kids http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1165/all en-US 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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-free-or-cheap-toys-that-will-make-your-kid-smarter">14 Free or Cheap Toys That Will Make Your Kid Smarter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-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-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-the-easter-bunny-should-give-money-instead-of-candy">8 Reasons the Easter Bunny Should Give Money Instead of Candy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/building-a-credit-history">Building a Credit History</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-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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-unexpected-benefits-of-secured-credit-cards">5 Unexpected Benefits of Secured Credit Cards</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-fun-games-that-teach-your-kids-about-money">6 Fun Games That Teach Your Kids About Money</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-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/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/heres-what-happens-if-you-dont-pay-your-taxes">Here&#039;s What Happens If You Don&#039;t Pay Your Taxes</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/top-three-tax-facts-to-know-for-2016">Top Three Tax Facts to Know for 2016</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-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/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/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/7-unexpected-ways-stay-at-home-parents-save-big">7 Unexpected Ways Stay-at-Home Parents Save Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-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/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke">24 Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke</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-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/does-your-kid-need-an-ira">Does Your Kid Need an IRA?</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-get-college-kids-home-for-the-holidays-for-cheap">6 Ways to Get College Kids Home for the Holidays for Cheap</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> 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-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-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/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> <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/73-easy-ways-to-save-money-today">73 Easy Ways to Save Money Today</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-fun-games-that-teach-your-kids-about-money">6 Fun Games That Teach Your Kids About Money</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-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-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/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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-brilliant-tips-from-smart-mom-rich-mom">4 Brilliant Tips From &quot;Smart Mom, Rich Mom&quot;</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/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke">24 Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke</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-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-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/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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <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> </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/11-budgeting-skills-everyone-should-master">11 Budgeting Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-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-3 views-row-odd"> <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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-couples-must-ask-before-retirement">5 Questions Couples Must Ask Before Retirement</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-help-your-kid-build-their-first-budget">How to Help Your Kid Build Their First Budget</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-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-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-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-3 views-row-odd"> <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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-money-on-child-care-this-summer">How to Save Money on Child Care This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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 8 Frugal Living Skills I Wish My Parents Would Have Taught Me http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-living-skills-i-wish-my-parents-would-have-taught-me <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-frugal-living-skills-i-wish-my-parents-would-have-taught-me" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kid_holding_money-486555012.jpg" alt="Kid learning frugal living skills parents didn&#039;t teach her" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We had it great when we were kids. Zero responsibility, zero bills, zero debt &mdash; and then we grew up. Our parents tried to teach us everything they knew, but nobody's perfect, and some things we had to learn the hard way. Like how credit cards will ruin your financial life for years if you start whipping them out at 18 years old like you actually have money to pay the bill. My mistake! Take a look at these other frugal living skills I wish my parents had taught me and see if you can relate.