kids http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1165/all en-US 5 Stocks Your Kids Would Love to Own http://www.wisebread.com/5-stocks-your-kids-would-love-to-own <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-stocks-your-kids-would-love-to-own" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-525331477.jpg" alt="Learning which stocks your kids would love to own" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When taking a look at your 401(k) or investment accounts, you may often daydream about how cool it would have been if you started investing earlier. That way, maybe you could have jumped on investments that turned out to be home runs, such as Apple [Nasdaq: APPL] and Berkshire-Hathaway [NYSE: BRK].</p> <p>If you have children, you're blessed with the opportunity of granting them the greatest gift any investor could want: time. Let's take a look at some companies whose shares would make a great gift for your kids to not only help them learn about investing, but also get them excited about money and business in general.</p> <h2>1. Snap Inc. [NYSE: SNAP]</h2> <p>Do you know what's cooler than a million dollars? $3.4 billion, which is how much money the parent company of Snapchat raised in its March 1, 2017 initial public offering (IPO). Since it has been estimated that <a href="https://blog.hootsuite.com/snapchat-demographics/" target="_blank">60 percent of Snapchat users</a> are under age 25 and nearly one in four hasn't finished high school, there's a very good chance that your children use this popular social media app.</p> <p>Leverage their interest in the app to keep them focused on tracking a stock price and keeping abreast of the effects of company announcements, such as <a href="http://www.recode.net/2016/9/24/13039900/snapchat-spectacles-google-glass-spiegel" target="_blank">Snap's Spectacles</a>, on the valuation of a publicly-traded company. Bonus: You could use Snapchat to send them their monthly allowance, keep a digital record of when you made that money available, and check how long it lasts them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-modern-ways-to-send-money-to-your-kid?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Modern Ways to Send Money to Your Kid</a>)</p> <h2>2. The Walt Disney Co. [NYSE: DIS]</h2> <p>&quot;Do you want to buy a stock share? Come on let's go and trade!&quot; If you started reading that in Princess Anna's voice, then you're a Disney parent and your kiddos spend a lot of time singing along to similar tunes. Keeping interested in this stock is easy because your kids will read about movie productions, toy developments, theme park construction, and other family entertainment projects.</p> <p>Disney is a great stock to hold onto for the long run, which is a maxim that you want to instill in any young investor. If you were to have held Disney stock from March 1, 2007 to March 1, 2017, you would have seen the stock price go from $34.39 to $111.04 (a 222.88 percent increase!). Plus, it's a dividend-paying stock, giving you a segue to introduce the concept of fixed income securities. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-are-income-stocks?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What Are Income Stocks?</a>)</p> <h2>3. Amazon.com, Inc. [Nasdaq: AMZN]</h2> <p>Parcel-delivering drones, robots that work in warehouses, and voice-activated speakers that can control other home devices. It'll never be dull moment chatting with your kid about recent news from the Seattle-based ecommerce giant.</p> <p>If you have the budget, Amazon.com is one of those <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-expensive-stocks-that-are-totally-worth-it" target="_blank">expensive stocks that are totally worth it</a>. Just when you think that the stock can't hit new heights, an uptick during the early November and December holiday season gives the stock price another boost. Time your gift well before the holiday season and provide immediate gratification to your kids from a stock price bump.</p> <h2>4. Foot Locker, Inc. [NYSE: FL]</h2> <p>On the other hand, here's one stock to develop in your children an appreciation for delayed gratification. If your kid is a sneakerhead or sports jock, they'll include a new pair of athletic shoes in their Christmas list. With a current stock price close to $75 per share, one share of Foot Locker goes for about the same as a brand-new, high-quality pair of athletic shoes meant to last at least one year.</p> <p>Give your child the option of the shoes or one share of Foot Locker, Inc. (Or pick another company that better matches the price of the shoes that they want, including Nike Inc. [NYSE: NKE] or Skechers USA Inc. [NYSE: SKX].) When your child chooses the stock over the shoes, they'll realize that they'll have more available after a one-year period. If they're still unconvinced, ask them to try selling a pair of old, smelly shoes after one year of (ab)use from a tween.</p> <p>Setting a strong foundation for delayed gratification will boost your child's ability to save for retirement and build an emergency fund. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-investing-lessons-you-must-teach-your-kids?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Investing Lessons You Must Teach Your Kids</a>)</p> <h2>5. Tesla Inc. [Nasdaq: TSLA]</h2> <p>The concept of saving for retirement is completely foreign to most individuals under age 18, maybe even for some under age 25! Getting somebody to plan about 40 to 60 years ahead is a difficult task. One way to get your kid thinking about the future with a fun and optimistic tone is to gift them stock from Tesla, because this company is in the business of electric cars, energy storage batteries, and solar panels.</p> <p>Plus, Tesla's CEO Elon Musk is so cool as to inspire the way actor Robert Downey Jr. plays Tony Stark in all Marvel films. By following the decisions of a cool and smart CEO, your child could gain further interest in business and entrepreneurship.</p> <h2>How custodial Roth IRAs can help with investing education</h2> <p>If your kid is under age 18 and makes some money on their own, such as through a hobby or during the summer, consider opening a custodial Roth IRA for them. This is a great way to educate your child about investing and providing a &quot;sandbox&quot; in which to make real-life decisions with investments. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-your-kid-need-an-ira?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Does Your Kid Need an IRA?</a>)</p> <p>In 2017, your kid could contribute up to $5,500 to a custodial Roth IRA and watch those contributions grow tax-free forever. Many financial institutions require an account minimum of $100 to open a custodial Roth IRA. You could start with some stocks from this list or other stocks that your kid is interested in and eventually move on to index funds and mutual funds. To minimize fees, just keep post-contribution transactions at a minimum.</p> <p>Gifting your child stocks paired with several years of retirement savings could be one of the best gifts you could ever give them for a brighter financial future.</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/5-stocks-your-kids-would-love-to-own">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/make-smarter-investments-by-mastering-this-simple-ratio">Make Smarter Investments by Mastering This Simple Ratio</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/the-3-rules-every-mediocre-investor-must-know">The 3 Rules Every Mediocre Investor Must Know</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-smart-places-to-stash-your-kids-college-savings">5 Smart Places to Stash Your Kid&#039;s College Savings</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/these-8-small-cap-value-investments-are-on-fire">These 8 Small Cap Value Investments Are on Fire</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/4-bad-money-habits-youre-teaching-your-kids">4 Bad Money Habits You&#039;re Teaching Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment children fun stocks gifts kids money lessons Roth IRA stock market stocks young investors Fri, 14 Apr 2017 08:30:13 +0000 Damian Davila 1925374 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 College Expenses You Aren't Saving For http://www.wisebread.com/9-college-expenses-you-arent-saving-for <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-college-expenses-you-arent-saving-for" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-517076077.jpg" alt="Parent finding college expenses she didn&#039;t save for" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Worried that tuition and room and board will bleed you dry when your kid goes off to college? Pfft. Wait till you get a load of all the expenses you didn't account for! You'll want to sit down for this.</p> <h2>1. College prep items</h2> <p>You'll want to send your kid off to college well prepared &mdash; with things. Things like study and work supplies, dorm room necessities, snack foods, toiletries, a new computer, maybe a new phone. It's amazing how easily items pile up when you're shopping for college.</p> <h2>2. Traveling home and back</h2> <p>No loving parent can go too long without seeing their kid &mdash; especially their freshman year in college. So, you'll need to account for travel costs to get your child back and forth to your home if they attend a school that requires more than a few hours' travel.</p> <p>&quot;Create a travel budget by researching typical costs for airfare, train, or bus, whichever mode of transportation is available to you, and estimate the number of times your child will head home throughout the year,&quot; suggests money-saving expert Andrea Woroch. &quot;If they have a car and are driving [a long] distance away from home, propose that they carpool to save on gas and tolls if applicable.&quot;</p> <p>They can also use a site like <a href="https://www.zimride.com/" target="_blank">Zimride</a>, which will connect them with other college students looking to share a ride.</p> <h2>3. Local transportation costs</h2> <p>If your child has a car on campus, you're looking at the cost of a parking pass plus insurance and gas. If they don't have a car, you'll need to consider a new bike and investigate the cost of public transportation passes. These costs can add up, as well. College students don't tend to be holed up in their tiny dorm rooms while not in class.</p> <h2>4. Food outside the meal plan</h2> <p>College meal plans are expensive enough by themselves, but don't count on those being your child's only source of food. Many campus dining halls close earlier than you probably think, and late night study sessions require energy. Plan on having to send them some extra dollars for groceries, snacks, and late-night diner runs.</p> <h2>5. Greek life</h2> <p>I was interested in joining a fraternity when I went to college. It signified the quintessential coming-of-age experience to me, and I liked the idea of having &quot;brothers,&quot; as I wasn't close with my own growing up.</p> <p>Nice sentiment, but it got expensive real quick.</p> <p>My dues were about $400 per semester, I wanted to buy new clothes every time we had a formal or theme party, and if something went wrong in the house &mdash; like the one time a drunk alumni brother smashed up our soda machine &mdash; we had to collectively cover the cost. By the end of four years, I had spent thousands of dollars to be part of this exclusive club &mdash; which, in hindsight, was worth every penny considering the memories I made. So, I guess what I'm saying here is &hellip; grab your checkbook.</p> <h2>6. Sports and extracurriculars</h2> <p>If you're the parent of a child whose athletic skills have earned them a college scholarship, congrats; consider yourself lucky. On the other hand, if your child is perfectly average but still wants to play sports or join extracurriculars, you'll need to cough up the cash.</p> <p>&quot;Sometimes participating in extracurricular activities on campus can cost extra money,&quot; says Johan Zhang, co-founder of CollegeVine. &quot;Whether it's paying for club dues, schoolwide participation fees, or even apparel, at many colleges there exists a hidden cost to joining and being an active member in extracurricular activities..&quot;</p> <p>Be sure to consider this and save up in advance.</p> <h2>7. Your trips to see your child</h2> <p>Bringing your kid home is going to cost you, and so is traveling to visit your child. You may also want to attend things like orientation weekend, parents' weekend, and other events hosted by the college. You'll need to factor in transportation, lodging, and food, so budget wisely.</p> <h2>8. Off-campus living</h2> <p>Eventually your kid will outgrow the dorm and want to live off-campus. This usually happens around junior year, but sometimes you can hold it off until senior year. With that comes the expense of monthly rent, renter's insurance, furniture, utility bills, and a security deposit that you're never going to see again. Make amends with that right now; it's already spent.</p> <h2>9. The extended plan</h2> <p>Listen, I'm rooting for you to get your kid in and out of college in four years, but, well... the odds aren't in your favor.</p> <p>&quot;At most public universities, over 80 percent of students will take more than four years to graduate due to overcrowded or unavailable classes,&quot; say Adrian Ridner, CEO and co-founder of Study.com. &quot;That means if you are planning on four years of college expenses, you could be under budgeting by 25 percent to 50 percent. Taking low cost college courses online can be a great way to stay on track and graduate on time. Another factor that can extend your child's time in school is lack of college readiness. This may mean completing remedial courses that do not count toward graduation.