family http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4558/all en-US How to Help Your Kid Build Their First Budget http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-help-your-kid-build-their-first-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-help-your-kid-build-their-first-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-185090450.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Teenagers need guidance to build their first budget. But with sporting events, extracurriculars, and homework to worry about, it can be easy for parents to let budgeting skills fall through the cracks. And if you were never taught how to budget by your own parents, you might not know how to teach your children this skill.</p> <p>Helping your teenage child create a budget does not have to be overwhelming or time consuming. The important thing is to be proactive and consistent as you teach your teen how to handle money in the real world.</p> <h2>Offer a Monthly Allowance<strong> </strong></h2> <p>Providing a monthly allowance will help your child recognize the importance of long-term money planning. If they blow the entire month's worth of allowance in the first weekend, they'll learn an important lesson in delaying gratification. The most important thing you can do is be consistent about paying the allowance each month, and refuse to bail your child out of a problem if they use up their money before the month is over.</p> <p>If your teenager also decides to take a job, consider that a supplement to their allowance, rather than a substitute. Just as you would hate to see your initiative at work penalized by a reduction in pay, your child would hate to see their allowance docked just because they're showing initiative in getting a job.</p> <h2>Require Them to Take Over Some Necessary Spending</h2> <p>Many parents allow their teens to use their allowance and salary as pocket money. While there's nothing wrong with letting your kid have fun money, a big part of budgeting is making sure you have enough money to cover fixed bills. You can help your teenager learn to do this by asking them to take over a necessary bill.</p> <p>For example, you could ask them to cover a portion of the family cell phone plan, or their portion of the automobile insurance. Learning to pay these bills on time will give your teen an important first taste of what it will be like to pay their own way as an adult.</p> <h2>Create Targeted Savings Accounts<strong> </strong></h2> <p>It's likely that your child has some big goals for the future, whether that's going to a private college or buying a car. You can show them that they can achieve these financial goals through targeted savings accounts.</p> <p>Many banks allow you to create several targeted accounts, each with its own nickname. You can help your teen set up a few of these targeted savings accounts and encourage them to transfer some of their allowance or salary into the accounts when they get paid. They'll learn the importance of paying themselves first, and that consistent savings adds up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-savings-faster-with-a-multiple-account-strategy?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Build Savings Faster With a Multiple Account Strategy</a>)</p> <h2>Help Them Track Their Spending</h2> <p>Financial tracking is a necessary part of creating a healthy budget. They should know where their money is going each month, and whether those expenses were worthwhile. If they discover they're spending a good portion of their allowance on going to the movies, introduce options to them, like discounted movie passes or skipping the popcorn, soda, and snacks while there. Remind them to spend their money consciously.</p> <h2>Have Regular Budget Meetings</h2> <p>Plan on checking in at least once every two or three months to see how their finances are faring. They should get into the habit of reviewing how they've spent their money and whether those expenditures align with their goals. This will set your teen up to regularly review their budget on their own, and one day have regular budget meetings with their spouse.</p> <h2>Teach Your Children Well</h2> <p>Budgeting is the cornerstone of financial health, but knowing how to budget is hardly intuitive. Spending can easily become automatic and savings be pushed to the back burner. By getting your teen used to reviewing their finances and planning for their future, you're creating a powerful habit that will guide them wisely for the rest of their lives.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-help-your-kid-build-their-first-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-books-that-will-get-your-kids-excited-about-money">10 Fun Books That Will Get Your Kids Excited About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unexpected-ways-stay-at-home-parents-save-big">7 Unexpected Ways Stay-at-Home Parents Save Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-new-toys-to-teach-kids-about-money">How to Use New Toys to Teach Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke">24 Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-living-skills-i-wish-my-parents-would-have-taught-me">8 Frugal Living Skills I Wish My Parents Would Have Taught Me</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Family allowances budget meetings family kids saving money savings accounts teenagers tracking spending Thu, 16 Feb 2017 11:00:09 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1889843 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Fun Books That Will Get Your Kids Excited About Money http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-books-that-will-get-your-kids-excited-about-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-fun-books-that-will-get-your-kids-excited-about-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-597659170.jpg" alt="your kids will love these books about money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Chances are, you want your child to be financially wise, but every time you start to talk about money management or smart spending, your kid conveniently tunes out. Fun books are the perfect way to get your children thinking about money.</p> <p>You don't necessarily need to force your kids to read heavy economic books. Instead, allow them to enjoy and be inspired by these books about saving, giving, and starting businesses.</p> <h2>1. <em>The Berenstain Bears' Dollars and Sense</em> by Stan and Jan Berenstain</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2i7aviQ" target="_blank">The Berenstain Bears' Dollars and Sense</a> helps teach kids about allowance management. The book has tear-out checks so that kids can practice writing their own. While most of the population uses <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards-vs-debit-cards-a-comprehensive-comparison" target="_blank">debit cards and credit cards</a>, writing checks is still something that should be learned.</p> <h2>2.<em> The Berenstain Bears' Money Trouble</em> by Stan and Jan Berenstain</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2j1dwBl" target="_blank">The Berenstain Bears' Money Trouble</a> features the same lovable bears as they start several businesses to earn money. Starting a business isn't easy, even when it's just a lemonade stand. This book goes through those initial obstacles in a fun way.</p> <h2>3. <em>The Berenstain Bears' Piggy Bank Blessings</em> by Stan and Jan Berenstain</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2j1fFwW" target="_blank">The Berenstain Bears' Piggy Bank Blessings</a> has an overall religious tone, quoting verses, but the story follows the bears as they save money for a surprise birthday present for their mom. My four-year-old enjoys this one, and I enjoy that the book shows the main characters thinking of others.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-best-sites-to-help-your-kids-learn-about-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Best Sites to Help Your Kids Learn About Money</a></p> <h2>4. <em>If You Made a Million</em> by David M. Schwartz</h2> <p>Kids throw around &quot;million&quot; without really knowing what it represents. <a href="http://amzn.to/2iw7QSV" target="_blank">If You Made a Million</a> helps children ages seven and older understand the complexity of big numbers in a fun way. While the book was published over two decades ago, it remains a classic, having won the ALA Notable Book and a Reading Rainbow Feature Selection.</p> <h2>5. <em>Prices! Prices! Prices!: Why They Go Up and Down</em> by David Adler</h2> <p>The well-loved author of the Cam Jansen series, David Adler, also happens to be a former math teacher. His book,<a href="http://amzn.to/2iAlvqd" target="_blank"> Prices! Prices! Prices!: Why They Go Up and Down</a> has such fun illustrations and tackles the concepts of supply and demand.</p> <h2>6. <em>Amelia Bedelia Means Business</em> by Herman Parish</h2> <p>Amelia Bedelia is a lovable and quirky character who takes everything literally. There have been many times I have laughed out loud while reading the original Amelia Bedelia series to my daughter, especially when she is told to &quot;dress the turkey&quot; and makes a little suit for the turkey dinner.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2iAnk6j" target="_blank">Amelia Bedelia Means Business</a> is not written by the original author, but the story still follows the same theme. This one follows a young Amelia Bedelia as she tries to make money, even getting in trouble with the local police.</p> <h2>7. <em>American Girl Library: A Smart Girl's Guide: Money</em> by Nancy Holyoke and Sarah Hunt</h2> <p>American Girl non-fiction titles are both engaging and useful for young girls. <a href="http://amzn.to/2hMVXnq" target="_blank">A Smart Girl's Guide: Money</a> is written in an engaging, magazine-type format. Topics covered are smart shopping tips, making money, and investing. The book includes fun graphics and easy-to-use quizzes.</p> <h2>8. <em>The</em> <em>Babysitter's Club Series</em> by Ann Martin</h2> <p>There might not be any set money lessons in the <a href="http://amzn.to/2iAhDW9" target="_blank">Babysitter's Club Series</a>, but I remember clearly that it helped spark an entrepreneurial spirit in me during my tween years. The idea that a group of teen girls start their own babysitting club had me planning and thinking about doing that myself. While I never started a babysitting club, I still have that entrepreneurial spirit that has allowed me to creatively earn money without a 9-to-5 position. The book series has been redone as a graphic novel, so it will appeal to today's generations.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-frugal-living-skills-you-should-be-teaching-your-children?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Frugal Living Skills You Should Be Teaching Your Children</a></p> <h2>9. <em>Rock, Brock, and the Savings Shock</em> by Sheila Bair</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2j1rmUr" target="_blank">Rock, Brock, and the Savings Shock</a> follows twins whose grandpa offers them a 10-week savings plan. Every dollar they save will be matched. One twin saves his money and has over $500 after 10 weeks, while the other twin spends the money foolishly. Tons of great money lessons in here.</p> <h2>10. <em>Isabel's Car Wash</em> by Sheila Bair</h2> <p>From the same author as the title above,<a href="http://amzn.to/2j1rvqX" target="_blank"> Isabel's Car Wash</a> is about a girl who wanted a doll that cost $10. She decides to start a car washing business, but first needs money for supplies. The book follows her adventure of starting a small business so that she can buy her doll.</p> <p>There are so many wonderful books out there that teach kids important money skills. Look for books that teach children the money basics in a fun way, and also look for books that features the main character acting as an entrepreneur.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-books-that-will-get-your-kids-excited-about-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-help-your-kid-build-their-first-budget">How to Help Your Kid Build Their First Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-new-toys-to-teach-kids-about-money">How to Use New Toys to Teach Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke">24 Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-apps-for-busy-working-parents">The 5 Best Apps for Busy Working Parents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-money-saving-hacks-are-a-huge-waste-of-time">These 5 Money-Saving Hacks Are a Huge Waste of Time</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Entertainment Family budgeting family kids money parenting saving money Spending Money teenagers tweens Mon, 09 Jan 2017 11:00:09 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1869549 at http://www.wisebread.com These 5 Expenses Will Probably Cost You a Lot Less in Retirement http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-expenses-will-probably-cost-you-a-lot-less-in-retirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/these-5-expenses-will-probably-cost-you-a-lot-less-in-retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_bike_dog_492263352.jpg" alt="Woman finding things that cost a lot less in retirement" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are a lot of scary headlines out there about how poorly prepared people are for retirement. And it's hard to deny the research: Many people simply are not saving enough.</p> <p>One silver lining in the retirement funding equation, though, is that you'll probably spend less in your later years. Let's take a look at some of the most common costs that decline after exiting the workforce, along with some that may go up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-retirement-planning-steps-late-starters-must-make?ref=seealso">7 Retirement Planning Steps Late Starters Must Make</a>)</p> <h2>1. Housing Costs</h2> <p>Ideally, you'll retire your mortgage by the time <em>you</em> retire. Of course, you'll still be on the hook for property taxes and insurance, but entering retirement mortgage-free is one of the best ways to reduce the cost of living in your later years.</p> <p>You may also decide to downsize, which could cut the cost of home maintenance, repairs, and insurance, too.