parenting http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/3123/all en-US 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 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-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-living-skills-i-wish-my-parents-would-have-taught-me">8 Frugal Living Skills I Wish My Parents Would Have Taught Me</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/3-good-money-examples-every-parent-should-set">3 Good Money Examples Every Parent Should Set</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-expenses-you-should-never-cut">8 Expenses You Should Never Cut</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/having-a-baby-nine-financial-considerations-for-new-parents">Having a baby? Nine financial considerations for new parents</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 3 Good Money Examples Every Parent Should Set http://www.wisebread.com/3-good-money-examples-every-parent-should-set <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-good-money-examples-every-parent-should-set" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_19397725_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="every parent should set these money examples for their kids" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Here's a scary statistic for you: <a href="https://corporate.troweprice.com/Money-Confident-Kids/images/emk/2016pkmresultsdeckfinal-160322181149.pdf">71% of parents are reluctant</a> to discuss financial matters with their kids. I think the reason so many parents hold back from talking about money with their children is because they feel like they have nothing to offer. Or that kids don't need to learn about money until they're old enough to get a job. But there's a great deal they can learn from you during their younger years.</p> <p>No matter what your financial situation is, how much debt you have, or what you make per year, you can master better financial habits that your kids can learn from. Lead by example with these three important practices.</p> <h2>Maintain a Giving Heart</h2> <p>When your kids are driving you nuts, and you just want to get from your car into the store or restaurant as fast as possible, someone begging for money can seem like an inconvenience. It can be tempting to blow off the person with thoughts like, <em>Get a job</em>, or <em>I don't even have enough money for my own family.</em> Instead, offer to buy the person a meal at the restaurant or a grocery item at the store you are about to enter.</p> <p>This shows your children how to be giving and thoughtful of others. If the person does accept your offer, you can turn it into a simple teaching moment with your children. Say something like, &quot;You know how we always have food to eat or how you have a bed to sleep in? Some people don't have anything.&quot;</p> <p>Many times, the person in need will just want money. This is another great teachable moment. Encourage your children to help meet basic needs, but to not just foolishly throw their money at people. This goes for both homeless people and friends/family members who try to take advantage of others.</p> <h2>Avoid Impulse Buys</h2> <p>We see it in places like Target all the time: A child begs for every toy or sparkly thing. While the mother says, &quot;no&quot; firmly, she also has no reserve as she tosses a cute blouse and table décor into her cart.</p> <p>I'm guilty of this, too. I'm pretty good at keeping my children in check with impulse buys at the store, but I didn't immediately realize that I needed the same lesson. Now when we shop, and my four-year old asks if we can buy something, I try to make that a teachable moment for both of us. I say, &quot;Honey, I know you want a lot of things here, and so do I, but it is so important for us to buy only what we need today.&quot;</p> <p>Does this mean you can never buy anything fun? Of course not. But plan and budget for the fun items, including your children in the process. Maybe saying something like, &quot;Today we are going to pick out some holiday decorations. Our budget is $20 today. Can you help me pick out something?&quot;</p> <p>See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-things-science-says-you-should-do-for-your-family?ref=seealso">5 Easy Things Science Says You Should Do for Your Family</a></p> <h2>Set Financial Goals</h2> <p>Goals are extremely important in life. I'm not talking about vague and lofty goals such as, getting out of debt or saving $20,000 by January 1. You need to set concrete goals that have actionable steps, and keep progress of your goals until completion. Don't be afraid to tell older kids what your financial goals are for the year, and give them progress reports. It is important for children to learn that they can accomplish a huge variety of tasks &mdash; saving money, getting healthy, learning a skill, etc. &mdash; if they set and follow through with their goals.</p> <p>To make this a family matter, come up with a fun vacation you can take together. Figure out the cost (don't forget to budget in money for unexpected extras) and the date. For example, if you are planning on spending $2,500 for a weekend vacation in six months, then you would need to save about $100 each week. Make it a fun game by drawing a chart that tracks progress.</p> <p>Another way to help your child understand how to set financial goals is to have them set their own. For example, if they want a certain toy at the store, figure out how much it will cost. Then make a savings jar and a progress chart for them that relates to how much they earn per week through chores. Frugal-mama.com has a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.frugal-mama.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/FrugalMamaSavingsProgressThermometerChart.pdf">free savings goal printable</a> to help you track progress.</p> <p>See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-frugal-families-love-boardgame-night?ref=seealso">8 Reasons Frugal Families Love Boardgame Night</a></p> <p>Whether you don't want to burden your kids with your financial woes or you feel like you don't have enough information to give them, think again. You don't have to share every money worry or goal with them, but show them how you manage money and teach them basic financial fundamentals in a fun manner.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-good-money-examples-every-parent-should-set">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-new-toys-to-teach-kids-about-money">How to Use New Toys to Teach Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-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/4-top-money-lessons-to-learn-from-ruth-soukups-unstuffed">4 Top Money Lessons to Learn From Ruth Soukup&#039;s &quot;Unstuffed&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke">24 Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-cloth-diapers">Everything You Need to Know About Cloth Diapers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Family finances financial lessons kids lead by example money lessons parenting Thu, 27 Oct 2016 09:30:25 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1821540 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Apps for Busy Working Parents http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-apps-for-busy-working-parents <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-apps-for-busy-working-parents" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_baby_phone_43606458.jpg" alt="Mom using apps for busy working parents" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Working parents need to maximize their time in order to be most efficient. These apps will help working moms and dads better manage kids' routines, plan family outings, and manage family budgets effectively.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-money-apps-for-kids?ref=seealso">10 Fun Money Apps for Kids</a></p> <h2>1. Happy Kids Timer</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/KidTimer_02.PNG" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Having a hard time keeping kids on schedule, especially in the mornings? <a href="http://www.kidssmartzone.com/">HappyKidsTimer</a> is an app your kids use to help them manage their daily morning routines, like making their beds, getting dressed, brushing their teeth, and so forth. The app features timers and fun incentives to help your kids get on their way.</p> <p>Available for Android and iOS.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-basic-manners-you-must-teach-your-kids?ref=seealso">10 Basic Manners You Must Teach Your Kids</a></p> <h2>2. KidsEatFree</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/KidsEatFree.PNG" width="340" height="605" alt="" /></p> <p>Busy parents often don't have time to cook &mdash; and dining out with the whole family gets expensive, fast. Restaurateurs have responded with a variety of kids eat free promotions. Too many, in fact, for busy parents to track. <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/kids-eat-free-restaurant-finder/id933114765?mt=8">KidsEatFree</a> is the free app that helps you find free kids' meals nearby, keeping your family on time &mdash; and on budget.</p> <p>Available for iOS.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-and-delicious-meals-to-make-with-your-kids?ref=seealso">10 Frugal and Delicious Meals to Make With Your Kids</a></p> <h2>3. Mint.com</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/Mint_AppStore.jpeg" width="341" height="605" alt="" /></p> <p>Speaking of budgets, busy parents need to manage their family's money while they are managing the kiddoes. <a href="https://www.mint.com/">Mint.com</a> remains the gold standard free app for tracking all your spending, paying bills, setting and tracking budgets, and monitoring overall net worth.</p> <p>Available for Android and iOS.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-apps-can-fix-your-finances?ref=seealso">These 5 Apps Can Fix Your Finances</a></p> <h2>4. VarageSale</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/VarageSale_01.PNG" width="340" height="605" alt="" /></p> <p>If you're keen on sticking to your budget, <a href="https://www.varagesale.com/">VarageSale</a> is great for connecting busy parents with others who want to buy or sell used family and children goods. You can make extra cash off your used stroller or crib &mdash; or you can pick up gently used ones for a great price. Look at all the cute outfits!</p> <p>Available for Android and iOS.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-your-kids-stuff-at-a-consignment-sale?ref=seealso">How to Sell Your Kids' Stuff at a Consignment Sale</a></p> <h2>5. Trekaroo</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/Trekaroo.PNG" width="340" height="605" alt="" /></p> <p>Finally, even the busiest, most goal-directed families need some downtime. <a href="http://www.trekaroo.com/">Trekaroo</a> helps hardworking parents plan and budget family outings &mdash; everything from faraway vacations to local day trips. The app finds kid-friendly activities when and where you need them. Even better, each destination includes reviews from other busy parents who've already been, so you can get the inside scoop way before you get there.</p> <p>Available for Android and iOS.</p> <p><em>What are your go-to apps for managing life with kids?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/janet-alvarez">Janet Alvarez</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-apps-for-busy-working-parents">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-apps-that-make-budgeting-fun-no-really">7 Apps That Make Budgeting Fun — No Really!</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-your-smartphone-saves-you-money">8 Ways Your Smartphone Saves You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-apple-watch-apps-thatll-save-you-money">8 Apple Watch Apps That&#039;ll Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-brilliant-tips-from-smart-mom-rich-mom">4 Brilliant Tips From &quot;Smart Mom, Rich Mom&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-apps-will-help-you-finally-organize-your-money">These 5 Apps Will Help You Finally Organize Your Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Technology apps budgeting managing money money management parenting phone phone apps productivity saving money smartphone Tue, 09 Aug 2016 11:00:11 +0000 Janet Alvarez 1768674 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Brilliant Tips From "Smart Mom, Rich Mom" http://www.wisebread.com/4-brilliant-tips-from-smart-mom-rich-mom <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-brilliant-tips-from-smart-mom-rich-mom" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/smart_mom_baby_000088665045.jpg" alt="Learning brilliant tips from Smart Mom Rich Mom" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's hard enough to save money and focus on building personal wealth when you're single and building your career. But while also raising a family? Forget it. It feels almost impossible. Your kids need to be clothed, fed, cared for, educated, socially stimulated, and financially supported, over and over again until the day they move out of the house and can live on their own. And all of those needs require money in order to be met. Oh, and also? You have needs, too. It's easy to toss those aside, but they are equally as important.