Family http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4566/all en-US 5 Money Rules That'll Save You Big in Baby's First Year http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-rules-thatll-save-you-big-in-babys-first-year <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-money-rules-thatll-save-you-big-in-babys-first-year" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000072976509_Double.jpg" alt="Mom saving big in baby&#039;s first year" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My family is expecting a new addition in June, and we're beyond psyched! Since this is our second child, we won't be making a registry list or having a baby shower. With almost five years between kids, however, we certainly are in need of a few things. Here's how we're planning to save throughout our baby's first year on gear and clothing, and how you can, too!</p> <h2>1. Digging Deep</h2> <p>Before doing anything else, I looked through all the bins of my daughter's baby stuff. For families where kids have tight age gaps, this is a natural. Reuse what you can. Unfortunately, if you do have a longer period of time between kids, like we do, things like car seats can expire, and other gear might be recalled. We've cleared out the items we cannot use and assessed the condition of the rest.</p> <p>Stuff like clothing can stand the test of time with babies because they wear outfits for only a couple months before they outgrow them. Cloth diapers are also a great item to use again, doubling the initial savings. And if you have old baby gear you'd rather not use, try reselling it for cash for the new things you want to buy.</p> <p>We find out soon if we're having a girl or boy, so if things are looking blue, I have a huge mountain of clothing I can sell at the local second-hand shop. <em>[Editor's note: It's a girl!]</em></p> <h2>2. Buying Used</h2> <p>That's right &mdash; you can sell your old stuff, but you can also buy used to save money. When I was a first-time mom, I didn't take advantage of thrift shops and other second-hand opportunities. This time around? I know better. That expensive baby swing you have on your shopping list might get a whopping two months of use. Babies grow out of toys and clothes in what seems like minutes. What does this mean? Thrift shops and consignment stores are teeming with quality gear at a fraction of the original price.</p> <p>Check around your town to find shops that sell gently used baby items. You may even find places online, like a local Facebook garage sale group, where you can browse listings right now. We have a Salvation Army, Good Will, Thrifty Shopper, and a specialty store called Once Upon a Child. Check these places often (once every week or two weeks) to see what comes in. And monitor for sales and other events. Our local Once Upon a Child recently had a huge bag blowout sale, where you could get an entire packed bag of clothing for just $15. One of my friends calculated that she got $100 worth of like-new clothing in just one bag.</p> <h2>3. Buying Smart</h2> <p>Of course, there are things we will want or need to buy new. For those items, I'm taking my time and using my shopping ninja powers. Whenever I'm out at Target or Walmart and see something we might need, I pull out my phone and check around for the best price. If I see a better price listed somewhere else online, I march to customer service and ask about their price-matching policy. I've never been denied a lower price if I can produce the proof on my phone. (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-to-get-a-sale-price-match-at-16-popular-stores?ref=seealso">Here's How to Get a Sale Price-Match at 16 Popular Stores</a>)</p> <p>That being said, I do the majority of my shopping online, so I go through sites like Ebates to get cash back on whatever I'm buying. I also used the Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other seasonal sales events to my advantage this year. My tip? Make a list of what you are looking to buy, then browse around your favorite shops online to look for sales, savings codes, or other promotions. Pregnancy lasts over nine months, so you'll likely see what you're looking for at a discounted price with time and patience.</p> <h2>4. Needing Less</h2> <p>Another advantage of being a seasoned mom is that I know I don't need everything on those fussy registry must-have lists. In theory, babies only need basic clothing, somewhere safe to sleep, breast milk or formula, and love. The rest is extra. Well, for the most part. Your own must-have list will look different compared to mine. But before you buy everything you're told you need, think about your own lifestyle.</p> <p>For us, this means we don't need a bassinet or moses basket because the baby will sleep in a Pack 'N Play in the early days (that we'll also use for traveling well beyond the first year). We likely won't need to stock up on bottles if breastfeeding goes well again. I'm skipping the travel system because we never used one with our daughter and plan to, instead, carry our baby in a ring sling that I bought used. You get the idea. A lot of registry lists get you prepared for absolutely every scenario you might encounter. Try to resist the items that don't make sense to you and your way of life.</p> <h2>5. Waiting</h2> <p>As of today, my list of to-buy baby items is pretty minimal. I'm sure I'll eventually want or need some stuff for convenience or &mdash; let's be honest &mdash; just for fun. But for now, I'm waiting on making those purchases until after the baby arrives. As I've waited, some of my friends have even offered up to let me borrow things like bouncers and rocking chairs. Another friend handed me a stack of never-used cloth diapers she didn't need when her son was a baby.</p> <p>Once our little one is here, I'm also resisting the urge to buy things ahead of time. With my daughter, I thought I was being frugal by stocking up on clearance clothing with sizes a year in advance. The problem is that not all children grow at the same rate. My daughter didn't end up fitting in a lot of the duds I bought to &quot;save money,&quot; defeating the entire purpose. In the end, if we can live without whatever it is for another day or two, chances are we don't need it in the long run.</p> <p><em>How are you saving money as a new parent? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-rules-thatll-save-you-big-in-babys-first-year">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke">24 Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-stuff-and-coupons-for-new-parents">Free Stuff and Coupons for New 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/7-unexpected-ways-stay-at-home-parents-save-big">7 Unexpected Ways Stay-at-Home Parents Save Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-stock-in-your-freezer-before-baby-arrives">What to Stock in Your Freezer Before Baby Arrives</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/3-life-lessons-ive-learned-since-becoming-a-parent">3 Life Lessons I&#039;ve Learned Since Becoming a Parent</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Family baby frugal living new parents parenting saving money Fri, 12 Feb 2016 10:00:05 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1653873 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Best Jobs for Working Moms and Dads http://www.wisebread.com/6-best-jobs-for-working-moms-and-dads <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-best-jobs-for-working-moms-and-dads" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000075489143_Large.jpg" alt="working mom loving her job" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Working moms and dads seek jobs that provide a blend of good pay, flexibility, and plenty of time off. It's all about striking that ever-important work-life balance. What careers have it all? Here are just a few jobs you might consider if you're a parent and craving a change.</p> <h2>1. Web Developer</h2> <p>The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects <a href="http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/web-developers.htm">new web developer positions</a> to grow 27% by 2024. This is wonderful news if you're a mom or dad into designing and maintaining websites. The median pay for web developers is $63,490 per year or $30.52 per hour. While about one in seven in this position are self-employed, there's a lot of opportunity to work from home full- or even part-time. You just need a computer, coding experience, and a dose of creativity.</p> <h2>2. Freelancer</h2> <p>As a freelance writer, I set my own hours, choose the weight of my workload, and do it all from the comfort of my home office. I write when my daughter is at preschool, while she's sleeping, and I sneak in other bits of work when I find the time. Mustering the discipline to stay focused at home can be a challenge, and quarterly taxes are sometimes annoying. Overall, though, I feel fortunate to have discovered such a wonderful way to use my college degree in writing and pay a nice chunk of our monthly bills.</p> <p>Not great with words? According to <em>Time Magazine</em>, there are at least 17.8 million freelancers who <a href="http://time.com/money/4023097/freelance-economy-facts-stats/">work over 15 hours</a> a week in the United States. A few of the highest paying freelance positions include patent lawyers ($112 per hour), voiceover artists ($72 per hour), and programmers ($61 per hour). Even better, a whopping 2.9 million freelancers brought home over $100,000 in pay last year.</p> <h2>3. IT Data Scientist</h2> <p>What exactly does an IT data scientist do? Just solves complex problems in computing and discovers new uses for existing technology. That's all.</p> <p>The BLS explains that as a computer and information research scientist, you need some major skills and education. Many people interested in this type of work will need to hold a Ph.D. in computer science (or a related field), though some jobs in the federal government only require a bachelor's degree. IT data scientists <a href="http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-and-information-research-scientists.htm">earn high salaries</a> (median salary of over $100,000) and only one in 10 worked over 40 hours per week in 2014. If you can swing it, the job outlook is solid with 11% growth leading up to 2024.</p> <h2>4. K-12 Teacher</h2> <p>My husband is a high school English teacher. While many may argue that teachers don't get paid enough for their work, the time off, benefits, and opportunities to make extra money are excellent. He leaves for work around 7 a.m. and can be home by 3 p.m. most days of the week. He has 10 weeks off during the summer months and many more throughout the year for holidays and breaks. To supplement our income, he even took on a couple coaching gigs that have increased his salary by more than $10,000 per year.</p> <p>Many teachers also enjoy unique time off benefits, especially related to child care leaves. In New York City, for example, a teacher can apply for <a href="http://schools.nyc.gov/Offices/DHR/HealthBenefitsLeavesAbsence/NonMedicalLeave/default.htm">child care leave</a> at a maximum of four years after a birth or adoption. Though there is no pay or health insurance during this time, having the option to stay home with a job ready and waiting is certainly appealing to many parents.</p> <h2>5. Other Education</h2> <p>Online adjunct faculty get the best of both worlds with the option to work from home and set their own hours. As the site GetEducated explains, the BLS <a href="http://www.geteducated.com/career-center/detail/online-instructor-post-secondary">doesn't yet separate data</a> with traditional and online post-secondary teachers. Some estimates come in at around $1,500 and $2,500 per semester-long course, but pay varies wildly by institution and position. More and more people are choosing to continue their educations online, so job growth is expected to climb in this field.</p> <p>You'll need an advanced degree and some experience to hold a curriculum development job. Once you're in, many positions are full-time and allow you to work from home. How much will you make? About $60,000 a year. Not too shabby.</p> <h2>6. Call Center Representatives</h2> <p>You've probably been on the phone with a call center representative at one time or another. Some handle customer complaints, while others work on sales or order processing. These folks are employed in most every industry across the board. Did you know that many of them do it from home and set their own hours? It's true!</p> <p>The BLS reports that the median <a href="http://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/customer-service-representatives.htm">pay for call center representatives</a> is around $30,000 but the education level required is just a high school diploma. On-the-job training is short and sweet, too. Positions are expected to grow some 10% between now and 2024.</p> <p><em>Don't see your amazing gig listed here? Feel free to share your own top picks in the comments below!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-best-jobs-for-working-moms-and-dads">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-manage-costs-while-youre-on-maternity-leave">5 Ways to Manage Costs While You&#039;re on Maternity Leave</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-working-from-home-can-save-and-cost-you-big">10 Ways Working From Home Can Save (And Cost) You Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-best-jobs-for-work-life-balance">4 Best Jobs for Work Life Balance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke">24 Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-cloth-diapers">Everything You Need to Know About Cloth Diapers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Family parenting work from home work life balance working dad working mom Thu, 04 Feb 2016 00:15:34 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1649807 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Financial Moves to Make When a Loved One Dies http://www.wisebread.com/12-financial-moves-to-make-when-a-loved-one-dies <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-financial-moves-to-make-when-a-loved-one-dies" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_holding_hands_000067142067.jpg" alt="Couple making financial moves after loved one dies" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are few things more challenging than a loved one's passing. In addition to being emotionally difficult, there is an enormous amount of work required to handle the person's estate.