</p> <h2>2. Work Costs</h2> <p>If you're no longer working, you no longer have to worry about the cost of commuting, work-related clothing, or all those restaurant lunches. Plus, you'll no longer have to contribute to Social Security or Medicare as you probably had been doing via withholdings from your paycheck.</p> <h2>3. Car Costs</h2> <p>If you've been a two-car household during your career, it's possible that you could make it just fine as a one-car household in retirement, which would reduce the cost of vehicle maintenance, repairs, insurance, and gasoline. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-cant-make-it-as-a-one-car-family-now-what?ref=seealso">You Can't Make It as a One-Car Family: Now What?</a>)</p> <h2>4. Saving &quot;Costs&quot;</h2> <p>It's hard to call adding money to a 401K or IRA a cost, but the reality is that once you're done working you'll probably stop contributing to your retirement accounts and start withdrawing from them.</p> <p>By the same token, if you had been stocking a 529-plan account or two with college money for your kids, hopefully they'll be done with school by the time you retire, so those &quot;costs&quot; should disappear as well.</p> <h2>5. Kid Costs</h2> <p>Speaking of kids, even though people are marrying and starting families later in life, by retirement, the kids should be on their own. Just think of all the money you've been spending on their clothing, food, activities, medical care, insurance, and more.</p> <h2>Caution: Your Retirement Spending May Change</h2> <p>While many costs may come down when you leave the workforce, keep in mind that retirement is not a homogeneous season of life. You'll probably be healthiest and most active when you're newly retired. That means some of your costs could actually go <em>up</em> right after retirement. You may spend more on travel and recreation, for example.</p> <p>Then, as you age, you'll probably become less mobile, which means eventually you'll spend less on recreational activities than before you retired.</p> <h2>The Big Unknown</h2> <p>The largest question mark looming on the retirement horizon is health care. Your monthly insurance premiums may decline once you go on Medicare. However, what about your potential need for nursing home care?</p> <p>While that's not the happiest topic to think about, it's far better to deal with it now than when you actually may <em>need </em>the care. To manage that risk, you may want to look into the cost of long-term care insurance. And keep in mind, your choice is not just between paying the high cost of as much coverage as possible or none at all. You could opt for a more affordable policy that would help with <em>some </em>of the costs, while leaving you responsible for some, as well.</p> <h2>The Bottom Line</h2> <p>The very real possibility that your living expenses will be less in retirement than they are now is not an excuse to shortchange your retirement accounts. The best approach is to run some numbers, creating pre- and post-retirement budgets based on your unique circumstances and retirement goals.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/matt-bell">Matt Bell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-expenses-will-probably-cost-you-a-lot-less-in-retirement">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-are-people-retiring-in-their-30s">How Are People Retiring in Their 30s?!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-budgeting-skills-everyone-should-master">11 Budgeting Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-help-your-kid-build-their-first-budget">How to Help Your Kid Build Their First Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-living-skills-i-wish-my-parents-would-have-taught-me">8 Frugal Living Skills I Wish My Parents Would Have Taught Me</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-books-that-will-get-your-kids-excited-about-money">10 Fun Books That Will Get Your Kids Excited About Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement Cars expenses family housing costs kids saving money spending the future vehicles working Wed, 14 Dec 2016 11:00:08 +0000 Matt Bell 1852822 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Frugal Living Skills You Should Be Teaching Your Children http://www.wisebread.com/7-frugal-living-skills-you-should-be-teaching-your-children <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-frugal-living-skills-you-should-be-teaching-your-children" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kid_education_money_45175586.jpg" alt="Kid learning frugal living skills from parents" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all want to pass our frugal living skills on to our kids, but what lessons are most important? How specific should we get? How soon should we start? Don't sweat the details. Sometimes the most important frugal living skills aren't financial skills at all &mdash; they're life skills that serve us well in dozens of ways. Here are seven frugal living skills you should be teaching your children, no matter how young or old they are.</p> <h2>1. Patience</h2> <p>The ability to delay gratification is the foundation of frugality. It gives us space to mentally separate our needs from our wants, time to find the best deals, and &mdash; most importantly &mdash; a chance to let momentary impulses pass us by.</p> <p>As with most lessons, patience is easier to embrace when taught early. For items your kids want, build in wait times that are dependent on their own effort (grades, chores around the house, or progress toward their own personal goals). If their wants change during that time, which is inevitable with children, complete the lesson by pointing out how the slight delay translates into dollars saved. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-being-patient-saves-you-money?ref=seealso">8 Ways Being Patient Saves You Money</a>)</p> <h2>2. Self-Confidence</h2> <p>Here's the dirty little secret that keeps our consumer culture thriving: Advertisers and marketers hate personal confidence and they do everything in their power to knock our self-image off kilter. Every day, we face a barrage of neuroses-inspiring messages that tell us we have the wrong car, wrong clothes, dull hair, bad breath, and hopelessly yellow teeth.</p> <p>Instilling a strong sense of self-confidence can help kids avoid falling victim to these messages for the rest of their lives &mdash; and sacrificing a large part of their personal wealth in the process. Seize every opportunity to reinforce the idea that your kids are fine just the way are and model that truth yourself. Then, when age-appropriate, pull back the advertising curtain. Point out how commercial messages are artfully crafted to make us all spend more than we should by making us all feel less than we are. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-confidence-makes-you-better-with-money?ref=seealso">3 Ways Confidence Makes You Better With Money</a>)</p> <h2>3. Collaboration</h2> <p>In our hyper-consumer culture, collaborating and sharing are revolutionary acts because they slightly erode the need for more. Why buy your own lawn mower if you can borrow one from a close neighbor? Likewise, why should your neighbor buy a snowblower if he can use yours a few times a year?</p> <p>Encourage sharing at an early age by helping your kids develop strong communication skills, showing them how to make and honor agreements, and teaching them how to be good stewards of what they (and others) own.</p> <h2>4. Creativity</h2> <p>Making do with less takes creativity and ingenuity. It's how the moms and dads of yesteryear stretched meals, made new clothes from old, bartered for goods, and kept life going on what was often a shoestring budget. Foster your children's imagination with free-form toys, unstructured play, and arts and crafts &mdash; anything that gets them moving, thinking, and exploring new ideas.</p> <h2>5. Negotiation</h2> <p>Knowing how to negotiate on price, payment terms, and extras can save a person thousands of dollars over a lifetime. Teach <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-negotiating-skills-everyone-should-master">essential negotiation skills</a> by example; take your kids with you to flea markets, yard sales, and the used car lot &mdash; any venue where a bit of friendly haggling is expected. Show them how to use to research to their advantage, develop a rapport with sellers, and be fair but fearless in what they ask for.</p> <h2>6. Contentment</h2> <p>Much like low self-confidence, discontentment moves product. Keeping consumers in a constant state of desire is how retailers sell us more than what we need. To complicate matters, teaching children to be content is tricky business in America because we're all afraid of sapping their motivation. While encouraging kids to strive for more is important, make it less about things and money. Instead, help them focus on achieving their personal goals, expanding their experiences, appreciating the moment, and building rich friendships.</p> <h2>7. Individuality</h2> <p>In a world where consumerism and consumer debt is a way of life, choosing a different path takes a steely sense of self. Promoting a spirit of individuality in children helps them cope with &mdash; and even celebrate &mdash; being different. Point out how your family's own spending and saving habits go against the grain and don't be afraid to show the benefits (monetarily and otherwise) of your simpler, saner lifestyle. It will serve them well for the rest of their lives.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-frugal-living-skills-you-should-be-teaching-your-children">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-living-skills-i-wish-my-parents-would-have-taught-me">8 Frugal Living Skills I Wish My Parents Would Have Taught Me</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke">24 Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/having-a-baby-nine-financial-considerations-for-new-parents">Having a baby? Nine financial considerations for new parents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-lessons-you-can-learn-from-your-pets">6 Money Lessons You Can Learn From Your Pets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-bad-money-habits-youre-teaching-your-kids">4 Bad Money Habits You&#039;re Teaching Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Family children family frugal living lessons life lessons money lessons parenting parenting tips skills Tue, 15 Nov 2016 09:00:08 +0000 Kentin Waits 1833153 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Questions Couples Must Ask Before Retirement http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-couples-must-ask-before-retirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-questions-couples-must-ask-before-retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_sailboat_89092071.jpg" alt="Couple asking questions before retirement" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What kind of retirement do you imagine? Do you picture taking a long cruise, traveling to international destinations, and racking up the frequent-flier miles? What if your partner is dreaming about a retirement of lazy days spent reading books, watching movies, and visiting the grandkids?</p> <p>Those retirements are two very different kinds. And if you and your partner can't agree on a version of your after-work years that satisfies both of you, your retirement might be a stormy one.</p> <p>Fortunately, you can boost the odds that you and your partner will enjoy your retirement years by asking five key questions before you leave the working world.</p> <h2>1. What Kind of Retirement Do You Want?</h2> <p>This is the most basic of questions, but it might be the most important. Couples need to hammer out exactly what kind of life they want to lead after their working years are over.</p> <p>When you're working, much of your life is planned out for you. You know when you have to be on the job, for instance. If you're raising kids, your weeks are often filled with band practices, soccer games, and gymnastics meets. You and your partner might not even spend much time together during an average week.</p> <p>But when you retire? That all changes. Those hours in the office are now hours spent at home. You and your partner need to determine what you want to fill those hours with. You might want to travel and take on new hobbies. Your partner might prefer quiet days with favorite books.</p> <p>The type of retirement you want also impacts how much money you'll need to save. You'll need more money if you plan to travel the globe and less if you picture quiet nights in your existing home.</p> <p>If you discuss this before retirement, you might be able to work out compromises. Maybe you agree to take two trips a year. Maybe you agree that you'll investigate a new hobby while your partner plows through <em>War and Peace</em>. But you won't be able to agree on anything if you don't first talk about what your ideal retirements look like.</p> <h2>2. Where Do You Want to Live?</h2> <p>Do you want to stay in your current home? Or perhaps you'd like to sell your home and move into an apartment in the middle of downtown? These are both good choices. But you and your partner need to discuss them before you retire. You don't want to be dreaming of a downtown apartment if your partner is making plans for a new sunroom in your current home.</p> <p>And what about your grandkids? Do you want to move closer to them? Or do you want to stay put? This, again, is another conversation that you must have before retirement.</p> <h2>3. When Do You Want to Retire?</h2> <p>You might plan on working late into your 70s. Your partner might be counting down the days to 67. Make sure you and your partner discuss when you both plan on retiring.</p> <p>Your partner might expect that you'll both retire at the same time. Don't make it a surprise that you want to retire earlier or later. The timing of your retirement plays an important role in how much you have to save each year to meet your retirement goals. So talk about this choice early and often.</p> <p>And if you change your mind? Don't keep it a secret from your partner.</p> <h2>4. How Much Money Do You Need?</h2> <p>This might be the most perplexing question of all to couples. It's also the one that couples need to talk about early in their relationship. Couples need to agree on how much money they'll need each year to live a comfortable retirement. If they don't? The odds are high that money issues will be a constant source of tension.