Family http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4566/all en-US 4 Money Fights Married Couples Have (And How to Avoid Them) http://www.wisebread.com/4-money-fights-married-couples-have-and-how-to-avoid-them <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-money-fights-married-couples-have-and-how-to-avoid-them" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/could_this_be_the_final_straw_for_our_relationship.jpg" alt="Could this be the final straw for our relationship?" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When a couple first gets married, while the newlywed glow is still bright enough for strangers to see, it can seem as if nothing can ever get in the way of true love.</p> <p>But if you fast forward a few years, many couples will find that money has a seriously unpleasant effect on that love. Whether you are shouting at each other over a credit card bill, or living in chilly silence because of one spouse's financial decision, you may wonder why your love for each other is not enough to smooth over the jagged edges of your money disagreements. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-steps-to-a-blissful-matri-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Steps to a Blissful Matri-Money</a>)</p> <p>According to a 2014 poll by Money Magazine, money is the most common reason married couples fight, ahead of household chores, togetherness, sex, snoring, and what's for dinner. These financial fights often seem to follow similar patterns, no matter who the spouses are, how much they make, or where they live.</p> <p>That means it's possible for married couples to anticipate common money fights, and avoid them altogether. Here's what you need to know about four of the most frequent money arguments, and how you and your sweetheart can avoid them.</p> <h2>1. Disagreements over spending</h2> <p>It's a tale as old as time. One of you is a spender, and the other one is a natural born saver. When the spender comes home with brand-new gadgets and gizmos galore, the saver is likely to blow a gasket. What ensues is an argument about who is a buzzkill and who is irresponsible.</p> <h3>How to avoid this argument</h3> <p>Many individuals make the mistake of avoiding this argument by simply not telling their spouses about their spending. Money Magazine's poll found that a full 22 percent of spouses have spent money that their partner doesn't know about. But while keeping your spending secret might keep the peace for the moment, such secrecy causes much bigger problems down the road.</p> <p>Instead, couples should commit to having separate fun money funds. This is a great way for each of you to make purchases the other might see as unnecessary, without it becoming an issue.</p> <p>As long as you and your partner can agree on a budget amount for important-to-me purchases, this strategy will allow you to buy stuff that matters to you without having to fight about it with your spouse. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-conversations-every-couple-should-have?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Money Conversations Every Couple Should Have</a>)</p> <h2>2. Power struggles over money</h2> <p>In many relationships, one partner will believe he or she has the last say on financial decisions. Often, this comes about because of who is the higher earner, although these types of power struggles can also be rooted in beliefs about who is better with money &mdash; either because of gender stereotypes or the couple's specific relationship history.</p> <p>Unfortunately, these sorts of power struggles can really undermine the love between a married couple. When one partner wants to be the ultimate financial authority in the relationship, his or her actions can negate the equality between spouses, which can foster resentment and anger.</p> <h3>How to avoid this argument</h3> <p>It's important for spouses to recognize they are both on the same team when it comes to their money. To do that, they need to start viewing all income as &quot;our money&quot; and all decisions as &quot;our decisions.&quot;</p> <p>If the power struggle stems from the fact that one spouse brings in more money, one way to view things more equally is to sit down together and make a list of what you each do for the overall health of the relationship.</p> <p>This is a peacekeeping tactic that many marriage counselors advise for dealing with housework squabbles, but it works just as well for dealing with money imbalances. Once the higher-earner sees that the other partner does all the grocery shopping or laundry or airport drop-offs, it can help to put the high income in perspective. The high-earner would be keeping less of their income if each of those nonfinancial contributions by the low-earner had to be contracted out.</p> <p>If power struggles are rooted in a belief that one person is better with money, consider what would happen if either one of you died. If only one spouse takes care of the marital coffers, the other one will be vulnerable in the event of widowhood. Thinking through these kinds of worst-case scenarios can help spouses recognize the importance of each partner having financial responsibility and buy-in on financial decisions. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-worst-money-mistakes-married-people-make?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 7 Worst Money Mistakes Married People Make</a>)</p> <h2>3. Reactions to risk</h2> <p>Opposites often attract, particularly when it comes to risk tolerance. Often, the risk-averse, better-safe-than-sorry type and the risk-loving adrenaline junkie fall for each other, because Mr. Safety grounds Ms. Risky while she helps him expand his horizons. Unfortunately, these love matches can cause friction when it comes to financial decisions.</p> <p>For instance, one spouse may want to invest their savings into the business she is trying to get off the ground, while her husband would prefer to keep that money safe in the bank in case the business fails to launch. Such a couple might find themselves arguing over whether or not he believes in her, and whether or not she cares about his financial anxiety.</p> <p>Even couples who are both on the same page when it comes to the relative importance of a steady paycheck can strongly disagree about how much risk they are willing to accept in their investments. If he wants to chase returns with every no-fail promise of a tin mine in Bolivia, while she is happier to leave it all in CDs, savings accounts, and maybe a bond or two, there will be some serious fights about the future of their money.</p> <h3>How to avoid this argument</h3> <p>The best way to calm the fears of a risk-averse spouse is to make sure there is an upper limit to the amount of money that will be &quot;risked.&quot; For instance, an entrepreneurial spouse might promise to invest no more than 20 to 25 percent of their savings into the new business, which will give some room for growth while also providing the cushion that the other spouse needs to keep from breathing into a paper bag.</p> <p>Similarly, having a plan of action for investments can help a couple navigate their differing risk tolerances. Such a plan could design asset allocation that will mitigate risk and encourage growth &mdash; and potentially leave a small percentage available for the more speculative investments that will please the risk-taker in the couple. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-painless-ways-to-manage-money-with-your-partner?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Painless Ways to Manage Money With Your Partner</a>)</p> <h2>4. Disagreements over helping family</h2> <p>One of the toughest arguments between couples happens when a family member asks for money. Whether it's a one-time request because of a truly difficult situation, or it's a family member who regularly wants to borrow money from you, this can cause major stress for a couple.</p> <p>Often, these types of fights go further than just disagreements about the money &mdash; they can become arguments about each other's families and each spouse's expectations of dealing with them. Many a spouse has spent a few nights on the couch because of a loan to a family member.</p> <h3>How to avoid this argument</h3> <p>The best way to avoid this kind of disagreement is to talk about it ahead of time. After you have been asked for money or have already given money to a family member is a bad time to hash out how you each feel about family loans. In particular, the issues you need to agree on are these:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Can you consider any money you give to family in need as a gift rather than a loan?</p> </li> <li> <p>If it has to be a loan, can you agree to have a legal loan document written up to make sure you are reimbursed?</p> </li> <li> <p>What is the maximum amount of money you are willing to give or loan to family in an emergency?</p> </li> <li> <p>Is there a maximum number of times you are willing to help the same family member?</p> </li> <li> <p>Are there nonfinancial ways you can offer to help if giving or loaning money is not in the cards?</p> </li> </ul> <p>Getting on the same page on these issues before a relative asks for money can help ensure that your bond with your spouse stays strong, no matter how often your shiftless cousin Lenny asks for a couple hundred dollars. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-16-cardinal-rules-of-loaning-money-to-friends-and-family?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 16 Cardinal Rules of Loaning Money to Friends and Family</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-money-fights-married-couples-have-and-how-to-avoid-them">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-i-learned-about-money-after-getting-married">8 Things I Learned About Money After Getting Married</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-average-people-should-consider-a-prenup">6 Reasons Average People Should Consider a Prenup</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-put-your-spouse-on-a-budget-without-ruining-your-marriage">How to Put Your Spouse on a Budget Without Ruining Your Marriage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-simple-ways-to-split-bills-with-your-spouse">3 Simple Ways to Split Bills With Your Spouse</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/ow-do-you-deal-with-family-members-who-are-bad-at-managing-money">How Do You Deal With Family Members Who Are Bad At Managing Money?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family couples fights income disparity loaning money marriage money management power struggles spending spouses Tue, 13 Feb 2018 09:30:08 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2103142 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Help Your Adult Children Become Financially Independent http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-help-your-adult-children-become-financially-independent <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-help-your-adult-children-become-financially-independent" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girl_with_her_dreams.jpg" alt="Girl with her dreams" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are your adult children still living at home? Are you sending checks to your post-college sons or daughters to help them pay their student loans, car payments, or cellphone bills? If so, you have adult kids who haven't yet become financially independent.</p> <p>It isn't uncommon for parents to help their grown children with money matters. The problem is how quickly this can stunt a young adult's financial independence. If you've been supporting your adult kids financially, you may need to make some lifestyle changes to help your children break away from the comfort of your bank account. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-raise-your-kids-to-be-financially-independent?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Raise Your Kids to Be Financially Independent</a>)</p> <h2>1. Don't bottle up your feelings</h2> <p>Are you frustrated that your adult children eat your food, throw their dirty laundry in your hamper, and fall asleep on your couch in the middle of the day? Express yourself.</p> <p>You aren't required to help your adult children financially or provide them a free place to stay, and it's understandable if this is making you unhappy. Make it clear that this is only a temporary situation. And while changes aren't likely to happen overnight, a conversation will get the ball rolling. Sit down with your kids and form a plan for how they are going to move toward financial independence over the next three months. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-conversations-parents-should-have-with-their-adult-kids?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Money Conversations Parents Should Have With Their Adult Kids</a>)</p> <h2>2. Change the expectations</h2> <p>Forming that plan also means setting the right expectations. Explain that your adult children need to do something to earn your largesse. If you are providing them with a free place to live, for instance, make it clear to them that they must do their own laundry, chip in for buying groceries, pay at least some rent, and help with other household chores.</p> <h2>3. Teach them about budgeting</h2> <p>The quickest way to financial independence is to learn how to spend money wisely. Your adult children won't be able to do this if they don't know how to create a household budget.</p> <p>Help them create a list of monthly expenses; ones that don't fluctuate, those that do, and those that are discretionary. Next, have them list their monthly income. This will show your kid how much money they have coming in, and how much is going out. They can better figure out how much to stash away in savings or spend on rent, if they are ready to move out.</p> <p>With a budget guiding them, it is far less likely that your adult children will run into the financial trouble that might land them back on your doorstep. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-help-your-kid-build-their-first-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Help Your Kid Build Their First Budget</a>)</p> <h2>4. Help them learn how to use a credit card</h2> <p>A strong credit score is essential. Lenders use this number to determine if you can get a loan or credit card, and at what interest rate. Your adult children will need to establish their own credit history to build strong credit scores. And a higher credit score will help them become financially independent.</p> <p>The problem many young adults face is that they haven't built up enough of a credit history to have a strong credit score. In some cases, they may not have a credit score yet at all. You can help your kids build a credit score by teaching them how to properly use a credit card.</p> <p>The key is for your kids to pay their credit card bills on time and in full every month. As a parent, you can teach your adult children how important using credit wisely can be to becoming financially independent. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-to-improve-your-credit-score?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Use Credit Cards to Improve Your Credit Score</a>)</p> <h2>5. Teach them about wants and needs</h2> <p>Your adult children might want the latest iPhone. But they don't necessarily need it. Teach your children the difference between spending on necessities &mdash; food, rent, transportation to and from work &mdash; and on toys such as high-tech smartphones, the latest laptops, and expensive clothes.