&quot;</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/9-college-expenses-you-arent-saving-for">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/6-things-financial-aid-might-not-cover">6 Things Financial Aid Might Not Cover</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/9-freshman-shopping-tips-to-cut-college-costs">9 Freshman Shopping Tips to Cut College Costs</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-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts">8 Ways College Students Can Save Money Before Class Starts</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/5-smart-places-to-stash-your-kids-college-savings">5 Smart Places to Stash Your Kid&#039;s College Savings</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-money-saving-hacks-every-college-student-should-try">8 Money-Saving Hacks Every College Student Should Try</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Education & Training college dining plans dorm rooms expenses food costs fraternities hidden costs kids sororities students transportation travel Tue, 11 Apr 2017 08:00:16 +0000 Mikey Rox 1923858 at http://www.wisebread.com Don't Buy a House With a Pool Until You Can Answer These 7 Questions http://www.wisebread.com/dont-buy-a-house-with-a-pool-until-you-can-answer-these-7-questions <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dont-buy-a-house-with-a-pool-until-you-can-answer-these-7-questions" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-469932560.jpg" alt="Asking questions before buying a house with a pool" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Having a built-in pool on your property comes with plenty of perks &mdash; like providing respite from the summer heat and elevating your kids' social status. But this luxury isn't all splash battles and cannonballs. Pools, among other things, require costly maintenance while also introducing a laundry list of liability and safety concerns into your life. Keep your head above water when considering buying a house with a pool by asking these eight important questions.</p> <h2>1. Does everyone in the family know how to swim?</h2> <p>This may seem like a silly question to ask yourself before buying a house with a pool, but you might be surprised at how many pool-owners either can't swim themselves, or have children who can't swim. Both of these scenarios could end in tragedy. And if you can't swim, there's <a href="http://www.usaswimming.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabId=1796" target="_blank">only a 13 percent chance</a> your child will learn how to swim. Not the best odds to have when a life is on the line.</p> <h2>2. Does everyone in your family know CPR?</h2> <p>If you're planning to own a pool, it's a wise decision to be trained in CPR. The few minutes' time between on-the-scene CPR and that which is administered by EMTs, who may take several minutes to arrive, is literally life and death.</p> <h2>3. How old is the pool?</h2> <p>Keller Williams Real Estate agent Jen Teague provides a few important construction questions to ask, including:</p> <ul> <li>What company installed the pool and is it still in business?</li> <li>Is it under warranty?</li> <li>Has there been any major work done to the pool over the last year?</li> <li>Are there any consistent issues (leaks, etc.) the owner has had with it?</li> </ul> <p>You're specifically looking to find out how much longer the pump life is, as well as any maintenance that may be needed for the liner or granite. After a while the chlorine wears down the liner and it will be more prone to tearing. Granite cracks over time as well.</p> <p>Three-decade pool industry veteran Michael Kern of MGK Pool Service in Lowell, Massachusetts adds, &quot;Cement pools need to be replastered every six to nine years; above ground pools need the liner replaced every four to eight years; and in-ground pools need the liner replaced every 15 to 20 years.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Is the pool surrounded by a fence?</h2> <p>A fence around your pool isn't to keep your kids in, but rather other people out &mdash; like wandering toddlers and even pets. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) Pool Safely campaign, which focuses on drowning prevention and water safety (a <a href="https://www.poolsafely.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Safety-Barrier-Guidelines-for-Residential-Pools.pdf" target="_blank">must read</a> if you're planning to become a pool owner!), suggests that the fence stands at least four feet high, surrounds the pool on all four sides, and includes a self-closing, self-latching gate. Adding an alarm to the door is an extra layer of protection so you're alerted to unauthorized visitors.</p> <h2>5. Does the pool have a safe drain cover?</h2> <p>The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool &amp; Spa Safety Act, named after a little girl who died in 2002 when the suction from a spa drain trapped her under water, mandates drain covers for public spas and pools &mdash; but homeowners also should practice this safety measure. A pool technician can tell you whether or not your drain cover needs updating, which is generally about every five years. The ZAC Foundation, an organization working to strengthen pool safety legislation and educate children on water safety, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CULPxBSa_10" target="_blank">explains the difference in drain covers</a> and why having a compliant drain cover is important.</p> <h2>6. How much will maintenance cost?</h2> <p>Most homeowners have a general budget in place for day-to-day home expenses, plus a little extra to cover emergencies. But those who have never owned a pool may not be prepared for the added expense. Be sure to ask your agent about how much annual maintenance the pool will need so you can get a good idea of whether or not you can afford its upkeep.</p> <p>This is also a good time to ask the previous owners what pool necessities will be left behind and what you may need to buy when you assume ownership.</p> <h2>7. How much will your homeowners insurance increase?</h2> <p>Your swimming pool is a liability, for sure, and your insurer will consider that when pricing your policy. Before you jump in head first, hammer out the details of the policy and its cost. Additional umbrella insurance is always recommended for homeowners with a pool.</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/dont-buy-a-house-with-a-pool-until-you-can-answer-these-7-questions">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/score-your-dream-home-with-the-perfect-offer-letter">Score Your Dream Home With the Perfect Offer Letter</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/the-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford">The Simple Way to Decide How Much Rent You Can Really Afford</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/9-college-expenses-you-arent-saving-for">9 College Expenses You Aren&#039;t Saving For</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-unexpected-things-covered-by-homeowners-insurance">11 Unexpected Things Covered by Homeowners Insurance</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/growin-home-how-much-house-do-you-really-need">Growin&#039; Home: How Much House Do You Really Need?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing drowning expenses home buying homeowners insurance kids maintenance pools safety swimming Wed, 05 Apr 2017 09:00:12 +0000 Mikey Rox 1917660 at http://www.wisebread.com Why Saving Too Much Money for a College Fund Is a Bad Idea http://www.wisebread.com/why-saving-too-much-money-for-a-college-fund-is-a-bad-idea <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-saving-too-much-money-for-a-college-fund-is-a-bad-idea" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-544603158.jpg" alt="Learning why saving too much college money is a bad idea" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you have children, you may have a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans?ref=internal" target="_blank">529 education savings plan</a> set up. While it's helpful to save for your kid's college education in advance, there are downsides to saving <em>too</em> much. Here are a few reasons you may want to adjust your contributions and/or revise your college fund strategy.</p> <h2>1. You may make more financial sacrifices than necessary</h2> <p>Unless you're loaded, you're probably making concessions elsewhere in your budget to keep up with contributions to your 529 &mdash; but at what cost? Are you neglecting other necessary payments, like credit card debt, resulting in additional fees? Are you compromising your health by reducing your visits to care providers? Do you have a sufficient emergency fund?</p> <p>Saving for your child's college education is important, but don't put it before any immediate needs. Paid-in-full college tuition is a luxury and privilege, and it shouldn't be your top priority if other aspects of your personal life and finances are affected.</p> <h2>2. Your retirement fund will suffer</h2> <p>If you're putting your child's paid-in-full education before your own later-in-life needs, consider this: You can take out a loan for education, but you can't take a loan for retirement. Millions of students have furthered their educations on their own dime and lived to tell the tale, because they're in perfect condition to work it off after they're spit out into the real world. You, however, may be nearing the time when you may not want or physically be able to work as your kid goes off to school, and that could wreak havoc on your financial future.</p> <p>&quot;If you devote the majority of your family savings to fund college education out of pocket, be prepared to push out your retirement goals,&quot; says registered investment adviser Ryan Miyamoto. &quot;By the time you are starting your family, you are usually thinking about getting serious with your retirement savings as well. These goals end up competing with each other, and with the rapid cost of college education, your retirement will suffer.&quot;</p> <h2>3. You're missing out on tax-exempt withdrawals of your 529 plan</h2> <p>Conservative investors miss out on the biggest benefit of 529 savings plans &mdash; tax-exempt withdrawals. Since tax-exempt withdrawals are only applicable to the gains, if you're using a 529 account to save for college and invest conservatively, your gains will be minimized compared to a growth investor. Having education as a top priority adds fuel to the fire of being conservative; you don't feel like this is your money, but rather your kids', so you irrationally think you want to minimize losses.</p> <p>Adds Miyamoto, &quot;Conversely, if these same individuals were to invest their savings into their own 401(k), the mentality changes; they're willing to take more risk since they view it as their own money.&quot;</p> <h2>4. You will have to pay sizable penalties if your 529 isn't used</h2> <p>You probably have an idea of how much you need to save for your child's education when you open your 529 plan, but whatever that number, it's still just a rough estimate. Your kid may need more than what you think college may cost at his or her time of birth, based on inflation 18 years later plus their choice of college. Let's hope the latter doesn't break the budget &mdash; but it probably will.</p> <p>On the other hand, if you funnel too much money to the account and it goes unused &mdash; for instance, if your scholar attends a relatively inexpensive school (which is normally good news, but not in this case) or decides not to attend college at all &mdash; you're going to kick yourself for not being a little more selfish with your money.</p> <p>&quot;If you overload a particular savings vehicle for college, you run the risk of actually being financially penalized,&quot; explains certified financial planner Greg Knight. &quot;For example, if you save too much in a 529 savings plan without having a drawdown strategy, you will incur income tax and a 10 percent penalty on the earnings portion of withdrawals not used for qualified education expenses. In general, distributions from 529 plans are not taxed provided they are used for qualified educational expenses. However, if you have paid all expenses and still have funds left, as the parent account owner you need to either name yourself as beneficiary and attend a qualified educational program to use the funds tax-free, or have another child or grandchild to name as a beneficiary.&quot;</p> <p>With 529 distributions, a portion is tax-free (as basis) and a portion is taxable (as earnings) unless the distribution is used to pay qualified educational expenses. Without knowing in advance who will use the 529 funds until they are depleted, you run the risk of paying tax and a 10 percent penalty.</p> <h2>5. You don't know if your kid will go to college</h2> <p>Another issue with putting too much cash in one basket is the variable of whether or not your kid will go to college at all. Once they're 18, you can't really make them do anything (unless you're holding financial support over their head), and, let's face it: College isn't for everyone. Having this fund might place undue pressure for them to do something they don't really want to do.