable income,&quot; said David Hyrck, partner with New York City's Reed Smith. &quot;I see way too many new parents who overlook this child tax credit. Everyone needs to be doing this.&quot;</p> <p>There is one downside to the tax credit: It is nonrefundable if the credit is higher than your tax liability. Say you owe the government $500. Your $1,000 child tax credit will erase the money you owe the government. But you will lose the extra $500 that you could have claimed if you owed more than $1,000 on your tax bill.</p> <h2>2. Forgetting to Adjust Withholdings</h2> <p>Michael Eckstein, owner of Michael Eckstein Tax Services in Huntington, New York, says that new parents need to adjust the amount of money that their employers withhold from each of their paychecks for taxes.</p> <p>To do this, ask your employer for a new W-4 form. Once you have that form, indicate that you have a new child.</p> <p>Eckstein says that it's important to do this because children bring with them new deductions and credits. You should also tell your employer to reduce the amount of money you&rsquo;re withholding to account for these new tax benefits.</p> <p>If you don't, you will receive a larger tax refund. But remember: Getting a big refund isn't the goal. You'd rather have that extra money in your own hands with each paycheck. You can then use that money for important purchases, or you can invest it and watch it grow. That's a better alternative than giving it to the U.S. government for a full year.</p> <h2>3. Missing Out on Adoption Credits</h2> <p>If you became a new parent this year through an adoption, you're eligible for a significant federal tax credit of as much as $13,400. That's a big help with the high costs that can come with adopting.</p> <p>You don't have to use this tax credit in just one year, either. Say your bill for the 2015 tax year is $5,000. You can use $5,000 of the $13,400 tax credit and then save up the rest of the credit for future years. You can carry over any unused portion of the adoption tax credit for up to five years or until you use up all of the entirety of the credit, whichever comes first.</p> <p>To take this credit, your adopted child must be under 18 at the end of the tax year.</p> <h2>4. Skipping the Child and Dependent Care Credit</h2> <p>New parents should also investigate the <a href="https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc602.html">child and dependent care credit</a>. This tax credit benefits parents who are working and must pay others to care for their children. To qualify for this credit, both you and your spouse must have earned money during the year from a job and must have paid someone to care for your child while you were working.</p> <p>Calculating how much you can claim for child care expenses is complicated, and depends on how much you spend on childcare, as well as your income. The maximum amount of expenses that you can claim for one child is $3,000, and for two or more children, $6,000.</p> <p><em>Are you making any of these parenting and tax mistakes?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tax-mistakes-new-parents-make">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-having-kids-makes-you-more-frugal">8 Ways Having Kids Makes You More Frugal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-bad-money-habits-youre-teaching-your-kids">4 Bad Money Habits You&#039;re Teaching Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-your-kid-need-an-ira">Does Your Kid Need an IRA?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-easy-ways-to-keep-your-family-organized">8 Easy Ways to Keep Your Family Organized</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-real-cost-of-adopting-a-baby">The Real Cost of Adopting a Baby</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family adoption children deductions dependents kids new parents tax credits Mon, 14 Mar 2016 11:00:13 +0000 Dan Rafter 1665554 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Fun Money Apps for Kids http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-money-apps-for-kids <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-fun-money-apps-for-kids" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_daughter_tablet_000076004131.jpg" alt="Finding the best money apps for kids and families" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Think personal finance is an adults-only matter? Think again. You can start teaching your child smart money habits from a very young age. Whether you use points or dollars, the concepts will surely sink in if a little fun is involved. Here are 10 apps that will teach your kids about money &mdash; all while letting them play on their favorite devices.