</p> <p>No one likes to discuss the finances of your departed loved ones, but there are many key things that should be done shortly after their passing. These 12 items are the most common financial priorities during a difficult time.</p> <h2>1. Do as Little as You Need To (At First)</h2> <p>Losing a loved one is a stressful, tiring, and emotional experience. That's why it's wise to avoid making any key financial decisions immediately. Decisions about money and property should be made with a clear head, psychologists say. It's important to begin collecting some documentation and making funeral plans, but many key decisions can wait a while.</p> <h2>2. Find the Will &mdash; and Its Executor</h2> <p>If your loved one planned properly, he or she outlined their wishes in a will and tasked a trustworthy person to carry things out. This is known as probating the estate. Things can get complicated if there is no will, or if the executor has passed away or is otherwise unavailable. But start by finding out if your loved one's wishes were written down. If you are the executor, you will need <em>letters testamentary</em> that prove you have the right to handle the affairs of the deceased.</p> <h2>3. Collect as Many Documents as You Can</h2> <p>Hopefully, your loved one had some sort of filing system for bills, tax receipts, and other financial information. Collect as much of this paperwork as you can, including anything associated with his or her estate planning, plus credit card statements, bank statements, life insurance policies, car titles, and any similar things you can think of.</p> <h2>4. Determine If the Funeral Was Prepaid</h2> <p>You may find that your loved one had already made plans with a funeral home to have arrangements paid for. But if not, you'll need to determine if there is money available from the deceased to pay for the funeral. This may require opening a special checking account for the estate.</p> <h2>5. Get Copies of the Death Certificate</h2> <p>As you work through the complicated financial matters after a loved one dies, people and institutions will request copies of the death certificate as evidence of the person's passing. Obtain dozens of copies from the state, as many organizations will require an original document. Always have a copy handy any time you deal with a bank or brokerage house.</p> <h2>6. Get in Touch With Financial Institutions</h2> <p>This is often a challenge, because most people have multiple bank accounts, plus various investment accounts, pension providers, loans, credit cards, and insurance companies. Start with the the life insurance company, as the policy may mean that there will be a payout that can be used toward final expenses. Then check with banks to stop any automatic payments, such as regular contributions to charity. Brokerage companies may freeze accounts once notified of a death, so plan in advance if you think this may pose a problem.</p> <h2>7. Call Utility Companies</h2> <p>If a loved one lived alone, it will be important to call the electric company, water provider, cable provider, and phone company to stop service and avoid any additional charges. (Make sure you clean out the fridge before cutting off the electricity.)</p> <h2>8. Contact Government Agencies</h2> <p>You need to contact the Social Security Administration to stop payments, and see if you are eligible for any death benefits. If your relative served in the Armed Forces, call the Veterans Administration. There are many state and local agencies that may also need to be notified, in order to stop payments from things like pensions or legal settlements.</p> <h2>9. Get the Credit Report of the Deceased</h2> <p>It will be important to contact credit bureaus to protect against a case of identity theft. But it's also helpful to review your loved one's credit report to see if there were any major errors or cases of fraud.</p> <h2>10. Hire an Accountant</h2> <p>Dealing with taxes can be very challenging following the death of a loved one. There may be inheritance taxes, and if they worked in the year of their death, they may owe taxes or at least have required tax forms you'll need access to. Let an accountant do a lot of the heavy lifting here. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-reasons-why-an-accountant-is-worth-the-money">14 Reasons Why an Accountant Is Worth the Money</a>)</p> <h2>11. Change Online Passwords</h2> <p>If you have access to the online accounts of the deceased, you may want to consider changing the passwords for access. This will guard against anyone looking to steal your loved one's identity, and prevent others from gaining access to account information they should not have.</p> <h2>12. Roll Over Their IRA</h2> <p>If your wife or husband passed away, you are the beneficiary of his or her retirement account and can roll it into yours. Or you can tap the money immediately and you won't have to pay a penalty for early withdrawals. If your spouse was over 70 &frac12;, you may have to take a required minimum distribution.</p> <p><em>What steps have you taken to prepare for the loss of a loved one?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-financial-moves-to-make-when-a-loved-one-dies">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/do-you-need-an-estate-plan">Do You Need an Estate Plan?</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-things-i-learned-about-money-from-famous-peoples-wills">6 Things I Learned About Money From Famous People&#039;s Wills</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/post-divorce-finances-7-steps-to-rebuilding-your-financial-house">Post Divorce Finances: 7 Steps to Rebuilding Your Financial House</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-happens-to-your-online-stuff-after-you-die">What Happens to Your Online Stuff After You Die?</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/debunking-common-estate-planning-myths">Debunking Common Estate Planning Myths</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family death estate planning inheritance probate taxes wills Wed, 03 Feb 2016 18:19:01 +0000 Tim Lemke 1649195 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways the Sandwich Generation Can Get Ahead http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-the-sandwich-generation-can-get-ahead <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-the-sandwich-generation-can-get-ahead" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_mom_grandmother_000065344773.jpg" alt="Young woman learning how the sandwich generation can get ahead" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The Sandwich Generation &mdash; those caught caring for aging parents while still supporting children &mdash; face daunting financial challenges. How can they live up to their responsibilities, while still reaching their own financial goals? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-goals-all-30-somethings-should-have?ref=seealso">10 Money Goals All 30-Somethings Should Have</a>)</p> <h2>1. Set Boundaries</h2> <p>Simultaneously caring for a minor and parent is taxing on your &quot;me time.&quot; All told, 42% of Gen Xers and 33% of Baby Boomers are <a href="http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/files/2013/01/Sandwich_Generation_Report_FINAL_1-29.pdf">living this scenario</a> &mdash; and feeling the squeeze in places other than just their wallets. So, how to make time and energy for oneself when so many others are depending on you?</p> <p>One way is to set boundaries. Maybe you need one or two days away from catering to the needs of others. Set up a schedule with other members of your family so that a spouse or brother or cousin is available to relieve you from in-home care duties on certain days. Perhaps common errands like lawn mowing and grocery shopping are becoming difficult to juggle. If you have a mature and capable child, consider delegating out some of these chores.</p> <p>Setting boundaries might be as simple as carving out a two-hour block each day during which you engage in whatever activities &mdash; napping, exercising, reading &mdash; benefit you. The key, of course, is sticking to it. Honor that time you've created for yourself and know that it's helping not only you, but those who depend on you, too.</p> <h2>2. Consider Long-Term Care Insurance</h2> <p>If you're caring for an ailing parent, you may want to mandate that Mom or Dad invest in long-term care insurance. If they're resistant, explain that it's for you as much as it is for them. After all, you don't want to go bankrupt, and your parent doesn't want that for you either. Long-term care insurance policies reimburse policyholders a daily amount for services to assist with the cost of daily activities such as bathing, dressing, or eating. The cost of a long-term care policy is determined by factors such as how old the policyholder is when he or she buys in, and the predetermined maximum amount that the policy will pay per day.</p> <h2>3. Invite Mom and Dad to Move In</h2> <p>If your parents move in with you, you can all save money in property taxes &mdash; up to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on where you reside. Not to mention, the average annual cost of a <a href="https://www.metlife.com/mmi/research/2012-market-survey-long-term-care-costs.html#keyfindings">private nursing home</a> room is about $91,000, while the the cost of assisted living falls around $43,000.</p> <p>Multigenerational housing eliminates such expenses and grants you the peace of mind that Mom and Dad are being well-cared for by yourself and other members of the family. Establishing a multigenerational household may seem daunting, but don't discount the many social benefits. Your children will have a better shot at developing a meaningful relationship with their grandparents if they're all living under one roof. Same goes for you and your parents.</p> <h2>4. Collect Rent From Grown Kids Who Move Back Home</h2> <p>At one time, it was embarrassing for a young adult to move back in with his or her parents. But today, that simply isn't so. In fact, thanks to The Great Recession, there are so many young adults moving back in with Mom and Dad that the stigma is practically non-existent.</p> <p>Living at home eases the burden of student debt while helping young adults save for their education, a car, and a place of their own. But remember that all of these benefits are still well in play when you charge your son or daughter a fair rent. And you should. Young adults who pay to live at home are more likely to feel motivated to get a good job, establish a career, improve their education, and put their degree to good use. You needn't charge the amount it would cost to rent an apartment in your city or town. A couple hundred dollars a month is typically enough to keep your son or daughter edging to better themselves.</p> <h2>5. Claim a Parent as a Dependent</h2> <p>If you're caring for a parent who has a gross income of no more than $3,950 &mdash; this number excludes Social Security and disability &mdash; you can <a href="http://www.elderlawanswers.com/claiming-a-parent-as-a-dependent-3657">claim them as a dependent</a> when you file your taxes.</p> <h2>6. Write Off Your Parent's Medical Expenses</h2> <p>The IRS understands the strain of paying for a parent's medical tab. If you footed the bill for a parent's medical care, you may be able to <a href="https://www.irs.gov/publications/p502/ar02.html#en_US_2015_publink1000178856">deduct those expenses</a> when you file your taxes. To quality, total medical expenses, including the cost of prescription drugs, hospital care, and doctor's visits, must exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income.</p> <p><em>Are you part of the Sandwich Generation? How are you coping?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-the-sandwich-generation-can-get-ahead">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-much-should-your-kids-know-about-your-finances">How Much Should Your Kids Know About Your Finances?</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/12-financial-moves-to-make-when-a-loved-one-dies">12 Financial Moves to Make When a Loved One Dies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke">24 Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-investing-lessons-you-must-teach-your-kids">10 Investing Lessons You Must Teach Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-on-babysitting-without-ending-up-on-the-local-news">How to Save on Babysitting Without Ending Up on the Local News</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Lifestyle baby boomers dependents gen x insurance parents sandwich generation taxes Mon, 01 Feb 2016 12:00:03 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1646408 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Modern Ways to Send Money to Your Kid http://www.wisebread.com/7-modern-ways-to-send-money-to-your-kid <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-modern-ways-to-send-money-to-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/iStock_000019898427_Large.jpg" alt="parent sending money to his kids" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a father of three boys, I know that it's only a matter of time until they start asking me for money. Whether it's for a toy for a toddler, a movie ticket for a teen, or a college tuition payment for a young adult, kids often need an extra hand from their parents.</p> <p>Fortunately, we have come a long way from sending a paper check in the mail. Sending money to your kid &mdash; especially when they live far away &mdash; is now possible through many modern modes. Here are seven that focus on convenience and low-cost.</p> <h2>1. Online Transfer Within the Same Financial Institution</h2> <p>One of the fastest, most affordable, and convenient ways to send money to your kid is by opening a joint account that is under both of your names at your preferred financial institution. That way, when you get that last-minute request to cover a bill, you can log in to your bank's online portal through your computer or smartphone and do a funds transfer from your account to your joint account.