family http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4558/all en-US 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-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/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/9-sneaky-home-money-pits-that-sap-your-savings">9 Sneaky Home Money Pits That Sap Your Savings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-alternative-housing-options-you-can-afford">5 Alternative Housing Options 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/what-you-need-to-know-about-hoas">What You Need to Know About HOAs</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-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/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-2 views-row-even"> <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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-money-management-tips-from-john-oliver">7 Best Money Management Tips From John Oliver</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/13-money-goals-you-can-still-reach-by-2017">13 Money Goals You Can Still Reach by 2017</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-to-make-as-soon-as-you-conquer-debt">7 Money Moves to Make as Soon as You Conquer Debt</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-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-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/10-money-moves-to-make-before-the-leaves-change">10 Money Moves to Make Before the Leaves Change</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-money-management-tips-from-john-oliver">7 Best Money Management Tips From John Oliver</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-top-money-lessons-to-learn-from-ruth-soukups-unstuffed">4 Top Money Lessons to Learn From Ruth Soukup&#039;s &quot;Unstuffed&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-most-important-financial-moments-of-your-life">The 7 Most Important Financial Moments of Your Life</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-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/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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-exercise-tools-for-a-killer-workout">10 Cheap Exercise Tools for a Killer Workout</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-spending-too-much-on-normal-expenses">Are You Spending Too Much on &quot;Normal&quot; Expenses?</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/19-frugal-and-easy-ways-to-update-an-old-home">19 Frugal (And Easy) Ways to Update an Old Home</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-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/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/debunking-common-estate-planning-myths">Debunking Common Estate Planning Myths</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/what-happens-to-your-debt-after-you-die">What Happens to Your Debt After You Die?</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/what-is-power-of-attorney">What Is Power of Attorney?</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/what-is-your-net-worth">What Is Your Net Worth?</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-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/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/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> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-breast-feeding-saves-money">4 Ways Breast-Feeding Saves Money</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-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-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/the-6-best-vacation-deal-websites">The 6 Best Vacation Deal Websites</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-spring-break-budget-busters-to-avoid">11 Spring Break Budget Busters to Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-sneaky-vacation-costs-that-add-up-quickly">10 Sneaky Vacation Costs That Add Up Quickly</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-to-travel-when-you-have-student-loans">6 Ways to Travel When You Have Student Loans</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-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-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-surprising-things-lenders-check-besides-your-credit-score">4 Surprising Things Lenders Check Besides Your Credit Score</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-sneaky-home-money-pits-that-sap-your-savings">9 Sneaky Home Money Pits That Sap Your Savings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-alternative-housing-options-you-can-afford">5 Alternative Housing Options 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/the-7-most-important-financial-moments-of-your-life">The 7 Most Important Financial Moments of Your Life</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 5 Reasons Why Life Insurance Isn't Just for Old People http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-why-life-insurance-isnt-just-for-old-people <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-reasons-why-life-insurance-isnt-just-for-old-people" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/newborn_baby_000046762652.jpg" alt="Man getting life insurance to protect his child" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Life insurance isn't your average dinnertime conversation &mdash; no one likes to even talk about it. After all, life insurance is something that you only have to think about when you are old and grey, right?</p> <p>But nothing could be further from the truth. Life takes unexpected turns, and at any age it could be just as important as having a strong emergency fund or funding your retirement.</p> <p>Still need proof? Here are five compelling reasons why <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/universal-life-insurance-and-whole-life-insurance-a-comparison">life insurance</a> isn't just for old people.