</p> <h2>1. Savings Spree</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $5.99 on iTunes</p> <p><strong>Ages</strong>: 7 and up</p> <p><strong>Rating</strong>: 4+ stars</p> <p><a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/savings-spree/id430150476?mt=8">Savings Spree</a> doesn't just teach your kid how to count nickels and dimes. Instead, it focuses on how different lifestyle choices in the everyday can add up to either big savings or big expenses. Your child can earn, spend, donate, or invest &quot;money&quot; in a variety of scenarios, which are presented in a game show format for added interest. Along with teaching the basics, this app will even present your little one with the harsh reality of those unexpected expenses that necessitate an emergency fund. Important lesson, indeed!</p> <h2>2. P2K Money</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Free on iTunes</p> <p><strong>Rating</strong>: 4+ stars</p> <p><a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/p2k-money/id405631656?mt=8">P2K Money</a> is all about teaching your child the value and responsibility of money &mdash; plain and simple. You can engage in the learning process together using tools for budgeting, spending, and savings of your kid's earnings, like an allowance. They can even create wish lists to save for the items they want to buy. And what's especially cool is that the app will save those wish lists so your little guy or gal can evaluate if those items were actually worth the expense.</p> <h2>3. Bee Farming</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $1.99 on iTunes</p> <p><strong>Rating</strong>: 4+ stars</p> <p><a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bee-farming/id358168136?mt=8">Bee Farming</a> gives your child the opportunity to start his or her own virtual business with a swarm of bees and just $100. Each week, the bees can go to work in the forest collecting honey that your child will &quot;sell&quot; in a market to earn more bees or other supplies. This is such a fun game, even adults play it and compete to earn a spot on the Top Farmers Board. What a great way to give your kid the basics on business, hard work, and managing expenses.</p> <h2>4. PiggyBot</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Free on iTunes</p> <p><strong>Ages</strong>: 6 to 8 years old</p> <p><strong>Rating</strong>: 4+ stars</p> <p>Even young kids with an allowance can jump in on&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/piggybot/id844151884?mt=8">PiggyBot</a> to collect a virtual allowance. This tool will help your child visualize his or her allowance and categorize it into what areas they'll spend, share, and save. This app also motivates kids to pick savings goals and gives them useful information for how much money they need to save and how long it will take them to save it.</p> <h2>5. The Game of Life</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $0.99 on iTunes and Google Play</p> <p><strong>Rating</strong>: 4+ stars</p> <p>Want to really disguise the financial learning experience? Try&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/game-life-classic-edition/id326912270?mt=8">The Game of Life</a> app, which is an electronic version of the favorite board game. Throughout play, your child will be encountered with a number of decisions that have them choosing between wise or risky investments. Players even have the chance to earn Wealth Cards that can stack up to $1,000,000. Plus, you can play with up to six friends, which makes it a great activity for the whole family.</p> <h2>6. Flocabulary</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $12/month or $96/year</p> <p><strong>Ages</strong>: 11 to 18</p> <p><a href="https://www.flocabulary.com/">Flocabulary</a> takes on yet a different approach for older kids, with catchy songs, rap battles, and videos about&nbsp;<a href="https://www.flocabulary.com/topics/financial-literacy/">financial literacy</a> (plus many more subjects and life skills). The topics range from paying for college to budgeting to credit cards to goal setting, and beyond. Since the cost for this service is somewhat steep compared to the other apps on this list, you may want to check with your local school district to see if it's available to your child through school. You can also get&nbsp;<a href="https://www.flocabulary.com/trial/individual/">free trial</a> to check it out for 14 days.</p> <h2>7. Save! The Game</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Free on iTunes</p> <p><strong>Rating</strong>: 4+ stars</p> <p>The object in&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/save%21-the-game/id360805496?mt=8">Save! The Game</a> is to collect as much virtual money as possible and put it in the bank. Along the way, your child will need to avoid &quot;iWannas&quot; &mdash; you know, impulse buys like soda, toys, candy, and more. One reviewer downloaded this game before a long car trip and said that after playing, his kids engaged in a great discussion about avoiding &quot;iWannas&quot; in life, not just on the screen.