</p> <p>If your children are relying on you for financial assistance, they shouldn't be buying the most expensive new electronics and fashions on the market. Make sure your children know that your financial support isn't intended to fund their more frivolous purchases. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-you-should-make-your-adult-child-pay-for?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Things You Should Make Your Adult Child Pay For</a>)</p> <h2>6. Set limits</h2> <p>If you want you kids to only spend the money you give them on necessities like rent and transportation, make this clear. Determine how much they will need to spend on items such as monthly train passes, rent, or groceries. Only give them the financial assistance they need to pay for these items.</p> <p>If your adult children want to spend on other items such as entertainment or electronics, they'll have to earn that money on their own.</p> <h2>7. Work up an end date</h2> <p>Finally, set a date with your adult kids for when your financial assistance will come to an end. Helping an adult child financially shouldn't be a lifelong commitment on your part. You might decide, for instance, to give your children six months to find a place to live and a job that pays enough to cover the rent.</p> <p>Your end date might not actually be tied to a date. Maybe instead, you'll determine that your financial assistance will end once your children find that higher-paying job they need.</p> <p>However you set it up, make it clear that your financial help does have a time limit. Without one, your kids might not be motivated to move on from your monetary support.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-help-your-adult-children-become-financially-independent">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/4-things-you-should-make-your-adult-child-pay-for">4 Things You Should Make Your Adult Child Pay For</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-the-holidays-to-teach-kids-about-money">How to Use the Holidays to Teach Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-conversations-parents-should-have-with-their-adult-kids">7 Money Conversations Parents Should Have With Their Adult Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-before-moving-out-on-your-own">5 Money Moves to Make Before Moving Out on Your Own</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-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-the-kids-move-out">7 Money Moves to Make as Soon as the Kids Move Out</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family adult children bills budgeting communication financial independence kids money lessons responsibility student loans young adults Mon, 12 Feb 2018 09:30:06 +0000 Dan Rafter 2097696 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Romantic Getaways Any Couple Can Afford http://www.wisebread.com/7-romantic-getaways-any-couple-can-afford <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-romantic-getaways-any-couple-can-afford" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_in_love_working_at_winemaker_vineyard.jpg" alt="Couple in love working at winemaker vineyard" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everybody likes to get away with their significant other, but skipping town for a leisurely weekend of lovey-doveyness is often cost prohibitive ... if you don't know where to look. Luckily, I've done the legwork so you don't have to. Now all you'll need to do is book some dates, pack your bags, and get all heart-eye emoji for each other with these romantic, mini vacays that any couple can afford.</p> <h2>1. Hamilton, Ohio</h2> <p>Your first choice for a romantic getaway probably isn't the great state of Ohio, but there's a case to be made for this often-overlooked destination. I was pleasantly surprised on a recent trip to Columbus (local entrepreneurs basically run the show), and I'm looking forward to visiting Cincinnati to catch a baseball game this summer.</p> <p>There's a smaller community called Hamilton, however &mdash; located right on the Great Miami River in southwestern Ohio, and just 33 miles from Cincinnati &mdash; that should absolutely be on your radar. One of the oldest communities in the region, founded in 1791, Hamilton has recently experienced revitalization, turning its downtown area into a thriving center for arts, dining, and recreational activities.</p> <p>During your stay you'll want to pop into craft brewery Municipal Brew Works, experience the Donut Trail (which basically has you eating your way through Butler County), stroll through the German Village Historic District, and catch a nostalgic meal at Jolly's Drive-In, an 81-year-old institution serving all the junk-food classics. Sounds pretty romantic to me.</p> <h2>2. Glamping Hub</h2> <p>Glamping Hub, which connects explorers and wanderlusters with amazing accommodations at unbelievable rates, is worth a look when planning your wallet-happy, romantic adventure. It's honestly one of the best values I've come across.</p> <p>For as low as $54 a night, you can snag this <a href="https://glampinghub.com/unitedstatesofamerica/south/tennessee/pigeonforge/tennessee-smoky-mountains-park-cabin/" target="_blank">cabin near the Great Smoky Mountains</a> in Tennessee, or this <a href="https://glampinghub.com/unitedstatesofamerica/noncontinental/hawaii/oceanview/yurt-rental-hawaii/?checkin=&amp;checkout=&amp;guests=2" target="_blank">yurt rental in Hawaii</a> for $53 a night. You'll only spend $86 to surf and practice your Spanish with a stay in the <a href="https://glampinghub.com/mexico/nayarit/sayulita/canvas-cabins-pacific-mexico/" target="_blank">jungle safari tents in Mexico</a>, and just $84 a night to kick your boots up in these <a href="https://glampinghub.com/unitedstatesofamerica/south/texas/newbraunfels/romantic-getaway-new-braunfels-texas/" target="_blank">romantic luxury cabins in Texas</a>. There are destinations available on every continent if you want to really get out of Dodge, and some are pet-friendly, so you can bring your fur-baby along.</p> <h2>3. North Conway, New Hampshire</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/north_conway_usa.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>If you and your boo like to hit the slopes, North Conway, NH, is your snowy paradise. The village has won numerous awards for its skiing options, including being named one of top five ski towns in the USA by 10 Best Awards, and a top 25 ski town in the world by National Geographic.</p> <p>Downtown, you'll find a quaint community with an old-fashioned train station, eclectic shops, and general stores &mdash; some complete with penny candy counters. Within Mt. Washington Valley region, and inside North Conway, there are write-home-about restaurants, train and sleigh rides, dog sledding, snowmobiling, ice skating, fat biking, and snowshoeing.</p> <p>With 150 lodging properties from which to choose, you'll easily find a place to stay for $100 to $150 per night, including breakfast for two. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-affordable-winter-getaways-for-the-family?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Affordable Winter Getaways for the Family</a>)</p> <h2>4. New Orleans, Louisiana</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/french_quarter_new_orleans.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>New Orleans is a one-of-a-kind American city. You feel like you're visiting a foreign place when you go there, without the high cost of international airfare. And one of the best ways to see the Crescent City on a budget is to time your trip right <em>after </em>Mardi Gras, when accommodation prices drop to make up for the mass exodus of revelers. This year, that time period falls on Valentine's Day, so, if you're spontaneous enough, it could work out in your favor. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-ways-to-spend-less-money-on-valentines-day?ref=seealso" target="_blank">14 Ways to Spend Less Money on Valentine's Day</a>)</p> <p>You'll both love exploring the French Quarter, and you have to make a stop at the famed Café Du Monde for a bag of freshly made beignets and cups of chicory coffee. No romantic trip to 'Nawlins is complete without it.</p> <h2>5. Long Beach, California</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/long_beach_downtown_ca.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>There's always something exciting and romantic to do in southern California, and Long Beach is no exception.</p> <p>Plan your visit to start on a Friday and kick it off with a free visit to The Museum of Art, with lush lawns and ocean views. You'll enjoy the all-in-one-place convenience of The Pike at Rainbow Harbor, which offers bowling, a movie theater, retail stores, plus Ferris wheel and roller coaster rides. Go at night to enjoy the harbor lights.</p> <p>If you're a water lover, rent a Hydrobike or kayak to cruise through the Naples canals. On Saturday, throw it way back with free roller skate lessons at the Moxie Skate Shop before heading to the Art Theatre to catch a new-release independent movie. For inexpensive accommodations in this beach town, check Airbnb or other vacation rental sites. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-vacation-rental-alternatives-to-airbnb?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Vacation Rental Alternatives to Airbnb</a>)</p> <h2>6. Colorado Springs, Colorado</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/pikes_peak_and_garden_of_the_gods_colorado_springs.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>There are plenty of free or low-cost outdoor adventures to enjoy in Colorado Springs. Recently, my boyfriend and I visited the area and enjoyed a romantic hike to Helen Hunt Falls (named after the writer, not the actress), a 19-mile scenic drive up to Pikes Peak, and a sunrise stroll through Garden of the Gods park, all for a grand total of $20, which was for a toll to the top of the mountain; the other experiences were free. We also stopped at the five-star Broadmoor Resort for wine and pizza in front of a fireplace one afternoon (around $30 total for lunch), and we took an easy hourlong drive up to Denver to visit friends.</p> <p>If you're from the East Coast and don't get out west much, you'll be blown away by nature's magnificence in and around Colorado Springs. The region's <a href="https://www.visitcos.com/where-to-stay/" target="_blank">visitors bureau</a> provides plenty of affordable lodging options from hotels, motels, and bed-and-breakfasts, to cabins, cottages, and campgrounds. It all depends on how you prefer to cuddle up at night.</p> <h2>7. Charlottesville, Virginia</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/blue_ridge_mountains_at_sunrise.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Named one of the nine most romantic cities in the south by Huffington Post, and the fourth most romantic city in America by Livability.com, Charlottesville is rich with history dating back to our Founding Fathers. You'll find romance at every turn, whether it's at one of the region's scenic vineyards (there's more than 30 in the area); breaking a sweat hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains; or walking hand-in-hand along the brick-paved, pedestrian-friendly Downtown Mall &mdash; lined with cozy cafes, rooftop bars, and a can't-miss chocolate shop. Charlottesville also is home to a number of romantic B&amp;Bs, inns, and boutique hotels that offer great deals on rates and special packages.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-romantic-getaways-any-couple-can-afford">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-divide-rewards-and-keep-your-sanity-in-divorce">How to Divide Rewards and Keep Your Sanity in Divorce</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-incredible-unesco-world-heritage-sites-right-here-in-the-us">11 Incredible UNESCO World Heritage Sites Right Here in the U.S.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-fun-affordable-travel-ideas-for-singles">6 Fun, Affordable Travel Ideas for Singles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-great-places-to-take-the-family-for-spring-break">8 Great Places to Take the Family for Spring Break</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-affordable-family-getaways-when-you-dont-have-a-vacation-fund">7 Affordable Family Getaways When You Don&#039;t Have a Vacation Fund</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Travel romantic destinations romantic getaways travel ideas travel tips valentines day valentines day gifts valentines day ideas Thu, 08 Feb 2018 10:00:06 +0000 Mikey Rox 2100156 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Signs You're Financially Ready to Start a Family http://www.wisebread.com/7-signs-youre-financially-ready-to-start-a-family <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-signs-youre-financially-ready-to-start-a-family" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_mother_and_baby_playing_at_home.jpg" alt="Happy mother and baby playing at home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are no two ways about it; having kids is expensive. The USDA estimates the cost of raising a child from birth through age 17 to be an astounding $233,610. This figure includes food, housing, transportation, health care, clothing, child care and education, and miscellaneous costs. And anyone with children knows that they remain an expense far past the age of 17.</p> <p>Understanding that having children is a lifetime commitment both emotionally and financially is a great first step in the process of deciding when to start a family. But what comes next? How do you know that you are financially ready to handle the responsibility of starting a family?</p> <p>There is no definitive answer to this question because there is no magic income or savings number that can dictate when you are ready for a family. However, there are some benchmarks and indicators that can assist you in making this life-altering decision. Here are the signs that you are financially ready for kids. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-unexpected-expenses-of-a-new-baby?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Unexpected Expenses of a New Baby</a>)</p> <h2>1. You have a clear financial plan</h2> <p>Having a clear vision of where you would like to be in the future is extremely important. And though things rarely go exactly as planned, it is still important to put a plan in place. Planning for your retirement, and setting clear investing and savings goals, is crucial.</p> <p>Your financial plan should include things like a college fund, sports, music lessons, and all of the other things you want to expose your kids to. Will one parent stay at home for a while? How many children are you planning to have? Do you have aging parents that you may have to assist in the future?</p> <p>You'll also want to set aside money specifically for &quot;kid stuff&quot; such as baby proofing the house, child care, tutoring, equipment for extracurricular activities, and the list goes on. The cost of having kids is never-ending, so that must be accounted for in your overall financial plan.