</p> <p>How much money couples need in retirement varies depending on the lifestyles that they want. Couples who want to travel during their retirement will need more money. Those who want to spend their time visiting their grandkids will need less.</p> <p>Those couples who plan on living in a pricey seniors' center or an urban apartment building will probably need more money than those who plan to live for as long as possible in a home that they have already paid off.</p> <p>There are plenty of formulas for determining how much money couples should save during retirement. Your best bet, though, might be to meet with a financial adviser who can help you and your partner work through your retirement goals and determine the best way to save for them.</p> <h2>5. Who Will Do What Chores?</h2> <p>You might have been happy with being the home's main cook if your partner worked longer hours. But what about when you are both retired? Will you still want to handle the bulk of the cooking chores then? Maybe not.</p> <p>It pays to talk with your partner about who will handle the bills, cook the meals, clean the house, and mow the lawn once retirement arrives. The old ways of splitting these chores might no longer make sense after you both settle into retirement.</p> <p>Again, not talking about this issue could cause tension. You might not be thrilled to serve your partner dinner if that partner spent all day watching TV or reading a book. So don't be shy about the chores conversation. It might be time to work out a new household schedule.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-couples-must-ask-before-retirement">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/how-are-people-retiring-in-their-30s">How Are People Retiring in Their 30s?!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-expenses-will-probably-cost-you-a-lot-less-in-retirement">These 5 Expenses Will Probably Cost You a Lot Less in Retirement</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-10-worst-states-for-retirees">The 10 Worst States for Retirees</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-incredible-world-cities-you-can-afford">5 Incredible World Cities You Can Afford</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-travel-in-retirement-keeps-you-young">6 Ways Travel in Retirement Keeps You Young</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement chores couples family grandchildren lifestyle marriage moving relocating retirement planning saving money traveling Thu, 10 Nov 2016 09:00:09 +0000 Dan Rafter 1830271 at http://www.wisebread.com Term vs Whole Life Insurance: Here's How to Choose http://www.wisebread.com/term-vs-whole-life-insurance-heres-how-to-choose <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/term-vs-whole-life-insurance-heres-how-to-choose" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/child_father_hugging_88776971.jpg" alt="Family choosing between whole and term life insurance" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You know you need life insurance. It's a way to provide financial protection for your spouse, children, or other dependents should you unexpectedly die. But knowing that life insurance is a smart move and knowing which type of policy to take out are two different things.</p> <p>Studying up on life insurance isn't fun. Fortunately, most consumers choose between just two different types of life insurance policies &mdash; term and permanent. And if they choose permanent life insurance, they usually opt for what is known as whole life insurance.</p> <p>What's the difference between the two? And which type of insurance is best for you? Here's a crash course in the difference between term and whole life insurance.</p> <h2>Term Life Insurance &mdash; The Cheaper Choice</h2> <p>For most people, term life insurance is the smart financial choice. That's because this insurance provides solid financial protection for loved ones, while also costing far less than a whole life insurance policy.</p> <p>As the name suggests, term life insurance remains in effect for a certain period &mdash; or term &mdash; of time. You can choose the term, usually anywhere from one to 30 years. The Insurance Information Institute says that most people choose a 20-year term.</p> <p>When taking out a term life policy, you'll provide a list of beneficiaries, such as your children or spouse. Your term life insurance will pay out your death benefit to your listed beneficiaries if you die &mdash; and your death meets the requirements spelled out in your policy during this term (suicide cancels a payout, for example). After the term ends, the policy ends, too, unless you pay to extend it. Your annual premium will usually remain the same during the term.</p> <p>If you take out a term life insurance policy, you'll have to decide how long you want your policy to remain active. Most people choose a term that will last until their dependents no longer need their financial assistance. They might take out a term policy that lasts until their children will have left their home and started their own careers, for instance. Others might choose a policy that ends only after they know they will have paid off their home and built up a significant amount of savings.</p> <p>How much you pay for term life insurance depends on many factors, including your age, health, the amount of coverage you want, and the length of your policy. TrustedChoice.com, a website that helps consumers find independent insurance agents, says that a healthy 35-year-old male nonsmoker who takes out a 20-year term life insurance policy with a value of $500,000 will pay an average of about $35 a month for a policy. A 35-year-old healthy female nonsmoker would pay about $61 a month for $1 million worth of life insurance with a 20-year term.</p> <p>That comes out to $420 a year for the male and $732 for the female taking out the more valuable policy.</p> <h2>Whole Life Insurance</h2> <p>Whole life insurance is a more complicated product. That's because it is really two different financial products in one. It provides life insurance benefits like a term life policy, but also comes with an investment component known as a cash value.</p> <p>Part of every payment you make goes toward growing this cash value on a tax-deferred basis, meaning that you won't pay taxes on any of these cash gains while they are growing. You can borrow against your life insurance account or surrender it at any time to take the cash that has grown in it.</p> <p>You will, though, have to repay any loans you make against your whole life policy, with interest.</p> <p>Whole life also lasts, as its name suggests, for your entire life. No matter when you die, a whole life policy will pay out its death benefits to your listed beneficiaries, as long as the cause of your death is covered under the policy. Your premiums will remain the same until you either cancel the policy or you die.</p> <p>Because it comes with an investment component and lasts for your entire life, whole life insurance is considerably more expensive. TrustedChoice.com says that a healthy 35-year-old male who does not smoke would pay an average of $98.50 a month or $1,119 a year for a whole life insurance policy with death benefits valued at $250,000. A 35-year-old healthy female who doesn't smoke would pay an average of $82 a month or $960 a year for the same policy.</p> <h2>Which Is Right for You?</h2> <p>Which type of insurance is right for you? If you simply want to provide protection for your loved ones until they are financially independent, a term life insurance policy is usually the better choice thanks to their lower costs.</p> <p>If you want a life insurance policy that also generates cash value, then you might consider the whole life version. Whole life might make sense, too, if you need to provide financial protection for a loved one who will be dependent on you for your entire life, such as a child with special needs.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/term-vs-whole-life-insurance-heres-how-to-choose">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-your-group-life-insurance-is-not-enough">Why Your Group Life Insurance Is Not Enough</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-single-people-get-life-insurance">When Should Single People Get Life Insurance?</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-reasons-why-life-insurance-isnt-just-for-old-people">5 Reasons Why Life Insurance Isn&#039;t Just for Old People</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/choosing-life-insurance-term-or-permanent">Choosing Life Insurance: Term or Permanent?</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/did-your-parents-give-you-a-whole-life-insurance-policy-heres-what-to-do-with-it">Did Your Parents Give You a Whole Life Insurance Policy? Here&#039;s What to Do With It.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance beneficiaries cash value dependents family life insurance payouts term whole life Thu, 03 Nov 2016 10:30:09 +0000 Dan Rafter 1825853 at http://www.wisebread.com It's the 21st Century — Why Is Your Money Stuck in the 20th? http://www.wisebread.com/its-the-21st-century-why-is-your-money-stuck-in-the-20th <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/its-the-21st-century-why-is-your-money-stuck-in-the-20th" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_friends_piggy_bank_74667997.jpg" alt="Woman learning why her money is stuck in the 20th century" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you read financial advice these days, you could be forgiven for checking the date to see if you'd wandered back into the 1990s (or 1970s).</p> <p>What was good advice for the 20th century? Go to the best college you can, get a good job, live frugally, save and invest, buy a house, and max out your retirement savings.</p> <p>But all that generic financial advice of the 20th century isn't necessarily the surest route to success anymore. Millennials figured this out a while ago. That's why so many aren't bothering with college, why so many are living at home with their parents, and why so many are getting by with casual jobs &mdash; or no jobs.</p> <h2>Smart Moves for the 21st Century</h2> <p>So, what's the right financial advice for the 21st century? Well, Millennials' instincts aren't wrong. But these are hard waters to navigate purely on instinct. Here's what I'd do.</p> <h3>It's Not &quot;Don't Go to College&quot;</h3> <p>Rather, it's &quot;Don't <em>go into debt</em> to go to college.&quot;</p> <p>Even that is a bit extreme, because there are career paths &mdash; engineering, technology &mdash; where you can earn enough to pay off student loans. It would probably be even better to say, &quot;Keep your student loans small, relative to your prospects of paying the money back.&quot;</p> <p>In particular, don't pay up to attend a mid-tier college. In the 20th century there was real ROI in going to the best college you could get into. In the 21st century, I think that's only true at the top. If you can't get into (or afford!) one of the absolute top colleges, there's no reason to pay extra to attend a second-tier college. The cost-benefit ratio shifts strongly in your favor if you do a couple of years at community college and then finish your degree at a good state school. Of course if your family is rich or you can get excellent scholarships, there's no reason not to go to a second-tier college &mdash; just not if you have to borrow extra to do it.</p> <p>Even if you can get into a top-tier college, consider whether its cost is justified. Will your degree ensure a job upon graduation, or result in better-compensated roles than you might otherwise have access to? Will it make entry into a graduate program of your choice easier? Will it materially benefit your intended life path in some way?</p> <h3>It's Not &quot;Live at Home With Your Parents&quot;</h3> <p>Rather, it's &quot;Live a lifestyle you can really afford, <em>even if that means</em> living at home with your parents.&quot;</p> <p>Do not go into debt to support your lifestyle! In fact, you'll be way ahead of the game if you can start accumulating <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/on-the-importance-of-having-capital">a little capital</a>. Even just a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/figuring-the-size-of-your-emergency-fund">small emergency fund</a> can make your life enormously better.</p> <p>Other sorts of debt may not be as bad as student loan debt (which can't be discharged even in bankruptcy, and which lenders will give you even if your planned course of study gives you no hope of ever paying it off), but that doesn't mean the other sorts are okay.</p> <h3>It's Not &quot;Work Casual Jobs&quot;</h3> <p>Rather, it's &quot;Find a way to support your low-cost lifestyle, <em>even if all you can get</em> are casual jobs.&quot;</p> <p>There are all kinds of ways to make money. There are good jobs, there are crappy jobs, there are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-money-outside-your-day-job">side gigs</a> of all sorts. The key is to fund your lifestyle (plus a little extra).</p> <p>In today's economy there are times and places where crappy jobs are all you can get. That's unfortunate.</p> <p>Also unfortunate is that so many people writing about &quot;kids these days&quot; don't see that <em>these two items are paired</em>. Millennials are (very wisely) matching lifestyle choices with income opportunities, while journalists (and even financial advisers) are pretending that these two things are independent of one another.</p> <h3>All the Other Generic Financial Advice</h3> <p>Investing used to be easy.</p> <p>From around 1980 through the end of the 20th century, just about any mix of cash, bonds, and stocks purchased through low-cost index funds would yield several percentage points above inflation, letting anybody be an investing super-genius.</p> <p>Housing prices didn't go up in a straight line through the whole period, but between the tax advantages of homeownership and the leverage of mortgages with a low down payment, as long as you didn't pay too much, anybody could have both a home <em>and </em>a valuable capital asset.</p> <p>Because none of this stuff is true any more, investing is now really hard.</p> <p>The return on cash has for years been so close to zero as to be not worth worrying about. Bonds, stocks, and real estate are all up so much since the crash that they're probably a lousy place to invest new money.