</p> <h2>1. How to Live the &quot;Vacation&quot; Life</h2> <p>I know what this sounds like, but it's not what you think. Living the vacation life isn't about lying around on the beach every day (at least not in this sense), but rather living like you're on vacation by getting by with only the essentials.</p> <p>Rebecca Gitana, author of the minimalist blog Lifestyle Remix, explains.</p> <p>&quot;When we travel, we only pack the things we love,&quot; she says. &quot;The result is the feeling of lightness and endless possibility. Take that same concept into how you 'pack your home' &mdash; only keeping things suitable for your next great adventure.&quot;</p> <p>While I'm fairly good at purging my belongings when I no longer have use for them, I do still retain some of my hoarding roots (especially when it comes to clothing), a trait likely inherited from my parents who really enjoy their &quot;stuff.&quot; It's a habit that can be broken, however, if you can see the value all around &mdash; literally and figuratively.</p> <h2>2. It's Okay to Buy Generic</h2> <p>We never, ever bought anything generic in my house growing up, and I shop similarly today. I justify my brand-name-only purchases with the philosophy that these brands are popular and famous because their products are superior. In some cases that's true, but not always. Which is why I use my judgment when deciding what to buy generic and what to splurge on. I buy store-brand pantry staples, for instance, like flour, sugar, and spices, as well as meat and other proteins. As much as I can, I try to use coupons on brand names to hopefully bring the cost down to where the generic brand would be. Makes me feel better, at least.</p> <h2>3. Why Multi-Purpose Purchases Are Important</h2> <p>We had plenty of space in my home growing up, with an attic and a basement, so there wasn't a real need for furniture and other items that pulled double duty. I had to learn how to make the most of very small amounts of space when I moved out on my own, especially when I moved to New York City. After living in urban areas for nearly a decade, I've conditioned myself to shop for those two- or three-pronged products, like pullout sofas, storage benches, and appliances that can perform several functions.</p> <h2>4. There's No Shame in Using Coupons</h2> <p>Until very recently, my parents didn't use coupons when shopping for groceries, and I tried to get away with coupon-free shopping when I first struck out on my own. Admittedly, I didn't get very far. Like my parents, lots of folks don't use coupons for many reasons &mdash; they don't feel like hunting them down and clipping them, for instance, or they think that somehow using them makes you look like a cheapskate. Nonsense. Take it from me &mdash; the coupon king &mdash; that saving your hard-earned money on necessities like food so you have enough to pay for necessities like shelter and heat isn't being a cheapskate; it's being smart. So to hell with what other people think about how you spend your money.</p> <h2>5. How to Determine What You Need Versus What You Want</h2> <p>Yes, I'm a personal finance expert, but I'm also an avid consumer and major supporter of capitalism, which means that I can sometimes succumb to impulse buys because I think I have to have something. But when I started spending my own money on all the things I thought I'd just die without (that my parents previously bought for me), I had to step back and re-evaluate the situation. As such, I've gotten pretty good over the past 17 years that I've been financially independent, like choosing gas for my vehicle over a new pair of Nikes.</p> <h2>6. To Proceed With Extreme Caution With Credit Cards</h2> <p>Like many families, mine didn't talk about finances. My parents went to work, made the money, and we magically had everything we needed. I honestly have no idea how many credit cards they had, how much debt they were in, if they had any money in their savings accounts &mdash; so on and so forth. And I'm probably correct in assuming that you grew up similarly. Which is in part why as I became an adult, I had no idea how to manage my own money &mdash; especially when it came to credit cards. Long story short, I maxed mine out within six months of receiving them, and it took me <em>yeeeeears </em>to pay them off. Now I use credit the proper way &mdash; as an extension of the money I already have, not a put-it-off-until-you-have-it loan from the Money Gods. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-habits-of-highly-responsible-credit-card-users?ref=seealso">5 Habits of Responsible Credit Card Users</a>)</p> <h2>7. How Vocational Skills Will Save You a Ton of Money</h2> <p>In all fairness, my dad tried to teach me how to fix various issues on my car as a teenager, but I just wasn't interested. As a result, now I have to pay the friendly mechanics at my neighborhood auto shop more often than I'd like. But it's not just auto skills I wish I had learned. I could've benefitted from a wealth of vocational skills, from home improvement projects to yard maintenance to electronics repair, that would have saved me a ton of money thus far and perhaps made me some if I were enterprising enough to monetize my skills.