</p> <h2>2. You stick to a budget</h2> <p>A financial plan establishes the ultimate destination, whereas a budget acts as a GPS and governs the day-to-day details. If you struggle with budgeting, you may want to hold off on starting a family until you master the habit. Kids can throw your finances completely out of whack, and if you don't live by a budget, you can quickly find yourself drowning in debt and unable to save for retirement or your children's future. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-using-these-5-excuses-not-to-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Stop Using These 5 Excuses Not to Budget</a>)</p> <h2>3. You have decent health care</h2> <p>If you are considering starting a family, decent health care is a must. When you have a child, you become responsible for their health and wellbeing. And while health care is expensive, you have to value the physical and emotional wellbeing of your family over having nice things.</p> <p>Take a look at your current health care policy to see what adjustments you need to make. Your plan should change as your family changes. When your kids are babies, it's best to have a plan that is comprehensive to cover the &quot;what-ifs.&quot; New parents need to be able to take a baby to the doctor whenever they sense something isn't right. Some of those trips may result in the doctor simply reassuring them that the baby is fine, but that peace of mind is priceless. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-one-question-you-need-to-answer-to-choose-the-best-health-care-plan?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The One Question You Need to Answer to Choose the Best Health Care Plan</a>)</p> <h2>4. Saving is one of your top financial priorities</h2> <p>In order to provide stability for your family and for your future, saving money has to be one of your top priorities. Savings &mdash; emergency, rainy day, retirement, and college funds &mdash; are your source of security when life gets unpredictable. At the very least, an emergency fund with six months' to a year's worth of living expenses can protect your family from an unexpected expense or job loss. Before you add kids to the mix, work toward saving at least that much. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-savings-strategy-that-works-for-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Find the Savings Strategy That Works For You</a>)</p> <h2>5. You have little debt</h2> <p>If you have (and value having) little to no debt, this is a sign that you are financially ready to expand your family. Kids are expensive and full of hidden financial surprises. They grow faster than expected and come with gifts and talents that need nurturing. And nurturing comes with a hefty price tag.</p> <p>You should aggressively eliminate as much debt as possible before you grow your family. This means getting rid of student loans and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fastest-method-to-eliminate-credit-card-debt?ref=internal" target="_blank">paying off credit card debt</a> as much as you are able to. It is impossible to anticipate every expense you will have with kids, but you'll want to free up as much money as possible so you can provide your family with appropriate health care, child care, and education options. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-first-steps-to-paying-off-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Easy First Steps to Paying Off Debt</a>)</p> <h2>6. You know how to live frugally</h2> <p>Having a family is a sacrificial endeavor. Before you have children, you must come to grips with the fact that you can't have it all and do it all. The ability to stretch a dollar and pinch pennies in tight times is a necessity. You have to know when and how to cut costs to ensure you can provide for your family long-term.</p> <p>Start looking for ways to cut costs before your children come. Visit the dollar store, start thrifting, and embrace the DIY lifestyle. Figure out a system of meal prepping that will save you both time and money. What skills and abilities do you already have that can translate into savings? Can you cut your child's hair, alter their clothes, or tutor them yourself in math? Evaluate what you already have and figure out how to put it to use.</p> <h2>7. You view family as an investment</h2> <p>The last sign that you are ready for kids directly relates to your perception of family. As a parent, viewing your kids as an investment will help you make solid financial decisions that will yield high returns. It is imperative that you analyze your financial decisions and make each one count. Maybe in lieu of buying your kids the newest sneakers, you'll get them a tutor. Instead of purchasing the latest gaming system, you'll invest in music lessons or science camp.</p> <p>Investing in your kids sets them up to win in life. This means saying &quot;no&quot; to indulging their every whim. There's nothing wrong with buying your kids designer clothes, of course &mdash; but you must ask yourself, is that a good investment and is that the best use of those funds?</p> <p>Growing your family can be one of the most rewarding decisions you'll ever make. But it certainly comes at a cost. Going down a financial readiness &quot;checklist&quot; is a smart guideline that can help set you &mdash; and your future kids &mdash; up for a successful and financially stable life.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/denise-hill">Denise Hill</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-signs-youre-financially-ready-to-start-a-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/7-money-moves-that-ll-protect-you-during-the-next-recession">7 Money Moves That’ll Protect You During the Next Recession</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-personal-finance-resolutions-anyone-can-master">8 Personal Finance Resolutions Anyone Can Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-find-emergency-funds-when-you-dont-have-an-emergency-fund">Where to Find Emergency Funds When You Don&#039;t Have an Emergency Fund</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-conversations-parents-should-have-with-their-adult-kids">7 Money Conversations Parents Should Have With Their Adult 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/reach-your-money-goals-faster-with-a-simple-naming-trick">Reach Your Money Goals Faster With a Simple Naming Trick</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family babies budgeting debt emergency funds financial readiness having kids health care planning saving money Tue, 06 Feb 2018 10:00:06 +0000 Denise Hill 2097695 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Ways to Help Your Adult Kids and Still Save for Retirement http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-help-your-adult-kids-and-still-save-for-retirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-ways-to-help-your-adult-kids-and-still-save-for-retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girl_in_shopping.jpg" alt="Girl in shopping" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's natural to want to help your adult children financially, whether it's giving them cash for a down payment on a home, or helping them pay off their student loan debt.</p> <p>But don't make the mistake of shorting your own retirement funds while doing this. Your financial priority should be saving enough for <em>your </em>after-work years. If you want to help your adult children, too, that's fine &mdash; but only if you can afford to, and only if you set limits.</p> <p>Here are several rules you should follow when giving your grown children financial assistance.</p> <h2>Check your budget first</h2> <p>Student loan debt continues to grow for young people. According to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the national outstanding student loan debt stood at $1.36 trillion as of Sept. 30, 2017.</p> <p>It's tempting for parents to help their children with monthly student loan payments, especially if their children are recent grads still trying to find good jobs. But before you start helping your kids pay back those loans, take a close look at your own household budget to make sure that you can afford to help.</p> <p>Your budget should include the money you bring in each month and the money that goes out, including your spending on variable items like groceries, entertainment, and dining out. It should also include the money you need to put away each month for your retirement. If helping your children financially will cut into those retirement savings, either don't provide the help, or offer your adult children a smaller amount of money.</p> <p>If you discover that helping out will bust your budget altogether, don't do it. Hurting your own financial situation won't help anybody. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-ruining-your-retirement-by-spoiling-your-kids?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Are You Ruining Your Retirement by Spoiling Your Kids?</a>)</p> <h2>Consider giving loans, not gifts</h2> <p>Sometimes the best way to give your adult children financial support is to ask that they pay you back over time. Don't feel bad about helping your children with a loan instead of a gift &mdash; it's not unreasonable to ask your kids to pay you back, perhaps on a monthly repayment schedule that they can afford. If your children can't afford to pay you back now, agree that they will start repaying you once they land a better-paying job.</p> <p>If your adult kids are buying a home, giving them money gets a little more complicated. If you <em>gift</em> your children money for a down payment, they will need to be able to prove to their mortgage lender that the money is a gift, and provide a letter detailing that it does not need to be paid back.</p> <p>Then, there's the issue of gift tax liability: The annual gift tax exclusion is $15,000 per recipient. Giving your child anything beyond that means you will have to report it on Form 709 of your taxes. However, that doesn't mean you'll pay the gift tax right away. You can apply the gift toward your lifetime exclusion of $5.6 million in combined estate/gift tax exemption. Also note that <em>each</em> parent could gift $15,000 to their child <em>and</em> $15,000 to their child's spouse for a total of $60,000, before having to report the gifts to the IRS.</p> <p><em>Loaning</em> your adult children a large sum for a down payment will also come under scrutiny by the IRS. If a formal arrangement is not made, and interest is not being paid, the IRS will view the funds as a gift and subject it to the gift tax rules outlined above. For a loan, a promissory note between you and your adult children should lay out the terms, including interest rate, repayment schedule, and any collateral. The interest rate on the loan should be at least as high as the applicable federal rates set by the IRS, or there could be further tax complications.</p> <p>Of course, if you can't afford to either loan or give your child money for a down payment, don't. Instead, encourage your kid to hold off on purchasing a home until they have saved enough money to cover the down payment on their own. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-easy-ways-to-start-saving-for-a-down-payment-on-a-home?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Easy Ways to Start Saving for a Down Payment on a Home</a>)</p> <h2>Expect something in return</h2> <p>If you're helping your adult children financially, it's OK to expect something in return. Adults still living in their parents' home should be expected to pay at least a token amount of monthly rent. They should also help pay for groceries and utility bills.</p> <p>Asking for rent or other payments isn't selfish on your part. Instead, you're reinforcing that your adult children are, indeed, adults. Being an adult comes with financial responsibilities, and it's an important lesson for your kids to learn. You don't have to charge a lot of rent, but charge something. Doing so could be one step toward turning your children into financially responsible adults. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-conversations-parents-should-have-with-their-adult-kids?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Money Conversations Parents Should Have With Their Adult Kids</a>)</p> <h2>Spell out wants versus needs</h2> <p>Finally, make sure that when you help your adult children financially, you are helping them with something they truly need versus something they want. It's one thing to help your kid pay their student loans. It's another to help them buy the latest smartphone. It's OK if your children don't have the most powerful laptop or an expensive car. They can get those things after they've saved and built up their own financial health.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-help-your-adult-kids-and-still-save-for-retirement">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-ruining-your-retirement-by-spoiling-your-kids">Are You Ruining Your Retirement by Spoiling Your Kids?</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/what-to-do-if-youre-retiring-with-debt">What to Do If You&#039;re Retiring With Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-help-your-adult-children-become-financially-independent">How to Help Your Adult Children Become Financially Independent</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-conversations-parents-should-have-with-their-adult-kids">7 Money Conversations Parents Should Have With Their Adult 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/4-of-the-fastest-ways-to-go-broke-in-retirement">4 of the Fastest Ways to Go Broke in Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Retirement adult children budgets charing rent down payments giving money kids loaning money wants vs needs Tue, 06 Feb 2018 09:00:06 +0000 Dan Rafter 2093195 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Things You Should Make Your Adult Child Pay For http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-you-should-make-your-adult-child-pay-for <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-things-you-should-make-your-adult-child-pay-for" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_daughter_and_mid_age_mother_daydreaming.jpg" alt="Young daughter and mid age mother daydreaming" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The USDA estimates that a child born in 2015 will cost their parents $233,610 by their 18th birthday. This staggering number is based on two-income, middle-class households and accounts for shelter, food, and other child-related expenses. It does not include college.</p> <p>Parents expecting a clean break at age 18 might be in for another costly surprise. NerdWallet recently commissioned a study which found that 80 percent of parents with adult children are chipping in with financial support. This support could be costing them up to $227,000 in retirement savings.</p> <p>Parents are paying for big-ticket items like tuition and student loans, as well as routine bills like cellphone payments and car insurance. To pay or not to pay? That is an ongoing question. Before deciding whether or not to take on an expense for your adult child, you should consider two questions.</p> <h2>Can you afford it?</h2> <p>First, can you afford the cost? Think not only of the monthly payment, but the entire financial obligation. If you have to take on debt to support your adult child's lifestyle, chances are you can't afford to help. Let your cash guide your decision.</p> <h2>Are you really helping?