Family http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4566/all en-US 5 Affordable Vacations to Please Every Age Group http://www.wisebread.com/5-affordable-vacations-to-please-every-age-group <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-affordable-vacations-to-please-every-age-group" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/black_family_camping_514317988.jpg" alt="Family on affordable vacation" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Vacations offer a break from the daily grind while giving us time and space to connect with the people we love. Sometimes that means kids, grandparents, and everyone in between. A trip that includes family members or friends of all ages can be a great bonding experience. But you'll need to keep a few things in mind when planning where to go and what to do.</p> <p>For starters, vacationing with any type of group (friends, family, or work colleagues) can present budgeting challenges. While one person's budget may be nearly unlimited, another's might be fairly tight. When you start perusing lodging, dining, and activity options, you'll need to keep everyone's budgets in mind.</p> <p>With large age differences in your group, chances are also good that not everyone will always agree on activities. Grandma might love spending her days lazing on the beach, while the younger ones might yearn for sports. Some types of travel make it easier to satisfy everyone's desires. Before you pick your next destination for a multigenerational getaway, consider some of these easy, affordable options. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-money-on-travel-with-an-awesome-group-vacation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Save Money on Travel With an Awesome Group Vacation</a>)</p> <h2>1. Cruises</h2> <p>Cruises offer a somewhat affordable way to fashion a group trip with everyone's tastes in mind. You can opt for a cruise to the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, or Alaska, just to name a few destinations. The best part is, the majority of cruises offer onboard entertainment to please everyone, including nightly shows, bingo and casinos, and pools with waterslides. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-cruises?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards for Cruises</a>)</p> <p>Accommodating different sized pocketbooks is simplified, too, because everyone gets (mostly) the same thing for a single all-inclusive price. Since food and nonalcoholic beverages are included onboard, you won't have to worry about different budget constraints. And if someone wants to spend on pricey excursions, they can do so without getting everyone else involved.</p> <p>It's also worth noting that some cruise lines offer family cabins that make bringing extra people along a breeze. With MSC Cruises, for example, you can book a &quot;super family&quot; suite that sleeps up to six. Even better, kids ages 11 and under cruise for free on many itineraries, including most in the Caribbean. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-most-affordable-cruise-lines-for-families?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Most Affordable Cruise Lines for Families</a>)</p> <h2>2. All-inclusive resorts</h2> <p>All-inclusive resorts offer yet another one-stop-shop for families who want to vacation together without haggling over bills. With an all-inclusive resort, all of your food, drinks (including alcohol), and entertainment are included for a single price. That means everyone in your party can drink and dine to their heart's content without worrying about their budget. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/family-friendly-hotel-and-resort-chains-where-kids-stay-free?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Family-Friendly Hotel and Resort Chains Where Kids Stay Free</a>)</p> <p>Keep in mind, however, that all-inclusive pricing runs the gamut from budget to luxury. You'll need to gauge everyone's spending limit before you pick a resort, or you risk not everyone being able to afford it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-get-the-most-value-from-your-all-inclusive-vacation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Ways to Get the Most Value From Your All-Inclusive Vacation</a>)</p> <p>It's also worth noting that some all-inclusive resorts are better for large groups since they go beyond the basic dual occupancy room and offer lodging such as multiroom villas or adjoining rooms. Generations Riviera Maya, for example, offers deluxe two-bedroom and three-bedroom suites big enough to hold six adults and six kids.</p> <h2>3. Rent a large apartment or condo</h2> <p>Vacation property rentals aren't just for parents who don't want to room with their kids. They also work well for larger groups and multigenerational families who need some extra space. With <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-vacation-rental-alternatives-to-airbnb?ref=internal" target="_blank">short-term rental sites</a> like Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway, you can rent a condo or a home of nearly any size and in any destination around the globe, and often for less than you'd pay for a hotel.</p> <p>Let's say you're taking your spouse, your two children, and your parents to Disney World in Orlando for a week. You could book separate hotel rooms for $100+ per night each, or you could pay about that amount for a multi-bedroom private home. For example, you can find plenty of three-bedroom condos near Disney World for as little as $99 per night through VRBO.</p> <p>With your own kitchen, you can also save a bundle by preparing your own meals at &quot;home.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Train travel</h2> <p>Who said train travel was dead? These days, you can book all kinds of family trips around the country through Amtrak.</p> <p>While train travel might sound stuffy and uncomfortable, a renewed interest in this form of travel has brought about new amenities and perks for families. For starters, most overnight trains feature dining cars that serve three meals per day. You can also reserve rooms that sleep up to four.</p> <p>There are a ton of options available to suit nearly any travel style or goal. For example, Amtrak offers vacation packages for destinations like the Grand Canyon, Glacier National Park, and Niagara Falls, as well as popular cities such as New York and San Francisco.</p> <p>Prices are fairly affordable, too. For example, you can book a six-day Grand Canyon getaway with round-trip train travel from Chicago, three nights in a hotel, two meals, and a train tour of the canyon starting at $1,009 per person. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-affordable-family-getaways-when-you-dont-have-a-vacation-fund?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Affordable Family Getaways When You Don't Have a Vacation Fund</a>)</p> <h2>5. Family campgrounds</h2> <p>Another no-nonsense family vacation concept is one that's been around forever: camping. Depending on where you live, it may be possible to find a campground that accommodates your family group, either separately in tents or in cabins or campers. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easiest-ways-to-save-on-your-next-rv-camping-trip?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Easy Ways to Save on Your Next RV Camping Trip</a>)</p> <p>The best part about camping in groups is that you can all prepare your own separate tents and sleeping arrangements, then gather together for games or meals. If you need some extra space, you can even book your own camping spot away from the group.</p> <p>Meal prep is also easy when you're traveling with a group. Different people can prepare their own meals to bring along, or you can pitch in for group meals by having everyone bring a dish or two to share. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camping-for-a-week-is-only-160-at-these-national-parks?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Camping for a Week Is Only $160 at These National Parks</a>)</p> <p>While camping is inherently frugal, the price you'll pay to secure your spot can vary dramatically across the country. Before you choose a campground for a group trip, make sure to shop around for rates and compare amenities and &quot;extras&quot; like pools and water parks. Some camping spots are chock full of activities like mini-golf, swimming, fishing, and water sports, but others focus on maintaining their connection to nature. The best campground for your family trip is one that's tranquil enough for nature-lovers but busy enough to keep everyone happy.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-affordable-vacations-to-please-every-age-group">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/24-train-hacks-from-an-amtrak-veteran">24 Train Hacks From an Amtrak Veteran</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-affordable-alternatives-to-pet-boarding">5 Affordable Alternatives to Pet Boarding</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/watch-out-for-these-10-red-flags-with-vacation-rentals">Watch Out for These 10 Red Flags With Vacation Rentals</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-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay">What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay</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/alternatives-to-flying-other-ways-to-get-from-here-to-there">Alternatives to Flying: Other Ways to Get From Here to There</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Travel affordable vacations AirBnb camping cruises family vacations hotel and resort train travel vacation ideas Fri, 17 Nov 2017 09:30:11 +0000 Holly Johnson 2017522 at http://www.wisebread.com Teach Your Kids About Money With Their Holiday Gift Lists http://www.wisebread.com/teach-your-kids-about-money-with-their-holiday-gift-lists <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/teach-your-kids-about-money-with-their-holiday-gift-lists" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_and_daughter_exchanging_gifts.jpg" alt="Mother and daughter exchanging gifts" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Giving my children Hannukah presents is one of my favorite parts of the holidays. Seeing their faces light up when they open a gift is one of the best feelings in the world.</p> <p>However, it can be very easy for kids to overlook the message of generosity that we are trying to teach for Christmas and Hannukah. They are bombarded by advertisements on all sides and constant reminders that the holidays are on their way &mdash; which means kids can often fall prey to the <em>gimme gimmes.</em> Many parents see this play out when they ask their kids to create a holiday wish list, and receive an eight-page, single-spaced list of expensive items.</p> <p>But just because children can learn the wrong things from holiday gifts doesn't mean they have to. In fact, parents can use the practice of writing a gift list to teach their kids about budgeting, frugality, generosity, and managing expectations. This year, try one of the following holiday gift lists to help your children learn about money and the true spirit of giving. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-the-holidays-to-teach-kids-about-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Use the Holidays to Teach Kids About Money</a>)</p> <h2>1. The four gift list</h2> <p>Families following the four gift list rule will give each child:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Something they want.</p> </li> <li> <p>Something they need.</p> </li> <li> <p>Something to wear.</p> </li> <li> <p>Something to read.</p> </li> </ul> <p>When your kids are penning their holiday wish lists, tell them to place each item in one of these four categories. You can make it clear that they can put more than one item in each category, but they will only receive one present from each category. This will help them to better understand the things they truly need and recognize how much they value their various wanted items. If everything on their list is a want, this exercise will help them manage their expectations. It can also potentially spur them to find needs, clothes, and books that they are excited to receive.</p> <p>This rule is also very helpful for parents who often go overboard with gift shopping. When you see something adorable that you'd love to give your child, you'll have to decide if it's worthy of being one of only four &quot;somethings&quot; on the list.</p> <h2>2. Include gifts to others</h2> <p>Last winter, my sons were delighted to watch the animated adaptation of <em>The Snowy Day</em> by Ezra Jack Keats on Amazon. We had long been fans of the classic book, and the sweet story of Peter's adventure in the snow was expanded to tell an animated Christmas story in this short film.</p> <p>One of my favorite parts of the adaptation was the story of Peter's Jewish friend Layla, who delivers a gift to a charity on the sixth night of Hannukah. She explains that it's her family's tradition to give instead of receive on that night of Hannukah, and she and her mother have picked out something special to give away.</p> <p>This tradition is very well-suited to Hannukah, which lasts for eight nights. Parents can easily set aside one night to be about giving to those less fortunate rather than receiving &mdash; but any family can encourage their children to think of others when making their holiday gift lists.</p> <p>In addition to writing down the things that they want, your kids can also include a list of gifts they can give to others. These could be traditional gifts for families in need, or they can be more creative, like writing letters to deployed soldiers or volunteering. By including a place for giving back on their holiday wish list, your kids will learn to associate generosity with your holiday traditions.