children http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1171/all en-US How Single Parents Can Juggle Retirement Savings, Too http://www.wisebread.com/how-single-parents-can-juggle-retirement-savings-too <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-single-parents-can-juggle-retirement-savings-too" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-541585308.jpg" alt="Single parent learning how to juggle retirement savings" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Being a single parent is hard work. It's also expensive, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently reporting that the estimated cost of raising a child from birth through age 17 is $233,610. That comes out to nearly $14,000 a year.</p> <p>If you're a single parent with one income, paying for your children's clothing, food, education, and activities might not only be consuming most of your money, but most of your time, too. At the end of another long day, you might think that it's simply too difficult to plan or save for your own retirement.</p> <p>Fortunately, this isn't true. Yes, saving for retirement will be more challenging for single parents. But it can be done, and the steps to start saving and investing for retirement aren't overly difficult.</p> <p>Here are five moves single parents should make today to prepare for their future retirement.</p> <h2>1. Make a budget</h2> <p>Nothing is more important than <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-your-first-budget-in-5-easy-steps" target="_blank">creating a household budget</a>, and making one is simpler than you think. Once you have a budget, you'll be able to figure out how much money you can allocate to retirement savings each month.</p> <p>First, write down how much money you bring into your household every month. Next, list how much you spend. Start with your fixed expenses, which includes everything from your monthly mortgage payment to your insurance costs. Then, calculate an average cost for expenses that fluctuate. These can include utility bills, transportation, clothing, groceries, and entertainment. Don't forget to include intermittent expenses, such as haircuts and car maintenance bills, which you might think of in annual terms &mdash; find the average so you can estimate a monthly amount. Once you have these figures, you'll know how much wiggle room is left each month to put toward your retirement.</p> <p>Compiling a budget can also help you make positive changes to your overall spending habits. Maybe you'll find that you're spending more money than you're bringing in. You might then make a few small adjustments &mdash; such as eating out less, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-tv-must-haves-once-you-cut-the-cable-cord" target="_blank">cutting the cable cord</a>, or dropping a gym membership &mdash; that will free up money each month.</p> <h2>2. Start small and build an emergency fund</h2> <p>After making a budget, set aside at least some of your leftover money in the month to build an emergency fund. You'll use this fund to pay for any unexpected financial emergencies (such as a broken water heater) with cash instead of charging repairs to a credit card. The key to saving for retirement as a single parent is to avoid building debt, and nothing can derail your savings goals faster than <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-pay-off-high-interest-credit-card-debt" target="_blank">high interest credit card debt</a>. By having that emergency fund, you'll be far less likely to add big bills to your credit cards.</p> <p>You might not have much money to devote to an emergency fund. That's OK. Even if you can only save $50 a month, do it. By the end of a year, you'll have $600. That may not be a huge amount, but it's a start. Your ultimate goal should be to build an emergency fund that can cover daily living expenses for three to six months. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/change-jars-and-8-other-clever-ways-to-build-an-emergency-fund?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Change Jars and 8 Other Clever Ways to Build an Emergency Fund</a>)</p> <h2>3. Save in tax-advantaged investment vehicles</h2> <p>As a single parent, it's important to keep as many of your dollars in your household as possible. Tax-advantaged savings vehicles can help you do this.</p> <p>If your employer offers a 401(k) plan, take advantage of it. Contributions to your 401(k) are made with pretax dollars from each paycheck. This means that when you file your taxes for the year, the IRS will treat your income as smaller than it actually was. This will help lower your tax burden each year while simultaneously growing your retirement.</p> <p>You can also invest in a traditional IRA if you don't have access to a 401(k). Contributions to a traditional IRA are also made with pretax dollars, which again, will lower your taxable income.</p> <h2>4. Prioritize retirement over college savings</h2> <p>Like most parents, you probably want to give your child as much financial help as you can to get them into a good college. But too many parents save for their children's education while skimping on building their own retirement fund. This is a mistake.</p> <p>Remember, your kids have options when it comes to their education. They can attend a community college or less-expensive university, seek financial aid, or work their way through school. They might not be able to attend their dream school, but that doesn't mean they can't get a solid college education.</p> <p>You won't have as many options when it's time to leave the working world. You certainly don't want a retirement in which you're struggling to pay your bills, so you need to avoid the impulse to prioritize your child's college fund over your own retirement savings. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-saving-too-much-money-for-a-college-fund-is-a-bad-idea?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Why Saving Too Much Money for a College Fund Is a Bad Idea</a>)</p> <h2>5. Resist the temptation to overspend</h2> <p>As a single parent, it can be tempting to overspend on gifts and expensive vacations in an effort to make up for whatever challenges you and your children face. The problem is, this kind of emotional overspending can wreck your monthly budget. And when money gets tight, it's your retirement savings that often suffers.</p> <p>It's OK to treat your children, of course. But make sure these little rewards don't come at the expense of building a retirement fund.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-single-parents-can-juggle-retirement-savings-too">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/10-golden-rules-of-personal-finance-everyone-should-know">10 Golden Rules of Personal Finance Everyone Should Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-fun-games-that-teach-your-kids-about-money">6 Fun Games That Teach Your Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-books-that-will-get-your-kids-excited-about-money">10 Fun Books That Will Get Your Kids Excited About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-personal-finance-skills-everyone-should-master">12 Personal Finance Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-personal-finance-resolutions-anyone-can-master">8 Personal Finance Resolutions Anyone Can Master</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Retirement budgeting children college costs emergency funds investments overspending saving money single parents tax advantaged Fri, 28 Apr 2017 18:43:15 +0000 Dan Rafter 1935491 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Things You Should Know About Joint Checking Accounts http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-you-should-know-about-joint-checking-accounts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-things-you-should-know-about-joint-checking-accounts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-646688660.jpg" alt="Couple learning things about a joint checking account" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Joint checking accounts offer convenient money management for many different types of relationships, including married and cohabiting couples and adult children and their parents.</p> <p>But the convenience of joint checking accounts potentially comes with a cost that families need to consider before signing up. Here are six issues you need to think through before you open a joint checking account with a spouse, a significant other, an adult child, or a parent.</p> <h2>1. There is no accountability for withdrawals</h2> <p>Generally, couples tend to open joint accounts because they are sharing a home and expenses. That means that it's in their best interests to be responsible with the money, since it will affect them both if the rent money is spent on a weekend in Vegas. However, if one person is unreliable with money, or planning to leave the relationship suddenly, a joint account can be dangerous for the other account holder.</p> <p>This issue can be more difficult when the two account holders are parent and child. Often, an adult child will request that they be added to their elderly parents' checking account to help protect dear old Mom or Dad. They can help pay bills, and make sure that there is no fraudulent activity on the account. The problem is that both account holders have every right to withdraw money from the account &mdash; which an unscrupulous adult child could take advantage of.</p> <h2>2. Joint accounts are vulnerable to the financial mistakes of both owners</h2> <p>If either account owner has unpaid debts that go into collection, the creditor has every right to use the joint account to satisfy those debts. This means you might potentially find your joint checking account completely drained in order to pay off debts you are unaware that your co-owner has run up.</p> <p>In addition, if there is a legal judgment against either account owner, the money in the joint account could be considered part of the assets awarded in the judgment. For instance, if Jane is sued because she crashed into a bus, then the assets in the joint account she holds with her elderly father are considered part of Jane's assets in terms of the lawsuit &mdash; even if the account was originally solely in Dad's name.</p> <h2>3. A joint account could hurt your credit</h2> <p>Although your spouse or child's credit rating can't ding your score, the way they handle their money can hurt your credit if you share a joint account with them. Since creditors are required to report joint account information, an account holder who struggles with debt and paying bills on time will negatively affect the co-owner's credit rating &mdash; unless and until the money behavior improves.</p> <h2>4. A joint account can affect eligibility for financial assistance</h2> <p>If either account owner needs to qualify for any kind of financial assistance, from financial aid for college to Medicaid, the money in a jointly held account is included in the eligibility calculations for the financial aid. That means you might end up forfeiting your ability to qualify for the financial assistance if your account co-owner holds more cash in the account than you would as a sole account owner.</p> <h2>5. Your co-owner can close the account without your permission</h2> <p>Certain banks require consent from both parties to close a joint checking account, but most do not. Typically, state laws dictate that any person who can write checks on the account can close it, at any time, regardless if their co-owner is present or even aware. The benefit to this is if one party relocates, passes away, or otherwise becomes incapacitated, there are very few issues the remaining co-owner must go through to close the account. The danger, however, lies in the potential for one co-owner to simply deplete the funds, close the account, and disappear. Always make sure you're sharing a checking account with someone you trust.</p> <h2>6. Parent/child joint accounts can have estate implications</h2> <p>A joint account holder retains sole control of the money in the account in the event of the co-owner's death. In the case of spouses or other cohabiting couples, this kind of financial transfer in case of death is not a problem. However, if the account owners are a parent and child, the issue is much more complicated.</p> <p>That's because the money in the checking account stays with the surviving account holder, bypassing whatever the deceased account holder may have put in their will. For instance, Loretta has three children and has specified in her will that her assets will be distributed evenly among them. But Loretta has a sizable joint account with her son Jason, and upon her death the money in that account will be solely under his control. Unless Jason feels like splitting up the money in the account three ways, his siblings are not going to see that portion of their inheritance.</p> <h2>Merge with caution</h2> <p>While joint checking accounts offer convenience to couples and parent/child relationships, they also come with a number of potential headaches. Make sure you know what you are signing up for before you and your potential co-account owner start picking out your personalized checks.