</h2> <p>Next, will paying their bills actually help your child? Covering an adult child's living expenses can teach a destructive lesson. Parents should consider whether the financial support is helping or hindering their child's growth. There may be other, long-lasting ways to support your kid that don't stunt their independence or zero out your savings.</p> <h2>What they should pay for</h2> <p>As a parent, I know there is an undeniable drive to take care of our children and smooth the rough patches. I imagine that never goes away. But, we must balance our desire to help our kids with the necessity of teaching them financial independence and maintaining our own financial security. We can help strike that match by making our adult kids pay for the following things. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-ruining-your-retirement-by-spoiling-your-kids?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Are You Ruining Your Retirement by Spoiling Your Kids?</a>)</p> <h3>Cellphones and service</h3> <p>Paying for an adult child's cellphone bill will cost you $1,200 in lost retirement savings in just one year, according to the NerdWallet study. Bump that up to five years, and you're missing out on over $5,300 in savings.</p> <p>A cellphone business model is a perfect tool to help your young adults learn responsibility and understand the consequences of missing a payment. Not only will the service become unavailable, but their friends will know they didn't pay their bill. Avoiding public shame can be a huge motivator.</p> <h3>Rent and housing expenses</h3> <p>If adult children cannot afford to pay their living expenses, parents should step back. Suggest they find a roommate, move to a less expensive location, or move in with family. Sometimes life throws a curveball, and a move back home with parents is necessary.</p> <p>Paying for ongoing living expenses only allows adult children to avoid facing their financial realities, and it will seriously dent your retirement savings. One year of support alone will cost you over $16,000. If this trend continues, you could miss out on more than $75,000 over five years. Help your child stand on their own two feet and keep your retirement plan on track.</p> <h3>Direct PLUS loans (and other student loans)</h3> <p>A Direct PLUS loan is an unsubsidized loan for the parents of dependent students. Taking out one of these loans to help fund your child's expensive college tuition and expenses is a bad idea.</p> <p>If you've exhausted all funding sources and still need to rely on a PLUS loan, it's time for your child to consider a more affordable education alternative. Direct PLUS loans are not awarded based on the borrower's ability to repay. Parents can easily find themselves overwhelmed with large bills exactly when they need to be more focused on saving for retirement.</p> <p>A 2015 study by the University of Southern California and the University of South Carolina found that parents borrow an average $21,000 for their children's college education, and more than 200,000 people are still paying these loans past retirement age. According to NerdWallet, helping adult children repay student loans costs parents $80,000 in savings. It's time to pass that bill on to your child.</p> <h3>Credit card payments</h3> <p>If young adults are racking up excessive credit card debt, their parents may be tempted to swoop in, pay off some of those high-interest balances, and give their kids a fresh start.</p> <p>Not so fast.</p> <p>Paying this bill robs your child of the valuable lessons learned in digging themselves out of a financial hole. Whether they are forced to file bankruptcy and rebuild their credit, or make the sacrifices necessary to pay back the borrowed funds, that experience forces them to confront their irresponsible choices and contend with the related discomfort. Pain leaves lasting reminders.</p> <p>Adults with parents who rescue them from the pain of poor decisions have no incentive to think through the consequences of their actions.</p> <p>Adult children need our love, support, and encouragement. They don't need us to prop up their lifestyle or mute the consequences when they make unwise decisions. By not providing financial support indefinitely into adulthood, you're doing what's best for you both &mdash; now and in the future. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-conversations-parents-should-have-with-their-adult-kids?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Money Conversations Parents Should Have With Their Adult Kids</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F4-things-you-should-make-your-adult-child-pay-for&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F4%2520Things%2520You%2520Should%2520Make%2520Your%2520Adult%2520Child%2520Pay%2520For.jpg&amp;description=4%20Things%20You%20Should%20Make%20Your%20Adult%20Child%20Pay%20For"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/4%20Things%20You%20Should%20Make%20Your%20Adult%20Child%20Pay%20For.jpg" alt="4 Things You Should Make Your Adult Child Pay For" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/toni-husbands">Toni Husbands</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-you-should-make-your-adult-child-pay-for">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-help-your-adult-children-become-financially-independent">How to Help Your Adult Children Become Financially Independent</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-support-your-broke-parents">How to Support Your Broke Parents</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/pay-these-6-bills-first-when-money-is-tight">Pay These 6 Bills First When Money Is Tight</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-every-new-college-student-should-make">7 Money Moves Every New College Student Should Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-conversations-parents-should-have-with-their-adult-kids">7 Money Conversations Parents Should Have With Their Adult Kids</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family adult children bills cellphones credit card debt financial independence financial support parents retirement savings student loans Thu, 25 Jan 2018 09:30:10 +0000 Toni Husbands 2087457 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Divide Rewards and Keep Your Sanity in Divorce http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-divide-rewards-and-keep-your-sanity-in-divorce <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-divide-rewards-and-keep-your-sanity-in-divorce" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/the_monthly_finances_0.jpg" alt="The monthly finances" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Divorce is a fact of life in the United States these days. According to a 2017 Gallup poll, 73 percent of American adults believe divorce is morally acceptable. And while divorce rates have declined in recent years, still 40-50 percent of married couples wind up going their separate ways.</p> <p>Unfortunately for everyone involved, divorce is usually messy and sometimes even financially catastrophic. Not only does divorce signify the separation of a household and the end of a relationship, but it usually means divvying up all personal property and assets, too. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-yourself-financially-during-a-divorce-or-separation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Protect Yourself Financially in a Divorce</a>)</p> <h2>What happens to airline miles when you get divorced?</h2> <p>But, what about your airline miles? If you're careening toward divorce and flush with rewards points, you may have to get used to the idea of splitting them up.</p> <p>According to the legal experts at LegalZoom, airline miles and other points are treated like other marital assets because, well, they are. Even though points and miles aren't as easy to see and inspect as other property like cars or furniture, they still have value &mdash; at least to some people. If you or your spouse earned rewards points during your marriage, these miles are considered a marital asset, notes LegalZoom. As a result, you'll have to split them or agree upon some other arrangement.</p> <p>Sadly, this is where things get complicated. LegalZoom notes that your method of divvying things up may vary based on where you live. If you reside in a community property state like California, for example, the courts will split your miles equally between you. In equitable distribution states like New York or Maryland, on the other hand, miles are divided based on what the court deems &quot;fair.&quot;</p> <p>You'll definitely want to consult your divorce lawyer if you or your soon-to-be ex are, say, sitting on a stash of hundreds of thousands of miles. Your attorney may already know the law in your state, and if not, they'll find out for you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-divorced?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Divorce</a>)</p> <h2>Methods of divvying up miles and points after divorce</h2> <p>But how exactly do you divide airline miles and other rewards points? It depends on a number of factors. While splitting a stash of points and miles down the middle may sound like the fairest thing to do, it usually comes with fees.</p> <h3>Divide and transfer points</h3> <p>Take the Marriott Rewards program, for example. While the program lets you pool points with a spouse to make a specific award redemption, you'll have to pay $10 to pool points in any other case unless you have Marriott Gold or Platinum status.</p> <p>That's not a high price to pay, but you may be able to get around it completely. Since Marriott points can now be transferred to Starwood Preferred Guest at a 3:1 ratio and Starwood does let you combine or share points with a spouse, both spouses could transfer all their Marriott points to SPG accounts then split them up there. Problem solved. Then again, paying a $10 fee to transfer points in a divorce seems like a small price to pay.</p> <p>The IHG Rewards program lets you transfer points to another person but you'll have to pay $5 per 1,000 points transferred. While $5 per 1,000 points may be a small price to pay in the event of a divorce, this could be a problem if, say, one spouse has hundreds of thousands of IHG Rewards points in their account. In that case, both spouses might have to find another way to split up their rewards in a fair and sensible way.</p> <h3>Valuing points and miles</h3> <p>In some situations, you just <em>can't</em> split points up equally, or it might not make sense if the account has just enough points for one flight. In those cases, it might work better to assign a value to accrued points and negotiate payment or other property to make things equal. Unfortunately, this is another tricky situation since points and miles don't have a set value and may be worth more or less depending on how they are redeemed.</p> <p>You can find help by checking monthly points valuations from The Points Guy, who analyzes point value fluctuations regularly based on the costs of travel and changes in rewards programs. At the moment, TPG says that American AAdvantage miles are worth 1.4 cents each, and Delta SkyMiles are worth a paltry 1.2 cents each.</p> <p>If one spouse is to get 100,000 Delta SkyMiles and 200,000 American AAdvantage miles, the couple could use these valuations as a guide, then make sure the other spouse gets $4,000 to make things equal ($1,200 for 100,000 Delta SkyMiles and $2,800 for the 200,000 American AAdvantage miles).</p> <h3>Keep miles in separate accounts but agree on who can use them</h3> <p>Still, there are even more options on the table. If you can't or won't transfer points and don't want to pay each other in cash or other property, there are a few other ways to split up your points in a fair and equitable way. Many rewards programs that won't let you transfer points will let you book travel in another person's name. Because of this, you could keep airline miles where they are and agree on who can use them and when.</p> <h3>Agree to use miles for joint purposes</h3> <p>Alternatively, a divorcing couple could jointly agree to use miles only for purposes they agree upon, such as getting their children or other family members home for the holidays.</p> <h2>Don't sweat the small stuff</h2> <p>While airline miles and other reward currencies have financial value and fixed opportunity costs (since it takes time to earn them), most couples likely have balances so small they're not worth squabbling over. And just like money, you can always rack up more points and miles once you divorce and start living life on your own terms.</p> <p>On the flip side, don't let a spouse flush with points get away with a huge stash of airline miles or rewards points just because the points are in their name and their name only. Points and miles may not have tangible value until you redeem them, but the travel they help you afford is often priceless.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-divide-rewards-and-keep-your-sanity-in-divorce&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Divide%2520Rewards%2520and%2520Keep%2520Your%2520Sanity%2520in%2520Divorce.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Divide%20Rewards%20and%20Keep%20Your%20Sanity%20in%20Divorce"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Divide%20Rewards%20and%20Keep%20Your%20Sanity%20in%20Divorce.jpg" alt="How to Divide Rewards and Keep Your Sanity in Divorce" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-divide-rewards-and-keep-your-sanity-in-divorce">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-romantic-getaways-any-couple-can-afford">7 Romantic Getaways Any Couple Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-affordable-family-getaways-when-you-dont-have-a-vacation-fund">7 Affordable Family Getaways When You Don&#039;t Have a Vacation Fund</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-use-up-travel-rewards-points-and-miles">8 Ways to Use Up Travel Rewards Points and Miles</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-earn-airline-miles-while-you-shop">How to Earn Airline Miles While You Shop</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-pitfalls-when-chasing-travel-rewards">6 Pitfalls When Chasing Travel Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Travel credit card rewards dividing rewards divorce flight miles rewards travel tips Thu, 25 Jan 2018 09:30:09 +0000 Holly Johnson 2093191 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Successfully Negotiate Everything With Your Kid http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-successfully-negotiate-everything-with-your-kid <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-successfully-negotiate-everything-with-your-kid" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/african_american_mother_with_mixed_race_little_girl.jpg" alt="African American mother with mixed race little girl" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Kids want things. They want lots of things. And while they sure are cute, they don't bring in any income to offset the money you spend on them. In fact, kids are pretty much a money suck from the moment they're born until the day they leave your home. And for some, even kids who've left the nest stay attached to the family wallet.</p> <p>Luckily, you can give your kid a jumpstart on financial literacy through the art of negotiation, even when they're young. This is not a quick method of training by any means. You'll get tired, you'll get frustrated, and on more than one occasion, you'll want to give in to the whining because it will drive you utterly insane.