</p> <h2>6. Your kid might not appreciate your sacrifice</h2> <p>I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't save for your kid's college education, but perhaps you shouldn't foot the entire bill. At the very least, refrain from telling them how much money is actually available. Plenty of parents want to pay their kids' way through college so they can enjoy the full experience, but that's really just providing them with an excuse to avoid taking on adult financial responsibilities. They may not truly appreciate the value of their education (nor your many years of saving) if they don't have to work for at least part of it themselves.</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/why-saving-too-much-money-for-a-college-fund-is-a-bad-idea">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/5-smart-places-to-stash-your-kids-college-savings">5 Smart Places to Stash Your Kid&#039;s College Savings</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/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</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-unique-ways-millennials-are-dealing-with-student-loan-debt">7 Unique Ways Millennials Are Dealing With Student Loan Debt</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-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts">8 Ways College Students Can Save Money Before Class Starts</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/when-should-you-start-saving-for-your-child-s-education">When Should You Start Saving for Your Child’s Education?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training 529 plans college funds kids penalties retirement funds saving money saving too much taxes tuition Thu, 30 Mar 2017 08:30:15 +0000 Mikey Rox 1915279 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's How Your Taxes Will Change After You Have a Kid http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-your-taxes-will-change-after-you-have-a-kid <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-how-your-taxes-will-change-after-you-have-a-kid" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-520005424.jpg" alt="Couple finding out how taxes change after having a kid" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's no question that having a kid will change your life financially. Introducing a new child to your household adds a slew of new costs, but the good news is that the American tax code is written to help families with some of these expenses.</p> <p>The IRS &mdash; yes, that benevolent organization &mdash; offers a variety of tax credits, deductions, and other incentives that could lead to a smaller tax bill when you have a child. But this also makes your taxes more complicated. So here's a review of what your new baby might mean as you file this year's return.</p> <h2>You get to claim an exemption just for having a kid</h2> <p>When you have a child, you can claim an exemption that will reduce your taxable income by $4,050. And for each child you have, you get to claim another exemption. (So four kids represents $16,200 deducted from your taxable income.)</p> <h2>You can also claim the child tax credit</h2> <p>Yes, you get an additional break on your taxes just by adding a member to your family. You can reduce your tax bill by $1,000 for every dependent in your household. This usually includes any family member 17 or under that lives with you, including adopted children, foster children, and even nieces and nephews if you are their primary caregiver. The benefit is reduced once you hit $110,000 gross income if filing jointly, or $75,000 if filing alone.</p> <h2>You can reduce your taxable income by saving for college</h2> <p>The second you have a child, you can begin saving for college and get some nice tax breaks for doing it. The most popular vehicle is called a 529 college savings plan, and many states allow you to deduct contributions from your taxable income. Gains on the investments in a 529 plan also are not taxed. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</a>)</p> <p>You may save money when you eventually send your child to school. As of 2016, it was possible to get a $2,000 Lifetime Learning Credit each year for qualified education expenses, or a $2,500 American Opportunity Credit. There are <a href="https://www.irs.gov/publications/p970/ar02.html#en_US_2016_publink1000255787" target="_blank">some subtle differences</a> between the two credits, which you can learn more about <a href="https://www.irs.gov/publications/p970/ch03.html" target="_blank">at the IRS website. </a></p> <h2>You might take advantage of a health savings account</h2> <p>You and your partner might not worry about health care expenses, but they become more of an issue when you have kids. Many employers offer health savings accounts (HSAs), which allow you to divert some money into an account to pay for health care expenses you might accrue. Any money placed in an HSA is deducted from your taxable income. You may find it's worth contributing to an HSA if your child has health challenges, or if you have a health insurance plan with a high deductible. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-an-hsa-saves-you-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How an HSA Saves You Money</a>)</p> <h2>You might save less for retirement &mdash; and thus pay more tax</h2> <p>Are you planning to dial back your retirement savings in order to meet the financial demands of a new child? If so, it's important to know how that impacts your tax bill. Any contributions you place in a 401(k) or traditional IRA are deducted from your taxable income, so if you are putting less aside, your tax bill may be higher. Ideally, you'll be able to save at the same rate as always, but if not, be sure to anticipate paying more in tax.</p> <h2>You may pay less tax if you stop working</h2> <p>Many families find that their gross income goes down after having a kid because one parent stops working full-time or altogether. Lower income means lower taxes, and you may even move into a lower tax bracket. (Moving from $80,000 to $60,000 in earned income, for example, means you pay 15 percent in tax instead of 25 percent when filing jointly.) This lower tax helps take the sting out of having less income overall, and in some cases, you may even end up with more take-home pay.</p> <h2>If you pay for child care, you might get a tax break</h2> <p>The IRS allows parents to save money on their taxes if they pay someone to care for their children. This is a great thing for working parents. The child and dependent tax credit offers up to $1,050 for one person receiving care, or $2,100 for two or more. Poorer families can get 35 percent back of any qualifying child care costs.</p> <p>Many parents may save more on their taxes by instead utilizing a dependent care flexible savings account. If your employer offers such an account, you can set aside as much as $5,000 of your paycheck to cover child care costs. Contributions to this account are deducted from your taxable income, thus reducing your tax liability.</p> <h2>If you employ a nanny, your taxes could get complicated</h2> <p>In most cases like the situations above, there are tax breaks to help offset the cost of child care. But if you directly hire a nanny &mdash; as opposed to hiring one through an agency &mdash; you may be considered an employer in the eyes of the IRS. That means a boatload of paperwork, and you're on the hook for things like Social Security, unemployment, and Medicare taxes. So be sure to take all of this into account when researching child care options.</p> <h2>Expanding your home may have tax advantages</h2> <p>When you have a child, you may realize you need to expand your home with a new family room, bedrooms, or other space. The bad news here is that you can't claim the cost of home improvements on your taxes. But, any home upgrades will be added to the cost basis of your home. Thus, you may be able to reduce or even eliminate capital gains taxes when you sell.</p> <p>If you do make upgrades, you can deduct the cost of things to make the home more energy-efficient, such as Energy Star rated windows and appliances.</p> <h2>Adopting a child comes with a big tax break</h2> <p>If you adopt a child, you get some significant tax breaks in addition to the ones listed above. The Federal Adoption Tax Credit gives families a maximum of $13,460 to offset qualified adoption expenses. This can include adoption fees, court fees, travel costs, and attorney fees, among other costs. Parents who adopt a child may also receive additional tax credits from their state.</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/heres-how-your-taxes-will-change-after-you-have-a-kid">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/4-tax-mistakes-new-parents-make">4 Tax Mistakes New Parents Make</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/can-your-spouse-be-a-dependent-on-your-taxes">Can Your Spouse be a Dependent on Your Taxes?</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/save-money-with-a-dependent-care-tax-credit-and-fsa">Save Money with a Dependent Care Tax Credit and FSA</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/dont-miss-out-on-this-easy-way-to-pay-for-child-care">Don&#039;t Miss Out on This Easy Way to Pay for Child Care</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-things-you-should-know-about-joint-checking-accounts">6 Things You Should Know About Joint Checking Accounts</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Taxes adoption american opportunity credit child care children deductions dependents exemptions kids lifetime learning credit parents tax credits Tue, 28 Mar 2017 09:30:33 +0000 Tim Lemke 1913753 at http://www.wisebread.com 23 Recipes for Slime Your Kids Can Make — and Even Sell! http://www.wisebread.com/23-recipes-for-slime-your-kids-can-make-and-even-sell <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/23-recipes-for-slime-your-kids-can-make-and-even-sell" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-543333194.jpg" alt="Kid making and selling slime with slime recipes" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>At a Girl Scout retreat last weekend, I watched a middle school girl knead and roll a cerulean ball of pliable, shiny, stretchy &hellip; stuff &hellip; as she chatted with friends. The other girls at the table couldn't take their eyes off it.</p> <p><em>&quot;</em>What slime recipe did you use?&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Can I touch it?&quot;</p> <p>At an age where interests lean toward Snapchat and heavy eye makeup, it was refreshing to see the childlike wonder that a plastic bag of slime brought out in these young teens.</p> <p>That's why the trend of making, Instagramming, and even selling various types of slime in middle schools all over the country warms my heart. It's hands-on. As a non-Newtonian fluid with properties that change with ingredient variations, it's also science-y. It appeals to kids' senses, not just their eyeballs. And since it's made with just a few dollars' worth of household materials, it's frugal fun, too. It can even be a source of spending money for kids who get so good at slime-making that other kids want to buy it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-businesses-your-tween-can-start?ref=seealso" target="_blank">13 Businesses Your Tween Can Start</a>)</p> <p>If your child wants to get in on the slime trend but needs some instructions to get started, here are some winning recipes.</p> <h2>1. Opaque slime</h2> <p>The <a href="http://www.hometrainingtools.com/learning-center/how-to-make-slime/" target="_blank">original slime recipe</a> has been around for a generation. It calls for just three ingredients: school glue, borax, and water. The result is a whitish, flexible putty. Note that slimes containing borax are not edible; the powdery substance can be toxic in large doses.</p> <p>For extra fun, try <a href="https://sciencebob.com/make-your-own-bouncy-ball/" target="_blank">molding your slime into a ball</a> and bouncing it. It will lose its bounce gradually, but keeping it moist in a plastic bag will help.</p> <h2>2. Clear slime</h2> <p>This is the same recipe as above, but <a href="https://www.stevespanglerscience.com/lab/experiments/glue-borax-gak/" target="_blank">with clear glue</a>. The difference is striking!</p> <h2>3. Liquid starch slime</h2> <p>Just as borax does, liquid starch can cross-link the polymers in glue, creating that moldable blobbiness that's fun to knead. If you hate mixing powders with your hands, like I do, you might prefer <a href="https://sciencebob.com/make-some-starch-slime-today/" target="_blank">this recipe</a> to the borax version. The resulting slime is the kind that kids can use to make rude noises when moving it in and out of a plastic container. If you don't get it, just ask your tween.</p> <h2>4. Fake snot</h2> <p>Younger kids might enjoy this <a href="http://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/fake-snot-edible-gelatin-slime-science-activity/" target="_blank">gross-out snot version</a> more than the middle school set. The recipe includes gelatin, corn syrup, and water.</p> <h2>5. Flavored edible slime</h2> <p>Perhaps disturbingly, the fake snot recipe listed above is an edible slime. To make it more palatable, you can take the same recipe and <a href="http://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/taste-science-with-edible-gelatin-slime-activity/" target="_blank">add flavored extracts</a> or small amounts of fruit juice. (Giving it a different name would probably help, too.)</p> <h2>6. Nickelodeon slime</h2> <p>Gen-Xers will remember the early cable Nickelodeon show <em>You Can't Do That on Television,</em>&nbsp;on which the young actors (including Alanis Morissette) were doused with buckets of gross green gook. This <a href="http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Nickelodeon-Slime" target="_blank">reverse-engineered recipe</a> calls for Jell-O, flour, Johnson's Baby Shampoo, water, and food coloring.