</p> <p>If your kid has a debit card for the joint account, she can have access to the funds immediately or within a couple of minutes. Some financial institutions may have a cutoff time for same-day access to funds, or a limit to the number of transfers that you can do per month, so double check applicable terms.</p> <h2>2. Walmart Money Transfer</h2> <p>With over 4,650 locations in the U.S., your kid is likely to live close or be a short drive away from a Walmart. If your bank takes a long time to process transfers within accounts and your kid needs money within 10 minutes, using a Walmart money transfer can be a good option.</p> <p>Through its <a href="http://walmart.moneygram.com">partnership with MoneyGram</a>, Walmart allows you to send money online or in-store for pickup at any Walmart store within the U.S. or Puerto Rico and any international MoneyGram location. Walmart charges $4.75 for transfers of up to $50, $11.50 for transfers from $51 to $900, and 2% of the total transfer for transfers over $900. (Depending on applicable state laws, additional taxes and fees may apply.)</p> <p>Funds are typically available within 10 minutes. For sending $50 or less, Walmart is more affordable than Western Union, which charges at least $4.99 for this type of transfer.</p> <p>Bonus: If you belong to one of the estimated <a href="http://www.fdic.gov/householdsurvey/">9.6 million U.S. households</a> that don't have a bank account, Walmart is your cheapest option to buy a money order. At most Walmart locations, you can buy a money order of up to $1,000 for a $0.70 fee.</p> <h2>3. PayPal</h2> <p>By using PayPal, you can send money online to your kid anywhere in the U.S. from your bank account or PayPal account balance. It's free for you and the recipient. If you would like to use a debit or credit card to fund the transfer, PayPal charges <a href="https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/paypal-fees">2.9% plus $0.30</a> per transaction. However, you decide whether you or your kid covers the applicable fee.</p> <p>While money transfers using your PayPal balance, debit card, or credit card are instantaneous, those using a bank account may take three to five business days to clear.</p> <p>PayPal is a good option to send funds abroad because the company charges a 0%-2% fee when fully funding the transfer with your bank account or PayPal balance, or a 2.9%-5.99% fee plus a fixed fee based on the payment currency when funding the transfer with a credit or debit card.</p> <p>If you're planning to send your kid money using PayPal, encourage her to get the <a href="https://www.paypal.com/bm/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=xpt/account/DCIntro-outside">PayPal Debit Card</a>, which allows him to use the funds worldwide at ATMs, online, or anywhere MasterCard is accepted. Also, he'll earn 0.5% cash back whenever he signs for a purchase using this debit card.</p> <h2>4. Google Wallet</h2> <p>Now this is one email from you that your kid will be excited to open!</p> <p>Through its integration with Google Wallet, Gmail allows you to <a href="https://support.google.com/mail/answer/3141103?hl=en">send money to any Gmail account</a>. If you start a new email on Gmail, find the blue &quot;Send&quot; button, and then check the &quot;$&quot; icon a couple spots to the right. It's free to send money to your child anywhere in the U.S.</p> <p>Sending money is always free as long you're using your Google Wallet Balance, debit card, or your bank account linked to Google Wallet. Receiving money is always free, and your kid can claim funds using a computer or smartphone.</p> <p>For sending and receiving money, there's a <a href="https://support.google.com/wallet/answer/6285486?rd=1">limit of $9,999</a> per single transaction and a total limit of $50,000 per five-day period. Google Wallet allows your kid to claim the funds directly into her bank account without verifying her identity as long as she receives less than $300 the first time, less than $1,000 in the last 30 days, and less than $10,000 in total. Once she reaches any of those limits, she'll have to verify her identity to be able to claim the funds.</p> <p>Through a Google Wallet Card, she can withdraw or use the funds sent to her at no cost wherever Debit MasterCard is accepted. There is no fee to request a Google Wallet Card, either. However, there may be applicable fees when using certain ATMs to make a withdrawal.</p> <h2>5. Facebook Messenger</h2> <p>Through the popular social media network's instant messaging service, you can <a href="https://www.facebook.com/help/messenger-app/750020781733477/">send and receive payments</a>.</p> <ul> <li>Create a new message and select your kid's name;</li> <li>Click on the &quot;$&quot; icon and enter the amount you want to send;</li> <li>Tap pay; and</li> <li>Enter your U.S. debit card to fund the transfer.</li> </ul> <p>Facebook doesn't charge you for sending funds within the U.S. as long as you and your child live in the U.S., are over 18 years old, and use a U.S. debit card to fund the transfer. Credit cards, prepaid bank cards, and any other forms of payment aren't eligible to send funds via Facebook Messenger. Funds are transferred right away but may take up to five business days to become available to your kid.</p> <p>Facebook Messenger enables your kid to message you to request money, so that you can know how much exactly she needs. Currently, Facebook hasn't yet set a maximum amount limit for money transfers using Messenger.</p> <h2>6. Snapcash</h2> <p>If your kid is under 24 years old, there is a higher chance that he or she will&nbsp;<a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/update-a-breakdown-of-the-demographics-for-each-of-the-different-social-networks-2015-6">have a Snapchat account (45%)</a> than a Facebook account (16%).</p> <p>Fortunately, you can also send money to your kid in Snapchat using <a href="http://blog.snapchat.com/post/102895720555/introducing-snapcash">Snapcash</a>, a peer-to-peer payment feature within the social media app. Currently, Snapcash is only available in the U.S, excluding U.S. territories and military bases outside the U.S.</p> <p>Just like with Facebook Messenger, you can only fund transfers using your standard, U.S.-issued Visa or MasterCard debit cards and pay no fee for the transfer. The mechanics to send and receive monies on Snapcash are similar to those of Facebook Messenger. When you send your kid money and she hasn't signed up yet, she will receive a chat that says, &quot;Tap To Receive $,&quot; and will have to enter her debit card details. There is 24-hour limit to enter a debit card to claim funds and unclaimed funds will be returned to the original sender's bank account.</p> <p>Funds sent through Snapcash are directly deposited into your kid's bank account within one to two business days after you sent them. Weekends and bank holidays don't count as business days.</p> <p>One important difference from Facebook Messenger is that Snapcash has limits on how much you can send and receive. First-time users can send <a href="https://support.snapchat.com/a/snapcash-sendlimit">up to $250 a week</a> and receive up to $1,000 per month. However, those limits can be raised by verifying your identity through Square by providing your full name, social security number, and date of birth.</p> <h2>7. Venmo</h2> <p>Primarily known for being a super easy option for splitting the bill or sending money to friends, <a href="https://venmo.com/">Venmo</a> is a solid choice for money transfers. Venmo is connected to your bank account, and allows you to send money to anyone in a flash. And you can label each transaction using text or emojis &mdash; which might be the communication method of choice for your kiddo. There are no fees to use Venmo and transactions are instant.</p> <p><em>What are other modern ways to send money to your kid?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-modern-ways-to-send-money-to-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-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/10-investing-lessons-you-must-teach-your-kids">10 Investing Lessons You Must Teach 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/6-best-jobs-for-working-moms-and-dads">6 Best Jobs for Working Moms and Dads</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-financial-moves-to-make-when-a-loved-one-dies">12 Financial Moves to Make When a Loved One Dies</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-16-cardinal-rules-of-loaning-money-to-friends-and-family">The 16 Cardinal Rules of Loaning Money to Friends and 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/financial-literacy-for-young-adults">Adjusting Financial Attitudes: Lessons for Parents and their Children</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family allowance bank app money transfer online transfer transfer Tue, 26 Jan 2016 12:00:02 +0000 Damian Davila 1645273 at http://www.wisebread.com The 16 Cardinal Rules of Loaning Money to Friends and Family http://www.wisebread.com/the-16-cardinal-rules-of-loaning-money-to-friends-and-family <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-16-cardinal-rules-of-loaning-money-to-friends-and-family" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_hands_open_000036850298.jpg" alt="Man learning cardinal rules of loaning money to friends and family" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Loaning money to friends and family is one of life's greatest dilemmas. On one hand, you want to help somebody you care for when they're in a financial bind. On the other, you know it probably won't go off without a hitch. Ultimately, the decision is yours on whether to extend that cash-filled helping hand, and if you choose the Good Samaritan route, it's important to remember these dos and don'ts.</p> <h2>1. Carefully Consider Who You're Helping</h2> <p>If it's your brother who's in need of a quick loan, and you know he'll pay you back on time with interest, your decision to lend money is a no-brainer. But if it's your deadbeat cousin Steven who has never had two nickels to rub together, but always somehow has pocketful of cash to buy rounds of shots for his lady friends at the bar because he wants to look like a baller, you should probably sleep on it.</p> <p>When there's not a snowball's chance in hell that you'll see your money again, resolve to help without the expectation of being paid back, or just say no.</p> <h2>2. Don't Be Afraid to Say NO</h2> <p>You're under no obligation to give anyone &mdash; besides the government and your own creditors, of course &mdash; a dime of your hard-earned money. If you don't feel comfortable lending money to a friend or family member, just say no. They'll get over it. Or they won't, and you'll be better off for it.</p> <h2>3. Only Loan an Amount You Can Afford</h2> <p>If you have the disposable income to offer a loan without feeling the pinch, then okay. Only lend what you can afford without compromising your own financial situation.</p> <h2>4. Don't Expect Favors in Return</h2> <p>If you want to pay the person in need of money for completing tasks around the house or office, that's quite acceptable. There's no harm in earning the cash you need. But if that's not part of the original deal, don't expect the borrower to go out of their way to help you with anything. Sure, it's the decent thing to do &mdash; helping someone in other ways when they lend you money &mdash; but not everyone thinks that way, and it's not fair to place those expectations on unsuspecting people.</p> <h2>5. Keep it Strictly Business</h2> <p>Lending money is a business deal, not a friendly transaction. And when you treat it like the former, the experience is likelier to go much smoother than when it's positioned as the latter. Draw up a written contract, establish repayment terms &mdash; including interest (doesn't have to be bank-rate interest, but at least something minimal to provide motivation to pay on time) &mdash; and have both parties sign. Each of you should keep a copy, and post it on the fridge, as a reminder of what one of you is owed and what the other owes.</p> <h2>6. Never Berate Them About Their Poor Personal Finance Skills</h2> <p>If you've decided to help with loan, keep your opinion about their poor personal finance skills to yourself. There's no reason to kick somebody while they're down just to make yourself feel better. You can offer productive solutions to their consistent finance problems, but never in a way that makes them feel bad about themselves.</p> <h2>7. Establish Firmly That This Is a One-Time-Only Situation</h2> <p>Unless you want to operate as a 24-hour ATM, it's important to let the borrower know that this loan is a one-time gesture. Let them know that you don't want to be asked again under any circumstances. That might sound harsh, but you're not a bank, and people have a funny way of taking advantage of pushovers.</p> <h2>8. Avoid Giving Into Emotional Bullying</h2> <p>People who need money will sometimes pull out all the stops when trying to convince you to subsidize their life. Stay strong. Don't let those sad excuses and crocodile tears drag you down, especially when the dramatics are from someone you know better than to trust with a loan.</p> <h2>9. Suggest Sending Money Directly to Overdue Bills</h2> <p>If you're not completely comfortable handing over cash or a check to the borrower &mdash; like to your deadbeat cousin Steven &mdash; suggest sending money directly to the overdue bills in question. Even just proposing this solution is a good way to gauge where the priorities of the borrower lie, especially where your money is concerned. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/prioritize-these-5-bills-when-youre-short-on-cash">Prioritize These 5 Bills When You're Short on Cash</a>)</p> <h2>10. Don't Bring It Up Out of Context</h2> <p>This loan is between you and them; it's not between you and your sister and her husband and your hairdresser. You don't have to tell the whole world about it. Likewise, you shouldn't hold it over the borrower's head either. When a payment is missed, address it specifically in that context, not when you're out to lunch and your friend or family member orders a beer that could be used to pay you back instead.