</p> <p>However, in the end it will be worth it. You'll have taught your children the value of money. You will reduce the risk of having a child that depends on your financial support well into their 30s, 40s, and beyond. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-conversations-parents-should-have-with-their-adult-kids?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Money Conversations Parents Should Have With Their Adult Kids</a>)</p> <p>Here's how to teach your kids negotiating skills that will last a lifetime.</p> <h2>1. Start slowly</h2> <p>If you're going to start tracking chores, grades, good attitudes, and self-generated initiative while tying that to a well-thought-out compensation system, you're in for a big surprise. It just won't happen that quickly or easily.</p> <p>Choose one or two things to track and reward. Then add more once your kids have come to expect consistent outcomes with those things. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-set-an-allowance-that-wont-ruin-your-kid?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Easy Way to Set an Allowance That Won't Ruin Your Kid</a>)</p> <h2>2. Make a trade</h2> <p>You may think you have no advantage in this game. After all, your kids need things and you've got to provide them, right? Yes and no. You're obligated to provide things like food and clothing. Does it have to be fancy food? Must you spring for designer clothing? Unless your kids do something to deserve these premium privileges, the answer should be &quot;no.&quot;</p> <p>They want to eat out at a restaurant? Go to a friend's house? Get extra screen time? These are all perfect opportunities to extract something out of them, like chores, or best behavior. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-things-you-should-make-your-kids-pay-for?ref=seealso" target="_blank">21 Things You Should Make Your Kids Pay For</a>)</p> <h2>3. Be consistent</h2> <p>Once you've made a deal with the kiddos, do your best to deliver quickly. Set expectations, terms, and timelines so there is no question on what was negotiated. Put your deal in writing if you have to. Kids will either get super technical or conveniently forget and skew terms in their favor.</p> <p>Being consistent and holding up your end of the deal will show you mean business. For this to work, they need to know there's a reasonable chance that the consequence of their actions will always materialize, whether good or bad. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-parenting-mistakes-to-avoid-when-teaching-kids-about-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Parenting Mistakes to Avoid When Teaching Kids About Money</a>)</p> <h2>4. Create a system</h2> <p>A system will help you keep track of it all. You can write down tasks and goals on a whiteboard stuck to the fridge or a clipboard as a checklist. If you are an electronic family, keep a spreadsheet or use an app.</p> <p>Furthermore, if money is involved, try to have cash on hand to deliver on your negotiated rewards. It's easy to say you need to get change then totally forget. Your kids will remember and will figure you aren't for real when you don't make good on your promises. They won't be up for negotiating much when this happens. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-good-money-examples-every-parent-should-set?ref=seealso" target="_blank">3 Good Money Examples Every Parent Should Set</a>)</p> <h2>5. Be patient</h2> <p>You might think your kids will be very motivated by this sudden change in how money and rewards are handled in your home. They'll get more chances to earn money and other rewards for doing things they should be doing anyway.</p> <p>To you, this new system should be a no-brainer. It seems like a win/win, right? The honest truth is that kids are pretty lazy by nature. Sure, there are those super-motivated, money-savvy kids you'll catch on <em>Shark Tank,</em> but the average kid isn't making deals on <em>Shark Tank</em>.</p> <p>However, kids are also programmable. This is good news because they can be trained on your new system of good and bad consequences. The bad news is that it will take time to program them.</p> <p>Stay committed to the cause and train your kids to understand the cause and effect of laziness versus productivity. If you're patient and consistent, your kids will get used to this way of life. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-your-kids-contribute-to-family-money-goals?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Should Your Kids Contribute to Family Money Goals?</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-successfully-negotiate-everything-with-your-kid&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Successfully%2520Negotiate%2520Everything%2520With%2520Your%2520Kid.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Successfully%20Negotiate%20Everything%20With%20Your%20Kid"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Successfully%20Negotiate%20Everything%20With%20Your%20Kid.jpg" alt="How to Successfully Negotiate Everything With Your Kid" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/aja-mcclanahan">Aja McClanahan</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-successfully-negotiate-everything-with-your-kid">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-essential-money-moves-for-new-parents">7 Essential Money Moves for New Parents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-frugal-living-skills-you-should-be-teaching-your-children">7 Frugal Living Skills You Should Be Teaching Your Children</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-parenting-mistakes-to-avoid-when-teaching-kids-about-money">4 Parenting Mistakes to Avoid When Teaching Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-manage-costs-while-youre-on-maternity-leave">5 Ways to Manage Costs While You&#039;re on Maternity Leave</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-budget-design-ideas-for-a-kids-playroom">10 Budget Design Ideas for a Kids&#039; Playroom</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Home communication tips how to negotiate Negotiation tips parenting parenting tips Tue, 23 Jan 2018 09:30:09 +0000 Aja McClanahan 2091489 at http://www.wisebread.com These Are the Best Credit Card Strategies for Married Couples http://www.wisebread.com/these-are-the-best-credit-card-strategies-for-married-couples <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/these-are-the-best-credit-card-strategies-for-married-couples" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/spending_money_is_fun.jpg" alt="Spending money is fun" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Every couple has to come up with a way to manage their money. Some merge their personal finances and manage them as a single household, while others choose to have separate accounts. Either way, couples need to find with the best way to manage their credit cards.</p> <h2>The basics of credit cards and marriage</h2> <p>A credit card issuer doesn&rsquo;t care that you are married. It will look at your personal credit report and credit score when making the decision to approve your application for a new credit card or to increase your line of credit. In fact, you are able to report your household income when applying for a line of credit. This allows nonworking spouses to apply for credit card accounts in their own name, so long as they have a reasonable expectation of access to their spouse&rsquo;s income for the purpose of repaying the debt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-credit-card-application-tips-for-the-best-chance-of-approval?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Credit Card Application Tips for Getting Approved</a>)</p> <h2>Managing finances separately</h2> <p>If you and your spouse are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-to-keep-your-money-separated-after-marriage?ref=internal" target="_blank">managing your finances separately</a>, there are still several strategies you can take to get the most from your credit cards. First, it&rsquo;s a good idea for each of you to have credit cards in your own name, and pay for them with funds from your individual accounts. This will allow each to enjoy the convenience and security of a credit card, while building your own credit history and credit score.</p> <p>If a couple is managing their finances separately, and one spouse occasionally needs to make purchases on behalf of the other, then they should each <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-adding-another-user-to-your-credit-card?ref=internal" target="_blank">make the other spouse an authorized user</a> on at least one credit card they each hold. Authorized cardholders can make purchases with their credit card, but are unable to redeem rewards or make changes to the account. And the primary account holder will always be responsible for repayment of any charges made by any authorized cardholders, including a spouse.</p> <h2>Managing your finances together</h2> <p>When a couple manages finances together, it offers them opportunities to achieve their goals more efficiently. For example, if a couple is trying to pay down their credit card debt, then they can transfer their balance to the credit card that has the lowest interest rate, regardless of which spouse is the primary cardholder. This is especially helpful if one of the credit cards has a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">0% APR balance transfer offer</a>. Let&rsquo;s say, for instance, that Margie has a high credit score and a card with a 0% APR offer. Her husband Bernie has a low credit score and his only credit card has a $5,000 balance that he&rsquo;s paying off at 20% interest. It makes sense for Bernie to transfer his balance to Margie&rsquo;s card and then pay off the balance before the promotional period ends.</p> <p>When a couple has no long-term credit card debt, they will probably be interested in maximizing the rewards they earn from their credit cards. In this case, couples can use several strategies to earn the most points, miles, and cash back from their credit cards. First, both spouses can apply for the same credit card when it offers an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">exceptional sign-up bonus</a>. Even if the card charges an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-annual-fees?ref=internal" target="_blank">annual fee the first year</a>, it may be worth paying to get the bonus.</p> <p>Alternatively, you may decide the fee is not worth paying twice. In this case, you could still get some of the same benefits that two separate account holders get by making one person the primary cardholder and the other an authorized user on that account. This allows both to receive the additional rewards offered by a premium credit card, without having to pay the annual fees twice. Why pay for two of the same cards that offer, for example, three points per dollar spent on restaurants, when you can just pay for one account that both spouses can use?</p> <p>Another reason this is a good strategy is that spouses can often share the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-your-credit-card-benefits-will-save-you-money?ref=internal" target="_blank">extra perks of a single credit card account</a>. For instance, if an airline credit card offers a free checked bag, it usually applies to several traveling companions on the same reservations. So there would be no reason for both spouses to have the airline credit card for use when traveling together. Also, some cards that offer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-free-airport-lounge-access?ref=internal" target="_blank">airport lounge access</a> extend it to the cardholder and any traveling companions.</p> <h2>Managing credit card accounts</h2> <p>One way that couples can keep track of their credit card accounts more efficiently is to have just one person manage the accounts. Whichever spouse takes over that duty can pay the bills, track rewards, and make decisions about opening and closing new accounts. This avoids the possibility of failing to pay a bill that they thought the other was taking care of, or paying the same bill twice.</p> <p>One of the benefits of marriage is the efficiencies inherent in living together, sharing resources, and dividing responsibilities. By employing the best credit card strategies, couples can get more out of their credit cards than they ever might have been able to on their own.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthese-are-the-best-credit-card-strategies-for-married-couples&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThese%2520Are%2520the%2520Best%2520Credit%2520Card%2520Strategies%2520for%2520Married%2520Couples.jpg&amp;description=These%20Are%20the%20Best%20Credit%20Card%20Strategies%20for%20Married%20Couples"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/These%20Are%20the%20Best%20Credit%20Card%20Strategies%20for%20Married%20Couples.jpg" alt="These Are the Best Credit Card Strategies for Married Couples" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-are-the-best-credit-card-strategies-for-married-couples">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/top-6-reasons-why-using-cash-only-rocks">Top 6 Reasons Why Using Cash-Only Rocks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">The Best 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards</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-signs-youre-financially-ready-to-start-a-family">7 Signs You&#039;re Financially Ready to Start a Family</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt">The Fastest Way to Pay Off $10,000 in Credit Card Debt</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-credit-card-mistakes-to-get-over-by-age-30">5 Credit Card Mistakes to Get Over by Age 30</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Family credit card debt credit card strategies managing finances money management saving money Fri, 05 Jan 2018 09:30:10 +0000 Jason Steele 2083206 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Afford Your Kid's Braces or Expensive Dental Care http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-afford-your-kids-braces-or-expensive-dental-care <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-afford-your-kids-braces-or-expensive-dental-care" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/brushing_our_teeth_is_fun.jpg" alt="Brushing our teeth is fun" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>At their six-month dental checkup earlier this year, both of my sons received the dreaded diagnosis: Each one had a cavity in a baby tooth that would need to be filled.</p> <p>In addition to feeling like a terrible parent, I was also not looking forward to having to pay for their fillings. Our family dentist wasn't set up to handle fillings for two squirmy young patients, and the pediatric dentist she referred us to did not accept our dental insurance.</p> <p>Thankfully, my husband and I have an emergency fund for such an occasion, but not every parent is as fortunate. Taking care of your kids' teeth doesn't have to bankrupt you, even if they do need costly dental care or treatment.</p> <p>I talked to Marissa Miller, DDS, of Shelby, Ohio, to find out what parents need to know about affording expensive dental care for their kids.