</p> <h2>7. Sticky kitchen slime</h2> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/OAe0jEW0RHo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Dish soap, water, and flour. This is a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAe0jEW0RHo" target="_blank">convenient slime recipe</a> to whip up on a snow day, since you probably already have all the ingredients in your kitchen. Only make this one if the idea of slime that adheres to your hands doesn't revolt you.</p> <h2>8. Soapy slime</h2> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/idkWcHYnqjA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>For some good clean fun, mix <a href="http://www.playbasedlearning.com.au/2009/11/slippery-slime/" target="_blank">soap flakes</a> or a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idkWcHYnqjA" target="_blank">microwaved bar of Ivory</a> with water. This slime is ideal for keeping in a large container and running your hands through it, since the consistency can be soupy.</p> <h2>9. Sticky edible slime</h2> <p>Cook sweetened condensed milk with cornstarch on the stovetop for a <a href="http://childcentralstation.com/2011/05/super-stove-top-slime-off.html" target="_blank">slime that you will have to lick off</a> your fingers. Flavor this with chocolate syrup to make <a href="http://chemistry.about.com/od/slimerecipes/a/chocolate-slime-recipe.htm" target="_blank">chocolate slime</a>.</p> <h2>10. Cookie cutter slime</h2> <p>Using soluble fiber such as Metamucil, you can <a href="http://chemistry.about.com/cs/howtos/ht/flubber.htm" target="_blank">make this slime that is easily sliced</a> with a knife or shaped with a cookie cutter without sticking.</p> <h2>11. Bathroom slime</h2> <p>Mix a thick <a href="http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Slime-with-Just-Shampoo-and-Toothpaste" target="_blank">shampoo one-to-one with toothpaste</a>, then freeze to take out the sticky factor. You'll end up with a translucent putty that's easy to make without a trip to the store.</p> <h2>12. Colored slime</h2> <p>To any of the above recipes, add a few drops of food coloring or liquid watercolor paint. If you add green color to the clear slime, it looks like the ectoplasm in <em>Ghostbusters</em>.</p> <h2>13. Glitter slime</h2> <p>Replace the glue in any of the basic recipes with clear glitter glue, or use clear glue and pour in glitter from a jar, and you will have a sparkly slime that's perfect for glam party favors.</p> <h2>14. Galaxy slime</h2> <p>This twist calls for three batches of glitter slime in different colors &mdash; using colored <a href="http://diyjoy.com/kids-crafts-diy-galaxy-slime-recipe" target="_blank">glitter glue, food coloring, or acrylic paint</a>. Lay them side by side and twist them together to get a streaky, Milky Way effect.</p> <h2>15. Black light slime</h2> <p>Use diet tonic water in the Metamucil slime recipe, and you've got a goop that glows under a black light.</p> <h2>16. Attraction slime</h2> <p><a href="http://chemistry.about.com/od/slimerecipes/fl/How-To-Make-Magnetic-Slime.htm" target="_blank">Mixing iron oxide powder</a> into a classic slime recipe will make goop that is attracted to strong magnets. This one is not safe for really little kids who might put the slime or the magnets in their mouths. Watch out for pets around this one, too.</p> <h2>17. Mood ring slime</h2> <p>Color any slime recipe with <a href="http://amzn.to/2mVoFsf" target="_blank">thermochromatic pigment</a>, available on Amazon, and you'll get a <a href="https://www.thoughtco.com/color-changing-slime-recipe-609157" target="_blank">substance that changes color</a> when you press your palm into it, touch it to a cold drink, or heat it with a hair dryer. This one should drive the middle school kiddos wild.</p> <h2>18. Slime with mix-ins</h2> <p>Once the novelty of kneading a polymer gets old, you can crank up the sensory factor of your slime by adding mix-ins, as if you're working at Cold Stone Creamery. You can pretty much add anything you want: <a href="http://www.theidearoom.net/halloween-monster-slime-recipe/" target="_blank">Small toys</a> or &quot;<a href="https://www.stevespanglerscience.com/store/jelly-marbles-clear-spheres.html" target="_blank">alien eggs</a>&quot; add pleasant textural and visual surprises as you knead.</p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/FXrfoudPos4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>This is a great way to make holiday-themed slime, such as <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXrfoudPos4" target="_blank">eyeball slime</a> for Halloween or star-spangled slime for Independence Day.</p> <h2>19. Sandy slime</h2> <p><a href="http://frugalfun4boys.com/2015/04/07/how-to-make-sand-slime/" target="_blank">Glue, detergent, and smooth sand</a> make this product that stretches like regular slime but has a nice grainy texture. <a href="http://amzn.to/2n4GZj2" target="_blank">Colored sand</a> would be a fun twist.</p> <h2>20. Fluffy slime</h2> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Q6qxULdP5UE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Adding shaving cream and foaming soap to typical slime ingredients yields a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6qxULdP5UE" target="_blank">slime with a lot of air</a> in it, which makes for bubbles to pop and the ability to create pretty swirly shapes.</p> <p>&quot;Adding shaving cream makes it fluffy, which is something that many middle schoolers like. You can also make it more stretchy by putting in a little bit of lotion, which is also something middle schoolers like,&quot; explained a middle school source who agreed to speak with me on the condition of anonymity.</p> <p>Adding in scented personal care products also create a pleasant feel on the fingers.</p> <h2>21. Homemade &quot;Floam&quot;</h2> <p>Take a standard slime recipe and <a href="http://www.growingajeweledrose.com/2013/12/homemade-floam-recipe-for-play.html" target="_blank">add polystyrene beads</a>, the kind that fill a bean bag chair. You can buy them at a craft store, or upcycle Styrofoam packaging by crumbling it up. The result is a more moldable slime, sold commercially as Floam.</p> <h2>22. Iceberg slime</h2> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ID37N1O0Jmg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Start with fluffy slime. Set it out to <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ID37N1O0Jmg" target="_blank">dry uncovered for two days</a> to achieve a crunchy crust on the top, for the sheer pleasure of breaking holes in the top and watching &mdash; and listening to &mdash; the surface crack.</p> <h2>23. Avalanche slime</h2> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/hyXO09Lj7IM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>This project involves <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyXO09Lj7IM" target="_blank">combining white slime in a container with colored transparent slime</a> to create a whirled, multicolored effect.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-recipes-for-slime-your-kids-can-make-and-even-sell">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-amazing-board-games-you-can-diy">8 Amazing Board Games 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/frugal-ways-to-help-your-child-get-the-best-education">Frugal Ways to Help Your Child Get the Best Education</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/three-kids-diy-projects-in-your-pantry">Three Kids&#039; DIY Projects In Your Pantry</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/15-awesomely-fun-toys-you-can-diy">15 Awesomely Fun Toys You Can DIY</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Family DIY kids kids toys shopping trends side hustle slime slime recipes toy trends Tue, 21 Mar 2017 11:01:05 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1911508 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Reasons to Add Your Teen as an Authorized User on Your Credit Card http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-to-add-your-teen-as-an-authorized-user-on-your-credit-card <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-reasons-to-add-your-teen-as-an-authorized-user-on-your-credit-card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-501708788.jpg" alt="A teen getting added as authorized user on a credit card" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Giving your kid access to your credit card account might make you squirm, but there are some good reasons to do it. Teens need to be educated about credit before they leave the nest and get their own credit cards. While you could just hand them your credit card whenever they want to make a purchase, there are extra benefits to making them an authorized user on your account.</p> <p>An authorized user gets a card in their own name and can make purchases just like the primary user on the account. However, only the primary user is responsible for paying the charges. That sounds scary but there are ways to handle the situation so that your child gets the most from it without landing you in debt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-adding-another-user-to-your-credit-card?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What You Need to Know About Adding Another User to Your Credit Card</a>)</p> <p>Let's look at the notable benefits that come with making your child an authorized user on your account.</p> <h2>1. Lessons on Credit and Debt</h2> <p>Teenagers may not really understand what credit is until they experience it firsthand. By introducing teenagers to credit early on, they can gain an understanding of what it means to owe someone money &mdash; and that every dollar spent must be paid back. They'll also learn about credit card interest this way, and how not paying your balance in full means owing more money over time.</p> <p>To make this lesson effective, you'll need to establish with your teen that they are responsible for paying the charges they make and any interest they incur. If you simply pay for all their purchases, they'll learn very little about responsible credit card use.</p> <p>For example, your teen might use their authorized user card for new clothes at the mall without a care in the world. When the bill arrives, however, if you have made it clear that they will have to pay for the charges, they'll be forced to face the consequences of their spending.</p> <p>If they've kept the cash on hand to pay their bill, they can be proud of that accomplishment. If not, they'll learn what it means to carry a balance and pay interest. And when those $49 jeans end up costing $61, they might feel the pain of their decisions in a way no other method of learning can convey. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-things-to-teach-your-kids-about-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">13 Things to Teach Your Kids About Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>2. Lessons in Budgeting</h2> <p>The example above presents a great way to introduce kids to another adult concept &mdash; <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-budgeting-skills-everyone-should-master?ref=internal" target="_blank">budgeting</a>. Whether they're buying clothes at the mall or hitting the movies with friends, they should learn how to budget their money so they can pay their bill when it comes due.</p> <p>If a teenager charges on their card often enough &mdash; and sees that bill roll in time after time &mdash; they'll get used to the fact they need to keep enough money handy to cover their purchases.</p> <p>This lesson can carry through to nearly every aspect of their lives as they become adults. They'll need the money in the bank to cover the mortgage or rent payments one day, for example. They can start developing good habits early by learning to anticipate bills and creating a budget that works with the amount of money they earn, whether it's through an allowance or a part-time job. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-important-lessons-frugal-parents-teach-their-children?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Important Lessons Frugal Parents Teach Their Children</a>)</p> <h2>3. Emergency Spending</h2> <p>If you're not too keen on handing your kids cash every day, making them an authorized user on your credit card is a smart alternative. With a credit card for emergencies, your teen may be less likely to waste your &quot;emergency money&quot; on a frivolous purchase. After all, a credit card will create a paper trail that shows parents where that money was spent.</p> <p>And since emergencies can happen at any time, it's nice to know your kids will have money in the form of a credit card if they end up in a pickle.</p> <h2>4. Credit Building</h2> <p>Perhaps the most important reason to add your child as an authorized user is to help them <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/building-a-credit-history?ref=internal" target="_blank">build a credit history</a>. As an authorized user, the action on your credit card account will likely be reported to <em>your teen's credit report</em>. Assuming you use the card responsibly and keep the balance low, your teen will benefit from <em>your </em>good habits and, over time, earn a good credit score. That foundation can give them a leg up in the financial world for years to come.