children http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1171/all en-US 8 Ways Having Kids Makes You More Frugal http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-having-kids-makes-you-more-frugal <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-having-kids-makes-you-more-frugal" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_family_000011085198.jpg" alt="Happy family at the park" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I was chatting with a childless friend over dinner about how I'd been <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-ive-learned-from-grocery-shopping-on-a-budget">feeding our family of five</a> on $80-$100 a week. The friend was flabbergasted.</p> <p>&quot;My shampoo alone would take up most of that budget!&quot; she said. (I hope she was exaggerating.)</p> <p>The fact is, all of us are as frugal as we have to be to get by, except for those of us who fail to stay out of debt. But having kids actually makes us more frugal because we <em>have to save more</em> of our income to pay for their present and future needs. But there are other important ways that being a mother of three drives me to spend less on all aspects of life.</p> <h2>1. We Are Practically Banned From Restaurants</h2> <p>I used to brunch with toddlers. We'd hold our kids tight while we waited in line, lest we lose them in the sea of waiting adults. We'd ply them with Cheerios while we waited for our food, try to prevent their eggs from hitting the floor, but inevitably, one of us would have to dart out to the sidewalk to avoid disturbing other patrons when a kid started crying.</p> <p>Add onto all this stress the fact that many fellow restaurant patrons don't want to see us there, no matter how hard we work to keep our kids from disturbing them. And the huge tip we'd feel obligated to leave to <a href="http://www.marketwatch.com/story/should-parents-tip-more-than-non-parents-2015-02-10">compensate for the mess</a> we left.</p> <p>Finally one Sunday morning, it hit me that this was not easier than making eggs at home. Nope, it was just more stressful and expensive. If I wasn't enjoying a relaxing treat, why pay to dine out? Now we dine out with our kids only rarely, and when we do, it's likely to be at the least expensive restaurants (because those are the most kid-friendly ones). And we're not alone: Non-parents are more than twice as likely as parents to <a href="http://qz.com/262645/people-without-kids-live-better-than-parents-on-all-fronts-except-one/">eat in upscale restaurants</a>, according to a recent survey.</p> <h2>2. We Would Just Fall Asleep at Bars</h2> <p>Hitting a bar or two with coworkers after work was a weekly ritual when my husband and I were childless professionals. I recently read a San Francisco bar review that noted the cocktails were &quot;only&quot; $10, and I realized that this habit, while fun, was probably one of the reasons my husband and I never had much left in the bank at the end of each pay period.</p> <p>Nowadays, getting a sitter is too much work, no one wants to see our babies at bars, and we can't stay up until the clubs open&nbsp;<span style="color: rgb(84, 84, 84); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: small; line-height: 18.2000007629395px;">&mdash;</span><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">&nbsp;so we enjoy our wine or cocktails at home, where we never have to tip the server.</span></p> <h2>3. We Are Playing for Keepsies Now</h2> <p>When we were a childless couple, we once seriously underestimated how much tax to withhold from our paychecks, and when tax time came, we owed thousands. It was a momentary freak out, but it wasn't hard to pick up a few hours of overtime at work, and cut back on going out until it was paid.</p> <p>With three kids to provide for, we know that we don't have the budget flexibility for an &quot;oh, well&quot; moment. We can't easily put in more work time because we are busy with the kids, and we have less fat in our budget to trim in an emergency. So we were forced to be frugal enough to build an emergency fund.</p> <h2>4. We Have No Time to Shop</h2> <p>Ever hear about deeply indebted consumers who shop compulsively every day? That certainly wouldn't be me, even if I actually liked to shop. Between running Girl Scout meetings, cooking meals, school pick-ups, and ice skating lessons, I'm lucky if I can get to the grocery store, much less a clothing store. If it's true for my wardrobe, it's even more true for our house, which is full of outdated and scratched-up furniture &mdash; not just because we don't have the extra money for a Pottery Barn splurge, but because we would never have the time to select new furniture anyway.</p> <p>Besides, this way we don't feel bad when one of the kids scrapes the coffee table with a pair of scissors or bleeds all over the old rug.</p> <h2>5. Time is Now More Precious Than Money</h2> <p>Like many mothers, I cut way back on my work time when my children were born. This, above all things, is why I got into frugality: I was on the lookout for ways to not have to leave the kids in order to earn more money. And I'm not alone in this desire: A Pew study found that fully a third of American parents feel they're not spending enough <a href="http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/03/14/modern-parenthood-roles-of-moms-and-dads-converge-as-they-balance-work-and-family/">time with their children</a>.</p> <h2>6. Baby Gear Introduces Us to the Second-Hand World</h2> <p>When having a baby (probably more than any other time in life), we suddenly need to acquire a lot of stuff we never owned before &mdash; and that we will use for only a short time. All the clothes, shoes, tricycles, and such, are usually only good for a year, or so.</p> <p>I might have stopped by a thrift store now and then before having kids, but that sudden need for baby stuff is what got me into visiting consignment events, cruising Craigslist, joining Freecycle, and actively seeking hand-me-downs from other families. Once you've tapped into the second-hand and sharing markets for kids' gear, it's only a short step to using the same resources to acquire things for yourself. My current bike &mdash; my main means of transportation since we <a href="http://www.carfreemom.com">don't own a car</a> &mdash; came to me via Freecycle.</p> <h2>7. Kids Are Expensive &mdash; Like, Maserati Expensive</h2> <p>It's not just the cost of <a href="http://journalistsresource.org/studies/economics/inequality/investing-children-changes-parental-spending-children#">feeding, clothing, and housing children</a>, or the worry about how we're not saving enough for college. It's sports. It's back-to-school shopping. It's pressure to throw the best birthday party. And the child care &mdash; oh God, the child care.</p> <p>Even if we try not to go crazy spending on all the above categories, raising kids is more expensive now than ever, and it forces us to be frugal in every other area of our lives.</p> <h2>8. What We Really Long to Do is Free</h2> <p>In a recent survey, parents were 29% more likely than the childless to report getting fewer than&nbsp;six hours of sleep a night. This might explain why after work, childless friends might be out riding their new road bikes or taking cooking classes, but if I have a free two hours, my activity of choice is sleep. Sweet, free sleep.</p> <p><em>How has having kids made you more frugal?</em></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/8-ways-having-kids-makes-you-more-frugal">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/great-financial-gifts-for-children">Great Financial Gifts for 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-much-should-your-kids-know-about-your-finances">How Much Should Your Kids Know About Your Finances?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/downsizing-with-kids">Downsizing With Kids</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/surefire-ways-to-save-on-summer-camp-costs">Surefire Ways to Save on Summer Camp Costs</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/five-jobs-for-children">Five &quot;Jobs&quot; for Children</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Lifestyle children kids kids and money Thu, 12 Mar 2015 11:00:05 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1333602 at http://www.wisebread.com 13 Parenting Hacks That Will Save You Time http://www.wisebread.com/13-parenting-hacks-that-will-save-you-time <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/13-parenting-hacks-that-will-save-you-time" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy-family-morning-Dollarphotoclub_73600395.jpg" alt="happy family morning" title="happy family morning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Before I had kids, I thought I didn't have much time. Then came along Kid #1 and it felt like we were always busy. Fast forward three years to Kid #2 and now I really know what it's like to not have enough time to do everything I want to do in a day. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-must-do-if-youre-traveling-with-kids?ref=seealso">9 Things You Must Do If You're Traveling With Kids</a>)</p> <p>So how do busy parents save time? Try these time saving hacks for parents to get more done in your day.</p> <h2>Clothing</h2> <p>Getting kids dressed takes time. Here are my favorite tips for saving time when it comes to clothes.</p> <h3>1. Instead of PJs, Dress Your Kids in Clothes</h3> <p>Perhaps the most practical tip I got from Sheryl Sandberg's <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0385349947/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0385349947&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=J3Z34FFQFFQYBC3X">Lean In</a> was that she dresses her kids in their next day's clothes instead of pajamas. If your kids are not yet of the I-want-to-wear-this-not-that-Toddler-kicking-and-screaming phase, you have no idea how much time this can actually save you. It literally took 45 minutes one morning to get my son's pants on. (&quot;I don't like these pants.&quot; &quot;Fine, don't wear pants.&quot; &quot;I don't want my legs to be cold.&quot;)</p> <p>Now, most weekday nights he puts on clean clothes for the next day. And we have saved ourselves a ton of time and a huge battle.</p> <h3>2. Set Out a Week's Worth of Outfits</h3> <p>One week at my son's preschool was &quot;Rainbow Week&quot; where the kids wore a different color of the rainbow everyday. In order to make sure we had the right clothes for every day, we set out clothes for the week, and it saved a ton of time. We now do this at the beginning of each week. And this tip also works wonders for your own wardrobe.</p> <h3>3. Iron Clothes With a Flat Iron for Hair</h3> <p>I don't remember where I read this tip first, but a flat iron (for hair) actually does a fantastic job of ironing clothing. If you're time pressed or only have one item to de-wrinkle, your flat iron is already hot from straightening your hair and can be used to fix your clothes.</p> <h3>4. Put a Bathrobe Over Your Clothes</h3> <p>In my first few weeks of going back to work after maternity leave I frequently needed two outfits &mdash; one for before the spit-up and one for after I had handed off my baby daughter to the nanny. Even older kids (and pets) tend to leave work clothes in less than presentable shape if you're not careful before leaving the house. By throwing a bathrobe over your clothes once you're dressed, you won't have to get dressed twice every morning.</p> <h2>Eating</h2> <p>As a parent, it seems that about half of my &quot;free&quot; time involves preparing or eating meals. Here are the tricks we use to save time in our household.</p> <h3>5. Meal Plan</h3> <p>Planning the next week's worth of meals has become a key &quot;to-do&quot; item for our weekend. No longer do we scramble after work to figure out what's in the cupboard or go out to eat because we can't figure out what to make (which actually takes more time than cooking). Plus, you'll end up saving a ton of money.</p> <h3>6. Freeze a Bag Full of Sandwiches</h3> <p>Making school lunches was either a nightly or morning chore that usually seemed rushed. Now, we buy a bag of mini bagels, cut and fill each bagel with either peanut butter or cream cheese, and freeze the whole bag. We also own enough divided lunch containers (I like <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006T5BLRQ/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B006T5BLRQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=NUOSVCIL4OAV7465">Lunchbots</a>) to make a whole week's worth of lunches on the weekends, and then easily throw the items each day in the lunch bag.</p> <h3>7. Master the Crock Pot</h3> <p>We got a crock pot for a wedding present, but it didn't become a counter-top staple appliance until after my daughter was born. We now have crock pot meals at least once a week, because they just save so much time.</p> <h3>8. Make Breakfast Ahead of Time</h3> <p>I like a hot breakfast (or at least not cold cereal) most mornings. Here are my <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-make-ahead-freezable-hot-breakfast-recipes">favorite make ahead and freezable breakfast recipes</a>.