</p> <p>It's overwhelming! However, you can create a deep and cozy financial cushion while raising your little ones.</p> <p>Personal finance expert Kimberly Palmer knows this feeling all too well. And in her new book, <em>Smart Mom, Rich Mom</em>, she examines the outdated misconception that women can't become savvy investors while also raising a family.</p> <p>Building personal wealth has historically been a Boys Club, with women serving as mothers and arm candy &mdash; nothing more &mdash; to the powerful men who handle the family finances. Obviously this stereotype needs to be blasted to smithereens, because it's ridiculous and utterly incorrect, and Palmer's advice serves as the metaphorical grenade to do just that. From the very first page, she pulls the pin out and ultimately clears the path for you to become just what her title suggests: a smart mom, and a rich mom. It's a must-read for all aspiring financial lady bosses. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-common-money-misconceptions-about-women?ref=seealso">4 Common Money Misconceptions About Women</a>)</p> <p>Here are four of her most brilliant tips.</p> <h2>1. Understand Your Power</h2> <p>Women have much more financial responsibility &mdash; and power &mdash; than they know. And that trend is increasing.</p> <ul> <li>By 2020, women will control two-thirds of the country's wealth, and 90% of us will handle our finances completely on our own at some point in our lives, due to death or divorce, according to Fidelity.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>In four out of 10 households with children, moms are the only or primary breadwinners, according to the Pew Research Center.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Yet, according to a report from Boston Consulting Group, most women are unhappy with the level of service from their financial services providers, and many feel as if they are &quot;talked down to&quot; by male advisers.</li> </ul> <p>Clearly, the industry has yet to recognize that our lack of male reproductive parts in no way inhibits our ability to be our household's money boss. And in fact, a lot of us are pretty good at it.</p> <p>So don't ever second-guess your power as a financially savvy investor. Don't ever allow your adviser or anyone else make you feel like a clueless housewife.</p> <h2>2. Focus on the Bigger Picture</h2> <p>In chapter one, &quot;Save (and Spend) Like a Mother,&quot; Palmer notes how the Great Recession made saving money cool again. It's no longer embarrassing to shop generics or clip coupons, because why should anyone spend more than they need to?</p> <p>But the practice of penny pinching and coupon clipping are methods of short-term saving, and because they can become time-consuming habits, they can lead to short-term financial planning, too.</p> <p>Not that we should nix the couponing altogether, but we need to leave room to focus on the bigger picture. Palmer suggests finding ways to save more on the grand scheme of things, like with a flex-spending account for childcare, or negotiating monthly bills to put that extra money into your savings account. In a perfect comparison, Palmer encourages becoming more of a &quot;skilled shopper&quot; and not just a &quot;discount chaser.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Embrace Your Ambition</h2> <p>In chapter four, &quot;Like a Boss,&quot; Palmer describes how exhausted she felt after the birth of her first child, and how that exhaustion led to concerns about not being able to contribute financially to the household while on maternity leave. Such a painfully relatable concern, I just wanted to leap onto the page and hug this woman for acknowledging it. You spend your early life building your career, becoming self-sufficient, and then you spend nine months growing a human in your middle, only to be left feeling rundown and dependent on your partner, in every possible way, during those first months of motherhood.</p> <p>Of course, as we all do, Palmer made it through the tough transition. And she did so by keeping that flame of ambition burning. She took on freelance work; she used her child's naptime as time to grow her Etsy shop. She had a moment of clarity early on that motivated her to create her own income stream, and ultimately ensure that her new baby would be given the best care, and the best life possible. So when those moments come, latch on and find ways to be your own boss.</p> <h2>4. Own Your Independence</h2> <p>In chapter five, &quot;Investing Mamas,&quot; Palmer talks about the importance of learning to manage your finances your own, as early on as possible. &quot;We are going to be on our own at some point,&quot;she writes,&quot; whether through choice, tragedy, or the simple fact that wives tend to outlive their husbands. That&rsquo;s why we need to know how to manage our investments with the same confidence we apply to paying bills or planning the week&rsquo;s meals.&quot;</p> <p>So while it's helpful for spouses to split household duties down the middle to make life easier, there shouldn't be a task that your partner does that you have no idea how to do, especially when it comes to managing money.</p> <p>Not only are Palmer's tips insightful and relatable, but she also provides clear, actionable steps at the end of each chapter to help you become the financially savvy, and independent woman you want to be. The book ends with a 12-month guide to creating a year of financial growth and brilliant organization so that in just a year's time, you can go from a stressed, overworked mama, to confident, money-savvy mom boss. Palmer is in your corner, and she's rooting for you to succeed.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/Palmer%2C%20Smart%20Mom.jpg" width="605" height="459" alt="" /></p> <p>Feeling inspired yet? Pick up your copy of <a href="http://www.kimberly-palmer.com/smartmomrichmom/"><em>Smart Mom, Rich Mom</em></a>, on sale today!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-brilliant-tips-from-smart-mom-rich-mom">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/flashback-friday-38-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-celebrities">Flashback Friday: 38 Money Lessons We Can Learn From Celebrities</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-take-one-vacation-day-and-save-thousands">How to Take One Vacation Day and Save Thousands</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-surprising-ways-summer-will-cost-you">7 Surprising Ways Summer Will Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-common-weekend-money-traps-and-how-to-avoid-them">8 Common Weekend Money Traps (And How to Avoid Them)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-personal-finance-skills-everyone-should-master">12 Personal Finance Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living Entertainment book reviews budgeting building wealth frugal living investing frugal living hacks Kimberly Palmer new books parenting parenting on a budget saving money Wed, 01 Jun 2016 09:00:11 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1718633 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Money Rules That'll Save You Big in Baby's First Year http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-rules-thatll-save-you-big-in-babys-first-year <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-money-rules-thatll-save-you-big-in-babys-first-year" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000072976509_Double.jpg" alt="Mom saving big in baby&#039;s first year" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My family is expecting a new addition in June, and we're beyond psyched! Since this is our second child, we won't be making a registry list or having a baby shower. With almost five years between kids, however, we certainly are in need of a few things. Here's how we're planning to save throughout our baby's first year on gear and clothing, and how you can, too!</p> <h2>1. Digging Deep</h2> <p>Before doing anything else, I looked through all the bins of my daughter's baby stuff. For families where kids have tight age gaps, this is a natural. Reuse what you can. Unfortunately, if you do have a longer period of time between kids, like we do, things like car seats can expire, and other gear might be recalled. We've cleared out the items we cannot use and assessed the condition of the rest.</p> <p>Stuff like clothing can stand the test of time with babies because they wear outfits for only a couple months before they outgrow them. Cloth diapers are also a great item to use again, doubling the initial savings. And if you have old baby gear you'd rather not use, try reselling it for cash for the new things you want to buy.</p> <p>We find out soon if we're having a girl or boy, so if things are looking blue, I have a huge mountain of clothing I can sell at the local second-hand shop. <em>[Editor's note: It's a girl!]</em></p> <h2>2. Buying Used</h2> <p>That's right &mdash; you can sell your old stuff, but you can also buy used to save money. When I was a first-time mom, I didn't take advantage of thrift shops and other second-hand opportunities. This time around? I know better. That expensive baby swing you have on your shopping list might get a whopping two months of use. Babies grow out of toys and clothes in what seems like minutes. What does this mean? Thrift shops and consignment stores are teeming with quality gear at a fraction of the original price.</p> <p>Check around your town to find shops that sell gently used baby items. You may even find places online, like a local Facebook garage sale group, where you can browse listings right now. We have a Salvation Army, Good Will, Thrifty Shopper, and a specialty store called Once Upon a Child. Check these places often (once every week or two weeks) to see what comes in. And monitor for sales and other events. Our local Once Upon a Child recently had a huge bag blowout sale, where you could get an entire packed bag of clothing for just $15. One of my friends calculated that she got $100 worth of like-new clothing in just one bag.</p> <h2>3. Buying Smart</h2> <p>Of course, there are things we will want or need to buy new. For those items, I'm taking my time and using my shopping ninja powers. Whenever I'm out at Target or Walmart and see something we might need, I pull out my phone and check around for the best price. If I see a better price listed somewhere else online, I march to customer service and ask about their price-matching policy. I've never been denied a lower price if I can produce the proof on my phone. (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-to-get-a-sale-price-match-at-16-popular-stores?ref=seealso">Here's How to Get a Sale Price-Match at 16 Popular Stores</a>)</p> <p>That being said, I do the majority of my shopping online, so I go through sites like Ebates to get cash back on whatever I'm buying. I also used the Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other seasonal sales events to my advantage this year. My tip? Make a list of what you are looking to buy, then browse around your favorite shops online to look for sales, savings codes, or other promotions. Pregnancy lasts over nine months, so you'll likely see what you're looking for at a discounted price with time and patience.</p> <h2>4. Needing Less</h2> <p>Another advantage of being a seasoned mom is that I know I don't need everything on those fussy registry must-have lists. In theory, babies only need basic clothing, somewhere safe to sleep, breast milk or formula, and love. The rest is extra. Well, for the most part. Your own must-have list will look different compared to mine. But before you buy everything you're told you need, think about your own lifestyle.