</p> <h2>8. Bankaroo</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Free on iTunes</p> <p><strong>Rating</strong>: 4+ stars</p> <p><a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bankaroo-virtual-bank-for/id504924470?mt=8">Bankaroo</a> is another great allowance-tracking app that is also unique because offers different currencies. In fact, you can track funds using U.S. Dollars, Euros, hearts, stars, points, and more. In other words: Even the youngest kids can start to learn money concepts. This app was created by an 11-year-old girl who was looking for a way to keep track of her own allowance and thought other kids might want to do the same. The graphics are cute, and you can keep track of multiple accounts if you have multiple children.</p> <h2>9. Coin Math</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $1.99 on iTunes</p> <p><strong>Ages</strong>: 9 to 11*</p> <p><strong>Rating</strong>: 4+ stars</p> <p>What ever happened to old fashioned dollars and coins? They're definitely still around. With&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/coin-math/id296596459?mt=8">Coin Math</a>, your child can learn to identify and count coins, as well as how to pay and make change. Though this app is rated for slightly older kids, many reviewers share that their little ones as young as five years old enjoyed playing with the game.</p> <h2>10. FamZoo Family Finance</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Free on iTunes</p> <p><strong>Ages</strong>: 4 and up</p> <p><strong>Rating</strong>: 4+ stars</p> <p>Give your child a headstart to understanding money, budgeting, and saving with&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/famzoo-family-finance/id399321476?mt=8">FamZoo</a>. This app can be used by your entire family &mdash; even preschoolers &mdash; to manage allowances, track chores, handle reimbursements, and more. How does it work? Each member of your family is issued a card that is linked together in the app. In the &quot;Family Bank,&quot; the parents serve as the bankers while the kids are the customers. Then you get to tracking your everyday financial flow (even experiment with setting up automated tasks). You can also choose the IOU option if you'd rather track your money elsewhere. No matter how you do it, you'll be learning the rules of money together.</p> <p><em>Do you use these or other money apps for kids?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-money-apps-for-kids">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-should-your-kids-know-about-your-finances">How Much Should Your Kids Know About Your Finances?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-season-give-your-child-the-gift-of-fiscal-responsibility">This Season, Give Your Child the Gift of Fiscal Responsibility</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-free-or-cheap-toys-that-will-make-your-kid-smarter">14 Free or Cheap Toys That Will Make Your Kid Smarter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-surprising-ways-your-smartphone-can-keep-you-and-your-family-safe">6 Surprising Ways Your Smartphone Can Keep You and Your Family Safe</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop">8 Apps That Actually Pay You to Shop</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Technology apps educational financial literacy games kids money teaching Fri, 04 Mar 2016 11:00:06 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1665772 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Lessons About Money I Learned After Having Twins http://www.wisebread.com/7-lessons-about-money-i-learned-after-having-twins <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-lessons-about-money-i-learned-after-having-twins" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_twin_girls_000010839496.jpg" alt="Learning money lessons after having twins" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I first found out that my wife and I were having twins, I figured that raising our boys would be expensive. Learning that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated that middle-income parents would spend an <a href="http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/sites/default/files/expenditures_on_children_by_families/CRC2013InfoGraphic.pdf">average $25,880</a> on twins in their first year really shocked me.</p> <p>The USDA estimated that U.S. families could spend from $353,100 to $815,640, depending on the family&rsquo;s income level, to raise twins born in 2013 through high school. These estimates didn&rsquo;t even include college tuition!</p> <p>The good news is that there are plenty of ways to bring down the estimated costs of raising twins. Here are the seven lessons about money I learned after having twins.</p> <h2>1. Don&rsquo;t Buy Everything</h2> <p>&ldquo;Two of everything!