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-you-should-know-about-joint-checking-accounts">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/heres-how-your-taxes-will-change-after-you-have-a-kid">Here&#039;s How Your Taxes Will Change After You Have a Kid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-put-your-spouse-on-a-budget-without-ruining-your-marriage">How to Put Your Spouse on a Budget Without Ruining Your Marriage</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/12-money-saving-tricks-to-know-before-buying-an-engagement-ring">12 Money-Saving Tricks to Know Before Buying an Engagement Ring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-fun-games-that-teach-your-kids-about-money">6 Fun Games That Teach Your Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-stop-your-spouse-from-overspending">4 Ways to Stop Your Spouse From Overspending</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking Family children credit score debts estate planning joint checking accounts marriage parents shared finances spouse withdrawals Mon, 17 Apr 2017 08:30:13 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1927307 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Stocks Your Kids Would Love to Own http://www.wisebread.com/5-stocks-your-kids-would-love-to-own <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-stocks-your-kids-would-love-to-own" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-525331477.jpg" alt="Learning which stocks your kids would love to own" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When taking a look at your 401(k) or investment accounts, you may often daydream about how cool it would have been if you started investing earlier. That way, maybe you could have jumped on investments that turned out to be home runs, such as Apple [Nasdaq: APPL] and Berkshire-Hathaway [NYSE: BRK].</p> <p>If you have children, you're blessed with the opportunity of granting them the greatest gift any investor could want: time. Let's take a look at some companies whose shares would make a great gift for your kids to not only help them learn about investing, but also get them excited about money and business in general.</p> <h2>1. Snap Inc. [NYSE: SNAP]</h2> <p>Do you know what's cooler than a million dollars? $3.4 billion, which is how much money the parent company of Snapchat raised in its March 1, 2017 initial public offering (IPO). Since it has been estimated that <a href="https://blog.hootsuite.com/snapchat-demographics/" target="_blank">60 percent of Snapchat users</a> are under age 25 and nearly one in four hasn't finished high school, there's a very good chance that your children use this popular social media app.</p> <p>Leverage their interest in the app to keep them focused on tracking a stock price and keeping abreast of the effects of company announcements, such as <a href="http://www.recode.net/2016/9/24/13039900/snapchat-spectacles-google-glass-spiegel" target="_blank">Snap's Spectacles</a>, on the valuation of a publicly-traded company. Bonus: You could use Snapchat to send them their monthly allowance, keep a digital record of when you made that money available, and check how long it lasts them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-modern-ways-to-send-money-to-your-kid?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Modern Ways to Send Money to Your Kid</a>)</p> <h2>2. The Walt Disney Co. [NYSE: DIS]</h2> <p>&quot;Do you want to buy a stock share? Come on let's go and trade!&quot; If you started reading that in Princess Anna's voice, then you're a Disney parent and your kiddos spend a lot of time singing along to similar tunes. Keeping interested in this stock is easy because your kids will read about movie productions, toy developments, theme park construction, and other family entertainment projects.</p> <p>Disney is a great stock to hold onto for the long run, which is a maxim that you want to instill in any young investor. If you were to have held Disney stock from March 1, 2007 to March 1, 2017, you would have seen the stock price go from $34.39 to $111.04 (a 222.88 percent increase!). Plus, it's a dividend-paying stock, giving you a segue to introduce the concept of fixed income securities. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-are-income-stocks?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What Are Income Stocks?</a>)</p> <h2>3. Amazon.com, Inc. [Nasdaq: AMZN]</h2> <p>Parcel-delivering drones, robots that work in warehouses, and voice-activated speakers that can control other home devices. It'll never be dull moment chatting with your kid about recent news from the Seattle-based ecommerce giant.</p> <p>If you have the budget, Amazon.com is one of those <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-expensive-stocks-that-are-totally-worth-it" target="_blank">expensive stocks that are totally worth it</a>. Just when you think that the stock can't hit new heights, an uptick during the early November and December holiday season gives the stock price another boost. Time your gift well before the holiday season and provide immediate gratification to your kids from a stock price bump.</p> <h2>4. Foot Locker, Inc. [NYSE: FL]</h2> <p>On the other hand, here's one stock to develop in your children an appreciation for delayed gratification. If your kid is a sneakerhead or sports jock, they'll include a new pair of athletic shoes in their Christmas list. With a current stock price close to $75 per share, one share of Foot Locker goes for about the same as a brand-new, high-quality pair of athletic shoes meant to last at least one year.</p> <p>Give your child the option of the shoes or one share of Foot Locker, Inc. (Or pick another company that better matches the price of the shoes that they want, including Nike Inc. [NYSE: NKE] or Skechers USA Inc. [NYSE: SKX].) When your child chooses the stock over the shoes, they'll realize that they'll have more available after a one-year period. If they're still unconvinced, ask them to try selling a pair of old, smelly shoes after one year of (ab)use from a tween.</p> <p>Setting a strong foundation for delayed gratification will boost your child's ability to save for retirement and build an emergency fund. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-investing-lessons-you-must-teach-your-kids?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Investing Lessons You Must Teach Your Kids</a>)</p> <h2>5. Tesla Inc. [Nasdaq: TSLA]</h2> <p>The concept of saving for retirement is completely foreign to most individuals under age 18, maybe even for some under age 25! Getting somebody to plan about 40 to 60 years ahead is a difficult task. One way to get your kid thinking about the future with a fun and optimistic tone is to gift them stock from Tesla, because this company is in the business of electric cars, energy storage batteries, and solar panels.</p> <p>Plus, Tesla's CEO Elon Musk is so cool as to inspire the way actor Robert Downey Jr. plays Tony Stark in all Marvel films. By following the decisions of a cool and smart CEO, your child could gain further interest in business and entrepreneurship.</p> <h2>How custodial Roth IRAs can help with investing education</h2> <p>If your kid is under age 18 and makes some money on their own, such as through a hobby or during the summer, consider opening a custodial Roth IRA for them. This is a great way to educate your child about investing and providing a &quot;sandbox&quot; in which to make real-life decisions with investments. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-your-kid-need-an-ira?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Does Your Kid Need an IRA?</a>)</p> <p>In 2017, your kid could contribute up to $5,500 to a custodial Roth IRA and watch those contributions grow tax-free forever. Many financial institutions require an account minimum of $100 to open a custodial Roth IRA. You could start with some stocks from this list or other stocks that your kid is interested in and eventually move on to index funds and mutual funds. To minimize fees, just keep post-contribution transactions at a minimum.</p> <p>Gifting your child stocks paired with several years of retirement savings could be one of the best gifts you could ever give them for a brighter financial future.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-stocks-your-kids-would-love-to-own">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-smarter-investments-by-mastering-this-simple-ratio">Make Smarter Investments by Mastering This Simple Ratio</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-3-rules-every-mediocre-investor-must-know">The 3 Rules Every Mediocre Investor Must Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-places-to-stash-your-kids-college-savings">5 Smart Places to Stash Your Kid&#039;s College Savings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-8-small-cap-value-investments-are-on-fire">These 8 Small Cap Value Investments Are on Fire</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-bad-money-habits-youre-teaching-your-kids">4 Bad Money Habits You&#039;re Teaching Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment children fun stocks gifts kids money lessons Roth IRA stock market stocks young investors Fri, 14 Apr 2017 08:30:13 +0000 Damian Davila 1925374 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's How Your Taxes Will Change After You Have a Kid http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-your-taxes-will-change-after-you-have-a-kid <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-how-your-taxes-will-change-after-you-have-a-kid" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-520005424.jpg" alt="Couple finding out how taxes change after having a kid" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's no question that having a kid will change your life financially. Introducing a new child to your household adds a slew of new costs, but the good news is that the American tax code is written to help families with some of these expenses.</p> <p>The IRS &mdash; yes, that benevolent organization &mdash; offers a variety of tax credits, deductions, and other incentives that could lead to a smaller tax bill when you have a child. But this also makes your taxes more complicated. So here's a review of what your new baby might mean as you file this year's return.</p> <h2>You get to claim an exemption just for having a kid</h2> <p>When you have a child, you can claim an exemption that will reduce your taxable income by $4,050. And for each child you have, you get to claim another exemption. (So four kids represents $16,200 deducted from your taxable income.)</p> <h2>You can also claim the child tax credit</h2> <p>Yes, you get an additional break on your taxes just by adding a member to your family. You can reduce your tax bill by $1,000 for every dependent in your household. This usually includes any family member 17 or under that lives with you, including adopted children, foster children, and even nieces and nephews if you are their primary caregiver. The benefit is reduced once you hit $110,000 gross income if filing jointly, or $75,000 if filing alone.</p> <h2>You can reduce your taxable income by saving for college</h2> <p>The second you have a child, you can begin saving for college and get some nice tax breaks for doing it. The most popular vehicle is called a 529 college savings plan, and many states allow you to deduct contributions from your taxable income. Gains on the investments in a 529 plan also are not taxed. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</a>)</p> <p>You may save money when you eventually send your child to school. As of 2016, it was possible to get a $2,000 Lifetime Learning Credit each year for qualified education expenses, or a $2,500 American Opportunity Credit. There are <a href="https://www.irs.gov/publications/p970/ar02.html#en_US_2016_publink1000255787" target="_blank">some subtle differences</a> between the two credits, which you can learn more about <a href="https://www.irs.gov/publications/p970/ch03.html" target="_blank">at the IRS website. </a></p> <h2>You might take advantage of a health savings account</h2> <p>You and your partner might not worry about health care expenses, but they become more of an issue when you have kids. Many employers offer health savings accounts (HSAs), which allow you to divert some money into an account to pay for health care expenses you might accrue. Any money placed in an HSA is deducted from your taxable income. You may find it's worth contributing to an HSA if your child has health challenges, or if you have a health insurance plan with a high deductible. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-an-hsa-saves-you-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How an HSA Saves You Money</a>)</p> <h2>You might save less for retirement &mdash; and thus pay more tax</h2> <p>Are you planning to dial back your retirement savings in order to meet the financial demands of a new child? If so, it's important to know how that impacts your tax bill. Any contributions you place in a 401(k) or traditional IRA are deducted from your taxable income, so if you are putting less aside, your tax bill may be higher. Ideally, you'll be able to save at the same rate as always, but if not, be sure to anticipate paying more in tax.</p> <h2>You may pay less tax if you stop working</h2> <p>Many families find that their gross income goes down after having a kid because one parent stops working full-time or altogether. Lower income means lower taxes, and you may even move into a lower tax bracket. (Moving from $80,000 to $60,000 in earned income, for example, means you pay 15 percent in tax instead of 25 percent when filing jointly.) This lower tax helps take the sting out of having less income overall, and in some cases, you may even end up with more take-home pay.</p> <h2>If you pay for child care, you might get a tax break</h2> <p>The IRS allows parents to save money on their taxes if they pay someone to care for their children. This is a great thing for working parents. The child and dependent tax credit offers up to $1,050 for one person receiving care, or $2,100 for two or more. Poorer families can get 35 percent back of any qualifying child care costs.