</p> <p>For us, this means we don't need a bassinet or moses basket because the baby will sleep in a Pack 'N Play in the early days (that we'll also use for traveling well beyond the first year). We likely won't need to stock up on bottles if breastfeeding goes well again. I'm skipping the travel system because we never used one with our daughter and plan to, instead, carry our baby in a ring sling that I bought used. You get the idea. A lot of registry lists get you prepared for absolutely every scenario you might encounter. Try to resist the items that don't make sense to you and your way of life.</p> <h2>5. Waiting</h2> <p>As of today, my list of to-buy baby items is pretty minimal. I'm sure I'll eventually want or need some stuff for convenience or &mdash; let's be honest &mdash; just for fun. But for now, I'm waiting on making those purchases until after the baby arrives. As I've waited, some of my friends have even offered up to let me borrow things like bouncers and rocking chairs. Another friend handed me a stack of never-used cloth diapers she didn't need when her son was a baby.</p> <p>Once our little one is here, I'm also resisting the urge to buy things ahead of time. With my daughter, I thought I was being frugal by stocking up on clearance clothing with sizes a year in advance. The problem is that not all children grow at the same rate. My daughter didn't end up fitting in a lot of the duds I bought to &quot;save money,&quot; defeating the entire purpose. In the end, if we can live without whatever it is for another day or two, chances are we don't need it in the long run.</p> <p><em>How are you saving money as a new parent? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-rules-thatll-save-you-big-in-babys-first-year">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/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke">24 Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-brilliant-tips-from-smart-mom-rich-mom">4 Brilliant Tips From &quot;Smart Mom, Rich Mom&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-apps-for-busy-working-parents">The 5 Best Apps for Busy Working Parents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-life-lessons-ive-learned-since-becoming-a-parent">3 Life Lessons I&#039;ve Learned Since Becoming a Parent</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-use-new-toys-to-teach-kids-about-money">How to Use New Toys to Teach Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Family baby frugal living new parents parenting saving money Fri, 12 Feb 2016 10:00:05 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1653873 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Best Jobs for Working Moms and Dads http://www.wisebread.com/6-best-jobs-for-working-moms-and-dads <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-best-jobs-for-working-moms-and-dads" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000075489143_Large.jpg" alt="working mom loving her job" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Working moms and dads seek jobs that provide a blend of good pay, flexibility, and plenty of time off. It's all about striking that ever-important work-life balance. What careers have it all? Here are just a few jobs you might consider if you're a parent and craving a change.</p> <h2>1. Web Developer</h2> <p>The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects <a href="http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/web-developers.htm">new web developer positions</a> to grow 27% by 2024. This is wonderful news if you're a mom or dad into designing and maintaining websites. The median pay for web developers is $63,490 per year or $30.52 per hour. While about one in seven in this position are self-employed, there's a lot of opportunity to work from home full- or even part-time. You just need a computer, coding experience, and a dose of creativity.</p> <h2>2. Freelancer</h2> <p>As a freelance writer, I set my own hours, choose the weight of my workload, and do it all from the comfort of my home office. I write when my daughter is at preschool, while she's sleeping, and I sneak in other bits of work when I find the time. Mustering the discipline to stay focused at home can be a challenge, and quarterly taxes are sometimes annoying. Overall, though, I feel fortunate to have discovered such a wonderful way to use my college degree in writing and pay a nice chunk of our monthly bills.</p> <p>Not great with words? According to <em>Time Magazine</em>, there are at least 17.8 million freelancers who <a href="http://time.com/money/4023097/freelance-economy-facts-stats/">work over 15 hours</a> a week in the United States. A few of the highest paying freelance positions include patent lawyers ($112 per hour), voiceover artists ($72 per hour), and programmers ($61 per hour). Even better, a whopping 2.9 million freelancers brought home over $100,000 in pay last year.</p> <h2>3. IT Data Scientist</h2> <p>What exactly does an IT data scientist do? Just solves complex problems in computing and discovers new uses for existing technology. That's all.</p> <p>The BLS explains that as a computer and information research scientist, you need some major skills and education. Many people interested in this type of work will need to hold a Ph.D. in computer science (or a related field), though some jobs in the federal government only require a bachelor's degree. IT data scientists <a href="http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-and-information-research-scientists.htm">earn high salaries</a> (median salary of over $100,000) and only one in 10 worked over 40 hours per week in 2014. If you can swing it, the job outlook is solid with 11% growth leading up to 2024.</p> <h2>4. K-12 Teacher</h2> <p>My husband is a high school English teacher. While many may argue that teachers don't get paid enough for their work, the time off, benefits, and opportunities to make extra money are excellent. He leaves for work around 7 a.m. and can be home by 3 p.m. most days of the week. He has 10 weeks off during the summer months and many more throughout the year for holidays and breaks. To supplement our income, he even took on a couple coaching gigs that have increased his salary by more than $10,000 per year.</p> <p>Many teachers also enjoy unique time off benefits, especially related to child care leaves. In New York City, for example, a teacher can apply for <a href="http://schools.nyc.gov/Offices/DHR/HealthBenefitsLeavesAbsence/NonMedicalLeave/default.htm">child care leave</a> at a maximum of four years after a birth or adoption. Though there is no pay or health insurance during this time, having the option to stay home with a job ready and waiting is certainly appealing to many parents.</p> <h2>5. Other Education</h2> <p>Online adjunct faculty get the best of both worlds with the option to work from home and set their own hours. As the site GetEducated explains, the BLS <a href="http://www.geteducated.com/career-center/detail/online-instructor-post-secondary">doesn't yet separate data</a> with traditional and online post-secondary teachers. Some estimates come in at around $1,500 and $2,500 per semester-long course, but pay varies wildly by institution and position. More and more people are choosing to continue their educations online, so job growth is expected to climb in this field.</p> <p>You'll need an advanced degree and some experience to hold a curriculum development job. Once you're in, many positions are full-time and allow you to work from home. How much will you make? About $60,000 a year. Not too shabby.</p> <h2>6. Call Center Representatives</h2> <p>You've probably been on the phone with a call center representative at one time or another. Some handle customer complaints, while others work on sales or order processing. These folks are employed in most every industry across the board. Did you know that many of them do it from home and set their own hours? It's true!</p> <p>The BLS reports that the median <a href="http://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/customer-service-representatives.htm">pay for call center representatives</a> is around $30,000 but the education level required is just a high school diploma. On-the-job training is short and sweet, too. Positions are expected to grow some 10% between now and 2024.</p> <p><em>Don't see your amazing gig listed here? Feel free to share your own top picks in the comments below!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-best-jobs-for-working-moms-and-dads">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-manage-costs-while-youre-on-maternity-leave">5 Ways to Manage Costs While You&#039;re on Maternity Leave</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/5-great-retail-jobs-for-working-parents">5 Great Retail Jobs for Working Parents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-stressful-job-may-be-making-you-healthier">Your Stressful Job May Be… Making You Healthier?</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/17-part-time-jobs-to-do-while-your-kids-are-at-school">17 Part-Time Jobs to Do While Your Kids Are at School</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Family parenting work from home work life balance working dad working mom Thu, 04 Feb 2016 00:15:34 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1649807 at http://www.wisebread.com Everything You Need to Know About Cloth Diapers http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-cloth-diapers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/everything-you-need-to-know-about-cloth-diapers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/baby_diaper_change_000049964944.jpg" alt="Parents learning cloth diapering basics" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One way you can save big bucks during baby's first years is by cloth diapering, especially if you plan on having multiple children and can reuse them. Choosing cloth for your child will also save you tons of cash on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-trash-bags">trash bags</a> (not to mention heaps of diapers in the landfill). Here's the process broken down for those who might be curious or even feel intimidated.</p> <h2>How It Works</h2> <p>Many people are surprised to learn that cloth diapering doesn't take a whole lot more effort than standard diapering. You put the diaper on your child, he or she soils it, you change the diaper, and then you start fresh. The only difference is that you'll be dealing with the diapers again on the washing end. As you can imagine, getting the job done requires some planning and practice.</p> <p>The good news: laundering diapers is far less gross and time-consuming than you might think. And there are many options available to you depending on your commitment level and lifestyle.</p> <h2>Types of Diapers</h2> <p>There are a multitude of cloth diapering options, and what you choose is up to you. Some diapers have a gazillion snaps. Others have tricky Velcro closures. Some need covers. Others come in two parts. Here are the most common types &mdash; demystified.</p> <h3>1. Pocket</h3> <p>The majority of my cloth diapers were pocket style from <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=bum%20genius%20pocket%20diaper&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Abum%20genius%20pocket%20diaper&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=D32B7OKWILONMOMC">bumGenius</a>. Basically, the diaper comes in two parts &mdash; the waterproof outer shell and the absorbent insert. Our diapers fit our daughter from a few weeks after she was born until she was potty trained. Stuffing and un-stuffing does take a few extra minutes at wash time, but it becomes automatic.</p> <h3>2. All-in-Ones</h3> <p>If you choose <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=all-in-one%20diaper&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Aall-in-one%20diaper&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=7S3KD65PIFLRURHZ">all-in-one diapers</a> (AIO), you'll get everything you need in one convenient package. There's no stuffing or covers required because it's all sewn together. My only issue with AIO is that they take longer to dry than the other types. Otherwise, they're super easy to use and come in a variety of fabrics.</p> <h3>3. Prefolds</h3> <p>A lot of people picture <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=prefold%20diapers&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Aprefold%20diapers&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=556WLYXRRNKOXFJM">prefold diapers</a> when they think of the cloth process. This type is much like what your mother or grandmother may have used with pins, but it's still a popular choice today and most often the best choice for your budget. Instead of pins, you can use snazzy <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004YWKWJO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004YWKWJO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=ZCF7D3XWJUB2Z2GH">diaper fasteners</a>. You'll cover your prefolds with a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=prefold%20cover&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=GUGNZRWDPDH45VNL">waterproof cover</a>.