&rdquo; is one of the first things that people tell me once they find out that I have twins. In theory, having twins should double your expenses. In reality, it doesn&rsquo;t. More than one parent of multiples advised me not to buy everything and they were 100% right. You can do just fine with only one of many items, including baby bathtub and pack-and-play.</p> <p>Even more, there are so many baby items marketed to parents that you can do without, such as the <a href="http://amzn.to/1Xe2RBD">Baby Brezza Formula Pro One Step Food Maker</a> retailing for $150. While you always want to give your babies the very best, keep in mind that sometimes less is more. You already have a long list of must-buy-two items, including car seats and cribs (you can get away with just one only for so long!), so don&rsquo;t hesitate to cut down on non-essentials.</p> <h3>Money Lesson</h3> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pieces-of-financial-wisdom-from-warren-buffett">Warren Buffett</a> said it best: &ldquo;If you buy things you do not need, soon you will have to sell things you need.&rdquo; Splurging should be the exception and not the rule.</p> <h2>2. Look for Niche Discounts</h2> <p>Somedays you may feel that you&rsquo;re the only parent of twins in your neighborhood. The reality is that the U.S. twin birth rate was <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr64/nvsr64_12.pdf">33.9 per 1,000 births</a> in 2014, up from 33.7 per 1,000 births in 2013. As more parents have twins, more businesses are extending special discounts to those parents.</p> <ul> <li>Babies R Us extends a 10% discount when you purchase two of the same item on the same in-store visit. Qualifying items include baby furniture, car seats, strollers, high chairs, and gates.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Pampers offers a <a href="http://news.pampers.com/faq-item/do-you-have-pampers-multiple-birth-offer">one-time set of coupons</a> to parents of twins and multiples by mailing your name and address along with the hospital discharge copies to: Pampers Multiple Birth Offer, The Procter &amp; Gamble Company, P.O. Box 599, Cincinnati, OH 45201 or by calling 1-800-726-7377.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Luvs Diapers also offers a one-time set of coupons as well and you can write to the same mailing address as above with attention to &ldquo;Luvs Multiples Birth Program&rdquo; or call 1-888-665-3257.</li> </ul> <h3>Money Lesson</h3> <p>Businesses seek ways to attract customers from different niches. There may very well be a discount out there for you, but it may require you to do some extra leg work, such as calling the company or mailing a letter.</p> <h2>3. Buy Life Insurance</h2> <p>Now that you are a parent, buying life insurance is one of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-these-7-money-moves-now-or-youll-regret-it-in-20-years">money moves to make</a> or you&rsquo;ll regret it 20 years from now. Right now is the cheapest rate that you&rsquo;ll ever be able to get life insurance, so you&rsquo;re better off locking into it now than waiting several years.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re the main or sole breadwinner of your household, provide financial security to your dependents in case you&rsquo;re no longer there for them. Could your spouse tackle the monthly mortgage payments, car payments, and living expenses without you at all? Nobody likes to think about their own mortality, but things are very different now.</p> <h3>Money Lesson</h3> <p>Life insurance is the foundation of financial planning to help protect your family against life&rsquo;s pitfalls.</p> <h2>4. Start or Build Up Your Emergency Fund</h2> <p>With twins, I have learned how essential it is to have a cushion to lessen the blow of many surprise costs &mdash; such as certain vitamins and medicines not covered by health insurance, or changing to a more expensive baby formula due to sensitive digestive systems. Only 38% of Americans can pay unexpected expenses, such as $1,000 for an emergency room visit or $500 for a car repair, from savings. Achieving the right balance between interest rate and liquidity is often possible with a high-yield online savings account, which provide interest rates ranging between 0.75% and 1.25%. Make sure to read the fine print on access to funds to avoid surprises.</p> <h3>Money Lesson</h3> <p>Having a rainy day fund is essential to keep your monthly budget on track, so start (or build up!) yours today.</p> <h2>5. Adjust Your Withholding</h2> <p>Of course, since I&rsquo;m asking you to start paying for life insurance and putting money away in a savings account, I do need to give you a way to come up with those extra monies! The easiest one is to revisit how much you&rsquo;re currently withholding every month for taxes. In 2014, the IRS doled an <a href="https://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/2014-Refunds-Ahead-of-Last-Year">average of $3,096</a> in tax refunds.