</p> <h2>1. You're Young and Healthy</h2> <p>Life insurance doesn't pay out until you die, but the best time to buy it is when you are young and healthy, since it's issued on rating scale. The healthier you are, the better the rating. The better the rating, the lower the price.</p> <h2>2. You Want to Boost Your Retirement Funding</h2> <p>401(k), IRA, ROTH, SEP-IRA &mdash; they are all great retirement options. But there are also hefty fees if you want to withdraw early from retirement accounts. Life insurance is the yin to retirement accounts yang. There are two kinds of life insurance: those that expire (term), and those that generate cash value (permanent). If you structure a permanent life insurance policy properly, you can actually use the cash value during your life to help fund your retirement, and even better, the benefits can be tax-free to you.</p> <h2>3. You Got Married</h2> <p>Being single can have many benefits. However, right after you say &quot;I do&quot; is probably the best time to start thinking about life insurance. What if one spouse works, while the other spouse might stay home? Or, maybe one spouse makes a lot more money than the other. However you slice it, life insurance can provide a very valuable asset if something was to happen to the higher-earning partner. You want to make sure you have enough life insurance to cover all your expenses, and then some.</p> <h2>4. You're Having a Baby</h2> <p>If you didn't think getting married was a compelling reason enough, that little bundle of joy should surely spur on the need. Kids bring on a ton more expenses &mdash; day care, education, clothes, food, and not to mention college. Tax-free life insurance benefits can become an important life preserver and ensure your child's well-being.</p> <h2>5. You're Open for Business</h2> <p>So, you've got a rock star business concept and are ready for world domination. If you've got a business partner, then life insurance should be your next step. You share expenses, knowledge, and more. What if something happens to one business partner? You've also got their family, their business interest, and the loss of a partner to think about. Business owners usually opt for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/business-succession-planning-part-2-how-life-insurance-will-insure-the-life-of-your-business">life insurance on each other</a> in what is a called a &quot;buy-sell agreement.&quot; This agreement drafted by an attorney states who gets what when something happens. The most common form of currency to &quot;fund&quot; a buy-sell agreement&hellip;you guessed it: life insurance.</p> <p><em>Do you own life insurance yet? If so, why or why not?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shannah-game">Shannah Game</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-why-life-insurance-isnt-just-for-old-people">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/selling-your-life-insurance-policy-for-cold-hard-cash">Selling Your Life Insurance Policy for Cold, Hard Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-most-important-financial-moments-of-your-life">The 7 Most Important Financial Moments of Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-single-people-get-life-insurance">When Should Single People Get Life Insurance?</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-financial-mistakes-to-stop-making-by-age-40">6 Financial Mistakes to Stop Making by Age 40</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-long-does-it-take-to-get-life-insurance">How Long Does It Take to Get Life Insurance?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance business death family life insurance marriage retirement Thu, 11 Jun 2015 17:00:21 +0000 Shannah Game 1447185 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Financial Lessons We Learn From Our Grandparents http://www.wisebread.com/10-financial-lessons-we-learn-from-our-grandparents <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-financial-lessons-we-learn-from-our-grandparents" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_gardening_000036914124.jpg" alt="Child learning financial lesson from grandparent" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Depending on your age and circumstances, it's likely your grandparents' relationship with money was forged by some different (and probably tougher) financial times. My own grandparents have been gone for decades now, but their lifestyles were studies in frugality and sharp financial management that I remember to this day. In honor of all the grandmas and grandpas out there, here are ten financial lessons we've learned from our grandparents:</p> <h2>1. Pay Cash</h2> <p>My grandmother never owned a credit card. She paid cash for everything and tracked every nickel in little paper passbooks. We found dozens of them when she died. She was meticulous. She was frugal. And she was always in the black.</p> <h2>2. Take Care of Your Stuff</h2> <p>Today, we live in a throw-away culture where it's easy and relatively cheap to replace most things we own. Not so for our grandparents. Every item was considered an investment, and therefore, everything was diligently cleaned, waxed, oiled, painted, patched, and repaired. Their stuff lasted forever &mdash; and that saved money.</p> <h2>3. Have Practical Skills</h2> <p>Doesn't it seem like our grandparents' generation was filled with renaissance men and women? My grandfather farmed, raised livestock, built his own house, repaired machinery, and &mdash; I kid you not &mdash; divined for water using the twigs of a willow tree. With that level of skill, I wonder if he ever needed to hire anyone to do anything. Today, developing <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-great-frugal-skills-and-how-to-get-them">frugal skills</a> is still a great way to build self-reliance and save money.