</p> <h3>4. Fitted</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=fitted%20diaper&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=AAZBTMFBJ7NGI44P">Fitted diapers</a> also require waterproof covers. The key difference between fitted and prefolds is that they don't need folding or any special fastener to stay closed. If you choose this type, you'll have to buy different sizes as your baby grows. Each size fits a good range of weights, though.</p> <h3>5. Hybrids</h3> <p>I eventually added some <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003ZYM06K/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003ZYM06K&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=5M6LGQVHONC6VQ2U">gDiapers</a> to my collection when we started traveling and using a sitter more frequently. As the name implies, hybrid diapers provide a mix of options depending on your preferences. You can fill the reusable waterproof cover with a disposable or cloth insert. They come in one-size and individual sizes. Hybrid diapers certainly offer the most flexibility in the bunch.</p> <h3>6. Used</h3> <p>Seriously. There are thousands of people who incorporate used cloth diapers into their stashes. In fact, that's another reason cloth is a good investment &mdash; you can sell them or reuse them when your baby is done. Check out sites like <a href="http://clothdiapertrader.com">ClothDiaperTrader</a> where you can get gently used diapers for a fraction of their original prices.</p> <h2>Smart Setup</h2> <p>Once you've chosen your diaper type(s), move your attention to your diaper station setup. Much of what you assemble will be the same as if you were using disposables. However, there are some key things that will make life easier on you and others who diaper your child.</p> <h3>1. Diaper Pail and Liner</h3> <p>You'll need somewhere to store the dirty diapers while they're waiting to be washed. We used a tall <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004L9L3KW/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004L9L3KW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=ONSCRGLHSFCGLMP4">plastic garbage can</a> with a snap-shut cover and wheels. Instead of lining it with a garbage bag, we bought two reusable <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004Q2Z9TK/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004Q2Z9TK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=4YMSAPCV7A6ZBOVR">diaper pail liners</a> that get washed with the diapers. Toss the diapers in the bin, wheel it to your washing machine, and go.</p> <h3>2. Prep Your Diapers</h3> <p>If you use pocket diapers, prefolds, hybrids, or anything else with more than one part &mdash; stuff it or lay it out ahead of time. I used to do this while watching television when they were fresh from the dryer. If you use all-in-ones, you can skip this step. Regardless, taking a bit of time to have everything organized is well worth it.</p> <h3>3. Diaper Liners</h3> <p>Over time, diaper creams and salves can cause the diaper to lose its absorbency. If you need to use creams on your baby, you'll want to use <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=cloth%20diaper%20liners&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Acloth%20diaper%20liners&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=F3TCUUSCVQZPT5BV">diaper liners</a> to protect the fabric from buildup. To make sure you use them, stick them somewhere next to your wipes. Bonus: Diaper liners also make cleaning up solids much easier.</p> <h3>4. Cloth Wipes</h3> <p>Using <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=cloth%20wipes&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Acloth%20wipes&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=END2OJ54XJRTHJIO">cloth wipes</a> is entirely optional. But if you're already washing diapers, tossing in wipes isn't that much more work. You can even make your own cloth wipes by cutting pieces of flannel fabric and soaking them in a gentle <a href="http://www.zany-zebra.com/cloth-wipe-solution.shtml">wash solution</a> that's just a mixture of water, soap, and oil. Keep your wipes in a plastic bag or container until you're ready to use.</p> <h2>Notes on Laundering</h2> <p>To keep your stash fresh and friendly for your child's bum, you'll want to wash every day or every other day. Jillian's Drawers, a cloth diaper shop near where I live, suggests washing no more than <a href="https://www.jilliansdrawers.com/newtocloth/washingcloth">12 to 18 diapers at a time</a>, using your machine's highest water level setting and hot water.</p> <p>Try sticking to detergents that leave little residue, fragrance, and other gunk on diapers. Skip fabric softeners. The buildup can make diapers lose their absorbency over time. You can use specific diaper detergents like <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003N0JXSO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003N0JXSO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=LGUI5RZZ56WNR3YD">Rockin' Green</a> or <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F8LIZQM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00F8LIZQM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=H3VBRZQXI5C6AZZL">Molly's Suds</a>. A lot of people use plain Tide or <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AM16MZO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00AM16MZO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=LVNYB2W6UHZX7W6J">Charlie's Soap</a>.</p> <p>What about number two? It's also a great idea to install a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OKSCWN6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00OKSCWN6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=HPMQJTMACZRZBJN3">diaper sprayer</a> on your toilet to help wash away solids before they sit for too long. It takes just minutes and can save you a big stink later.</p> <p>And when it comes to drying, the sun works wonders. If you can, put your diapers on a line outdoors and let the air freshen and the sun zap out stains. Otherwise, dry prefolds and diaper inserts in your machine. Try hanging covers and other diapers on a line or drying rack. They'll keep their integrity longer with gentler care.</p> <p><em>What does your cloth diapering process look like? Any tips to share?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-cloth-diapers">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/3-good-money-examples-every-parent-should-set">3 Good Money Examples Every Parent Should Set</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-lessons-about-money-i-learned-after-having-twins">7 Lessons About Money I Learned After Having Twins</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-parenting-books">The 5 Best Parenting Books</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-terrible-things-science-says-you-do-to-your-kids">6 Terrible Things Science Says You Do to Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-child-care-purchases-you-should-never-skimp-on">9 Child Care Purchases You Should Never Skimp On</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Green Living babies cloth diapers eco-friendly kids parenting reusing Thu, 08 Oct 2015 15:00:42 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1578820 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Parenting Mistakes Everyone Makes But No One Talks About http://www.wisebread.com/7-parenting-mistakes-everyone-makes-but-no-one-talks-about <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-parenting-mistakes-everyone-makes-but-no-one-talks-about" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/child_surprised_face_000056888518.jpg" alt="Child pointing out parenting mistakes everyone makes" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As parents, we all want the best for our kids. But we all make mistakes. And while <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-4-worst-mistakes-good-parents-make">parenting mistakes</a> may not be brought up at birthday parties and playdates, you can be reasonably sure most parents have struggled with at least a few of these.</p> <h2>1. Protecting Your Child From Every Risk</h2> <p>It's hard to see your child going through anything difficult, from getting a bump or scrape, to dealing with the mean kids on the playground. A common parenting mistake, however, is protecting your child from any hard situation. Recent research shows that <a href="http://healthland.time.com/2013/02/22/hover-no-more-helicopter-parents-may-breed-depression-and-incompetence-in-their-children/">insulating our kids from adversity</a> may make them less resilient in the long run, leading to depression when faced with the real problems in life.</p> <p>Start building resilience in your children early on by allowing them to take risks, and to experience and solve problems by themselves. At the same time, ensure that they feel loved and accepted, which will help them to have the courage to tackle challenges outside the home.</p> <h2>2. Structuring Too Much of Your Child's Time</h2> <p>In today's climate of &quot;tiger&quot; parenting, it can often feel like you have to schedule your child for every activity in order to get ahead. But research shows that over-structuring your child's time &mdash; whether with violin lessons, language studies, art classes, or sports teams &mdash; can actually harm his or her &quot;executive function,&quot; the ability for the child to self-direct their own activities. Research shows that <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/06/for-better-school-results-clear-the-schedule-and-let-kids-play/373144/">self-regulation and free play</a> are vital for the child's future independence and academic achievement. So let your child enjoy being in charge of his/her own little world.</p> <h2>3. Praising Your Child in the Wrong Way</h2> <p>We know that parental approval and praise is an essential part of building a child's self-esteem, but we have to be cautious of <em>how</em> we dole out that praise. Excessively praising everything your children do can actually damage them in the long run, causing them to be afraid of trying new things or challenging themselves, for fear of losing their parents' approval. Recently, studies have shown that excessive praise can <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2015/03/09/parents-stop-overvaluing-your-kid-you-may-create-a-future-narcissist-study-says/">feed narcissism and over-inflated egos</a>. At the same time, withholding praise can also cause insecurity. So how should we praise our kids?</p> <p>Experts tend to think that praising their effort is the best way to praise our children. Instead of saying &quot;You're so smart!&quot; or &quot;You won!&quot; focus instead on the effort that your child put in to achieve their goal. Praise kids in proportion to how much they deserve it &mdash; don't make a big deal out of something that should be a routine responsibility. Tell them you're proud of them when they treat others with kindness and generosity. Tell your kids often that you love them, but don't send the message that they are better than or superior to other children.</p> <h2>4. Shaming Your Child</h2> <p>We all want our children to behave, but sometimes the methods we choose can have lasting consequences. Embarrassing your child in public may force them to behave as you wish in the short-term, but is unlikely to improve your relationship in the long-term. Shame is one of the most painful and anxiety-causing experiences of childhood. Because shaming attacks the person, rather than the behavior, it can damage a child's self-esteem. And because shaming denotes a lack of respect for the child, it can in turn cause the child to <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-legacy-distorted-love/201209/shaming-children-is-emotionally-abusive">lose respect for the parent</a>.</p> <p>If you find yourself yelling phrases like, &quot;What's wrong with you?&quot; or berating your child in public, you may need to check your own behavior. It can be hard to be kind when you're frustrated, but be mindful of how you speak to your child. Treat him/her the way you would like to be treated, and use words that foster mutual respect.