</p> <p>Unless you got a refund entirely based on tax credits, you&rsquo;re withholding too much in taxes. Using the $3,096 average, you could have an extra $258 every month. Now that you have dependents, you may qualify for several exemptions and tax credits, including the <a href="https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Child-Tax-Credit">Child Tax Credit</a> and the <a href="https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Child-and-Dependent-Care-Information">Child and Dependent Care Credit</a>, to effectively reduce your tax bill.</p> <p>Remember that a refund is money that just sits in Uncle Sam&rsquo;s pocket making you 0% interest!</p> <h3>Money Lesson</h3> <p>Use the <a href="https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/IRS-Withholding-Calculator">IRS Withholding Calculator</a> or talk with your accountant to find out how much you should withhold every month. Then, accordingly adjust your W-4 with your employer.</p> <h2>6. Open a Traditional or Roth IRA</h2> <p>While the 401K is the most popular type of retirement account, the Roth offers much more flexibility when it comes to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-penalty-free-ways-to-withdraw-money-from-your-retirement-account">taking distributions before age 59 1/2</a>. As a parent of twins, having my retirement account as a last-resort fund that I could tap into without IRS penalty to help my sons is very important.</p> <p>For example, I could take up to a $10,000 distribution to help them to pay for their first home. As long as I don&rsquo;t go over that total limit, I can split the distribution as I see fit and can take one in separate years. Another penalty-free withdrawal from an IRA I can take is to cover qualified higher education expenses, including tuition, fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for the enrollment or attendance of my sons at an eligible educational institution.</p> <p>Bonus: Using an IRA, you can save an extra $5,500, or $6,500 if you're age 50 or older, in 2015 and 2016 for retirement.</p> <h3>Money Lesson</h3> <p>Saving in an IRA allows you to take early distributions without penalty for qualifying purposes.</p> <h2>7. Start Saving for Your Kids</h2> <p>Another great Buffet-ism is &quot;Someone&rsquo;s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.&quot; Imagine if you had an extra 18 years to save for college or retirement, wouldn&rsquo;t that be awesome? That&rsquo;s exactly the lesson that my wife&rsquo;s and my own parents passed on to us the moment they found out we were having twins. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-when-you-find-out-youre-pregnant?ref=seealso">8 Money Moves to Make When You Find Out You're Pregnant</a>)</p> <p>A little bit goes a long way. Even saving $100 every year for 10 years is much better than starting to save $1,000 10 years from now:</p> <ul> <li>With a 0.5% annual rate of return, you would end up with $1,025.57.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>With a 1% annual rate of return, you would end up with $1,051.88.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>With a 2.5% annual rate of return, you would end up with $1,135.45.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>With a 4.5% annual rate of return, you would end up with $1,258.57.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>With a 7% annual rate of return, you would end up with $1,443.48.</li> </ul> <p>When thinking about saving for your kids, especially for education-related expenses, evaluate all options, including custodial IRA accounts and 529 plans. Many of these type of accounts provide full or partial income tax deductions. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans?ref=seealso">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</a>)</p> <h3>Money Lesson</h3> <p>Leverage the power of interest compounding over a long period of time and give your children a head start on saving for education or retirement.</p> <p><em>What money lessons did you learn with the arrival of your baby?