</p> <p>Many parents may save more on their taxes by instead utilizing a dependent care flexible savings account. If your employer offers such an account, you can set aside as much as $5,000 of your paycheck to cover child care costs. Contributions to this account are deducted from your taxable income, thus reducing your tax liability.</p> <h2>If you employ a nanny, your taxes could get complicated</h2> <p>In most cases like the situations above, there are tax breaks to help offset the cost of child care. But if you directly hire a nanny &mdash; as opposed to hiring one through an agency &mdash; you may be considered an employer in the eyes of the IRS. That means a boatload of paperwork, and you're on the hook for things like Social Security, unemployment, and Medicare taxes. So be sure to take all of this into account when researching child care options.</p> <h2>Expanding your home may have tax advantages</h2> <p>When you have a child, you may realize you need to expand your home with a new family room, bedrooms, or other space. The bad news here is that you can't claim the cost of home improvements on your taxes. But, any home upgrades will be added to the cost basis of your home. Thus, you may be able to reduce or even eliminate capital gains taxes when you sell.</p> <p>If you do make upgrades, you can deduct the cost of things to make the home more energy-efficient, such as Energy Star rated windows and appliances.</p> <h2>Adopting a child comes with a big tax break</h2> <p>If you adopt a child, you get some significant tax breaks in addition to the ones listed above. The Federal Adoption Tax Credit gives families a maximum of $13,460 to offset qualified adoption expenses. This can include adoption fees, court fees, travel costs, and attorney fees, among other costs. Parents who adopt a child may also receive additional tax credits from their state.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-your-taxes-will-change-after-you-have-a-kid">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tax-mistakes-new-parents-make">4 Tax Mistakes New Parents Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-your-spouse-be-a-dependent-on-your-taxes">Can Your Spouse be a Dependent on Your Taxes?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-with-a-dependent-care-tax-credit-and-fsa">Save Money with a Dependent Care Tax Credit and FSA</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-miss-out-on-this-easy-way-to-pay-for-child-care">Don&#039;t Miss Out on This Easy Way to Pay for Child Care</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-you-should-know-about-joint-checking-accounts">6 Things You Should Know About Joint Checking Accounts</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Taxes adoption american opportunity credit child care children deductions dependents exemptions kids lifetime learning credit parents tax credits Tue, 28 Mar 2017 09:30:33 +0000 Tim Lemke 1913753 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Money Strategies for the Sandwich Generation http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-strategies-for-the-sandwich-generation <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-money-strategies-for-the-sandwich-generation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-77931648.jpg" alt="Sandwich generation learning smart money strategies" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Generation X is commonly called the sandwich generation for two reasons. First, they are sandwiched between the Millennials and the Baby Boomers, both groups that seem to hog media coverage &mdash; and marketing budgets. More importantly, many Gen Xers face the modern problem of caring for their elderly parents while still also caring for their own children. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-the-sandwich-generation-can-get-ahead?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways the Sandwich Generation Can Get Ahead</a>)</p> <p>Being in the sandwich generation can be stressful and financially draining. Here are five strategies to stay financially afloat if you're caring for others.</p> <h2>1. Talk Openly About Finances</h2> <p>Whether your elderly parents live with you or not, it is important to know where they stand financially. For families that didn't grow up talking about money, this might feel awkward. However, it is important for you to be prepared to assume financial responsibility if anything were to happen.</p> <p>Of course, it is best to have this talk with a certified financial planner and estate attorney, as well. There are a lot of financial matters to discuss.</p> <ul> <li>Who has <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-power-of-attorney" target="_blank">power of attorney</a>?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Where will the funds for your parents' care come from?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Should your parents be receiving veterans' benefits or Medicaid assistance?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Do your parents have any investments, and are they making the best rate of return on them?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Do your parents have <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-long-term-care-insurance-worth-it" target="_blank">long-term care insurance</a> or enough retirement savings to cover care costs?</li> </ul> <h2>2. Utilize Special Savings Accounts</h2> <p>Money will be tight when you are caring for your parents and children at the same time, but don't neglect saving accounts. Contribute as much as you can to your retirement account and even look into a 529 plan for future college costs.</p> <p>Many employers offer flexible spending accounts (FSAs), which allow you to contribute up to $2,500 into a health account and dependent care account. If both you and your spouse are employed, then you might both be eligible to contribute $2,500, for a combined $5,000. This money can be used for your own medical costs, your kids' medical costs and care needs, and your elderly parents' medical and care needs, if they are declared as your dependents.</p> <p>An elderly parent can be financially taxing, but don't let that cause you to avoid saving for your retirement or your child's college. You don't want to be stuck in a financial black hole once your elderly loved one is gone.</p> <h2>3. Get Tax Benefits</h2> <p>If you do declare a parent as a dependent, make sure you get all of the possible tax benefits. Talk with a tax specialist about getting special deductions for medical home improvements, medical expenses, and care expenses.</p> <h2>4. Prioritize the Budget</h2> <p>Take a look at your budget and see what can be cut or put on hold. You might have to move to a more affordable area or forgo family vacations for a few years. Being in the sandwich generation will take sacrifice, but if you can survive this time without incurring debt, then you will stay financially afloat.</p> <p>If you need extra money, try to sell unwanted or unneeded items. Every little bit helps. If either your child or parent is capable of earning some money with a part-time position, this can help too. A teenager can get a job and take over their cellphone or car payments, and your parent can help contribute to the grocery budget. Even if this only adds up to an extra $100 a month, it can still create a little bit of breathing room.</p> <h2>5. Ask Other Family Members for Help</h2> <p>An aging parent shouldn't fall on the shoulders of just one person. Siblings and other able family members should help financially and physically. Have a serious talk with your other siblings and family members about contributing. If they cannot contribute financially, then they should be able to watch or care for an elderly parent at least a few hours a month to give you a break.</p> <p>Don't try to balance the weight of aging parents and children alone. Start by talking with a financial adviser, who can help put your finances in order and point you to free resources. It can also help to seek advice from peers who have gone through or are going through the same situation.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-strategies-for-the-sandwich-generation">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-the-sandwich-generation-can-get-ahead">6 Ways the Sandwich Generation Can Get Ahead</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/heres-how-your-taxes-will-change-after-you-have-a-kid">Here&#039;s How Your Taxes Will Change After You Have a Kid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tax-mistakes-new-parents-make">4 Tax Mistakes New Parents Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-you-should-know-about-joint-checking-accounts">6 Things You Should Know About Joint Checking Accounts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-fun-games-that-teach-your-kids-about-money">6 Fun Games That Teach Your Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family aging parents baby boomers children dependents generation x household millennials money advice sandwich generation Mon, 13 Feb 2017 11:00:07 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1884961 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Smart Money Moves for Empty Nesters http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-money-moves-for-empty-nesters <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-smart-money-moves-for-empty-nesters" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-108329619.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Parents love their children &mdash; that's a given &mdash; but that won't stop you from breaking out the trumpet in glee when your offspring start footing the bill for themselves. Oh, happy day! Need ideas on what to do with your cash now that it's actually yours again, empty nester? Consider these seven smart money moves once your kids fly the coop.</p> <h2>1. Re-evaluate Spending<strong> </strong></h2> <p>With fewer people living in the house, you'll likely see a reduction in monthly expenses. Re-evaluate your budget and assess how much you were spending before, and then look for areas to cut back. If you have a minivan or SUV that was suited to your larger family, consider trading it in for a smaller vehicle. You could possibly save money on the monthly payment, as well as pay less for insurance and fuel.</p> <p>Or maybe you have the Cadillac of cable TV packages, which accommodated everyone's viewing needs. Look into downgrading to a cheaper cable package. If you don't watch much TV, get rid of cable altogether, and sign up for an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-alternatives-to-cable-tv-that-will-keep-you-entertained?ref=internal">inexpensive streaming servic</a>e. Additionally, since there are fewer mouths to feed, come up with a plan to spend less on groceries. The more you save, the more cash you'll have available to reach more important financial goals &mdash; like finally making some headway toward your retirement fund.</p> <h2>2. Grow Your Retirement Account<strong> </strong></h2> <p>Many parents make big sacrifices to provide for their children, which can include establishing college funds and fully or partially supporting adult children as they complete their educations. As a result, maybe you haven't contributed as much as you would have liked toward retirement. With the kids out of the house, now's the time to play catch-up.</p> <p>Work with a financial adviser, review your finances, and develop a realistic plan that lets you contribute as much as possible toward growing a comfortable nest egg. You can contribute up to $5,500 a year to an individual retirement account ($6,500 if you're 50 or older), and up to $18,000 a year to a 401K (plus an additional $6,000 if you're 50 or older).</p> <h2>3. Increase Liquid Savings<strong> </strong></h2> <p>Then again, maybe your retirement account is on track but you lack liquid savings for emergencies like a car or home repair. Instead of spending extra money on vacations, shopping, or redecorating your home, take the cash you're saving each month from cutting expenses and contribute to an emergency fund.</p> <h2>4. Pay Off Debt<strong> </strong></h2> <p>As you inch closer to retirement, the less debt you have, the better. Come up with a plan to pay off debt, especially <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit card debt</a>. This is not only costly debt &mdash; it also drags down your credit score.</p> <p>Gather all your credit card statements and write down the amounts you owe and the interest rates you're currently paying. Some people tackle the debt with the highest interest rate first, since this is the costliest, whereas others attack the debt with the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-comprehensive-guide-to-the-debt-snowball-method-0" target="_blank">lowest balance first</a> for a psychological boost. Whatever method you choose, pay more than your minimum every month, stop charging, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">negotiate your interest rates</a>.</p> <p>Additionally, consider making extra principal mortgage payments to pay off your home loan balance sooner. If you're able to pay off your mortgage before retiring, you can lower your expenses and stretch your retirement income.</p> <h2>5. Purchase Long-Term Care Insurance<strong> </strong></h2> <p>Long-term care is a type of insurance that many people don't think about, but it's important to shop around and explore options while you're young and still relatively healthy. Long-term care insurance &mdash; which isn't covered by Medicare &mdash; pays for future expenses like home care, adult day care, and nursing home care. Some people don't think about getting a plan until they are ready to retire, but premiums are cheaper the earlier you buy.