</p> <h2>1. Preventive care is always cheaper than treating problems</h2> <p>According to Dr. Miller, &quot;To mitigate the costs of dental procedures, my first piece of advice is have kids see the dentist early and regularly.&quot; There are two reasons for this. First, kids who get used to seeing the dentist early in their lives are less likely to develop phobias that will keep them from seeing the dentist later on.</p> <p>This leads to the second reason why it's important to get your kids used to seeing the dentist early and often: It's much less expensive to have biannual tooth cleanings than it is to deal with an entrenched problem.</p> <p>Even if your child does have a dental problem that will need treatment, finding it sooner rather than later will generally be easier on your wallet. &quot;Having your kids come to the dentist at regular intervals also gives us a chance to catch any problems &mdash; such as tooth decay, narrow palate, etc. &mdash; early on,&quot; Dr. Miller says. &quot;And catching problems in an early stage almost always leads to less costly treatment.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Some common pediatric dental procedures can be surprisingly expensive</h2> <p>Most parents are well aware of the fact that orthodontics (i.e., braces, retainers, and other tooth-straightening tools) are expensive. According to the 2013 Survey of Dental Fees, comprehensive orthodontic treatment for adolescents ranged in price from $4,685 to $6,500.</p> <p>However, parents may not be aware of the fact that other common dental procedures can also cost a pretty penny. Specifically, when there is a great deal of tooth decay in baby teeth, the treatment can be expensive. According to Dr. Miller, &quot;When deep cavities occur in children between roughly three and nine years of age, the costs of restoring those teeth can add up quickly. Fillings, stainless steel crowns, and pulpotomies (similar to root canal therapy but usually just for primary or 'baby' teeth) can all be called for in order to keep those teeth in working order.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-handle-a-massive-medical-bill?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Handle a Massive Medical Bill</a>)</p> <h2>3. Don't let cost keep you from getting treatment</h2> <p>Parents might assume that dental care for their kids is more cosmetic than necessary. After all, baby teeth will eventually be replaced with adult chompers, and orthodonture is an expensive procedure that just provides a straight-toothed smile. The high cost for something that feels unnecessary might tempt some parents to put off the treatment while they get their financial ducks in a row.</p> <p>Dr. Miller warns against that: &quot;The whole point of trying to keep these primary [baby] teeth until they're ready to exfoliate naturally is that they are the placeholders of the adult teeth. If primary teeth are taken out early, it is common for the adult teeth to erupt in severe misalignment, resulting in a more urgent and comprehensive need for orthodontic care.&quot;</p> <p>Similarly, while straightening adult teeth for cosmetic reasons is part of the rationale for orthodontic care, it's hardly the whole reason. Properly aligned teeth promote good oral health overall &mdash; which is necessary for whole body health.</p> <h2>4. Your dentist wants to help you find a payment plan</h2> <p>Despite what you may remember from Steve Martin's portrayal of Dr. Scrivello in<em> Little Shop of Horrors</em>, you can rest assured that real dentists get into their practices because they truly want to help people. That means they want to see their patients get necessary treatment &mdash; and they will try to find a way to work with you on a payment plan. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-negotiate-medical-bills?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways to Negotiate Medical Bills</a>)</p> <p>According to Dr. Miller, a lot of dental offices offer a variety of payment options. In particular, she recommends asking about the following:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Cash discounts. If you're prepared to pay the full case fee up front, ask about this option, especially if the cost of the procedure is over $1,000.</p> </li> <li> <p>Third-party financing. With third-party financing, you can use something that works basically like a dental care credit card to pay for your procedure. Many of these financing companies offer you interest-free payment periods of up to 12 months. Dr. Miller describes third-party financing as &quot;nearly universal,&quot; so feel free to ask your dentist about which company they use.</p> </li> <li> <p>Payment plans. Some dentists will allow you to split payments over several months interest-free, although you will generally be expected to have a credit card on file and a history with the practice for your dentist to agree to this. Orthodontists offer payment plans more often than general dentists due to the nature of their treatment plans and fees.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>5. Financial assistance is available</h2> <p>Families who simply do not have the financial ability to pay for their children's dental or orthodontic care can apply for financial assistance. The National Children's Oral Health Foundation (NCOHF, but also known as America's ToothFairy) offers access to dental care to underserved children. If you are unable to afford a specific dental treatment for your child, you can apply for funds from NCOHF through their <a href="http://www.ncohf.org/our-programs/access-care-programs/in-the-gap-program/" target="_blank">In the Gap</a> program.</p> <p>In addition, <a href="https://www.aaoinfo.org/donated-orthodontic-services" target="_blank">Donated Orthodontic Services</a>, sponsored by the American Association of Orthodontists, offers pro-bono and low-cost orthodontic services to children of families who cannot afford the regular cost of orthodonture. The nonprofit program <a href="https://www.smileschangelives.org/" target="_blank">Smiles Change Lives</a> also offers low-cost or free orthodontic services to kids in need.</p> <h2>Neglect is more expensive than dentistry</h2> <p>Watching your children undergo dental work is no one's idea of fun &mdash; and having to pay big bucks for it can feel like adding insult to injury. But making sure your kids' pearly whites stay healthy and straight will put them on the road to good oral health for years to come.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-afford-your-kids-braces-or-expensive-dental-care">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/how-to-handle-a-massive-medical-bill">How to Handle a Massive Medical Bill</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-a-good-workout-even-with-kids-around">10 Ways to Get a Good Workout... Even With Kids Around</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-cut-the-cost-of-a-hospital-stay">How to Cut the Cost of a Hospital Stay</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-sell-your-house-despite-your-messy-kids">How to Sell Your House Despite Your Messy 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 Health and Beauty braces cavities children dentists health care kids medical bills orthodontics payment plans preventative care tooth care Tue, 02 Jan 2018 09:30:09 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2077706 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Swim Goggles for Kids http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-swim-goggles-for-kids <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-swim-goggles-for-kids" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kid_swimming_goggles_523689292.jpg" alt="Kid wearing best swim goggles" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Swim goggles allow children to see clearly underwater. Whether your child wants to be an expert swimmer or is just starting to dip their toes in the water, swim goggles are a must-have item to enhance their enjoyment.</p> <h2>What are swim goggles for kids?</h2> <p>Swim goggles fit snugly around the eye area to keep water and moisture out of the eyes. While some goggles work for both kids and adults, finding goggles specially made for children ensures they fit perfectly and can keep water out of their eyes effectively.</p> <h2>Top 5 swim goggles for kids</h2> <h3>Speedo Kids' Skoogles Swim Goggles</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2BFwEzm" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/speedo_0.jpg" width="245" height="131" align="right" alt="" /></a>Amazon's Choice for swim goggles for kids, the <a href="http://amzn.to/2BFwEzm" target="_blank">Speedo Kids' Skoogles Swim Goggles</a> have a soft, flexible silicone one-piece frame and quick-adjust speed fit clips for the perfect middle-eye fit. The bright, colorful, leakproof goggles have a small frame and a split silicone strap for a secure fit. The anti-fog lenses also have UV protection.</p> <p>These are available in a range of colors. The award-winning goggles are an Amazon best-seller and one of the top Gift Ideas on Amazon. They also have more than 500 five-star reviews on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2BFwEzm" target="_blank"><em>Currently $10.38 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Aqua Sphere Seal Kid Swim Goggles</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2z50VF4" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/aqua%20spehere.jpg" width="245" height="175" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2z50VF4" target="_blank">Aqua Sphere Seal Kid Swim Goggles</a> are perfect if you're looking for an outer-eye fit. They feature a pull buckle system, oversized 180-degree field of vision, Softeril gaskets, and curved Plexisol lens. The anti-fog, anti-scratch lenses also have UV protection for better clarity.</p> <p>These are available in a range of colors and come with a protective case. The Amazon best-sellers are backed by more than 1,000 five-star reviews on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2z50VF4" target="_blank"><em>Currently $18.49 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Cressi MOON Kids' Mask</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2B9Efp1" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/cressi%20moon.jpg" width="245" height="162" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2B9Efp1" target="_blank">Cressi MOON Goggles</a> feature a split head silicone strap, flexible nose pocket for ear equalizations, and an easy-adjust micrometric buckle system. The anti-scratch, anti-fog, shatterproof dual lenses have UV protection and offer a tight seal and large field of view. These are available in a range of colors. They're built to last and are backed by more than 500 five-star reviews on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2B9Efp1" target="_blank"><em>Currently $26.95 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Frogglez Swimming Goggles</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2z6o9KZ" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/frogglez.jpg" width="232" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2z6o9KZ" target="_blank">Frogglez Swimming Goggles</a> have a completely unique design thanks to a soft, gentle neoprene strap design and easy size adjustments. These are available in a range of colors. They're top rated by swim instructors and have more than 500 five-star reviews on Amazon. They're also backed by a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2z6o9KZ" target="_blank"><em>Currently $16.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>TYR Youth Tie Dye Swimple Goggles</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2kScryb" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/tyr.jpg" width="245" height="78" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2kScryb" target="_blank">TYR Youth Tie Dye Swimple Goggles</a> feature dura fit silicone gaskets and a secure, easy-adjust button. The small unibody design offers a comfortable fit for most facial profiles. The Amazon best-sellers are available in a range of colors. They're built to last and backed by outstanding online reviews.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2kScryb" target="_blank"><em>Currently $10.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best swim goggles for kids. As always, be sure to check <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar" target="_blank">Wise Bread's Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-5-best-swim-goggles-for-kids&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%25205%2520Best%2520Swim%2520Goggles%2520for%2520Kids.jpg&amp;description=The%205%20Best%20Swim%20Goggles%20for%20Kids"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%205%20Best%20Swim%20Goggles%20for%20Kids.jpg" alt="The 5 Best Swim Goggles for Kids" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-swim-goggles-for-kids">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/the-5-best-swim-goggles-for-adults">The 5 Best Swim Goggles for Adults</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-5-best-infant-nail-clippers">The 5 Best Infant Nail Clippers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pet-nail-clippers">The 5 Best Pet Nail Clippers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pet-flea-medications">The 5 Best Pet Flea Medications</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-baby-carriers">The 5 Best Baby Carriers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Shopping 5 best product reviews swim accessories swim goggles swim goggles for kids Thu, 21 Dec 2017 09:01:06 +0000 Andrea Cannon 2075580 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Sell Your House Despite Your Messy Kids http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-your-house-despite-your-messy-kids <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-sell-your-house-despite-your-messy-kids" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/curly_little_boy_playing_with_toy_cars.jpg" alt="Curly little boy playing with toy cars" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It takes a lot of moving parts to sell a home, and it can be frustrating when one or more of those moving parts just won&rsquo;t sit still. I&rsquo;m talking about kids. Kids who, despite your best efforts to present your home in its optimal condition, don&rsquo;t give a good gosh-darn that Mommy and Daddy are trying to make a sale.</p> <p>But there&rsquo;s still hope. As the old saying goes, if you can&rsquo;t beat &rsquo;em (and you definitely cannot), join &rsquo;em &mdash; with these helpful tips on how to sell your house despite your messy kids.</p> <h2>Conduct a purge before the house goes on the market</h2> <p>Your house is for sale, which means you&rsquo;re probably moving soon. Now is the best time to cut your clutter so you don&rsquo;t have to drag all that junk from one house to another. Set a week aside to organize your purge, then pack up and ship out whatever you don&rsquo;t want or need anymore.</p> <p>&ldquo;We end up with a lot of baggage over the course of our lives, and while a lot of these items have sentimental value, that's about the only thing they're worth,&rdquo; says Texas realtor Abigail Vytlacil. &ldquo;Donate what you can, toss what you can't. Then, pare your home's contents down even more by storing anything and everything that isn't being used. Surfboards, bikes, winter clothes, baseball uniforms and equipment, golf clubs &mdash; get as much as you can out of the way, out of the house, as possible.