</p> <h2>11. Be Vigilant About Payback</h2> <p>Hopefully, since you have created a contract and repayment terms with interest, you won't have to hunt down your money and it'll make its way to you on time. But if that's not the case, stay vigilant about payback. It might seem like you're hounding the borrower every time you ask &mdash; because you are. Don't feel bad about it, either. They asked for money, and you let them borrow it, and now you expect to be paid back according to the loan terms. Anything less is unacceptable.</p> <h2>12. Never Co-Sign for a Loan or Add Them to Your Credit Cards</h2> <p>Lending cash is one thing, but co-signing for loans and adding them as an authorized user on your credit card is a whole other ballgame, and you absolutely don't want any part of it. It is almost guaranteed to be a disaster. If that discussion is on the table, swiftly shut it down. You're not the person for the job.</p> <h2>13. Offer to Help Get Them Back on Track in Other Ways</h2> <p>In addition to the loan, offer suggestions on how they can improve their financial situation. Do you have tasks around the house or office they can be paid to do? Can you teach them how to spend and save smarter? Do you have certain money-saving shopping techniques you can employ? Think of how you can impart wisdom to the borrow so they can help themselves more often. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-money-mistakes-everyone-makes-but-no-one-talks-about">20 Money Mistakes Everyone Makes But No One Talks About</a>)</p> <h2>14. Don't Dip Into Your Own Savings</h2> <p>If you can't afford to fund a personal loan from your own disposable income, you can't afford it. Your savings are just that &mdash; savings for emergencies, a new investment, or, frankly, whatever you want. That's money that you've worked hard to build up, and you shouldn't let anyone take away from that. Politely explain the situation, and close the case.</p> <h2>15. Plan for the Worst</h2> <p>Lending money to family and friends doesn't always go as planned, which is why it's important to have a Plan B.</p> <p>&quot;Discuss the worst-case scenario and put a conflict resolution plan in place that you both agree on,&quot; suggests personal finance expert Chantel Chapman. &quot;Things can get awkward when it comes to money, so planning out how you will handle a conflict if one does happen when you are cool-headed versus acting on hot-headed emotion will protect your relationship in the future.&quot;</p> <h2>16. Avoid Going Into Debt Yourself</h2> <p>What's the point of helping someone out financially if it compromises your own financial integrity? The only answer is that misery loves company, and miserable is all you'll be if you let someone start bleeding you dry with loan requests. Their problems are not your problems, and it's not your responsibility to fix them. If you're in danger of going into debt by doling out loans to friends and family, put a stop to it immediately. They'll find another way; moochers always do.</p> <p><em>Have you ever lent money to family or friends? What are some of your dos and don'ts? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-16-cardinal-rules-of-loaning-money-to-friends-and-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-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-financial-moves-to-make-when-a-loved-one-dies">12 Financial Moves to Make When a Loved One Dies</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/borrowing-from-friends-the-friendship-killer">Borrowing from Friends: The Friendship Killer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-not-to-save-for-your-childs-college-fund">3 Reasons Not to Save for Your Child&#039;s College 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/can-you-afford-to-have-a-baby">Can You Afford to Have a Baby?</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 borrowing money lending money loan loaning money Fri, 08 Jan 2016 16:00:03 +0000 Mikey Rox 1634307 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Great Life Hacks Your Grandparents Forgot to Share With You http://www.wisebread.com/11-great-life-hacks-your-grandparents-forgot-to-share-with-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-great-life-hacks-your-grandparents-forgot-to-share-with-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/housewife_watering_plant_000018649549.jpg" alt="Woman learning life hacks her grandparents forgot to share " title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Times may change, but people will always find ingenious ways to solve life's little problems. These days we call them &quot;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-lessons-every-20-something-should-learn">life hacks</a>,&quot; but your grandparents probably called them something else; perhaps &quot;grandma's secrets.&quot; But whatever they were called, some of them are just as awesome today as they were all those years ago. Here are 11 of the best.</p> <h2>1. Make Cheap Coffee Taste Gourmet With Salt</h2> <p>Coffee is a multi-billion dollar business, and you can really spend some serious money on expensive brands. But, you don't have to. Buy the cheap, pre-ground, store-brand coffee. Then, stir a <a href="http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2012/12/should-you-put-salt-in-your-coffee-reduce-bitterness.html">pinch of salt into the coffee</a> grounds in the filter basket, and brew as normal. There is science at work here. The salt reduces bitterness, fooling the brain into believing the coffee is smoother and creamier than it actually is. This also cuts down on the need to rely on creamers and sugar. Try it. You will be surprised.</p> <h2>2. Water Your Plants With Yarn</h2> <p>Do a search for &quot;automatic plant watering system&quot; and you'll see lots of expensive new products, such as the very popular <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B012WC1804/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B012WC1804&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=GJDXHNYILSRR5QFQ">self-watering probes</a>. However, this clever new idea isn't new at all. The basic system has been around for many decades, and works on the same &quot;capillary action&quot; principle &mdash; which is the ability of a liquid to move through a narrow space without gravity. Simply place a bucket of water at a level above the plants you want to water, and then drape strands of yarn from the bucket to the soil in the plant pot. Your plants will get an adequate supply of water while you are away, without over watering. Or you can simply set this system up if you're not interested in watering your plants everyday by hand.</p> <h2>3. Keep Eggs Fresh for up to Six Months</h2> <p>This is another life hack that came from necessity over a century ago. What do you do to preserve the many eggs your hens are laying for the coming months, especially without refrigeration? Well, if you have a cooler (one of those <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000JWEF00/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000JWEF00&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=Y6CZZSJLFV4FASET">cheap Styrofoam coolers</a> will do), a big bag of rock salt, and some grease (shortening works well), you can <a href="http://hubpages.com/food/How-to-Store-Raw-Eggs-in-Grease-and-Salt-An-Illustrated-Guide">store hundreds of eggs</a> for up to six months. Simply put a layer of rock salt on the bottom of the container, then coat the eggs in grease and bury them. Continue layering like this until your container is full, and keep it in a cold, dry place like a basement or cellar. Then, remove eggs when you need them, wash off the grease, and enjoy. The older the eggs get, the less versatile they are. But, they're still edible.</p> <h2>4. Cool a Wine Bottle Without Ice</h2> <p>You're having a big party, or you just want a nice chilled glass of wine with dinner, but&hellip; you're out of ice, and it will take ages to cool it in the freezer or fridge. Well there is a solution, from the days when automatic ice makers were not readily available. Wrap your wine bottle in a tea towel, place it in a bucket or container in the sink, and then let the water from the cold faucet run over it for about 10 minutes. Then you should have a cold bottle of wine, ready to serve.</p> <h2>5. Relieve Earache With Olive Oil</h2> <p>Some of you may actually remember this from your childhood. I remember it well. If I had an earache as a child, my grandma would put a few drops of warm <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003VKQT9C/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B003VKQT9C&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=35GPY5RRXX64ZGWF">olive oil</a> inside my ear, then put a cotton ball in there to stop it oozing out. The oil serves as a lubricant, and it also has properties that help fight infection. It won't cure it, but if you have nothing else at hand, it's a good way to provide some comfort.</p> <h2>6. Slice Bread With a Hot Knife</h2> <p>You know, bread didn't always come pre-sliced. We often take it for granted, but your grandparents will tell you tales of whole loaves, and the difficulty involved in making sandwiches. That's where this tip comes from. If you have to cut a whole loaf into slices, take your serrated knife and submerge it into boiling water. Dry it off with a tea towel, and start to cut. The hot knife will make it much easier to cut thin slices from your loaf.</p> <h2>7. Use a Cold Onion on a Mosquito Bite</h2> <p>So, obviously it's important to have an onion in the refrigerator for this tip. Some people already do this, but if you don't, and it's mosquito season, leave one in there. If you get bitten (which I did constantly this summer) take out the onion and cut a slice. Apply it to the bite, and it will draw out the mosquito's saliva (which is what causes the itch). Plus, the cold temperature of the onion slice is also soothing.</p> <h2>8. Remove a Splinter With a Piece of Bacon</h2> <p>If you have a stubborn splinter that just will not come out, don't dig at it with a pin or needle. Instead, use a trick that many grandmas, including my own, used back in the day. Before you go to bed, put a small piece of bacon fat over the splinter, and then cover with a band-aid. In the morning, the splinter will have risen to the top of your skin and can easily be removed. In some instances, it will actually transfer into the bacon fat, which can be easily discarded.</p> <h2>9. Bring Cut Flowers Back to Life With Boiling Water</h2> <p>You want to make that bouquet of flowers last as long as possible, but eventually, they will start to wilt and die. However, a tip from your grandparents can extend the life of those flowers for several extra days. When they start to wilt, boil some water in a saucepan. Let it cool for a few minutes, and while it's cooling, cut a 45-degree angle in the stems of the flowers, and also make a slit up through the center of each stem. Then, dip the ends of the stems in the hot water for about 30 seconds, before placing them back in a vase of room temperature water. Within a few hours, your flowers will be revived.</p> <h2>10. A Lemon Can Remove Salt Stains From Shoes</h2> <p>When winter comes around, your leather boots and shoes will get those dreaded salt stains. I have a pair right now that look ready for the scrap heap, but I'm going to use the old lemon trick. Cut a fresh lemon in half, and apply it to the stained areas. You may need to press down and hold it for several seconds. Rinse with a damp cloth, and repeat a few times. The salt stains should be gone. Now, you can apply polish as usual, and your shoes or boots will be ready for another outing.</p> <h2>11. Remove Ink Stains With Milk</h2> <p>There are many products on the market that are designed to remove ink stains, including <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000JF2SWO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000JF2SWO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=TVDJQMGYWZ7J7XOD">Stain Devils</a>. However, your grandparents did not have access to those products, but they still found a way; a cheaper way. All you need to do is soak the stained article of clothing in a bowl of milk, preferably overnight. If it's a really stubborn ink stain, adding a little vinegar to the milk bath will help. In the morning, the stain will be gone.</p> <p><em>Did your grandparents teach you any other brilliant life hacks? Let us know in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-great-life-hacks-your-grandparents-forgot-to-share-with-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-yoga-can-teach-you-about-money">5 Things Yoga Can Teach You 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/3-life-lessons-ive-learned-since-becoming-a-parent">3 Life Lessons I&#039;ve Learned Since Becoming a Parent</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ten-tenets-for-arranging-your-rich-part-1-rich-is-relative">Ten Tenets for &quot;Arranging Your Rich&quot; - Part 1: Rich is Relative</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/help-end-hunger-get-kindled-and-3-more-positive-web-tips-you-should-know-about">Help End Hunger, Get Kindled, and 3 More Positive Web Tips You Should Know About</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-same-actions-will-produce-the-same-results-ten-tenets-for-arranging-your-rich-part-2">The Same Actions Will Produce The Same Results (Ten Tenets for Arranging Your Rich: Part 2)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Family boomer generation grandparents life hacks life lessons Thu, 10 Dec 2015 22:22:32 +0000 Paul Michael 1619232 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Holiday Pet Dangers to Avoid http://www.wisebread.com/11-holiday-pet-dangers-to-avoid <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-holiday-pet-dangers-to-avoid" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/dog_cat_christmas_000016283275.jpg" alt="Learning which holiday pet dangers to avoid this year" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are a million and one tasks we need to tend to near the end of the year, and it's easy to forget about our furry friends in the process. To help keep your pet-besties safe, healthy, and out of the hospital, avoid these common holiday dangers.