</p> <h2>5. Not Taking Time to Empathize</h2> <p>One of the most important things you can do as a parent is to be empathetic to your child. Empathy means truly listening to your child, understanding how he or she feels, and putting yourself in your child's shoes. The problem is, it's not always easy to empathize with your child when you're tired, busy, in a hurry, and your child is screaming their head off in the Target checkout lane.</p> <p>Remember that children aren't necessarily trying to push your buttons &mdash; they just don't have the tools to manage their emotions yet. Get down at your child's level, look into their eyes, and try to understand how they're feeling. We all need to have our feelings acknowledged by a loving, accepting, parent. While you may not agree with the feelings or behavior, and will still need to enforce boundaries, simply letting your child know that you see how he/she really feels will go a long way towards fulfilling their emotional needs.</p> <h2>6. Refusing to Admit You're Wrong</h2> <p>As parents, we want to hold onto the authority in the household. But as role models, if we never admit our mistakes, how can we expect our children to? Admitting when you're wrong, apologizing, and working to right that wrong, shows our children that we respect them, and that we are willing to accept responsibility for our actions. We need to teach our children how to learn from their mistakes, not to be defensive and evasive when we've done something wrong. In addition, swallowing our pride shows kids that we love them more than we love being right.</p> <h2>7. Being Driven by Guilt</h2> <p>We're all flawed humans, no matter how perfect your friends' parenting may seem on Facebook. Don't dwell on your mistakes and let guilt drive your relationship with your kids. Instead, enjoy your time with your children, and remember that tomorrow is another day. We're all trying to do the best job we can, so cut yourself a little slack.</p> <p><em>What parenting mistakes do you struggle with?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-parenting-mistakes-everyone-makes-but-no-one-talks-about">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-having-a-family-boosts-your-career">6 Ways Having a Family Boosts Your Career</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/10-basic-manners-you-must-teach-your-kids">10 Basic Manners You Must Teach Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-terrible-things-science-says-you-do-to-your-kids">6 Terrible Things Science Says You Do to Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke">24 Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family behavior child psychology children discipline parenting raising kids Wed, 23 Sep 2015 11:00:24 +0000 Camilla Cheung 1561948 at http://www.wisebread.com 23 Relaxing Ways to Enjoy Your Kid's First Day at School http://www.wisebread.com/23-relaxing-ways-to-enjoy-your-kids-first-day-at-school <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/23-relaxing-ways-to-enjoy-your-kids-first-day-at-school" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_reading_beach_000060463902.jpg" alt="Woman finding relaxing ways to enjoy kid&#039;s first day of school" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Hear that sound, moms and dads? It's the silence you've been craving &mdash; oh, I don't know &mdash; since about 72 hours into your kids' summer vacation. What to do, what to do? You probably already have your time-to-relax schedule all planned out for the first day back to school, but if you've been slacking in that regard, here are a few ideas to make the most of your well-deserved downtime.</p> <h2>1. Hit the Beach (If You're Near One)</h2> <p>I live on the Jersey Shore and the days to enjoy an afternoon on the beach are dwindling. If you're in a beach town (or near one), get out there and enjoy the sand and surf before the chilly weather starts to roll in.</p> <h2>2. Take Yourself Out to Lunch</h2> <p>Like an adult lunch. No grilled sandwiches or ramen or Tyson chicken whatever &mdash; you know, the stuff the kids ate all summer and you nibbled on because you didn't feel like making a separate meal. Put your good pants on and have a proper lunch containing real food.</p> <h2>3. Go Back-to-School Shopping for Yourself</h2> <p>Don't you think it's just a bit unfair that you spend all that money on back-to-school clothing and accessories for the kids &mdash; because they haaaaave to have it! &mdash; and you walk away with nothing? Nope, not on my watch. Head to your favorite store and pick up something new. If you need justification for your purchase &mdash; besides the fact that you've kept the little beggars alive and well for this long &mdash; think of it as something you need for an upcoming PTA meeting, parents' night, or (most likely) a cocktail party.</p> <h2>4. Finish an Open Project</h2> <p>Everybody has something around the house that they meant to finish, but got sidetracked and forgot about. Get after it!</p> <h2>5. Meet Your Friends for Coffee (Or an Adult Bev!)</h2> <p>I mean, sure, if coffee's your thing, that's what you should order. But if you're trying to celebrate your nine-to-three freedom properly, you better make it Irish. And so you're not sipping alone, invite along a few friends.</p> <h2>6. Go to the Cinema and Catch a Movie</h2> <p>You've undoubtedly been to the movies this summer, but it was probably to see a flick about little talking Twinkies, superheroes, or dinosaurs. If there's a more &mdash; ahem &mdash; grown-up movie you've been meaning to watch, today's your day.</p> <h2>7. Crack Open That Book You've Been Meaning to Read (Finally!)</h2> <p>You brought that book everywhere you went this summer with every intention of reading it and then starting its sequel. But you never go to it because somebody was always screaming your name for mostly unimportant things that they could do themselves. Sound familiar? Now's your chance to get lost in literature &mdash; at least until mid-afternoon.</p> <h2>8. Relax on the Couch and Catch Up on Your DVR</h2> <p>Heck, even without kids, watching a ton of TV isn't something many of us do in the summer. So I know all you parents out there haven't had time to catch up on your DVR since about the third week of June. Find out what's up with your favorite characters and make some room for the new fall schedule.</p> <h2>9. Bake &mdash; Then Indulge</h2> <p>I like to bake because the end result is so delicious. If I'm baking for one to soothe my sweet tooth, I usually pick up prepared cookie dough, pop it in the oven, and stuff my face with the whole lot of the ooey-gooey confections. Along with a tall glass of ice-cold milk. And absolutely no shame. NO SHAME!</p> <h2>10. Get Intimate if You're Both Home</h2> <p>You don't need instructions for this. It's how you got into this situation in the first place. But it's still nice to have some alone time without somebody barging in.</p> <h2>11. Nap!</h2> <p>...Naaaaaaaaap!</p> <h2>12. Work Around the Yard</h2> <p>For some people, gardening is a great way to relax and think and let their mind wander. If you keep a garden, harvest some of the produce, or, since fall is just around the corner, tidy up your space a bit so raking and bagging isn't such a daunting task in a few weeks.</p> <h2>13. Go for a Walk</h2> <p>To wherever you want &mdash; around the neighborhood, downtown, to the park. Just get movin'.</p> <h2>14. Participate in a Class at the Gym</h2> <p>I love my gym classes. I never consider them a chore because they're totally fun. If you haven't checked in to any of the classes your gym offers, do it now. You could find yourself a new hobby.</p> <h2>15. Treat Yourself to a Salon or Spa Service</h2> <p>Get your hair or nails done. Schedule a massage. Kick back in the steam room and sauna. Let your cares drift away until you have to snap back to reality.</p> <h2>16. Hang Out at Your Local Library or Coffee Shop</h2> <p>I find both of these places equally relaxing. I usually take a few of my neglected magazines and sink into one of the comfy chairs for a few hours while I unwind.</p> <h2>17. Mediate/Do Nothing at All</h2> <p>I don't really know how to meditate &mdash; I mean, besides sitting with my legs crossed and chanting 'Om' (which doesn't appeal to me). However, as a former college student, I know how to do nothing at all quite well. I consider myself an English major with a concentration in Sitting and Staring at the Sky, as it were. Nonetheless, either of these activities could work for you, and I'll only look at you strangely for one of them.</p> <h2>18. Practice Your Yoga Skills</h2> <p>There are plenty of online yoga resources that you can watch so you don't even have to leave your house. Or you can find a class in your area (perhaps even at your gym for free) if you need a change of scenery. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-find-free-or-cheap-yoga-classes?ref=seealso">Where to Find Free or Cheap Yoga Classes</a>)</p> <h2>19. Take the Dog to the Park</h2> <p>You know who's just as happy that your kids are back in school? The dog. He can finally get back to his eat-sleep-sleep-eat schedule without as many interruptions. But that doesn't mean he wouldn't like a leisurely afternoon with his buddies first. Plan a date to the dog park to exercise your favorite friend while enjoying the pleasant weather and other pooches.</p> <h2>20. Pack a Picnic and Find a Nice Space Outside</h2> <p>There's no rule that picnics can't be by yourself. In fact, some of the best picnics I've attended have only had one guest &mdash; me! Pack up some of your favorites foods, bring a blanket and some reading material, and lay back and watch the world pass you by.</p> <h2>21. Drift Away in a Long, Hot Bath</h2> <p>Candles and a glass of wine are just as appropriate for a long, hot bath at 11 a.m. as they are at 11 p.m. Plus, nobody's around to judge you. Enjoy it while you can.</p> <h2>22. Pump Up the Jams and Dance Around the House</h2> <p>This summer has produced a few hot bangers that I like to shake my thang to. Turn up your Spotify and let loose in your living room. If you've never done this before, step outside your comfort zone. You'll be glad you did.</p> <h2>23. Run Away and Never Look Back</h2> <p>Or just daydream about it. You know they wouldn't last a day without you.</p> <p><em>How will you relax and enjoy your kids' first day back to school? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-relaxing-ways-to-enjoy-your-kids-first-day-at-school">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/single-parent-try-these-10-tricks-for-entertaining-kids-on-a-budget">Single Parent? Try These 10 Tricks for Entertaining Kids on a Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-entertain-your-kids-for-free">20 Ways to Entertain Your Kids for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-classic-toys-that-won-christmas">8 Classic Toys That Won Christmas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-brilliant-tips-from-smart-mom-rich-mom">4 Brilliant Tips From &quot;Smart Mom, Rich Mom&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-surprising-ways-summer-will-cost-you">7 Surprising Ways Summer Will Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Lifestyle back-to-school downtime kids parenting relaxing rest summer vacation Mon, 24 Aug 2015 11:00:30 +0000 Mikey Rox 1532897 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways Having a Family Boosts Your Career http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-having-a-family-boosts-your-career <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-having-a-family-boosts-your-career" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000028249970.jpg" alt="Man learning how having a family boosts his career" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Working full-time while <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-important-questions-to-ask-before-adding-to-your-family">raising a family</a> can be taxing. According to Families and Work Institute's National Study of the Changing Workforce, 67% of employed parents say they <a href="http://familiesandwork.org/downloads/ContextMattersInsightsAboutOlderWorkers.pdf">don't have enough time</a> with their kids and 63% of married workers say they don't have enough time with their spouse.</p> <p>But don't go choosing between career and family just yet. The data suggests you really can have it all. And, in fact, one can very well complement the other.