</p> <h3>9. Buy a Coffeemaker With Programmable Timer</h3> <p>Mornings with kids are difficult (as evidenced by the fact that half my tips are about them) and a great place to save time in your day. Using a programmable coffeemaker is a great as it's one less thing to spend time on once you're out of bed.</p> <h2>Cleaning</h2> <p>I'm convinced that once you have children, there is never enough time to master keeping a spotless house, but here are some tips to make it a bit easier.</p> <h3>10. Buy a Dustbuster</h3> <p>When you don't have time to vacuum, a dustbuster is a miracle worker. We use ours at least every other day.</p> <h3>11. Love Your Dishwasher</h3> <p>Before kids, we used to handwash most of our pots, pans, and bowls. Recently, I've fully embraced our dishwasher and started putting pretty much all cookware in it. While we run loads much more frequently, we are less likely to have a stack of dishes waiting to be hand washed in the sink.</p> <h3>12. Have a Washer/Dryer Routine</h3> <p>We have yet to figure out how to save time on folding laundry (as seen by the piles of clean clothes around our house. If you have any tips for getting this done, let me know!). But no longer are we rushing around trying to clean clothes for the day we need them. Growing up my dad always put in a load of wash first thing in the morning (we had a laundry chute so there was no collecting of clothes that had to be done). I have recently adopted this habit for myself and found that with a regular routine, I am saving time on laundry.</p> <h2>Shopping</h2> <p>Getting kids in the car, driving to the store, shopping, returning home, unloading kids, and unloading the car &mdash; this adds up to hours each week. My single favorite tip for saving time on shopping is this:</p> <h3>13. Join Amazon Prime</h3> <p>I don't know how parents got their shopping done before <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DBYBNEE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00DBYBNEE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=BSRLSR2O6O2MPEFF">Amazon Prime</a>. If you don't know, Amazon Prime offers free two day shipping and one day shipping for $3.99. You'll save a ton of time by not having to run to the store every time you need an item.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite parenting hacks that save you time? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/elizabeth-lang">Elizabeth Lang</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-parenting-hacks-that-will-save-you-time">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/15-essential-life-hacks-that-will-save-you-time-in-the-morning">15 Essential Life Hacks That Will Save You Time in the Morning</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-ways-having-kids-makes-you-more-frugal">8 Ways Having Kids Makes You More Frugal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/having-a-baby-nine-financial-considerations-for-new-parents">Having a baby? Nine financial considerations for new 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/dads-who-do-dishes-raise-ambitious-daughters-and-4-other-ways-any-parent-can-help-their-kid-succeed">Dads Who Do Dishes Raise Ambitious Daughters (and 4 Other Ways Any Parent Can Help Their Kid Succeed)</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/are-private-schools-worth-the-money-they-demand">Are Private Schools Worth the Money They Demand?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family General Tips breakfast children laundry parenting time savers Wed, 07 Jan 2015 12:00:09 +0000 Elizabeth Lang 1275628 at http://www.wisebread.com Dads Who Do Dishes Raise Ambitious Daughters (and 4 Other Ways Any Parent Can Help Their Kid Succeed) http://www.wisebread.com/dads-who-do-dishes-raise-ambitious-daughters-and-4-other-ways-any-parent-can-help-their-kid-succeed <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dads-who-do-dishes-raise-ambitious-daughters-and-4-other-ways-any-parent-can-help-their-kid-succeed" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/child-entrepreneur-172429752-small.jpg" alt="child entrepreneur" title="child entrepreneur" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="137" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A recent study by UBC found that dads who do the dishes &mdash; and other household chores &mdash; <a href="http://news.ubc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/FULL-submitted-version-PSCI-13-1163-R2.pdf">tend to raise more ambitious daughters</a> than dads who stick to more traditional (or, dare I say, outdated) gender roles and leave the kitchen duties to the women in the house. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-important-lessons-frugal-parents-teach-their-children?ref=seealso">7 Important Financial Lessons Kids Teach Their Children</a>)</p> <p>I am not a mother (yet), but I'd say I'm a pretty ambitious daughter myself. And yes, my dad did do the dishes. In fact, he did them every single night. Coincidence? Probably. But sticking dad with kitchen duty isn't the only way to raise daughters who want to take on the world. Here are a few things that could make a difference.</p> <h2>But First&hellip;</h2> <p>Before looking at how to turn precocious young girls into determined young women, we have to acknowledge the existence of what Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg calls &quot;<a href="http://www.makers.com/sheryl-sandberg/moments/closing-ambition-gap">the ambition gap</a>.&quot; According to Sandberg, even though girls in the United States are well-educated, most still <a href="http://www.catalyst.org/knowledge/women-ceos-fortune-1000">fail to make it to the executive level</a> in business, <a href="http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/fast_facts/levels_of_office/Current_Numbers.php">don't have proportional representation in political office</a>, and <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/upshot/the-pay-gap-is-because-of-gender-not-jobs.html">still earn significantly less</a> in almost all jobs compared to men. And, of course, this doesn't happen because women are less capable, or even less interested. It happens, according to many experts, because so far, our world hasn't been designed to set girls up for this kind of success.</p> <p>So, rather than looking at how to raise more ambitious <em>daughters</em>, I'm going to look at what the research says about raising more ambitious <em>children</em>. I think the idea here is that these lessons should be applied equally to both girls and boys.</p> <p>Here are four ways that have been shown to help kids to achieve their best &mdash; whatever that may be.</p> <h2>Stop at One</h2> <p>According to a study from the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex, the eldest or only female child in a family is likely to be (at least statistically) <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/apr/26/firstborn-children-excel-study-reveals">more capable and successful than her younger siblings</a>. So, if you want to give young girls the best chance, just have one.</p> <p>I'm kidding, of course. But the discrepancy is pretty interesting, and it disappears as the space between children in a family widens. The study's author, FeiFei Bu, believes that the difference could have something to do with parents' investment of time and effort into first-born children compared to their younger siblings. It's worth keeping in mind, especially since many experts still argue that birth order doesn't define a kid's destiny. But, they say that in order to reduce the birth-order effect, parents need to be aware of the biases they have about their children, and work to encourage their strengths individually.</p> <h2>Encourage Them (or Let Them) Dream Big</h2> <p>Big achievements usually start as big dreams and research suggests those are worth nurturing, no matter how abstract, grandiose, or even absurd they might seem. According to researchers at London University's Institute of Education, <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/education-19586824">little kids with the biggest dreams fared the best</a> as adults, regardless of their backgrounds. Sure, an unrealistic proportion of the kids in the study may have said they wanted to be sports stars or veterinarians. The fact that many of them probably didn't achieve those careers (and, by the time they got a little older may not have wanted to) doesn't matter. What made the difference is that their big goals gave them hope for the future.</p> <p>So how can parents encourage those big dreams? A <a href="http://www.suttontrust.com/our-work/research/download/70/">poll out of the U.K</a>. found that all it takes is opening up the conversation with kids about what they'd their lives to look like and encouraging them to &quot;think big.&quot; The poll also found benefit in education and career guidance from an early age.</p> <h2>Value Effort Over Achievement</h2> <p>When Stanford University researcher Carol Dweck told kids how smart and capable and awesome they were before asking them to assemble a puzzle, those kids did much worse than those who weren't praised at all. Weird, right? But it makes sense when you think about it.</p> <p>When you call someone &quot;smart,&quot; you give them a big, important label they feel they have to live up to. It becomes how they define themselves. The problem is that &quot;smart&quot; isn't really something you have to work at. In practice, that meant that the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/05/opinion/sunday/raising-successful-children.html?pagewanted=all">kids who weren't worried about being smart</a> tended to try harder at the tasks they were given, feel happier with their achievements, and progress better over time. According to Dweck's extensive research in this area, praising kids for their <em>efforts</em> rather than their achievements and encouraging them to do their best is the way to go. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-to-succeeding-at-absolutely-everything?ref=seealso"> The Secret to Succeeding at Absolutely Everything</a>)</p> <h2>Remember What's Important</h2> <p>Of course, there's more to life than becoming a CEO, and many parents are most concerned about raising their kids to be happy and healthy. And that isn't such a crazy idea. In <a href="http://&lt;a href=&quot;http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0345515625/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0345515625&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=ROL2XLDL2QYYTQBL&quot;&gt;">Raising Happiness: 10 Steps to More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents</a>, happiness expert and author Christine Carter says that kids who grow up and <a href="http://time.com/35496/how-to-raise-happy-kids-10-steps-backed-by-science/">learn to be happy are also more successful</a>, both in their jobs and in their relationships.</p> <p>Raising ambitious kids to believe in themselves, to have the emotional strength to keep trying at difficult tasks, and to learn to balance all that with becoming happy people is a huge job, even if dad is on dish duty. But hey, it's worth a try, right?</p> <p><em>What are you doing to raise ambitious daughters (and sons)? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tara-struyk">Tara Struyk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dads-who-do-dishes-raise-ambitious-daughters-and-4-other-ways-any-parent-can-help-their-kid-succeed">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/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke">24 Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-having-kids-makes-you-more-frugal">8 Ways Having Kids Makes You More Frugal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-private-schools-worth-the-money-they-demand">Are Private Schools Worth the Money They Demand?</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-strategies-for-controlling-toy-clutter">7 Strategies for Controlling Toy Clutter</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/great-financial-gifts-for-children">Great Financial Gifts for Children</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family ambition children education family successful children Wed, 25 Jun 2014 11:00:03 +0000 Tara Struyk 1147197 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways Immaturity Can Make You Happier and More Successful http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-immaturity-can-make-you-happier-and-more-successful <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-immaturity-can-make-you-happier-and-more-successful" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/father-son-playing-103577116-small.jpg" alt="father son playing" title="father son playing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="153" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Imagine what it would be like if life was a grand adventure and you were an intrepid explorer. For children, this is life every day. By their very nature, kids approach the world with genuine curiosity and are able to delight in the possibilities of what's waiting just over the horizon. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-be-a-more-positive-person?ref=seealso">How to Be a More Positive Person</a>)</p> <p>Sometimes, though, the older we get, the easier it becomes to lose some of that untamed spirit. The horizon can seems further and further away. If it's time for you to break free of the monotony of adulthood and rekindle some of the magic of youth, start with these essential lessons from childhood.</p> <h2>Embrace Endless, Wild Optimism</h2> <p>Children see only the possibilities, not the probabilities. Kids daydream about the most fantastic ways the impossible might come true. Their imaginations joyfully pursue the next good idea even before they know what to do with it. Adults can take lesson from this: Learn to stop dwelling on the reasons something can't happen. Instead, change your focus and explore the possibilities of what <em>can</em> happen.</p> <h2>Cultivate Curiosity</h2> <p>It's easy for adults to lose patience with a youngster's endless line of questioning. But instead of being annoyed, try emulating that strategy and staying curious yourself.</p> <p>Eleanor Roosevelt said, &quot;I think, at a child's birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity.&quot; I wholeheartedly agree. Being more curious means opening up to the possibility that there's more to life than meets the eye.</p> <p>Cultivate curiosity by learning a new skill, traveling, or getting to know people on a deeper level by asking more questions &mdash; it can only expand your world.</p> <h2>Get Creative</h2> <p>Children don't care if they color between the lines or make the sky plaid and the grass pink. They use arts and crafts as a ready outlet for their wild creative impulses. You don't have to be a trained artist to doodle on paper or paint with your fingers. Get the whole family involved in simple <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/three-kids-diy-projects-in-your-pantry">at-home DIY craft projects</a>. And if you feel like you need an art lesson, ask your children to <a href="http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/2014/02/easy-finger-paint-recipe.html">mix up some finger paint</a> with you and then show you how it's done!</p> <h2>Be Fearless</h2> <p>Have you ever noticed that kids are willing to try out their ideas without hesitation (even if it results in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich crammed into a place it clearly doesn't belong)?</p> <p>Adults tend to travel in less fanciful circles because we're less willing to risk failure. Fortunately, most grown-ups also have better planning skills than children. We can prepare for risk-taking in ways that reduce the possibility of unpleasant (or sticky) outcomes. So, consider new ways to step out of your comfort zone and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-do-things-that-scare-you">do the things that scare you</a>. Put your adult planning skills to good use and start taking some risks on the things that matter to you most.</p> <h2>Play With Abandon</h2> <p>For kids, fun is still synonymous with fitness. They don't bother to count reps when they're engaged in endless rounds of kickball. They don't need to stare at the clock on an exercise bike when their real bike takes them to faraway places. They don't need the gym because every day is a calorie-burning, strength-building, circuit training challenge! Kids know what fitness experts having been trying to tell adults for years. The best way to get in shape is to make physical activity a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-make-exercise-more-fun">fun part</a> of your everyday experience.</p> <h2>Say What You Mean</h2> <p>Kids really do say the darnedest things, don't they? That's because they're telling us what they really think. Adults, on the other hand, have well-crafted filters and we feel virtuous for &quot;holding our tongue.&quot;</p> <p>Sometimes having a filter can help diffuse a situation, but at other times, filters holds us back from having conversations that really count. Wouldn't it be great to tell your significant other just how much you love and appreciate them? Or set some more reasonable limits on what is expected of you at work? One of the most empowering lessons we adults can learn is the art of gracefully saying what we mean.</p> <h2>Laugh &mdash; and Cry &mdash; Out Loud</h2> <p>Children proudly wear their hearts on their sleeves. When something strikes them as funny, they light up the room with their laughter. If things get too monotonous, they'll spice things up with their own brand of slapstick. And if they're hurting, kids don't hesitate to ask for a kiss to make it better. But somewhere on the winding road from childhood to adulthood, we stop sharing our feelings and put on thick masks to hide how really feel. Adults can benefit from shedding those masks when the occasion calls for it and being willing to share more laughter, as well as tears.</p> <p>Every lesson adults can learn from kids boils down to this: Let go of some of your fear. Kids don't have the same quality or quantity of fear that adults do &mdash; and that intrepid nature keeps them learning, growing, and discovering something new every day. As adults, if you want to be healthier, happier, and have better relationships, all you really have to fear is fear itself. So go ahead, channel that bold little explorer you used to be, the one who looked under rocks, played with worms, climbed trees, wore cowboy boots with sweatpants, and imagined new worlds.</p> <p><em>What lessons have you learned or relearned from the children in your life? What's the most important childhood quality you've been able to preserve in yourself or own kids?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-immaturity-can-make-you-happier-and-more-successful">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-get-prettier-smarter-and-healthier-while-you-sleep">6 Ways to Get Prettier, Smarter, and Healthier While You Sleep</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/kill-boredom-with-these-34-fun-and-productive-projects">Kill Boredom With These 34 Fun and Productive Projects</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/11-ways-to-learn-something-new-every-day">11 Ways to Learn Something New Every Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-having-kids-makes-you-more-frugal">8 Ways Having Kids Makes You More Frugal</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/25-easy-ways-to-make-your-life-more-interesting">25 Easy Ways to Make Your Life More Interesting</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Personal Development children kid lessons learning self improvement Mon, 23 Jun 2014 11:00:04 +0000 Kentin Waits 1145814 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Strategies for Controlling Toy Clutter http://www.wisebread.com/7-strategies-for-controlling-toy-clutter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-strategies-for-controlling-toy-clutter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/toys.jpg" alt="7 Strategies for Controlling Toy Clutter" title="7 Strategies for Controlling Toy Clutter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="155" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Any parent of young children can tell you that keeping up with the toy clutter is an ongoing &mdash; and losing &mdash; battle.</p> <p>Before I had my daughter, I swore that my home would not become overrun with primary-colored bits of plastic, but reality was a different story. While the chances are slim of your living room being the pristine, perfectly accessorized space you dream of (at least until the kids outgrow their toys), these strategies for controlling the toy clutter can help give you a little visual relief. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-your-junk" target="_blank">How to Get Rid of Your Junk</a>)</p> <h2>1. Rotate and Limit Toys</h2> <p>I&rsquo;ve found that my daughter quickly gets bored of new toys, so I try to rotate them out to keep them fresh.</p> <p>When she receives a bunch of new toys for holidays or her birthday, I let her play with one new toy and keep the rest in the guest room closet. Fewer toys out in the family room means less daily clutter. When I notice my daughter neglecting her toys, I switch them out. My plan is to bring the old toys back when she has forgotten about them, although since my daughter is the only grandchild on both sides, I think she&rsquo;ll have enough new toys to last for years.</p> <h2>2. Baskets and Bins</h2> <p>Having a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-space-survival-strategies" target="_blank">variety of large baskets and bins</a> to corral loose toys makes cleanup faster and easier. After all, they&rsquo;ll be played with and messed up the next day, so who cares if they&rsquo;re stored in a big pile in a basket or box? My toddler enjoys putting things in boxes, so I try to make cleanup a game for her &mdash; hopefully she&rsquo;ll learn some good habits along the way!</p> <p>If you want to organize toys a little better, you can label the baskets and bins &mdash; all dolls in one bin, for example, or all cars in another. Having everything in its own bin makes it easier for your child to find the toy he or she is looking for.</p> <h2>3. Purge</h2> <p>This might be the best way to control the toy clutter &mdash; just don&rsquo;t keep so many toys! Whether you put them in storage, give them to friends, or donate them to the local thrift store, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-all-your-crap" target="_blank">get rid of the toys your child no longer plays with</a>. Alternatively, swap them with another child&rsquo;s toys so you&rsquo;re not storing useless clutter.</p> <p>Having fewer toys might actually help your child to focus better on his or her play instead of getting distracted by another toy within reach.</p> <h2>4. Store Toys in Every Room</h2> <p>Having just one storage area in the entire house can make it difficult to put all the toys away at the end of the day. Instead, designate toy storage areas in several rooms, whether it&rsquo;s a drawer in your child&rsquo;s bedroom, a box in the pantry, or a mesh bag for the bath toys in the bathroom. That way, there&rsquo;s always a storage spot within easy reach so you can tuck away the clutter.</p> <p>However, don&rsquo;t let toys get strewn all over &mdash; designating one room for primary play and toy storage helps to prevent the chaos from reaching the rest of the house.</p> <h2>5. Store Toys at Grandma&rsquo;s</h2> <p>It&rsquo;s hard to control the continuous flow of toys into our home, as both sets of grandparents have made it their mission to shower my daughter with every piece of pink plastic known to humankind. To prevent my home from being overrun, I tactfully suggest that my daughter&rsquo;s grandparents keep some toys at their home for her to play with when she comes over. That way, my daughter gets super excited to visit her grandparents, and I can always rotate the toys from their house to mine if needed.</p> <h2>6. Clean Up Every Night</h2> <p>Don&rsquo;t wait for the clutter to pile up and drive you crazy before cleaning up. Keep the toy <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-one-month-guide-to-spring-cleaning" target="_blank">clutter manageable by cleaning up frequently</a>, such as every evening before your child goes to bed. That way, the mess won&rsquo;t be as intimidating and you can de-stress a little before heading to bed yourself.</p> <h2>7. Discover Hidden Storage</h2> <p>Storage ottomans, closed cabinets, and bins under the bed can keep toy clutter out of sight and help you feel like you&rsquo;re a little more in control of your home.</p> <p><em>How do you control toy clutter at home?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-strategies-for-controlling-toy-clutter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-throw-out-today">25 Things to Throw Out Today</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-only-5-words-you-need-to-declutter-your-life">The Only 5 Words You Need to Declutter Your Life</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/make-your-own-moon-sand-dirt-cheap">Make Your Own Moon Sand, Dirt Cheap</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-budget-design-ideas-for-a-kids-playroom">10 Budget Design Ideas for a Kids&#039; Playroom</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-in-your-office-you-can-throw-out-today">12 Things in Your Office You Can Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Organization children declutter toys Fri, 05 Apr 2013 10:24:32 +0000 Camilla Cheung 971638 at http://www.wisebread.com Save on School Expenses Without Ruining Your Kid's Childhood http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-school-expenses-without-ruining-your-kids-childhood <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/save-on-school-expenses-without-ruining-your-kids-childhood" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/WB school kids running.jpg" alt="school kids running" title="school kids running" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Requests for money from schools are relentless. Appeals start in late summer, crescendo in the first couple of months, and persist with numerous opportunities throughout the school year. From kindergarten to high-school graduation, even in public schools, expenses for education and extracurricular activities can run from about $5,000 for bare-bones fees to $20,000 or more (and that's per child).