</p> <h2>1. Small Christmas Decorations and Wrapping Essentials</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-personal-finance-tips-for-animal-lovers">Cats and dogs</a> love to play, and when they see shiny objects like ornaments and tinsel, it's game on. While tinsel &mdash; which is particularly attractive to cats &mdash; isn't toxic in itself, it can cause other problems in your pet's system, like getting tangled up in the intestines. Ornaments, on the other hand, can be swallowed whole, or the pieces could get gobbled up when broken. In this case, glass is especially dangerous as it can cause cuts in your pet's mouth, throat, and digestive system.</p> <p>&quot;Swallowing stuff that's not meant to be eaten can cause very serious problems and be extremely hard to diagnose,&quot; says Dr. Phil Baxter, chief veterinary officer at<a href="http://vetondemand.com/"> Vet on Demand</a>, a pet care app that allows you to FaceTime with a vet when a problem arises (a great resource when your normal vet is on his or her own vacay, by the way). &quot;Unless you see it being eaten, it's a tough diagnosis. Monitor yours pets that have a tendency to chew.&quot;</p> <p>To prevent these hazards, keep the tinsel to a minimum or forgo it altogether. As for ornaments, hanging them out of reach of pets is ideal, but that's not always practical. Instead, limit your use of glass ornaments and ornaments with toxic paints and embellishments. Wrapping essentials, like ribbons and bows, can be problematic as well. When you're done wrapping and decorating, clean the area, discard scraps, and put everything else out of the animal's reach.</p> <h2>2. Hazardous Holiday Plants</h2> <p>Similar to those fun, shiny ornaments, your pets may find your holiday plants interesting enough to investigate by chewing or eating. This is a big no-no, however, as some plants are poisonous or even deadly.</p> <p>&quot;If your pet is a plant chewer/eater, position the plants out of reach of your pet. Remember to pick up fallen leaves/needles, limbs, and berries,&quot; Dr. Baxter suggests.</p> <p>Veterinary Pet Insurance also details a few specific plant hazards:</p> <ul> <li>Pine needles from Christmas trees and around your property can result in oral irritation, vomiting, lethargy, trembling, and posterior weakness.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Holly plants and their sharp-edged leaves can cause intense vomiting, diarrhea, and depression if ingested.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Mistletoe can cause significant vomiting and diarrhea, difficulty breathing, erratic behavior, hallucinations, or even death.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Poinsettias, as pretty as they are, can irritate your pet's mouth and stomach and sometimes lead to vomiting.</li> </ul> <p>For more information on hazardous holiday plants, check out VPI's<a href="http://www.petinsurance.com/healthzone/education/pet-poisons-and-toxins/toxic-plants-for-pets.aspx"> toxic plant guide</a>.</p> <h2>3. All That Holiday Lighting</h2> <p>One of the most hilarious parts of everybody's favorite funny holiday flicks, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000VBIGD6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000VBIGD6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=LHZWGA7GDH5NKCFX">National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation</a>, is when the cat becomes a smoking, black cat-shaped spot on the carpet because it decided to make a meal out of the Christmas lights. While this gives us chuckles when we're cuddled up on movie night, it's a very real danger that could seriously injure or kill your pet. Before stringing lights, inspect the strands to ensure there are no frays or bite/chew marks, and use three-pronged extension cords for added safety.</p> <p>&quot;Electrocution and electrical burns do happen, so if you have a chewer, beware of any cords that might appear attractive to your pet,&quot; Dr. Baxter says.</p> <p>Make certain you pick up any loose bulbs, too. Those extra pieces are easy to lose, and your dog or cat won't think twice about swallowing them.</p> <h2>4. Candles and Open Flames</h2> <p>Animals typically stay away from fire, but pleasant scents may draw your pets to holiday candles, and they're dangerous for a couple reasons. First of all, obviously your pets can get burned if they get too close, but they also can burn themselves if they accidently spill the hot wax and get it on their paws and skin. This is especially important to remember with cats. The biggest hazard with pets and candles, though, is that they can knock them over and start a fire. Thus, it's important to practice common fire sense like never leaving an open flame unattended, and keeping them away from small hands and feet.</p> <h2>5. Revolving Doors That Lead Outside</h2> <p>If you'll have visitors coming and going this holiday season, you run the risk of your animal getting out of the house, which exposes them to many more dangers, including weather, traffic, capture, and other hazards. To prevent this, remember to take extra caution when opening and closing your home's exterior doors.</p> <p><a href="http://www.rover.com">Rover</a>, a service that helps match pet sitters with pet parents, offers several helpful tips:</p> <ul> <li>Ask someone to sit in a closed bedroom with your dog. If you can spare someone to bring a laptop into a bedroom and sit with your dog, we highly recommend it.&nbsp;Especially if the dog experiences anxiety, this will help keep them calm.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If your dog has a crate, let them chill in there. It'll help them feel comfortable while also keeping them safe.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Place a second barrier (like a baby gate) around doorways to the outside. Front door, back door, side door&hellip; all doors to the outside.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Put a sign on the door that says, &quot;Escape artist inside. Please knock, and I'll come answer the door.&quot; Greet your guests at the door and make sure you close it behind you.</li> </ul> <h2>6. Prolonged Exposure to Winter Weather</h2> <p>It's important to remember not to keep your pets outdoors for long periods of time even when &quot;monitored,&quot; in the winter weather. Canine owners, especially, are used to letting the dog out back to play and relax for a while, but in cold weather &mdash; even if it's not freezing or below &mdash; dogs can become uncomfortable, cold, and even develop hypothermia.</p> <p>If you have a lot of things going on inside, it's easy to forget about your buddy outside. If you'd rather not have the pet around at that time, think about hiring a pet sitter, or put them in another room where they'll be comfortable.</p> <h2>7. Melting Salt During Snowstorms</h2> <p>The salt we throw down on ice and snow during winter-weather events is very painful to dogs' paw pads. You can buy plastic booties to cover their feet from your local pet store, but some dogs don't like them and/or have a hard time walking with them on. There are other preventative measures you can take, like<a href="https://www.petfinder.com/dogs/dog-grooming/winter-dog-paw-care/"> de-icing products and protective waxes</a>, according to Petfinder.</p> <h2>8. Stolen Food or Treats From Guests</h2> <p>Probably the most common holiday danger of them all to pets (and to humans) is food. There are an abundance of foods on the table this time of year that animals should not eat because they can pose digestive problems or choking hazards.</p> <p>&quot;As a practicing house call veterinarian for 20 years, I've noticed that my phone rings more often during the holiday season,&quot; says<a href="http://www.housecallvetnyc.com/"> Dr. Jeffrey Levy</a>, a holistic house call veterinarian in New York City. &quot;I'm frequently called to see pets with digestive upsets caused by both human foods commonly eaten during the holidays, and/or stress related to changes in routine at this time of year.&quot;</p> <p>The list of human foods that are truly toxic to pets is relatively short, but many more can cause digestive problems or pose choking hazards, according to Levy. Be vigilant in keeping away from your pet away from these foods:</p> <ul> <li>Garlic and onions, even in small amounts;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Chocolate (the darker the chocolate, the higher the potential toxicity);<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Fat trimmings;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Bones, especially those prone to splintering like chicken and pork;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Nuts, especially macadamia and moldy walnuts, which can be life-threatening;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Nutmeg, used in holiday baking, can be toxic to your pet;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Alcohol;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Raisins and grapes;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Dairy products (adult dogs are often lactose intolerant);<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Xylitol, an artificial sweetener found in vitamins and other human ingestibles, including sugar-free baked goods and gum.</li> </ul> <h2>9. Wobbly Christmas Trees</h2> <p>Anchor your Christmas and holiday trees that aren't firmly planted in soil. Cats and dogs like to play in that area &mdash; especially when there are presents! &mdash; and you want to avoid the tree toppling over and hurting your pet.</p> <h2>10. Toxic Snowglobes</h2> <p>Like candles, you'll want to keep snow globes out of reach and off the edge of tables to prevent them from being dropped on the floor and bursting open. Some of them contain water or glycerin, which isn't too harmful, but others may contain ethylene glycol, which is very toxic to pets, and people.</p> <h2>11. General Neglect</h2> <p>Listen, we all want to enjoy the holidays &mdash; and that goes for your pets, too. As a pet parent, it's your obligation to provide the best care you can, even when you're extremely busy. If you can't spend time doting on your dog or cat all day every day, that's okay. But if you're gone for extended periods of time, like shopping all day or going away to visit family for a few days, you need to provide proper care for your pet. Make sure your fish and reptiles are fed, your cats have clean litter boxes and water (and someone to stop in from time to time), and that your dogs are with someone you trust to love them while you're away as much as you do when you're home. Otherwise, take them with you, because they'll totally love that, and so will you.</p> <p><em>Have you experienced other holiday hazards regarding your pets? What are some of the issues you've come up against? How did you handle them? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-holiday-pet-dangers-to-avoid">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-frugal-christmas-decorating-hacks">14 Frugal Christmas Decorating Hacks</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-festive-frugal-ways-to-spruce-up-your-home-for-the-holidays">6 Festive, Frugal Ways to Spruce Up Your Home for the Holidays</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-ways-to-celebrate-valentines-day-with-kids">10 Fun Ways to Celebrate Valentine&#039;s Day With 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/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-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 Christmas healthy pets Holidays pet dangers pets Mon, 07 Dec 2015 12:00:15 +0000 Mikey Rox 1618544 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Find a Great Babysitter http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-a-great-babysitter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-find-a-great-babysitter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/babysitter_and_child_000048728706.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to find a great babysitter for her child" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Leaving your child with a stranger can feel scary &mdash; especially if you live in a big area like we do. Here are some places to start your search for a trusted babysitter. Now get out there and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-these-6-relationship-moves-now-or-youll-regret-it-in-20-years">enjoy date night</a>!</p> <h2>1. Care.com</h2> <p>My friends overwhelmingly recommend using <a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-12141287-1435333490000">Care.com</a> to find trustworthy sitters. You can search for anything from one-night gigs to full-time au pairs and childcare centers. Post your job, browse profiles, get background checks, and then interview potential babysitters. Some features are free; others cost anywhere between $25 and $45 a month. You can also take advantage of the easy online scheduling and even pay sitters directly through the site. Care.com also offers senior care, pet sitting, house sitting, and military family help.</p> <h2>2. SeekingSitters</h2> <p>Whether you need full-time babysitting or just a night out, <a href="https://www.seekingsitters.com/memberinformation.asp">SeekingSitters</a> is a solid resource to put in your back pocket. There is a one-time activation fee of $59.99 and a monthly plan rate &mdash; but if you need frequent help, it's worth the money. The benefit? You'll get to browse profiles and create relationships with prescreened, professional babysitters in your area. The site also offers pet sitting, house sitting, and tutoring services.</p> <h2>3. Local Schools</h2> <p>Several of the teachers and helpers at my daughter's school also offer babysitting services. Ask around to see if this is the case at your child's school. Beyond that, you might also find connections through nearby high schools or colleges. Try posting an ad in the job board at your local university. You might even have success calling the preschool or childhood education departments directly.</p> <h2>4. Childcare Swapping</h2> <p>If you live relatively far away from family like we do, friends become a second family of sorts. Try swapping childcare duties with them every couple weeks so you can enjoy date nights. You may need to shift your ideal date time to accommodate everyone's naps and bedtime schedules, but it's worth the extra effort. We have also started getting close with a few neighbors who have offered to watch our daughter in case of emergencies.