</p> <h2>8. How to Comparison Shop</h2> <p>I'll give my parents a break on this one, because when I was a kid, it wasn't an easy task to comparison shop. In fact, I think we've all learned how to do this together over the past decade or so since the Internet has made it easier. Either way, I'm a pro at it now. My new goal is to teach myself how to do it more efficiently instead of spending hours investigating the best price. How about you?</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-frugal-living-skills-i-wish-my-parents-would-have-taught-me">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/7-frugal-living-skills-you-should-be-teaching-your-children">7 Frugal Living Skills You Should Be Teaching Your Children</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/should-your-kids-contribute-to-family-money-goals">Should Your Kids Contribute to Family Money Goals?</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-ways-to-use-google-alerts-to-save-money">6 Ways to Use Google Alerts to Save 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/6-sibling-discounts-that-can-save-you-big">6 Sibling Discounts That Can Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Family advice coupons financial literacy independence kids money lessons parents saving money shopping skills spending Fri, 09 Dec 2016 11:30:08 +0000 Mikey Rox 1849986 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Classic Toys That Won Christmas http://www.wisebread.com/8-classic-toys-that-won-christmas <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-classic-toys-that-won-christmas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/barbie_pink_hat_514110576.jpg" alt="Finding classic toys that won Christmas" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you're trying to connect with your child, nephew or niece, little cousin, or your best friend's kid, you may have a hard time getting their eyes away from Pokemon Go or the Elena of Avalor TV show.</p> <p>Fortunately, as the holiday season is getting nearer, you have one great way to get their attention: must-have toys from yesteryear. From the Radio Flyer Wagon to the G.I. Joe action figure, let's walk down memory lane and review eight notorious holiday toys that still provide hours of entertainment.</p> <h2>1. Radio Flyer Wagon (1923)</h2> <p>I have learned many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-lessons-about-money-i-learned-after-having-twins">lessons after having twins</a>. And one of them is that some classics just never go out of style. First known as the No. 4 Liberty Coaster and handcrafted in wood, the <a href="http://amzn.to/2g6puwH">Radio Flyer Wagon</a> was a must-have item in most lists of good boys and girls in the 1920s. Nowadays, these wagons are colored in their signature red, made out of stamped metal, and continue to encourage kids to go outside and play.</p> <p><strong>Fun fact:</strong> The inventor of this wagon, Antonio Pasin, named it after his two favorite inventions, the radio and the airplane.</p> <h2>2. Buck Rogers Rocket Pistol (1934)</h2> <p>First introduced in the Amazing Stories comic book series in 1928 and eventually landing his own TV series in the 1970s, the futuristic superhero Buck Rogers has been captivating audiences for nearly a century. Rogers' iconic rocket pistol was first sold in 1934 and made a signature &quot;Zap!&quot; sound. Getting your hands on an original one might be too expensive, but there are many manufacturers making plenty of much more affordable versions of the <a href="http://amzn.to/2h2IERk">classic toy ray gun</a>.</p> <p><strong>Fun fact:</strong> There are many versions of the Buck Rogers rocket pistol, including the XZ-31 Rocket Pistol, XZ-38 Disintegrator Pistol, and XZ-44 Liquid Helium Water Pistol.</p> <h2>3. Slinky (1945)</h2> <p>&quot;It's Slinky; it's Slinky. For fun it's a wonderful toy. It's fun for a girl and a boy!&quot; That <a href="https://youtu.be/EZL6RGkPjws">TV jingle </a>that has been hashed and rehashed for decades. Little changes has been made to the same <a href="http://amzn.to/2g6AidZ">Slinky</a> walking spring toy that was a hit during the 1945 Christmas shopping season. Still, all of us still marvel at Slinky's nonstop journey down any set of stairs.</p> <p><strong>Fun fact: </strong>In recent years, most kids first got exposed to the Slinky while watching the <a href="http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0002476/">Slinky Dog</a> (also known just as &quot;Slinky&quot;) character in the Toy Story movies from 1995, 1999, or 2010. Fans of the movie will be happy to hear that Slinky is coming back in a fourth installment in the series scheduled for 2019!</p> <h2>4. Lego (1958)</h2> <p>The name Lego is an abbreviation of the two Danish words &quot;leg gods,&quot; meaning &quot;play well.&quot; This is not only the company's name, but also its ideal. If you think that these little interlocking color blocks were invented in no time, think again. The Lego Group has been around since 1932 and it wasn't until 1949 that the group came up with the first design for the first set of blocks. It took nine years of tinkering to get the design of the Lego as we know it today. Besides the <a href="http://amzn.to/2h2MzgW">classic Lego set</a>, you can find brick sets in a wide range of models, purposes, and colors.