</p> <h2>4. Get Creative</h2> <p>Folks who grew up during the Great Depression had to channel their inner creativity to survive. Their ingenuity helped them feed their families, earn an income, keep their kids clothed, and maybe stash a few bucks on the side. It's the same today; discovering <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-boost-creativity">ways to boost creativity</a> can still positively impact our budgets and keep us engaged and inspired.</p> <h2>5. It's Better to Own</h2> <p>With few exceptions, it's better to own than rent, especially during tough economic times. Access to money-producing assets (land, a house, a paid-off car, and the like) helped many generations survive and build wealth.</p> <h2>6. Save for a Rainy Day</h2> <p>No offense Suze Orman, but our grandparents and great grandparents invented the emergency fund. The idea of saving up for a rainy day is just smart financial strategy. Because our grandparents lived through some very lean years, they never allowed themselves to be lulled into thinking that today's prosperity guarantees tomorrow's.</p> <h2>7. Get Dirty</h2> <p>Our grandparents taught us that, if we're lucky enough to have a little plot of land, we better put it to work by planting a garden. Gardens stretch our grocery budgets, promote healthier eating, and get us moving in the great out-of-doors. Few activities pack such a holistic health punch. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-4-things-a-vegetable-garden-needs?ref=seealso">4 Things a Vegetable Garden Needs</a>)</p> <h2>8. Live Together</h2> <p>No&hellip;not in that way. In earlier generations, it was more common for households to include mom and dad, their kids, and grandma and grandpa. More people living under one roof through these multi-generational arrangements meant more child care resources, more household help, and more sources of income.</p> <h2>9. Keep Your Wants Under Control</h2> <p>Slowly creeping wants can easily choke our budgets. Our grandparents were able afford what they needed by keeping their wants modest and entirely flexible.</p> <h2>10. Small Luxuries Are Still Luxuries</h2> <p>Even our grandparents' generation knew it: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-little-luxuries-that-go-a-long-way">little luxuries</a> now and then are good for the soul. But pampering doesn't have to cost a fortune. An afternoon off, a leisurely meal out, a mid-day nap all sound quaint by today's standards. But with the right frame of mind, they can still feel indulgent and be entirely therapeutic.</p> <p>The weird thing is, we are (or will soon be) the grandparents of tomorrow. The economic times we've recently weathered have already left their mark on how we spend, save, and invest.</p> <p><em>What money lessons will you pass along to your grandchildren? Which ones are all your own and which have been revived from your grandparents' generation?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-financial-lessons-we-learn-from-our-grandparents">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/6-ways-gluttony-is-keeping-you-poor">6 Ways Gluttony Is Keeping You Poor</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/flashback-friday-49-smartest-amazon-hacks-that-will-save-you-big">Flashback Friday: 49 Smartest Amazon Hacks That Will Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-brilliant-tips-from-smart-mom-rich-mom">4 Brilliant Tips From &quot;Smart Mom, Rich Mom&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/one-simple-thing-you-can-do-today-to-start-living-frugally">One Simple Thing You Can Do Today to Start Living Frugally</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-to-use-google-alerts-to-save-money">6 Ways to Use Google Alerts to Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living family grandparents lessons saving money Tue, 05 May 2015 11:00:29 +0000 Kentin Waits 1407934 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Holiday Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Cheer http://www.wisebread.com/8-holiday-mistakes-that-can-ruin-your-cheer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-holiday-mistakes-that-can-ruin-your-cheer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/shocked-woman-christmas-164414294-small.jpg" alt="shocked woman christmas" title="shocked woman christmas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ahh, the holidays &mdash; those two-sided coins of celebration and resignation, relaxation and maddening stress. How did such a good idea (time off work spent with loved ones exchanging small tokens of our love) become an over-commercialized madhouse? I mean, when we need to take a holiday after our holidays, hasn't something gone terribly wrong? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-slow-down-and-actually-appreciate-the-holidays?ref=seealso">25 Ways to Slow Down and Actually Appreciate the Holidays</a>)</p> <p>If you're anticipating &quot;that most joyous time of year&quot; with a sense of deep foreboding (cue the Jaws theme music), maybe you're doing it wrong. Here are eight common mistakes people make during the holidays.</p> <h2>1. Waiting Until the Last Minute to Begin Shopping</h2> <p>No, no, no! Waiting until the last minute to begin your holiday shopping is like tossing your sanity straight into a woodchipper. Long lines, competition for merchandize, and traffic snarls are just a few of things you'll have to deal with. Instead, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/early-holiday-shopping-why-i-finish-by-thanksgiving">start shopping early</a> (like in April), employ new ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-to-beat-holiday-shopping-stress">beat holiday shopping stress</a>, and err on the side of simple and thoughtful gifts that won't break the bank.