</p> <h2>3. Create a gift-giving theme</h2> <p>For older children, a fun way to celebrate the holidays and teach frugality is to set a theme for gift giving. For instance, Stacia Mcclure's family would give everyone a hard spending limit, and specify where everyone could shop: &quot;One year, we decided all gifts had to come from a truck stop &mdash; and gift cards were excluded. My dad still talks about that year because he got an entire box of Necco wafers. The hospital gift shop Christmas was also quite entertaining.&quot;</p> <p>Other types of holiday themes might include only buying &quot;As Seen on TV&quot; items, books, games, or food items.</p> <p>Picking a &quot;theme&quot; helps teenagers learn to be creative within a spending framework, which is excellent practice for learning how to be frugal. A teen who can have fun and give a meaningful (or at least hilarious) low-cost gift from a truck stop will learn to think outside the box when it comes to tougher money decisions. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-stress-free-holiday-gift-giving?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Steps to Stress-Free Holiday Gift Giving</a>)</p> <h2>4. Ask them to pick a stock</h2> <p>Several years ago, Stephanie McCullough's daughter asked for a new iPod for the holidays. &quot;Instead, I bought her two shares of Apple,&quot; McCullough says, &quot;which cost about the same as a new device at the time. There was no way to know this at the time, but the stock has skyrocketed since then.&quot;</p> <p>If you let your children know that you plan to buy them a share of a company they like, you will not only be giving them a gift that will keep on giving, but you can also help to spark an interest in finance.</p> <p>They can either pick a publicly-traded company they like, or they can do a little research into how well their favorite companies have fared in the market. The latter will help them start to get a sense of figuring out what makes a good investment. Even if they don't research their stock before including it on their gift list, you can invite them to track the stock's price over time to see how their gift is doing.</p> <h2>5. Include a time gift</h2> <p>As much as your children love ripping the wrapping paper off a new toy, what they really want most is to spend time with their parents. You can give them the gift of your time by asking them to include a request on their gift list for something you can do together. For instance, your child might list &quot;baking cookies together&quot; or &quot;going fishing together&quot; on their wish list.</p> <p>While you could always create a &quot;coupon&quot; for the requested time gift, you can also find a small tangible item you could give your child to use for their time gift. For instance, you might give them a new cookbook that you can peruse together to find the perfect cookie recipe, or a fishing hat for them to wear next time you go to the lake.</p> <p>By having your child include a time gift request on their holiday wish list, you are teaching them that the best gifts come from being together, rather than spending lots of money.</p> <h2>The benefit of limits</h2> <p>The magic of the holiday season does not come from tearing into an enormous pile of presents, even though much of our culture tries to convince kids otherwise. Teaching your children to use frameworks for thinking about their holiday gift wishes can help them to better appreciate the real lessons of the season, as well as learn some important money skills that will last them well into adulthood.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fteach-your-kids-about-money-with-their-holiday-gift-lists&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FTeach%2520Your%2520Kids%2520About%2520Money%2520With%2520Their%2520Holiday%2520Gift%2520Lists.jpg&amp;description=Teach%20Your%20Kids%20About%20Money%20With%20Their%20Holiday%20Gift%20Lists"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Teach%20Your%20Kids%20About%20Money%20With%20Their%20Holiday%20Gift%20Lists.jpg" alt="Teach Your Kids About Money With Their Holiday Gift Lists" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/teach-your-kids-about-money-with-their-holiday-gift-lists">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-the-holidays-to-teach-kids-about-money">How to Use the Holidays to Teach Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-financial-gifts-mom-will-love-for-mothers-day">6 Financial Gifts Mom Will Love for Mother&#039;s Day</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-stocks-your-kids-would-love-to-own">5 Stocks Your Kids Would Love to Own</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-top-money-lessons-to-learn-from-ruth-soukups-unstuffed">4 Top Money Lessons to Learn From Ruth Soukup&#039;s &quot;Unstuffed&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-season-give-your-child-the-gift-of-fiscal-responsibility">This Season, Give Your Child the Gift of Fiscal Responsibility</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family children Christmas gifts hannukah Holidays kids money lessons presents stocks wish lists Thu, 09 Nov 2017 08:00:09 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2046508 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Manage a Family Member's Finances Long Distance http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-a-family-members-finances-long-distance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-manage-a-family-members-finances-long-distance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/social_worker_is_visiting_a_senior_woman_1.jpg" alt="Social worker is visiting a senior woman" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I lived in Chicago, an elderly relative who lived nearby named me as her financial power of attorney. By the time she needed my help, I had moved to California. But I didn't have to pass the responsibility on to her second choice. I was able to help my loved one from across the country with only a few obstacles.</p> <p>With online banking, a change of address form, e-sign software, a telephone, and the occasional help of a local notary or banker, you should be able to do everything needed from a distance to keep an ill or elderly person's financial life rolling. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-youll-encounter-when-taking-over-a-loved-ones-finances?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Things You'll Encounter When Taking Over a Loved One's Finances</a>)</p> <p>Here are some of the things that helped.</p> <h2>Advanced preparation</h2> <p>In my case, the relative had named me both financial power of attorney in case she became incapacitated, and as successor trustee for her revocable living trust. (A revocable living trust is an estate planning tool that people can set up to make this transfer of responsibility seamless both in incapacity or after death.) These two provisions were extremely helpful, when the time came, in allowing me to access and manage her accounts.</p> <p>Another thing you could encourage a relative to do to get their financial life in order would be to gather any stock certificates they own and transfer them to a brokerage firm, preferably one that offers online access. And if they have records of the date they purchased investments, they should show you where they keep those records or send you copies. If you have to sell the investments on their behalf, you will need this information to establish the cost basis.</p> <h2>An ally that lives close to the relative</h2> <p>Although I lived far away, my parents lived in the same town as our relative. Because of this, they were the ones who physically went through our relative's papers, with her permission, when she needed to move into an assisted living home. My parents provided me with all her paperwork so I could find out what accounts she had and what bills were coming in. Their status as locals also helped them gather recommendations for an estate sale company to dispose of possessions she'd no longer need and a real estate agent to sell her home.</p> <h2>An open relationship with the relative before they become incapacitated</h2> <p>At first, I wasn't acting on behalf of my relative in an official capacity, but just helping her out. For instance, when a CD matured, I would arrange for her banker to call her at her assisted living home to get her verbal permission to roll it over or buy a different CD. I helped her set up online accounts for her banks, and then together we used the bill pay function to get her phone bill and rent set up on autopay so she wouldn't have to write checks anymore. This period allowed me to ask her questions and make sure I knew about all her investment accounts, her assets, and how she liked to manage them.</p> <h2>If you have to take over, an in-person visit helps get things started</h2> <p>When she did become incapacitated, I was able to visit the town where she lived and go to her local banks in person to show the bankers her trust naming me as successor trustee, the power of attorney, and my own identification. The banks then put my name on her accounts, so from that point on, I could call them with questions or move her money as needed without her permission. Also, an attorney informed me that as her trustee, I could reimburse myself for my travel expenses from her account when I had to do business on her behalf.</p> <p>One great thing about visiting in person at this stage is that the local bankers gave me their cards, and henceforth if I ever had a problem, I could call them directly instead of going through the phone tree. They remembered me, and some of them even remembered my relative, which I think improved the service I got.</p> <p>Talking to hometown bankers in person also helped me understand the process better. When I needed to get my name on her brokerage accounts without local offices, I had a better idea of how to make it happen. When you can't go to the financial institution in person, you may have to go to a local bank to get a stamp called a medallion on an application to change the account ownership. This is like visiting a notary, in that the medallion holder is indicating that they checked your identification and you are who you say you are. However, a notary can't give you a medallion stamp &mdash; it has to come from a medallion holder. Call any local bank to see if they have one who can help you.</p> <h2>Stay in communication with caregivers</h2> <p>It's easy to put bills on autopay, but it's also important to verify that purchases you make on your relative's behalf are really reaching them and are needed. For example, I set up a standing order on Amazon for supplies my relative needed at assisted living. But sometimes when conditions changed, no one would tell me, and I'd end up wasting money on a product she hadn't used in months. In retrospect, I would have kept in closer communication with staff at her assisted living facility to keep abreast of her product needs.</p> <h2>Work with real estate agents and other professionals who use online documents</h2> <p>It's certainly possible to sell property from across the country by signing paper documents and faxing them, but it's a lot easier if the agent you work with simply sends you a link that you can e-sign on your computer.</p> <h2>Keep an eye on statements, especially if your relative still has a checkbook</h2> <p>For awhile after I took over her finances, my loved one still wrote the occasional check, usually to her church. Although I asked her to let me know when she wrote one, she always forgot. Knowing this, I made sure to keep a buffer of cash in her checking account to prevent overdrafts. If your loved one's check writing habits change suddenly, or you're worried they could be taken advantage of, it's probably time to get the checkbook out of their hands. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-elderly-loved-ones-from-financial-scams?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Protect Elderly Loved Ones From Financial Scams</a>)</p> <h2>Check your relative's credit report regularly</h2> <p>This is something you should do when you first start handling a loved one's finances, and periodically after that, especially if you live far away and wouldn't know if someone shady has been calling or visiting your relative. If you have been named power of attorney, you can request the credit report by writing to a credit bureau and including a copy of the power of attorney.</p> <h2>Take care when sharing account information among family members</h2> <p>In a lot of families, more than one person might share the responsibility for handling a loved one's finances. In my case, my parents received her mail and deposited checks at her local banks until I set up all her accounts as direct deposit.</p> <p>Because of this shared responsibility, we sometimes had to share account numbers or her Social Security number with one another. We made sure not to transmit this information in an insecure way, such as email, but instead would call one another to read an account number over the phone.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-manage-a-family-members-finances-long-distance&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Manage%2520a%2520Family%2520Member%2527s%2520Finances%2520Long%2520Distance.