</p> <h2>6. Downsize Your Living Situation<strong> </strong></h2> <p>More than likely, you don't need as much space as before. Rather than stay in a house that's too big for you and your spouse, or waste money heating and cooling rooms you never use, downsize to a smaller space. A smaller house payment and cheaper utilities can increase your monthly savings, freeing up cash for paying down debt or increasing your nest egg.</p> <h2>7. Convert a Term Life Policy to a Whole Life Policy<strong> </strong></h2> <p>Life insurance is a necessity whether you're young or old. The death benefit paid to your beneficiaries can pay for final expenses, such as your funeral and burial, medical bills, and other debt. Term life insurance is cheaper than whole life insurance, which makes these policies an attractive option. But term policies expire after a certain number of years. A whole life policy, on the other hand, is a permanent policy that never expires and accumulates a cash value.</p> <p>Talk to your insurance agent about converting your term policy to a whole life policy. If you make the conversion before the policy expires, you can possibly get the new policy without additional medical underwriting.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-money-moves-for-empty-nesters">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-before-moving-out-on-your-own">5 Money Moves to Make Before Moving Out on Your Own</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-to-make-as-soon-as-the-kids-move-out">7 Money Moves to Make as Soon as the Kids Move Out</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/its-never-too-late-to-fix-these-5-money-mistakes-from-your-past">It&#039;s Never Too Late to Fix These 5 Money Mistakes From Your Past</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-fun-games-that-teach-your-kids-about-money">6 Fun Games That Teach Your Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-to-add-your-teen-as-an-authorized-user-on-your-credit-card">4 Reasons to Add Your Teen as an Authorized User on Your Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance budgeting children debt empty nesters kids kids moving out retirement contributions teens young adults Fri, 27 Jan 2017 10:00:08 +0000 Mikey Rox 1878109 at http://www.wisebread.com Should Your Kids Contribute to Family Money Goals? http://www.wisebread.com/should-your-kids-contribute-to-family-money-goals <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/should-your-kids-contribute-to-family-money-goals" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_kid_piggybank_517743380.jpg" alt="Parents asking kid to contribute to financial family goals" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many years ago, I remember watching an episode of Wife Swap, a reality television program where &quot;two wives, from two very different families, swap lives for two weeks.&quot; The episode starred Tulsa, Oklahoma mom, Amy King, who made her three children buy their own treats and contribute toward all family vacations.</p> <p>Initially I thought the idea of making your children pay for their own vacation was a little radical and unloving. Obviously you don't want to force your eight-year-old to give up all of their allowance to your home renovation project or make your teenager stay home if they don't contribute to the family vacation fund.</p> <p>But it got me thinking. Could there be some good in asking children to contribute financially to family goals?</p> <h2>Why Set Family Financial Goals?</h2> <p>Setting and striving toward a goal as a family can be a powerful thing. It can bring every member of your family together and can help you work together and keep each other accountable. Spark Parenting says, &quot;Once kids see firsthand how to <a href="http://www.sparkparenting.com/Tip_Sheet_Family_Goals.pdf" target="_blank">set and achieve family goals</a>, they'll better understand what it takes to set and accomplish personal goals.&quot;</p> <p>Some important goals to set for your family can include:</p> <ul> <li>Spending more time together;</li> <li>Reading 10 books together;</li> <li>Getting healthy together;</li> <li>Giving back to the community.</li> </ul> <p>All of those goals are great to pursue as a family, but I encourage you to take on a financial family goal, too, especially when it feels like your budget is too tight for fun or travel. If you have been wanting to take a family vacation for years, yet never have enough money left over after bills, then setting a family financial goal can help.</p> <h2>Make It About the Family</h2> <p>When it comes to setting financial goals, set ones that involve and please the whole family. Yes, your family might be in debt or need new tires on the family van, but these scenarios should not be the responsibility of your children.</p> <p>Instead, make the financial goal something your kids want and can dream about with you. Here are some ideas for things to save up for:</p> <ul> <li>A family vacation in another country;</li> <li>A special dinner out;</li> <li>A day at a theme park;</li> <li>A family game/toy/activity (i.e. basketball hoop or bikes);</li> <li>Movies and ice cream.</li> </ul> <p>Your family financial goal can be big, such as a $5,000 vacation in Italy, or it can be small, like $30 for movies and ice cream. You can even have a mix of small and large goals. You should allow some room for your kids to daydream and plan. Don't just throw out &quot;Hey, kids, we need to visit grandma in Florida next year, start saving,&quot; and expect your kids to donate willingly.</p> <h2>How Much Should a Child Contribute?</h2> <p>Once the family has decided on a financial goal they want to accomplish, figure out a deadline and how much needs to be contributed each week and month. For example, a day trip to Disneyland for my family would cost around $450. If we wanted to go in 10 months, then we would need to save $45 toward our goal each month. We would then break down how much everyone would contribute weekly or monthly, depending on how often you pay allowances.</p> <p>If you assign chores and allowances based on age, then it is easy to assign how much each child should give toward the goal. Ideally, children's allowances should be split 50% &mdash; 60% spend/free choice, 20% &mdash; 30% save, and 10% give. This is true even if you do not do family allowances. If your child earns $10 a month for chores, you want to instill in him that he can keep $5 to $6 of it to do what he likes (depending on saving goals), $2 to $3 should go automatically into the savings account and not touched, and $1 should go toward charitable giving.</p> <p>For family financial goal contributions, 10% should be required of all children. I recommend the 10% coming out of the &quot;spend&quot; category, so that the child's allowance is broken down like so:</p> <ul> <li>50%&ndash;60% free choice</li> <li>20% savings</li> <li>10% family financial goal contribution</li> <li>10% charitable giving</li> </ul> <p>Obviously, your child is not going to be able to afford Disneyland anytime soon with a $1 contribution per month. That is where your contribution comes in. You fill in the gap, so it is important to make this a priority in your budget.</p> <p>So if my two children make $20 a month each from chores, I would expect them each to pay $2 toward the Disneyland fund. Which means my husband and I would then be responsible for $20.50 each per month.</p> <h2>What If Kids Don't Want to Give?</h2> <p>I definitely don't recommend making family goal time a negative thing with consequences and punishments. Instead, I recommend making a chart and setting the rule that parents only contribute on the weeks or months the kids contribute. So if my kids both spent their whole allowance on something else, then they wouldn't be in trouble, but I would show them that mom and dad will not be contributing this week and that our trip to Disneyland is now postponed a month.</p> <p>Making a large chart to track progress is a huge motivator for everyone. I encourage you to set and treat fun, family financial goals as a family matter. Everyone is doing their part. Of course, some kids might be against the idea, and for those issues, I believe you just need to sit down with them one-on-one and get to core of the problem. For example, maybe Johnny isn't contributing willingly to the fund because he doesn't want to go to Disneyland or because he is mad at his brother.</p> <p>Making your children contribute to family financial goals is for their benefit, not yours. This isn't the ultimate plan to get your child to start pulling their weight. Instead, it is a practical exercise that helps children understand the value of working together as a family, and how to save to make their own financial dreams come true.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-your-kids-contribute-to-family-money-goals">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-living-skills-i-wish-my-parents-would-have-taught-me">8 Frugal Living Skills I Wish My Parents Would Have Taught Me</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-sibling-discounts-that-can-save-you-big">6 Sibling Discounts That Can Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-fun-games-that-teach-your-kids-about-money">6 Fun Games That Teach Your Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-help-your-kid-build-their-first-budget">How to Help Your Kid Build Their First Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-your-taxes-will-change-after-you-have-a-kid">Here&#039;s How Your Taxes Will Change After You Have a Kid</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Family allowance children contributing family goals giving kids lessons saving money Thu, 22 Dec 2016 10:30:27 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1853794 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Frugal Living Skills You Should Be Teaching Your Children http://www.wisebread.com/7-frugal-living-skills-you-should-be-teaching-your-children <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-frugal-living-skills-you-should-be-teaching-your-children" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kid_education_money_45175586.jpg" alt="Kid learning frugal living skills from parents" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all want to pass our frugal living skills on to our kids, but what lessons are most important? How specific should we get? How soon should we start? Don't sweat the details. Sometimes the most important frugal living skills aren't financial skills at all &mdash; they're life skills that serve us well in dozens of ways. Here are seven frugal living skills you should be teaching your children, no matter how young or old they are.</p> <h2>1. Patience</h2> <p>The ability to delay gratification is the foundation of frugality. It gives us space to mentally separate our needs from our wants, time to find the best deals, and &mdash; most importantly &mdash; a chance to let momentary impulses pass us by.</p> <p>As with most lessons, patience is easier to embrace when taught early. For items your kids want, build in wait times that are dependent on their own effort (grades, chores around the house, or progress toward their own personal goals). If their wants change during that time, which is inevitable with children, complete the lesson by pointing out how the slight delay translates into dollars saved. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-being-patient-saves-you-money?ref=seealso">8 Ways Being Patient Saves You Money</a>)</p> <h2>2. Self-Confidence</h2> <p>Here's the dirty little secret that keeps our consumer culture thriving: Advertisers and marketers hate personal confidence and they do everything in their power to knock our self-image off kilter. Every day, we face a barrage of neuroses-inspiring messages that tell us we have the wrong car, wrong clothes, dull hair, bad breath, and hopelessly yellow teeth.</p> <p>Instilling a strong sense of self-confidence can help kids avoid falling victim to these messages for the rest of their lives &mdash; and sacrificing a large part of their personal wealth in the process. Seize every opportunity to reinforce the idea that your kids are fine just the way are and model that truth yourself. Then, when age-appropriate, pull back the advertising curtain. Point out how commercial messages are artfully crafted to make us all spend more than we should by making us all feel less than we are. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-confidence-makes-you-better-with-money?ref=seealso">3 Ways Confidence Makes You Better With Money</a>)</p> <h2>3. Collaboration</h2> <p>In our hyper-consumer culture, collaborating and sharing are revolutionary acts because they slightly erode the need for more. Why buy your own lawn mower if you can borrow one from a close neighbor? Likewise, why should your neighbor buy a snowblower if he can use yours a few times a year?</p> <p>Encourage sharing at an early age by helping your kids develop strong communication skills, showing them how to make and honor agreements, and teaching them how to be good stewards of what they (and others) own.</p> <h2>4. Creativity</h2> <p>Making do with less takes creativity and ingenuity. It's how the moms and dads of yesteryear stretched meals, made new clothes from old, bartered for goods, and kept life going on what was often a shoestring budget. Foster your children's imagination with free-form toys, unstructured play, and arts and crafts &mdash; anything that gets them moving, thinking, and exploring new ideas.</p> <h2>5. Negotiation</h2> <p>Knowing how to negotiate on price, payment terms, and extras can save a person thousands of dollars over a lifetime. Teach <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-negotiating-skills-everyone-should-master">essential negotiation skills</a> by example; take your kids with you to flea markets, yard sales, and the used car lot &mdash; any venue where a bit of friendly haggling is expected. Show them how to use to research to their advantage, develop a rapport with sellers, and be fair but fearless in what they ask for.