</p> <p><strong>Fun fact: </strong>Some Lego sets can become great investments: An Imperial Star Destroyer worth <a href="http://time.com/money/4162059/lego-investment-compare-gold-return/">$249.99 in 2002</a> today is worth about $2,185 (a 774% return). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-places-to-stash-your-money-besides-a-savings-account?ref=seealso">10 Places to Stash Your Money Besides a Savings Account</a>)</p> <h2>5. Chatty Cathy (1959)</h2> <p>1959 was a great year for dollmakers, and they came out with many iconic dolls that are still beloved by little girls everywhere. First created in 1959, Chatty Cathy was groundbreaking as it could say 11 phrases, including &quot;Let's play school&quot; or &quot;I love you,&quot; after pulling a string on her back. If you can get a hold on an original or <a href="http://amzn.to/2gZBQUd">reproduction version of Chatty Cathy</a>, you'll definitely have a conversation starter as they are very hard to find nowadays.</p> <p><strong>Fun fact: </strong>Besides the original blonde and blue-eyed Cathy, Mattel also release a brunette Cathy and an African-American Cathy.</p> <h2>6. Barbie (1959)</h2> <p>While Cathy generally appealed to a younger set of girls, Barbie attracted many groups. With her virtually endless collection of accessories, clothing pieces, vehicles, and homes, Barbie is the top selling doll of all time. To address the consumer demand for Barbies with more realistic body shapes and more sensible career choices, Mattel has released updated dolls, including the <a href="http://amzn.to/2h2Iida">Barbie Careers Game Developer Doll</a> and the <a href="http://amzn.to/2hdRESz">Barbie Fashionistas Doll &amp; Fashions Emoji Fun, Curvy</a>.</p> <p><strong>Fun fact:</strong> Barbie's full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts. She is from Willows, Wisconsin and celebrates her birthday every March 9th (she'll be 58 in 2017!).</p> <h2>7. Etch A Sketch (1960)</h2> <p>Originally <em>L'Ecran Magique</em>, this toy was a total flop when it was first introduced in 1959 at an European toy fair. Still, the Ohio Art. Co saw the toy's potential, bought the rights, renamed it to Etch A Sketch, and released the mechanical drawing toy a year later in the U.S. Today, you can find the <a href="http://amzn.to/2gZH4zl">classic Etch A Sketch</a> in a wide variety of sizes, including keychain-size and giant board.</p> <p><strong>Fun fact:</strong> The toy was so popular during its release that the Ohio Art Co.'s factory workers had to work <a href="http://www.toyhalloffame.org/toys/etch-sketch">until noon on Christmas Eve</a> to meet demand!</p> <h2>8. G.I. Joe (1964)</h2> <p>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2g6BkGQ">original G.I. Joe action figures</a> stood 12-inches tall and represented four of the branches of the U.S. armed forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps). While the popularity of G.I. Joe drowned out over the next couple of years, the &quot;real American Hero&quot; was successfully relaunched in 1982 with a more kid-friendly size (3.75 inches, or 9.5 cms.), an animated TV miniseries, and an ongoing comic book. True to its fighting spirit, the Joes keep making a comeback to protect us against modern versions of their lethal archenemies, Cobra, as they did in the G.I. Joe movies in 2009 and 2013. <em>Go Joe!</em></p> <p><strong>Fun fact: </strong>G.I. Joe and Barbie went out on a date in 1996 in a <a href="https://youtu.be/uXdFKcETEPg">memorable Nissan TV commercial</a>.</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/8-classic-toys-that-won-christmas">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/this-year-s-hot-toy-is-next-year-s-trash">This Year’s Hot Toy is Next Year’s Trash</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-big-list-of-money-saving-coupon-codes-for-halloween-2016">The Big List of Money-Saving Coupon Codes for Halloween 2016</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/are-you-spending-too-much-on-halloween-this-year">Are You Spending Too Much on Halloween This 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/8-holiday-mistakes-that-can-ruin-your-cheer">8 Holiday Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Cheer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Shopping barbie chatty Cathy classics dolls etch a sketch g.i. Joe Holidays kids legos radio flyer toys vintage Wed, 07 Dec 2016 11:01:04 +0000 Damian Davila 1849010 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Get College Kids Home for the Holidays for Cheap http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-get-college-kids-home-for-the-holidays-for-cheap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-get-college-kids-home-for-the-holidays-for-cheap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends_traveling_together_58534620.jpg" alt="Finding ways to get college kids home on the cheap" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Kid off to college this year? You're already feeling the pinch on your budget as he or she starts their (fingers crossed) four-year career, but there are perhaps a few expenses you may have overlooked during all the hustle and bustle &mdash; like how your little smarty pants will get home during breaks and holidays. To keep these travel costs manageable, consider these inexpensive ways.