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Manage%20a%20Family%20Member's%20Finances%20Long%20Distance"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Manage%20a%20Family%20Member%27s%20Finances%20Long%20Distance.jpg" alt="How to Manage a Family Member's Finances Long Distance" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-a-family-members-finances-long-distance">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/a-simple-guide-to-planning-for-a-loved-ones-long-term-care">A Simple Guide to Planning For a Loved One&#039;s Long-Term Care</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-ways-to-ease-your-parents-into-assisted-living">6 Ways to Ease Your Parents Into Assisted Living</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-questions-to-ask-when-choosing-an-assisted-living-facility">12 Questions to Ask When Choosing an Assisted Living Facility</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-elderly-loved-ones-from-financial-scams">How to Protect Elderly Loved Ones From Financial Scams</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 assisted living caregivers credit reports elderly long distance money management nursing homes out of town power of attorney relatives revocable living trust Wed, 08 Nov 2017 08:30:18 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2048696 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 End-of-Life Cost Savings Your Survivors Will Thank You For http://www.wisebread.com/9-end-of-life-cost-savings-your-survivors-will-thank-you-for <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-end-of-life-cost-savings-your-survivors-will-thank-you-for" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mom_is_the_best.jpg" alt="Mom is the best" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I recently had the honor of helping an elderly family member during her final years and carrying out her wishes after she passed on. My relative was a savvy planner &mdash; she had worked for years as an executive secretary, one of the most responsible jobs available to women of her generation. It came as no surprise that she had carefully planned for some of her end-of-life expenses.</p> <p>After handling the financial side of my loved one's final years, I made the following decisions to make things easier &mdash; and more affordable &mdash; for those who must someday do the same for me.</p> <h2>1. Make an estate plan</h2> <p>If I learned one thing from handling my relative's estate, it was this: A revocable trust will save your executor time and money. A revocable trust is a legal entity to which you can transfer all or some of your property, such as investment and bank accounts or real estate. When you first establish the trust, you are the trustee; meaning you control the assets in the trust, and you also name a successor trustee who would take control of the trust if you become incapacitated or die. You can also name beneficiaries in your trust, just like a will, to receive the remaining assets after your death.</p> <p>The beauty of a trust is that many assets do not have to go through probate once you die; in contrast, many assets only listed in a will do still have to go through probate. Because my relative had set up a revocable trust, within months of her death, her heirs had deposited their checks, and the whole process was wrapped up with very little legal expense. If she hadn't set up the trust, I would likely still be working through the probate process and running up attorney fees.</p> <p>Your estate plan can also include life insurance and a will to cover any assets you didn't transfer to the trust, such as personal property or your car. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fair-way-to-split-up-your-familys-estate?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Fair Way to Split Up Your Family's Estate</a>)</p> <h2>2. Consider long-term care insurance while you are still young enough to get it</h2> <p>When my loved one was no longer able to live independently at home, I was naive enough to think that Medicare would pay for her to live in an assisted living facility or a nursing home. Not true! <em>Medicaid</em> pays for many seniors' nursing home care, but only once they've depleted most of their own assets and income. Each state has strict rules that generally prevent seniors from giving their money away in order to qualify for Medicaid support.</p> <p>What this means is that if you need to spend your final months or years in a home, and you didn't buy long-term care insurance, you will pay for it out of pocket, possibly spending everything you hoped to leave to your heirs.</p> <p>It's a tricky financial decision, because long-term care insurance is expensive; you'll pay $1,000 a month or more (potentially much more) for a policy that will cover the high expenses of nursing home care. And of course, you could pay insurance premiums for years and never spend a day in a nursing home.</p> <p>The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance pinpoints the mid-50s as the best age to buy this product. That's for two reasons: One, premiums go up based on age, and in the 60s they start going up 6 to 8 percent per year. Two, you can lock in a discount for good health when you first apply, and you are more likely to experience age-related declines in health after your 50s. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-long-term-care-insurance-worth-it?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Is Long Term Care Insurance Worth It?</a>)</p> <h2>3. Prepay funeral expenses</h2> <p>It sounds downright eerie to sit down in an undertaker's office and plan your own funeral. But it's a kind thing to do for your next of kin. One reason to pay for a burial plot or urn storage and service now is that this spends down money that might otherwise be paid to a nursing home. If you're in a home for years before you pass, there might not be any money left for your funeral, leaving your heirs in the position of having to pay for it themselves.</p> <p>The other nice thing about prepaying these expenses is that, if you're a no-nonsense frugal person, you can buy your casket at Costco or arrange to rent one for your viewing and save your heirs from feeling guilted or upsold into paying for a more lavish send-off than you would have wanted.</p> <p>By planning when you are of sound mind and body, you also give yourself the luxury of making price comparisons and shopping wisely; something your heirs may not be emotionally ready for or have the time to do once you're gone.</p> <h2>4. Make charitable gifts while you're still alive</h2> <p>Especially if you have a robust income in your later years, don't make your favorite charities wait until you're gone to receive the support you'd like to give them. You can cut the taxes you owe on any income you receive by making charitable gifts each year.</p> <p>This move can also save your executor a little time and money. When my loved one passed, her attorney wrote letters to all the charities she wanted to leave money to, and eventually I had to write the checks. It wasn't a big deal, but it's one more little thing you could do yourself to spare your heirs the trouble. If your estate is large enough that your heirs might have to pay estate tax, giving money away in your lifetime could make a big difference. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-giving-to-charity-is-good-for-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways Giving to Charity Is Good for You</a>)</p> <h2>5. Consider passing wealth to the next generation during your lifetime</h2> <p>Only the heirs of very large estates &mdash; currently over $5.49 million &mdash; will need to pay estate tax. But if this is your situation, you could save your heirs the tax by making regular gifts of up to $14,000 per person, each year.</p> <h2>6. Make your will very clear</h2> <p>First of all, <em>leave a will</em>. If you don't have time to work with an attorney to transfer your assets to a trust, which does take time, for now at least write that will so that your heirs have something to go on if you die unexpectedly. If you don't leave a will, your estate will be settled by the court, a much more expensive and time-consuming process for your heirs.</p> <p>Make sure that your heirs have the final and correct versions of all documents and that there are no older wills floating around. This could save endless legal fees, especially if you have written someone out of your will. Don't let any relatives or acquaintances expect an inheritance they're not getting. People who expected money in a will but didn't get it could sue your heirs, making their lives miserable and wasting the inheritance on legal fees. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-writing-a-will?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What You Need to Know About Writing a Will</a>)</p> <h2>7. Make provisions for valuable property</h2> <p>Have you ever heard stories of homes sold with cash or jewelry hidden in the walls or buried in the backyard? It has happened to families I know, when elders hid items of value and forgot where they were hidden.</p> <p>Even if valuables aren't literally hidden in the walls, they may be lost in the shuffle. In many an estate, sorting through a lifetime's worth of possessions is a huge burden on the heirs. Your heirs may simply turn your home over to an estate sale service and let them deal with it. If that happens, valuable items might get sold for less than they are worth. There is also the risk of hiring an unscrupulous estate sale planner who sells valuable items without giving the family a fair cut. Valuable keepsakes could even be thrown away along with old paperwork and used clothing.</p> <p>If you have jewelry or other items of high value, it would be a wonderful idea to gift them to family members while you are still alive, or sell them to a reputable dealer if that is your wish. If not, keep your belongings organized and labeled, and let loved ones know where any valuables are kept.</p> <h2>8. Sell your home if you're no longer living in it</h2> <p>If you have moved to a senior community or assisted living facility, have relatives assist you in selling your home as soon as possible. This will save you &mdash; and later your heirs &mdash; the expense of keeping up the home while no one is living in it.</p> <p>After your death, when the heirs are busy with your funeral and settling the rest of the estate, they may not have time to sell the home for months. In the meanwhile, costs can really add up: insurance, heat, electricity, lawn service, snow removal, maintenance. And if something happens to your empty home such as pipes bursting or squatters moving in, it could dissipate the value of this asset you worked so hard to acquire.</p> <h2>9. Spend it yourself</h2> <p>If all this advice bums you out, here's an antidote: Enjoy what you have earned while you are alive. Take a trip. Hire some help. Get that new car you've been wanting. You don't owe your heirs a thing. While you don't want to leave them with debts, dying broke is a wonderful thing because it means you literally didn't leave anything on the table.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F9-end-of-life-cost-savings-your-survivors-will-thank-you-for&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F9%2520End-of-Life%2520Cost%2520Savings%2520Your%2520Survivors%2520Will%2520Thank%2520You%2520For.jpg&amp;description=9%20End-of-Life%20Cost%20Savings%20Your%20Survivors%20Will%20Thank%20You%20For"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/9%20End-of-Life%20Cost%20Savings%20Your%20Survivors%20Will%20Thank%20You%20For.jpg" alt="9 End-of-Life Cost Savings Your Survivors Will Thank You For" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-end-of-life-cost-savings-your-survivors-will-thank-you-for">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fair-way-to-split-up-your-familys-estate">The Fair Way to Split Up Your Family&#039;s Estate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-set-up-a-trust-for-your-child">Should You Set Up a Trust for Your Child?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-4-smartest-things-to-do-with-an-inheritance">The 4 Smartest Things to Do With an Inheritance</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/dont-make-these-5-common-mistakes-when-writing-a-will">Don&#039;t Make These 5 Common Mistakes When Writing a Will</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/who-really-owns-your-digital-assets">Who Really Owns Your Digital Assets?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family attorneys estate planning final costs funerals heirs inheritance last will and testament long term care insurance survivors trusts valuables Thu, 02 Nov 2017 08:30:05 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2041364 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Questions to Ask When Choosing an Assisted Living Facility http://www.wisebread.com/12-questions-to-ask-when-choosing-an-assisted-living-facility <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-questions-to-ask-when-choosing-an-assisted-living-facility" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/volunteer_and_old_people.jpg" alt="Volunteer and old people" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When a loved one ended up in physical rehab after a fall, I quickly learned what a bummer nursing homes can be. Although the staff tried to maintain a cheery atmosphere, it was clear that if my relative, Marion, stayed on as a permanent resident, she wouldn't be having much fun &mdash; and she'd be paying more than it would cost to live in the Four Seasons.