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-lessons-about-money-i-learned-after-having-twins">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-cloth-diapers">Everything You Need to Know About Cloth Diapers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-financial-mistakes-to-stop-making-by-age-40">6 Financial Mistakes to Stop Making by Age 40</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-the-easter-bunny-should-give-money-instead-of-candy">8 Reasons the Easter Bunny Should Give Money Instead of Candy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-child-care-purchases-you-should-never-skimp-on">9 Child Care Purchases You Should Never Skimp On</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-pitfalls-stay-at-home-parents-should-avoid">5 Financial Pitfalls Stay-at-Home Parents Should Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Family babies financial planning kids life insurance multiples retirement twins Wed, 17 Feb 2016 11:30:04 +0000 Damian Davila 1654792 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Find a Great Babysitter http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-a-great-babysitter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-find-a-great-babysitter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/babysitter_and_child_000048728706.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to find a great babysitter for her child" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Leaving your child with a stranger can feel scary &mdash; especially if you live in a big area like we do. Here are some places to start your search for a trusted babysitter. Now get out there and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-these-6-relationship-moves-now-or-youll-regret-it-in-20-years">enjoy date night</a>!</p> <h2>1. Care.com</h2> <p>My friends overwhelmingly recommend using <a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-12141287-1435333490000">Care.com</a> to find trustworthy sitters. You can search for anything from one-night gigs to full-time au pairs and childcare centers. Post your job, browse profiles, get background checks, and then interview potential babysitters. Some features are free; others cost anywhere between $25 and $45 a month. You can also take advantage of the easy online scheduling and even pay sitters directly through the site. Care.com also offers senior care, pet sitting, house sitting, and military family help.</p> <h2>2. SeekingSitters</h2> <p>Whether you need full-time babysitting or just a night out, <a href="https://www.seekingsitters.com/memberinformation.asp">SeekingSitters</a> is a solid resource to put in your back pocket. There is a one-time activation fee of $59.99 and a monthly plan rate &mdash; but if you need frequent help, it's worth the money. The benefit? You'll get to browse profiles and create relationships with prescreened, professional babysitters in your area. The site also offers pet sitting, house sitting, and tutoring services.</p> <h2>3. Local Schools</h2> <p>Several of the teachers and helpers at my daughter's school also offer babysitting services. Ask around to see if this is the case at your child's school. Beyond that, you might also find connections through nearby high schools or colleges. Try posting an ad in the job board at your local university. You might even have success calling the preschool or childhood education departments directly.</p> <h2>4. Childcare Swapping</h2> <p>If you live relatively far away from family like we do, friends become a second family of sorts. Try swapping childcare duties with them every couple weeks so you can enjoy date nights. You may need to shift your ideal date time to accommodate everyone's naps and bedtime schedules, but it's worth the extra effort. We have also started getting close with a few neighbors who have offered to watch our daughter in case of emergencies.</p> <h2>5. Word-of-Mouth Recommendations</h2> <p>One of the most useful tools we've used to find childcare is recommendations from neighbors, friends, and other parents. This is especially worthwhile if you're not originally from the area. Once you ask, you're bound to find some good options worth investigating.</p> <h2>6. Parent Groups</h2> <p>Discussions about babysitters come up quite frequently in local parent groups or Facebook pages, and some of the moms might even offer babysitting services themselves. You'll always want to get references if you're unfamiliar with the names you see, but you can find some great care providers this way. Stuck on what to pay? You can even inquire about the going rate for sitters in your area.</p> <p><em>Where do you find a great babysitter?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-a-great-babysitter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unexpected-ways-stay-at-home-parents-save-big">7 Unexpected Ways Stay-at-Home Parents Save Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-on-babysitting-without-ending-up-on-the-local-news">How to Save on Babysitting Without Ending Up on the Local News</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-important-questions-to-ask-before-adding-to-your-family">5 Important Questions to Ask Before Adding to Your Family</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-bad-money-habits-youre-teaching-your-kids">4 Bad Money Habits You&#039;re Teaching Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-keep-your-kids-prom-from-ruining-your-budget">10 Ways to Keep Your Kid&#039;s