</p> <p>Of course, adding your child as an authorized user is just the first step. Once they get old enough, they can apply for their own <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-college-students?ref=internal" target="_blank">student credit card</a> that can help them approach credit use with baby steps.</p> <h2>Adding Your Teen: What to Watch Out For</h2> <p>While adding a teen as an authorized user to your credit card account is certainly beneficial for them, that doesn't mean it's risk-free for the primary cardholder &mdash; you. As the account owner, you'll be responsible for any charges your teenager racks up &mdash; and that's true whether they make a good-faith effort to repay or not.</p> <p>One way to prevent a catastrophe is to set a spending limit on your teen's authorized user card. With a spending cap in place, their card will be denied if they try to charge more than their limit allows. Unfortunately, only a few cards &mdash; most of them American Express cards &mdash; allow you to have a separate spending limit for an authorized user.</p> <p>Worried you won't be able to keep track of your purchases and theirs? One strategy that can keep things straight is to add your child as an authorized user on a credit card you rarely use. That way, their purchases won't become intermingled with yours and you can easily track what they spend and how much they owe.</p> <p>You can also keep a running tab on what's going on with your card by creating phone or email alerts for every time your account is used.</p> <p>Whatever you do, make sure to set rules in writing, so they're crystal clear. Let your kid know exactly what they're allowed to purchase, how much they can spend, and how repayment will work. If they appear to be getting in over their head, take the card away from them.</p> <p>Some children need to gain more maturity before handling credit, and there's no sense harming both of your credit records. In those cases, getting them a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-prepaid-debit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">prepaid debit card</a> may be a good interim measure for teaching them about budgeting. Prepaid cards don't help them build credit, but they can't hurt anyone's credit record, either.</p> <p>Whichever way you go, it's important to start teaching your kids early about credit, debt, and bill paying. Your kids will be adults before you know it. Let them learn about money while they're still under your guidance, and they might not have to learn every lesson the hard way. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-signs-you-are-teaching-your-kids-bad-financial-habits?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Signs You're Teaching Your Kids Bad Financial Habits</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-to-add-your-teen-as-an-authorized-user-on-your-credit-card">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-5"> <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/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-living-skills-i-wish-my-parents-would-have-taught-me">8 Frugal Living Skills I Wish My Parents Would Have Taught Me</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-lessons-that-teach-your-kid-to-be-their-own-boss">5 Lessons That Teach Your Kid to Be Their Own Boss</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/7-smart-money-moves-for-empty-nesters">7 Smart Money Moves for Empty Nesters</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/how-to-build-credit-without-using-credit-cards">How to Build Credit Without Using Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Family authorized users budgeting building credit credit history emergency spending kids money lessons teens Thu, 02 Mar 2017 10:30:27 +0000 Holly Johnson 1900236 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Reasons You Should File Your Taxes as Soon as Possible http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-you-should-file-your-taxes-as-soon-as-possible <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-reasons-you-should-file-your-taxes-as-soon-as-possible" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-610688960.jpg" alt="Learning reasons you should file taxes as soon as possible" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What do we want? A tax refund! When do we want it? Now!</p> <p>Here are eight reasons you should pick up the pace on your tax preparation and file well before this year's April 18 deadline.</p> <h2>1. You'll Get Your Refund Faster</h2> <p>Simple logic, folks: The sooner you file your returns, the faster you'll receive a refund (if you're owed one). The IRS says it issues nine out of 10 refunds within 21 days (sometimes less) with e-file and direct deposit. Use that money to get a head start on spring and summer home improvements, pay off debt sooner than later, or bulk up your emergency savings account.</p> <h2>2. Filing Online Is Easy</h2> <p>If your taxes aren't complicated &mdash; and they shouldn't be if you don't have multiple sources of income &mdash; filing online should be a walk in the park. Using <a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-12747133" target="_blank">TurboTax online</a>, for example, is almost effortless, and it will help you submit an accurate return while also saving you money. Best of all, you can do it on your own time and in the comfort of your own home.</p> <h2>3. You'll Have Extra Time to Pay the Taxes You May Owe<strong> </strong></h2> <p>Filing early doesn't mean you have to pay the taxes you may owe immediately. In fact, it'll give you a decent window to figure out how to cover that cost, especially if you don't readily have it available. If you submit your tax return in February, for example, you still have until the April deadline to come up with payment.</p> <h2>4. Your Accountant Can Spend More Quality Time on Your Return<strong> </strong></h2> <p>I'm an entrepreneur, and I own a business that requires a decent amount of accounting at tax time. Admittedly, this is not something I want to handle on my own, which is why I have a CPA. I usually schedule my annual meeting with him mid- to late-February &mdash; before he's bombarded with his other clients' returns &mdash; so he can give mine the TLC it needs. If you have a lot of components to your own taxes, this is definitely a strategy to consider. You don't want to lose out on refund money because your accountant was in a hurry.</p> <h2>5. You Can Spend More Quality Time on Your Return</h2> <p>Even if you're handling your taxes on your own, it's still wise to give yourself ample time to prepare. A lot of information goes onto a return, and you need to ensure that everything is correct. Tax mistakes can be costly, but they can also be avoided if you plan ahead instead of trying to beat the clock at the last minute. Triple-check your numbers and personal information for accuracy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-common-tax-mistakes-we-need-to-stop-making?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Common Tax Mistakes We Need to Stop Making</a>)</p> <h2>6. You'll Reduce the Chance of Identity Theft</h2> <p>Identity theft is a major concern with regards to your finances, and even your tax return is at risk. Scammers can file fraudulent returns in unsuspecting taxpayers' names, but the chances of that happening are reduced the earlier you file. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-these-6-phony-irs-calls-and-emails?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Beware These 6 Phony IRS Calls and Emails</a>)</p> <h2>7. It'll Make Your Home-Buying Process Easier</h2> <p>I've bought several homes over the years, and it's very stressful. For one, the mortgage company needs every last piece of your financial information that they can get their hands on &mdash; and then some. Your homebuying process will go much smoother this time of year if you've already filed your taxes.</p> <h2>8. You'll Have Time to Help Advise Your Working Dependent Kids<strong> </strong></h2> <p>Your working children can also make mistakes on their own returns, filing as independents when they're clearly still dependents. Have a discussion with your kids about this designation &mdash; especially important to remember if they're away at college and filing on their own &mdash; so you don't miss out on deductions that <em>you </em>deserve.</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/8-reasons-you-should-file-your-taxes-as-soon-as-possible">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/the-7-most-common-tax-questions-for-beginners-answered">The 7 Most Common Tax Questions for Beginners, Answered</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/get-your-money-sooner-by-starting-2016-tax-prep-now">Get Your Money Sooner by Starting 2016 Tax Prep 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/8-tax-return-mistakes-even-smart-people-make">8 Tax Return Mistakes Even Smart People Make</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/7-lessons-from-tax-day-to-remember-for-next-year">7 Lessons From Tax Day to Remember for Next Year</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/what-to-do-when-your-tax-preparer-makes-a-mistake">What to Do When Your Tax Preparer Makes a Mistake</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Taxes accounting dependents e-file home buying identity theft IRS kids refunds tax returns Tue, 28 Feb 2017 10:00:21 +0000 Mikey Rox 1897587 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Help Your Kid Build Their First Budget http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-help-your-kid-build-their-first-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-help-your-kid-build-their-first-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-185090450.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Teenagers need guidance to build their first budget. But with sporting events, extracurriculars, and homework to worry about, it can be easy for parents to let budgeting skills fall through the cracks. And if you were never taught how to budget by your own parents, you might not know how to teach your children this skill.</p> <p>Helping your teenage child create a budget does not have to be overwhelming or time consuming. The important thing is to be proactive and consistent as you teach your teen how to handle money in the real world.</p> <h2>Offer a Monthly Allowance<strong> </strong></h2> <p>Providing a monthly allowance will help your child recognize the importance of long-term money planning. If they blow the entire month's worth of allowance in the first weekend, they'll learn an important lesson in delaying gratification. The most important thing you can do is be consistent about paying the allowance each month, and refuse to bail your child out of a problem if they use up their money before the month is over.</p> <p>If your teenager also decides to take a job, consider that a supplement to their allowance, rather than a substitute. Just as you would hate to see your initiative at work penalized by a reduction in pay, your child would hate to see their allowance docked just because they're showing initiative in getting a job.</p> <h2>Require Them to Take Over Some Necessary Spending</h2> <p>Many parents allow their teens to use their allowance and salary as pocket money. While there's nothing wrong with letting your kid have fun money, a big part of budgeting is making sure you have enough money to cover fixed bills. You can help your teenager learn to do this by asking them to take over a necessary bill.</p> <p>For example, you could ask them to cover a portion of the family cell phone plan, or their portion of the automobile insurance. Learning to pay these bills on time will give your teen an important first taste of what it will be like to pay their own way as an adult.</p> <h2>Create Targeted Savings Accounts<strong> </strong></h2> <p>It's likely that your child has some big goals for the future, whether that's going to a private college or buying a car. You can show them that they can achieve these financial goals through targeted savings accounts.</p> <p>Many banks allow you to create several targeted accounts, each with its own nickname. You can help your teen set up a few of these targeted savings accounts and encourage them to transfer some of their allowance or salary into the accounts when they get paid. They'll learn the importance of paying themselves first, and that consistent savings adds up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-savings-faster-with-a-multiple-account-strategy?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Build Savings Faster With a Multiple Account Strategy</a>)</p> <h2>Help Them Track Their Spending</h2> <p>Financial tracking is a necessary part of creating a healthy budget. They should know where their money is going each month, and whether those expenses were worthwhile. If they discover they're spending a good portion of their allowance on going to the movies, introduce options to them, like discounted movie passes or skipping the popcorn, soda, and snacks while there. Remind them to spend their money consciously.</p> <h2>Have Regular Budget Meetings</h2> <p>Plan on checking in at least once every two or three months to see how their finances are faring. They should get into the habit of reviewing how they've spent their money and whether those expenditures align with their goals. This will set your teen up to regularly review their budget on their own, and one day have regular budget meetings with their spouse.</p> <h2>Teach Your Children Well</h2> <p>Budgeting is the cornerstone of financial health, but knowing how to budget is hardly intuitive. Spending can easily become automatic and savings be pushed to the back burner. By getting your teen used to reviewing their finances and planning for their future, you're creating a powerful habit that will guide them wisely for the rest of their lives.