</p> <p>This is why so many families look to assisted living as an alternative to a nursing home for elders who can't live independently but don't need extensive medical support. Nearly a million Americans now reside in assisted living facilities, and that number has grown substantially in recent years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Assisted living facilities are able to charge less than nursing homes because they need less medical staff, and many offer activities and social opportunities far beyond what residents can find in nursing homes.</p> <p>As we began our search for a place where Marion could enjoy her final years in comfort and safety, I learned that not all such homes are created equal. Here are some questions to ask as you look.</p> <h2>1. Can the facility provide the level of care needed?</h2> <p>Depending on the number and qualifications of staff, some facilities can help patients transfer from a wheelchair to bed or to the shower, while others can only accept residents who can transfer themselves, or at least help. Some facilities have locked memory care units for patients suffering dementia, but others don't. Before investigating further, find out whether your loved one could qualify to live there.</p> <p>The assisted living management may send a representative to evaluate the potential resident. If your loved one doesn't qualify, ask if there is anything they could do to improve their chances. In our case, Marion was close to the level of self-care needed but was lacking some abilities, so she did additional physical therapy before being re-evaluated.</p> <p>Beware of facilities that are so anxious to fill rooms that they accept residents they shouldn't. Make sure you ask exactly what help the residents get and what they don't. Find out what the staff to resident ratio is, including during the night shift. They may say they can help residents get up at night, but if one staffer is responsible for 100 residents, it's probably not happening.</p> <p>If you are in touch with other families who have used the facility, or people in your local medical and nursing community, ask them about outcomes. If the local hospital has admitted a lot of residents from the facility due to falls, for example, that could be a red flag.</p> <p>On the flip side, if you have a senior relative who needs little to no assistance, an independent living community might be a better option. In such a community, your elderly loved one can enjoy a more independent lifestyle with access to assistance only if they need it.</p> <h2>2. Is the facility licensed and inspected?</h2> <p>These facilities are regulated by state, so check with yours to find out the place's record. In California, you can <a href="https://secure.dss.ca.gov/CareFacilitySearch/Search/ElderlyAssistedLiving" target="_blank">look up a facility's license status</a>, any citations or complaints, and view inspection records online. Other resources to check are the Better Business Bureau and your <a href="http://theconsumervoice.org/get_help" target="_blank">state's ombudsman</a>.</p> <h2>3. Can the resident afford it?</h2> <p>Although assisted living facilities can cost a lot less than nursing homes, they don't come cheap. The average assisted living facility charges $3,750 a month, according to the Genworth Life and Annuity Insurance Company. And Medicare's not going to cover it. If you haven't previously been privy to your loved one's finances, now is the time to sit down and have a talk about assets and income, and determine where they can afford to stay and for how long. If there's a chance their money could run out in their lifetime, what's the plan for when that happens? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-youll-encounter-when-taking-over-a-loved-ones-finances?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Things You'll Encounter When Taking Over a Loved One's Finances</a>)</p> <h2>4. What activities are offered?</h2> <p>Once she was settled in her assisted living facility, Marion enjoyed wheelchair fitness classes, bingo games, church services, and other activities. Later, she moved to a memory care unit that offered activities with more direction, such as arts and crafts and cooking classes. If your loved one is active, you'll want to look for a place that offers field trips and maybe even cocktail hours. A more limited person may be content with offerings such as taking some sun on the patio.</p> <h2>5. What is included?</h2> <p>Is the resident responsible for setting up their own phone line and cable TV, or does that come with the rent? Will they eat every meal in the dining room, or cook in their own apartment for some meals? What about laundry service, and supplies such as absorbent pads? Consider the logistics in addition to the costs: Will you be responsible for shopping for supplies and bringing them to the resident? Who will make sure the phone bill gets paid?</p> <h2>6. Can the resident abide by the rules?</h2> <p>Some elders will only consider a facility where they may share an apartment or room with their spouse. Are residents expected to keep their doors open or are they allowed privacy? Can they come and go at will, or do they need to have someone come check them out? Can they invite guests to dine with them? Do they have to go to bed and get up at a set time? These are all questions your loved one needs to consider before agreeing to a facility.</p> <h2>7. What on-site services are provided?</h2> <p>For women of a certain age, a weekly salon visit is a valued part of everyday life. Nail care is also a big plus and can be a morale boost. Transportation service to shopping and doctor visits are also a plus.</p> <h2>8. How does medical care work?</h2> <p>Does the staff dispense medications? How will residents get to their doctor appointments? Is physical therapy available? How long will the room be held if the resident has to be hospitalized?</p> <p>Some assisted living facilities are part of continuing care communities, meaning that they comprise independent living, assisted living, and rehab or nursing facilities, making movement back and forth easier on residents.</p> <h2>9. How long will they be able to stay?</h2> <p>The resident may qualify for the level of care offered now, but what about if they have a stroke or a fall and can no longer self-transfer or feed themselves? Does the facility have a section that offers a higher level of care, or would you be allowed to hire a nurse to provide additional assistance? Would your loved one have to move to a nursing home? What if your loved one needs hospice care?</p> <p>It's important to find out in advance under what conditions the resident could be involuntarily discharged. Sadly, after a hospitalization, Marion was not allowed to return to the assisted living facility she loved because her self-care abilities had declined. Luckily, we were able to place her in another facility with a higher level of care. The new facility was more expensive, but not only was it better equipped to care for her, the management promised &mdash; in writing &mdash; that under most circumstances she would be able to stay for the rest of her life. When the time came for hospice care, it was provided right in her room, where she felt most comfortable.</p> <h2>10. Does it seem like a nice place?</h2> <p>Everything may look good in writing, but of course you will want to tour the facility your loved one would be living in &mdash; if possible, with the future resident. The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care offers the following signs of quality care: Residents appear well-groomed; call lights and requests for assistance are answered quickly and kindly; residents are engaged in activities; the place appears clean and smells fresh.</p> <p>One of the nicer assisted living facilities I have visited had a clean, large bird enclosure that residents loved to watch. Outdoor space and space for congregating and accepting visitors are nice too.</p> <h2>11. Will your loved one fit in?</h2> <p>If your elderly relative is still mentally nimble but needs help with physical needs, it's important to make sure they'll have peers in their new home. You can ask management about this, but it's one of the things you'll probably notice on a tour. Engage any residents in common areas in conversation to see if they seem willing and able to socialize with your loved one.</p> <h2>12. When could they move in?</h2> <p>The best facilities sometimes have waiting lists. Before either you or your loved one gets too set on a specific place, find out if there is a waiting list for the type of unit they want. If there is a long wait, consider where they will be living in the interim. If at home, is it safe to wait that long? If in a nursing home, consider that the longer someone stays in a situation that isn't right for them, the more their physical and emotional state can deteriorate.</p> <p>It's never easy to watch a loved one lose independence. But when the time comes, asking these questions can go a long way toward smoothing the transition and making sure they are in the right place.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F12-questions-to-ask-when-choosing-an-assisted-living-facility&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F12%2520Questions%2520to%2520Ask%2520When%2520Choosing%2520an%2520Assisted%2520Living%2520Facility.jpg&amp;description=7%20Easy%20Ways%20to%20Give%20Back%20This%20Thanksgiving"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/12%20Questions%20to%20Ask%20When%20Choosing%20an%20Assisted%20Living%20Facility.jpg" alt="12 Questions to Ask When Choosing an Assisted Living Facility" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-questions-to-ask-when-choosing-an-assisted-living-facility">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-ease-your-parents-into-assisted-living">6 Ways to Ease Your Parents Into Assisted Living</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-a-family-members-finances-long-distance">How to Manage a Family Member&#039;s Finances Long Distance</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/a-simple-guide-to-planning-for-a-loved-ones-long-term-care">A Simple Guide to Planning For a Loved One&#039;s Long-Term Care</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-long-term-care-insurance-worth-it">Is Long Term Care Insurance Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-help-your-parents-retire">How to Help Your Parents Retire</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family aging assisted living elder care evaluations grandparents medical assistance nursing homes parents Wed, 01 Nov 2017 08:30:09 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2040504 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Family Money Matters Your Kids Don't Need to Know http://www.wisebread.com/9-family-money-matters-your-kids-dont-need-to-know <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-family-money-matters-your-kids-dont-need-to-know" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/working_at_home_1.jpg" alt="Working at home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you have kids, there will come a time when you want to teach them about money. Some basic personal finance lessons can go a long way toward helping your children understand things like spending, saving, and even investing.</p> <p>But there are many things about your family's finances that your children don't need to know right away, even if they are curious. Information about your family's income, debt, and spending can be confusing and even troubling to younger kids. And kids are prone to share this information when it's best to keep it private.</p> <p>Older teenagers may benefit from learning more about your financial situation as they approach an age when they will be earning money and making purchases on their own. But for younger children, especially, it may be best to keep the following financial information close to your vest. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-parenting-mistakes-to-avoid-when-teaching-kids-about-money?Ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Parenting Mistakes to Avoid When Teaching Kids About Money</a>)</p> <h2>1. Your income</h2> <p>Your kids don't need to know how much money you make. All they need to know is that you love them and will care for them. Younger kids, in particular, have no real sense of the value of money anyway. You could tell them you earn $100 a year and they would think you are rich.</p> <p>Children also have a habit of blabbing, and you never want to find your children bragging to other kids &mdash; or even worse, their parents &mdash; about how much money you earn. Your kids will be better off learning that happiness and financial security have less to do with your income and more to do with what you do with money when you have it. This means teaching them about saving, about being charitable to others, and about being appreciative of what you have.</p> <h2>2. Which parent earns more</h2> <p>It's common for one parent to earn more than the other. This is especially true if one parent chooses to stop working or works part-time to raise a family. Children should generally be left oblivious to which spouse is higher earning because salaries don't represent a person's full contribution to the family.</p> <p>If one parent stops working, it may mean they are taking on a greater share of household responsibilities. And it's also important to note that many of our more important professions are not particularly high paying. A schoolteacher may bring in less money than their banker spouse, but is likely to work just as hard. Rather than share details with your child about which spouse earns more, simply explain to them the value of all work, and give them an appreciation of the broad, non-monetary contributions needed to keep a household going.