</p> <h2>6. Contentment</h2> <p>Much like low self-confidence, discontentment moves product. Keeping consumers in a constant state of desire is how retailers sell us more than what we need. To complicate matters, teaching children to be content is tricky business in America because we're all afraid of sapping their motivation. While encouraging kids to strive for more is important, make it less about things and money. Instead, help them focus on achieving their personal goals, expanding their experiences, appreciating the moment, and building rich friendships.</p> <h2>7. Individuality</h2> <p>In a world where consumerism and consumer debt is a way of life, choosing a different path takes a steely sense of self. Promoting a spirit of individuality in children helps them cope with &mdash; and even celebrate &mdash; being different. Point out how your family's own spending and saving habits go against the grain and don't be afraid to show the benefits (monetarily and otherwise) of your simpler, saner lifestyle. It will serve them well for the rest of their lives.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-frugal-living-skills-you-should-be-teaching-your-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-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/8-frugal-living-skills-i-wish-my-parents-would-have-taught-me">8 Frugal Living Skills I Wish My Parents Would Have Taught Me</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-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/6-money-lessons-you-can-learn-from-your-pets">6 Money Lessons You Can Learn From Your Pets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-bad-money-habits-youre-teaching-your-kids">4 Bad Money Habits You&#039;re Teaching Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Family children family frugal living lessons life lessons money lessons parenting parenting tips skills Tue, 15 Nov 2016 09:00:08 +0000 Kentin Waits 1833153 at http://www.wisebread.com Calculate the "Stock Up Price" to Save on These Baby Essentials http://www.wisebread.com/calculate-the-stock-up-price-to-save-on-these-baby-essentials <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/calculate-the-stock-up-price-to-save-on-these-baby-essentials" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/90635409.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There is no question about it, babies are expensive. Cute, but expensive. One way to minimize the cost of caring for your baby is to stock up on essentials when they are at a &quot;Stock Up Price.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Stock Up Price&quot; is the term given when a price point on an item is so low that you should buy several months' worth at one time. Of course, I am not suggesting you turn your garage or closets into a scene from <em>Extreme Couponing</em>. However, by buying extra baby essentials during great deals, you will save yourself money throughout the whole year. Also, it is always nice to avoid last minute runs to the store at closing time to buy baby items. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke?ref=seealso">24 Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke</a>)</p> <h2>Diapers</h2> <p>The funny thing about diapers is that when your little one goes up a size, the diaper box comes with less &mdash; and yet, you still pay more. The smaller the diaper, the cheaper it is, but usually the more you will use.</p> <p>For example, newborn diapers cost around .27 cents per diaper without sales or coupons, and size 5 diapers cost .38 cents per diaper (based off Target's current prices). However, newborns can easily go through 10 to 12 diapers a day (costing $2.70 to $3.24 a day). My 19-month old wears a size 5, but she only requires about five or six diapers a day (costing $1.90 to $2.28 per day).</p> <p>Here is a good stock up price list:</p> <ul> <li>Newborn: Under .15 cents per diaper</li> <li>Size 1: Under .15 cents per diaper</li> <li>Size 2: Under .16 cents per diaper</li> <li>Size 3: Under .19 cents per diaper</li> <li>Size 4: Under .20 cents per diaper</li> <li>Size 5: Under .20 cents per diaper</li> <li>Size 6: Under .21 cents per diaper</li> </ul> <p>To save the most money on diapers, stock up when they are at or below the above price. The easiest way to do this is to stock up during a good sale. My favorite places for finding diaper deals are Amazon and Target.</p> <p>Many times Amazon will have coupons on their diapers, which can be combined with Subscribe &amp; Save. The only problem with Subscribe &amp; Save is that you have to wait for your shipment within three to four weeks. I just purchased a box of 160 size 5 Pampers for $30.81 (this price included tax), or about .19 cents a diaper.</p> <p>When you see a phenomenal deal, stock up on other sizes, too. For those who are pregnant or with newborns, I don't suggest stocking up on diapers past size 4. My first child was tiny and ended up being potty trained early, so she only wore a box of size 4 before she was out of diapers all together.</p> <h2>Formula</h2> <p>I don't suggest stocking up on formula until you know if your baby takes a certain brand. With my first baby, we went through about 10 different formulas before we found one that didn't upset her stomach.</p> <p>Once you find the formula your baby likes, then I would stock up on it anytime you could get it 50% off. Since baby formulas vary greatly by brand and unique baby need, I won't give a set stock up price.</p> <p>With my first, we used Similac Sensitive, and I would try to combine coupons with Similac's formula checks and store deals to get the $25 tubs below $12 to $13 and buy five or six at a time. With my second, we used Baby's Only Organic Lactorelief formula for almost her whole infancy. It was tricky to save money on this formula because it was an online-only item and it did not come with coupons or formula checks. Instead, I got the $13.29 can of formula down to $8 or $9 by buying in bulk from third-party companies or using Jet.com promotional codes and coupons.</p> <p>When you stock up, be sure to look at expiration dates.</p> <h2>Baby Food</h2> <p>For jarred baby food, stock up when you can get the price from .25 cents to .35 cents a jar. Squeezable food pouches are a great deal at .25 cents to .40 cents (expect to pay more for the organic varieties). You can find great deals on baby food by matching store coupons with manufacturer coupons. I advise only stocking up on flavors you know your baby loves. If you happen to score a bunch of cheap jars of pureed carrots or prunes, and your baby hates them, don't worry. You can hide the purees in smoothies, baked goods, or soups instead.</p> <h2>Wipes</h2> <p>Wipes are one baby essential that every parent needs. You might be able to breast-feed, cloth diaper, and even make your own baby food, but admit it &mdash; there will always be a time you need a disposable wipe. Stock up on wipes when they are about .01 cents to .015 cents per wipe, or less than a $1 per package of 72 or more.</p> <p>Sometimes you can get the price on the wipes down to the stock up price on Amazon, but it is easier to do in-store at CVS or Target when there are store coupons and manufacturer coupons that you can combine.</p> <p>The idea is to stock up on baby essentials at the lowest price possible so that you don't have to pay full price. If you regularly stock up on baby essentials at 50% off retail price, then you can easily save hundreds of dollars on your first year as a parent. If you have leftovers, just donate them to a local orphanage or pregnancy center and write it off on your taxes.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/calculate-the-stock-up-price-to-save-on-these-baby-essentials">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/best-kids-eat-free-restaurants">Best Kids Eat Free Restaurants</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/10-things-you-should-never-buy-at-the-dollar-store-and-10-you-should">10 Things You Should Never Buy at the Dollar Store (and 10 You Should)</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-stores-with-the-best-price-matching">10 Stores With the Best Price Matching</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Shopping babies baby food Bulk buying children deals diapers discounts formula stock up price Wed, 19 Oct 2016 09:30:29 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1813255 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Kids Eat Free Restaurants http://www.wisebread.com/best-kids-eat-free-restaurants <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-kids-eat-free-restaurants" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_eating_dinner_41560746.jpg" alt="Family finding best kids eat free restaurants" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One great way to save money while going out to eat is to take advantage of a &quot;kids eat free&quot; deal. My favorite are when you can get up to two free kids meals with the purchase of one adult meal. This allows my family to save even more, since I can share a meal with my husband or one of my kids.</p> <p>While the specifics will vary by area, here are some of the top restaurants that offer a kids eat free deal.</p> <h2>Acapulco</h2> <p>Acapulco varies by location, but when the restaurant does offer free kids meals, it is for kids 11-years-old and under.</p> <h2>Applebee's</h2> <p>Many&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/ApplebeesKidsEatFree/">Applebee's</a> locations offer a free kid's meal with the purchase of an adult entry on Tuesday night. I like their kid's meal options the best because they seem a bit healthier than the usual greasy chicken nugget/French fry route.</p> <h2>Bob Evans</h2> <p>Kids can eat free on Tuesday nights starting at 4 p.m. at Bob Evans. You can order one free kid's meal per adult meal purchased. Breakfast is usually served all day, so your kids can enjoy a fun breakfast for dinner if they wish.</p> <h2>Chevy's Tex-Mex</h2> <p>Every Tuesday, <a href="http://chevys.com/">Chevy's Fresh Mex</a> offers up two free kid's meals for every adult meal purchased. Children must be 10 and under to qualify.</p> <h2>Chick-fil-A</h2> <p>On Tuesday nights, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., kids can receive a free meal for every adult combo meal purchased. Chick-fil-As are individually owned and operated, so not all locations offer this promotion.</p> <h2>Denny's</h2> <p><a href="https://www.dennys.com/food/kids/">Denny's</a> seems to be the most vocal restaurant about their kids eat free promotion. Kids can eat free Tuesdays from 4 to 10 p.m.</p> <h2>Dickey's Barbeque Pit</h2> <p><a href="https://www.dickeys.com/promos">Dickey's Barbeque Pit</a> offers one free kid's meal per paid adult meal. The offer is only valid on Sundays and for kids 12-years-old and under. The best part is that everyone gets free ice cream with their meal.</p> <h2>El Torito</h2> <p>Kids 10 and under can enjoy one free meal with the purchase of an adult entree at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.eltorito.com/kids-eat-free/">El Torito</a>. For families of three to four, you can save money by splitting one main meal and one free kid's meal, since it is easy to fill up on chips while you wait.</p> <h2>Firehouse Subs</h2> <p>Days vary by location, but you can receive up to two free kids meals per one paying adult meal. My local Firehouse Subs allows kids to eat free on Saturday and Sunday. My kids got a kick out of the free firefighter hats that came with their meal.</p> <h2>Hooters</h2> <p>Many might not consider Hooters a family-friendly restaurant, but they offer up to two free kid's meals with the purchase of an adult meal all day on Sundays. The meals are valid for kids ages 12 and under. While the meal is free, you do have to purchase them a beverage.</p> <h2>IHOP</h2> <p>According to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ihop.com/about-ihop/ihop-news/2016-news/turn-dinner-time-into-family-time-kids-eat-free-at-ihop">IHOP's news release</a>, their kid's eat free promotions are offered periodically. For 2016, IHOP offered a free kid entree with the paid purchase of an adult entree from April to May. Join their eClub to receive a free meal and birthday meal and to be notified if they do another kid's eat free promotion.</p> <h2>Ikea</h2> <p>Many&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ikea.com/us/en/store/burbank/offers">Ikea</a> locations are offering free kids meals for summer. My local Ikea is offering up to two free kid's meals with every adult meal purchased. This promotion is valid every Monday through Friday, between June 6th to July 29th for kids 12 and under.</p> <h2>Joe's Crab Shack</h2> <p>To celebrate school being out, <a href="http://joescrabshack.fbmta.com/members/ViewMailing.aspx?MailingID=34359797387">Joe's Crab Shack</a> allows kids to eat free Sundays and Mondays.</p> <h2>Pizza Hut</h2> <p>Some&nbsp;<a href="http://slickdeals.net/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=2573326&amp;d=1393957688">Pizza Hut</a> locations offer a free kid's buffet with each adult buffet purchased. This is valid for kids 10-years-old and younger.</p> <h2>Ruby Tuesday</h2> <p>Kids eat free on Tuesday nights, usually from 5 p.m. to close.</p> <h2>Souplantation</h2> <p>Kids two and under can eat free at Souplantation. Souplantation also regularly offers &quot;kids eat free&quot; coupons and family deals. This used to be a favorite spot of my family, since it was easier to find foods my picky toddler wanted to try.