</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/how-to-help-your-kid-build-their-first-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-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/10-fun-books-that-will-get-your-kids-excited-about-money">10 Fun Books That Will Get Your Kids Excited About Money</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-new-toys-to-teach-kids-about-money">How to Use New Toys to Teach 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/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke">24 Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke</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-frugal-living-skills-i-wish-my-parents-would-have-taught-me">8 Frugal Living Skills I Wish My Parents Would Have Taught Me</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Family allowances budget meetings family kids saving money savings accounts teenagers tracking spending Thu, 16 Feb 2017 11:00:09 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1889843 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Smart Places to Stash Your Kid's College Savings http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-places-to-stash-your-kids-college-savings <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-smart-places-to-stash-your-kids-college-savings" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-604338428.jpg" alt="Finding places to stash a kid&#039;s college savings" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're hoping to save the tens of thousands of dollars needed to send your children to college, you'll need to do more than stash money in a savings account. To accumulate enough cash to stave off future student loan debt, you'll probably need to invest, and do so over a long enough time horizon.</p> <p>The good news is that there are several investment vehicles out there that can help you save money while also offering some tax advantages. Some are designed specifically for college savings, while others have different purposes but can be used to help with education costs.</p> <p>When saving for college, consider stashing your money in one (or a combination) of these places.</p> <h2>1. A 529 Plan</h2> <p>Any conversation about college savings should begin with a 529 plan. These are investment plans offered by states that allow you to invest money tax-free, as long as the funds eventually go to college expenses. You can open a 529 plan as soon as a child is born and in many cases, begin contributing as little as $25 a month. In addition to seeing investments grow without fear of paying taxes later, you can also get matching contributions and additional tax benefits from some states. In most cases, there are no restrictions on which college a beneficiary can attend. A child enrolled Maryland's college savings plan, for example, can use funds to attend school in Ohio. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</a>)</p> <p>Most 529 plans offer a menu of mutual funds to invest in, though you may find your options limited to target date funds with relatively high fees. And it's important to note that if you don't use the funds for college expenses, you'll pay taxes and a 10% penalty.</p> <h2>2. Coverdell ESA</h2> <p>A Coverdell Education Savings Account is similar to a 529, in that you can invest money and will not see taxes on the gains. The advantage of a Coverdell is that you can invest in just about anything, and the money can be used for any educational expenses, not just college (even tuition for private high schools or grade schools would qualify).</p> <p>There is a $2,000 annual limit on Coverdell accounts, however, so it's unlikely you'll be able to save for the full bulk of college costs. There are also income limits, as those individuals with a gross income of $110,000 (or $220,000 for parents filing jointly) can't open Coverdell accounts.</p> <h2>3. Taxable Brokerage Account</h2> <p>It's smart to look at other options before exploring a regular brokerage account to save for your kids' education. But it is one option that has some advantages over other accounts.</p> <p>The main downside is that there are no tax advantages when you try to save money in a taxable brokerage account. When you withdraw your money, you'll be stuck with capital gains taxes, and no one is offering to deduct contributions from your taxable income. But, regular brokerage accounts do offer the flexibility of investing in just about anything, so you can seek out investments that have better performance and lower fees. Moreover, there are also no restrictions on how you use the gains, so it's no big deal if your child gets a scholarship or does not attend college.</p> <h2>4. Roth IRA</h2> <p>A Roth Individual Retirement Account isn't designed for college savings, but it can be used for that purpose. Under a Roth IRA, any money can be withdrawn tax-free at age 59 &frac12;, so if you happen to have a college-aged child at that time, you can use that money for education with no penalty. Investors are also allowed to withdraw the contributions (but not the gains) without penalty at any time.</p> <p>A Roth IRA will generally offer more investment options than a 529 plan, though for people under 50, there is an annual contribution limit of $5,500. If you do use a Roth IRA for college expenses, it's important to remember that saving for retirement should remain a priority over saving for college. So it's advisable to use this account for education expenses only if you have additional plans for your retirement savings.</p> <h2>5. Municipal Bonds</h2> <p>If you're seeking some tax advantages as well as safety, municipal bonds can be a good option for college savings. You won't earn as much going this route, but you may still be able to accumulate enough for college if you start early and contribute regularly.</p> <p>Municipal bonds are nice because they are tax-free, and don't come with the volatility of stocks. Muni bonds with strong ratings can earn you a tax equivalent return of between 5% and 6%, which is quite solid. If you invest $5,000 annually into these kinds of bonds, you'll have well over $100,000 by the time the kids head off to school.</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/5-smart-places-to-stash-your-kids-college-savings">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-4"> <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/why-saving-too-much-money-for-a-college-fund-is-a-bad-idea">Why Saving Too Much Money for a College Fund Is a Bad Idea</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/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</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/when-should-you-start-saving-for-your-child-s-education">When Should You Start Saving for Your Child’s Education?</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-stocks-your-kids-would-love-to-own">5 Stocks Your Kids Would Love to Own</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Investment 529 plans brokerage accounts college Coverdell ESA kids municipal bonds Roth IRA saving money Wed, 15 Feb 2017 11:00:11 +0000 Tim Lemke 1887743 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Smart Money Moves for Empty Nesters http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-money-moves-for-empty-nesters <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-smart-money-moves-for-empty-nesters" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-108329619.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Parents love their children &mdash; that's a given &mdash; but that won't stop you from breaking out the trumpet in glee when your offspring start footing the bill for themselves. Oh, happy day! Need ideas on what to do with your cash now that it's actually yours again, empty nester? Consider these seven smart money moves once your kids fly the coop.</p> <h2>1. Re-evaluate Spending<strong> </strong></h2> <p>With fewer people living in the house, you'll likely see a reduction in monthly expenses. Re-evaluate your budget and assess how much you were spending before, and then look for areas to cut back. If you have a minivan or SUV that was suited to your larger family, consider trading it in for a smaller vehicle. You could possibly save money on the monthly payment, as well as pay less for insurance and fuel.</p> <p>Or maybe you have the Cadillac of cable TV packages, which accommodated everyone's viewing needs. Look into downgrading to a cheaper cable package. If you don't watch much TV, get rid of cable altogether, and sign up for an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-alternatives-to-cable-tv-that-will-keep-you-entertained?ref=internal">inexpensive streaming servic</a>e. Additionally, since there are fewer mouths to feed, come up with a plan to spend less on groceries. The more you save, the more cash you'll have available to reach more important financial goals &mdash; like finally making some headway toward your retirement fund.</p> <h2>2. Grow Your Retirement Account<strong> </strong></h2> <p>Many parents make big sacrifices to provide for their children, which can include establishing college funds and fully or partially supporting adult children as they complete their educations. As a result, maybe you haven't contributed as much as you would have liked toward retirement. With the kids out of the house, now's the time to play catch-up.</p> <p>Work with a financial adviser, review your finances, and develop a realistic plan that lets you contribute as much as possible toward growing a comfortable nest egg. You can contribute up to $5,500 a year to an individual retirement account ($6,500 if you're 50 or older), and up to $18,000 a year to a 401K (plus an additional $6,000 if you're 50 or older).</p> <h2>3. Increase Liquid Savings<strong> </strong></h2> <p>Then again, maybe your retirement account is on track but you lack liquid savings for emergencies like a car or home repair. Instead of spending extra money on vacations, shopping, or redecorating your home, take the cash you're saving each month from cutting expenses and contribute to an emergency fund.</p> <h2>4. Pay Off Debt<strong> </strong></h2> <p>As you inch closer to retirement, the less debt you have, the better. Come up with a plan to pay off debt, especially <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit card debt</a>. This is not only costly debt &mdash; it also drags down your credit score.</p> <p>Gather all your credit card statements and write down the amounts you owe and the interest rates you're currently paying. Some people tackle the debt with the highest interest rate first, since this is the costliest, whereas others attack the debt with the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-comprehensive-guide-to-the-debt-snowball-method-0" target="_blank">lowest balance first</a> for a psychological boost. Whatever method you choose, pay more than your minimum every month, stop charging, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">negotiate your interest rates</a>.</p> <p>Additionally, consider making extra principal mortgage payments to pay off your home loan balance sooner. If you're able to pay off your mortgage before retiring, you can lower your expenses and stretch your retirement income.</p> <h2>5. Purchase Long-Term Care Insurance<strong> </strong></h2> <p>Long-term care is a type of insurance that many people don't think about, but it's important to shop around and explore options while you're young and still relatively healthy. Long-term care insurance &mdash; which isn't covered by Medicare &mdash; pays for future expenses like home care, adult day care, and nursing home care. Some people don't think about getting a plan until they are ready to retire, but premiums are cheaper the earlier you buy.</p> <h2>6. Downsize Your Living Situation<strong> </strong></h2> <p>More than likely, you don't need as much space as before. Rather than stay in a house that's too big for you and your spouse, or waste money heating and cooling rooms you never use, downsize to a smaller space. A smaller house payment and cheaper utilities can increase your monthly savings, freeing up cash for paying down debt or increasing your nest egg.</p> <h2>7. Convert a Term Life Policy to a Whole Life Policy<strong> </strong></h2> <p>Life insurance is a necessity whether you're young or old. The death benefit paid to your beneficiaries can pay for final expenses, such as your funeral and burial, medical bills, and other debt. Term life insurance is cheaper than whole life insurance, which makes these policies an attractive option. But term policies expire after a certain number of years. A whole life policy, on the other hand, is a permanent policy that never expires and accumulates a cash value.</p> <p>Talk to your insurance agent about converting your term policy to a whole life policy. If you make the conversion before the policy expires, you can possibly get the new policy without additional medical underwriting.