</p> <h2>1. Family Boosts Productivity</h2> <p>Women with more children are more productive at work. Chalk it up to all that supermom multitasking, such as firing off emails while breastfeeding and baking a casserole for lunch. At any rate, mothers with at least two kids are <a href="https://research.stlouisfed.org/wp/2014/2014-001.pdf">most productive of all</a>, according to a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, which found that over the course of a 30-year career, mothers outperform women without children. The correlation between number of children and on-the-job productivity is true for men, too. But it's even more pronounced in women. Sarah Palin, a mother of five who was the ninth governor of Alaska until she became and the Republican Party nominee for Vice President in the 2008 Presidential election, is a great example.</p> <p>Author Anne-Marie Slaughter puts it this way: &quot;Believe it or not, we will actually be better and happier workers if we are allowed to be better parents.&quot;</p> <h2>2. You'll Be Happier and Healthier</h2> <p>Mothers with jobs tend to be <a href="http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2011/12/working-moms.aspx">happier and healthier</a> than moms who stay at home during their children's infancy and preschool years, according to a new study by the American Psychological Association. This conclusion is based on interviews with 1,364 mothers shortly after their child's birth and subsequent interviews and observations spanning more than 10 years.</p> <h2>3. Parents Make Better Managers</h2> <p>Parents tend to perform better in the workplace, especially in managerial roles, because they know how to multitask, cope with stress, and negotiate, according to research from Clark University and the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, N.C. That's because <a href="http://www.forbes.com/2007/02/27/parents-bosses-managers-leadership-careers_cx_hc_0227parents.html">parenting skills and management skills</a> overlap.</p> <p>&quot;Having kids forces you to learn how to make compromises, and to listen, and to try and support them to be better,&quot; says Steve Tirado, chief executive of semiconductor firm Silicon Image, who has four daughters between the ages of 19 and 24. Of course, just having kids won't make you a better manager, the study found. But being actively involved in raising them will.</p> <h2>4. Your Kids Will Be More Successful</h2> <p>A Harvard study found that daughters of working mothers <a href="http://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Pages/item.aspx?num=49311">have better careers</a>, higher pay, and more equal relationships. &quot;These findings suggest that in addition to transmitting gender attitudes across generations, mothers' employment teaches daughters a set of skills that enable greater participation in the workforce and in leadership positions,&quot; the study states.</p> <h2>5. Family Increases Your Chances for Tenure &mdash; For Men, Anyway</h2> <p>For men in academia, having children is a <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/07/08/should-women-delay-motherhood/what-you-need-to-know-if-youre-an-academic-and-want-to-be-a-mom">career advantage</a>, according to Mary Ann Mason, who studies the intersection between work and family. Among male tenured faculty, 70% are married with kids, a sign that fathers are far more successful in their careers than men without youngsters of their own. Unfortunately, this optimistic sign of parenting's positive effect on career doesn't ring true for women, according to Mason's data.</p> <h2>6. Egalitarian Parenting Pays Off</h2> <p>Today's mothers are securing high-paying jobs <em>and</em> having families. And it's all made possible by this secret formula: Mothers of today are insisting that their husbands do at least half the housework. Perhaps it's not such a novel idea, but historically this hasn't been the case. Caring for your children all day is draining work, but when the work is split 50-50 it becomes a lot more manageable, allowing both husband and wife to find success in endeavors outside the home. Seven of the 18 women who are Fortune 500 CEOs have at some point had a <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/magazine/behind-every-great-woman-01042012.html">stay-at-home husband</a> to focus on child-rearing while she chases her career goals.</p> <p><em>How has being a good parent helped you professionally?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-having-a-family-boosts-your-career">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-parenting-mistakes-everyone-makes-but-no-one-talks-about">7 Parenting Mistakes Everyone Makes But No One Talks About</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/10-basic-manners-you-must-teach-your-kids">10 Basic Manners You Must Teach Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-terrible-things-science-says-you-do-to-your-kids">6 Terrible Things Science Says You Do to Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-private-schools-worth-the-money-they-demand">Are Private Schools Worth the Money They Demand?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Family children parenting raising kids working parents Mon, 03 Aug 2015 09:00:14 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1507539 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Terrible Things Science Says You Do to Your Kids http://www.wisebread.com/6-terrible-things-science-says-you-do-to-your-kids <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-terrible-things-science-says-you-do-to-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/unhappy_kid_000011364070.jpg" alt="Parent doing terrible things science says they do every day" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In all likelihood, you are probably already a pretty good parent. I'll bet you limit video games, provide healthy meals, get your kids to scheduled doctor's visits, help with homework, and the like.</p> <p>New science, though, thinks you can do a little better. Do any of the six <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-4-worst-mistakes-good-parents-make">parenting subjects</a>, below, ring a bell?</p> <h2>1. You Don't Let Your Child Self-Soothe</h2> <p>Have you tried teaching your baby to self-soothe? It occurred to me to research this concept after my friend, a grandmother, related how her daughter has to lie down with her two-year-old to get her to nap, and then again to get her to sleep at night. Among my co-workers, neighbors, and friends are women whose children sleep with them in their bedrooms, on cots, or in their beds. They also sleep with their children in their children's rooms. My neighbor's daughter has a charming room, but she will only sleep on the living room couch. The phrase (and I know this is harsh) &quot;the inmates are running the asylum&quot; comes to mind.</p> <p>&quot;We, as parents, think our job is to make sure the baby is not crying,&quot; says pediatric nurse Jennifer Walker, RN. &quot;That's because we associate crying with the fact that we are doing something wrong and we need to fix it,&quot; she says. &quot;Babies are designed to cry. They can be perfectly diapered and fed and still cry like you are pulling an arm off...&quot;</p> <p>Many parents are vehemently opposed to the practice of self-soothing, calling it a myth, or &quot;harmful.&quot; And, you know it's not fun. Even if you know your baby has been fed, burped, changed, and is in comfortable bedding, listening to them cry is extremely upsetting. We used the <a href="http://www.drgreene.com/qa-articles/when-baby-wont-go-sleep-her-own/?tid=207">Dr. Greene method</a> and yes, it was extremely difficult, but it worked.</p> <p>&quot;The difficulties begin when the child's sleep patterns begin to interfere with the lives of the other members of the family unit. For example: when the mother is ready to return to work and needs to sleep, herself, or when marital tensions arise because of a lack of privacy in the bedroom,&quot; says Dennis Rosen, M.D. &quot;At that point, it's absolutely reasonable to <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sleeping-angels/201405/teaching-child-self-soothe-not-everyone">reconsider the existing patterns</a>, and to find a different way of doing things that works better for everyone else. And that usually means redefining, and setting limits, which is a normal part of <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/parenting">parenting</a>.&quot;</p> <h2>2. You Don't Insist on Your Child's Recess</h2> <p>I'm an adult, and I could barely manage to sit through a boring hour-long webinar last week. Fortunately, I could get up and take a walk afterwards. But what if you are a kid who feels fried and fidgety? Who ever thought parents needed to be concerned with their children having recess? Guess what: <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/07/08/why-so-many-kids-cant-sit-still-in-school-today/">Recess is disappearing</a>.</p> <p>Even pediatricians in the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend recess. Dr. Robert Murray, a pediatrician and professor of human nutrition at the Ohio State University, stated that &quot;Children need to have downtime between complex cognitive challenges.&quot; Interestingly, structured time (like a gym period or an organized game) is not a substitute, because it is still considered to be instructional time.</p> <p>Childhood obesity rates have more than <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/obesity/facts.htm">doubled in children</a>, and quadrupled in adolescents, in the past 30 years. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends an hour a day of exercise for children. If your child's school has reduced or eliminated recess, how will that help this issue?</p> <p>It may be time for you to get involved in a discussion about the benefits of recess at your child's school, and how you, as a parent, can help. And if the school won't change, perhaps you ought to consider supplementing their play time with some daily &quot;at-home&quot; recess.</p> <h2>3. You Aren't Insisting They Do Chores</h2> <p>Your own parents and grandparents probably insisted on chores, and so should you. Psychologist Richard Rende is the author of soon-to-be-published <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0399168966/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0399168966&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=OZ5B3SUFPJKHBT27">Raising Can-Do Kids</a>. His research indicates that &quot;...various types of housework are correlated with better academic performance and social relationships, increased professional goals, and good mental health in adulthood.&quot;</p> <h2>4. You Stopped Reading to Your Kid</h2> <p>Many parents read to their babies, toddlers, and school-age children, and that's great. However, according to educator Jim Trelease, you <a href="http://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/read-aloud-to-children/">shouldn't stop reading</a>.</p> <p>&quot;People often say to me, 'My child is in fourth grade and he already knows how to read, why should I read to him?' And I reply, 'Your child may be reading on a fourth-grade level, but what level is he <em>listening</em> at?'</p> <p>A child's reading level doesn't catch up to his listening level until eighth grade. You can and should be reading seventh-grade books to fifth-grade kids. They'll get excited about the plot and this will be a motivation to keep reading.&quot;</p> <h2>5. You Don't Let Them Experience Failure</h2> <p>It's so hard to see your child feeling sad, or disappointed, when things don't go their way. I really think it's just as painful for the parents. My mother used to tell me, &quot;well, life is full of disappointments,&quot; and she was right, it is. However, if you don't allow your child to fail, feel sad, and deal with things on his or her own, the child doesn't learn how to build resilience. Being able to roll with the ups and downs of life is a necessary skill, and they can't learn that when &quot;everybody gets a trophy.&quot; Sometimes you fail, and you feel bad. What happens next? You lick your wounds, gather strength, pick yourself up, and try again. Kids need to learn that, as painful as it is for the parent.</p> <h2>6. You Don't Let Them Suffer the Consequences for Wrong Actions</h2> <p>Kids are going to make bad choices occasionally. They want to test boundaries, try the &quot;easy way,&quot; or prove their independence. When they are caught, though, it isn't up to the parent to &quot;fix&quot; that mistake.