</p> <p>None of which is to say that you shouldn't be frugal and accumulate some savings, but doing so will not be the path to wealth this century that it was last century.</p> <p>That means that we need to look someplace besides the 20th century for financial advice. And for that, I have an idea.</p> <h2>Look to Earlier Centuries</h2> <p>The 20th century was genuinely different. For about two generations &mdash; the generation that fought World War II and the Baby Boomers &mdash; we had a unique set of circumstances that made it possible to work for a paycheck and eventually, before you got too old to work, get rich.</p> <p>Until then, for all of human history, there were only two paths to wealth: You could inherit wealth, or you could achieve wealth through some sort of risk-taking endeavor (entrepreneurship, speculation, etc.).</p> <p>Those unique circumstances no longer apply, and because of that, the best place to look for strategies for the future is to look at the strategies that worked before the 20th century. The 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries will provide fertile ground. Things that worked then are going to work <em>better </em>going forward than reflexively copying what worked in the 20th century.</p> <p>Perhaps financial professionals can be forgiven for not having figured this out &mdash; the whole financial industry is a product of the 20th century.</p> <p>I have a book of financial advice from 1883 called <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Worth-Wealth-Collection-Miscellanies-Merchants-ebook/dp/B0071IGXEG">Worth and Wealth</a> by T.L. Haines. It's a fascinating book. Much of it reads exactly like personal finance advice from today (minus any high-tech stuff like automating your bill paying) &mdash; getting an education, finding a job, living frugally, and so on &mdash; except that it has nothing about what we would consider investing. There's nothing about stocks or bonds. Instead, there's <em>investing</em> the way it was done in prior centuries.</p> <h3>Buy Productive Land</h3> <p>Land was the basis of <em>all</em> wealth right up until the 19th century. In the old days it would have been land with crops or pasture, but rental property counts too. Of course, both running a farm and being a landlord are more like a second job than like passive investing. Speaking of which...</p> <h3>Invest in a Business</h3> <p>That is, invest in <em>your own</em> business.</p> <p>The sorts of paper investments &mdash; stocks and bonds &mdash; that did so well in the 20th century are not going to go away, and no doubt a lot of people will make a lot of money in the market. But I don't think we'll see a continuation of the days in which a simple diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds provided a safe, high return.</p> <p>Of course, running a small business is more like a full-time job than like passive investing. And that's my point. The right response now to any the article on investing for &quot;passive income&quot; is to shake your head and say, &quot;That's so last century.&quot;</p> <h3>Organize Like a Family</h3> <p>The idea of an individual person as the fundamental economic unit is an idea of the late 20th century. Before that the fundamental economic unit was the <em>family</em>.</p> <p>There are all kinds of advantages to organizing your economic life around a family with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/strategies-for-households-with-more-than-one-adult">more than one adult</a>. It meshes especially well with the ideas I've already mentioned. Family members may work outside the family to bring in wages or a salary, but if there's family land or a family business, family members who lose their jobs can work them until they find a new job. That way the family still has some income and the family member has productive work to do.</p> <p>One mental model for this might be the big farm families of the 19th century, but I suggest that you think bigger. Model your home economy after the aristocratic families of the 18th century. Everyone can contribute. The most able can be given scope to vastly increase the family's wealth, while the young and the old and those who simply lack that spark can still contribute to (and share in) the family's success.</p> <p>If organizing like a family doesn't work for you, consider organizing like a tribe. It's probably an even better metaphor.</p> <h2>The Way Things Are Going to Be</h2> <p>In all these areas, I think that the Millennials' instincts have been pretty good, except that I think they've bought in on the 20th-century idea that the economic unit is the individual.</p> <p>That's understandable. It's an appealing model, one that gives maximum freedom with minimal responsibility &mdash; you're only responsible for yourself.</p> <p>Because of this, I worry that many of them, even those who are making the right moves on a piecemeal basis, have not figured out that the 21st century is going to look a lot more like the 19th and prior centuries than like the 20th.</p> <p>The choices that they make &mdash; in particular, the choice to live at home with their parents &mdash; show them instinctively moving in the right direction, but until they can correct their mental model, they're missing out on some useful perspective that history can provide.</p> <p>Look into how families organized their home economy before the 20th century. There's a lot of practical wisdom there.</p> <p><em>Where is your money &mdash; in the 20th century or the 21st?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/its-the-21st-century-why-is-your-money-stuck-in-the-20th">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/6-ways-millennials-have-changed-money-so-far">6 Ways Millennials Have Changed Money (So Far)</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/not-rich-enough-and-not-poor-enough">Not Rich Enough and Not Poor Enough</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-millennial-money-habits-every-retiree-should-learn">6 Millennial Money Habits Every Retiree Should Learn</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/ow-do-you-deal-with-family-members-who-are-bad-at-managing-money">How Do You Deal With Family Members Who Are Bad At Managing Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-and-why-to-start-an-investment-club">How (and Why) to Start an Investment Club</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Lifestyle 20th century 21st century advice baby boomers business education family investing millennials property investing Mon, 05 Sep 2016 10:00:10 +0000 Philip Brewer 1785277 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Second Home in Retirement http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-to-ask-before-buying-a-second-home-in-retirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-questions-to-ask-before-buying-a-second-home-in-retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_house_retirement_21246021.jpg" alt="Couple asking questions before buying second retirement home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's nice image: You, your children, and your grandchildren gathering every summer at the lake house you bought after you retired from the workforce. Or maybe you instead picture these same children bringing their grandchildren for long weekends at the downtown city condo you purchased immediately after heading into retirement.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-retire-rich" target="_blank">Buying a second home after retirement</a> can be a reward for years of hard work. It might also be a good investment if you buy the right property; real estate, after all, has historically increased in value.</p> <p>But buying a second home in your retirement years can also be a financial misstep. These potential pitfalls are why you need to ask five key questions before you invest in that second home after you retire.</p> <h2>1. How Will You Pay for It?</h2> <p>Buying a second home is fairly simple if you plan to use cash from your savings. You still have to be careful, though, to make sure that such a big expenditure won't eventually make it more of a struggle to meet your other retirement goals. It might not be easy to take that long-awaited cruise if you've spent too much of your savings on a second home.</p> <p>If you need to finance the purchase of a second home with a mortgage, you might face an even bigger challenge. Under federal law, lenders can't reject you for a mortgage loan because of your age. They can, though, reject your application if they think you don't have enough income to afford your monthly mortgage payments.</p> <p>Lenders rely partly on your debt-to-income ratio when making mortgage decisions. Lenders want your total monthly debts, including your new mortgage payment, to equal no more than 43% of your gross monthly income. Income, of course, isn't just money you receive from a salary. You can also count Social Security payments, pension payments, monthly rent checks, money from legal settlements, and any other recurring source of monthly income. But if your income is so low that your debt-to-income ratio sails over that 43% mark, you'll struggle to get the mortgage you need to buy a second home.</p> <h2>2. Can You Afford It?</h2> <p>This, of course, is the big question: Even if you can buy a second home, can you afford the monthly expenses that go with it now that you can no longer rely on your regular paycheck?</p> <p>If you are financing the second home with a mortgage, can you afford to add those monthly payments to your existing expenses? And even if you are not taking out a mortgage, you'll have to face the normal expenses associated with owning a home: Furnaces go out, water heaters leak, and utility bills add up. If you buy a condo as a second home, are you okay with paying association dues each month?</p> <p>In short, can you afford the financial burden of owning that second home?</p> <h2>3. Who Will Maintain It?</h2> <p>Homes require regular maintenance. Someone has to mow the lawn, shovel the walks, sweep the floors, and replace fading paint jobs. Is this something you are willing to do, even as you get older? You might think your children will be happy to spend a few hours pulling weeds and mowing the lawn. But are they really okay with that?</p> <p>You might need to hire a service to handle the regular maintenance of your second home. That will ease your burden. But these companies don't come cheap. Can you afford the additional expense of hiring someone to maintain your second home?</p> <h2>4. How Often Will You Use It?</h2> <p>You might dream of spending months at your vacation home surrounded by visiting family members. But that dream might not be realistic. Your children and grandchildren have lives of their own. They might visit far less than you expect.</p> <p>And what about you? You might think now that you'd like to spend every summer at the lake house in that quaint, touristy town. But after three or four summers, you might get tired of that restaurant you've eaten at every visit or you might no longer have the appetite for all those fudge shops and antique stores. Yes, you might get bored with your second home, too.</p> <p>Instead of vacationing in the same spot, you might instead want to travel to new places each year. If so, a permanent second home might not be the best choice.</p> <h2>5. What Happens After You Die?</h2> <p>We don't like to think about dying. But when you buy a second home in your retirement, you need to consider it. What will happen to that second home after you pass on?</p> <p>You might want to leave it to one of your children. You'll have to decide, though, who gets it, without causing strife among them. What if none of your children want the home? They'll then have to go through the hassle of selling the property after you die. You'll need to determine before your death, just how the proceeds of that sale &mdash; if there are proceeds &mdash; will be divvied up.</p> <p><em>Have you considered buying a second home?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-to-ask-before-buying-a-second-home-in-retirement">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/is-it-safe-to-re-finance-your-home-close-to-retirement">Is it Safe to Re-Finance Your Home Close to Retirement?</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/frayed-relationships-damaged-credit-and-costly-additions-what-a-multi-generational-home-might-cost-y">Frayed Relationships, Damaged Credit, and Costly Additions — What a Multi-Generational Home Might Cost You</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-smart-ways-to-lower-your-monthly-mortgage-payment">4 Smart Ways to Lower Your Monthly Mortgage Payment</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/make-these-5-money-moves-before-applying-for-a-mortgage">Make These 5 Money Moves Before Applying for a Mortgage</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/whats-faster-for-mortgage-payoff-100-month-extra-or-1-payment-year-extra">What&#039;s Faster for Mortgage Payoff: $100/Month Extra or 1 Payment/Year Extra?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing Retirement condos family maintenance mortgages second homes vacation homes Fri, 24 Jun 2016 09:00:03 +0000 Dan Rafter 1737542 at http://www.wisebread.com The 7 Most Important Financial Moments of Your Life http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-most-important-financial-moments-of-your-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-7-most-important-financial-moments-of-your-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/parents_new_baby_000061550566.jpg" alt="Parents learning the most important financial moments of their life" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all have turning points in our life. They are moments when it seems like our future rests on what happens next. Perhaps it's when we met our spouse, or decided on what college to attend.</p> <p>There are a number of moments like these that could have major impacts on our finances, depending on how we react and whether we are prepared. Consider these seven key moments or decisions and how they affect your financial future.</p> <h2>1. You Get Your First Credit Card</h2> <p>Right around the time you graduated high school, you probably got solicitations for credit cards in the mail. If you went to college, credit card companies may have stopped by your dorm or had a booth set up on campus. Credit card companies wanted you when you were young, and once they got you, they wouldn't let go. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-college-students?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=article">Best Credit Cards for College Students</a>)</p> <p>For those who haven't gotten a credit card yet, there's a lot you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-these-7-questions-to-help-choose-the-perfect-credit-card?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">need to know before signing up</a>. Yes, you will want to get a credit card or two in order to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-to-improve-your-credit-score?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">build a credit history</a>. But learn to use them with caution. Do your own research and find the credit card that is best for you. (Look for the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-low-interest-rate-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">lowest interest rates</a> and the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">best rewards</a>.) When you use a credit card, pay your balance in full each time. Get an understanding of how high interest on credit card debt can pile up. If you start off with bad credit card habits, you may enter a debt spiral that will be hard to escape from, and it may have a ripple effect on every aspect of your financial life.</p> <h2>2. You Move Out</h2> <p>Everyone reaches a point in their life when they can no longer mooch off Mom and Dad. If you're lucky, your folks have been letting you shack up in their basement and raid their fridge even after you've long been able to support yourself. But at a certain point, it's time to leave the nest. This is when budgeting and watching your expenses becomes key. It's also a time when you may find that your ambitions are bigger than your finances can allow. Can you really afford that apartment in the city? Are you really planning to go clubbing and eating out with your friends every weekend?</p> <p>It's tempting when you go out on your own to want to live it up, but this is a time when young people often find themselves in financial pickles. Learn to budget, spend sensibly, and understand that it's possible to live the fun, single life without going into debt.</p> <h2>3. You Get Your First Salaried Job</h2> <p>It was a great feeling to get that first paycheck as a teenager, but an even bigger moment was when you landed your first job that you consider part of your &quot;career.&quot; This is the type of job that pays a salary rather than a living wage, and may even offer benefits like a 401K plan.</p> <p>These first big jobs are when you start to actually think hard about where your money is going. You'll want to pay attention to your tax withholding to avoid paying too little or too much tax. You'll want to set a certain amount aside to pay down debt. Once that's taken care of, you'll want to invest. And don't forget about health and life insurance. A big job often means some big financial decisions. Are you ready?</p> <h2>4. You Have Your First Big Emergency</h2> <p>Maybe it's a serious illness. Maybe you totaled your car. Or maybe your heat furnace blew out unexpectedly. Whatever it is, it's going to cost you some money. Did you plan for this? Do you have an emergency fund of three to six months' worth of expenses? It's moments like these that test your financial discipline. Those that come through relatively unscathed are much better off in the long run. And even if you're not prepared this time, you learned enough to be prepared for the next emergency, which may be coming sooner than you think.</p> <h2>5. Your Child Is Born</h2> <p>So you have a new bundle of joy in the house. Wonderful news, and congrats! Are you financially prepared for this? Because kids aren't free. It costs <em>at least</em> $11,000 annually to raise a child in the United States, according to the USDA, and that total could be much higher depending on where you live and any child care costs. Having a child also may impact your investment choices. The good news is that there are tax credits for having children &mdash; but the bad news is that they hardly offset the added expenses.</p> <p>Having a child is an amazing, life-altering event. Just be prepared for how those kids impact your finances.</p> <h2>6. You Decide to Buy a Home</h2> <p>Buying a home is one of the most exciting, but stressful decisions you will ever make. Before taking this plunge, there are a number of big financial questions you'll want to answer. How much money do you have saved for a down payment? How much money will you need to borrow? What's the interest rate and terms of the loan? These are key pieces of information that will impact how much you end up spending in housing each month. You'll get some nice tax breaks when you buy a home, but ideally, you want to spend no more than about one-third of your household income on housing. Otherwise, you may find yourself without enough cash to build an emergency fund, invest, or spend on other necessities.</p> <h2>7. It's Time to Retire</h2> <p>It's the moment of truth. All of the hard work, the saving, the investing. Do you have enough money to last another 20, 30, or even 40 years? Are your investments protected in case of a big market downturn? Do you have a plan for when you might not be able to care for yourself any longer?</p> <p>This is a critical moment in your financial life, but it should be one that is free of drama if you made the right financial choices along the way.</p> <p><em>Any key financial life moments we've overlooked? Tell us about them in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-most-important-financial-moments-of-your-life">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-financial-decisions-youll-never-regret">8 Financial Decisions You&#039;ll Never Regret</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/use-the-8020-rule-to-maximize-your-financial-opportunities">Use the 80/20 Rule to Maximize Your Financial Opportunities</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/rich-people-spend-350k-to-park-their-cars-heres-how-wed-spend-it-instead">Rich People Spend $350K+ to Park Their Cars — Here&#039;s How We&#039;d Spend it Instead</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/its-never-too-late-to-fix-these-5-money-mistakes-from-your-past">It&#039;s Never Too Late to Fix These 5 Money Mistakes From Your Past</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-secrets-you-need-to-tell-your-financial-adviser">11 Secrets You Need to Tell Your Financial Adviser</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance adulthood buying a house emergency funds family financial planning mortgages retirement Thu, 23 Jun 2016 10:30:04 +0000 Tim Lemke 1736532 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Money Lessons I Learned From Dad http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-lessons-i-learned-from-dad <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-money-lessons-i-learned-from-dad" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/father_son_grandfather_86273959.jpg" alt="Son learning money lessons from dad" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's Father's Day soon. In honor of all the dads out there, I thought it would be great to look back on some of the marvelous advice my dad gave me over the years. I'm sure a lot of the advice on the list is familiar to you, as the generation before mine passed down much of the same knowledge to all of us. Still, it's always advice worth following, and has saved me thousands of dollars over the years. Here are 10 tips from my dad, that I now pass on to you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-smart-ways-to-save-on-fathers-day?ref=seealso" target="_blank">3 Smart Ways to Save on Father's Day</a>)</p> <h2>1. Don't Throw Good Money After Bad</h2> <p>When my dad first told me this one, I was too young to really understand it. Honestly, even in my midteens I wasn't exactly sure what he was getting at. Then, when I became an adult with an income, and the means to make my own purchases, I got it. First, it was buying a cheap used computer that I had to pour a bunch of money into to make usable. And even when it had the best specs, it was still not as good as a new one, which would have been faster and cheaper.</p> <p>From projects that suck money and time and have no profitable outcome, to investments that keep tanking despite a constant injection of cash, I always remember what my dad told me: Don't throw good money after bad.</p> <h2>2. Do a Job You Love, and You'll Never Work a Day in Your Life</h2> <p>Oh, how right he was on that one. I know it's not really my dad's quote, but it didn't stop me taking it to heart. From as long as I can remember, I have loved drawing, painting, writing, and creating. I did everything I could to follow a career path that utilized those skills, and today I am a creative director in advertising and entertainment &mdash; and I also get to write articles like this one.</p> <p>Sometimes, I feel a bit guilty about getting paid to do something day in, day out, that I really enjoy. And that is the best way to make money; when you aren't even trying. So if you are not yet out of school, follow your dreams and find a job that you will enjoy, if you can. If not, find a way to make money in your spare time by doing something you love &mdash; whether it's fixing cars, painting murals, or singing. When you love it, the money is not hard work. It's not work at all.</p> <h2>3. Buy Cheap, Buy Twice</h2> <p>As someone who loves a deal, I did not take this advice word for word. I don't believe in paying full price for anything, and that could be considered &quot;cheap.&quot; But I like to buy quality items at a lower price. What my dad was saying was that if you buy a cheap tool or a bargain bucket t-shirt, you cannot expect either to last. It's far better to pay $30 for something that will last you a few years, than $10 for something that will last only six months. If you're digging around in the dollar store bins for screwdrivers, you can guarantee you'll be back for a replacement much sooner than if you had picked up a quality item from a hardware store.</p> <h2>4. Don't Buy Champagne on a Beer Budget</h2> <p>&quot;Wait Dad, we never have Champagne.&quot; &quot;Exactly,&quot; was his response to me. I grew up in a working class home in the northeast of England. We rarely ate out, and when we did, it was cheap. I remember coloring in pictures every month at the same cafe because &quot;kids eat free if they color a picture.&quot; My parents never splurged, except at Christmas (which was a case of going overboard to make up for the rest of the year, I think). We bought food once a week, on Friday, and if we wanted something before then, we had to wait.</p> <p>I learned this lesson well. I don't have massive loans or a ton of credit card debt, I have a modest car, a small home, and I live well within my salary every month. This is probably the most important lesson I ever learned, and it has stood me in good stead.</p> <h2>5. You're Never Too Young to Save</h2> <p>Whether it's for retirement, a savings account, or just something on which to spend your allowance, saving was drummed into me from an early age. &quot;Pay yourself first&quot; was another way my dad put it.</p> <p>I had a savings account at the local bank when I was 10 (the Natwest piggy banks were awesome). At 22, I started saving for my retirement. Even though it was just a little each month, the power of compound interest is working its magic on that some 20 years later. Some people say you should live for today, because you'll be too old to enjoy it later on. I certainly don't think you should save everything and live a Scrooge-like existence, but plan ahead, and start saving as soon as you can, with whatever you can. You are going to need it.</p> <h2>6. There's Nothing Wrong With Second-Hand</h2> <p>Many of my friends growing up had new clothes, new bikes, new toys, and new backpacks every few months. I did not. I did get new things, but I made them last. However, I was taught early on that there was no stigma or shame in buying used items. It is a lifestyle choice I continue to practice, and it saves me a lot of money. Used cars are way cheaper than new ones. I will go to Craigslist for appliances, electronic items, tools, and, well, anything else that I need. I will search for &quot;factory refurbished&quot; or used before new. The only exceptions I have on used items are footwear, underwear, and safety items (think infant car seats).</p> <h2>7. Find a Way to Afford It</h2> <p>I grew up around the <em>haves</em>, and <em>have-nots</em>. I would say for the most part, I was in the latter category, but only because the <em>haves</em> were those who had everything they ever wanted. However, if I wanted something really badly, my dad would tell me, &quot;Figure out a way to make it happen.&quot;</p> <p>If my allowance wasn't enough for the book or DVD I wanted, I'd do odd jobs or get a paper route. I would sell things I owned to get something else (I still regret selling my entire Transformers toy collection to get a CD player&hellip; oh, if I had foresight). But today, the same is true. I'll work extra hours. I'll hustle freelance gigs. I will find ways to make it work, rather than the usual &quot;slap it on the credit card&quot; routine so many people follow.</p> <h2>8. Don't Shop on an Empty Stomach</h2> <p>Have you ever done this? It's a nightmare. Everything you see, in every aisle, looks fantastic. You may have a shopping list (in fact, my mum insisted on one) but it goes out the window when you shop hungry. You throw all sorts of food into the cart, and before you know it, you're checking out with way more than you need. Sometimes, you buy so much it goes off. Or you blow your budget for the week, and realize half the stuff in your cart is junk. So, before I do my shopping, I grab a bite. Even if it's just a granola bar, it can really stop those hunger pangs from taking over, and turning you into the &quot;eyes bigger than your belly&quot; monster.