</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/7-smart-money-moves-for-empty-nesters">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/5-money-moves-to-make-before-moving-out-on-your-own">5 Money Moves to Make Before Moving Out on Your Own</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/7-money-moves-to-make-as-soon-as-the-kids-move-out">7 Money Moves to Make as Soon as the Kids Move Out</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/its-never-too-late-to-fix-these-5-money-mistakes-from-your-past">It&#039;s Never Too Late to Fix These 5 Money Mistakes From Your Past</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-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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-to-add-your-teen-as-an-authorized-user-on-your-credit-card">4 Reasons to Add Your Teen as an Authorized User on Your Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance budgeting children debt empty nesters kids kids moving out retirement contributions teens young adults Fri, 27 Jan 2017 10:00:08 +0000 Mikey Rox 1878109 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Fun Books That Will Get Your Kids Excited About Money http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-books-that-will-get-your-kids-excited-about-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-fun-books-that-will-get-your-kids-excited-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/iStock-597659170.jpg" alt="your kids will love these books about money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Chances are, you want your child to be financially wise, but every time you start to talk about money management or smart spending, your kid conveniently tunes out. Fun books are the perfect way to get your children thinking about money.</p> <p>You don't necessarily need to force your kids to read heavy economic books. Instead, allow them to enjoy and be inspired by these books about saving, giving, and starting businesses.</p> <h2>1. <em>The Berenstain Bears' Dollars and Sense</em> by Stan and Jan Berenstain</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2i7aviQ" target="_blank">The Berenstain Bears' Dollars and Sense</a> helps teach kids about allowance management. The book has tear-out checks so that kids can practice writing their own. While most of the population uses <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards-vs-debit-cards-a-comprehensive-comparison" target="_blank">debit cards and credit cards</a>, writing checks is still something that should be learned.</p> <h2>2.<em> The Berenstain Bears' Money Trouble</em> by Stan and Jan Berenstain</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2j1dwBl" target="_blank">The Berenstain Bears' Money Trouble</a> features the same lovable bears as they start several businesses to earn money. Starting a business isn't easy, even when it's just a lemonade stand. This book goes through those initial obstacles in a fun way.</p> <h2>3. <em>The Berenstain Bears' Piggy Bank Blessings</em> by Stan and Jan Berenstain</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2j1fFwW" target="_blank">The Berenstain Bears' Piggy Bank Blessings</a> has an overall religious tone, quoting verses, but the story follows the bears as they save money for a surprise birthday present for their mom. My four-year-old enjoys this one, and I enjoy that the book shows the main characters thinking of others.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-best-sites-to-help-your-kids-learn-about-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Best Sites to Help Your Kids Learn About Money</a></p> <h2>4. <em>If You Made a Million</em> by David M. Schwartz</h2> <p>Kids throw around &quot;million&quot; without really knowing what it represents. <a href="http://amzn.to/2iw7QSV" target="_blank">If You Made a Million</a> helps children ages seven and older understand the complexity of big numbers in a fun way. While the book was published over two decades ago, it remains a classic, having won the ALA Notable Book and a Reading Rainbow Feature Selection.</p> <h2>5. <em>Prices! Prices! Prices!: Why They Go Up and Down</em> by David Adler</h2> <p>The well-loved author of the Cam Jansen series, David Adler, also happens to be a former math teacher. His book,<a href="http://amzn.to/2iAlvqd" target="_blank"> Prices! Prices! Prices!: Why They Go Up and Down</a> has such fun illustrations and tackles the concepts of supply and demand.</p> <h2>6. <em>Amelia Bedelia Means Business</em> by Herman Parish</h2> <p>Amelia Bedelia is a lovable and quirky character who takes everything literally. There have been many times I have laughed out loud while reading the original Amelia Bedelia series to my daughter, especially when she is told to &quot;dress the turkey&quot; and makes a little suit for the turkey dinner.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2iAnk6j" target="_blank">Amelia Bedelia Means Business</a> is not written by the original author, but the story still follows the same theme. This one follows a young Amelia Bedelia as she tries to make money, even getting in trouble with the local police.</p> <h2>7. <em>American Girl Library: A Smart Girl's Guide: Money</em> by Nancy Holyoke and Sarah Hunt</h2> <p>American Girl non-fiction titles are both engaging and useful for young girls. <a href="http://amzn.to/2hMVXnq" target="_blank">A Smart Girl's Guide: Money</a> is written in an engaging, magazine-type format. Topics covered are smart shopping tips, making money, and investing. The book includes fun graphics and easy-to-use quizzes.</p> <h2>8. <em>The</em> <em>Babysitter's Club Series</em> by Ann Martin</h2> <p>There might not be any set money lessons in the <a href="http://amzn.to/2iAhDW9" target="_blank">Babysitter's Club Series</a>, but I remember clearly that it helped spark an entrepreneurial spirit in me during my tween years. The idea that a group of teen girls start their own babysitting club had me planning and thinking about doing that myself. While I never started a babysitting club, I still have that entrepreneurial spirit that has allowed me to creatively earn money without a 9-to-5 position. The book series has been redone as a graphic novel, so it will appeal to today's generations.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-frugal-living-skills-you-should-be-teaching-your-children?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Frugal Living Skills You Should Be Teaching Your Children</a></p> <h2>9. <em>Rock, Brock, and the Savings Shock</em> by Sheila Bair</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2j1rmUr" target="_blank">Rock, Brock, and the Savings Shock</a> follows twins whose grandpa offers them a 10-week savings plan. Every dollar they save will be matched. One twin saves his money and has over $500 after 10 weeks, while the other twin spends the money foolishly. Tons of great money lessons in here.</p> <h2>10. <em>Isabel's Car Wash</em> by Sheila Bair</h2> <p>From the same author as the title above,<a href="http://amzn.to/2j1rvqX" target="_blank"> Isabel's Car Wash</a> is about a girl who wanted a doll that cost $10. She decides to start a car washing business, but first needs money for supplies. The book follows her adventure of starting a small business so that she can buy her doll.</p> <p>There are so many wonderful books out there that teach kids important money skills. Look for books that teach children the money basics in a fun way, and also look for books that features the main character acting as an entrepreneur.</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/10-fun-books-that-will-get-your-kids-excited-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-5"> <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-to-help-your-kid-build-their-first-budget">How to Help Your Kid Build Their First Budget</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-use-new-toys-to-teach-kids-about-money">How to Use New Toys to Teach 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/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke">24 Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke</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/the-5-best-apps-for-busy-working-parents">The 5 Best Apps for Busy Working Parents</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/these-5-money-saving-hacks-are-a-huge-waste-of-time">These 5 Money-Saving Hacks Are a Huge Waste of Time</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Entertainment Family budgeting family kids money parenting saving money Spending Money teenagers tweens Mon, 09 Jan 2017 11:00:09 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1869549 at http://www.wisebread.com Should Your Kids Contribute to Family Money Goals? http://www.wisebread.com/should-your-kids-contribute-to-family-money-goals <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/should-your-kids-contribute-to-family-money-goals" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_kid_piggybank_517743380.jpg" alt="Parents asking kid to contribute to financial family goals" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many years ago, I remember watching an episode of Wife Swap, a reality television program where &quot;two wives, from two very different families, swap lives for two weeks.&quot; The episode starred Tulsa, Oklahoma mom, Amy King, who made her three children buy their own treats and contribute toward all family vacations.</p> <p>Initially I thought the idea of making your children pay for their own vacation was a little radical and unloving. Obviously you don't want to force your eight-year-old to give up all of their allowance to your home renovation project or make your teenager stay home if they don't contribute to the family vacation fund.</p> <p>But it got me thinking. Could there be some good in asking children to contribute financially to family goals?</p> <h2>Why Set Family Financial Goals?</h2> <p>Setting and striving toward a goal as a family can be a powerful thing. It can bring every member of your family together and can help you work together and keep each other accountable. Spark Parenting says, &quot;Once kids see firsthand how to <a href="http://www.sparkparenting.com/Tip_Sheet_Family_Goals.pdf" target="_blank">set and achieve family goals</a>, they'll better understand what it takes to set and accomplish personal goals.&quot;</p> <p>Some important goals to set for your family can include:</p> <ul> <li>Spending more time together;</li> <li>Reading 10 books together;</li> <li>Getting healthy together;</li> <li>Giving back to the community.</li> </ul> <p>All of those goals are great to pursue as a family, but I encourage you to take on a financial family goal, too, especially when it feels like your budget is too tight for fun or travel. If you have been wanting to take a family vacation for years, yet never have enough money left over after bills, then setting a family financial goal can help.</p> <h2>Make It About the Family</h2> <p>When it comes to setting financial goals, set ones that involve and please the whole family. Yes, your family might be in debt or need new tires on the family van, but these scenarios should not be the responsibility of your children.</p> <p>Instead, make the financial goal something your kids want and can dream about with you. Here are some ideas for things to save up for:</p> <ul> <li>A family vacation in another country;</li> <li>A special dinner out;</li> <li>A day at a theme park;</li> <li>A family game/toy/activity (i.e. basketball hoop or bikes);</li> <li>Movies and ice cream.</li> </ul> <p>Your family financial goal can be big, such as a $5,000 vacation in Italy, or it can be small, like $30 for movies and ice cream. You can even have a mix of small and large goals. You should allow some room for your kids to daydream and plan. Don't just throw out &quot;Hey, kids, we need to visit grandma in Florida next year, start saving,&quot; and expect your kids to donate willingly.</p> <h2>How Much Should a Child Contribute?</h2> <p>Once the family has decided on a financial goal they want to accomplish, figure out a deadline and how much needs to be contributed each week and month. For example, a day trip to Disneyland for my family would cost around $450. If we wanted to go in 10 months, then we would need to save $45 toward our goal each month. We would then break down how much everyone would contribute weekly or monthly, depending on how often you pay allowances.</p> <p>If you assign chores and allowances based on age, then it is easy to assign how much each child should give toward the goal. Ideally, children's allowances should be split 50% &mdash; 60% spend/free choice, 20% &mdash; 30% save, and 10% give. This is true even if you do not do family allowances. If your child earns $10 a month for chores, you want to instill in him that he can keep $5 to $6 of it to do what he likes (depending on saving goals), $2 to $3 should go automatically into the savings account and not touched, and $1 should go toward charitable giving.</p> <p>For family financial goal contributions, 10% should be required of all children. I recommend the 10% coming out of the &quot;spend&quot; category, so that the child's allowance is broken down like so:</p> <ul> <li>50%&ndash;60% free choice</li> <li>20% savings</li> <li>10% family financial goal contribution</li> <li>10% charitable giving</li> </ul> <p>Obviously, your child is not going to be able to afford Disneyland anytime soon with a $1 contribution per month. That is where your contribution comes in. You fill in the gap, so it is important to make this a priority in your budget.</p> <p>So if my two children make $20 a month each from chores, I would expect them each to pay $2 toward the Disneyland fund. Which means my husband and I would then be responsible for $20.50 each per month.</p> <h2>What If Kids Don't Want to Give?</h2> <p>I definitely don't recommend making family goal time a negative thing with consequences and punishments. Instead, I recommend making a chart and setting the rule that parents only contribute on the weeks or months the kids contribute. So if my kids both spent their whole allowance on something else, then they wouldn't be in trouble, but I would show them that mom and dad will not be contributing this week and that our trip to Disneyland is now postponed a month.