</p> <h2>1. Cash in Miles for Free Flights</h2> <p>In all the years you've been saving those airlines miles for the vacation of a lifetime, I bet you never thought you'd have to compromise them by bringing your kid back and forth from college for holiday breaks. Yeah, it sucks, but when they graduate and land that high-paying job, they'll totally pay you back&hellip; right?</p> <p>While you hold your breath on that prospect, consider consulting <a href="http://www.rewardexpert.com/">RewardExpert</a>, which helps travelers create easy-to-follow strategies by developing customized points earning plans and maximizing frequent flyer rewards. The service makes it easy to earn free tickets in just a few months, or help you make the most of what you already have.</p> <h2>2. Carpool With Someone Headed the Same Direction</h2> <p>I often carpooled with friends to and from college who lived at least somewhat close to my home. I'd offer gas money for the ride, and my parents would pick me up from their homes so they didn't have to go out of their way to drop me off at mine. Your kids can do the same thing the old-fashioned way by asking their friends for a ride, or &mdash; if they don't have any friends who live within driving distance of where you're from &mdash; suggest that they post an ad on Craigslist or a community or school message board looking for a driver.</p> <p>Alas, if that's too 20th century for them, there's <a href="http://thecollegecarpool.com/">College Carpool</a>, one of a handful of services that allow students to connect with others driving the same direction through private pages for each college. Through forums, students can find available rides, or proactively request one.</p> <h2>3. Enroll in a Car Share</h2> <p>Does your kid prefer to take the wheel, but they don't have a car of their own on campus? Nowadays they can sign up for car-sharing services, which help eliminate the issue of not being able to rent a car from traditional services (like Alamo) that usually require drivers to be at least 25 years old. Car-sharing services like <a href="http://www.zipcar.com/universities">Zipcar</a> and <a href="https://www.enterprisecarshare.com/us/en/home.html">Enterprise CarShare</a> are available to university students, and monthly fees are low. Once registered, students can reserve a car whenever they need one. This is a helpful convenience especially around the holidays when the rest of the family is busy with their own day-to-day concerns.</p> <h2>4. Hop on the Bus</h2> <p>I never took the bus home from college &mdash; that eight-hour ride didn't much appeal to me, plus I had awesome friends who didn't mind giving me a lift &mdash; but when I moved to Manhattan without a car in my mid-20s, I often hopped on a Greyhound to get back to my hometown of Baltimore. It was convenient, fast, and, most importantly, cheap.</p> <p>Thus, if you live a reasonable distance from child's university and they don't mind tight quarters, this may be a good option for you and your family. It's actually a rather relaxing ride once you get situated; most modern bus services, including BoltBus and Megabus, feature free WI-FI, power outlets, and even reclining seats. Smaller-scale regional buses, like <a href="http://www.coachusa.com/info/shortline/ss.studentdiscounts.asp">Short Line</a>, also offer student discounts.</p> <h2>5. Travel by Train</h2> <p>If booking your kid a bus ticket isn't an option, perhaps riding the friendly rails is a more accommodating compromise. <a href="https://www.amtrak.com/student">Amtrak</a> provides service from 500 destinations in 46 states, and it offers a 15% student discount along with the opportunity to earn points toward free travel. Amtrak is the only nationwide rail-service, which means you don't have any other options for train travel, unless you can work your regional lines to your advantage if they exist.</p> <h2>6. Get Creative</h2> <p>You don't always have to choose one option over another. Sometimes you can use a few different methods &mdash; like a bus to a train or a train to a plane, for instance. Look for the best deals among the types of transportation available to you and plan your student's trip home accordingly. It may take some time to plan and settle on the most efficient and cost-effective method, but it's worth it &mdash; especially when you consider how often you may have to do this over and over again in the next four (or five or six) years.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-ways-to-get-college-kids-home-for-the-holidays-for-cheap&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%20Ways%20to%20Get%20College%20Kids%20Home%20for%20the%20Holidays%20for%20Cheap.jpg&amp;description=6%20Ways%20to%20Get%20College%20Kids%20Home%20for%20the%20Holidays%20for%20Cheap" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Ways%20to%20Get%20College%20Kids%20Home%20for%20the%20Holidays%20for%20Cheap.jpg" alt="6 Ways to Get College Kids Home for the Holidays for Cheap" width="250" height="374" /></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/6-ways-to-get-college-kids-home-for-the-holidays-for-cheap">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-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> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-students-should-make-during-a-gap-year">8 Money Moves Students Should Make During a Gap Year</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/8-costly-flight-booking-mistakes-you-make-all-the-time">8 