&rdquo; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-16-favorite-ways-to-get-rid-of-clutter?ref=seealso" target="_blank">My 16 Favorite Ways to Get Rid of Clutter</a>)</p> <h2>Have the house professionally cleaned</h2> <p>Kids or not, a well lived in home has years of dust and dirt buildup in the corners and hard to reach places. A deep clean will give that extra sparkle to impress buyers. While it is more expensive to hire a professional cleaning service than doing it yourself, it&rsquo;s better. It&rsquo;s hassle-free for you, and you can take the little ones out for the day while the service works their magic. You'll get to spend quality time with your kids instead of screaming at the little buggers because they keep tracking mud across the floor you&rsquo;ve freshly mopped.</p> <p>At the same time, have the carpets cleaned. Removing stains and odors from the carpets is just as important as anything else you&rsquo;ll beautify in the house to make a good impression.</p> <h2>Touch up or repaint the walls and doors in high-traffic areas</h2> <p>A little paint goes a long way to freshen up walls, doors, and baseboards that have encountered your children and pets over the years. You may not even notice how grimy these areas have become, but get up close and you&rsquo;ll agree that they need tending to. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-paint-colors-that-can-boost-your-homes-value?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Paint Colors That Can Boost Your Home's Value</a>)</p> <h2>Organize cabinets and closets</h2> <p>Buyers will absolutely want to look in your cabinets and closets to get a good idea of what kind of space they have to work with. So, take the time to tidy these areas up. Fold and organize the clothing in the closets (a good time to eliminate clutter here, too; donate whatever your kids haven&rsquo;t worn in awhile or items that no longer fit), and get rid of any expired foods and open bags/containers in the pantry. Streamline the contents of your kitchen cabinets &mdash; toss dishes you don&rsquo;t use or that your kids have outgrown &mdash; to make the shelves more aesthetically appealing at quick glance.</p> <h2>Concentrate on areas to clean based on the type of buyer</h2> <p>If the potential buyers stopping by for a showing are not parents, concentrate on cleaning up the areas that have your kids&rsquo; proverbial handiwork all over them. These buyers want to know what the house will look and feel like for them, not a family of four. Likewise, if you&rsquo;re showing to parents, focus more on the family gathering places that will be most important to them.</p> <p>&ldquo;If something is going to be messy, let it be the children's actual rooms that are messy,&rdquo; adds Michigan-based real estate broker Jon Boyd. &ldquo;I've never had buyers not buy a home because of the condition of the children's bedrooms. However, if there is junk or clutter in the kitchen, bathrooms, dining areas, and living areas, it is going to be a challenge.&rdquo;</p> <h2>Draw buyers&rsquo; attention away from problem areas</h2> <p>Open your blinds and curtains to let in the sunshine; many buyers are attracted to how well a home receives natural light, and that may distract them from your kids&rsquo; belongings lying around. Create focal points in the least attractive rooms using art, flowers, or mirrors, the latter of which can also help seemingly expand the space through optical illusion. Whatever works. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-stage-your-home-without-hiring-a-pro?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways to Stage Your Home Without Hiring a Pro</a>)</p> <h2>Offer incentives to your kids for keeping their rooms clean</h2> <p>Yes, I&rsquo;m telling you to bribe your children. Increase their allowance for helping you keep the house extra tidy. The end result will pay off much bigger than the extra few bucks you&rsquo;re shelling out per week to keep your kids in line.</p> <h2>Keep the kids&rsquo; rooms brightly lit</h2> <p>If you don&rsquo;t have a magic wand to send all your kids&rsquo; bedroom junk back under the bed, use a light bulb.</p> <p>&ldquo;Make sure the light switch near the door works in the kid's bedrooms, and make sure it is a reasonably bright bulb,&quot; Boyd suggests. &ldquo;A well lit but messy bedroom won't stop a motivated buyer, but a poorly lit messy bedroom might give them second thoughts.&rdquo;</p> <h2>Use totes to pick up and store clutter in a flash</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;re short on time before a showing and everything your kids own is spread across your house, use totes to quickly gather up the mess and toss them in the garage, basement, or attic. This smarty-pants tip is courtesy of realtor Denise Supplee, co-founder and operations director of Spark Rental.</p> <p>&ldquo;I tell clients to purchase a bunch of non-see-through totes,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;Keep them on hand. Have your agent provide you a heads-up of showings of an hour or so. Take everything that is on the floor, tables, beds, and throw it in the totes. Stack them neatly. People will expect to see them because you are moving.&rdquo;</p> <h2>Set specific times for showings so you can always prepare in advance</h2> <p>You&rsquo;ll have a better chance of keeping the familial chaos under control if you discuss with your realtor a set schedule for showings, with available times on weekdays and weekends. If you know that there will be showings on Sundays from noon to 2 p.m. and Wednesdays from 6 to 7 p.m., for example, you can plan ahead and stay prepared.</p> <h2>Enlist help to get the kids out of the house</h2> <p>It&rsquo;s difficult to get the joint spick-and-span when your kids are coming right behind you to mess up what you&rsquo;ve done. Why not pawn them off on their grandparents or a favorite aunt or uncle for the afternoon? They&rsquo;ll get to spend time with someone they enjoy (and probably enjoy being a little spoiled), and you can focus on your long list of showing-prep to-dos.</p> <h2>Create a &quot;buyer&rsquo;s book&quot; to showcase what you love about your home</h2> <p>If you don&rsquo;t have time to douse the house in bleach or make it look like the maid just left, fortify your efforts with a book of photos of your home looking its best &mdash; including before and after pictures if you&rsquo;ve made any improvements &mdash; to help buyers see the home&rsquo;s full potential.</p> <p>&ldquo;Add a little extra to your showings by creating a listing binder or 'buyer's book' that showcases why you've loved the home, what it's like living in the area, things your family likes to do, and other pertinent information to a new homeowner like average utilities, association dues, and anything else that would help them make an informed decision faster,&rdquo; says Vytlacil. &ldquo;It may seem trivial, but you'd be surprised at how much these little touches affect a prospective buyer.&rdquo;</p> <h2>Let your family come and go using one door</h2> <p>You&rsquo;ll reduce your cleaning workload substantially if you restrict your family&rsquo;s access to the home to one entrance while it&rsquo;s on the market. Fewer paths of entry equates to less dirt and outside gunk tracked into your home from multiple directions.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-sell-your-house-despite-your-messy-kids&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Sell%2520Your%2520House%2520Despite%2520Your%2520Messy%2520Kids.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Sell%20Your%20House%20Despite%20Your%20Messy%20Kids"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Sell%20Your%20House%20Despite%20Your%20Messy%20Kids.jpg" alt="How to Sell Your House Despite Your Messy Kids" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-your-house-despite-your-messy-kids">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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-ways-to-stage-your-home-without-hiring-a-pro">8 Ways to Stage Your Home Without Hiring a Pro</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-easy-ways-to-keep-your-family-organized">8 Easy Ways to Keep Your Family Organized</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-fun-games-that-teach-your-kids-about-money">6 Fun Games That Teach Your Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-the-holidays-to-teach-kids-about-money">How to Use the Holidays to Teach Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-afford-your-kids-braces-or-expensive-dental-care">How to Afford Your Kid&#039;s Braces or Expensive Dental Care</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Real Estate and Housing children cleaning clutter homeowners kids messy organizing painting selling a home strategies Wed, 20 Dec 2017 09:30:09 +0000 Mikey Rox 2073560 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: How to Be a Frugal Parent During the Holidays http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-be-a-frugal-parent-during-the-holidays <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-how-to-be-a-frugal-parent-during-the-holidays" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_child_christmas_636545352.jpg" alt="Mother being frugal parent during the holidays" title="" 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 articles on how to be a frugal parent during the holidays, easy investment tips for beginners, and what to do with your time and money when you retire.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="https://www.thesimpledollar.com/how-to-be-a-frugal-parent-during-the-holiday-season/">How to Be a Frugal Parent During the Holiday Season</a> &mdash; Get your kids thinking about what the holidays are like without gifts. Talk about things you can do as a family that everyone would enjoy. [The Simple Dollar]</p> <p><a href="https://fortunateinvestor.com/investing-beginners-easy-tips-2017/">Investments for Beginners: 5 Easy Tips to Try in 2018</a> &mdash; Investing doesn't have to be intimating, stressful, and risky just because you're new at it. Learn how to invest your money so that it works for you! [The Fortunate Investor]</p> <p><a href="https://www.listenmoneymatters.com/how-to-retire-decumulation/">How To Retire: What To Do With Your Time And Money</a> &mdash; Work is such a big part of everyday life that it can be difficult to transition to a life without it.&nbsp; [Listen Money Matters]</p> <p><a href="http://www.currentoncurrency.com/6-tips-overcome-vacation-debt/">6 Tips to Overcome Vacation Debt</a> &mdash; Consider buying souvenirs when you first arrive at your destination and be done with spending on knickknacks for the rest of your trip! [Current on Currency]</p> <p><a href="http://yourmoneyyourfreedom.com/7-easy-ways-to-maximize-your-money-this-christmas/">7 Easy Ways To Maximize Money This Christmas</a> &mdash; Yes, you <em>can</em> save money this Christmas&hellip;and maybe even <em>make</em> some money, too!&nbsp; [FreeUp]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="https://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/DIY-Citrus-Scented-Kitchen-Cleaning-Products-36750343">3 Essential DIY Cleaners That Will Make Your Kitchen Sparkle</a> &mdash;These all-natural sprays are just as effective as store-bought cleaners at eliminating dirt and grime. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="https://moneyqanda.com/how-to-start-saving/">How to Get a Month Ahead in Savings Without Much Income</a> &mdash; <em>Do</em> sweat the small stuff. Little changes can lead to gigantic savings in the long term. [Money Q&amp;A]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyminiblog.com/mortgage-home/sell-your-home-quickly/">5 Crucial Steps to Sell Your Home Quickly</a> &mdash; Your property should not only look good, it needs to smell good, too. Make sure you deal with any funky odors before potential buyers show up, especially if you have pets. [Money Mini Blog]</p> <p><a href="https://dyernews.com/3-things-you-should-be-doing-to-promote-your-small-business-online/">3 Things You Should be Doing to Promote Your Small Business Online</a> &mdash; Start experimenting with video if you haven't already! Your video content can help you improve SEO and reach new customers. [Dyer News]</p> <p><a href="https://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2017/1203/Forest-gumption-How-scientists-are-tapping-everything-from-drones-to-pruning-shears-to-stem-global-warming">Forest gumption: How scientists are tapping everything from drones to pruning shears to stem global warming</a> &mdash; Scientists and researchers around the world are thinking outside the box to help solve global warming. [The Christian Science Monitor]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-be-a-frugal-parent-during-the-holidays">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-frugal-living-skills-you-should-be-teaching-your-children">7 Frugal Living Skills You Should Be Teaching Your Children</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-successfully-negotiate-everything-with-your-kid">How to Successfully Negotiate Everything With Your Kid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-affordable-alternatives-to-pet-boarding">5 Affordable Alternatives to Pet Boarding</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke">24 Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-can-totally-regift-and-7-things-you-shouldnt">10 Things You Can Totally Regift — And 7 Things You Shouldn&#039;t</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Family best money tips Holidays parenting Wed, 06 Dec 2017 09:30:06 +0000 Amy Lu 2067209 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Essential Money Moves for New Parents http://www.wisebread.com/7-essential-money-moves-for-new-parents <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-essential-money-moves-for-new-parents" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/parent_new_baby_625686418.jpg" alt="New parents making money moves" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As any parent will tell you, having kids can be tough on your wallet. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the cost of raising a child to the age of 18 works out to around $233,610, give or take, at the moment. That sum of cash covers housing, food, child care, and education, among other necessities. But it doesn&rsquo;t cover the cost of college, which can be tens of thousands of dollars on its own.</p> <p>New parents would be wise to avoid a financial panic and start planning for a financially fruitful future instead. Here are some money moves new parents can make that could make the financial toll parenting takes a lot easier to handle. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-afford-to-have-a-baby?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Can You Afford to Have a Baby?</a>)</p> <h2>1. Start using a monthly budget</h2> <p>Before you have kids, it&rsquo;s easy to justify spending money on fun. If you&rsquo;re meeting your savings goals and keeping up with bills, <em>why not </em>go out with friends, or spend your excess cash traveling to see the world?