</p> <p>Making a large chart to track progress is a huge motivator for everyone. I encourage you to set and treat fun, family financial goals as a family matter. Everyone is doing their part. Of course, some kids might be against the idea, and for those issues, I believe you just need to sit down with them one-on-one and get to core of the problem. For example, maybe Johnny isn't contributing willingly to the fund because he doesn't want to go to Disneyland or because he is mad at his brother.</p> <p>Making your children contribute to family financial goals is for their benefit, not yours. This isn't the ultimate plan to get your child to start pulling their weight. Instead, it is a practical exercise that helps children understand the value of working together as a family, and how to save to make their own financial dreams come true.</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/should-your-kids-contribute-to-family-money-goals">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/8-frugal-living-skills-i-wish-my-parents-would-have-taught-me">8 Frugal Living Skills I Wish My Parents Would Have Taught Me</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-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-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/how-to-help-your-kid-build-their-first-budget">How to Help Your Kid Build Their First Budget</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/heres-how-your-taxes-will-change-after-you-have-a-kid">Here&#039;s How Your Taxes Will Change After You Have a Kid</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Family allowance children contributing family goals giving kids lessons saving money Thu, 22 Dec 2016 10:30:27 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1853794 at http://www.wisebread.com These 5 Expenses Will Probably Cost You a Lot Less in Retirement http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-expenses-will-probably-cost-you-a-lot-less-in-retirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/these-5-expenses-will-probably-cost-you-a-lot-less-in-retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_bike_dog_492263352.jpg" alt="Woman finding things that cost a lot less in retirement" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are a lot of scary headlines out there about how poorly prepared people are for retirement. And it's hard to deny the research: Many people simply are not saving enough.</p> <p>One silver lining in the retirement funding equation, though, is that you'll probably spend less in your later years. Let's take a look at some of the most common costs that decline after exiting the workforce, along with some that may go up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-retirement-planning-steps-late-starters-must-make?ref=seealso">7 Retirement Planning Steps Late Starters Must Make</a>)</p> <h2>1. Housing Costs</h2> <p>Ideally, you'll retire your mortgage by the time <em>you</em> retire. Of course, you'll still be on the hook for property taxes and insurance, but entering retirement mortgage-free is one of the best ways to reduce the cost of living in your later years.</p> <p>You may also decide to downsize, which could cut the cost of home maintenance, repairs, and insurance, too.</p> <h2>2. Work Costs</h2> <p>If you're no longer working, you no longer have to worry about the cost of commuting, work-related clothing, or all those restaurant lunches. Plus, you'll no longer have to contribute to Social Security or Medicare as you probably had been doing via withholdings from your paycheck.</p> <h2>3. Car Costs</h2> <p>If you've been a two-car household during your career, it's possible that you could make it just fine as a one-car household in retirement, which would reduce the cost of vehicle maintenance, repairs, insurance, and gasoline. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-cant-make-it-as-a-one-car-family-now-what?ref=seealso">You Can't Make It as a One-Car Family: Now What?</a>)</p> <h2>4. Saving &quot;Costs&quot;</h2> <p>It's hard to call adding money to a 401K or IRA a cost, but the reality is that once you're done working you'll probably stop contributing to your retirement accounts and start withdrawing from them.</p> <p>By the same token, if you had been stocking a 529-plan account or two with college money for your kids, hopefully they'll be done with school by the time you retire, so those &quot;costs&quot; should disappear as well.</p> <h2>5. Kid Costs</h2> <p>Speaking of kids, even though people are marrying and starting families later in life, by retirement, the kids should be on their own. Just think of all the money you've been spending on their clothing, food, activities, medical care, insurance, and more.</p> <h2>Caution: Your Retirement Spending May Change</h2> <p>While many costs may come down when you leave the workforce, keep in mind that retirement is not a homogeneous season of life. You'll probably be healthiest and most active when you're newly retired. That means some of your costs could actually go <em>up</em> right after retirement. You may spend more on travel and recreation, for example.</p> <p>Then, as you age, you'll probably become less mobile, which means eventually you'll spend less on recreational activities than before you retired.</p> <h2>The Big Unknown</h2> <p>The largest question mark looming on the retirement horizon is health care. Your monthly insurance premiums may decline once you go on Medicare. However, what about your potential need for nursing home care?</p> <p>While that's not the happiest topic to think about, it's far better to deal with it now than when you actually may <em>need </em>the care. To manage that risk, you may want to look into the cost of long-term care insurance. And keep in mind, your choice is not just between paying the high cost of as much coverage as possible or none at all. You could opt for a more affordable policy that would help with <em>some </em>of the costs, while leaving you responsible for some, as well.</p> <h2>The Bottom Line</h2> <p>The very real possibility that your living expenses will be less in retirement than they are now is not an excuse to shortchange your retirement accounts. The best approach is to run some numbers, creating pre- and post-retirement budgets based on your unique circumstances and retirement goals.</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/these-5-expenses-will-probably-cost-you-a-lot-less-in-retirement">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/how-are-people-retiring-in-their-30s">How Are People Retiring in Their 30s?!</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/11-budgeting-skills-everyone-should-master">11 Budgeting Skills Everyone Should Master</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/how-to-help-your-kid-build-their-first-budget">How to Help Your Kid Build Their First Budget</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-frugal-living-skills-i-wish-my-parents-would-have-taught-me">8 Frugal Living Skills I Wish My Parents Would Have Taught Me</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-fun-books-that-will-get-your-kids-excited-about-money">10 Fun Books That Will Get Your Kids Excited About Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement Cars expenses family housing costs kids saving money spending the future vehicles working Wed, 14 Dec 2016 11:00:08 +0000 Matt Bell 1852822 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Frugal Winter Activities to Keep Kids Busy During Holiday Break http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-winter-activities-to-keep-kids-busy-during-holiday-break <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-frugal-winter-activities-to-keep-kids-busy-during-holiday-break" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-607926786.jpg" alt="frugal, fun ways to keep kids entertained over winter break" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are your kids counting down the days to winter break? While it might be a much needed vacation for your children, it can be stressful for parents. Not only do you want to keep the kids entertained, or at least engaged with something other than electronics, but you also want to do it on a budget.</p> <p>Here are a few ideas to make the most of winter break without spending too much money.</p> <h2>1. Volunteer</h2> <p>The holiday season is filled with wants. Children and teens are bombarded with ads, so it is only natural for them to have a huge list of wants for the holiday season. Help them refocus on what truly matters this season by seeking out volunteer opportunities. Local animal shelters and homeless shelters are a good place to start. You can also help elderly neighbors meet their needs, such as hanging Christmas lights or making them a meal.</p> <p>Volunteering is a great bonding experience for you and your child, and it also helps your child to meet others who are in need. It helps them realize that there is more to this season than the latest toy or gadget.</p> <h2>2. Go on a Nature Walk</h2> <p>Kids of all ages can enjoy a nature walk, especially if you have a goal in mind. I recently took my little ones for a nature walk to collect twigs and pine cones that I can incorporate in my holiday décor. Encourage kids to do the same, and make crafts or décor out of found goods.</p> <h2>3. Try a Kid Exchange</h2> <p>If you are feeling a little overwhelmed with your kids for the holiday break, chances are you are not alone. Find a family that has children in similar age groups of your own and propose to exchange nights. You can host a fun sleepover one night, and the other family can host a fun sleepover the next night. This will keep your children entertained for two nights, while giving you a night off. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-these-5-hidden-costs-of-winter?ref=seealso">How to Avoid These 5 Hidden Costs of Winter</a>)</p> <h2>4. Attend Local Plays</h2> <p>Many local theaters put on winter or children's performances during the holidays. Look for discounted or free shows to enjoy as a family.</p> <h2>5. Create a Holiday Library Scavenger Hunt</h2> <p>A trip to the library is free, but can sometimes leave kids complaining. Step up your library trip by making it into a game. Make a quick list of books your kids need to find to earn points. For example, have your kids find some of the following:</p> <ul> <li>A nonfiction kids' book about Christmas;</li> <li>A magazine with winter crafts;</li> <li>A book with the word &quot;Santa&quot; in it;</li> <li>A book with the word &quot;Snowflake&quot; in it;</li> <li>A book to learn about another culture's winter traditions;</li> <li>A funny holiday book.</li> </ul> <p>You can have your kids either write down the titles or check them out for some fun holiday reading.</p> <h2>6. Do Some Cookie Decorating</h2> <p>If the thought of baking cookies from scratch makes you break out in hives, relax! You can buy pre-made dough and some cookie decorating supplies for less than $10. Kids love to decorate cookies, and it can easily keep them occupied for up to an hour. For younger children, put frosting on a plate with a plastic knife, and give them a small cup of sprinkles, instead of the whole container. Listen to a holiday audiobook while you decorate for even more fun.</p> <h2>7. Camp in Your Living Room</h2> <p>Camping outside is out of the question if you live in cooler climates. However, a camp night in your living room will be something your kids remember for years to come. Either set up a tent or make your own tent out of chairs and blankets. Make s'mores on the stove and play fun campfire games, such as Name That Tune or Winking Assassin. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-awesome-staycations-you-should-take-before-winter-ends">5 Awesome Staycations You Should Take Before Winter Ends</a>)</p> <h2>8. Put on a Show</h2> <p>Tell your kids that you will be hosting a talent show with prizes before family movie night. This will hopefully motivate them to spend time practicing their talent before show time. That actual talent show will be a fun family moment that everyone can partake in before settling down to a movie. Don't forget to record the show for priceless memories.</p> <h2>9. Host a Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt</h2> <p>When you're a kid, there is no such thing as too many scavenger hunts. Fill mugs full of hot chocolate and pile everyone in the car for a fun Christmas light outing. You can either just drive around looking for Christmas lights or make it a game with a scavenger hunt.</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/9-frugal-winter-activities-to-keep-kids-busy-during-holiday-break">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-4"> <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-frugal-families-love-boardgame-night">8 Reasons Frugal Families Love Boardgame Night</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-frugal-living-skills-i-wish-my-parents-would-have-taught-me">8 Frugal Living Skills I Wish My Parents Would Have Taught Me</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/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/should-your-kids-contribute-to-family-money-goals">Should Your Kids Contribute to Family Money Goals?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Family family time frugal fun fun activities fun for kids holiday activities holiday break kids winter activities Tue, 13 Dec 2016 11:30:06 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1853169 at http://www.wisebread.com