</p> <h2>9. Knowledge Is Money (and Power)</h2> <p>The more you know, the better the deal you can get. My dad taught me that from an early age, and to this day I am a research freak. Of course, he didn't grow up with the Internet, so he had to work a lot harder to find bargains and hustle great deals. So before I buy anything, I do my homework. I comparison shop. I ask friends and family. I talk to insiders, or visit forums. For me, buying something without knowing as much about it, and the buying process, as possible is just throwing money away. And knowledge is also power in this context. If you're armed with it, you can negotiate from a position of strength. Know you stuff, it will serve you well.</p> <h2>10. Learn How to Fix (and Make) Things</h2> <p>From as long as I can remember, I was helping my dad out with DIY projects. We didn't have a lot of money growing up, but he certainly knew how to stretch it out. Buying materials to build something was way cheaper than buying it ready-made. Coffee tables, lamps, desks, computer cases, fire surrounds, you name it, he built it. He was really good at it, too.</p> <p>Over the years, he must have saved so many thousands of pounds (as I say, I grew up in England) by making his own things, or fixing things instead of paying for repairs. I try to follow in his footsteps, although sadly, I didn't get his knack for woodworking. But I will look up ways to repair things that are broken, or follow online videos for things like replacing brake pads or cabin filters. Whenever anything is in need of a repair, my dad is in the back of my head saying &quot;Hey son&hellip; you can fix that, go on, give it a go.&quot;</p> <p>Happy Father's Day, Dad. I love you, and wish I could see you more. You're my hero.</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/10-money-lessons-i-learned-from-dad">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-make-adoption-affordable">5 Ways to Make Adoption Affordable</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-help-your-kid-build-their-first-budget">How to Help Your Kid Build Their First Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/will-a-dental-discount-plan-save-you-money">Will A Dental Discount Plan 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/its-the-21st-century-why-is-your-money-stuck-in-the-20th">It&#039;s the 21st Century — Why Is Your Money Stuck in the 20th?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-use-savings-to-pay-off-debt">When to Use Savings to Pay Off Debt</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family dads family Father's Day fathers money advice savings wisdom Thu, 16 Jun 2016 10:00:09 +0000 Paul Michael 1731288 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Expenses You Should Never Cut http://www.wisebread.com/8-expenses-you-should-never-cut <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-expenses-you-should-never-cut" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_holding_heart_000071794005.jpg" alt="Woman learning which expenses she should never cut" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Over the years, I've come up with hundreds of ways to trim proverbial fat from nearly every aspect of your budget. And I stand by those tips, tricks, and strategies because most of us have areas where we can pull back on the spending a bit.</p> <p>But some things are nonnegotiable. There are necessities &mdash; sometimes rather costly ones &mdash; that are required for us to live decent, healthy, and satisfying lives. What are they? Take a look at these eight expenses you should never cut, and let me know some of the areas where you just can't or won't shake out savings in the comments below.</p> <h2>1. Health Care</h2> <p>First and foremost, it's critical to have health insurance. It's required in the United States, whether from a private provider or via Obamacare, and without it you run the risk of either being denied care or racking up serious medical bills that could put your finances in dire straits for the foreseeable future.</p> <p>Aside from that, when you're sick or need medical attention, you want the best care you can get. Some prescriptions are expensive, too, and health insurance can greatly reduce those costs. You should never let coverage lapse because you're generally healthy or you don't think you'll fall ill anytime soon. Murphy's Law dictates that it's in that scenario you'll need medical attention, and you'll want to have insurance on your side.</p> <h2>2. Personal Hygiene</h2> <p>Soap, shampoo, and toothpaste are essential &mdash; and readily available, like on nearly every corner of your neighborhood, for not much money. Which is weird, because I know plenty of people, perfectly well-off individuals at that, who don't seem to use any of it on a regular basis.</p> <p>If you're one of those folks who likes to gripe at the cost of personal hygiene products and therefore use that as your excuse to skimp on washing yourself on a regular basis, you'll be happy to know that bargain brands, like Suave for example, do a bang-up job of keeping you clean. Not to mention that there are always coupons available for hygiene products, especially toothpaste, that can help reduce the cost of these items. Find the items on sale plus pair them with coupons and you'll spend oftentimes less than a dollar on what you need per item.</p> <h2>3. Personal Safety</h2> <p>Most of us practice personal safety consistently. We try to avoid automobile accidents, we look both ways when we cross the road, and we never run with scissors. Those are all subconscious decisions that don't cost a dime, which is why you might be asking yourself how personal safety costs you actual dollars and cents.</p> <p>For starters, the car that you drive should be rated for safety. When you're strapped for cash and need an inexpensive vehicle, choosing a cheap car that gets you from A to B may seem like an ideal option. Certainly there are times &mdash; and financial constraints &mdash; that call for this type of decision-making, but you'll almost always regret it in the long run. Instead, I recommend loosening the purse strings just a little more so you can buy a vehicle that will protect you if you're in an accident, opposed to one that's already falling apart.</p> <p>Another example is safety on the water. Life vests are cumbersome, and nobody likes to wear them. But you know what? They save lives, and there are millions of people in this world who will tell you that they regret not buying or renting life preservers during an outing that resulted in someone's harm or death. It could have been prevented if they had just sprung for the darn things. Thus, spring for the darn things.</p> <h2>4. Healthy Food</h2> <p>It's true, food is expensive, especially the healthy stuff &mdash; but you shouldn't be making cuts to your budget that include reducing the amount of healthy food you're eating by replacing it with less expensive, toxic food &mdash; like that microwaveable junk that comes from the freezer section or the stuff you grab at the drive-thru window.</p> <p>It's okay to indulge in it every now and then &mdash; who doesn't like to dive headfirst into a bag of Doritos from time to time? But most of your food should be fresh and nutritious. You owe it to yourself &mdash; and your longevity &mdash; to eat healthy, and there are lots of ways you can cut down on your healthy food bills if you put in the legwork before going grocery shopping. Wise Bread can help you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-easy-ways-to-stretch-your-grocery-dollars">save a substantial amount</a> on your supermarket bills if you do a little digging for advice.</p> <h2>5. Mental Health Care</h2> <p>Mental health is a hot topic of conversation nowadays, though we should have started talking about it seriously a long time ago. Personally I've suffered from depression and anxiety &mdash; and still do from time to time &mdash; and I've known too many people who have committed suicide because they weren't able to figure things out. Which is why it's my duty to tell you that your mental health is worth every extra penny you can afford. If you need medication, get the medication. If you need someone to talk to &mdash; which can help immensely when you're troubled &mdash; go see a therapist. If you have decent health insurance, prescriptions and therapy should be covered so you can afford to help yourself.</p> <p>And it goes without saying that if you feel like there's no hope left, please believe me when I tell you that there is. People care about you, and you can talk anonymously about whatever you're feeling by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-273-8255. You matter; whether you believe it right now or not &mdash; <em>you matter</em>.</p> <h2>6. Insurance</h2> <p>By law in most U.S. states you're required to have car insurance. So if you're thinking about cutting it because you don't drive very often or very far, you're in for a rude awakening if you have the unfortunate luck of being in an accident &mdash; and you'll probably go to jail on top of whatever expenses the crash racked up.</p> <p>Homeowners and renters insurance are also areas where it's not wise to be a miser. You don't have to have super-premium, platinum, Superman coverage, but you should have enough coverage to fully cover the things you own &mdash; so they can be replaced quickly and efficiently &mdash; in the event of an accident.</p> <h2>7. Debt Repayment</h2> <p>If you're already pinching pennies because you're in debt, it can be easy to brush it to the side and try to forget about it. You're in so deep that you'll never pay it off, so why worry about it, right? Wrong.</p> <p>In this case, you have few options to stay on track, but you may be able to cut something less important from your budget to continue making payments, or &mdash; and I know this is an offensive idea to some &mdash; pick up an extra job or side gig to start earning more income. The problem with debt is that it will never go away, and it's your responsibility to pay off what you've accumulated. You alone made those purchases, and you alone need to pay them off. There are assistance programs out there that can help, and I recommend researching your options in that regard, but whatever you do, don't act like it doesn't exist. It does, and it will follow you around like a black cloud for the rest of your life until you address it.</p> <h2>8. Things Your Kids Depend On</h2> <p>There's a buzzword that's being tossed around willy-nilly right now with regards to children and teenagers (and even 20-somethings). We hear it a lot: Entitlement.</p> <p>While I contend that American children tend to be somewhat entitled, there are some things to which they're <em>actually</em> entitled &mdash; like a proper education and health services. If your child needs a tutor, hire a tutor. If your child needs a therapist, seek therapy. Hopefully you had children for the right reasons, because you wanted to have a family to love and care for. If you're trying to be over-thrifty in these areas, you may not be doing the best job of holding up your end of the parenting bargain.</p> <p>Find areas in your own grown-up budget to eliminate &mdash; like one of your many memberships perhaps, or that adults-only vacation &mdash; and help your kid stay on the right path, physically, emotionally, and mentally. You owe them that much.</p> <p><em>What costs do you refuse to skimp on?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-expenses-you-should-never-cut">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-save-on-a-shoestring">25 Ways to Save on a Shoestring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-frugal-living-skills-you-should-be-teaching-your-children">7 Frugal Living Skills You Should Be Teaching Your Children</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-easy-ways-to-start-taking-better-care-of-yourself-today">9 Easy Ways to Start Taking Better Care of Yourself Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-fun-games-that-teach-your-kids-about-money">6 Fun Games That Teach Your Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wisdom-from-my-favorite-frugal-tv-character-julius-rock">Wisdom from My Favorite Frugal TV Character - Julius Rock</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living budgeting children expenses family Health healthy foods hygiene necessary costs safety Mon, 30 May 2016 10:30:05 +0000 Mikey Rox 1717320 at http://www.wisebread.com What You Need to Know About Writing a Will http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-writing-a-will <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-you-need-to-know-about-writing-a-will" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_piggy_bank_000035216904.jpg" alt="Learning what you need to know about writing a will" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As many as 40% of Americans over the age of 45 <a href="http://www.aarp.org/money/estate-planning/info-09-2010/ten_things_you_should_know_about_writing_a_will.html">don't have a will</a>. Don't fall into this statistic. It's imperative that you have a will to ensure that your wishes are carried out and your heirs avoid unnecessary hassles and costs after you're gone. Here's what you need to know before you get started.</p> <h2>What Is a Will?</h2> <p>A will is a legal document that declares how your estate will be divided after you pass away. It can also provide you and your family with the peace of mind in knowing that your property will go into the right hands. Writing a will may seem like a complicated, daunting process, but it may be easier and more affordable than you think. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-i-learned-about-money-from-famous-peoples-wills?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Things I Learned About Money From Famous People's Wills</a>)</p> <h3>What Happens If You Don't Have a Will?</h3> <p>If you don't have a will, your estate will be settled based on your state's laws. A judge will appoint an administrator to make decisions on your estate based on your state's probate laws. Their decisions may not be in line with what you would have wanted, which is why a valid will is so important.</p> <h2>Name an Executor of Estate</h2> <p>First, you will need to name an executor, who is the person who will manage your estate and execute your wishes. They will also deal with any outstanding debts and file your tax returns. Make sure to clearly specify in your will that your executor has the power to deal with any debts and related issues that are outlined in your will.</p> <p>In most cases, the executor is a spouse, child, relative, close friend, attorney, or bank. You can also name joint executors, and may want to consider naming your attorney as one of the executors. Administering an estate is a complicated process, so you'll want to select an organized, trustworthy person for the position.