</p> <h2>2. Getting Caught Up in the Moment</h2> <p>The decorations, the music, the mistletoe&hellip; and the smell of smoking credit cards? Getting lost in the holiday vibe can bust your budget and leave you feeling Grinch-like for the rest of the year. Though it's easy to get caught up in the moment and overspend, set a budget for gifts and other incidentals during the holidays and stick to it. It'll help you be a little merrier all year round. And if you're still recovering from last year's Christmas splurge or have already maxed out this year, explore smart ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dealing-with-post-holiday-credit-card-debt">manage post-holiday credit card debt</a>.</p> <h2>3. Overscheduling</h2> <p>Who doesn't feel pressure to over schedule during the holidays? It seems like everyone is throwing a party, flying in for a weekend, or hosting a dinner. Choose your events wisely and remember that it's okay to politely decline an invitation and opt for an evening that's more Silent Night and less Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree.</p> <h2>4. Missing Out on Quality Time</h2> <p>Choose quality over quantity and avoid the inevitable result of over scheduling &mdash; dashing from event to event with very little time to relax and truly enjoy the company of those around you. Instead of viewing the holidays as a blank dance card that you have to fill up, slow down your holidays and look for opportunities to share some quality time with those you hold most dear. Though it might not be the most exciting option, it's quite possibly the most fulfilling.</p> <h2>5. Stiffing the Host or Hostess</h2> <p>No matter what your friends tell you, it's always proper etiquette to bring a small token of appreciation to the host or hostess of a gathering. A small box of chocolates, bottle of wine, pound of premium coffee, or small bouquet of flowers is the perfect way to acknowledge hospitality. Getting it right will get you noticed &mdash; especially when first impressions matter or when the event is work-related.</p> <h2>6. Overindulging</h2> <p>Who doesn't loosen their nutritional standards a little bit over the holidays? After all, how many times a year do we have the perfect excuse to act like kids in Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory? But over indulging can really detract from all the other joys of the season and leave you feeling tired, irritable, and downright guilty. Try allowing yourself a single small treat each day during the holidays or build a calorie credit by having smaller meals or working out more.</p> <h2>7. Giving Plastic to Kids</h2> <p>Though giving gift cards is convenient and easy, aren't they really just credit card starter kits for kids? Instead of giving plastic, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-why-you-should-give-kids-cash-for-the-holidays">give kids cash</a> for the holidays or let them choose a gift for themselves online or in the store (within very clear budget parameters, of course).</p> <h2>8. Missing the Meaning</h2> <p>It's easy to approach everything like a task-master &mdash; even our holidays. Instead of slowing down and reconnecting with the more fundamental aspects of life, we shop, wrap, cook, clean, decorate&hellip; and maybe have a few minutes left over to down a glass of eggnog and drop into bed. This year, try something new: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/creating-a-memorable-christmas">create a more memorable Christmas</a> by simplifying your approach. Choose family over frenzy, time over stuff, and reflection over perfection. You'll not only enjoy the holidays more, you just might start a new tradition.</p> <p>Besides gifts, we wrap up a lot of emotions and expectations during the holiday season. But maybe it's time to embrace a much more reasonable and joyous philosophy. After all, combating over-commercialization, over-spending, over-scheduling, and over-the-top stress starts with each of us.</p> <p><em>What holiday mistakes have you made? How do you avoid stress and keep your holidays happy?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-holiday-mistakes-that-can-ruin-your-cheer">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/25-great-gifts-for-5-or-less">25 Great Gifts for $5 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-5-common-holiday-budget-pitfalls">Avoid These 5 Common Holiday Budget Pitfalls</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-art-of-the-group-gift">The Art of the Group Gift</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/people-who-love-christmas-do-these-9-things-do-you">People Who Love Christmas Do These 9 Things — Do You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easiest-ways-to-score-free-ebooks">5 Easiest Ways to Score Free eBooks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Shopping entertainment family gifts holiday parties Holidays the season Wed, 05 Nov 2014 16:00:06 +0000 Kentin Waits 1250738 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Things Most People Screw Up When Meeting the Parents http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-most-people-screw-up-when-meeting-the-parents <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-things-most-people-screw-up-when-meeting-the-parents" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/boy-meeting-parent-77860976-small.jpg" alt="boy meeting parent" title="boy meeting parent" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The dread. Everyone at some point must meet their partner's parents. How can you avoid looking like Ben Stiller in <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002K06NB8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002K06NB8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=QUJGRKBFGKYCJUL6">Meet the Parents</a>? Learn from these 15 things most people screw up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-have-fun-at-your-in-laws?ref=seealso">11 Ways to Have Fun at Your In-Laws</a>)</p> <h2>1. The Pre-Meet Discussion</h2> <p>Always, <em>always</em> discuss the parents with your significant other before meeting them. Learn the sore spots. What do they like? What do they detest? Are there familial relationships not to ask about (divorces, sibling issues)? Going in blind will be just the first of a whole evening of screw-ups.