Costly Flight Booking Mistakes You Make All the Time</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Family Travel carpooling college flights holiday breaks kids moving home public transportation rewards miles teens trains young adults Wed, 09 Nov 2016 10:00:13 +0000 Mikey Rox 1806658 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Good Money Examples Every Parent Should Set http://www.wisebread.com/3-good-money-examples-every-parent-should-set <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-good-money-examples-every-parent-should-set" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_19397725_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="every parent should set these money examples for their kids" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Here's a scary statistic for you: <a href="https://corporate.troweprice.com/Money-Confident-Kids/images/emk/2016pkmresultsdeckfinal-160322181149.pdf">71% of parents are reluctant</a> to discuss financial matters with their kids. I think the reason so many parents hold back from talking about money with their children is because they feel like they have nothing to offer. Or that kids don't need to learn about money until they're old enough to get a job. But there's a great deal they can learn from you during their younger years.</p> <p>No matter what your financial situation is, how much debt you have, or what you make per year, you can master better financial habits that your kids can learn from. Lead by example with these three important practices.</p> <h2>Maintain a Giving Heart</h2> <p>When your kids are driving you nuts, and you just want to get from your car into the store or restaurant as fast as possible, someone begging for money can seem like an inconvenience. It can be tempting to blow off the person with thoughts like, <em>Get a job</em>, or <em>I don't even have enough money for my own family.</em> Instead, offer to buy the person a meal at the restaurant or a grocery item at the store you are about to enter.</p> <p>This shows your children how to be giving and thoughtful of others. If the person does accept your offer, you can turn it into a simple teaching moment with your children. Say something like, &quot;You know how we always have food to eat or how you have a bed to sleep in? Some people don't have anything.&quot;</p> <p>Many times, the person in need will just want money. This is another great teachable moment. Encourage your children to help meet basic needs, but to not just foolishly throw their money at people. This goes for both homeless people and friends/family members who try to take advantage of others.</p> <h2>Avoid Impulse Buys</h2> <p>We see it in places like Target all the time: A child begs for every toy or sparkly thing. While the mother says, &quot;no&quot; firmly, she also has no reserve as she tosses a cute blouse and table décor into her cart.</p> <p>I'm guilty of this, too. I'm pretty good at keeping my children in check with impulse buys at the store, but I didn't immediately realize that I needed the same lesson. Now when we shop, and my four-year old asks if we can buy something, I try to make that a teachable moment for both of us. I say, &quot;Honey, I know you want a lot of things here, and so do I, but it is so important for us to buy only what we need today.&quot;</p> <p>Does this mean you can never buy anything fun? Of course not. But plan and budget for the fun items, including your children in the process. Maybe saying something like, &quot;Today we are going to pick out some holiday decorations. Our budget is $20 today. Can you help me pick out something?&quot;</p> <p>See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-things-science-says-you-should-do-for-your-family?ref=seealso">5 Easy Things Science Says You Should Do for Your Family</a></p> <h2>Set Financial Goals</h2> <p>Goals are extremely important in life. I'm not talking about vague and lofty goals such as, getting out of debt or saving $20,000 by January 1. You need to set concrete goals that have actionable steps, and keep progress of your goals until completion. Don't be afraid to tell older kids what your financial goals are for the year, and give them progress reports. It is important for children to learn that they can accomplish a huge variety of tasks &mdash; saving money, getting healthy, learning a skill, etc. &mdash; if they set and follow through with their goals.</p> <p>To make this a family matter, come up with a fun vacation you can take together. Figure out the cost (don't forget to budget in money for unexpected extras) and the date. For example, if you are planning on spending $2,500 for a weekend vacation in six months, then you would need to save about $100 each week. Make it a fun game by drawing a chart that tracks progress.</p> <p>Another way to help your child understand how to set financial goals is to have them set their own. For example, if they want a certain toy at the store, figure out how much it will cost. Then make a savings jar and a progress chart for them that relates to how much they earn per week through chores. Frugal-mama.com has a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.frugal-mama.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/FrugalMamaSavingsProgressThermometerChart.pdf">free savings goal printable</a> to help you track progress.