</p> <p>Yes, many costs are optional. And the steepest expenses are incurred for school-based extracurriculars, generally in high school. But that doesn&rsquo;t make the requests, lengthy considerations, parent-child debates, and angst about whether to spend money or just say &ldquo;no&rdquo; evaporate. Having a son in high school and another in college now has given me perspective on how to handle the near-constant sales pressure. To get you ready for the pitches and up-sells, consider these types of expenses and their value to you, your child, and children in your community. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-on-school-supplies-without-going-crazy">How to&nbsp;Save on&nbsp;School Supplies Without Going Crazy</a>)</p> <h2>School Pictures</h2> <p>My kids&rsquo; schools offer fall and spring photo opportunities. The first is a traditional portrait for the yearbook; the second is more casual and serves as a fundraiser. There are package deals along with extras for additional fees. These include retouching, airbrushing, special backgrounds, names imprinted on photos, and images on key chains.</p> <p>Who doesn&rsquo;t want portraits of their children? The offers are enticing because the sessions are arranged for you. Plus, the photos are handy for holiday gift giving, serve as wonderful keepsakes for the family, and support the school. But the twice a year schedule yields an overflow of prints, and typically there are no digital images that allow easy storage and reproduction.</p> <p>Average &quot;value deal&quot; costs are $40, though you could spend $150 if you opt for special features, plenty of prints, and novelty products. Avoid the extras to keep expenses low. Consider skipping the purchase of one or both of the seasonal packages. Instead, schedule a family portrait or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/affordable-tips-for-taking-a-phenomenal-family-photo">learn techniques for snapping great pictures yourself</a>.</p> <h2>Fundraisers and Donation Requests</h2> <p>My children had the fortune of attending a new elementary school. Because leaders had a proverbial blank slate in terms of traditions, they decided to forgo standard fundraisers in favor of flat-out requests for money (100% goes to the school!). Even so, fundraiser creep happened; special events like book fairs, fall festivals, and silent auctions were held to generate money. Later, middle school and high school brought sales of magazines, cookie dough, citrus fruit, sunglasses, chicken pies, and more.</p> <p>Will my child&rsquo;s self-esteem suffer if he doesn't make a sale? Should I make a purchase as a show of support? Do I encourage my children to sell door to door or call family and friends?</p> <p>Participating in fundraisers (buying things or selling them to friends and family) and making suggested donations can cost $50-$200. If you are like me, you will respond to straightforward requests and give money for specific projects identified as high priority by administrators and parent leaders (such as playground equipment for students with disabilities). In regard to the other fundraisers, buy fairly priced items if you want or need them, but don't feel pressured to purchase overpriced trinkets just to win cool prizes for the kids.</p> <h2>Teacher Gifts</h2> <p>Teacher appreciation week was a huge event at the elementary school that my children attended. One year, the PTA encouraged parents to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christmas-gifts-for-teachers-10-great-possibilities">give gifts to all their teachers</a>, not just the regular classroom ones. This list included those who taught media, computer, accelerated learning, physical education, art, and music. In addition, many parents gave holiday and end-of-the-year presents.</p> <p>As a good parent and responsible citizen, didn&rsquo;t I want to show appreciation for those who teach and nurture my children? But couldn&rsquo;t an expensive gift or a plethora of small presents be perceived as a way to inappropriately ingratiate myself with a teacher?</p> <p>If you give for all occasions as well as multiple teachers and coaches, you could spend $100 or more each school year. Be judicious &mdash; contribute a small but needed amount to group gifts, pass along a gift card obtained by redeeming rewards points or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/making-change-count">loose coins</a>, or give a special item or thoughtful note of appreciation at the end of the year.</p> <h2>Field Trips</h2> <p>Day outings in elementary schools were inexpensive. But registration forms included a request for donations to cover the cost of children whose parents could not afford the full amount. Multi-day travel, such as class trips in the last year of elementary school and middle school, had much higher price tags.</p> <p>I have fond memories of school field trips (there were no class trips in my childhood). Didn&rsquo;t I want my kids and all of their classmates to have fun too? Won't the kids who stay at school be miserable when their friends are on outings?</p> <p>Paying for your child and sponsoring others on field trips can cost from $20 for daylong events and nearly $500 for class trips. To reduce the impact on your bank account, encourage your children to earn money and designate birthday or Christmas money for big trips.</p> <h2>Book Fairs</h2> <p>Book fairs at my kids&rsquo; elementary and middle schools were held twice each year. Prices were high compared to online booksellers. Complementing pricey books were expensive educational toys, games, posters, and funky pencils. If you happened to have all that you needed, you could buy wish-list items for your child&rsquo;s teacher.</p> <p>At first, I found book fairs hard to resist. What parent doesn&rsquo;t want to give their children money to buy a book, a purchase that also benefits the school library? Why wouldn&rsquo;t I want to help the teacher build her library to help future generations read, learn, and contribute to society? Eventually, though, my children had as many books as they could possibly read; ditto for many of the veteran teachers.</p> <p>You could easily spend $50 at each event, more if you indulged in educational toys or bought wish-list books for teachers. Trim costs by giving your child a designated amount to spend and/or forbidding purchase of non-book items.</p> <h2>Extracurricular Activities</h2> <p>For my children, extracurricular activities sponsored by schools in their younger years were mostly free, though I was encouraged to donate afterschool snacks. Costs skyrocketed in middle school and high school. Expenses were incurred for summer football camp, sports rehab, musical instruments, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-music-lessons-worth-it-hidden-benefits-may-tip-the-scale">private music lessons</a>, uniforms, end-of-season banquets, and more. And I could have easily spent more on specialized sports instruction and music camp.</p> <p>How do I distinguish between supporting my child in his endeavors and throwing money at an opportunity to excel? Do I consider possible return on investments (such as college scholarships)? What are spending priorities for our family and our children?</p> <p>Going deep into extracurriculars even at public schools can exceed $1,500 each year, more if you need special equipment. Figuring out which costs are essential and which are superfluous isn&rsquo;t simple as they will vary depending on your child&rsquo;s interests, desire, and potential. Consulting with a friend who is familiar with the costs and benefits of activity-related purchases can be helpful. Take advantage of free services before moving to paid resources.</p> <h2>Yearbooks</h2> <p>The sale of yearbooks starts in kindergarten. Accessories include engraved name plates, protective plastic covers, and digital editions. You can also get ads for personal or business purposes.</p> <p>Don&rsquo;t you want your children to experience the excitement of getting yearbooks and having their friends sign them? Don&rsquo;t you want your children to remember good times and names of former classmates?</p> <p>A basic yearbook prior to high school costs about $25; high school editions are much steeper and can cost $75 or more. Skip the extras to save money or wait until your kids are older before buying these.</p> <p>There's more:&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li>School supplies are small when kids are young but increase noticeably in high school requiring advanced calculators, books for English literature (usually requiring a specific ISBN, not just any edition), and book bags that can withstand hauling large and heavy loads<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>PTA memberships for you and your family members<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Testing fees that may include evaluations for giftedness and learning disabilities along with AP courses in high school<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Tutoring for kids who need extra help<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Snacks for parties and birthdays<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Event tickets for athletic competitions, band concerts, and plays<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Uniforms and/or special attire for musical performances, class presentations, and dress-up banquets</li> </ul> <p>Finally, senior year expenses can add up quickly. There are cap and gown rentals, senior pictures, and graduation ceremony invitations.</p> <p>You want to make sure that your children have everything that they need to do well in school. But how do you distinguish needs from wants? If you are spending out of fear of rejection (your child's or your own), landing in second place, etc., evaluate the messages that the schools are sending. Embrace the idea that your kid will have a great childhood with caring parents even if they don't qualify for a fundraising incentive, bring the best snacks to school, and attend every banquet.</p> <p><em>What school or school-sponsored products or services do you think cost too much? </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-school-expenses-without-ruining-your-kids-childhood">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-delaying-marriage-or-kids-saves-you-money">Here&#039;s How Delaying Marriage or Kids Saves You 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/19-frugal-ways-to-entertain-teenagers">19 Frugal Ways to Entertain Teenagers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-having-kids-makes-you-more-frugal">8 Ways Having Kids Makes You More Frugal</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/having-a-baby-nine-financial-considerations-for-new-parents">Having a baby? Nine financial considerations for new parents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-survive-with-one-car-in-suburbia">Can You Survive with One Car in Suburbia?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Family children school expenses teacher gifts Fri, 28 Sep 2012 10:24:43 +0000 Julie Rains 954633 at http://www.wisebread.com Great Financial Gifts for Children http://www.wisebread.com/great-financial-gifts-for-children <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/great-financial-gifts-for-children" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5232269732_8ab316ac5a_b.jpg" alt="toy cash register" title="toy cash register" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Think back to your childhood and the toys you played with, and there's probably a toy you wish you had as an adult to either play with or give to your children. It could be a game, favorite doll, bike, little red wagon, or anything else that sparked your imagination.</p> <p>For me, after a <a href="http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12737384&amp;camp=ppc:431499102&amp;affcode=1499102&amp;searchdef=2194806&amp;k_clickid=7338ed9d-35cc-1a68-53c8-00003664ad37&amp;002=2194806&amp;006=18249304486&amp;007=Search&amp;008=&amp;009=e&amp;012=big%20wheels&amp;021=19716323709">Big Wheel Racer</a>, I was always fond of piggy banks. I was a geek saver even as a child, and I too often used my allowance money to buy coin sorters and other contraptions to store my change before taking it to the bank to put in a savings account. My favorite was a small, clear plastic case where you put a coin in at the top, and it would roll down a path and fall into a slot for whatever size coin it was. It was an easy way to count coins and helped get me on the road to being a saver.</p> <p>I've received plenty of other great financial gifts since then, and have bought some for my daughter in the hope of teaching her some financial life skills. Here are some great financial gifts for children. Since children through college age can still use financial gifts, not all here are toys, but they are still great gifts. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-why-you-should-give-kids-cash-for-the-holidays">5 Reasons Why&nbsp;You Should Give Kids Cash for the Holidays</a>)</p> <h2>Piggy Banks</h2> <p>The pink little piggy is usually a child's first introduction to saving money. It's where they (and you) can put extra change, giving them a chance to spill the coins out on the floor every once in awhile and learn how to count money. The banks come in many sizes and colors, and one of my favorites is the <a href="http://www.msgen.com/assembled/money_savvy_pig.html#.UE4sHhgjT6B">Money Savvy Piggy Bank</a> that has separate compartments to save, spend, donate, and invest. The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Moonjar-Classic-Moneybox-Spend-Share/dp/0972428216">Moonjar Moneybox</a> and its compartments to save, spend, and share is also popular. The best piggy bank, however, may be one without a hole in the bottom that you have to destroy to get into.</p> <h2>Play Cash Register</h2> <p>Having fake dollar bills and coins to count and give out as change for &quot;transactions&quot; from your friends is a smart way to learn how to count and learn the value of a dollar. What child hasn't played &quot;store&quot; at home and sold groceries or whatever? A cash register is a necessity for any play business.</p> <h2>Monopoly</h2> <p>What better board game to learn about money than this classic that has been around in <a href="http://www.ideafinder.com/history/inventions/monopoly.htm">some form</a> since 1883 (when it was called &quot;Banking&quot;)? The Game of Life also does a great job teaching about spending and saving, but Monopoly is tops for teaching how to manage money. Should you buy that low-rent property? Is it worth it to build a hotel? How can you negotiate with other players to get the properties you want?</p> <h2>Passbook Savings Account</h2> <p>Believe it or not, banks still have these, which still have written ledgers to keep track of balances. It's the best way to learn how to save because it's real money that belongs to a child. I helped my daughter open one in kindergarten so she could put birthday money in it, with the goal of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/guide-to-buying-a-used-car-without-going-crazy">saving for a car</a> or college. The <a href="http://www.money-rates.com/savings.htm">interest rates</a> that these pay are low, so consider moving large sums to other investments such as CDs.</p> <h2>Education Savings Plan</h2> <p>Also called <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/college/section-529-plans">529 Plans</a>, these investments grow <a href="http://www.savingforcollege.com/intro_to_529s/name-the-top-7-benefits-of-529-plans.php">tax-deferred</a>. The donor is in charge of the plan and decides when the money is taken out. Giving a 529 Plan donation to a grandchild, for example, requires having a Social Security number of a parent. In that case, the parent will be the custodian of the account, so the grandparent won't get any tax benefits by donating.</p> <p>In <a href="https://idsaves.s.upromise.com/">Idaho</a>, which has 27,000 such accounts with $230 million in assets, a single person with a child can give up to $4,000 annually to their child's 529 account, while a married couple filing jointly can give $8,000 annually, says Idaho Treasurer Ron Crane.</p> <p>&quot;What a great gift to give to a newborn child or to a kid just starting school,&quot; Crane told me in a phone interview.</p> <h2>Retirement Account</h2> <p>Helping children see the long view is difficult, especially if it's 50 years away. Creating a family retirement account is an ambitious step for teens, but one that <a href="http://blog.famzoo.com/2011/04/pave-road-to-retirement-for-your.html">FamZoo</a> says takes only 30 minutes to set up for a lifetime of savings. Here's how it works &mdash; a parent or other relatives matches a teen's earned income contributions to a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-surprising-facts-about-roth-iras">Roth IRA</a> in the teen's name. Use a savings calculator to show them how much money they'll save in 50 years &mdash; usually $1 million or more. A custodial account can be set up for a teen, and the contributions and investments can be made online. It's a smart way to reach the ultimate long-term goal of retirement.</p> <h2>Stock</h2> <p>Buying a child stock in Disney, or any other company they're excited about, is a smart way to teach them about investing, the stock market, dollar cost averaging, and reinvesting dividends. You can often <a href="https://www-us.computershare.com/investor/plans/planslist.asp?bhjs=1&amp;fla=0&amp;stype=dspp">buy stock directly</a> through the company &mdash; $250 to start through Disney with minimum additional investments at $50 &mdash; or buy through a broker and ask for a keepsake stock certificate.</p> <p>Besides physical toys and financial gifts, the best financial gifts to give children are continuing discussions about money and the importance of saving it. Without regular talks about how money can be saved and used, you might as well just give them a Big Wheel to ride on without teaching them to ride on the sidewalk only. You don't want them to get run over &mdash; whether on a toy or financially.</p> <p><em>I'm sure there are other financial gifts out there that are worth giving to kids. What were some of your favorite financial gifts as a kid? Please respond in the comments section below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/aaron-crowe">Aaron Crowe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/great-financial-gifts-for-children">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-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-having-kids-makes-you-more-frugal">8 Ways Having Kids Makes You More Frugal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-money-tools-and-toys-for-every-age-group">The Best Money Tools and Toys for Every Age Group</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/five-jobs-for-children">Five &quot;Jobs&quot; for Children</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/this-season-give-your-child-the-gift-of-fiscal-responsibility">This Season, Give Your Child the Gift of Fiscal Responsibility</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-places-to-get-cheaper-diapers">5 Places to Get Cheaper Diapers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family Shopping children financial gifts kids and money piggy banks Tue, 11 Sep 2012 10:00:42 +0000 Aaron Crowe 954411 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Simple Ways to Get Big Back-to-School Savings http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-get-big-back-to-school-savings <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-simple-ways-to-get-big-back-to-school-savings" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/7721286900_01d3d46f94_z.jpg" alt="back to school shopping" title="back to school shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The other day I was shopping for a set of pool goggles, and just one aisle over stood shelves of folders, pencils, and notebooks for the upcoming school year. I was saddened to see summer coming to such an abrupt end, and even more devastated when I realized both of my girls would need a full wardrobe overhaul for the fall as they have grown like wildflowers in just a few months.</p> <p>Starting early is one of the best ways to get the most savings on back-to-school needs. You have more time to seek out the deals rather than grabbing whatever is in front of you if you wait until the last minute. Here are some other tips for stretching your back-to-school bucks before school is back in session. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-on-school-supplies-without-going-crazy">How to Save on School&nbsp;Supplies Without Going Crazy</a>)</p> <h2>Prepare Your List and Budget</h2> <p>Don&rsquo;t shop for a single thing until you have first made a budget and a list of things needed. It is way too easy to fall for marketing gimmicks and cute stuff found in back-to-school sales. If you are shopping for more than one kid, make each one a column of their own. If schools have a mandatory supply list, get it early so you have more opportunity to shop around and a longer period of time to save up cash and avoid credit card purchases.</p> <h2>Shop Online First</h2> <p>There are many online retailers that offer excellent discounts and coupons if you sign up for their email promotions. You may also get free shipping offers, which are much more cost-effective than wasting your gas to drive to the mall. Online shopping also gives you the advantage of accessing products you can&rsquo;t find in your local stores. Just remember to stick with your list and resist the temptation of a good deal on things your children do not need.</p> <h2>Buy Quality Products</h2> <p>Kids of all ages can be hard on their school gear, so you will save more in the long run by purchasing quality items like backpacks, binders, and even clothing. If you are focused only on cost, you will likely need to replace the objects more than once throughout the school year. High-quality items may also last more than one school year, so try to avoid trendy characters and stick with basic colors and designs that will still be cool next year. Let kids choose low-cost trendy items like pencils and folders that won&rsquo;t last past one school year anyway.</p> <h2>Shop for Next Year This Fall</h2> <p>If you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stock-up-on-school-and-office-supplies-with-back-to-school-sales">shop clearance sales</a> after school has started, consider the years of school still ahead. Purchase clothing one or two sizes larger than your child&rsquo;s current size for next fall, if prices are good. Stock up on disposable items like notebooks, paper, crayons, markers, and other supplies that hit rock bottom lows at store clearance sales. After a few years of stocking up, you may never need to be involved in the back-to-school rush again.</p> <h2>Leave the Kids at Home</h2> <p>While not all parents have the option to leave their kids behind on a shopping trip, if you have <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nanny-sharing-lowering-the-cost-of-personal-childcare">access to childcare</a> for a few hours, it can help to hit the stores for the major items without your child&rsquo;s input. Allow them to go on a follow up trip where you only need a handful of things, such as clothing or shoes that need to be properly sized. They can still feel like they participated and got some of the things they wanted without you having to deal with the &quot;I wants&quot; and a much larger shopping bill.</p> <p>Get started on your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/back-to-school-time-savers">back-to-school plan</a> by figuring out the number of weeks you have until school starts and how much extra cash you can put to the side each week for school supplies. This will make it easier to budget your cash and get everything you need without hassle or financial worries.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tisha-tolar">Tisha Tolar</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-get-big-back-to-school-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-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/discount-designer-clothing-17-places-to-get-name-brands-for-less">Discount Designer Clothing: 17 Places to Get Name Brands for Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-amazon-deal-hacks-you-may-not-already-know">16 Amazon Deal Hacks You May Not Already Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-all-that-stuff-the-police-seize-and-its-cheap">How to Buy All That Stuff the Police Seize. And It&#039;s Cheap.</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/go-tea-go-the-10-best-online-tea-merchants">Go, Tea, Go: The 10 Best Online Tea Merchants</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/dealista-tip-how-to-shop-online-safely">How to Shop Online Safely</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping back to school children online shopping Thu, 09 Aug 2012 09:48:42 +0000 Tisha Tolar 947944 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: How Do You Save on Kids Toys? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-do-you-save-on-kids-toys <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-how-do-you-save-on-kids-toys" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4800193058_66a2120439_b-1.jpg" alt="How Do You Save on Kids Toys? " title="How Do You Save on Kids Toys? " class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-do-you-save-on-kids-toys#comment-537823"><em>coco</em></a><em>, </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-do-you-save-on-kids-toys#comment-537874"><em>scoutmaster</em></a><em>, and </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-do-you-save-on-kids-toys#comment-537856"><em>Betty D</em></a><em> for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>Whether you are a parent, aunt, uncle, grandparent, or you have a friend who has a child, chances are you have a kid in your life that you have to buy a birthday present or Christmas present for. With toy companies always coming up with the latest and greatest toys, sometimes it can be hard to score a good deal on that toy the child in your life must have. Some people will splurge to get the latest and greatest for their kids, while others opt to find ways to save money when it comes to buying toys for their child.