</p> <h2>3. Your retirement balance</h2> <p>Let's say you've been saving aggressively for retirement and have several hundred thousands of dollars saved. Now, let's say you just told your daughter she can't have ice cream because it costs too much. A child, if she was aware of your retirement savings, might find this baffling. It's hard for young people to grasp that you may have a large amount in savings but are still pinching pennies.</p> <p>Your retirement savings and overall net worth is not something that should be shared too widely. A child who finds out his dad has hundreds of thousands of dollars in the bank may be motivated to brag, and that's not good. So it's best to keep information about your retirement plan to yourself.</p> <h2>4. Your debts</h2> <p>Debt can be a major source of family stress, but it's a stress that only parents should carry. Your worries about how you'll pay off that credit card bill or how you'll make those car payments are your worries, not your kids'. There may be instances when you need to be honest with your children if there is money trouble, and older children may benefit from lessons in money management, credit, and the cost of borrowing. But as long as you are able to provide and care for your kids, they are best left unaware of your financial debt burden.</p> <h2>5. The price of your home</h2> <p>The cost of your house is public information, but that doesn't mean you need to broadcast it to your kids. The only thing that kids need to know about housing is that they have a roof over their head. What you paid for your house should, to the best of your ability, be kept between the buyer, seller, and real estate agent.</p> <p>Additionally, it's best not to share too much detail about mortgage debt. If they ever get a hint that you are struggling to make mortgage payments, that will only lead to anxiety.</p> <h2>6. What you inherit</h2> <p>If a relative passes away and leaves some assets to you, the specifics of that inheritance should be kept as private as possible. This is especially true if the inheritance is quite large. If a child learns of a sizable windfall and shares that information with others, that can lead to jealous family members or friends, and could even make you a target for thieves and scammers.</p> <p>Sometimes, certain family members receive less than others, or are cut out of the will altogether. This can result in family strife that children should not be concerned about.</p> <p>For older children, it is OK to explain to them how inheritances work, as they may take comfort in believing you'll leave them something when you pass. And there will be a time when you need to tell older children about their own inheritance so they have an idea of what they may have to manage.</p> <h2>7. The cost of gifts</h2> <p>Kids have a way of believing that the most expensive item is always the best. They'll reject something if they believe you got it at a deep discount or (gasp!) second-hand. So parents may be best served by not indicating how much they spent on that video game system or that baseball bat. By hiding the cost of items you buy for your kids, they may be more inclined to evaluate the gift on its merits.</p> <h2>8. Child support payments and alimony</h2> <p>If you and your spouse have divorced, you may be on the hook for child support payments, alimony, or both. These costs are usually determined by courts and can be a major source of tension between parents. The children are best left unaware of these details and any drama or conflict surrounding them. It may be comforting to a child if they are aware that support payments are being made, but sharing specific dollar figures can be problematic.</p> <h2>9. In some cases, the cost of college</h2> <p>This is a tricky one. If your child will end up paying for their own college education, he or she will obviously need to know what they'll be on the hook for. And if you are paying for all or part of college, they will be well served to know how much of a financial commitment you are making toward their education. (It will comfort them to know you are saving as much as possible.) But this information should not come to them immediately. A child's first priority should be to stay in school and get good grades. A young high schooler does not need to be burdened with the stress of whether they need to get scholarships or whether they'll be on the hook for student loans later.</p> <p>It's also important to understand that final college costs can vary from family to family, depending on scholarships and financial aid. A wealthy family might pay the full price to send their child to an Ivy League school, while a low-income family may pay next to nothing. This family financial information is really nobody's business, so it's important to be judicious in what you share with your child.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F9-family-money-matters-your-kids-dont-need-to-know&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F9%2520Family%2520Money%2520Matters%2520Your%2520Kids%2520Don%2527t%2520Need%2520to%2520Know.jpg&amp;description=9%20Family%20Money%20Matters%20Your%20Kids%20Don't%20Need%20to%20Know"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/9%20Family%20Money%20Matters%20Your%20Kids%20Don%27t%20Need%20to%20Know.jpg" alt="9 Family Money Matters Your Kids Don't Need to Know" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-family-money-matters-your-kids-dont-need-to-know">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/teach-your-kids-about-money-with-their-holiday-gift-lists">Teach Your Kids About Money With Their Holiday Gift Lists</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-start-a-family-before-reaching-these-5-money-goals">Don&#039;t Start a Family Before Reaching These 5 Money Goals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-the-holidays-to-teach-kids-about-money">How to Use the Holidays to Teach Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-questions-to-answer-before-giving-your-kid-a-credit-card">4 Questions to Answer Before Giving Your Kid a Credit Card</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-protect-yourself-financially-during-a-divorce-or-separation">How to Protect Yourself Financially During a Divorce or Separation</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family alimony borrowing child support children debt divorce high earners income kids retirement spending Wed, 25 Oct 2017 08:00:07 +0000 Tim Lemke 2038887 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Unexpected Expenses of a New Baby http://www.wisebread.com/15-unexpected-expenses-of-a-new-baby <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-unexpected-expenses-of-a-new-baby" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/i_never_thought_i_could_love_one_being_so_much.jpg" alt="I never thought I could love one being so much" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Can you afford to have a baby?</p> <p>You may have calculated obvious costs such as diapers, clothing, food, and day care, but don't be too quick to assume that you've accounted for everything. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, middle income families spend an average $12,980 a year on each kid, and $233,610 in a lifetime, <em>not including college</em>.</p> <p>When I was expecting my first baby, I thought there was no way I could spend that much. I may have been more frugal than most, but I still ran into all kinds of expenditures &mdash; and decreases in income &mdash; that I hadn't anticipated.</p> <p>Watch out for these unanticipated ways a baby may impact your family budget. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke?ref=seealso" target="_blank">24 Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke</a>)</p> <h2>1. A birth that doesn't go as planned</h2> <p>If you have a high-deductible health plan or no health insurance at all, you may have carefully planned for a low-cost birth. That's smart. But one thing I learned from having three babies is that &quot;birth&quot; and &quot;plan&quot; can be oxymorons. So many factors are outside your control, such as when and where your labor begins, whether the baby has any trouble making their big entrance, and what kind of care you and the baby need after the birth.</p> <p>I know couples who planned a homebirth with a midwife, but ended up being transferred to the hospital in an ambulance for a C-section. If you are birthing at home or at a non-hospital birth center, both of which can be great choices, please have a financial plan for what happens if you get transferred. You will be under enough stress on the day of without adding financial unknowns to the mix. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-newborn-costs-that-took-me-by-surprise?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Newborn Costs That Took Me by Surprise</a>)</p> <h2>2. Higher utility bills</h2> <p>When my husband and I were childless, we lived in a San Francisco flat with no central heat and we typically ran our electric wall heaters an hour a day or less.</p> <p>Once we brought home our first child, our electricity bill jumped for two reasons: One, we felt that baby needed a warmer room to sleep in at night, not to mention the fact that I had to leave the cocoon of blankets multiple times a night to feed her. Two, since I took a six-month maternity leave, then left our child at home with a nanny, our apartment was suddenly occupied nearly 24/7 instead of only on evenings and weekends. We ran the heat much more, kept more lights on, and certainly ran more loads of laundry and dishes. If you decide to use cloth diapers, expect your laundry use to increase even more than average. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-cloth-diapers?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Everything You Need to Know About Cloth Diapers</a>)</p> <h2>3. Convenience food</h2> <p>When I stopped working full-time to stay home with my new baby, I expected to make more home-cooked meals. In the long run that was true, but in the early months, I had trouble getting dinner on the table. Like many babies, my infant fussed most in the late afternoon, and often I couldn't put her down without her screaming. Many things can safely be done with a baby strapped to your body, but stirring a dish over a hot stove or putting a casserole in the oven aren't among them.</p> <p>For many households &mdash; especially if both parents work and have limited time between day care pickup and dinner &mdash; bringing home a baby is going to mean also bringing home more pizzas, ordering Chinese, and heating up Trader Joe's fake out. Don't guilt yourself about it; just budget for it.</p> <h2>4. Health care</h2> <p>Your health plan may not charge copays for the well baby visits scheduled frequently during the first year, which is great. But keep in mind that these may not be your only doctor visits. An ear infection may lead to two visits and a prescription. For one of my babies, a cold turned into a hospitalization for pneumonia. Another had frequent chest congestion that necessitated a breathing machine at home.</p> <p>If you have been on a health care plan that only covers major illnesses, you may need to look into a plan that covers more frequent visits before your baby is born.</p> <p>Then there are all the nonprescription supplies that you might buy for minor infant health concerns: baby Motrin, teething gel, a humidifier to ease congestion, medicated cream for eczema or rashes, a high-tech thermometer, so on and so forth. All these things add up, and quickly.</p> <p>Babies have to be taken to the doctor so often &mdash; weekly at first, then monthly, plus sick visits &mdash; that even transportation costs for getting to the doctor may have to be taken into account.</p> <h2>5. Loss of income</h2> <p>The last time I earned a full-time paycheck was 13 years ago. I may never earn one again.</p> <p>My family is an extreme example &mdash; many must and do have both parents return to working full-time within six weeks of birth. But I took six months away from my job after my first birth, some of that time unpaid, and then returned as a part-time worker. While pregnant with my second child, I quit my job altogether. I only began contributing freelance income to the family budget gradually as my kids got older.</p> <p>Even for families where both parents plan to keep working full-time, income may decline. Both parents may pass up opportunities for overtime. Time for side hustles evaporates. Parents may have to take unpaid days off if the baby is sick, or for those numerous well baby visits. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-side-jobs-for-stay-at-home-moms-and-dads?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Side Jobs for Stay-at-Home Moms and Dads</a>)</p> <h2>6. A bigger house</h2> <p>My husband and I brought our first baby home to a 750 square foot, one-bedroom apartment with no immediate plans to move. After all, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends sharing a room with your baby! We were sure we would be cozy.</p> <p>Unfortunately, we almost immediately felt crowded out by baby equipment, not to mention the fact that there was nowhere to escape to if the baby was crying and one parent was trying to sleep or work. Living in a building with shared walls also became a problem, especially when the baby learned to bang her toys on the floor.</p> <p>Housing accounts for around a third of the expense of raising a child, according to the USDA. If you think you won't move after you have a baby, go to some open houses and ask the sellers why they're moving. Lots of them will tell you it's because their family is growing. And if you don't move after the first baby, you will probably want a bigger place once the second is on the way.