Prom From Ruining Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family au pair babysitters child care date night kids nanny Fri, 04 Dec 2015 10:00:04 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1617987 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 More Cheap and Easy DIY Toys Kids Will Love http://www.wisebread.com/15-more-cheap-and-easy-diy-toys-kids-will-love <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-more-cheap-and-easy-diy-toys-kids-will-love" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/colorful_crayons_000051716822.jpg" alt="Creating cheap and easy DIY toys kids will love" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Looking for a great birthday or Christmas gift for your child? There are lots of toys you can DIY to give a personal touch. Check out the projects below for some major inspiration. And share your favorite do-it-yourself toy projects in the comments. (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-awesomely-fun-toys-you-can-diy?ref=seealso">15 Awesomely Fun Toys You Can DIY</a>)</p> <h2>1. Colorful Crayons</h2> <p>Melt together a bunch of <a href="http://ourbestbites.com/2012/02/how-to-make-muffin-tin-crayons-and-a-printable/">old crayons</a> using <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=silicon%20molds&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=LK2BUROPZI6ZG46O">silicone</a> molds or cupcake tins. You'll be giving new life to something that might otherwise be tossed out &mdash; and even young kids can help with this project! Just take all the broken remnants, remove the paper labels, toss them in your molds, and bake at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 to 20 minutes.</p> <h2>2. Drum Set</h2> <p>Have a bunch of old paint cans you need to recycle? Try assembling this crazy <a href="http://www.floridaysmom.com/paint-can-drum-set/">drum kit</a>. You'll clean your cans and then give them a coat of spray paint. Attach the cans together with bolts and screws. And don't forget to add some fancy stuff like cymbals. Grab a pair of sticks to start jamming.</p> <h2>3. Felt Food</h2> <p>Here's a quiet toy your kids will play with again and again: <a href="http://everydaydishes.com/creative-crafts/diy-felt-play-food/">felt food</a>. Find a stack of felt in assorted colors, print out the free template, and get cutting. Adhere everything together with hot glue and stuff some of the foods (like bread) will <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000YZ7G44/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000YZ7G44&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=7CMLIPMBEOLX5657">poly-fil</a>. You'll make watermelon, bacon, pizza, and more.</p> <h2>4. Sand Blocks</h2> <p>Got an old Jenga game hanging around? Use the wooden pieces to make these cool <a href="http://adventure-in-a-box.com/make-rainbow-sand-blocks/">rainbow sand blocks</a>. Glue three of your blocks into an open-ended rectangle, then do it again. You'll make the rainbow sand using cornmeal and food coloring. Then, place the sand into a plastic bag and glue the bag in the middle of your blocks. Add two more blocks on top to finish the frame.</p> <h2>5. Nature Blocks</h2> <p>For kids who would rather be outdoors than anywhere else, you can make <a href="http://adventure-in-a-box.com/how-to-make-waldorf-inspired-nature-blocks-creative-challenge/">nature blocks</a>. These blocks are inspired by the Waldorf toys and are simple to make if you have access to a hand saw. Go into your yard and find branches of different diameters. Then, let them dry someplace for a few weeks. To finish, just cut them into sections.</p> <h2>6. Kinetic Sand</h2> <p>Stop spending all that money on store-bought play sand. Try making your own with this <a href="http://gimmiefreebies.com/make-your-own-kinetic-sand/">kinetic sand</a> tutorial. You'll need plain sand, corn starch, dish soap, and water. Mix everything together and consider adding some tea tree oil to the mix to keep it fresh.</p> <h2>7. Magnetic Fishing Set</h2> <p>If you have a sewing machine, you can whip up these <a href="http://www.makeit-loveit.com/2014/09/diy-toy-fishing-pole-that-reels-in-and-magnetic-fabric-fish.html">DIY magnetic fish</a>. Buy some round magnets, cut out fish shapes using scrap fabric and batting, and then sew the magnet into the fish. Make a quick pole using wooden dowels, spools, and rope. Don't forget the magnet at the end of the line so you can catch the fish!</p> <h2>8. Fruit Stand</h2> <p>Forget the play kitchen &mdash; try making a <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/pernfors88/4212633525/">fruit stand</a>. The maker of this project used an Ikea Rast table as the base. The rest is a creative mix of scrap wood, shelf supports, fabric, and little bins. Your finished product might not look exactly like the original, but the idea is to have plenty of places to stash play fruits and veggies.