</p> <p>&quot;Parents tend to worry about their child's <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-verge/201411/natural-consequences">ability to cope</a> with life's natural 'negative' consequences,&quot; writes Mendi Baron, CEO of Evolve Treatment Centers. &quot;In fact, today's parents, in an effort to be helpful and involved, actually impose themselves to minimize natural negative consequences so that their teen can avoid the subsequent discomfort, pain, and shame of his actions.&quot;</p> <p><em>Readers, do you agree, or disagree, with any of these suggestions?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-terrible-things-science-says-you-do-to-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-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-frugal-living-skills-you-should-be-teaching-your-children">7 Frugal Living Skills You Should Be Teaching Your Children</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-a-good-workout-even-with-kids-around">10 Ways to Get a Good Workout... Even With Kids Around</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-easy-things-science-says-you-should-do-for-your-family">5 Easy Things Science Says You Should Do for Your Family</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/having-a-baby-nine-financial-considerations-for-new-parents">Having a baby? Nine financial considerations for new parents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-having-a-family-boosts-your-career">6 Ways Having a Family Boosts Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family behaviors children kids parenting tantrums Thu, 30 Jul 2015 17:00:20 +0000 Marla Walters 1508690 at http://www.wisebread.com The 4 Worst Mistakes Good Parents Make http://www.wisebread.com/the-4-worst-mistakes-good-parents-make <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-4-worst-mistakes-good-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/father-children-going-to-school-Dollarphotoclub_63100416.jpg" alt="father children school" title="father children school" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all know that kids don't come with instruction manuals. And now that my daughter is three, I could sure use some guidance more than ever. What I've learned in my short time as a mom is that we're all doing the best we can to be good parents. But the truth remains: Even good parents make mistakes. Here are some common ones you can start working on today to benefit everyone in your family. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-parenting-hacks-that-will-save-you-time?ref=seealso">13 Parenting Hacks That Will Save You Time</a>)</p> <h2>1. Hovering</h2> <p>Children of all ages need to develop a sense of autonomy in the world. They need alone time, even in small doses. Parents need alone time, too. Yet, many awesome moms and dads hover around their kids all hours of the day so they won't miss out on all of life's milestones. Or, in some cases like mine, out of mere habit. Over time, this <a href="http://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/teach-your-kids-how-to-play-alone">constant attention creates stress</a> that kids pick up on in both big and small doses.</p> <p>Letting go can be hard, especially with toddlers and preschoolers, but some scheduled independent play can help everyone. If you create a safe space free from obvious dangers (and maybe rotate some fun toys and art supplies), you can begin the process with confidence. Start with 15 minutes to a half hour on a Saturday morning and go from there. The amount of alone time will depend on your child's age and personality (take his or her lead), but he or she will probably enjoy the space as much as you will.</p> <h2>2. Over-Scheduling</h2> <p>Extracurricular activities are fun. They provide unique outlets for kids to develop interests in areas outside of academics and simple play. However, when well-intentioned parents sign their kids up for all those ballet classes, soccer teams, music lessons, scout troops, and other groups &mdash; they may be doing more harm than good. In fact, too many structured activities may &quot;<a href="http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/teaching_now/2014/07/study_too_many_structured_activities_hinder_childrens_executive_functioning.html">hinder children's executive functioning</a>.&quot; In other words, they disrupt the development of those critical skills that revolve around decision-making, planning, prioritizing tasks, and more.</p> <p>Researchers suggest that when kids control how they spend their free time &mdash; playing independently, for example &mdash; these important areas hone accordingly. There's even evidence that children with higher executive function will be &quot;healthier, wealthier, and more socially stable throughout their lives.&quot; So, sign your little one up for a few fun things throughout the year, but keep some free time in the mix to allow their minds to grow and function well.</p> <h2>3. Comparing</h2> <p>As embarrassing as it is to admit, I have fallen into the <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/12/04/7-simple-ways-to-stop-comparing-yourself-to-other-moms/">comparison trap</a> with my parenting on many different occasions. One mom is always put together while I'm sporting sweats and zero makeup. Another mom always comes prepared while I'm continually forgetting all the essentials. Yet another mom has her kids in line sans yelling while my own is going crazy despite my creative discipline techniques. The list goes on.</p> <p>The thing with comparison is that you can't win in any of these scenarios. Everyone is always doing something better (or worse) than you at any given moment. Yet, at the same time, assumptions are dangerous, since we never truly know the whole story about someone else's life. The best you can do is revel in your own parenting accomplishments and fight the urge to stack yourself against others. Plus, being a better parent starts with paying attention to your own situation, not gazing at the family across the street.</p> <h2>4. Being Distracted</h2> <p>My mom has commented numerous times that her child-rearing years would have been totally different with the Internet and our many modern devices for checking in. In good ways and bad. I hear her on this one, since I'm guilty of being distracted by my cell phone from time to time. Okay. More often than I'd like to admit. Good parents try limiting their children's screen time, but it's time we pull back on our own. Who's with me?</p> <p>Kids ages four through 18 were surveyed related to their parents' cell phone habits, and the response &mdash; no matter the age &mdash; was strangely similar. They're tired of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2014/04/16/303749247/when-parents-are-the-ones-too-distracted-by-devices">competing with screens</a> for attention. Try to unplug with your kids as often as possible. Leave your phone at home when you walk to the park. Never bring your device to the dinner table. Or perhaps set designated times to check your e-mails, texts, the news, or whatever else sucks you in the most often. That stuff will still be there, but the moments you spend with your kids are limited.</p> <p><em>What parenting mistakes have you made? And what have you done to change your habits?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-4-worst-mistakes-good-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-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/7-frugal-living-skills-you-should-be-teaching-your-children">7 Frugal Living Skills You Should Be Teaching Your Children</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/3-life-lessons-ive-learned-since-becoming-a-parent">3 Life Lessons I&#039;ve Learned Since Becoming a Parent</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-parenting-books">The 5 Best Parenting Books</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-parents-save-money-at-costco">How Parents Save Money at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family child rearing parenting Wed, 25 Feb 2015 12:00:10 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1304448 at http://www.wisebread.com Single Parent? Try These 10 Tricks for Entertaining Kids on a Budget http://www.wisebread.com/single-parent-try-these-10-tricks-for-entertaining-kids-on-a-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/single-parent-try-these-10-tricks-for-entertaining-kids-on-a-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000012820205_Double.jpg" alt="kid drawing crayon" title="kid drawing crayon" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Single parents are challenged with finding ways to cut costs wherever they can, and that reaches into so many aspects of everyday life.</p> <p>Today, one of the trickiest challenges I am faced with is how to keep my kids entertained on a budget. Sure, the TV and Xbox could keep them amused for hours on end, but I don't want to have them zoning out in front of the tube. So, with very little money for entertaining, how do you keep the young ones happy and fulfilled? Here are some ideas that I use.</p> <h2>1. Get Baking</h2> <p>There are three reasons that this is a great way to pass the time with your kids.</p> <p>First, you're teaching them a practical skill that they can use later.</p> <p>Second, you're saving money. By baking your own breads, cookies, and cakes, you're not spending money on pre-packaged goods full of additives and preservatives.</p> <p>Most important of all, it's actually a lot of fun &mdash; kids love to help and get involved. They also like to see what their hard work has helped them achieve. When you taste those cookies, or a slice of warm banana bread, you'll enjoy their reactions as much as they enjoy the sweet treats.</p> <h2>2. Artwork Is a No Brainer</h2> <p>I don't just mean it's an obvious way to spend your time with the kids for next to nothing. It's also a chance to shut your brain off from all the hectic stresses of life, and be a kid again yourself.</p> <p>Set up the dining room table with paper, crayons, paints, markers, and anything else they need to be creative. Then, join in &mdash; don't just leave them to it. This is good bonding time, and you will enjoy yourself just as much as they do. I like to frame pieces of artwork that my kids have created (I only ever pay $1 for my frames at thrift stores) and have created a gallery we're all proud of.</p> <h2>3. Set Up a Home Spa</h2> <p>My girls are 10 and 8, and they love being pampered. I'm a guy, but I'm not afraid to get out the nail polish and curling irons. Put on some relaxing music, let them feel like the princesses they are, and get creative with it. You can make their nails look like bees, ladybugs, or chalkboards &mdash; it's all very easy after a while and tons of fun for everyone. And if you have little boys, don't think they don't deserve something similar. My toddler wanted his nails painted a boy-approved black and blue, and I obliged. He loved it. Older boys may not be interested, but spray-in hair colors and waxes can give you some punkish results.</p> <h2>4. The Library Is Your Friend</h2> <p>There is more to the library than just books and movies. Your library often has special events, including authors who will read aloud from their latest best sellers. They also have movie screenings, and host discussion groups and fun family activities afterwards.</p> <h2>5. Go to Museums and Parks on Free Days</h2> <p>Every museum and park will give out free passes on certain days of the year. Mark these days down on the calendar, and when they arrive, make sure you get the kids there to experience nature, or to learn about art, history, and geography.</p> <h2>6. Decorate a Bedroom</h2> <p>You can buy a few cans of &quot;oops paints&quot; for 70-80% off the regular price. Dig around whenever you're in a home improvement store, and if you find the perfect shade, you can repaint their bedrooms for under $20. But, do it with them &mdash; the older kids can do some of the big painting, while the younger kids love helping out with smaller areas. Just make sure they have on old clothes, and you have a drop cloth down. Let them have fun with it. They will love helping you paint their own room.</p> <h2>7. Volunteer</h2> <p>It's a great way to fill their time, and get them learning about life. A pet shelter is a good cause to start with. They will love seeing all the animals, and helping out with food, cuddles, and walks. You could also see if other local charities have space open for kid volunteers. It's wonderful to give back to the community, and it gives kids a sense of accomplishment and pride.