</p> <p>An attorney will charge to serve as your executor, which is usually 2%&ndash;4% of your estate's assets. If you are designating a friend or family member as executor, you want to be clear about whether they'll be receiving compensation. Serving as executor can be a long, daunting process, so it may be a good idea to compensate the executor. You will want to state very clearly in the will what type of compensation they can expect to receive.</p> <h2>Choose Beneficiaries and Guardians</h2> <p>It's imperative that you know what your assets are, so that you can assign them to the right people. Take note of all your assets, including bank accounts, investments, retirement accounts, property, jewelry, and anything else in your possession.</p> <p>Your will specifies the beneficiaries for your assets, so you will need to decide who gets what. Very clearly state who will receive your assets, and make sure to also specify if someone in your family will receive nothing. If you do not mention that they are getting nothing, your will may be contested in court. You can also specify conditional gifts, which will be distributed if the beneficiary meets certain conditions.</p> <p>Your will also names guardians for any minor children and dependents. While you don't need to get permission to name someone as a guardian for your children, you definitely will want to ask. When the time comes, they don't have to accept the responsibility, so make sure they are okay with it. It can be difficult to choose a guardian for your children, but you should carefully make this decision now because if you don't, a judge will make the choice later.</p> <p>It's also a good idea to specify how your pets should be cared for. You may also want to leave money to whomever you designate as the new caretaker so that your pets can be well taken care of.</p> <h2>Review Beneficiary Designations</h2> <p>Certain accounts, such as retirement accounts, life insurance, and annuities won't pass through probate, so they don't need to be specified on the will. For these types of accounts, you will specify the beneficiaries on a document called a beneficiary designation.</p> <h2>Write a Letter of Instruction</h2> <p>A letter of instruction will be kept with your will and is a more informal write-up of which properties should be assigned to which beneficiary. It can also include instructions on paying any outstanding debts, account numbers, passwords, and other information that will help your executor settle your estate. You can also include instructions regarding your death and burial.</p> <h2>Choose a Witness</h2> <p>You will need to have at least one witness present when signing the will (some states require two or three witnesses). It is advised that you do not select a beneficiary or your attorney as your witness(es) as this can potentially create a conflict of interest. Some states also require that the will be notarized.</p> <h2>Choose a Safe Spot for Your Will</h2> <p>You should keep your will in a secure place, such as a fireproof safe in your home. Many people also have their attorney hold onto it for safekeeping. Make sure you let someone you trust know where the will is. You can also give signed copies to your attorney, executor, or a family member that you trust. However, the original signed will is usually required in order to avoid any unnecessary issues.</p> <h2>Updating Your Will</h2> <p>You can update your will whenever necessary. In most cases, a will is adjusted after major life events, such as marriage, divorce, the death of a beneficiary, or the addition of a new dependent. It's a good idea to revisit your will at least every five years to ensure nothing has changed. If there have been significant changes, or you have moved to another state, you may want to write a new will instead of simply updating the old one.</p> <h2>Do You Need a Lawyer?</h2> <p>Having an attorney to walk you through creating a will and testament can be invaluable. Writing a will is already a stressful, unusual process, and having a skilled professional on your side will ensure you have no questions at the end and that all of your assets are appropriately accounted for. They can also review your will, help prevent simple mistakes (like signing something in the wrong place, which can invalidate the will), and provide you with witnesses.</p> <p>Every state also has different requirements, which can be difficult to keep up with on your own. Most websites that offer DIY wills aren't state-specific. An attorney will ensure that you meet the requirements of your state and that you don't make any unintended mistakes. Keep in mind that your will is determining where 100% of your assets will go, so it may not be something you want to deal with on your own.</p> <h3>Writing a Will On Your Own</h3> <p>On the other hand, if you have a very simple, straightforward financial situation, you may not need a lawyer. Many people choose to prepare their own will, which is why do-it-yourself will kits are so popular. Some online service providers, like LegalZoom, can walk you through the will and testament process, with complete customer support, all at an affordable price. You can also choose estate planning software, like the Quicken WillMaker, which will provide the legal documents you need to plan for your future.</p> <h3>How Much Does It Cost?</h3> <p>Drafting a will is not expensive, especially when you consider how important this document is. In most cases, it costs around $40&ndash;$100 to file a will on your own, and approximately $200&ndash;$2,000 to hire an attorney to do it for you (depending on the complexity of your finances).</p> <p><em>Do you have other tips for writing a will? Please share your thoughts 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/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-writing-a-will">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-set-up-a-trust-for-your-child">Should You Set Up a Trust for Your Child?</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-money-moves-to-make-before-you-remarry">8 Money Moves to Make Before You Remarry</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-fair-way-to-split-up-your-familys-estate">The Fair Way to Split Up Your Family&#039;s Estate</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-things-you-should-know-about-debt-relief-lawyers">5 Things You Should Know About Debt Relief Lawyers</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/its-the-21st-century-why-is-your-money-stuck-in-the-20th">It&#039;s the 21st Century — Why Is Your Money Stuck in the 20th?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance assets beneficiaries estate planning family lawyers will and testament writing a will Wed, 20 Apr 2016 09:00:10 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1690614 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Money Moves to Make When You Find Out You're Pregnant http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-when-you-find-out-youre-pregnant <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-money-moves-to-make-when-you-find-out-youre-pregnant" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_pregnant_belly_000043766734.jpg" alt="Woman making money moves after finding out she&#039;s pregnant" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In the U.S., we welcome close to four million babies every year. These little bundles of joy rock our worlds and, often, our budgets as well. As a parent of three wonderful boys, I tried to prepare as much as I could before for their arrival.</p> <p>Between deciding what car seat to buy and picking out the perfect name, take the time to plan ahead for the financial wellbeing of your baby, your family, and yourself. Here are the top eight money moves to make when you find out you're pregnant.</p> <h2>1. Figure Out Parental Leave</h2> <p>Unlike other industrialized countries, the United States is the only nation without paid parental leave required by law. Under the U.S. Family and Medical Leave Act, employers with 50 or more workers are required to let their employees take unpaid, job-protected leave for 12 weeks after the birth of a child, while keeping their group health insurance coverage.</p> <p>However, about <a href="http://www.today.com/health/problem-parental-leave-u-s-t38701">13% of Americans</a> <em>do </em>have access to some form of paid leave. So, inquire with your employer your options:</p> <ul> <li>Find out if the size of your company affects policy (e.g. businesses in Hawaii with 100 or more employees are subject to the Hawaii Family Leave Law);<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Ask your employer whether or not they offer temporary disability insurance (TDI) under its health insurance plan, what percentage of your salary that TDI pays, and whether or not you qualify for TDI;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Figure out if TDI is affected by method of delivery (usually six weeks for a normal vaginal delivery and eight weeks for an uncomplicated cesarean delivery); and<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Discuss with your manager about the type of leave you'd like to take.</li> </ul> <h2>2. Discuss Flexible Work Arrangement</h2> <p>Whether you're the primary caregiver, or a spouse or partner that wants to be more involved during baby's first months, talk with your employer about a flexible work arrangement. Times are changing and more and more companies are willing to work with their employees to create flexible arrangements.</p> <p>Dads, don't shy away from asking your employer about a flexible work plan. According to the Professional Women Report survey by Citi, when asked about their biggest career regrets, 17% of men would have spent less time at work and more time with their families or on personal pursuits. Not spending enough time with their children was ranked within the top five career regrets by men. It's worth a shot because <a href="http://familiesandwork.org/site/research/reports/NSE_2012.pdf">14% of fathers</a> receive some amount of replacement pay for paternity leave.</p> <h2>3. Choose a Health Insurance Plan</h2> <p>Another important move is to decide to whose health insurance plan you'll add your baby. Ask your HR department to detail your available options if you were to add children or your spouse to your plan. Ask your partner to do the same with their employer. Then, compare the available options and choose the plan that better serves your needs.</p> <p>Don't forget to consider if some doctors that you currently visit, or will visit in the future, will be within the network of those plans. A plan may offer attractive coverages, but those benefits may be cancelled out by paying higher copays for visiting doctors outside the network.</p> <h2>4. Get a Breast Pump</h2> <p>Most health insurance plans must provide breastfeeding support, counseling, and equipment for the duration of breastfeeding. Contact your insurance plan for more details about applicable benefits.</p> <p>Of special attention is the coverage of a breast pump, which could be a rental or for you to keep, manual or electric, or available before or after birth. Depending on your plan, it may cover even some of the premium breast pump models, some of which retail for close to $300. Your plan must cover the entire cost of the breast pump!</p> <p>Depending on the retailer and your plan, you may only be able to redeem your breast pump by visiting in-person authorized retailers or by calling a centralized redemption center.</p> <h2>5. Look for Hand-Me-Downs and Secondhand Stores</h2> <p>Take it from a dad of three boys: You will get so many clothes and toys, that many of them will go unused. For my third boy, my wife and I barely bought him clothes because he inherited all of his brothers' (some even still in their original packaging).</p> <p>Many of your friends and relatives have been waiting for the opportunity to share their baby clothes with you. This is a great free way to determine whether or not a onesie, burp cloth, or toy is worth the purchase. If you and your baby enjoy an item so much that it wears out in a few months, then purchasing that item brand new is definitely worth it.</p> <p>Also, find out through social media and search engines about secondhand stores for baby items in your area. Secondhand stores are very useful for exchanging unwanted gifts that have no receipt for items that you or your baby really need.</p> <h2>6. Join Amazon Family</h2> <p>Formerly known as Amazon Mom, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/family/signup/welcome/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;*Version*=1&amp;*entries*=0&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=EPW2LLWNIPJ54PVH">Amazon Family</a> is a variation of the Amazon Prime program, focusing on parents and caretakers with family-oriented offers. This includes 20% off diaper subscriptions, free two-day shipping, and a 15% baby registry completion discount.</p> <p>To maximize your savings, look for a free trial opportunity (which range from 30 to 90 days), test it out, and then decide if you would like to keep your Amazon Family subscription ($99 per year). During the trial period, look for high-ticket items, including strollers and cribs, that may be cheaper at Amazon than at local retailers. In my case, I saved about $200 on a crib and close to $150 on a stroller.</p> <h2>7. Research Babysitting and Preschool Options</h2> <p>Now is the time to start looking for babysitters and preschools. It may sound a bit extreme, but many preschools have waiting lists that go back one to two years. Your future self will thank you that you took the time to do this in advance and you don't have to settle for subpar alternatives.</p> <h2>8. Research Custodial Investment Accounts and 529 College-Saving Plans</h2> <p>Imagine if somebody offered you an extra 20 years to save for retirement or college &mdash; would you take it? In a heartbeat! That's why you should look into setting up a custodial investment account or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-conversations-you-must-have-with-your-family" target="_blank">529 plan for your child</a>.