</p> <h2>5. Word-of-Mouth Recommendations</h2> <p>One of the most useful tools we've used to find childcare is recommendations from neighbors, friends, and other parents. This is especially worthwhile if you're not originally from the area. Once you ask, you're bound to find some good options worth investigating.</p> <h2>6. Parent Groups</h2> <p>Discussions about babysitters come up quite frequently in local parent groups or Facebook pages, and some of the moms might even offer babysitting services themselves. You'll always want to get references if you're unfamiliar with the names you see, but you can find some great care providers this way. Stuck on what to pay? You can even inquire about the going rate for sitters in your area.</p> <p><em>Where do you find a great babysitter?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-a-great-babysitter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-on-babysitting-without-ending-up-on-the-local-news">How to Save on Babysitting Without Ending Up on the Local News</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unexpected-ways-stay-at-home-parents-save-big">7 Unexpected Ways Stay-at-Home Parents Save Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-important-questions-to-ask-before-adding-to-your-family">5 Important Questions to Ask Before Adding to Your Family</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-cloth-diapers">Everything You Need to Know About Cloth Diapers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family au pair babysitters child care date night kids nanny Fri, 04 Dec 2015 10:00:04 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1617987 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Things I Learned About Money From Famous People's Wills http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-i-learned-about-money-from-famous-peoples-wills <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-things-i-learned-about-money-from-famous-peoples-wills" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/william_shakespeare_000049023568.jpg" alt="Learning about money and finance from William Shakespeare&#039;s will" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I've always been fascinated by William Shakespeare's will. Specifically, by the way he left his wife his &quot;second-best bed,&quot; especially since historians are at odds over what he meant by it. Was this an insult to a spouse he didn't get along with, or a tender gesture? After all, since everything was handmade, furniture was much more valuable back in the 1600s than it is today.</p> <p>Thinking about Shakespeare's seemingly odd bequests made me realize that what people list in their wills says a lot about what they value.</p> <p>So when Ancestry made a searchable database of 170 million will and probate documents available to its subscribers, I eagerly dove in. Of course, most Ancestry members use this information to learn more about their family members; the site touts these records' value in particular for African Americans searching for family history, since wills from the slavery era may <a href="http://blogs.ancestry.com/ancestry/2015/10/12/finding-a-name-why-probate-records-are-a-gold-mine-for-african-americans/">name their ancestors as property</a>.</p> <p>In fact, when I started searching well-known names, the first one I found was a slave owner: George Washington, whose will calls for the freeing of his slaves after Martha's death. (He also called for one, named William Lee, to be freed as soon as he died, which makes sense because Lee was Washington's personal valet.)</p> <p>What can we learn from the wills of notable dead people? Here's what famous people's taught me about money and finances.</p> <h2>1. Furniture Was Really Valuable</h2> <p>Like Shakespeare, Paul Revere made specific plans for his household furniture after his death; he left it all to his only unmarried daughter &mdash; but only if she was still single by the time he died. Revere no doubt figured that if his daughter had already established her own household, she'd have no room for dad's tables, chairs, and beds, second best or otherwise.</p> <h2>2. Families Held Onto Silver No Matter What</h2> <p>Louisa May Alcott's family often went hungry in her childhood; in fact, poverty drove Alcott to start writing. Yet, they never became desperate enough to sell the &quot;family silver&quot; &mdash; Alcott left her share to a niece in her will.</p> <p>Alcott's will also made me wonder if the famous author, who never married, had a love affair or some other skeleton in her closet to cover up, because she called for all her letters and manuscripts to be burned upon her death.</p> <h2>3. Intellectual Property Has Been Valuable for Hundreds of Years</h2> <p>Shakespeare's will makes no mention of his plays, because with no copyright law, intellectual property was not a thing yet. Shakespeare might not have even had copies of his own works.</p> <p>Not so for Nathaniel Hawthorne, who died intestate in 1864. An inventory of his estate includes copyrights estimated at a $2,500 value &mdash; much more than his $200 book collection, his $800 worth of household goods, or any of his investments, which included 10 shares in Boston National Bank ($1,020) and two shares of Jamaica Plain Gas Company ($200).</p> <h2>4. The Price of Property in Florida Has Gone Way Up</h2> <p>Harriet Beecher Stowe was an early snowbird, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-your-first-home-what-to-do-and-when-to-do-it">buying property</a> in Mandarin, Florida, where she enjoyed wintering with her husband. An inventory of her estate at her death in 1896 values a six-acre orange grove in Mandarin at $0.</p> <p>Nowadays, according to Zillow, a lot of similar size in the area is <a href="http://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/Mandarin-Jacksonville-FL/pmf,pf_pt/land_type/2118327479_zpid/125198_rid/lot_sort/30.204784,-81.572714,30.111424,-81.729956_rect/12_zm/?3col=true">listed for $799,000</a>.</p> <p>By the way, Stowe, whose book <em>Uncle Tom's Cabin</em> was a record-breaking bestseller, also had nearly $2,000 cash on hand when she died &mdash; more than $50,000 in today's dollars.</p> <h2>5. Parents Love Their Kids Equally &mdash; Except for Their Favorite</h2> <p>Booker T. Washington left his three children the future royalties from his books to &quot;share and share alike.&quot; But he also left his gold watch and chain to his namesake, Booker T. Jr., while failing to bequeath any personal effects to the other two.</p> <h2>6. Ernest Hemingway Wrote a Tight Will</h2> <p>In life, Papa was known for short and meaty sentences, and his books are no longer than they need to be. So I guess we shouldn't be surprised that Hemingway's will, written from Finca Vigia, his house in Cuba, six years before he took his own life, is only one page long and contains a minimum of legalese.</p> <p>Hemingway left everything to his spouse, designating nothing for his children, merely saying, &quot;I repose complete confidence in my beloved wife Mary to provide for them according to written instructions I have given her.&quot;</p> <p><em>What does your will say about you?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-i-learned-about-money-from-famous-peoples-wills">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-financial-moves-to-make-when-a-loved-one-dies">12 Financial Moves to Make When a Loved One Dies</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/tricks-for-budgeting-as-parent">Budgeting Tricks for 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/fess-up-to-your-addictions-how-to-satisfy-them-on-a-frugal-budget">Fess Up to Your Addictions: How to Satisfy Them on a Frugal Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/leave-marley-in-the-movies-why-buying-a-trendy-pet-makes-no-sense">Leave Marley in the Movies: Why Buying a Trendy Pet Makes No Sense</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-your-smartphone-saves-you-money">8 Ways Your Smartphone Saves You Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Family budgeting estate planning inheritance money will Wed, 04 Nov 2015 16:15:36 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1605685 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Amazing Board Games You Can DIY http://www.wisebread.com/8-amazing-board-games-you-can-diy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-amazing-board-games-you-can-diy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000019777216.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Getting tired of the same old board games? Why not make your own? Several clever DIY games can be made with stuff you have in junk drawers or otherwise hanging around the house. Others come together as quickly as you can print a template. Liven up your game night with these awesome DIY options. (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-awesomely-fun-toys-you-can-diy">15 Fun Toys You Can DIY</a>)</p> <h2>1. Guess Who</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.almostmakesperfect.com/2015/01/07/diy-guess-who/">DIY Guess Who</a> will have your whole family laughing. Get photos of 25 of your nearest and dearest friends and family and print three copies (one for each board and one for the bag). Then cut them into squares and attach to plywood squares using <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Podge-CS11302-Original-16-Ounce-Finish/dp/B001IKES5O">Mod Podge</a>. Drill pilot holes into your base for the hinges that will attach each individual person's block to the board.</p> <h2>2. Monopoly</h2> <p>If you're bored with your Monopoly game, try creating your own using these <a href="http://instillingvalues.com/monopoly-download/">free templates</a>. The maker of the templates also offers a <a href="http://instillingvalues.com/easy-editable-monopoly/">totally customizable</a> one for just $2. You can print these out at home and then glue or tape onto an old board. Park Place can be whatever you want. I suggest getting them printed onto a single sheet of high-quality paper at a local office supply store.</p> <h2>3. Checkers</h2> <p>Is there anything more classic than a game of Checkers? <a href="http://niccolaontuesday.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/play-on-tuesday.html">Make your own</a> board and pieces using milk jug lids, fabric, and paint. You'll pencil in a grid and then color in alternating boxes. Then decorate your milk jug lids with permanent markers.</p> <h2>4. Tic Tac Toe</h2> <p>Here's a super way to keep your little ones occupied: <a href="http://sweetpenniesfromheaven.com/despicable-diy-tic-tac-toe/">DIY Tic Tac Toe</a>. Find eight smooth rocks and pick up an inexpensive chalkboard at a craft store. This particular game has a Minions theme &mdash; but you could paint the rocks however you'd like.</p> <h2>5. Memory Game</h2> <p>This paper <a href="http://www.eatdrinkchic.com/post.cfm/diy-paper-popsicle-memory-game">Popsicle Memory Game</a> is a great exercise for the mind. Print out the free template, cut out the pieces, and attach them to sticks using double-sided tape. Then mix them up, face down, and let your kids try to find the matching treats.</p> <h2>6. Rainbow Game</h2> <p>The <a href="http://mrprintables.com/rainbow-board-game.html">Rain and Rainbow Game</a> will give some color to your rainy day. It's a fun variation of Snakes and Ladders. After you print and assemble the game, the rules are easy. When you reach the bottom of a rainbow, climb up. When you land on a black cloud, slide back down.</p> <h2>7. Cereal Box Game</h2> <p>You probably already have all the materials you need to create this <a href="http://www.thecrafttrain.com/1/post/2014/01/diy-cereal-box-board-game.html">Cereal Box Game</a> on hand. Simply cut up your box, draw a path, and color it in. The rules are up to you. This is a wonderful project for younger kids who might just be learning how to play.</p> <h2>8. Family Memories Game</h2> <p>If you're looking for an inexpensive, personalized gift to give family this holiday season, try crafting this <a href="http://www.potholesandpantyhose.com/2011/12/diy-family-board-game/">Family Memories Game</a>. Take an old board game, cover it with white cardstock, draw your path on top, and decorate it with family photos. Use more cardstock to make your deck of questions. Ask about anything about birthdays, anniversaries, and even personal jokes.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite DIY board game for when you're bored?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-amazing-board-games-you-can-diy">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-10"> <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/15-awesomely-fun-toys-you-can-diy">15 Awesomely Fun Toys You Can DIY</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-fun-and-frugal-things-to-do-with-origami">8 Fun and Frugal Things to Do with Origami</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ideas-for-cheap-festive-fall-decor">12 Ideas for Cheap, Festive, Fall Decor</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/18-amazing-diy-decorating-projects-that-are-easier-than-you-think">18 Amazing DIY Decorating Projects That Are Easier Than You Think</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-toys-and-games-you-can-make-at-home">10 Fun Toys and Games You Can Make at Home</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Entertainment Family board games crafts DIY family time fun game night Mon, 02 Nov 2015 15:15:22 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1603198 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Save on Pregnancy Expenses http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-save-on-pregnancy-expenses <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-save-on-pregnancy-expenses" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/pregnant_woman_belly_000046273858.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to save on pregnancy expenses" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Babies are expensive. But if you develop the mindset of saving money before your child is even born, it will be easier for you to raise them frugally. Here are some ideas to save you cash during your pregnancy.