</p> <p>While there&rsquo;s nothing wrong with living a little, having children gives you an entirely different perspective. New and often unexpected expenses come with being a new parent. The best way to stay on track financially is by starting a monthly budget and sticking to it. Start with how much you&rsquo;re currently spending, and use your best guess for new baby expenses like diapers, clothes, and toys. You may have to revisit the budget every few months as those expenses change. Create a budget that sets limits on spending with the goal of saving more. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-unexpected-expenses-of-a-new-baby?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Unexpected Expenses of a New Baby</a>)</p> <h2>2. Set up an automatic savings plan</h2> <p>Speaking of saving more, parenthood has a way of ruining your big ideas. You might <em>think </em>you&rsquo;re going to take the excess cash in your checking account and move it to savings, but then your kid needs medicine, your nanny share family drops out, or it&rsquo;s time to graduate to a toddler car seat and stroller.</p> <p>The best way to ensure the additional expenses of parenting don&rsquo;t thwart your savings plans is to make all your savings automatic. Set up automatic contributions or transfers to savings as part of your monthly budget, then learn to live on the rest. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke?ref=seealso" target="_blank">24 Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke</a>)</p> <h2>3. Learn to live on less</h2> <p>&ldquo;Learning to live on the rest&rdquo; may not sound like fun, but it&rsquo;s probably your best bet if you want to stretch your income as far as it can go. The more you can go without or cut from your budget, the more cash you&rsquo;ll have to save for the future or spend on planned activities that might enrich your children&rsquo;s lives.</p> <p>&ldquo;A penny saved is a penny earned&rdquo; is never truer than when you have kids. It takes time to earn money, whereas saving money may not take any time at all. If you want to make your dollars and time count as much as possible, it can pay to learn to live on less and be more thoughtful when it comes to spending the money you&rsquo;ve taken time to earn.</p> <h2>4. Build an emergency fund</h2> <p>Having kids often means recovering from one financial &ldquo;emergency&rdquo; after another. Kids get sick. They need to go to the doctor. They might break an arm playing on the playground or crashing their bike into your car.</p> <p>Kids also need braces and money to play on the soccer team. You&rsquo;ll need cash for once-a-year expenses like supplies and school field trips. And let&rsquo;s not forget about all the other emergencies you need to prepare for in life &mdash; the leaking roofs and the cars that need to be replaced.</p> <p>To prevent these expenses from wrecking your savings, or worse, put you into credit card debt, it is essential to start building an emergency fund early &mdash; before you need it. Most experts suggest you have three to six months' worth of expenses saved.</p> <p>Since that will take a while, you should probably start saving in whatever increments you can, as soon as you can. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-build-an-emergency-fund-from-0?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Easy Ways to Build an Emergency Fund From $0</a>)</p> <h2>5. Pay off debt</h2> <p>Debt is such a drag, and that&rsquo;s true whether you have kids or not. When you&rsquo;re in debt, you have to plan your entire life around paying money to people you owe.</p> <p>Not only that, but high interest debt can make getting ahead financially an especially tough hill to climb. When you carry a balance every month, you could be paying oodles in interest each month &mdash; that&rsquo;s basically money down the drain.</p> <p>To make your income stretch as far as it can go, pay down debt while you can. Not only will you avoid the costly drain of interest payments, but you&rsquo;ll free up extra money to save for what matters. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Fastest Way to Pay Off $10,000 in Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>6. Start saving for college</h2> <p>According to College Board, the average cost of a four-year degree could be as much as $152,753 in 18 years. That&rsquo;s a wild amount of money to ponder, but it won&rsquo;t be funny if you sit on this data and never act.</p> <p>Opening a college savings account could help you make a dent in your child&rsquo;s future tuition costs, but only if you start savings early. If you set aside even $50 per month for the next 18 years and earn a 6 percent return, you could save up $18,543.39 for school. Boost that amount to $200 per month, however, and you could have $74,173.57 saved.</p> <p>Depending on your state, you may even score tangible tax benefits for setting money aside. In the <a href="https://www.in.gov/tos/iesa/2419.htm" target="_blank">state of Indiana</a>, for example, you get a 20 percent tax credit on the first $5,000 you contribute every year. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</a>)</p> <h2>7. Buy (more) life insurance</h2> <p>A final money move for new parents is buying a life insurance policy &mdash; or even buying more life insurance coverage to supplement the coverage they already have.</p> <p>Before you have kids, you may only need enough life insurance to cover burial costs and your debts. After kids, on the other hand, you have so much more to plan for. You have to buy enough life insurance to replace your income for your child&rsquo;s entire life, for example, and you may even want to buy more coverage to pay for college.</p> <p>You have to think about the prospect of your spouse or partner raising your child alone, and what kind of financial situation you would want to leave them in if you died.</p> <p>Having a child makes issues like life insurance dramatically more important than they were before. You don&rsquo;t just have to think of yourself; you have to think of their future, too.</p> <p>Fortunately, it&rsquo;s easier than ever to get a free quote for life insurance and buy a policy today &mdash; and without ever leaving your home. The sooner you buy, the sooner you can protect your new family if for some reason you&rsquo;re not around.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-essential-money-moves-for-new-parents&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Essential%2520Money%2520Moves%2520for%2520New%2520Parents.jpg&amp;description=7%20Essential%20Money%20Moves%20for%20New%20Parents"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Essential%20Money%20Moves%20for%20New%20Parents.jpg" alt="7 Essential Money Moves for New Parents" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-essential-money-moves-for-new-parents">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-parenting-mistakes-to-avoid-when-teaching-kids-about-money">4 Parenting Mistakes to Avoid When Teaching Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-rules-thatll-save-you-big-in-babys-first-year">5 Money Rules That&#039;ll Save You Big in Baby&#039;s First Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-books-that-will-get-your-kids-excited-about-money">10 Fun Books That Will Get Your Kids Excited About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-signs-youre-financially-ready-to-start-a-family">7 Signs You&#039;re Financially Ready to Start a Family</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-successfully-negotiate-everything-with-your-kid">How to Successfully Negotiate Everything With Your Kid</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Family budgeting tips having kids money tips new baby new parents parenting parenting tips saving money Mon, 04 Dec 2017 09:30:11 +0000 Holly Johnson 2065325 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Smart Financial Gifts to Give Your Kids This Year http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-financial-gifts-to-give-your-kids-this-year <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-smart-financial-gifts-to-give-your-kids-this-year" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_and_daughter_with_piggy_bank.jpg" alt="Mother and daughter with piggy bank" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>American poet Maya Angelou said it best: &quot;When you know better, you do better.&quot; The earlier that your kids develop good financial habits, the brighter their financial future will be.</p> <p>With the holidays right around the corner, now is the perfect time to set your sights on one or more of these financial gifts that will help your kids learn about, respect, and appreciate money.</p> <h2>1. Monopoly</h2> <p>Since 1935, this classic board game has entertained millions of people around the world. Turns out that playing rounds with &quot;Monopoly money&quot; can actually help build real life financial skills, such as negotiation, money management, and diversification. Plus, a round of Monopoly is a good way to practice arithmetic and social skills. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holiday-gifts-6-fun-games-that-teach-money-and-finance?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Holiday Gifts: TK Fun Games That Teach Money and Finance</a>)</p> <h2>2. Custodial investment account</h2> <p>Most brokerage firms offer a custodial account that allows children to get a first taste of investing in the stock market under the supervision of a parent or guardian. With as little as $100, you could open a custodial account and let your kid make decisions about what stocks to hold or sell.</p> <p>In 2017, you can contribute up to $14,000 to a custodial account and still avoid gift taxes. In 2018, the annual federal gift exclusion moves up to $15,000. Your kid's custodial account is under your control until your kid legally becomes an adult, which happens somewhere between age 18 and 21, depending on your state's rules.</p> <p>A custodial investment account is a great way to get your child excited about investing and let them learn from firsthand experience how the stock market works. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-stocks-your-kids-would-love-to-own?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Stocks Your Kids Would Love to Own</a>).</p> <h2>3. Custodial Roth IRA</h2> <p>If your kid is already working a summer job or earning income from their own business, consider setting up a custodial Roth IRA for them. In 2017 and 2018, individuals may contribute up to $5,500 to a custodial Roth IRA. Here are a couple of reasons why this is a good idea:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Your child will have the same contribution limit as an adult, making it a real-life lesson in cultivating a good savings habit.</p> </li> <li> <p>Your child can get close to a decade of extra compounding interest for their nest egg.</p> </li> <li> <p>By taking the tax hit now, your child's retirement savings will grow tax-free forever.</p> </li> <li> <p>Your child will have another &quot;sandbox&quot; in which to make real-life decisions with investments.</p> </li> </ul> <p>Just imagine if <em>you </em>knew how life-changing investing in equities could be at such a young age.</p> <p>That alone may be the best financial gift for your kid this holiday season! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-investing-lessons-you-must-teach-your-kids?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Investing Lessons You Must Teach Your Kids</a>)</p> <h2>4. 529 savings plan</h2> <p>The average class of 2016 graduate left school with $37,172 in student loan debt. If you could do something now to help prevent your kid from having to take out such costly student loans, that would certainly be a gift worth giving. The good news is you <em>can</em> do this by starting a 529 college savings plan. Eligible education expenses under a 529 plan go beyond tuition and academic fees and include expenses for room and board, transportation, equipment, and accommodations for individuals with special needs.</p> <p>Contributions to a 529 plan grow tax-free and the money is not taxed when it's withdrawn to pay for college expenses. In addition to federal tax savings, more than 30 states currently offer a full or partial tax deduction or credit for 529 plan contributions. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</a>)</p> <h2>5. Cash</h2> <p>Yup, cash is still king. Regardless of their age, your kid will always love receiving a few bills as a gift. The main reason to gift cash during the holiday season is that it opens the door to have an ongoing conversation with your kids about budgeting. With a cash gift, you'll have plenty of chances to talk about what they're planning to buy, what they actually purchase, and how much money they have left. From there, you can start making it a habit to sit down with your son or daughter to talk about finances on a weekly or Bi-Weekly basis. It's a good time to catch up about other non-related finance topics as well. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-help-your-kid-build-their-first-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Help Your Kid Build Their First Budget</a>)</p> <h2>6. Checking account with debit card and checkbook</h2> <p>Of course, this would be a great place for any cash gifts that your son or daughter receives from relatives and friends during the holidays (and throughout the year).</p> <p>While a checking account may not be as exciting as a new Xbox or bike, you can be sure that this gift is the one that your child will be using for the longest time. It's important that your kids start to build experience managing a checking account so they understand how to pay for everyday expenses, build a monthly budget, and safely use debit cards. By covering the ins and outs of how a checking account works when they're young, your kid will have one less thing to stress about as they get a little older or go off to college.</p> <p>No matter what your child's plans are, anyone can benefit from learning how to use a debit card, write checks, access an online account portal, and read a checking account statement.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-smart-financial-gifts-to-give-your-kids-this-year&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Smart%2520Financial%2520Gifts%2520to%2520Give%2520Your%2520Kids%2520This%2520Year.jpg&amp;description=6%20Smart%20Financial%20Gifts%20to%20Give%20Your%20Kids%20This%20Year"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Smart%20Financial%20Gifts%20to%20Give%20Your%20Kids%20This%20Year.jpg" alt="6 Smart Financial Gifts to Give Your Kids This Year" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-financial-gifts-to-give-your-kids-this-year">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-the-holidays-to-teach-kids-about-money">How to Use the Holidays to Teach Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/teach-your-kids-about-money-with-their-holiday-gift-lists">Teach Your Kids About Money With Their Holiday Gift Lists</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-help-your-adult-children-become-financially-independent">How to Help Your Adult Children Become Financially Independent</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-conversations-parents-should-have-with-their-adult-kids">7 Money Conversations Parents Should Have With Their Adult 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> Personal Finance Family 529 plans budgeting cash checking accounts children Christmas custodial roth ira financial gifts games Holidays investing kids Fri, 01 Dec 2017 09:00:06 +0000 Damian Davila 2064624 at http://www.wisebread.com