</p> <h2>Steak 'n Shake</h2> <p>Sometimes&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/steaknshake/photos/a.10150599697315041.440061.78934590040/10152844874325041/">Steak 'n Shake</a> offers free meals for kids during the weekend or other promotional period.</p> <p>Check with your local restaurants to verify their kids eat free rules. Days and regulations might vary by location. Also, be sure to check with local mom and pop restaurants in your town for kids eat free specials. Don't feel like going out at all? Try these <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-and-delicious-meals-to-make-with-your-kids" target="_blank">10 Frugal and Delicious Meals to Make With Your Kids</a> instead.</p> <p><em>What is your favorite restaurant to take advantage of the kids eat free deal?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-kids-eat-free-restaurants">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/40-restaurants-that-offer-senior-discounts">40 Restaurants That Offer Senior Discounts</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-7-best-cities-for-frugal-foodies">The 7 Best Cities for Frugal Foodies</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/calculate-the-stock-up-price-to-save-on-these-baby-essentials">Calculate the &quot;Stock Up Price&quot; to Save on These Baby Essentials</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-fun-games-that-teach-your-kids-about-money">6 Fun Games That Teach Your Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-your-taxes-will-change-after-you-have-a-kid">Here&#039;s How Your Taxes Will Change After You Have a Kid</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Family Food and Drink children deals dining out discounts free meals kids restaurants Tue, 28 Jun 2016 09:01:03 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1740457 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Expenses You Should Never Cut http://www.wisebread.com/8-expenses-you-should-never-cut <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-expenses-you-should-never-cut" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_holding_heart_000071794005.jpg" alt="Woman learning which expenses she should never cut" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Over the years, I've come up with hundreds of ways to trim proverbial fat from nearly every aspect of your budget. And I stand by those tips, tricks, and strategies because most of us have areas where we can pull back on the spending a bit.</p> <p>But some things are nonnegotiable. There are necessities &mdash; sometimes rather costly ones &mdash; that are required for us to live decent, healthy, and satisfying lives. What are they? Take a look at these eight expenses you should never cut, and let me know some of the areas where you just can't or won't shake out savings in the comments below.</p> <h2>1. Health Care</h2> <p>First and foremost, it's critical to have health insurance. It's required in the United States, whether from a private provider or via Obamacare, and without it you run the risk of either being denied care or racking up serious medical bills that could put your finances in dire straits for the foreseeable future.</p> <p>Aside from that, when you're sick or need medical attention, you want the best care you can get. Some prescriptions are expensive, too, and health insurance can greatly reduce those costs. You should never let coverage lapse because you're generally healthy or you don't think you'll fall ill anytime soon. Murphy's Law dictates that it's in that scenario you'll need medical attention, and you'll want to have insurance on your side.</p> <h2>2. Personal Hygiene</h2> <p>Soap, shampoo, and toothpaste are essential &mdash; and readily available, like on nearly every corner of your neighborhood, for not much money. Which is weird, because I know plenty of people, perfectly well-off individuals at that, who don't seem to use any of it on a regular basis.</p> <p>If you're one of those folks who likes to gripe at the cost of personal hygiene products and therefore use that as your excuse to skimp on washing yourself on a regular basis, you'll be happy to know that bargain brands, like Suave for example, do a bang-up job of keeping you clean. Not to mention that there are always coupons available for hygiene products, especially toothpaste, that can help reduce the cost of these items. Find the items on sale plus pair them with coupons and you'll spend oftentimes less than a dollar on what you need per item.</p> <h2>3. Personal Safety</h2> <p>Most of us practice personal safety consistently. We try to avoid automobile accidents, we look both ways when we cross the road, and we never run with scissors. Those are all subconscious decisions that don't cost a dime, which is why you might be asking yourself how personal safety costs you actual dollars and cents.</p> <p>For starters, the car that you drive should be rated for safety. When you're strapped for cash and need an inexpensive vehicle, choosing a cheap car that gets you from A to B may seem like an ideal option. Certainly there are times &mdash; and financial constraints &mdash; that call for this type of decision-making, but you'll almost always regret it in the long run. Instead, I recommend loosening the purse strings just a little more so you can buy a vehicle that will protect you if you're in an accident, opposed to one that's already falling apart.</p> <p>Another example is safety on the water. Life vests are cumbersome, and nobody likes to wear them. But you know what? They save lives, and there are millions of people in this world who will tell you that they regret not buying or renting life preservers during an outing that resulted in someone's harm or death. It could have been prevented if they had just sprung for the darn things. Thus, spring for the darn things.</p> <h2>4. Healthy Food</h2> <p>It's true, food is expensive, especially the healthy stuff &mdash; but you shouldn't be making cuts to your budget that include reducing the amount of healthy food you're eating by replacing it with less expensive, toxic food &mdash; like that microwaveable junk that comes from the freezer section or the stuff you grab at the drive-thru window.</p> <p>It's okay to indulge in it every now and then &mdash; who doesn't like to dive headfirst into a bag of Doritos from time to time? But most of your food should be fresh and nutritious. You owe it to yourself &mdash; and your longevity &mdash; to eat healthy, and there are lots of ways you can cut down on your healthy food bills if you put in the legwork before going grocery shopping. Wise Bread can help you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-easy-ways-to-stretch-your-grocery-dollars">save a substantial amount</a> on your supermarket bills if you do a little digging for advice.</p> <h2>5. Mental Health Care</h2> <p>Mental health is a hot topic of conversation nowadays, though we should have started talking about it seriously a long time ago. Personally I've suffered from depression and anxiety &mdash; and still do from time to time &mdash; and I've known too many people who have committed suicide because they weren't able to figure things out. Which is why it's my duty to tell you that your mental health is worth every extra penny you can afford. If you need medication, get the medication. If you need someone to talk to &mdash; which can help immensely when you're troubled &mdash; go see a therapist. If you have decent health insurance, prescriptions and therapy should be covered so you can afford to help yourself.</p> <p>And it goes without saying that if you feel like there's no hope left, please believe me when I tell you that there is. People care about you, and you can talk anonymously about whatever you're feeling by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-273-8255. You matter; whether you believe it right now or not &mdash; <em>you matter</em>.</p> <h2>6. Insurance</h2> <p>By law in most U.S. states you're required to have car insurance. So if you're thinking about cutting it because you don't drive very often or very far, you're in for a rude awakening if you have the unfortunate luck of being in an accident &mdash; and you'll probably go to jail on top of whatever expenses the crash racked up.</p> <p>Homeowners and renters insurance are also areas where it's not wise to be a miser. You don't have to have super-premium, platinum, Superman coverage, but you should have enough coverage to fully cover the things you own &mdash; so they can be replaced quickly and efficiently &mdash; in the event of an accident.</p> <h2>7. Debt Repayment</h2> <p>If you're already pinching pennies because you're in debt, it can be easy to brush it to the side and try to forget about it. You're in so deep that you'll never pay it off, so why worry about it, right? Wrong.</p> <p>In this case, you have few options to stay on track, but you may be able to cut something less important from your budget to continue making payments, or &mdash; and I know this is an offensive idea to some &mdash; pick up an extra job or side gig to start earning more income. The problem with debt is that it will never go away, and it's your responsibility to pay off what you've accumulated. You alone made those purchases, and you alone need to pay them off. There are assistance programs out there that can help, and I recommend researching your options in that regard, but whatever you do, don't act like it doesn't exist. It does, and it will follow you around like a black cloud for the rest of your life until you address it.</p> <h2>8. Things Your Kids Depend On</h2> <p>There's a buzzword that's being tossed around willy-nilly right now with regards to children and teenagers (and even 20-somethings). We hear it a lot: Entitlement.</p> <p>While I contend that American children tend to be somewhat entitled, there are some things to which they're <em>actually</em> entitled &mdash; like a proper education and health services. If your child needs a tutor, hire a tutor. If your child needs a therapist, seek therapy. Hopefully you had children for the right reasons, because you wanted to have a family to love and care for. If you're trying to be over-thrifty in these areas, you may not be doing the best job of holding up your end of the parenting bargain.</p> <p>Find areas in your own grown-up budget to eliminate &mdash; like one of your many memberships perhaps, or that adults-only vacation &mdash; and help your kid stay on the right path, physically, emotionally, and mentally. You owe them that much.</p> <p><em>What costs do you refuse to skimp on?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-expenses-you-should-never-cut">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/25-ways-to-save-on-a-shoestring">25 Ways to Save on a Shoestring</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-frugal-living-skills-you-should-be-teaching-your-children">7 Frugal Living Skills You Should Be Teaching Your Children</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-easy-ways-to-start-taking-better-care-of-yourself-today">9 Easy Ways to Start Taking Better Care of Yourself Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-fun-games-that-teach-your-kids-about-money">6 Fun Games That Teach Your Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wisdom-from-my-favorite-frugal-tv-character-julius-rock">Wisdom from My Favorite Frugal TV Character - Julius Rock</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living budgeting children expenses family Health healthy foods hygiene necessary costs safety Mon, 30 May 2016 10:30:05 +0000 Mikey Rox 1717320 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Bad Money Habits You're Teaching Your Kids http://www.wisebread.com/4-bad-money-habits-youre-teaching-your-kids <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-bad-money-habits-youre-teaching-your-kids" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/child_hammer_piggy_bank_000070437303.jpg" alt="You are teaching your kids bad money habits" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Money is a taboo subject in our culture, which means it can be tough for parents to know how to talk to their kids about it. But children are little sponges, and the lessons they learn about money may not be the ones you intend to teach them.</p> <p>Here are four bad money habits you might be passing along to Junior and Sis, without even realizing &mdash; and how to start teaching them positive money lessons. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-fun-games-that-teach-your-kids-about-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Fun Games That Teach Your Kids About Money</a>)</p> <h2>The Bad Habit: Entitlement</h2> <p>Every single parent has had this moment. You have made it clear to your kid that they may <em>not</em> have the candy bar or Thomas the Tank Engine figurine or other coveted <em>object du jour</em> &mdash; but the fit they throw in the store is worthy of a gold medal at the temper tantrum Olympics, and it's easier to give in than fight your sobbing child all the way back to the car.</p> <h3>How You Teach It: Caving in to the Tantrum</h3> <p>We all know this is the wrong move, but some days your nerves are stretched to the breaking point and it's just easier to buy the candy bar. However, making a habit of caving to a tantrum can lead to a child who rivals Veruca Salt in feeling entitled to anything and everything money can buy.</p> <h3>The Better Move: Acknowledge Your Child's Wants</h3> <p>The best way to head off an incipient <em>I want it NOW</em> temper tantrum &mdash; and thereby teach the difference between needs and wants &mdash; is to recognize that to your child, this <em>is</em> a big deal.