</p> <h2>8. Visit a Cheap Movie Theater</h2> <p>Yes, these theaters get the movies long after the major chains have shown them. So what?! Kids shouldn't care about being the first to see it. Mine certainly don't. What they do love is the chance to go and see a new release (and it's way more affordable than seeing first-run flicks). On a recent visit to the movies, I saw <em>Big Hero 6</em> with my three kids. I bought them popcorn and slurpies, plus we shared a bag of Twizzlers. The entire outing cost a mere $29. Try doing that at a full price theater.</p> <h2>9. Get Out the Board Games</h2> <p>Sure, we live in an electronic world &mdash; but does that mean those great board games have to gather dust in the basement or garage? Dedicate one night a week to games. You can find used (and often new) board games at thrift stores for as little as $2; just check to see if they have all the pieces first. Your kids will enjoy spending time with you in a way that is more stimulating than just sitting in front of the TV.</p> <h2>10. Just&hellip; Play!</h2> <p>Hide and seek. Soccer. Tag. Charades. Twister. Name that tune. Your kids will not want to play with you forever, so cherish the times they want to be around you. You may often find yourself saying &quot;Oh, I'm too old for that.&quot; Shame on you. Sylvester Stallone is a senior citizen and he's jumping out of planes and fighting bad guys. It's just a bit of fun around the house. Who knows&hellip; you may actually enjoy yourself more than they do!</p> <p><em>Are you a single parent? In what creative, low-cost ways do you keep the kids entertained?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/single-parent-try-these-10-tricks-for-entertaining-kids-on-a-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke">24 Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-frugal-families-love-boardgame-night">8 Reasons Frugal Families Love Boardgame Night</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-earn-extra-cash-from-thrift-stores">11 Ways to Earn Extra Cash From Thrift Stores</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-romantic-inexpensive-anniversary-celebrations">5 Romantic, Inexpensive Anniversary Celebrations</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/23-relaxing-ways-to-enjoy-your-kids-first-day-at-school">23 Relaxing Ways to Enjoy Your Kid&#039;s First Day at School</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Family Lifestyle entertaining kids entertainment parenting single parents Wed, 11 Feb 2015 10:31:15 +0000 Paul Michael 1285774 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Manage Costs While You're on Maternity Leave http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-manage-costs-while-youre-on-maternity-leave <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-manage-costs-while-youre-on-maternity-leave" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mom_baby_000027623099.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The United States has some of the least generous maternity leave policies in the developed world.</p> <p>If you're lucky enough to work at a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-29-companies-with-the-best-maternity-benefits">company with a great maternity policy</a> (where you continue to earn most or all of your salary while on leave), you probably don't need to worry about costs quite as much. But, for most women, maternity leave can mean lower pay. At a time when you're already facing the increased costs of having a baby, it can create added financial stress. Here are my best tips for managing costs while on maternity leave.</p> <h2>1. Embrace Assistance</h2> <p>People love offering help to new mothers. Take them up on their offers for assistance &mdash; put them to work doing dishes, throwing in a load of laundry, or even running the vacuum cleaner. It can free up your time to to take care of more important &mdash; and valuable tasks. And when maternity leave ends, childcare assistance from friends or family can help reduce the cost of daycare when you're back at work.</p> <h2>2. Love the Free Meals</h2> <p>There's a saying that you should never visit a new mom empty handed &mdash; and many people in your life will show their support for new moms by bringing them food. After my first child was born, we didn't cook a meal for nearly six weeks. You may also be able to get on a list through your church or local moms group to bring you meals, saving you a ton of money on groceries. (And while you'll be appreciative of the money you save, you'll be more appreciative of the free time &mdash; and the fact that it's a hot meal, not just whatever you can throw together one-handed.)</p> <h2>3. Snag New Mom Offers</h2> <p>A plethora of couponing and parenting websites offer deals and discounts for new moms. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/mom/signup/?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=KIRE2DJWIZKKHMX7">Amazon Mom</a>, for example, offers 20% off diaper subscriptions and free two-day shipping. Or sign up for new mom coupon offers. <a href="http://newparent.com/mom/best-coupon-sites-for-moms">New Parent</a> provides a listing of the best coupon and discount sites for new moms. <a href="http://www.babycheapskate.com/">Baby Cheapskate</a> also offers some terrific deals for newborns.</p> <h2>4. Join New Parent Clubs</h2> <p>New parent clubs in your community are not only a wonderful source of support and camaraderie, but they can also help point you to deals and discounts. Plus, pot luck dinners, carpooling, free play dates, and other shared resources can mean less costly ways to enjoy being a new parent.</p> <h2>5. Maximize Your Benefits</h2> <p>Working moms know to make use of their maternity leave benefits, but in many cases, the father's company may also offer certain new parent benefits which can help make costs more manageable. Make sure you double check with both employers' HR departments to be certain you're accessing all available benefits. HSAs, FSAs, free daycare, new parent helplines, and many other benefits may go unexploited if you don't ask. And don't forget about healthcare benefits &mdash; contact your insurer to make the most of these, as well.</p> <p><em>How did you manage costs while on maternity leave? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/elizabeth-lang">Elizabeth Lang</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-manage-costs-while-youre-on-maternity-leave">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/can-you-afford-to-have-a-baby">Can You Afford to Have a Baby?</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-best-jobs-for-working-moms-and-dads">6 Best Jobs for Working Moms and Dads</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-money-rules-thatll-save-you-big-in-babys-first-year">5 Money Rules That&#039;ll Save You Big in Baby&#039;s First Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-parenting-books">The 5 Best Parenting Books</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/7-frugal-living-skills-you-should-be-teaching-your-children">7 Frugal Living Skills You Should Be Teaching Your Children</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Family Home maternity benefits maternity leave new parents parenting Mon, 12 Jan 2015 16:00:09 +0000 Elizabeth Lang 1277630 at http://www.wisebread.com 30 Signs You Were Raised by Healthy Parents http://www.wisebread.com/30-signs-you-were-raised-by-healthy-parents <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/30-signs-you-were-raised-by-healthy-parents" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/food-dv2014043.jpg" alt="mom and daughter" title="mom and daughter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Were you a locavore before you even knew what the term meant? Were you raised by health-conscious parents who were plugged into organic, cage-free, non-GMO, nutritious eating before it was cool? Are you raising your kids the same way? If so, embrace your history and health! Here are 30 signs you were raised by health-conscious parents. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-signs-that-you-were-raised-by-frugal-parents?ref=seealso">30 Signs You Were Raised by Frugal Parents</a>)</p> <p>1. In your house, soda was reserved for only the rarest special occasions. You had entire friendships based on accessing bootleg bottles of soda.</p> <p>2. For the first 18 years of your life, dessert was synonymous with fresh fruit.</p> <p>3. Your parents diluted chocolate milk with regular milk based on a 40:60 ratio.</p> <p>4. At school, you were known for bringing the freshest, healthiest, least trade-worthy sack lunches.</p> <p>5. In your mind, sugary cereal will always be a Schedule II controlled substance.</p> <p>6. You know the sweet delight of eating a ripe tomato plucked straight from the vine.</p> <p>7. As a kid, odd behavior was always met with the question, &quot;What have you been eating?&quot;</p> <p>8. Your Halloween candy haul was immediately confiscated and dispensed gradually throughout the year.</p> <p>9. A beautiful summer day meant the TV was off and the kids were outside.</p> <p>10. From planting to harvest, you had a working knowledge of gardening by age 9.</p> <p>11. You had the kind of peanut butter that needed to be stirred before use.</p> <p>12. You still think Wonder Bread tastes a little bit like cake.</p> <p>13. As a kid, you had a difficult time distinguishing candy bars from actual currency.</p> <p>14. You campaigned for class president by promising to install a salad bar in the school cafeteria.</p> <p>15. Your trips to the dentist were largely uneventful.</p> <p>16. You waited in vain for yoga and Pilates to be added to your school's Physical Education curriculum.</p> <p>17. You used to sneak your own healthy snacks into movie theaters. Raisins, almonds, apple slices, and homemade popcorn were standard fare.</p> <p>18. You could identify every green in a mixed green salad by age 5.</p> <p>19. You learned to read by studying nutrition labels on packaged food.</p> <p>20. As a youngster, it was difficult for you to fully grasp the difference between a farmer's market and a county fair.</p> <p>21. Your mom or dad made their own baby food using only organic ingredients.</p> <p>22. Your taste buds can't distinguish carob from chocolate.</p> <p>23. In your house, &quot;fast food&quot; meant leftover sliced turkey (free-range, of course) on millet bread.</p> <p>24. Your parents cooked and baked with brown eggs instead of white.</p> <p>25. You went through a profound junk-food binge phase the moment you moved out of your parents' house (but came out the other side).</p> <p>26. You probably ate at least one meal each day at the table with your family &mdash; no TV and no distractions.</p> <p>27. You tend to sweeten things with honey instead of sugar.</p> <p>28. You know that recipes with fewer ingredients are often the best.</p> <p>29. You have a long history with Echinacea.</p> <p>30. There's a small pot of wheat grass setting on your windowsill right now.</p> <p>As much as we may have failed to realize or fought it in our youth, our health-conscious parents were trying to set us up for a lifetime of healthier choices. And if you were a kid in the 1960's and 70's, that kind of thinking has proven to be ahead of its time. As the U.S. fights its fast-food culture, ballooning waistlines, and skyrocketing rates of diabetes and other chronic conditions, any advantage we have in defending our health is a big advantage indeed. Take a moment to thank mom and dad today. Are you passing those same healthy habits done to the next generation?</p> <p><em>Were you raised by health-conscious parents or are you one yourself? What funny stories or fond memories do you have to share?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-signs-you-were-raised-by-healthy-parents">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/flashback-friday-the-119-best-fitness-hacks-for-busy-people">Flashback Friday: The 119 Best Fitness Hacks for Busy People</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-of-our-favorite-fitness-and-diet-smart-phone-apps-0">8 of our Favorite Fitness and Diet Smart Phone Apps</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/walk-walk-walk-walk-walk">Walk, walk, walk, walk, walk</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/20-healthy-habits-that-can-hurt-you">20+ Healthy Habits That Can Hurt You</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-good-eating-habits-that-are-keeping-us-fat">6 &quot;Good&quot; Eating Habits That Are Keeping Us Fat</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Health and Beauty Lifestyle fitness Health parenting Wed, 28 May 2014 08:24:20 +0000 Kentin Waits 1140739 at http://www.wisebread.com