</p> <p><b>How do you save on kids toys?</b><span style="font-weight:normal">&nbsp;Do you use hand-me-down toys? Head to eBay or Craigslist? Only buy on sale? Find coupons? Or do you have another strategy to help you save?</span></p> <p>Tell us how you save on kids toys and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; one for random comments, one for random Facebook &quot;Likes&quot;, and another one for random tweets.</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:&nbsp;</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below&nbsp;</li> </ul> <h3>For extra entries (1 per action):</h3> <ul> <li>Go to our <a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wise-Bread/26830741467?ref=ts">Facebook page</a>, &quot;Like&quot; us, and leave a comment on this article telling us you did, or</li> <li><a href="http://www.twitter.com/">Tweet</a> your answer. You have to be a follower of our <a href="http://twitter.com/wisebread">@wisebread account</a>. Include both &quot;@wisebread&quot; and &quot;#WBAsk&quot; in your tweet so we'll see it and count it. Leave a link to your tweet (click the timestamp for the individual URL) in a separate comment.</li> </ul> <p><strong>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</strong></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, July 2nd at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after July 2nd on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us how you save on kids toys and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-do-you-save-on-kids-toys">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-9"> <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/ask-the-readers-should-kids-get-paid-for-doing-chores">Ask The Readers: Should Kids Get Paid For Doing Chores?</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/make-your-own-moon-sand-dirt-cheap">Make Your Own Moon Sand, Dirt Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-having-kids-makes-you-more-frugal">8 Ways Having Kids Makes You More Frugal</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/having-a-baby-nine-financial-considerations-for-new-parents">Having a baby? Nine financial considerations for new parents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-gift-cards-make-a-good-gift">Ask the Readers: Do Gift Cards Make a Good Gift?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Giveaways Ask the Readers children kids toys Tue, 26 Jun 2012 10:24:07 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 935358 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Should You Discuss Money in Front of Your Kids? http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-should-you-discuss-money-in-front-of-your-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-should-you-discuss-money-in-front-of-your-kids" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5657707165_0e06d49c8b_z.jpg" alt="Should You Discuss Money In Front of Your Kids?" title="Should You Discuss Money In Front of Your Kids?" 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 some awesome articles on discussing money in front of your kids, ways to make $50 in a day, and ways to get out of debt.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://freefrombroke.com/should-you-discuss-money-in-front-your-kids/?utm_source=rss&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=should-you-discuss-money-in-front-your-kids">Should You Discuss Money In Front of Your Kids?</a> &mdash; When discussing money in front of your kids, let them watch you be conservative with money and don't tell them your exact income. [Free From Broke]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Make-50-23634851">7 Ways To Make $50 In A Day</a> &mdash; To make $50 in a day, sign up to complete tasks on TaskRabbit. [SavvySugar]</p> <p><a href="http://onecentatatime.com/51-ways-get-out-debt/">51 Ways to Get Out of Debt</a> &mdash; Get out of debt by living on a budget and canceling your cable or satellite subscription. [One Cent At A Time]</p> <p><a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2012/06/20/can&rsquo;t-afford-to-socialize-compromise/">Can't Afford to Socialize? Compromise!</a> &mdash; Have affordable, social fun by going to an open mic night or a free movie premier. [Get Rich Slowly]</p> <p><a href="http://www.fivecentnickel.com/2012/06/19/im-not-covered-five-ways-to-trigger-nasty-insurance-surprises/">I'm Not Covered? Five Ways to Trigger Nasty Insurance Surprises</a> &mdash; If you host a party at your home, you may find out you are underinsured for liability claims. [Five Cent Nickel]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2012/06/30-steps-to-great-finances-steps-22-to-24.html">30 Steps to Great Finances: Steps 22 to 24</a> &mdash; Want to have great finances? Get yourself the proper insurance. [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://lifehacker.com/5919833/how-to-avoid-impulse-purchases-in-the-internet-shopping-age">How to Avoid Impulse Purchases in the Internet Shopping Age</a> &mdash; To avoid making impulse purchases online, block sites during your impulse prime time. [Lifehacker]</p> <p><a href="http://deliverawaydebt.com/budgeting/streamline-personal-finance/">Automation Domination: Streamline Personal Finance</a> &mdash; Do you have trouble saving money? Set up automatic transfers at the beginning of your budget cycle when you have more money to move around. [Deliver Away Debt]</p> <p><a href="http://www.girlsjustwannahavefunds.com/payday-loan-alternatives">Do You Really Need A Payday Loan? Check out 4 Alternatives</a> &mdash; Instead of getting a payday loan, consider negotiating a payment plan. [Girls Just Wanna Have Funds]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/prosquad-swimmers-ear-and-life-insurance">ProSquad: Swimmer's Ear and Life Insurance</a> &mdash; If you already have life insurance, consider getting disability insurance. [Parenting Squad]</p> <h2>News &amp; Events</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-100-most-popular-personal-finance-blogs/news/2012/06/money-crashers-tweetchat-mcchat">Money Crashers Tweetchat (#MCchat)</a> &mdash; Don't miss Money Crashers weekly tweetchat at 1pm PST! They will be giving away prizes.</p> <p>Be sure to check out our <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-100-most-popular-personal-finance-blogs/news">News &amp; Events Calendar</a> to see all the awesome upcoming events in the personal finance world!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-should-you-discuss-money-in-front-of-your-kids">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <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/having-a-baby-nine-financial-considerations-for-new-parents">Having a baby? Nine financial considerations for new parents</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/wisdom-from-my-favorite-frugal-tv-character-julius-rock">Wisdom from My Favorite Frugal TV Character - Julius Rock</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/tips-for-increasing-your-financial-literacy">Tips for Increasing Your Financial Literacy</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/do-i-need-life-insurance-for-little-ones">Do I need life insurance for little ones?</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/great-financial-gifts-for-children">Great Financial Gifts for Children</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance best money tips children finances Fri, 22 Jun 2012 10:00:13 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 935295 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways to Reuse a Comforter Bag http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-reuse-a-comforter-bag <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-to-reuse-a-comforter-bag" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2147117299_2730c72376_b.jpg" alt="boy and comforter" title="boy and comforter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you recently bought a new comforter for your bed or have the plastic casing bed-wear usually comes in, don&rsquo;t throw it out.&nbsp;Comforter bags are great because they typically have zipper access and are made of durable plastic. Some even come with convenient handles. Here are eight ways to get the most out of a recycled comforter bag. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/waste-not-want-notturning-waste-into-savings">Waste Not, Want Not: Turning Waste Into Savings</a>)</p> <h2>1. Donation Bag</h2> <p>I have placed an old comforter bag in each of my kids' rooms. Whenever they put on clothing and find it no longer fits comfortably, the kids know to refold the item and put it in the storage bag. This is a great, proactive way for us to avoid having to sort through all of their clothing drawers and closets every few months. When the bag is filled, we zip it up and give it to a family friend for future use. The clear bag makes it easy for them to see the variety of items so they can pull out what they need without a hassle. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/things-you-might-not-know-about-your-local-thrift-store">Thrift stores</a> also appreciate the see-through bag when accepting donations.</p> <h2>2. Winter-Wear Storage</h2> <p>Snowsuits, boots, gloves, hats, and scarves can be stored in the plastic zippered bag, so they are easily located for next winter. Let kids decorate their own bags as an afternoon craft activity. Foam stickers can brighten up a plain plastic bag and give the kids something to do while you spring clean. The plastic bags will also keep dust and moths from attacking your winter gear.</p> <h2>3. Extra Sheet Storage</h2> <p>If you lack closet space and have no room for linens, employ a comforter bag as a storage center for extra sheets and pillow cases. You can fit a lot of sheet sets in one bag, and you&rsquo;ll protect the sheets from dirt until you need to use them again. As an added benefit, toss in a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cool-things-to-do-with-used-dryer-sheets">used fabric softener sheet</a> so you will always have nice, clean, fresh-smelling sheets ready for use.</p> <h2>4. Portable Toy Bag</h2> <p>Kids tend to have a lot of toys that live everywhere but the toy box. You can utilize the giant zippered bags to keep toys organized. The bag allows kids to transport their trucks, dolls, and stuffed animals wherever they want to play. The portable toy bag is also a great way to travel with toys. Kids can easily see what&rsquo;s in the bag and perhaps resist the urge to dig everything out of the bag and spread it all over the back of your minivan.</p> <h2>5. Gardening Tool Storage</h2> <p>Gardening tools can rust if left out in the elements, but you can use a comforter bag for storage and protection from the rain and other seasonal elements. The bag also makes it easier for you to lug everything around the garden, and it can be quickly rinsed out with the hose when it gets too dirty.</p> <h2>6. Cleaning Catchall</h2> <p>Again, due to the ability to see through the clear plastic, a comfortable bag is useful as a catchall in your living space. Clutter that traditionally lies around your house can be tossed in the bag until it can be sorted later. Your family members can easily see what&rsquo;s inside when they are looking for something specific and can grab their own items when it&rsquo;s time to put things back in their rightful places.</p> <h2>7. Luggage</h2> <p>While it is hardly a fashion statement, the large plastic zippered bag can work well as last-minute luggage for your next road trip. Your family is likely to forget a lot of stuff on the way out the door, so you can utilize the bag as a last-minute catchall for travel. On the return trip, be sure to pack your dirty laundry in the bag so you can put it in the laundry room as soon as you get back and not have to sort through suitcases trying to figure out what is clean and what isn&rsquo;t.</p> <h2>8. Shoe Storage</h2> <p>If shoes tend to clutter your home or your closet, consider using the bag as a shoe storage place. You can throw in your flip flops, sneakers, and other casual shoes to make room for the pricier dress shoes that need more tender loving care. The bag makes it easy to collect your shoes in one place if you are short on room.</p> <p>There are probably tons more ideas you can think up for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-reuse-common-household-items">recycling household items</a> that would otherwise go in the trash bin. While you may only buy a new comforter from time to time, you can start asking friends and family to save theirs for you and gather a whole collection of free bags for your storage needs.