</p> <h3>Custodial Investment Account</h3> <p>Many brokerage houses allow you to set up an account to make a financial gift to a minor and help teach them about investing. With as little as $100, you can open a custodial account, have $0 maintenance fees unless you make a trade, and enjoy tax-free earnings until a specified limit. The account will be turned over to your child when he or she reaches the age of majority.</p> <h3>529 College-Savings Plan</h3> <p>The earlier that you start saving for your child's education, the less that you will have to contribute per month. Also, remember that federal taxes don't apply to earnings in a 529 plan, and 34 states offer full or partial income tax deductions.</p> <p><em>What money moves are you taking in preparation for the arrival of your baby?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-when-you-find-out-youre-pregnant">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wisdom-from-my-favorite-frugal-tv-character-julius-rock">Wisdom from My Favorite Frugal TV Character - Julius Rock</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke">24 Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-simple-rules-of-excellent-houseguest-etiquette">11 Simple Rules of Excellent Houseguest Etiquette</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/oprah-asks-a-great-question-what-can-you-live-without">Oprah Asks A Great Question; What Can You Live Without?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Lifestyle babies children expectant mothers family pregnancy Wed, 23 Dec 2015 16:00:03 +0000 Damian Davila 1625891 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Fun, Affordable Train Trips http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-affordable-train-trips <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-fun-affordable-train-trips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_train_ride_000055717024.jpg" alt="Mother and child taking fun and affordable train trip" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Trains are not only a huge part of our history and economy, but they make for scenic, relaxing, and enjoyable travel. Next time a three-day weekend rolls around, try going on one of these five fun, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-train-hacks-from-an-amtrak-veteran">affordable train trips</a>.</p> <h2>1. California: Pacific Surfliner</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.amtrak.com/pacific-surfliner-train">beachy train</a> runs daily from the heart of the Central Coast all the way down to San Diego, past many of California&rsquo;s most beautiful beaches. Expect to see lots of everyday train commuters, college kids headed home for the weekend, and vacationing families on their way to Legoland. Two great times for people-watching are on the week of <a href="http://www.comic-con.org/">San Diego Comic-Con International</a>, where you can meet tons of comics, movie, and TV celebrities on their way to the convention; and on opening day of the <a href="https://www.dmtc.com/">Del Mar race track</a>, when men in suits and women in their most colorful fineries and elaborate hats turn the whole train into a party.</p> <p><strong>Price</strong>: As low as $61 per adult ($30.50 child) one way, for the full route.</p> <h2>2. Colorado: Durango-Silverado Mining Trail</h2> <p>Any frontier history buff should have this <a href="https://rezeast.net/durango/default.aspx">mining trail train</a> on their bucket list. The Denver-Rio Grande Railway Company founded the railway to haul tons of ore through the Colorado Rockies back in 1880, but the route was (and still is) so scenic that it was immediately in use for passenger trains as well. The Durango-Silverado trains are vintage models indigenous to the route, and there are plenty of <a href="http://www.durangotrain.com/packages/adventure-packages#.VYslX1WJOuY">literature, tours, and adventures</a> to accompany the trip. Great for the adventuring prospector in all of us and great for kids, too.</p> <p><strong>Price</strong>: As low as $85 adult ($51 child) per roundtrip.</p> <h2>3. New York: Ethan Allen Express</h2> <p>Live near NYC and want an unforgettable Walden-esque scenic experience? The Ethan Allen railway is one of the <a href="http://www.amtrak.com/ethan-allen-express-train">prettiest railroad routes</a> in America, stretching over 271 miles of verdant Northeastern mountain ranges such as New York&rsquo;s Adirondacks and Vermont&rsquo;s Green Mountains. Try going during early autumn, when the leaves turn into that famous red and gold foliage and apples are ready for picking. Rutland, Vermont, the end of the line, is also well-known for its <a href="http://www.rutlandrec.com/events/2014/10/25/55th-annual-halloween-parade">Halloween celebrations</a>. Bring the kids!</p> <p><strong>Price</strong>: As low as $72 per adult ($36 child) one way.</p> <h2>4. West Virginia: Cass Scenic Railroad</h2> <p>Let this route take you <a href="http://mountainrailwv.com/choose-a-train/cass-scenic-railroad">into the Appalachian mountains</a> and back in time, when the Cass company railway opened in 1902. It was used to transport lumber to the Cass sawmill. Now you can gaze upon the old mill surrounded by lush, overgrown wilderness from the open air passenger train. There is also a <a href="http://www.cassrailroad.com/new.html">museum and a tour</a> through the old company shop that built and maintained the lumber trains. A must-see for Americana and railroad fans alike, with lots of activities for the kids.</p> <p><strong>Price</strong>: As low as $35 per adult ($24 child) roundtrip.</p> <h2>5. Arizona: Grand Canyon Railway</h2> <p>Ready to savor the Grand Canyon, but not necessarily the hiking type? The <a href="http://www.thetrain.com/the-train/train-rates/">Grand Canyon Railway</a> is a wonderful way to travel the South Rim comfortably and in style, as did many U.S. presidents such as Roosevelt, Taft, and Eisenhower. Another historical gem, there are stories of all the train&rsquo;s most notable passengers since its opening in 1901 throughout the tour. The train will provide a four-hour stopover, where you can stretch your legs, walk around the rim, or <a href="http://www.grandcanyonlodges.com/">sleepover in a nearby lodge</a>. A great trip for a family with older children ready experience the Old West.</p> <p><strong>Price</strong>: As low as $65 per adult ($29 child) per trip.</p> <p><em>Have you taken a family vacation by rail? How was it?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-fun-affordable-train-trips&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%20Fun%2C%20Affordable%20Train%20Trips.jpg&amp;description=5%20Fun%2C%20Affordable%20Train%20Trips" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Fun%2C%20Affordable%20Train%20Trips.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-affordable-train-trips">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-more-fun-affordable-train-trips">5 More Fun, Affordable Train Trips</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-easy-health-and-fitness-tricks-for-travelers">8 Easy Health and Fitness Tricks for Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-travel-in-retirement-keeps-you-young">6 Ways Travel in Retirement Keeps You Young</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-6-best-vacation-deal-websites">The 6 Best Vacation Deal Websites</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-unexpected-benefits-of-solo-travel">6 Unexpected Benefits of Solo Travel</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel family history trains trips vacation Wed, 29 Jul 2015 17:00:22 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1502093 at http://www.wisebread.com Frayed Relationships, Damaged Credit, and Costly Additions — What a Multi-Generational Home Might Cost You http://www.wisebread.com/frayed-relationships-damaged-credit-and-costly-additions-what-a-multi-generational-home-might-cost-y <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/frayed-relationships-damaged-credit-and-costly-additions-what-a-multi-generational-home-might-cost-y" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_home_000043205148.jpg" alt="Family learning what a multi-generational home might cost " title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are your adult children moving back into your home after struggling to find <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-gross-jobs-that-pay-pretty-well">well-paying jobs</a> after earning their college degrees? Or maybe you've moved your elderly parents back into your house to help care for them as they age?</p> <p>If so, you're not alone. The Pew Research Center found that a record 57 million U.S. residents in 2012 lived in multi-generational households. That number &mdash; the most recent compiled by the research center &mdash; means that in 2012, 18.1% of the U.S. population lived in a home filled by residents of two or more generations.</p> <p>Living with two or more generations under one roof can prove challenging. It might also become expensive, depending on what modifications have to be done to a home to make sure that everyone &mdash; no matter what generation &mdash; can live in peace. Here's what it might cost you.</p> <h2>Mortgage Matters</h2> <p>Chris Copley, regional sales manager for the Delaware Valley, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey in the Mount Laurel, New Jersey, office of TD Bank, says that he's worked with adult parents and their children who want to buy a multi-generational home together.</p> <p>Such an arrangement can work. But Copley says that buyers need an exit strategy. What happens if after six years, the adult children whose names are on the mortgage note want to move on and buy their own homes?</p> <p>&quot;You need to have that conversation about what happens five to 10 years from now before you all agree to put your names on that mortgage loan,&quot; Copley says. &quot;There has to be an exit strategy.&quot;</p> <p>If there isn't? There could be hard feelings and damaged family relationships. That's because when people on the mortgage decide to leave the arrangement, there aren't many good options available. The owners could sell their home, splitting the mortgage. But that only works well if all parties are happy with selling.</p> <p>The owners could refinance their mortgage loan so that it is only in the name of one of the homeowners. But that assumes that the new sole owners could afford the monthly mortgage payment on their salaries alone. This isn't always the case.</p> <p>Copley's advice: Have a plan in place so that everyone knows what happens if one person wants to ditch the home.</p> <h2>Damaged Credit?</h2> <p>Some multi-generational households only list one generation's names on the mortgage loan. Parents who buy a home with their college-graduate children might only put their own names on the loan and then accept money each month from their children to help cover the costs of the monthly mortgage payment and other housing expenses.</p> <p>Copley says that this arrangement can work if one generation's income is high enough for them to qualify for the mortgage loan on their own. But credit problems can result once one generation moves out of the home.</p> <p>What if your name is on the mortgage and you're only able to make your payment each month because the members of the second generation in your home are covering half of your mortgage? What happens when the members of the generation move out and you can no longer afford the mortgage payment on your own?</p> <p>Copley recommends that multi-generational households not overspend on a mortgage loan. It's best to make sure that the home you buy &mdash; and the mortgage payment that comes with it &mdash; is affordable enough so that the members of just one of the generations can make the payment each month if necessary.</p> <h2>It Might Not Be Cheap</h2> <p>You might decide it is time to move your elderly parents into your home to help care for them. This can be a way to strengthen the bond between you and your parents. But it can also be expensive. You might need to turn main-floor home offices into bedrooms, installing new walls and doorways as you do so.</p> <p>You might also need to install grip-bars in bathrooms and widen hallways to make enough room for wheelchairs. To make sure that everyone is comfortable you might even need to build a new bathroom. You may be living with your elderly parents for 10 years, 20 years or more &mdash; you can't have your parents living like house guests arriving for a three-day stay.</p> <p>Maybe you've decided to buy a new home to make room for yourself and your elderly parents or your adult children. This can prove costly, too. You'll need enough bedrooms to provide enough living space for everyone. And housing prices can jump substantially when you add a greater number of bedrooms to the mix. Zillow found that in 2015, the average price for a three-bedroom home in the United States stood at $173,300. That figure jumped to $291,300 for a four-bedroom home.</p> <p>This doesn't mean that living in a multi-generational home can't work. It just means that families need to discuss financial matters honestly before making a move, and that they need to find a living space that provides enough room and privacy for all of the generations living under one roof.</p> <p><em>How do you make your multi-generational home affordable?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frayed-relationships-damaged-credit-and-costly-additions-what-a-multi-generational-home-might-cost-y">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-to-ask-before-buying-a-second-home-in-retirement">5 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Second Home in Retirement</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-smart-ways-to-lower-your-monthly-mortgage-payment">4 Smart Ways to Lower Your Monthly Mortgage Payment</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-these-5-money-moves-before-applying-for-a-mortgage">Make These 5 Money Moves Before Applying for a Mortgage</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-ways-to-buy-a-house-without-a-mortgage">4 Ways to Buy a House Without a Mortgage</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/whats-faster-for-mortgage-payoff-100-month-extra-or-1-payment-year-extra">What&#039;s Faster for Mortgage Payoff: $100/Month Extra or 1 Payment/Year Extra?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing credit family living with kids living with parents mortgages multi-generational living Wed, 29 Jul 2015 13:00:14 +0000 Dan Rafter 1501980 at http://www.wisebread.com