</p> <h2>2. The Arrival</h2> <p>Arriving late to anything involving his or her parents is a great way to show them that you do not value their time. Avoid appearing like an inconsiderate narcissist or someone who doesn't have their life together and get there five minutes early.</p> <h2>3. The Smartphone</h2> <p>Unless the parents are Facebook-obsessed phone hogs themselves, stay off your phone in front of them and do not bring your phone to the dinner table. It appears immature and disrespectful of those who want to engage with you in person.</p> <h2>4. The Conversation</h2> <p>Don't wait for your partner to strike up conversation! If you did your homework before the meeting, you'll know what to bring up. Ask questions about movies, books, TV shows, and sports teams they may like so you appear as interested in them as they are you.</p> <h2>5. The Anxiety Management</h2> <p>Let's face it: when you're anxious, you radiate it and it affects those around you. Remember that meeting your partner's parents is a good milestone in the relationship. Just be yourself and go with the flow. Don't let fear take over.</p> <h2>6. The Wardrobe</h2> <p>This one sounds easy, but it requires some thought. Where are you going: dinner party, boating, seeing a play? If it's a long trip, make sure you have the right outfit for each occasion. Always err on the conservative side: button down shirts, work dresses, sweaters, and sharp jackets. Shoes say a lot about a person, so make sure you have attractive but functional shoes.</p> <h2>7. The TMI</h2> <p>On a first meeting, there is no reason to bring up personal topics such as childhood trauma, religious beliefs, medical history, political views, relationship history, or anything else only close friends should know. You can slowly divulge personal details as you get to know your partner's parents over time, when it feels right.</p> <h2>8. The Listening</h2> <p>Your memory's got to be a steel trap when talking to the parents. Don't gloss over details when speaking over dinner, because you never know when that information will be handy. Never, ever cut off a parent when they are talking, either.</p> <h2>9. The Speaking</h2> <p>Sometimes, it's just not your turn to talk. Say your partner gets into a fight with their parents in front of you. Do not take over the argument in an attempt to defend your partner, nor should you do the same for the parents. Be light and try to change the subject, but if you can't, just let it pass. Your partner has to be able to negotiate his or her own adult relationship with the parents.</p> <h2>10. The PDA Boundary</h2> <p>A kiss on the cheek is fine. A full open-mouthed bonanza in the same room as the parents? That will only make them uncomfortable. Your partner will likely feel awkward afterward, too. Who wants that?</p> <h2>11. The Check</h2> <p>It's sweet to bring a gift, offer coffee, or pay for movie tickets, but when parents host, they tend to be the ones to pay. Make sure you are not overstepping your bounds in offering to pay for too much.</p> <h2>12. The House Rules</h2> <p>Every house has rules, and if you are staying with your girlfriend or boyfriend's parents, there are likely to be a few. Do your homework. Make sure you put the towels where they go. If they have a stringent &quot;no-sex in the house&quot; rule, do yourself a favor and follow it. They will know if you don't, and it will be awful.</p> <h2>13. The Interrogation</h2> <p>There will be an interrogation, always. Trust that your partner will interject with good words for you. If your partner's parents say something hurtful, like unintentionally belittling your career, keep a smile on your face and answer questions truthfully and without defensive tactics.</p> <h2>14. The Humility</h2> <p>Hopefully your partner has told his or her parents everything about you and how great you are, so you don't have to feel like you're proving yourself to a panel of judges. Try your best to be honest and not to exaggerate your accomplishments. Definitely do not brag about your salary or other material factoids &mdash; it will make you appear superficial.</p> <h2>15. The Relationship That Matters</h2> <p>This one's key. If you and your partner are having a disagreement or communication issues, try to sort them out before visiting the parents. Small moments of tension can leave a lasting impression. Definitely schedule in some alone time so you can speak honestly without the parents present.</p> <p><em>Did you make any of these &mdash; or other &mdash; missteps when you met the parents? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-most-people-screw-up-when-meeting-the-parents">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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-to-deal-when-your-spouse-is-suffering-from-burnout">How to Deal When Your Spouse is Suffering From Burnout</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/spice-up-the-conversation-by-skipping-what-do-you-do">Spice Up the Conversation by Skipping &quot;What Do You Do?