</p> <p>See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-frugal-families-love-boardgame-night?ref=seealso">8 Reasons Frugal Families Love Boardgame Night</a></p> <p>Whether you don't want to burden your kids with your financial woes or you feel like you don't have enough information to give them, think again. You don't have to share every money worry or goal with them, but show them how you manage money and teach them basic financial fundamentals in a fun manner.</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/3-good-money-examples-every-parent-should-set">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/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/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/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> <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/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 finances financial lessons kids lead by example money lessons parenting Thu, 27 Oct 2016 09:30:25 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1821540 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Low-Cost Business Ideas for Teens and Kids http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-low-cost-business-ideas-for-teens-and-kids <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-low-cost-business-ideas-for-teens-and-kids" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kids_lemonade_stand_9934829.jpg" alt="Kids finding low-cost business ideas to make extra money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found articles on low-cost business ideas for teens and kids, how to get the best Black Friday deals online, and tips for homeowners who want to rent out a room.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://moneypantry.com/low-cost-business-ideas-for-kids/">9 Low Cost Business Ideas for Teenagers &amp; Kids</a> &mdash; Social media comes naturally to most teens, and they can make a bit of money by helping local businesses manage their social media accounts. [Money Pantry]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2016/1025/How-to-snag-the-best-Black-Friday-deals-online-this-year">How to snag the best Black Friday deals online this year</a> &mdash; If you know you'll be shopping at certain online retailers, set up an account with them ahead of time. Speeding up the checkout process will help you get doorbusters before they run out. [The Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyqanda.com/enting-out-a-room/">4 Tips for Homeowners Renting Out a Room</a> &mdash; Renting a room in your home can be a great way to make extra money, but there are a few things you should consider before posting a listing. [Money Q&amp;A]</p> <p><a href="http://www.cheapism.com/blog/lifetime-warranty-products-14700/">25 Well-Made Products You'll Never Have to Buy Again</a> &mdash; Leather boots and shoes from Dr. Martens' For Life collection are guaranteed for life. The company will even repair or replace a worn out product! [Cheapism]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Homemade-Drain-Cleaner-30796532">This Homemade Drain Cleaner Will Banish Clogs For Good</a> &mdash; This homemade drain cleaner will have your sink or tub flowing freely in no time. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.fool.com/retirement/2016/10/24/3-ways-to-withdraw-from-your-ira-before-retirement.aspx">3 Ways to Withdraw From Your IRA Before Retirement &mdash; Penalty-Free!</a> &mdash; You can use IRA funds without incurring the penalty to pay certain unreimbursed medical expenses. [The Motley Fool]</p> <p><a href="http://savvyscot.com/how-to-quit-your-job-on-good-terms/">How to Quit Your Job on Good Terms</a> &mdash; Don't quit when things are busy at your job &mdash; your co-workers would not appreciate having to scramble to take care of your responsibilities. If you can't wait for a slow time, give as much notice as you can so everyone can prepare for your exit. [The Savvy Scot]</p> <p><a href="https://christianpf.com/encouragement-for-difficult-times-keep-going/">5 Things To Do When You&rsquo;re Discouraged About Your Finances</a> &mdash; No matter how frustrated you feel, keep on saving and investing. [SeedTime]</p> <p><a href="http://yesiamcheap.com/maximizing-employee-benefits/">Are You Maximizing Your Employee Benefits?</a> &mdash; Take advantage of workplace flexibility if your employee offers this benefit. Having flexible hours or being able to work from home one day a week can do wonders for your work-life balance and overall productivity. [Yes, I Am Cheap]</p> <p><a href="https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/10-most-important-things-you-should-do-to-make-life-simple-enjoyable-and-successful/">10 Of The Most Important Things You Should Do To Make Life Simple And Happy</a> &mdash; Evaluate your daily and weekly commitments. Get rid of anything that you don't enjoy and isn't important. [Pick The Brain]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-low-cost-business-ideas-for-teens-and-kids">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <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-4 views-row-even"> <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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-keep-your-kids-prom-from-ruining-your-budget">10 Ways to Keep Your Kid&#039;s Prom From Ruining Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship best money tips kids teenagers Wed, 26 Oct 2016 10:00:09 +0000 Amy Lu 1820581 at http://www.wisebread.com