</p> <h2>1. Visit the Dollar Store</h2> <p>Pregnancy tests can be crazy expensive. Fortunately, you can also get them at the dollar store! Some people feel concerned about whether or not the cheaper tests will work. Luckily, the technology behind a pregnancy test is pretty basic and, as long as you don't need early detection and aren't concerned what the package looks like, the cheap ones work just as well as the regular ones &mdash; and can save you a bunch of cash.</p> <h2>2. Be Smart About Maternity Clothes</h2> <p>Instead of buying new, try hitting up your friends to see if anyone has maternity clothes you could borrow. Shop thrift stores, too (most have a small maternity section). Buy items you can still wear post-pregnancy, like shirts with empire waists, or use a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005N7YWX6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005N7YWX6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=VFEDZDMYKV3UN6PG">Bella Band</a> to extend the life of your regular pants. Sometimes, items in larger sizes will work just as well as maternity wear, and you will want these larger-but-regularly-cut clothes after the baby comes.</p> <h2>3. Add Practical Items to Baby Registries</h2> <p>A lot of people want to have useful things on hand when baby comes, but feel silly putting practical items, like diapers and wipes, on a gift registry. Here's the truth: You won't know if that expensive swing will work for your baby until after you have your child home, but every baby needs diapers. So put those practical things on your registry and let other people buy them for you. Gift cards are great, too.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-dont-actually-need-to-buy-for-your-new-baby-plus-5-you-must?ref=seealso">10 Things You Don't Actually Need to Buy for Your New Baby</a></p> <h2>4. Decide What You Need Based on Your Lifestyle</h2> <p>Instead of buying every baby item under the sun, try prioritizing based on what you already know. For instance, I love to take long walks, so I knew that I wanted to buy a really nice stroller during my first pregnancy. The point is this: You don't have to buy everything. Get what is important to you and wait on the rest. If/when you need it, you can get it then.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-baby-products-are-a-waste-of-money">Which Baby Products Are a Waste of Money?</a></p> <h2>5. Research Pregnancy Freebies</h2> <p>Lots of stores, like Babies 'R Us or <a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/mom/signup">Amazon Mom</a>, offer point systems. If you pick one or two of these and use them regularly, you'll be able to earn free items. Since you'll do a lot of purchasing while you're pregnant, you'll be racking up points before the baby even comes. In addition, many doctors offices and companies offer all kinds of free samples if you just ask. Try things like formula, diaper creams, lotions, and more before you buy.</p> <h2>6. Compare Medical Costs</h2> <p>There can be quite a huge discrepancy between what different medical providers charge for the same procedures. Before you choose a doctor, hospital, or provider for any prenatal testing, check out all your options. This means doing everything from making sure that you are going to a provider covered by your insurance to figuring out who will give you the best price on things like ultrasounds.</p> <p><em>Have you saved money on pregnancy expenses? What did you do?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-save-on-pregnancy-expenses">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-11"> <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/great-financial-gifts-for-children">Great Financial Gifts for 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/4-more-ways-to-save-on-maternity-clothes">4 More Ways to Save on Maternity Clothes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-that-cost-more-in-2016">9 Things That Cost More in 2016</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-saving-tricks-to-know-before-buying-an-engagement-ring">12 Money-Saving Tricks to Know Before Buying an Engagement Ring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-places-to-get-cheaper-diapers">5 Places to Get Cheaper Diapers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Shopping children expenses having a baby pregnancy Mon, 02 Nov 2015 11:15:15 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1603185 at http://www.wisebread.com The Real Cost of Adopting a Baby http://www.wisebread.com/the-real-cost-of-adopting-a-baby <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-real-cost-of-adopting-a-baby" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/parents_baby_shoes_000022194839.jpg" alt="Parents learning real cost of adopting a baby" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You're ready to adopt. But how much will the process cost? It all depends on the type of adoption you choose, with the price tag for adoption services varying widely.</p> <p>&quot;There are so many variables,&quot; said Jennifer Fairfax, an adoption attorney based in Silver Spring, Maryland. &quot;It all depends on what type of adoption you want and the individual factors in each case. You might spend absolutely nothing on an adoption or $50,000. It just depends on each individual case.&quot;</p> <p>To help you get started, here are some basic points to take into consideration.</p> <h2>Foster Care</h2> <p>If you want to adopt a child who is already in this country's foster care system, you will pay almost nothing for adoption services, said Gloria Hochman, director of communications with the Philadelphia-based National Adoption Center.</p> <p>The agencies that have custody of these children are eager to place them in permanent families, Hochman said. These children do, though, often come with challenges.</p> <p>&quot;These children are often eight-years-old or older, and many are teens. Some have emotional challenges,&quot; Hochman says. &quot;If you are 14, you've lived in five foster homes, and you can't live with your birth parents, you are bound to have emotional challenges.&quot; According to the Department of Health and Human Services, in 2014 about 400,000 children were in foster care, 100,000 of whom were considered &quot;waiting for adoption.&quot;.</p> <h2>Adopting a Baby: At Home or Abroad?</h2> <p>If you want to adopt a baby in the U.S., often you can expect to pay from $20,000 to $50,000 working with an agency, Hochman said.</p> <p>&quot;There is a shortage of adoptable babies in this country,&quot; Hochman says. &quot;The use of birth control has been a factor. [Also] more women who are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-dont-actually-need-to-buy-for-your-new-baby-plus-5-you-must">having babies</a> who once would have put them up for adoption are deciding to keep them, whether or not they are married.&quot; The Department of Health and Human Services reports that <a href="http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/trends_fostercare_adoption2014.pdf">50,000 U.S. children are adopted every year</a>, a number that has been steady for about a decade.</p> <p>If you want to complete an international adoption, you can expect to pay from $25,000 to $50,000. The U.S. State Department reports that <a href="http://travel.state.gov/content/adoptionsabroad/en/about-us/statistics.html">Americans adopted 7,000 children from abroad</a> in 2013. As Hochman notes, adopting a baby from a foreign country often requires that parents visit that country one or more times. Parents also have to pay naturalization and immigration fees on top of fees charged by an adoption agency.</p> <p>These are just basic costs. Kevin Kenney, an attorney and adoption specialist in Prairie Village, Kansas, said that a host of other variables can either increase or decrease the costs of adoption. You might run into a birth father who contests the adoption &mdash; that can boost your costs. Your adoption costs might be higher if you live in New York City, and lower if you live in Kansas City.</p> <h2>Financial Assistance</h2> <p>There is financial assistance available for parents to help them meet the costs of closing an adoption. Some employers reimburse a portion of their workers' adoption costs, and many organizations provide adoption grants and low-interest loans to help ease the financial stress these parents might face. You can find a list of these organizations at <a href="http://www.resources4adoption.com/">Resources4Adoption</a>.</p> <p>Parents can also take advantage of the federal adoption tax credit. This credit is $13,190 as of 2015, and covers what the IRS calls &quot;reasonable and necessary&quot; adoption fees, everything from court costs and attorney fees, to travel expenses and agency fees.</p> <p>Some states also offer adoption tax credits, though not all. Check with your state to see what is available.</p> <p><em>Have you adopted a child &mdash; or are you considering adoption? What have you learned about the costs?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-real-cost-of-adopting-a-baby">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-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-make-adoption-affordable">5 Ways to Make Adoption Affordable</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-should-your-kids-know-about-your-finances">How Much Should Your Kids Know About Your Finances?</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/this-season-give-your-child-the-gift-of-fiscal-responsibility">This Season, Give Your Child the Gift of Fiscal Responsibility</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-financial-moves-to-make-when-a-loved-one-dies">12 Financial Moves to Make When a Loved One Dies</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-16-cardinal-rules-of-loaning-money-to-friends-and-family">The 16 Cardinal Rules of Loaning Money to Friends and Family</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family adoption costs foster care having children kids starting a family Thu, 29 Oct 2015 11:15:57 +0000 Dan Rafter 1602087 at http://www.wisebread.com The 7 Best Employers for Single Parents http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-employers-for-single-parents <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-7-best-employers-for-single-parents" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/father_and_daughter_000050667160.jpg" alt="Man finding best companies for single parents" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Building a career is challenging enough. If you're a single parent? You're working even harder. It's no easy task to manage that work-life balance. How do you give both your children and your career the attention they deserve?</p> <p>You can start by working at a company that actually respects the concept of a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/7-steps-to-work-life-balance-when-working-from-home">work-life balance</a>. And if you're a single parent, it helps to work for a company that allows employees to work at least part-time from home, provides flexible scheduling, and offers on-site daycare.</p> <p>Fortunately, there are companies like this. Here is a list &mdash; in no particular order and compiled from some of the most respected work-life rankings available &mdash; of the companies that single parents should target.</p> <h2>1. IBM</h2> <p>This venerable tech company based in Armonk, New York, has been featured on Working Mother Magazine's &quot;100 Best Companies&quot; list for all 30 years that the magazine has run this feature. The company's work-life benefits &mdash; key for single parents &mdash; are a big reason.</p> <p>IBM offers parents subsidized daycare options and provides a 529 plan that parents can tap to save money for their children's college educations. IBM also offers financial counseling and college coaching to its employees, something that can help single parents trying to juggle budgeting, raising children, and furthering their education.</p> <h2>2. General Mills</h2> <p>The food-manufacturer based in Minneapolis is also a mainstay of Working Mother Magazine's list. According to the magazine's 2015 list, General Mills offers job-sharing, telecommuting, and flexible schedules to its employees. This is important to single parents hoping to work around at least some of their children's extracurricular activities or who want to drop their children off at school each morning.</p> <p>Not all employees take advantage of these flexible working hours. But Working Mother Magazine reported in its 2015 list that 63% of employees do rely on flexible scheduling and telecommuting at least some of the time.</p> <p>New parents at General Mills are given the choice to reduce their working hours for up to eight weeks as they return to work after maternity or paternity leave.</p> <h2>3. Colgate-Palmolive</h2> <p>In 2015, Forbes worked with employment site <a href="http://www.indeed.com/">Indeed</a> to create a list of the 25 best companies for work-life balance. New York City-based Colgate-Palmolive, famous for its toothpaste and dish soaps, topped the list. Benefits that appeal to single parents are a major reason why.</p> <p>The company offers tuition assistance to parents who want to earn degrees that will help them further support their children. It also offers onsite childcare and free legal and financial counseling to employees. When single parents have to move, they can ease at least some of the stress by taking advantage of Colgate-Palmolive's relocation assistance.</p> <h2>4. SAS Institute</h2> <p>You might not have heard of SAS Institute &mdash; the Cary, North Carolina company is a software analytics company, but this employer has become a favorite of workers. In 2013, Fast Company Magazine featured SAS in a story headlined &quot;How SAS Became the World's Best Place to Work,&quot; and employment site Glassdoor ranked SAS highly in its most recent &quot;Top 25 Companies for Work-Life Balance&quot; list.