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tisha-tolar">Tisha Tolar</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-reuse-a-comforter-bag">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breathe-easy-10-natural-air-fresheners">Breathe Easy: 10 Natural Air Fresheners</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-steps-to-market-your-extra-space-as-a-vacation-rental">7 Steps to Market Your Extra Space as a Vacation Rental</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-greener-cheaper-alternatives-to-paper-cleaning-products">9 Greener, Cheaper Alternatives to Paper Cleaning Products</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-essential-tricks-for-quick-and-easy-cleaning">25 Essential Tricks for Quick and Easy Cleaning</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/home-exchanges-free-accommodations-with-perks">Home Exchanges: Free Accommodations With Perks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Travel children cleaning tips donations reusable Tue, 17 Apr 2012 09:36:24 +0000 Tisha Tolar 916316 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Ways to Entertain Your Child for Free or Cheap http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-entertain-your-child-for-free-or-cheap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-ways-to-entertain-your-child-for-free-or-cheap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kids_at_playground.jpg" alt="Kids at the playground" title="Kids at the playground" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Parenting is hard work. Keeping little ones (with little attention spans) occupied is often half the battle. It doesn't take long before children run to their parents looking for things to do.</p> <p>If you aren't careful, keeping kids busy can put a major dent in the pocket book. Having a go-to list of frugal ideas to keep your kids entertained is key. Otherwise, you'll be unprepared for those two little words &mdash; &quot;I'm bored.&quot;</p> <p>Check out this list of 25 ways to entertain your child for free. (See also: <a href="http://parentingsquad.com/keeping-your-kids-entertained-without-breaking-the-bank">Entertain&nbsp;Your Kids Without Breaking the Bank</a>, via Parenting Squad)</p> <h3>1. Play Make-Believe Games</h3> <p>Kids love sailing seas, conquering kingdoms, and rescuing princesses from the dragon's lair. Have fun with your kids in an imaginary world!</p> <h3>2. Go to the Library</h3> <p>Libraries are chock full of wonder for kids. Books, activities, and story times are all part of your local library's calendar.</p> <h3>3. Play With Animals</h3> <p>My kids love heading to the local pet store and playing with the puppies.</p> <h3>4. Go to a Local Park</h3> <p>The park is a great place to let kids run around and rid themselves of pent up energy.</p> <h3>5. Make Sidewalk Art</h3> <p>Grab the chalk and allow your imagination to run wild. The other day my four-year-old daughter said, &quot;Draw me and you together, Daddy.&quot; I was glad to try!</p> <h3>6. Make Kites and Fly Them</h3> <p>Take a look around your house to see what materials you have available to <a href="http://www.my-best-kite.com/how-to-make-a-kite.html">make a kite</a>. Then go outside, and let your kids fly them!</p> <h3>7. Head to the Beach</h3> <p>If you can put up with getting sand in your car, head to the beach. Kids love playing in the sand and water!</p> <h3>8. Put a Puzzle Together</h3> <p>Puzzles are a great way to keep kids occupied. Sit down with them, and do it together.</p> <h3>9. Find a Spot to Watch the Sunset</h3> <p>We have a lake by our house that offers some great views of the sunset. Find a place in your area to take your kids to watch the magic of a sunset.</p> <h3>10. Have a Bonfire or Campfire in Your Backyard</h3> <p>There's something about sitting by the fire that kids love, and you can <a href="http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=how%20to%20make%20smores&amp;source=web&amp;cd=2&amp;ved=0CDwQFjAB&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwhatscookingamerica.net%2FCookie%2FSmores%2FSmores.htm&amp;ei=j72iTqi5IKn00gHdzay2BA&amp;usg=AFQjCNG4kHMUxn86KR-7_e13ZChA3QskFg&amp;cad=rja">make s'mores</a>.</p> <h3>11. Play Soccer or Some Other Sport Together</h3> <p>Head to the park, or play in your own backyard. You can kick the soccer ball around, or grab another ball and play some catch.</p> <h3>12. Make a Picnic Lunch</h3> <p>Throw a picnic lunch together, grab a blanket to sit on, and head off to a park for a little picnic lunch.</p> <h3>13. Go Fishing</h3> <p>There's something about fishing that kids love. Grab poles, find a pond, and cast those lines! If you don't have fishing poles, learn to <a href="http://campfire.andycamper.com/make-a-fishing-rod-for-kids">make your own kid's fishing rod</a>.</p> <h3>14. Plant a Garden</h3> <p>You can make a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/garden-ideas-for-small-spaces">garden box </a>or even an herb garden if you don't have much room. Your kids will really enjoy watching the veggies sprout up, knowing they played a part in making the food.</p> <h3>15. Play Board Games</h3> <p>Kids love to play old favorites like Chutes and Ladders and Candy Land. Check out this list of <a href="http://www.parents.com/fun/games/educational/classic-kids-board-games/">classic kids' board games</a> to play, or you could even make up your own games to teach your kids about things like <a href="http://www.redeemingriches.com/2010/04/22/personal-financial-planning-from-dora/">personal finance</a>.</p> <h3>16. Rent a Movie From the Library</h3> <p>Libraries have a host of free movies that your kids will love. Take a trip and let your children pick out a great movie. Here's a list of the <a href="http://www.parents.com/fun/entertainment/movies/50-best-videos-for-kids/">50 best movies for kids</a>!</p> <h3>17. Go Hiking</h3> <p>Put on those hiking boots, and find a trail at a local forest preserve! Your kids will love going on a nature walk.</p> <h3>18. Go Swimming</h3> <p>Got a friend with a pool? Head on over to their house and have a swimming party. Or take a journey to your local community center for a dip.</p> <h3>19. Have a Dance Party</h3> <p>My kids love it when we crank up the music and have a little dance party. Need to fill a kid-friendly playlist for a dance party? Check out this list of <a href="http://www.djwhitehawk.com/top-kids-dance-songs-kids-party-songs.html">top kids dance songs</a>.</p> <h3>20. Volunteer at a Non-Profit Organization</h3> <p>You get to impact others' lives and teach your kids some valuable lessons at the same time. You will need to check with your local organization to see if they have any rules about bringing your kids, or check out this site for <a href="http://www.volunteermatch.org/">volunteer opportunities near you</a>.</p> <h3>21. Draw and Color Pictures</h3> <p>What kid doesn't love to draw and color? All kids are budding artists, so grab crayons, markers, and paper and let them doodle until their hearts are content! If you're looking to teach your kids how to draw, check out this great site to help <a href="http://www.kidsfront.com/how-to-draw-pictures.html">learn how to draw</a> step-by-step.</p> <h3>22. Make Finger Paint</h3> <p>I don't know why, but my kids love to finger paint &mdash; I guess because it's one of the few times we encourage them to get their hands dirty! You can try your hand at some <a href="http://www.ivillage.com/home-made-finger-paint/6-a-144533">homemade finger paint</a>, and let your kids get a little messy.</p> <h3>23. Play with Play-doh</h3> <p>Play-doh is always a favorite among children. The smell of a freshly opened container of Play-doh is nostalgic for many of us. Sit down with your kids, crack open a thing of Play-doh, and have some fun! Here's a site for some creative <a href="http://prekinders.com/play-dough-ideas/">Play-doh ideas</a>, or a video about <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_TMUs6zyLo">making things with Play-doh</a>.</p> <p>If you're thinking about making your own, try this <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-Playdough-Play-doh/">recipe for making Play-doh</a>.</p> <h3>24. Ride Bikes</h3> <p><b> </b>Hop on those bikes, and take a ride around your neighborhood. Don't forget the importance of <a href="http://kidshealth.org/kid/watch/out/bike_safety.html">bike safety</a>!</p> <h3>25. Go &quot;Exploring&quot; on a Night Walk</h3> <p>Occasionally we'll take our kids on a night <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/walk-walk-walk-walk-walk">walk</a>. We let them have some flashlights and pretend we are &quot;exploring.&quot; Any time kids use their imaginations, they're content.</p> <p><em>What other frugal ideas do you have to entertain children?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-topp">Jason Topp</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-entertain-your-child-for-free-or-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-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-watch-movies-in-the-theater-for-free">How to Watch Movies in the Theater for Free</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/single-parent-try-these-10-tricks-for-entertaining-kids-on-a-budget">Single Parent? Try These 10 Tricks for Entertaining Kids on a 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/8-ways-having-kids-makes-you-more-frugal">8 Ways Having Kids Makes You More Frugal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-toys-and-games-you-can-make-at-home">10 Fun Toys and Games You Can Make at Home</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/dads-who-do-dishes-raise-ambitious-daughters-and-4-other-ways-any-parent-can-help-their-kid-succeed">Dads Who Do Dishes Raise Ambitious Daughters (and 4 Other Ways Any Parent Can Help Their Kid Succeed)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Family cheap things to do with kids children free things Tue, 25 Oct 2011 10:00:22 +0000 Jason Topp 758890 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Home and Family Items to Avoid Buying Used http://www.wisebread.com/5-home-and-family-items-to-avoid-buying-used <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-home-and-family-items-to-avoid-buying-used" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/car_seat_2.jpg" alt="Child in car seat" title="Child in car seat" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="163" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Gently used clothes at the local vintage shop or even a &ldquo;pre-owned&rdquo; car, as the dealers like to say, can prove a recipe for both savings and style.</p> <p>But there are scores of important family and household items that should probably remain first-run purchases, dismal economy or not. Here&rsquo;s a look at five in particular. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-stuff-i-try-never-to-buy-new">The Stuff I Try to Never Buy New</a>)</p> <h2>Car Seats</h2> <p>Buying a used car seat is like buying a used helmet &mdash; it&rsquo;s just not safe. Once a car seat has been involved in one accident, the integrity of the car seat is ruined, and it may no longer be an effective mechanism for protecting your child. Don&rsquo;t take a chance. Always buy a new car seat.</p> <h2>Tires</h2> <p>Cars are becoming more and more expensive to maintain. The rising price of gas is forcing car owners to come up with other creative ways to save money while driving, and some are choosing to do so by purchasing used tires. Tires that have been involved in a car accident suffer just like car seats do. But you can&rsquo;t always tell if a set of tires has been in one. Consider new tires an investment in your safety.</p> <h2>Computer Software</h2> <p>Computer software is expensive, and buying a used copy can often reduce your costs by hundreds of dollars. Unfortunately, most of today&rsquo;s computer software must be licensed in order to be used. Once the software is licensed it can&rsquo;t be used again, which means that buying a used piece of software is essentially like buying a blank CD.</p> <h2>Mattresses</h2> <p>Although buying a used mattress may save you a few hundred dollars, it isn&rsquo;t necessarily sanitary or the best for your body&rsquo;s physical health. When you purchase a used mattress, you aren&rsquo;t able to judge its overall cleanliness, as problems such as bed bugs are not always visible. Mattresses also generally only have a lifespan of 8 to 10 years, and you may not be able to get an honest age from the seller. Buying an older mattress can also lead to back problems or antagonize existing physical ailments.</p> <h2>Pet Supplies</h2> <p>Purchasing used <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-yank-the-leash-on-pet-expenses">pet</a> supplies may seem like a good idea. But buying used pet supplies such as dog beds or cloth-covered cat stations can be just as unsanitary as purchasing a used mattress. Plus, pet odors tend to ferment over time even if they have been cleaned, so that seemingly clean dog bed you bought at a garage sale could begin to stink the first day it lays out in the sun. The exception to purchasing used pet supplies is the kennel. A wire crate can be fully sterilized, and buying a used one can save a pet owner anywhere from $50 to $100.</p> <p>Buying used isn&rsquo;t always a bargain, and certain used items may actually cost you more in the long run in terms of maintenance or having to repurchase the same item only a few months later. If you choose to buy used, however, always make sure to properly review the items in person prior to purchase.