&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-be-happy-and-married-24-tips-from-a-24-year-old-marriage">How to Be Happy and Married: 24 Tips from a 24-Year-Old Marriage</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-7-best-free-tools-to-improve-your-work-performance">The 7 Best Free Tools to Improve Your Work Performance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-things-car-salesmen-dont-want-you-to-know">17 Things Car Salesmen Don&#039;t Want You to Know</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks family first impressions in-laws relationships Thu, 09 Oct 2014 11:00:05 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1228112 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Save on Medical Costs and Improve Your Family’s Health http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-save-on-medical-costs-and-improve-your-family-s-health <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-save-on-medical-costs-and-improve-your-family-s-health" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/medical-exam-181306228-small.jpg" alt="medical exam" title="medical exam" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some amazing articles on saving on medical costs and improving your family's health, things you need to throw away, and remaining frugal while traveling.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/twelve-inexpensive-strategies-for-saving-on-medical-costs-and-improving-your-familys-health/">Twelve Inexpensive Strategies for Saving on Medical Costs and Improving Your Family&rsquo;s Health</a> &mdash; To save money on medical costs and improve your family's health, eat a better diet, and evaluate free health clinics. [The Simple Dollar]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Things-Throw-Away-21653157">11 Things You Need to Throw Away</a> &mdash; It's ok to get rid of books you haven't touched in awhile or expired medicines. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.americandebtproject.com/2014/07/how-to-remain-frugal-while-traveling/">How to Remain Frugal While Traveling</a> &mdash; Only bringing carry-ons can help you remain frugal while traveling. [American Debt Project]</p> <p><a href="http://nhpr.org/post/adults-who-wear-kids-clothing-saving-money-through-size">Adults Who Wear Kids' Clothing: Saving Money Through Size</a> &mdash; If you could fit into kids clothing, would you buy it to save money? [New Hampshire Public Radio]</p> <p><a href="http://onecentatatime.com/tricks-to-lower-auto-insurance-premium/">Tricks to Lower Auto Insurance Premium</a> &mdash; Sustaining good credit can help you lower your auto insurance premium. [One Cent at a Time]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.budgetinginthefunstuff.com/5-apps-help-budget-better-summer/">5 Apps to Help You Budget Better This Summer</a> &mdash; To budget better this summer, use RetailMeNot and Hotel Tonight. [Budgeting in the Fun Stuff]</p> <p><a href="http://www.carefulcents.com/turn-freelance-dream-into-reality/">4 Ways to Turn Your Freelance Writing Dream Into a Reality</a> &mdash; Want to turn your dream of freelance writing into a reality? Find somewhere you like to work and go there. [Careful Cents]</p> <p><a href="http://www.20sfinances.com/planning-ahead-college/">Planning Ahead for College</a> &mdash; When planning ahead for college, take the time to get to know your roommate before you move in with him or her. [20's Finances]</p> <p><a href="http://couponpal.com/blog/top-5-beach-essentials-you-need-before-you-hit-the-sand">Top 5 Beach Essentials You Need Before Hitting the Sand</a> &mdash; Before you head to the beach, don't forget to pack your flip flops and sunscreen. [CouponPal]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/8-tips-to-help-your-kids-survive-sharing-a-bedroom">8 Tips to Help Your Kids Survive Sharing a Bedroom</a> &mdash; If your kids are sharing a bedroom, set some ground rules and prepare for bumps. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-save-on-medical-costs-and-improve-your-family-s-health">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-exercise-tools-for-a-killer-workout">10 Cheap Exercise Tools for a Killer Workout</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-science-says-travel-is-good-for-your-health">5 Ways Science Says Travel Is Good for Your Health</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-high-cost-of-cheap-food">The High Cost of Cheap Food</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/is-pet-health-insurance-worth-it">Is Pet Health Insurance Worth It?</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/14-dumb-things-holding-you-back-from-losing-weight">14 Dumb Things Holding You Back From Losing Weight</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty best money tips family Health medical Wed, 30 Jul 2014 19:00:06 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1171486 at http://www.wisebread.com Dads Who Do Dishes Raise Ambitious Daughters (and 4 Other Ways Any Parent Can Help Their Kid Succeed) http://www.wisebread.com/dads-who-do-dishes-raise-ambitious-daughters-and-4-other-ways-any-parent-can-help-their-kid-succeed <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dads-who-do-dishes-raise-ambitious-daughters-and-4-other-ways-any-parent-can-help-their-kid-succeed" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/child-entrepreneur-172429752-small.jpg" alt="child entrepreneur" title="child entrepreneur" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="137" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A recent study by UBC found that dads who do the dishes &mdash; and other household chores &mdash; <a href="http://news.ubc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/FULL-submitted-version-PSCI-13-1163-R2.pdf">tend to raise more ambitious daughters</a> than dads who stick to more traditional (or, dare I say, outdated) gender roles and leave the kitchen duties to the women in the house. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-important-lessons-frugal-parents-teach-their-children?ref=seealso">7 Important Financial Lessons Kids Teach Their Children</a>)</p> <p>I am not a mother (yet), but I'd say I'm a pretty ambitious daughter myself. And yes, my dad did do the dishes. In fact, he did them every single night. Coincidence? Probably. But sticking dad with kitchen duty isn't the only way to raise daughters who want to take on the world. Here are a few things that could make a difference.</p> <h2>But First&hellip;</h2> <p>Before looking at how to turn precocious young girls into determined young women, we have to acknowledge the existence of what Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg calls &quot;<a href="http://www.makers.com/sheryl-sandberg/moments/closing-ambition-gap">the ambition gap</a>.&quot; According to Sandberg, even though girls in the United States are well-educated, most still <a href="http://www.catalyst.org/knowledge/women-ceos-fortune-1000">fail to make it to the executive level</a> in business, <a href="http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/fast_facts/levels_of_office/Current_Numbers.php">don't have proportional representation in political office</a>, and <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/upshot/the-pay-gap-is-because-of-gender-not-jobs.html">still earn significantly less</a> in almost all jobs compared to men. And, of course, this doesn't happen because women are less capable, or even less interested. It happens, according to many experts, because so far, our world hasn't been designed to set girls up for this kind of success.</p> <p>So, rather than looking at how to raise more ambitious <em>daughters</em>, I'm going to look at what the research says about raising more ambitious <em>children</em>. I think the idea here is that these lessons should be applied equally to both girls and boys.</p> <p>Here are four ways that have been shown to help kids to achieve their best &mdash; whatever that may be.</p> <h2>Stop at One</h2> <p>According to a study from the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex, the eldest or only female child in a family is likely to be (at least statistically) <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/apr/26/firstborn-children-excel-study-reveals">more capable and successful than her younger siblings</a>. So, if you want to give young girls the best chance, just have one.</p> <p>I'm kidding, of course. But the discrepancy is pretty interesting, and it disappears as the space between children in a family widens. The study's author, FeiFei Bu, believes that the difference could have something to do with parents' investment of time and effort into first-born children compared to their younger siblings. It's worth keeping in mind, especially since many experts still argue that birth order doesn't define a kid's destiny. But, they say that in order to reduce the birth-order effect, parents need to be aware of the biases they have about their children, and work to encourage their strengths individually.</p> <h2>Encourage Them (or Let Them) Dream Big</h2> <p>Big achievements usually start as big dreams and research suggests those are worth nurturing, no matter how abstract, grandiose, or even absurd they might seem. According to researchers at London University's Institute of Education, <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/education-19586824">little kids with the biggest dreams fared the best</a> as adults, regardless of their backgrounds. Sure, an unrealistic proportion of the kids in the study may have said they wanted to be sports stars or veterinarians. The fact that many of them probably didn't achieve those careers (and, by the time they got a little older may not have wanted to) doesn't matter. What made the difference is that their big goals gave them hope for the future.</p> <p>So how can parents encourage those big dreams? A <a href="http://www.suttontrust.com/our-work/research/download/70/">poll out of the U.K</a>. found that all it takes is opening up the conversation with kids about what they'd their lives to look like and encouraging them to &quot;think big.&quot; The poll also found benefit in education and career guidance from an early age.</p> <h2>Value Effort Over Achievement</h2> <p>When Stanford University researcher Carol Dweck told kids how smart and capable and awesome they were before asking them to assemble a puzzle, those kids did much worse than those who weren't praised at all. Weird, right? But it makes sense when you think about it.</p> <p>When you call someone &quot;smart,&quot; you give them a big, important label they feel they have to live up to. It becomes how they define themselves. The problem is that &quot;smart&quot; isn't really something you have to work at. In practice, that meant that the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/05/opinion/sunday/raising-successful-children.html?pagewanted=all">kids who weren't worried about being smart</a> tended to try harder at the tasks they were given, feel happier with their achievements, and progress better over time. According to Dweck's extensive research in this area, praising kids for their <em>efforts</em> rather than their achievements and encouraging them to do their best is the way to go. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-to-succeeding-at-absolutely-everything?ref=seealso"> The Secret to Succeeding at Absolutely Everything</a>)</p> <h2>Remember What's Important</h2> <p>Of course, there's more to life than becoming a CEO, and many parents are most concerned about raising their kids to be happy and healthy. And that isn't such a crazy idea. In <a href="http://&lt;a href=&quot;http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0345515625/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0345515625&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=ROL2XLDL2QYYTQBL&quot;&gt;">Raising Happiness: 10 Steps to More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents</a>, happiness expert and author Christine Carter says that kids who grow up and <a href="http://time.com/35496/how-to-raise-happy-kids-10-steps-backed-by-science/">learn to be happy are also more successful</a>, both in their jobs and in their relationships.