</p> <p>Our family moved out of that one-bedroom flat into a three-bedroom house around the time that our second baby was born. The mortgage is twice what we paid before having kids. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-make-room-for-baby?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Easy Ways to Make Room for Baby</a>)</p> <h2>7. A larger car</h2> <p>You do not need to rush out and buy a minivan the moment you see two pink lines on the pregnancy test. However, it can be shocking how much space today's infant seats take up in the back seat. If you've been driving a two-door compact car, you may find yourself wanting something larger after the baby comes. And if you have more than two children, good luck fitting their car seats in the back of any sedan. The first baby saw us upgrade from a two-door hatchback to a Subaru; the third child sent us from the Subaru to small sport utility vehicle.</p> <h2>8. Life insurance</h2> <p>Before having kids, my husband and I didn't worry about life insurance. If I died, my husband would have been able to handle the payments on our condo by himself, and vice versa.</p> <p>But once you have a child, you have to ask yourself what would happen if one parent suddenly died. Your child would likely receive Social Security payments, but would this be enough to keep living where you live, to pay for child care while the surviving parent works, and to save for college? And what if both parents died?</p> <p>Life insurance costs can vary widely depending on your overall health and lifestyle and the specifics of your plan. However, you need to seriously consider this expense once you become a parent. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/term-vs-whole-life-insurance-heres-how-to-choose?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Term vs Whole Life Insurance: Here's How to Choose</a>)</p> <h2>9. Child care</h2> <p>Of course, you knew before you had a baby that you weren't going to be able to leave it home alone while you worked. But you probably didn't realize just how much child care would cost. According to a recent NerdWallet study, half of expecting parents thought diapering would be the biggest expense of having a baby, not child care.</p> <p>According to that study, the cost of full-time child care ranges from $8,000 at a day care center to $27,000 or more for a nanny.</p> <p>Even if you had realized that child care would be expensive, you may find yourself paying even more than you'd imagined. For instance, when my first child was born, I hoped I wouldn't need child care because I planned to change my work shift to evenings. That plan collapsed when my boss turned down my request. My second thought was to use a day care center, but I quickly found out that all the centers in my urban neighborhood had years long waiting lists for infant care. Home-based day cares were more affordable and available, but each one I visited had a worrisome condition, such as kids sitting in front of the TV for hours or being left crying in their cribs well after naptime. I finally ended up sharing a nanny with another family, at a cost far higher than I had anticipated.</p> <h2>10. All the cute things</h2> <p>You might think that you won't waste money buying clothes and toys for your newborn. After all, you got all those clothes at your baby shower. Then you meet your baby and realize that she's the most beautiful creature on earth and that beautiful creatures need accessories. After my first child was born, I developed a habit of popping into the Gymboree near my work regularly to see if new styles were in and if anything had gone on sale. This routine did not help our family budget.</p> <h2>11. Feeding</h2> <p>If you're planning on breast-feeding your baby, you might expect that to be free, right? Not exactly.</p> <p>A surprising number of newborns have trouble getting the hang of breast-feeding. You might need to consult a lactation specialist just once to help your infant latch and learn to suck, or you may need multiple home visits. You may need to buy products, such as nipple shields, to help the latch happen. All this struggle may wreak havoc on the mother's body and soul, necessitating anything from nipple cream to doctor visits for mastitis to seeing a counselor.</p> <p>Whether your baby succeeds immediately at breast-feeding or not, you still probably need a breast pump. You'll also likely need a better, more expensive breast pump than you thought. I've tried a lot of them, and trust me, a cheap breast pump will not enhance postpartum life.</p> <p>Many parents end up bottle feeding instead of or in addition to breast-feeding, which brings the expense of formula and bottles. You might even buy a sanitizer for the bottles, an insulated carrying pack for either breastmilk or formula, or a mini fridge for the office or nursery.</p> <p>In the second half of the first year, your baby will start eating solids, an occasion you can mark by purchasing many kinds of organic foods for him to spit onto the kitchen walls, and new feeding gadgets such as suction cup bowls and spoons that hold puree in the handle. Expect to throw away most of the food you purchase, either directly from the container because it went bad before your baby finished it, or after scraping it off the floor, walls, cupboards, and your own clothing.</p> <h2>12. Specialists</h2> <p>Taking care of a baby might sound easy before you try it. After all, humans have been doing this since they lived in caves. If that were true, though, there wouldn't be so many specialists out there ready to help you figure it out for an hourly fee.</p> <p>You might realize after you come home from the hospital that you need a postpartum doula or baby nurse to help you get back up to speed and get a few hours of sleep at night. Many more families than you would imagine consult a sleep specialist to help them figure out how to get their infants to sleep.</p> <h2>13. Baby gear</h2> <p>Before my first was born, I read a book called <em>The Baby Book</em> by a certain Dr. Sears. This book, which embraces attachment parenting, convinced me that I wouldn't need anything but my own arms and maybe a sling to care for my baby. After all, I would never want to turn my baby over to a mechanical device like a swing when I could be cuddling her in my arms.</p> <p>Then I brought the baby home, and I realized that sometimes I needed to use the bathroom or shower or cook dinner. This wasn't really covered in the book. We purchased our first baby swing, a weak little portable model. By the time we had our third baby, I had the most powerful swing on the market downstairs, another swing for upstairs, plus a bouncy seat for the bathroom, two strollers, and countless other pieces of baby gear.</p> <p>Even if you think your baby shower will cover your gear needs, the fact is that you will end up spending money on baby equipment. Don't feel the need to buy every single product that's advertised for babies, but accept the fact that there will be gadgets, and some of them really help.</p> <h2>14. Replacing things that baby wrecks</h2> <p>That sweet thing can't even raise his head; how could he destroy your possessions?</p> <p><em>Just wait.</em></p> <p>My babies have slobbered and mouthed a cellphone into oblivion. They've grabbed fragile things that I thought were out of reach and flung them. They have vomited on strangers and caused me to have to pay for those strangers' meals. They have stretched out the necklines of my shirts while reaching for my breasts. One of them even wrecked an expensive ballpark beer before I got the chance to take a sip by throwing a cleaning wipe into the cup.</p> <p>And oh, the pacifiers. I have surely spent thousands of dollars replacing pacifiers that babies flung out of car windows, dropped in the park, and just disappeared into the baby ether.</p> <p>You really can't have nice things with a baby around. And even your mediocre things will need replacing or professional cleaning more often than you'd expected.</p> <h2>15. Entertainment and education</h2> <p>Before I became a mother, I laughed out loud at a colleague who told me he took his infant to a music class. But when I was on maternity leave with my daughter, the hours began to weigh on me. We needed somewhere to go, and you can only grocery shop so many times per day.</p> <p>We signed up for a baby sign language class and later &mdash; yes &mdash; a baby music class.</p> <p>For the parents, there are also continuing education classes to pay for, such as infant CPR. And if you stay home with your baby, there's the cost of being out and about instead of sitting in an office all day. I found myself spending on things like lattes and lunches with other moms, just because I was out pushing the stroller.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F15-unexpected-expenses-of-a-new-baby&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F15%2520Unexpected%2520Expenses%2520of%2520a%2520New%2520Baby.jpg&amp;description=15%20Unexpected%20Expenses%20of%20a%20New%20Baby"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/15%20Unexpected%20Expenses%20of%20a%20New%20Baby.jpg" alt="15 Unexpected Expenses of a New Baby" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-unexpected-expenses-of-a-new-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-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/how-to-manage-your-money-no-budgeting-required">How to Manage Your Money — No Budgeting Required</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/stop-making-these-7-basic-budget-mistakes">Stop Making These 7 Basic Budget Mistakes</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-sneaky-vacation-costs-that-add-up-quickly">10 Sneaky Vacation Costs That Add Up Quickly</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-you-should-budget-your-social-security-checks">Here&#039;s How You Should Budget Your Social Security Checks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-college-expenses-you-arent-saving-for">9 College Expenses You Aren&#039;t Saving For</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Family babies child care day care expenses Food Health hidden costs income infants newborns unexpected costs Tue, 24 Oct 2017 09:00:06 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2039971 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Questions to Answer Before Giving Your Kid a Credit Card http://www.wisebread.com/4-questions-to-answer-before-giving-your-kid-a-credit-card <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-questions-to-answer-before-giving-your-kid-a-credit-card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/lets_learn_about_responsible_spending.jpg" alt="Let’s learn about responsible spending" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Would you give your 10-year-old a credit card? Many parents would; in fact, a recent study by T. Rowe Price found that nearly one out of every five parents with children between the ages of eight and 14 have given their child a credit card.</p> <p>Are you considering joining this group of parents? If so, you need to make sure that you ask your young children these questions first. And make sure you get the answers you need to hear to inspire confidence that your youngster is ready for that piece of plastic. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-things-to-teach-your-kids-about-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">13 Things to Teach Your Kids About Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>What is the credit card for?</h2> <p>If you're giving a kid as young as 13 or 14 a credit card, it's safe to assume that this card is to be used only for a specific purpose. Maybe you want your child to use the card to buy a train pass each month to get back and forth from school. If that's all the card is to be used for, spell it out clearly so your child understands and isn't tempted to use it to buy a new shirt or video game. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-to-add-your-teen-as-an-authorized-user-on-your-credit-card?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Reasons to Add Your Teen as an Authorized User on Your Credit Card</a>)</p> <h2>What is the spending limit per week or per month?</h2> <p>You'll need to set clear spending limits before handing over a credit card to your kids. Maybe your kids can only charge up to $150 a month. Or maybe their spending limit is $300. Whatever it is, make sure your kids know this limit and understand what it means. Ask them about it early and often. You want your kids to understand that the spending limit is a rule and not a suggestion.</p> <p>Make it clear, too, that if their monthly limit is $200 and they charge $150 in the first week, they can now only spend $50 for the rest of the month. Don't let them break that spending limit. If you do, that limit become meaningless. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-cosign-your-teenagers-credit-card-application" target="_blank">Should You Cosign on Your Child's Credit Card Application?</a>)</p> <h2>Who pays, and how much?</h2> <p>Before giving your children a credit card, you'll need to establish the payment rules with them. Explain how credit cards work, and that if the bill isn't paid on time, the account will be hit with late fees. Make sure that they understand the consequences of not paying their balances off in full each month and that high interest rates can make credit card debt grow quickly.</p> <p>Once you've asked your kids these credit card basics, establish ground rules for how the card is to be paid. Maybe you've agreed to pay the card in full each month, as long as your children don't spend past a certain limit. Maybe you and your children have agreed to split the monthly bill, with your children covering their half with allowance money or withdrawals from their savings accounts.