</p> <p>For instance, with my own kids, I will often respond that the candy bar <em>does </em>look delicious, but that it's going stay at the store and not come home with us. Similarly, I encourage my kids to say &quot;bye-bye&quot; to toys or books they want me to buy, giving them the opportunity to make the transition from coveting the item to letting it go. It's not a foolproof method, but it does help them to at least have a framework for letting go of wants that they can't have.</p> <h2>The Bad Habit: A Scarcity Mindset</h2> <p>Knowing how much to tell your kids about big topics is something that all parents grapple with, and money is no different. That's why many parents end up simply falling back on stock answers like &quot;We can't afford it&quot; when their kids ask for something.</p> <h3>How You Teach It: Saying &quot;We Can't Afford That.&quot;</h3> <p>The problem with doing this is twofold. On the one hand, it can make kids feel resentful about how money is spent in the family if they do not understand why you make the financial decisions you do. They might notice that their sibling got new shoes but you couldn't afford the video game they wanted that cost the same amount.</p> <p>In addition, hearing that something is unaffordable can make kids worry about money and start focusing on instant gratification. Kids who hear that their parents can't afford something are learning that money is a scarce commodity, and that it should be used up quickly when it is available.</p> <h3>The Better Move: Invite Your Children to Plan Their Purchases</h3> <p>The big problem with the scarcity mindset is that it leads to zero-sum thinking and takes control out of your child's hands. If your teen wants to go on a ski trip with her friends, saying &quot;We can't afford that&quot; simply shuts down the entire discussion and makes her think that things might be more affordable if it weren't for that bratty little brother of hers.</p> <p>Instead, you could ask your teen &quot;How can you afford this?&quot; and put the control right back in her hands. That will allow her to start thinking of money as something she can earn and control, rather than something that controls her life.</p> <h2>The Bad Habit: Relying on the Bank of Mom and Dad</h2> <p>Your son has spent all of his allowance for the week when he is invited to go to the fair with his friends. Even though you swore you wouldn't give him an advance on next week's allowance again, you hand over some cash so he doesn't miss out on fun with his friends.</p> <h3>How You Teach It: Solving Your Kids' Problems for Them</h3> <p>This is such an easy habit to fall into, but it's a terrible lesson for your child. Watching your kid miss out on something &mdash; even if the problem is their own making &mdash; is tough for parents. You want to give them a fun childhood.</p> <p>But it is so important for children to learn that financial decisions have consequences, and spending all of their allowance money as soon as they have it means there's no money for other opportunities.</p> <h3>The Better Move: Let Your Kids Be Disappointed</h3> <p>It is far better to learn the lessons about financial planning when the stakes are low than when your child is an adult and has to ask you for rent money. Feeling the disappointment of missing out on the fair and understanding that you are not there to bail them out of financial woes is a lesson that will stay with your child &mdash; and keep you from having to maintain the bank of Mom and Dad into their adulthood.</p> <h2>The Bad Habit: Seeing Work as a Chore</h2> <p>Unloading about your terrible day at work is a natural reaction to stress. It's not a big deal to let your spouse and family know that you've had a tough day and that no one is to say the word &quot;spreadsheet&quot; within your hearing for the evening.</p> <h3>How You Teach It: Complaining About Your Job</h3> <p>The problem is when the only way you talk about work is through complaints. This teaches your children that work is a chore that must be gotten through in order to collect a paycheck. And while work can sometimes be that, it can also be a satisfying career, or even a higher calling that energizes you. Even if you do not have that kind of relationship with your job, you do want your kids to know that it's possible.</p> <h3>The Better Move: Express Whatever Gratitude You Can for Your Job</h3> <p>One of my favorite parts of the truly terrible final episode of <em>How I Met Your Mother</em> was the running gag about how much the character Marshall hated his corporate law job, but refused to say anything negative about it. Instead of complaining, he would say that his chair was reasonably comfortable and that he didn't cry at work more than twice that week.</p> <p>Though this is clearly an exaggeration, it is a good method to adopt when your job is stressful. Not only will you remember the good things in your job &mdash; even if it's just the fact that you're grateful to have a paycheck &mdash; but it will also help you remember that your kids are learning about the world from you. You don't want them to think growing up is the worst thing in the world.</p> <h2>Teach Your Children Well</h2> <p>Money habits are often picked up unconsciously, rather than taught. Instead of letting your children unknowingly learn negative financial habits, make sure you are intentional with your money lessons. It will pay off in the long run, even if it does cause more temper tantrums in the short run.</p> <p><em>Are you teaching your kids these &mdash; or other &mdash; bad money habits? What are you doing instead?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F4-bad-money-habits-youre-teaching-your-kids&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F4%2520Bad%2520Money%2520Habits%2520Youre%2520Teaching%2520Your%2520Kids.jpg&amp;description=4%20Bad%20Money%20Habits%20Youre%20Teaching%20Your%20Kids"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/4%20Bad%20Money%20Habits%20Youre%20Teaching%20Your%20Kids.jpg" alt="4 Bad Money Habits Youre Teaching Your Kids" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-bad-money-habits-youre-teaching-your-kids">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/8-best-sites-to-help-your-kids-learn-about-money">8 Best Sites to Help Your Kids Learn About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-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/5-stocks-your-kids-would-love-to-own">5 Stocks Your Kids Would Love to Own</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-fun-games-that-teach-your-kids-about-money">6 Fun Games That Teach Your Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-help-your-kid-build-their-first-budget">How to Help Your Kid Build Their First Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Lifestyle allowances bad habits children job stress kids money lessons spoiled Wed, 11 May 2016 10:00:11 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1703949 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Fun Games That Teach Your Kids About Money http://www.wisebread.com/6-fun-games-that-teach-your-kids-about-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-fun-games-that-teach-your-kids-about-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kids_playing_games_000020528687.jpg" alt="Kids playing fun games that teach them about money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Parents want their kids to be financially savvy, and kids just want to have fun. Games that teach financial skills are a win-win for both the parent and child. Try adding these fun games to your family game night to get your child interested in investing, saving, and spending wisely. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/great-financial-gifts-for-children?ref=seealso">Great Financial Gifts for Children</a>)</p> <h2>1. Pay Day</h2> <p>How can we not start with one of the most classic games on money management? <a href="http://amzn.to/1S02fh3">Pay Day</a> makes finances fun and helps teach kids where money goes. It instructs on the fundamentals of budgeting and helps encourage an entrepreneurial spirit. If you can get your hands on an original 1970s version of this game, then you will get the version that comes with insurance options and savings options, which are also important to teach children.</p> <h2>2. Dave Ramsey's ACT Your Wage! Board Game</h2> <p>If you are a huge fan of Dave Ramsey's money principles, then the <a href="http://amzn.to/1S02HvY">ACT Your Wage!</a> board game could be a fun way to introduce your children to the same method of thinking. The board game does not come with as many decision-making options (such as in Monopoly) where players are allowed to decide what to buy, sell, and what property to expand to make more money. The main purpose of the game is for the player to do the following:</p> <ul> <li>Save $1,000 into an emergency fund</li> <li>Budget spending by using the envelope system</li> <li>Pay off debt using Ramsey's snowball effect</li> <li>Be the first player to get out of debt and yell, &quot;I'm debt-free!&quot;</li> </ul> <p>All four steps of the game are definitely wise money habits to instill in your children. This game can also be a great tool to open up conversation about the consequences of debt and how freeing it can be to live debt-free.</p> <h2>3. Charge Large</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/1V6Zrle">Charge Large</a> seems like a stark contrast from Ramsey's board game. While this game does promote credit card usage, the ultimate goal is to be debt-free. This game can help kids see that using credit cards is simple and can help you get what you want, but eventually it will lead to expensive debt if they do not use credit cards wisely.</p> <p>For a player to win, they must upgrade to a black card, save $2,500 in cash, and have zero debt. While some families wish to be 100% debt-free and never rely on credit cards, there are times when individuals will need to take out loans or use a credit card. Telling your children just to avoid credit cards altogether could backfire on you &mdash; since they will then be lured by the temptation of using &quot;free money&quot; later in life, not fully understanding the consequences of debt. It would be better to teach them how to use credit cards wisely rather than avoid the subject all together.</p> <h2>4. Cash Flow for Kids</h2> <p>Finance guru Robert Kiyosaki, best-selling author of <a href="http://amzn.to/1XqAiAp">Rich Dad, Poor Dad</a>, developed <a href="http://amzn.to/1SNdFqG">Cash Flow</a> and <a href="http://amzn.to/1V70mlD">Clash Flow for Kids</a> board games. This game teaches children the difference between assets and liabilities. It also teaches basic accounting and investing, while emphasizing the importance of passive income and giving money to charity. The kid's version is a good option for children ages 6-12. Once your children hit the tween and teen stage, try playing the adult version with them.</p> <h2>5. Net Worth</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/1XqArUI">Net Worth</a> is a card game that plays like Crazy Eights. The goal of the game is to collect financial assets and get out of debt. The card game also teaches players to strategize how to navigate financial perils, such as a stock market crash or job loss. The player with the highest net worth at the end of the game is the winner. The best part is that this game is less than $6 and takes 7-15 minutes to play.</p> <h2>6. Daytrader</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/1QST96M">Daytrader</a> is similar to Monopoly but much faster in pace. It simulates the stock market and helps teach young and old alike how the market works. No financial knowledge is needed to start playing. The game allows players to work at different jobs and to buy and sell stocks in the companies they work in to increase their savings. The first player to have enough cash to retire must get to the bank before the stock market sets them back in order to win.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite way to teach your kids about money management?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-fun-games-that-teach-your-kids-about-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-to-add-your-teen-as-an-authorized-user-on-your-credit-card">4 Reasons to Add Your Teen as an Authorized User on Your Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-your-taxes-will-change-after-you-have-a-kid">Here&#039;s How Your Taxes Will Change After You Have a Kid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-money-moves-for-empty-nesters">7 Smart Money Moves for Empty Nesters</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tax-mistakes-new-parents-make">4 Tax Mistakes New Parents Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-books-that-will-get-your-kids-excited-about-money">10 Fun Books That Will Get Your Kids Excited About Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family budgeting children kids money games money lessons for kids Wed, 23 Mar 2016 09:30:28 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1677288 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Tax Mistakes New Parents Make http://www.wisebread.com/4-tax-mistakes-new-parents-make <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-tax-mistakes-new-parents-make" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mom_dad_baby_000068517403.jpg" alt="New parents making common tax mistakes" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Raising a child in America isn't cheap. CNNMoney and FutureAdvisor reported that it would cost $245,340 to raise a child born in 2013 from birth through age 18.</p> <p>That's a lot of money. But your children can actually save you dollars one time each year: When you're <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-important-tax-changes-for-2016">preparing your income taxes</a>. Kids come with some valuable tax deductions and credits. The problem? Many new parents, understandably overwhelmed with the burdens of taking care of a baby, fail to claim these savings.