</p> <p>Raising ambitious kids to believe in themselves, to have the emotional strength to keep trying at difficult tasks, and to learn to balance all that with becoming happy people is a huge job, even if dad is on dish duty. But hey, it's worth a try, right?</p> <p><em>What are you doing to raise ambitious daughters (and sons)? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tara-struyk">Tara Struyk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dads-who-do-dishes-raise-ambitious-daughters-and-4-other-ways-any-parent-can-help-their-kid-succeed">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke">24 Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-entertain-your-child-for-free-or-cheap">25 Ways to Entertain Your Child for Free or Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-private-schools-worth-the-money-they-demand">Are Private Schools Worth the Money They Demand?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-bad-money-habits-youre-teaching-your-kids">4 Bad Money Habits You&#039;re Teaching Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-fun-games-that-teach-your-kids-about-money">6 Fun Games That Teach Your Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family ambition children education family successful children Wed, 25 Jun 2014 11:00:03 +0000 Tara Struyk 1147197 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Cheap Nights Out With Your Family http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-cheap-nights-out-with-your-family <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-cheap-nights-out-with-your-family" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family-4975726-small.jpg" alt="family" title="family" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some stellar articles on cheap nights out with your family, winning interviews, and avoiding a garage sale letdown.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://barbarafriedbergpersonalfinance.com/cheap-nights-out-your-family/">5 Cheap Nights Out With Your Family</a> &mdash; Watching university sports games is a great way to have a cheap night out with the family. [Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2013/07/winning-interviews-1.html">Winning Interviews</a> &mdash; If you want to rock your interview, remember that the interview is about the interviewer, not you. [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2013/07/24/how-to-avoid-a-garage-sale-letdown/">How to avoid a garage sale letdown</a> &mdash; To avoid a garage sale letdown, know the value of your items and properly advertise your sale. [Get Rich Slowly]</p> <p><a href="http://www.threethriftyguys.com/2013/07/who-pays-the-most-for-car-insurance/">Who Pays More for Car Insurance?</a> &mdash; Did you know that State Farm and Nationwide don't take education or career levels into consideration when factoring insurance premiums? [Three Thrifty Guys]</p> <p><a href="http://www.dinksfinance.com/2013/07/so-you-want-to-be-self-employed-5-tips-to-help-you-get-there/">So you want to be self employed? 5 tips to help you get there.</a> &mdash; Offering your services for free when you are just starting out can help you be successful in your endeavor to become self employed. [DINKS Finance]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://retireby40.org/2013/07/7-phases-retirement/">The 7 Phases of Retirement</a> &mdash; For a two person plus kids household, the first phase of retirement is both people working. [Retire by 40]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thefrugaltoad.com/personalfinance/pros-and-cons-borrowing-against-a-401k">The Pros and Cons of Borrowing Against a 401k</a> &mdash; One of the cons of borrowing against a 401k is that your monthly take home pay is reduced. [The Frugal Toad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.fivecentnickel.com/2013/07/22/how-financial-milestones-have-changed-over-the-years/">How financial milestones have changed over the years</a> &mdash; In the past, people strived to make their age in salary, meaning if you were 25 you tried to make $25,000 per year. [Five Cent Nickel]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Best-Used-Goods-11529094">New Isn't Always Better: 12 Used Things to Love</a> &mdash; Tools and furniture are just a couple things to love used! [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/node/2346">ProSquad: Keeping an Eye on Your Baby's Development</a> &mdash; If your baby has poor head control at 3 months, that could be a developmental red flag. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-cheap-nights-out-with-your-family">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-holiday-mistakes-that-can-ruin-your-cheer">8 Holiday Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Cheer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-cheap-fun-things-to-do-with-kids-this-weekend">20 Cheap Fun Things to Do With Kids This Weekend</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/60-halloween-costume-ideas-that-can-save-you-money-and-time">60+ Halloween Costume Ideas That Can Save You Money and Time</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-celebrities-with-shockingly-low-net-worths">6 Celebrities With Shockingly Low Net Worths</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-amazing-board-games-you-can-diy">8 Amazing Board Games You Can DIY</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment best money tips cheap family nights out Fri, 26 Jul 2013 10:00:31 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 980863 at http://www.wisebread.com