</p> <p>Whatever arrangement you agree to, don't change the rules at the end of a month. Your children might complain that they have to pay half the credit card bill. Don't let their complaints convince you to cover the whole bill. This won't teach your children about financial responsibility.</p> <h2>Do they understand the consequences of misusing their cards?</h2> <p>Have consequences in place if your child overspends with a credit card or purchases items they're not supposed to be buying.</p> <p>Maybe you agree that your child can charge $150 a month maximum. If your child spends $200 in a month, they should know that there will be consequences. Perhaps they will be responsible for repaying what they overspent, whether that repayment comes in the form of extra chores, a withdrawal from their savings account, or a reduction in next month's spending limit.</p> <p>If your children use their cards to purchase something they aren't allowed to buy &mdash; say an in-app purchase or a fast food meal &mdash; there should be consequences, too. Maybe your child will lose their card for a month or on a permanent basis if they don't follow your buying rules. Spell these rules out before you give them their own credit card. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-important-lessons-frugal-parents-teach-their-children?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Important Lessons Frugal Parents Teach Their Children</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F4-questions-to-answer-before-giving-your-kid-a-credit-card&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F4%2520Questions%2520to%2520Answer%2520Before%2520Giving%2520Your%2520Kid%2520a%2520Credit%2520Card.jpg&amp;description=4%20Questions%20to%20Answer%20Before%20Giving%20Your%20Kid%20a%20Credit%20Card"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/4%20Questions%20to%20Answer%20Before%20Giving%20Your%20Kid%20a%20Credit%20Card.jpg" alt="4 Questions to Answer Before Giving Your Kid a Credit Card" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-questions-to-answer-before-giving-your-kid-a-credit-card">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-your-bad-credit-can-impact-your-kids">How Your Bad Credit Can Impact 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/teach-your-kids-about-money-with-their-holiday-gift-lists">Teach Your Kids About Money With Their Holiday Gift Lists</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-family-money-matters-your-kids-dont-need-to-know">9 Family Money Matters Your Kids Don&#039;t Need to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-the-holidays-to-teach-kids-about-money">How to Use the Holidays to Teach Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-best-sites-to-help-your-kids-learn-about-money">8 Best Sites to Help Your Kids Learn About Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family allowances authorized users children co-signing credit limits kids responsibility Mon, 23 Oct 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Dan Rafter 2039974 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Use the Holidays to Teach Kids About Money http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-the-holidays-to-teach-kids-about-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-use-the-holidays-to-teach-kids-about-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/halloween_is_here.jpg" alt="Halloween is here" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My kids love the holidays. They plan their Halloween costumes as early as March; they ask to help make pumpkin pie the moment there's even a hint of chill in the air; and they have Hanukkah wish lists going nearly year-round.</p> <p>My husband and I get a kick out of their enthusiasm. It helps us remember the holiday magic we felt as children. But in addition to being fun and meaningful traditions, holidays also offer parents the opportunity to teach their kids about money.</p> <p>Before this year's holiday season kicks into high gear, consider using the occasions to teach your kids the following lessons about managing money:</p> <h2>Halloween</h2> <p>Your kids' favorite candy-based holiday provides you with several ways to teach important money management skills.</p> <h3>Costume budgeting</h3> <p>Whether you are footing the bill for your child's costume or you are asking them to use their own money, start by setting a dollar limit on the amount they can spend and offer to help them shop around. These limits will help your child understand the trade-offs they will have to make to stay within a budget.</p> <p>For instance, your daughter might find that the Wonder Woman costume at the local party store would blow her budget &mdash; but she could save money by stenciling Diana Prince's WW logo on a red T-shirt she already owns and adding white star stickers to a pair of blue shorts or a blue skirt. Recognizing that she could spend either money or time is an important part of learning to budget. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-simple-and-cheap-halloween-costumes-for-kids?ref=seealso" target="_blank">20 Simple and Cheap Halloween Costumes for Kids</a>)</p> <h3>Candy negotiations</h3> <p>Not every candy in your child's trick-or-treat bag can be a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup or a Snickers. There's bound to be some candy corn, Good &amp; Plenty, or even just Dum Dums that your kids aren't particularly interested in. You can help them to learn the value of negotiation by fostering candy exchanges.</p> <p>After they've finished with trick-or-treating, encourage your kids to trade with each other. These candy swaps can help your kids figure out just how much they value coveted candy. Is another Mars Bar worth three Twizzlers? Just how many Tootsie Rolls are equivalent to a Blow Pop? This kind of negotiation can help your kids learn how to compromise and determine what they value.</p> <h2>Thanksgiving</h2> <p>Thanksgiving is a time for family, but it can also provide your kids with an excellent opportunity to learn about the importance of tracking your expenses.</p> <h3>Track spending</h3> <p>The average household spent $342 over Thanksgiving weekend in 2016, according to Statistic Brain. You can involve your kids in your Thanksgiving expenditures by asking them to keep a running tally of your spending for the holiday.</p> <p>Save your receipts from any Thanksgiving-related expenditures &mdash; everything from your purchase of pumpkin pie fixings, to the gas station fill-up on the way to Grandma's house, to the 75 percent off fitness tracker you bought for Aunt Sue on Black Friday. Hand over the receipts to your child so they can keep careful track of just how much Thanksgiving will cost you this year.</p> <p>Not only will this exercise in tracking your household spending help your kids to practice their math skills, but it will also help them see just how quickly expenses can add up.</p> <h2>Christmas and Hanukkah</h2> <p>Kids get understandably excited about the gift aspect of Christmas and Hanukkah, but these holidays are also a perfect opportunity to teach them how to manage their money.</p> <h3>Gift budgeting</h3> <p>It's so easy to go overboard when buying gifts for loved ones, and it's important for children to learn that you can give presents without breaking the bank. Even very young children can help you to create a list of everyone you want to give a present to. From there, decide on the amount of money you can afford to spend per person. Older children who will be buying their own presents for family can make this decision themselves, with your help. Younger kids can help by writing down the dollar amount you can spend.</p> <p>You can then start brainstorming gift possibilities. Have your kids comparison shop for prices or figure out alternatives if certain gifts aren't in the budget. This exercise can help your kids understand that generosity and spending too much aren't synonymous.</p> <h3>Wants and needs</h3> <p>Holidays can often be a time of excess, which means it can be tough for kids to recognize the difference between their wants and their needs. One way parents can help their kids learn those differences is to institute the Four Gift Rule. With this rule, each child receives:</p> <ol style="margin-left: 40px;"> <li> <p>Something they want.</p> </li> <li> <p>Something they need.</p> </li> <li> <p>Something to wear.</p> </li> <li> <p>Something to read.</p> </li> </ol> <p>Limiting your children's wish lists to four distinct categories helps your kids focus on the things that they truly need and the wants that they value most. You can make it clear to your kids that they can put more than one item in each category, but that they will only receive one present from each category.</p> <p>Not only will this system help save you money and time, but it will help your kids keep their gift expectations reasonable.</p> <h2>Holidays, with a side of money management</h2> <p>Enjoying the holiday season with your children is a perfect time to teach them some of the finer points of budgeting, negotiation, money management, and managing expectations.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-use-the-holidays-to-teach-kids-about-money&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Use%2520the%2520Holidays%2520to%2520Teach%2520Kids%2520About%2520Money.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Use%20the%20Holidays%20to%20Teach%20Kids%20About%20Money"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Use%20the%20Holidays%20to%20Teach%20Kids%20About%20Money.jpg" alt="How to Use the Holidays to Teach Kids About Money" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-the-holidays-to-teach-kids-about-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/teach-your-kids-about-money-with-their-holiday-gift-lists">Teach Your Kids About Money With Their Holiday Gift Lists</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-family-money-matters-your-kids-dont-need-to-know">9 Family Money Matters Your Kids Don&#039;t Need to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-old-holiday-traditions-we-cant-believe-ever-existed">8 Old Holiday Traditions We Can&#039;t Believe Ever Existed</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-ways-to-tidy-up-your-finances-before-the-holidays">10 Ways to Tidy Up Your Finances Before the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-questions-to-answer-before-giving-your-kid-a-credit-card">4 Questions to Answer Before Giving Your Kid a Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family budgeting children Christmas gift giving Halloween hanukkah Holidays kids money lessons negotiating Thanksgiving tracking Mon, 09 Oct 2017 08:30:08 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2031775 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Talk to Friends and Family About Money (Without Making Everyone Mad) http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-talk-to-friends-and-family-about-money-without-making-everyone-mad <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-talk-to-friends-and-family-about-money-without-making-everyone-mad" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_women_drinking_coffee_and_talking_at_cafe.jpg" alt="Young women drinking coffee and talking at cafe" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Talking about money can get awkward in a hurry. Don't believe me? Ask your friends how much debt they have at the next social gathering and observe as the silence fills the room. However, sometimes those financial discussions need to happen. Here's how you can handle them with minimal discomfort.</p> <h2>1. Find neutral ground</h2> <p>If you need to talk about a mutually owned asset, or who's going to take over the finances for an aging or incapacitated parent, get to neutral ground. Schedule lunch at a favorite restaurant or find a quiet corner of a local cafe.</p> <p>A public space helps everyone stay calm: Who wants to make a scene? And the neutrality of the space can help defuse any sense of intimidation or ownership of the discussion, leaving it open for all parties to state their needs and concerns.</p> <h2>2. Give a three-point introduction</h2> <p>Growing up in the South, I heard a three-point introduction every single Sunday. It was a Baptist preacher staple in which they'd tell you, in summary form, what they were about to tell you. Three points made just about the right length for a sermon.</p> <p>Use this approach by clearly outlining what you want to discuss, and take all the other stuff off the table. It will help set the other people at ease: Now they know what the conversation is and isn't about. Everyone involved will feel as if they're more in control, which in turn makes them feel more comfortable.</p> <h2>3. Repeat it back</h2> <p>The most important part of a potentially tense financial discussion is understanding. You want to be sure that the other folks involved understand what you're saying. In turn, they want to be sure that you understand their needs and concerns. As you listen, give their words all your attention. Then, repeat back what you've heard: &quot;OK, what you said is that you think it's best to sell the family property as soon as possible because &hellip; &quot;</p> <p>This approach helps to avoid misunderstanding. As you repeat back what you've heard, they get a chance to listen to their own words and revise them if needed. And, by repeating back what you've heard with the intent to understand, you put yourself in the position of advocate, or ally, rather than enemy. You may not agree with the point they've made, but by striving to understand before you argue or correct, you lay the groundwork for a calmer and more productive discussion.