</p> <p>And that can cost them thousands of dollars. If you are a new parent, don't pass on these key tax savings.</p> <h2>1. Skipping the Child Tax Credit</h2> <p>The <a href="https://www.irs.gov/uac/Ten-Facts-about-the-Child-Tax-Credit">child tax credit</a>&nbsp;shouldn&rsquo;t be overlooked. If you had a new baby in 2015, whether through birth, adoption, or the foster care system, you can claim this additional $1,000 tax credit. It doesn't matter, either, on what day of the year you became a new parent. You can claim the credit even if you had your child on Dec. 31. Your child just needs to be younger than 17 at the end of the tax year in which you are claiming the credit.</p> <p>&quot;Having a baby gives you access to a tax bonus, and will help you reduce your taxable income,&quot; said David Hyrck, partner with New York City's Reed Smith. &quot;I see way too many new parents who overlook this child tax credit. Everyone needs to be doing this.&quot;</p> <p>There is one downside to the tax credit: It is nonrefundable if the credit is higher than your tax liability. Say you owe the government $500. Your $1,000 child tax credit will erase the money you owe the government. But you will lose the extra $500 that you could have claimed if you owed more than $1,000 on your tax bill.</p> <h2>2. Forgetting to Adjust Withholdings</h2> <p>Michael Eckstein, owner of Michael Eckstein Tax Services in Huntington, New York, says that new parents need to adjust the amount of money that their employers withhold from each of their paychecks for taxes.</p> <p>To do this, ask your employer for a new W-4 form. Once you have that form, indicate that you have a new child.</p> <p>Eckstein says that it's important to do this because children bring with them new deductions and credits. You should also tell your employer to reduce the amount of money you&rsquo;re withholding to account for these new tax benefits.</p> <p>If you don't, you will receive a larger tax refund. But remember: Getting a big refund isn't the goal. You'd rather have that extra money in your own hands with each paycheck. You can then use that money for important purchases, or you can invest it and watch it grow. That's a better alternative than giving it to the U.S. government for a full year.</p> <h2>3. Missing Out on Adoption Credits</h2> <p>If you became a new parent this year through an adoption, you're eligible for a significant federal tax credit of as much as $13,400. That's a big help with the high costs that can come with adopting.</p> <p>You don't have to use this tax credit in just one year, either. Say your bill for the 2015 tax year is $5,000. You can use $5,000 of the $13,400 tax credit and then save up the rest of the credit for future years. You can carry over any unused portion of the adoption tax credit for up to five years or until you use up all of the entirety of the credit, whichever comes first.</p> <p>To take this credit, your adopted child must be under 18 at the end of the tax year.</p> <h2>4. Skipping the Child and Dependent Care Credit</h2> <p>New parents should also investigate the <a href="https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc602.html">child and dependent care credit</a>. This tax credit benefits parents who are working and must pay others to care for their children. To qualify for this credit, both you and your spouse must have earned money during the year from a job and must have paid someone to care for your child while you were working.</p> <p>Calculating how much you can claim for child care expenses is complicated, and depends on how much you spend on childcare, as well as your income. The maximum amount of expenses that you can claim for one child is $3,000, and for two or more children, $6,000.</p> <p><em>Are you making any of these parenting and tax mistakes?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tax-mistakes-new-parents-make">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/heres-how-your-taxes-will-change-after-you-have-a-kid">Here&#039;s How Your Taxes Will Change After You Have a Kid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-fun-games-that-teach-your-kids-about-money">6 Fun Games That Teach Your Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-bad-money-habits-youre-teaching-your-kids">4 Bad Money Habits You&#039;re Teaching Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-time-management-skills-that-will-help-your-kid-win-at-school">10 Time-Management Skills That Will Help Your Kid Win at School</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-make-adoption-affordable">5 Ways to Make Adoption Affordable</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family adoption children deductions dependents kids new parents tax credits Mon, 14 Mar 2016 11:00:13 +0000 Dan Rafter 1665554 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Money Moves to Make When You Find Out You're Pregnant http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-when-you-find-out-youre-pregnant <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-money-moves-to-make-when-you-find-out-youre-pregnant" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_pregnant_belly_000043766734.jpg" alt="Woman making money moves after finding out she&#039;s pregnant" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In the U.S., we welcome close to four million babies every year. These little bundles of joy rock our worlds and, often, our budgets as well. As a parent of three wonderful boys, I tried to prepare as much as I could before for their arrival.</p> <p>Between deciding what car seat to buy and picking out the perfect name, take the time to plan ahead for the financial wellbeing of your baby, your family, and yourself. Here are the top eight money moves to make when you find out you're pregnant.</p> <h2>1. Figure Out Parental Leave</h2> <p>Unlike other industrialized countries, the United States is the only nation without paid parental leave required by law. Under the U.S. Family and Medical Leave Act, employers with 50 or more workers are required to let their employees take unpaid, job-protected leave for 12 weeks after the birth of a child, while keeping their group health insurance coverage.</p> <p>However, about <a href="http://www.today.com/health/problem-parental-leave-u-s-t38701">13% of Americans</a> <em>do </em>have access to some form of paid leave. So, inquire with your employer your options:</p> <ul> <li>Find out if the size of your company affects policy (e.g. businesses in Hawaii with 100 or more employees are subject to the Hawaii Family Leave Law);<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Ask your employer whether or not they offer temporary disability insurance (TDI) under its health insurance plan, what percentage of your salary that TDI pays, and whether or not you qualify for TDI;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Figure out if TDI is affected by method of delivery (usually six weeks for a normal vaginal delivery and eight weeks for an uncomplicated cesarean delivery); and<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Discuss with your manager about the type of leave you'd like to take.</li> </ul> <h2>2. Discuss Flexible Work Arrangement</h2> <p>Whether you're the primary caregiver, or a spouse or partner that wants to be more involved during baby's first months, talk with your employer about a flexible work arrangement. Times are changing and more and more companies are willing to work with their employees to create flexible arrangements.</p> <p>Dads, don't shy away from asking your employer about a flexible work plan. According to the Professional Women Report survey by Citi, when asked about their biggest career regrets, 17% of men would have spent less time at work and more time with their families or on personal pursuits. Not spending enough time with their children was ranked within the top five career regrets by men. It's worth a shot because <a href="http://familiesandwork.org/site/research/reports/NSE_2012.pdf">14% of fathers</a> receive some amount of replacement pay for paternity leave.</p> <h2>3. Choose a Health Insurance Plan</h2> <p>Another important move is to decide to whose health insurance plan you'll add your baby. Ask your HR department to detail your available options if you were to add children or your spouse to your plan. Ask your partner to do the same with their employer. Then, compare the available options and choose the plan that better serves your needs.</p> <p>Don't forget to consider if some doctors that you currently visit, or will visit in the future, will be within the network of those plans. A plan may offer attractive coverages, but those benefits may be cancelled out by paying higher copays for visiting doctors outside the network.</p> <h2>4. Get a Breast Pump</h2> <p>Most health insurance plans must provide breastfeeding support, counseling, and equipment for the duration of breastfeeding. Contact your insurance plan for more details about applicable benefits.</p> <p>Of special attention is the coverage of a breast pump, which could be a rental or for you to keep, manual or electric, or available before or after birth. Depending on your plan, it may cover even some of the premium breast pump models, some of which retail for close to $300. Your plan must cover the entire cost of the breast pump!</p> <p>Depending on the retailer and your plan, you may only be able to redeem your breast pump by visiting in-person authorized retailers or by calling a centralized redemption center.</p> <h2>5. Look for Hand-Me-Downs and Secondhand Stores</h2> <p>Take it from a dad of three boys: You will get so many clothes and toys, that many of them will go unused. For my third boy, my wife and I barely bought him clothes because he inherited all of his brothers' (some even still in their original packaging).</p> <p>Many of your friends and relatives have been waiting for the opportunity to share their baby clothes with you. This is a great free way to determine whether or not a onesie, burp cloth, or toy is worth the purchase. If you and your baby enjoy an item so much that it wears out in a few months, then purchasing that item brand new is definitely worth it.</p> <p>Also, find out through social media and search engines about secondhand stores for baby items in your area. Secondhand stores are very useful for exchanging unwanted gifts that have no receipt for items that you or your baby really need.</p> <h2>6. Join Amazon Family</h2> <p>Formerly known as Amazon Mom, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/family/signup/welcome/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;*Version*=1&amp;*entries*=0&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=EPW2LLWNIPJ54PVH">Amazon Family</a> is a variation of the Amazon Prime program, focusing on parents and caretakers with family-oriented offers. This includes 20% off diaper subscriptions, free two-day shipping, and a 15% baby registry completion discount.</p> <p>To maximize your savings, look for a free trial opportunity (which range from 30 to 90 days), test it out, and then decide if you would like to keep your Amazon Family subscription ($99 per year). During the trial period, look for high-ticket items, including strollers and cribs, that may be cheaper at Amazon than at local retailers. In my case, I saved about $200 on a crib and close to $150 on a stroller.</p> <h2>7. Research Babysitting and Preschool Options</h2> <p>Now is the time to start looking for babysitters and preschools. It may sound a bit extreme, but many preschools have waiting lists that go back one to two years. Your future self will thank you that you took the time to do this in advance and you don't have to settle for subpar alternatives.</p> <h2>8. Research Custodial Investment Accounts and 529 College-Saving Plans</h2> <p>Imagine if somebody offered you an extra 20 years to save for retirement or college &mdash; would you take it? In a heartbeat! That's why you should look into setting up a custodial investment account or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-conversations-you-must-have-with-your-family" target="_blank">529 plan for your child</a>.</p> <h3>Custodial Investment Account</h3> <p>Many brokerage houses allow you to set up an account to make a financial gift to a minor and help teach them about investing. With as little as $100, you can open a custodial account, have $0 maintenance fees unless you make a trade, and enjoy tax-free earnings until a specified limit. The account will be turned over to your child when he or she reaches the age of majority.</p> <h3>529 College-Savings Plan</h3> <p>The earlier that you start saving for your child's education, the less that you will have to contribute per month. Also, remember that federal taxes don't apply to earnings in a 529 plan, and 34 states offer full or partial income tax deductions.</p> <p><em>What money moves are you taking in preparation for the arrival of your baby?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-when-you-find-out-youre-pregnant">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/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke">24 Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-simple-rules-of-excellent-houseguest-etiquette">11 Simple Rules of Excellent Houseguest Etiquette</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/oprah-asks-a-great-question-what-can-you-live-without">Oprah Asks A Great Question; What Can You Live Without?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Lifestyle babies children expectant mothers family pregnancy Wed, 23 Dec 2015 16:00:03 +0000 Damian Davila 1625891 at http://www.wisebread.com