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chris-birk">Chris Birk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-home-and-family-items-to-avoid-buying-used">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-13"> <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-things-to-look-for-every-time-you-visit-a-thrift-store">10 Things to Look for Every Time You Visit a Thrift Store</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/new-isnt-always-better-12-used-things-to-love">New Isn&#039;t Always Better: 12 Used Things to Love</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-25-best-things-to-buy-on-craigslist">The 25 Best Things to Buy on Craigslist</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-winter-tires">The 5 Best Winter Tires</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-mattresses">The 5 Best Mattresses</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping buying used children computer software mattress pets tires Thu, 21 Jul 2011 10:24:09 +0000 Chris Birk 628750 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Important Lessons Frugal Parents Teach Their Children http://www.wisebread.com/7-important-lessons-frugal-parents-teach-their-children <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-important-lessons-frugal-parents-teach-their-children" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kids_running.jpg" alt="Happy kids running" title="Happy kids running" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I have pretty strong and unswervable opinions about how I want to raise my kids; a key item being that I don't want to spoil them. But sometimes the Mom-guilt creeps up on me, especially when I compare myself to how a lot of people around me are raising their kids. Am I depriving mine by not giving them lavish birthday parties, name-brand wardrobes, frequent kid-centered vacations, lots of meals out, and brand-new toys?</p> <p>There's nothing wrong with that stuff, but when I stop and think about it all, I realize what I am giving them by being a frugal parent. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-jobs-for-children">Five &quot;Jobs&quot; for Children</a>)</p> <h3>1. The Gift of Creativity</h3> <p>Every kid is creative, we know that. But sometimes we can actually hinder that creativity by throwing so many ready-made toys at our kids that they don't have to imagine anything for themselves. There's nothing more amazing than the power of a child's imagination, and when I watch my kids construct forts and fairylands out of boxes and blankets, or invent games that entertain them for hours and involve no toys at all, I'm in awe.</p> <h3>2. An Understanding of How Money Works in the Real World</h3> <p>You might not have noticed this yet, but...in the real world, you don't get everything you want. Stuff isn't free (usually). You have to work for your money, and when you spend it, it's gone. Far better for kids to learn this one lesson and day at a time than to grow up with deep delusions about their own entitlement.</p> <h3>3. An Appreciation of the Simple Things</h3> <p>A couple of week ago, my husband and I decided to take our four young kids out for a special treat &mdash; dinner and a movie. We told them the kids to hop in the car for a surprise, and for the ten minutes we were in the car, they were nearly bouncing out of their seats in anticipation. Their top guess? That we were going for a walk. A walk.</p> <p>And they were thrilled at the thought.</p> <p>Lest you think our kids never get to do anything more fun than walking, let me clarify that we regularly do fun stuff as a family. And we spend money on our kids. But our most frequent choice of family fun is simple stuff: playing at the park, going for walks, hiking through the woods, or playing with the sprinkler in the yard. And as a result, our kids value these very simple (and very frugal) activities as highlights.</p> <p>They were also really excited when we told them we were going out to eat and then to a movie...though our 3-year-old did ask, as we left the theater, if we could go on a walk now.</p> <h3>4. The Habit of a Less-Wasteful Life</h3> <p>When you live frugally, or at least attempt it, you tend to buy less and throw away less. You want to get value out of what you purchase, so you become more aware of quality (will this last, or will it break?) and true need (is this a need or a desire?). You also become more adept at repurposing and reusing items instead of just tossing them out. The benefits? You save money, live a greener life, and help your kids learn to do the same.</p> <p>It can be kind of a drawback at times; a few days ago my oldest daughter caught me in the middle of a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/downsizing-with-kids">closet purge</a>. She started picking through the trash bag beside me, pulling out items I just wanted to get out of the house and berating me (gently) &mdash; &quot;Mom, we can use this for something else!&quot;</p> <h3>5. A Vision for Work as a Normal Part of Life</h3> <p>I love working. Don't get me wrong &mdash; I also love long, lazy weekends; sleeping in; and vacations. But work is good, a blessing and not a curse, and I want my kids to anticipate work, not dread it. Work is both the ability to turn time into money and the ability to create value through what you produce. Work can be earning a paycheck or tending a garden, and both types of work give you a return on your labor. Part of our frugal lifestyle is buying less and producing more for ourselves through our own work rather than through dependence on someone else's work. It's something we'll teach and include our kids in more as they get older.</p> <h3>6. The Ability to Solve Problems</h3> <p>Money can't buy everything, including love and happiness, but money can buy a lot of solutions to common problems. When you have enough money to spare, it becomes so easy to just fix your problems by throwing money at them. Limited funds, on the other hand, mean that you have to force yourself to think through other ways to solve your problems. Car breaks down? Fix it yourself or barter with a mechanic friend. No money for a lavish birthday gift? Make something special and unique instead. I want my kids to learn to think through their problems and come up with their own solutions, and being frugal is helping us to teach them how.</p> <h3>7. A Financially Independent Future</h3> <p>Of course, there's no guarantee that just because we live a frugal lifestyle our kids will be financial experts. But I think they have a better chance of becoming financially independent adults as we teach them the financial principles we're learning. We're communicating, through our lifestyle and the daily decisions we make, concepts like how important it is to stay out of debt, how it's better to pay cash for purchases, how credit can leave you in a hole, how the quality of what you purchase matters, how your own ability to work and save is powerful, and how you choose what you do with every dollar you have. I just hope they're paying attention.</p> <p>Being frugal doesn't make me a super mom. I make plenty of mistakes everyday, but I do think that being frugal &mdash; even when I don't want to be &mdash; is helping me to raise my kids to be more self-sufficient, savvy with their money, creative, and open to adventures. I also value that being frugal has opened our life up to the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/being-generous-on-a-budget">generosity</a> of other people. We've not only learned how to receive, we've also learned that we all have something to give. That's a lesson I want my kids to have for life.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-important-lessons-frugal-parents-teach-their-children">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-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-having-kids-makes-you-more-frugal">8 Ways Having Kids Makes You More Frugal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/surefire-ways-to-save-on-summer-camp-costs">Surefire Ways to Save on Summer Camp Costs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-investing-lessons-you-must-teach-your-kids">10 Investing Lessons You Must Teach Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-earn-extra-cash-from-thrift-stores">11 Ways to Earn Extra Cash From Thrift Stores</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> Family Lifestyle children teaching kids about money thankfulness Wed, 22 Jun 2011 10:24:11 +0000 Annie Mueller 496395 at http://www.wisebread.com Five "Jobs" for Children http://www.wisebread.com/five-jobs-for-children <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/five-jobs-for-children" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kids_washing_dishes.jpg" alt="Kids washing dishes" title="Kids washing dishes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="155" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I have decided that my child will not have an allowance when he grows older because I do not want my son to feel entitled to getting money for doing nothing. He will have to earn his money. Here is a list of &quot;jobs&quot; that I think kids can do to earn their spending money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hey-kids-its-time-your-butt-got-a-job">Hey Kids! It's Time Your Butt Got a Job</a>)</p> <h2>Couponing</h2> <p>If your children are old enough to read, then they are able to help with couponing. Kids can help identify and organize coupons, and then parents can reward them with a fraction of the money saved. If a kid really wants to buy something, then I think it is also his or her job to find a deal on the item.</p> <h2>Household Chores</h2> <p>When I was nine, my parents paid me for washing dishes. Other common household chores like throwing out the garbage, cleaning countertops, and folding the laundry can also become paid tasks for a child. I think a child probably shouldn't be paid for cleaning up his own room and toys, but extra work such as organizing the garage or cleaning the kitchen and toilets should be rewarded.</p> <h2>Extracurricular Academic Work</h2> <p>In fourth grade we were rewarded Pizza Hut coupons for reading books and writing book reports. If you think of school like a job for kids, then I think it is okay to pay kids for academic work beyond what is taught at school. One thing I plan to do is to let my son write essays about any topic he wants. If they are sensible pieces of writing, then I would pay him for his work. Of course, he will have to do all his regular schoolwork first.</p> <h2>Recycling</h2> <p>In middle school I collected cans and recycled them for a few dollars every month. I think children as young as eight or nine can do work like crushing cans and sorting cans and bottles. You may need to drive them to the recycling center to redeem the goods for cash. It is a good way for a child to cut down waste and earn some money. In states where you can redeem cans and bottles for cash redemption value (CRV), the money could add up quickly. In fact, a teenage girl we know asked friends, family, and neighbors to contribute to her recycling, and she was able to save up enough money for a trip to Africa.</p> <h2>Yard Sales</h2> <p>Every once in a while kids can go through what they have and see what they want to keep and what they want to get rid of, and then they can organize a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-a-successful-garage-sale">yard sale</a>. I did this once when I was young, and I made about $23 after putting up signs around the neighborhood and cleaning out my room. I sold some of my old books and toys that were taking up space anyway. My mom supervised me and chuckled at the paltry amount I earned, but all that stuff would have gone into the trash or to Goodwill anyway, so I really lost nothing.</p> <p>I believe that making children earn their money will make them appreciate it more. If your kids are too young to get a real job, then these are real ideas for how they can earn money from you and others.</p> <p><em>What do you think? Do you pay your kids an allowance unconditionally, or do they have to earn it? What do you pay them for?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/xin-lu">Xin Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-jobs-for-children">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-15"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-having-kids-makes-you-more-frugal">8 Ways Having Kids Makes You More Frugal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/great-financial-gifts-for-children">Great Financial Gifts for Children</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-great-teachable-money-moments-to-share-with-your-kids">6 Great Teachable Money Moments to Share With Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-earn-extra-cash-from-thrift-stores">11 Ways to Earn Extra Cash From Thrift Stores</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/dads-who-do-dishes-raise-ambitious-daughters-and-4-other-ways-any-parent-can-help-their-kid-succeed">Dads Who Do Dishes Raise Ambitious Daughters (and 4 Other Ways Any Parent Can Help Their Kid Succeed)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income Family children children's education kids and money Wed, 01 Jun 2011 10:24:13 +0000 Xin Lu 557937 at http://www.wisebread.com