</p> <p>Of particular interest to single parents? SAS leaders don't focus needlessly on the amount of hours that employees spend in the office. In fact, the company operates a 35-hour work week. This doesn't mean that employees only work 35 hours. Many choose to work more. But for single parents, the option to work fewer hours is a tempting one, making it far easier to shuttle kids around and attend band concerts.</p> <p>SAS also offers discounted child care, an onsite healthcare clinic, onsite gym for parents who want a de-stressing workout, and free work-life counseling for those struggling to juggle their roles as single parents and employees.</p> <h2>5. Wegmans Food Markets</h2> <p>Supermarket chains don't always have stellar reputations when it comes to parent-friendly benefits. Wegmans Food Markets, based in Rochester, New York, is the exception.</p> <p>Fortune Magazine ranked Wegmans seventh on its 2015 list of the &quot;100 Best Companies to Work For.&quot; It's an especially good place for single parents who want to return to college to boost their earning potential. Wegmans provides tuition assistance for both its full and part-time employees, according to Fortune.</p> <p>The supermarket chain also covers 85% to 100% of the health care costs of its employees and their dependents, a huge benefit for single parents worried about covering their children's medical bills. And for those who want to spend more time at home when their children are actually awake? Wegmans offer flexible working hours.</p> <h2>6. Quicken Loans</h2> <p>ComputerWorld in 2015 ranked Detroit-based mortgage lender Quicken Loans as the best place for IT workers. That's a heady honor, but Quicken Loans is actually a great place for anyone to work, especially single parents.</p> <p>Just look at the benefits that single parents can tap: Those who have adopted will earn a $5,000 adoption benefit and 10 days of paid leave. Quicken offers all of its workers 26 days of annual paid holiday and vacation leave after one year of service, and provides 90 days of job-protected maternity leave.</p> <p>The lender also provides onsite child care, telecommuting options, and flexible scheduling.</p> <h2>7. Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts</h2> <p>The hospitality industry is another that doesn't have a reputation for providing top benefits. Toronto-based Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is an exception, according to Fortune Magazine, which ranked the hotel chain as one of its best places to work for 2015.</p> <p>According to Fortune, Four Seasons provides 30 days of protected maternity leave for new parents and offers 19 days of holiday and vacation days each year to employees who have worked at the company for at least one year.</p> <p>For single parents who need to work flexible hours, Four Seasons offers compressed work weeks (employees can work more hours in a shorter number of days), telecommuting, and flexible work schedules. Those parents without cars can receive subsidized public transportation to and from work.</p> <p><em>Would you seek out a job that offered great work-life balance?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-employers-for-single-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-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-life-skills-for-working-moms">10 Life Skills for Working Moms</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-best-jobs-for-working-moms-and-dads">6 Best Jobs for Working Moms and Dads</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-never-to-bring-up-in-a-job-interview">5 Things Never to Bring Up in a Job Interview</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-10-best-high-paying-jobs-for-introverts">The 10 Best High Paying Jobs for Introverts</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/crime-scene-cleaner-and-4-other-trades-that-pay-surprisingly-well">Crime Scene Cleaner and 4 Other Trades That Pay Surprisingly Well</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Family child care employment flexible jobs single parents work life balance Fri, 16 Oct 2015 09:00:36 +0000 Dan Rafter 1587463 at http://www.wisebread.com Everything You Need to Know About Cloth Diapers http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-cloth-diapers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/everything-you-need-to-know-about-cloth-diapers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/baby_diaper_change_000049964944.jpg" alt="Parents learning cloth diapering basics" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One way you can save big bucks during baby's first years is by cloth diapering, especially if you plan on having multiple children and can reuse them. Choosing cloth for your child will also save you tons of cash on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-trash-bags">trash bags</a> (not to mention heaps of diapers in the landfill). Here's the process broken down for those who might be curious or even feel intimidated.</p> <h2>How It Works</h2> <p>Many people are surprised to learn that cloth diapering doesn't take a whole lot more effort than standard diapering. You put the diaper on your child, he or she soils it, you change the diaper, and then you start fresh. The only difference is that you'll be dealing with the diapers again on the washing end. As you can imagine, getting the job done requires some planning and practice.</p> <p>The good news: laundering diapers is far less gross and time-consuming than you might think. And there are many options available to you depending on your commitment level and lifestyle.</p> <h2>Types of Diapers</h2> <p>There are a multitude of cloth diapering options, and what you choose is up to you. Some diapers have a gazillion snaps. Others have tricky Velcro closures. Some need covers. Others come in two parts. Here are the most common types &mdash; demystified.</p> <h3>1. Pocket</h3> <p>The majority of my cloth diapers were pocket style from <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=bum%20genius%20pocket%20diaper&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Abum%20genius%20pocket%20diaper&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=D32B7OKWILONMOMC">bumGenius</a>. Basically, the diaper comes in two parts &mdash; the waterproof outer shell and the absorbent insert. Our diapers fit our daughter from a few weeks after she was born until she was potty trained. Stuffing and un-stuffing does take a few extra minutes at wash time, but it becomes automatic.</p> <h3>2. All-in-Ones</h3> <p>If you choose <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=all-in-one%20diaper&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Aall-in-one%20diaper&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=7S3KD65PIFLRURHZ">all-in-one diapers</a> (AIO), you'll get everything you need in one convenient package. There's no stuffing or covers required because it's all sewn together. My only issue with AIO is that they take longer to dry than the other types. Otherwise, they're super easy to use and come in a variety of fabrics.</p> <h3>3. Prefolds</h3> <p>A lot of people picture <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=prefold%20diapers&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Aprefold%20diapers&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=556WLYXRRNKOXFJM">prefold diapers</a> when they think of the cloth process. This type is much like what your mother or grandmother may have used with pins, but it's still a popular choice today and most often the best choice for your budget. Instead of pins, you can use snazzy <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004YWKWJO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004YWKWJO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=ZCF7D3XWJUB2Z2GH">diaper fasteners</a>. You'll cover your prefolds with a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=prefold%20cover&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=GUGNZRWDPDH45VNL">waterproof cover</a>.</p> <h3>4. Fitted</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=fitted%20diaper&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=AAZBTMFBJ7NGI44P">Fitted diapers</a> also require waterproof covers. The key difference between fitted and prefolds is that they don't need folding or any special fastener to stay closed. If you choose this type, you'll have to buy different sizes as your baby grows. Each size fits a good range of weights, though.</p> <h3>5. Hybrids</h3> <p>I eventually added some <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003ZYM06K/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003ZYM06K&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=5M6LGQVHONC6VQ2U">gDiapers</a> to my collection when we started traveling and using a sitter more frequently. As the name implies, hybrid diapers provide a mix of options depending on your preferences. You can fill the reusable waterproof cover with a disposable or cloth insert. They come in one-size and individual sizes. Hybrid diapers certainly offer the most flexibility in the bunch.</p> <h3>6. Used</h3> <p>Seriously. There are thousands of people who incorporate used cloth diapers into their stashes. In fact, that's another reason cloth is a good investment &mdash; you can sell them or reuse them when your baby is done. Check out sites like <a href="http://clothdiapertrader.com">ClothDiaperTrader</a> where you can get gently used diapers for a fraction of their original prices.</p> <h2>Smart Setup</h2> <p>Once you've chosen your diaper type(s), move your attention to your diaper station setup. Much of what you assemble will be the same as if you were using disposables. However, there are some key things that will make life easier on you and others who diaper your child.</p> <h3>1. Diaper Pail and Liner</h3> <p>You'll need somewhere to store the dirty diapers while they're waiting to be washed. We used a tall <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004L9L3KW/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004L9L3KW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=ONSCRGLHSFCGLMP4">plastic garbage can</a> with a snap-shut cover and wheels. Instead of lining it with a garbage bag, we bought two reusable <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004Q2Z9TK/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004Q2Z9TK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=4YMSAPCV7A6ZBOVR">diaper pail liners</a> that get washed with the diapers. Toss the diapers in the bin, wheel it to your washing machine, and go.</p> <h3>2. Prep Your Diapers</h3> <p>If you use pocket diapers, prefolds, hybrids, or anything else with more than one part &mdash; stuff it or lay it out ahead of time. I used to do this while watching television when they were fresh from the dryer. If you use all-in-ones, you can skip this step. Regardless, taking a bit of time to have everything organized is well worth it.</p> <h3>3. Diaper Liners</h3> <p>Over time, diaper creams and salves can cause the diaper to lose its absorbency. If you need to use creams on your baby, you'll want to use <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=cloth%20diaper%20liners&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Acloth%20diaper%20liners&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=F3TCUUSCVQZPT5BV">diaper liners</a> to protect the fabric from buildup. To make sure you use them, stick them somewhere next to your wipes. Bonus: Diaper liners also make cleaning up solids much easier.</p> <h3>4. Cloth Wipes</h3> <p>Using <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=cloth%20wipes&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Acloth%20wipes&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=END2OJ54XJRTHJIO">cloth wipes</a> is entirely optional. But if you're already washing diapers, tossing in wipes isn't that much more work. You can even make your own cloth wipes by cutting pieces of flannel fabric and soaking them in a gentle <a href="http://www.zany-zebra.com/cloth-wipe-solution.shtml">wash solution</a> that's just a mixture of water, soap, and oil. Keep your wipes in a plastic bag or container until you're ready to use.</p> <h2>Notes on Laundering</h2> <p>To keep your stash fresh and friendly for your child's bum, you'll want to wash every day or every other day. Jillian's Drawers, a cloth diaper shop near where I live, suggests washing no more than <a href="https://www.jilliansdrawers.com/newtocloth/washingcloth">12 to 18 diapers at a time</a>, using your machine's highest water level setting and hot water.</p> <p>Try sticking to detergents that leave little residue, fragrance, and other gunk on diapers. Skip fabric softeners. The buildup can make diapers lose their absorbency over time. You can use specific diaper detergents like <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003N0JXSO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003N0JXSO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=LGUI5RZZ56WNR3YD">Rockin' Green</a> or <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F8LIZQM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00F8LIZQM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=H3VBRZQXI5C6AZZL">Molly's Suds</a>. A lot of people use plain Tide or <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AM16MZO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00AM16MZO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=LVNYB2W6UHZX7W6J">Charlie's Soap</a>.</p> <p>What about number two? It's also a great idea to install a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OKSCWN6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00OKSCWN6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=HPMQJTMACZRZBJN3">diaper sprayer</a> on your toilet to help wash away solids before they sit for too long. It takes just minutes and can save you a big stink later.</p> <p>And when it comes to drying, the sun works wonders. If you can, put your diapers on a line outdoors and let the air freshen and the sun zap out stains. Otherwise, dry prefolds and diaper inserts in your machine. Try hanging covers and other diapers on a line or drying rack. They'll keep their integrity longer with gentler care.</p> <p><em>What does your cloth diapering process look like? Any tips to share?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-cloth-diapers">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. 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