</p> <h2>9. Car Mat</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.ragamuffin-baby.com/2012/09/vans-car-playmat.html">car mat</a> is absolutely adorable. The only problem is that it took the author over 20 hours to cut, sew, and embroider everything together. You can make something similar by picking up some <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00O7312OO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00O7312OO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=QLAJSUJV67RORM44">duck cloth</a> (or other thick, sturdy fabric) at the hardware store, cutting it to size, and painting on a roadway, houses, and other cool spots with craft paints.</p> <h2>10. Hideaway Tent</h2> <p>Give your children a hideaway with this simple <a href="http://www.makeit-loveit.com/2014/07/collapsible-fabric-play-tent-for-kids.html">play tent</a>. Create a foldable A-frame using 1&quot; x 2&quot; boards and dowels. Then use five yards of fabric to sew the cover that will tie onto the frame. This project takes around three hours from start to finish.</p> <h2>11. Painted Treasures</h2> <p>Don't feel like making a toy from scratch? Try finding something old and making it new again using spray paint. This <a href="http://www.justalittlecreativity.com/2011/09/pimp-that-cozy-ride-little-tikes-car.html">Little Tikes car project</a> is amazing and only took a couple cans of paint. Clean the toy well before disassembling and painting. You can try this makeover with play cars, houses, and anything else that needs freshening up.</p> <h2>12. Play Road</h2> <p>Before you toss out your old jeans, try using them in this <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/easy-diy-road-for-toy-cars-made-out-of-your-old-jeans/">DIY road project</a>. After you trace a pattern for both curved and straight pieces, cut out your fabric from the old jeans. Then use glue and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001IKES5O/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001IKES5O&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=Z4K4CH2V7TPJ75D5">Mod Podge</a> to fix everything together. Paint on some yellow lines and let the races begin!</p> <h2>13. Lego Table</h2> <p>Your kid will go crazy for this <a href="http://www.chaosandlove.com/targets-toy-emporium/">DIY Lego table</a>. You'll need an old table (a square works wonderfully) and some of those <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00K5W9TLY/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00K5W9TLY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=VDJG4GHI7R2K4CI2">Lego bases</a>. Use glue to adhere the base plates to the table and give them some extra support with a few Lego bricks on the edges. Let the glue dry, and this project is done in around 20 minutes.</p> <h2>14. American Boy</h2> <p>Boys deserve dolls too! So, when I saw this <a href="http://ginadwagner.com/how-i-created-an-american-boy-doll-for-my-son/">American Boy</a> doll in my Facebook feed, my jaw dropped. The mom took a standard girl doll (new or used would be fine), cut its hair, washed off its makeup, and dressed it in some clothes she found on Etsy. You can also sew your own for a personal touch.</p> <h2>15. Doll House</h2> <p>Make a super <a href="http://turkeyfeathers.typepad.com/turkey_feathers/2006/06/in_an_old_house.html">doll house</a> using an old dresser. You'll need a relatively tall dresser as your base, and I recommended checking places like the Salvation Army and garage sales before buying new. Leave the bottom drawers on for storage. Then take the upper drawers out to make space for your rooms. Paint and fill with doll furniture to complete the project.</p> <p><em>What are your kid's favorite DIY playthings?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-more-cheap-and-easy-diy-toys-kids-will-love">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-awesomely-fun-toys-you-can-diy">15 Awesomely Fun Toys You Can DIY</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-free-or-cheap-toys-that-will-make-your-kid-smarter">14 Free or Cheap Toys That Will Make Your Kid Smarter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-homemade-child-products-that-are-cheaper-and-better-than-store-bought">10 Homemade Child Products That Are Cheaper and Better Than Store Bought</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-your-pc-to-give-you-coffee-bacon-or-even-an-orgasm">Get your PC to give you coffee, bacon or even an orgasm.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cute-ways-to-upcycle-shoeboxes">12 Cute Ways to Upcycle Shoeboxes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY children crafts gifts kids playing projects toys Mon, 16 Nov 2015 11:15:18 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1612421 at http://www.wisebread.com