</p> <h2>4. Use facts, not feelings</h2> <p>Feelings matter, of course. But when you're discussing finances, don't argue on the basis of feelings, intuitions, or preferences. Instead, if you disagree with a point or opinion, strive to explain why you disagree with facts. This helps to keep the discussion from becoming personal or offensive.</p> <p>For example, if you don't want to split the check evenly because you only got an appetizer and everybody else got an entree and a drink, don't say, &quot;I'm not doing that, guys! It's not fair and I don't want to pay for half of Melinda's cocktail again!&quot; Instead, say, &quot;Actually, my appetizer was only $8, which is less than 1/5 of the total bill.&quot; That's a calmly stated fact, rather than vented frustration and a thinly-veiled insult of Melinda.</p> <h2>5. Suggest a specific action</h2> <p>Specific actions are the way to move things forward and solve problems. In fact, many times people end up in arguments not because they disagree on the major point (&quot;We need to pay the bill&quot;), but because they're not sure exactly how to make it happen. We stumble over anthills more than we do over mountains. In the scenario above, you could follow up your calmly stated fact by suggesting a specific action: &quot;I'll put in $10 to cover my part, and you guys could split the rest evenly.&quot;</p> <p>By suggesting a specific action, you've solved the problem of too many options, which can be very unsettling for us humans. When we feel unsure and unsettled, it's often easier to fight than to move forward, which is why financial discussions can degenerate into insults so easily. Suggesting an action helps move people forward and give everyone a clear next step, which can prevent that discomfort and conflict.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-talk-to-friends-and-family-about-money-without-making-everyone-mad&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Talk%2520to%2520Friends%2520and%2520Family%2520About%2520Money%2520%2528Without%2520Making%2520Everyone%2520Mad%2529.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Talk%20to%20Friends%20and%20Family%20About%20Money%20(Without%20Making%20Everyone%20Mad)"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Talk%20to%20Friends%20and%20Family%20About%20Money%20%28Without%20Making%20Everyone%20Mad%29.jpg" alt="How to Talk to Friends and Family About Money (Without Making Everyone Mad)" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-talk-to-friends-and-family-about-money-without-making-everyone-mad">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/create-a-reverse-bucket-list-to-improve-your-money-management">Create a Reverse Bucket List to Improve Your Money Management</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-signs-you-are-teaching-your-kids-bad-financial-habits">4 Signs You Are Teaching Your Kids Bad Financial Habits</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/ow-do-you-deal-with-family-members-who-are-bad-at-managing-money">How Do You Deal With Family Members Who Are Bad At Managing Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-to-better-money-management-may-be-in-your-past">The Secret to Better Money Management May Be in Your Past</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/teach-your-kids-about-money-with-their-holiday-gift-lists">Teach Your Kids About Money With Their Holiday Gift Lists</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family advice discussions family meetings money meetings psychology shared assets talking about money Mon, 09 Oct 2017 08:00:07 +0000 Annie Mueller 2031349 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Fun Podcasts for Kids (That Parents Love, Too) http://www.wisebread.com/7-fun-podcasts-for-kids-that-parents-love-too <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-fun-podcasts-for-kids-that-parents-love-too" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/listening_to_some_tunes_with_mom.jpg" alt="Listening to some tunes with mom" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The variety of podcasts seems unlimited these days, and they're not just for adults. They can hold tremendous benefits for your kids by promoting listening skills, giving them a break from illuminated screens, enhancing knowledge, and entertaining them on trips. Here are seven great options for your kids that you'll enjoy with them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-new-podcasts-thatll-improve-your-money-mindset?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 New Podcasts That'll Improve Your Money Mindset</a>)</p> <h2>1. But Why? A Podcast for Curious Kids</h2> <p>Every kid's favorite question is &quot;Why?&quot; and we love them for it. They want to understand every part of the world around them. And you can leverage that natural curiosity with the <a href="http://www.npr.org/podcasts/474377890/but-why-a-podcast-for-curious-kids" target="_blank">But Why?</a> podcast's wide variety of content. Recent episodes include &quot;Where Do Hurricanes Come From?&quot;, &quot;How is Glass Made?&quot;, and &quot;How Do Bees Make Honey and Why Do They Sting?&quot;</p> <h2>2. Wow in the World</h2> <p>Another podcast for curiosity seekers, <a href="http://www.npr.org/podcasts/510321/wow-in-the-world" target="_blank">Wow in the World</a> shares the coolest stories in science and technology explored and told by Guy Raz and Mindy Thomas. They just completed the first season, so you have plenty of content to keep you and your kids occupied until they return for season two.</p> <h2>3. Eleanor Amplified</h2> <p>New to the podcast scene, <a href="http://www.npr.org/podcasts/483123262/the-radio-adventures-of-eleanor-amplified" target="_blank">Eleanor Amplified</a> combines adventure, storytelling, and timely news stories. Eleanor, a clever reporter, takes you along her journey through Hollywood, into haunted mansions, and even down the halls of Congress.</p> <h2>4. Brains On!</h2> <p>If you were a fan of Mr. Wizard growing up, then the <a href="https://www.brainson.org/" target="_blank">Brains On!</a> podcast is perfect for you and your kids. Recent episodes explore why sea turtles live so long and where thunder comes from. Best of all, each episode is hosted by a kid scientist, which may just inspire your little one long after each episode is over.</p> <h2>5. Storynory</h2> <p>Your bedtime story companion, <a href="http://www.storynory.com/" target="_blank">Storynory</a> tells tales new and old that are just right for your kids. From <em>Alice in Wonderland</em> to Aesop's fables and some original stories, too, this podcast will make bedtime something your kids look forward to. It also has children's author interviews as well as music, poetry, and stories from history.</p> <h2>6. Stories Podcast</h2> <p>Like Storynory, the <a href="http://wondery.com/wondery/shows/storiespodcast/" target="_blank">Stories Podcast</a> on Wondery features a new story every week. It's suitable for all ages and specifically focused on stories that are best enjoyed on car trips and during bedtime.</p> <h2>7. Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child</h2> <p>For music lovers and their music-loving kids, <a href="http://sparetherock.com/wordpress/" target="_blank">Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child</a> selects a weekly indie playlist that you and your kids will love. From Quincy Jones to They Might Be Giants to Ella Fitzgerald, this podcast will be music to everyone's ears.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-fun-podcasts-for-kids-that-parents-love-too&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Fun%2520Podcasts%2520for%2520Kids%2520%2528That%2520Parents%2520Love%252C%2520Too%2529.jpg&amp;description=7%20Fun%20Podcasts%20for%20Kids%20(That%20Parents%20Love%2C%20Too)"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Fun%20Podcasts%20for%20Kids%20%28That%20Parents%20Love%2C%20Too%29.jpg" alt="7 Fun Podcasts for Kids (That Parents Love, Too)" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-fun-podcasts-for-kids-that-parents-love-too">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/12-podcasts-bookworms-will-love">12 Podcasts Bookworms Will Love</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-amazing-board-games-you-can-diy">8 Amazing Board Games You Can DIY</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-new-podcasts-thatll-improve-your-money-mindset">10 New Podcasts That&#039;ll Improve Your Money Mindset</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-podcasts-for-foodies">7 Podcasts for Foodies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-creative-no-mess-activities-for-kids-stuck-at-home">17 Creative, No-Mess Activities for Kids Stuck at Home</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Family educational entertainment free entertainment fun activities for kids headphones new podcasts podcasts podcasts for kids Wed, 27 Sep 2017 09:00:06 +0000 Christa Avampato 2026294 at http://www.wisebread.com How Your Bad Credit Can Impact Your Kids http://www.wisebread.com/how-your-bad-credit-can-impact-your-kids <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-your-bad-credit-can-impact-your-kids" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/working_at_home.jpg" alt="Working at home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>This is not about laying the guilt on you as a parent (there's already plenty of that to go around). However, you need to know that bad credit not only impacts your financial situation, but can also have long-term effects on your kids. Here's what you need to know.</p> <h2>It could keep them from getting a student loan</h2> <p>Co-signing a student loan should not be the default decision in helping your child afford college. Co-signing can cause serious financial problems for you down the line if your child cannot afford to make the loan payments. However, if you do decide you want to help your child apply for a student loan by co-signing, a poor credit score could prevent you from doing so. Your negative credit history will come up in the loan application and can cause it to be denied.</p> <p>Being unable to get a student loan means that your child may have to choose from limited educational options. Is that the end of the world? No, of course not. But certain career tracks depend on specific educational programs, and limited college options can make that difficult.</p> <p>Federal student loans, however, are still an option for your child even if you have poor credit. The Perkins loan and the Stafford loan, for example, have fixed interest rates and don't depend on credit history to determine eligibility.</p> <h2>It could make it more difficult for them to establish a credit history</h2> <p>College is often the time when young adults start establishing their own, independent credit history. That seems like no problem, until you realize that &quot;independent credit history&quot; isn't so independent at first.</p> <p>In fact, many credit card companies require a co-signer on a card if the primary applicant is under 21 years of age. That means that if you want to co-sign on a card to help your child start building credit, your own bad credit can cause your child's application to be denied. Keeping your kid out of credit card debt is great, but well-managed use of a credit card is often a great way to start establishing credit history. It's tough to get credit for a bigger purchase when there's no credit history to check.</p> <p>A <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-secured-cards-with-no-annual-fee?ref=internal" target="_blank">secured credit card</a> may be a good alternative, but keep a careful eye on hidden fees and increasing interest rates. The key to using a secured credit card successfully is to pay it off in full each month; otherwise, the high interest rates will cost you and your child much more than it's worth to build that credit history.</p> <h2>It could teach them poor financial habits</h2> <p>If your bad credit is a result of poor financial habits, you may have passed those &mdash; and a bad attitude toward money in general &mdash; on to your kids. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-bad-money-habits-youre-teaching-your-kids?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Bad Money Habits You're Teaching Your Kids</a>)</p> <p>If they haven't learned from you how to budget, how to save, and how to plan for the future, they probably don't know how to do it. And if you're not showing them how to handle financial stress in a healthy way, or communicate with each other about financial issues, chances are they won't learn how.</p> <p>The great news is that you can all learn together, starting now. A poor financial past does not have to mean a poor financial future. You can change your habits and your attitudes, and there's help available to do so. Start with financial counseling to figure out how you (and your kids) can build better financial habits for today and for the future.</p> <h2>It could prevent them from accessing opportunities</h2> <p>There are often special extracurricular activities, such as field trips, tutoring, music lessons, and more, which come with a hefty price tag. Many parents can't afford these expenses outright, but can use a credit card or other loan option to pay for the expense and then pay that debt off within a few months.</p> <p>Poor credit can keep you from being able to access this payment option for these extra expenses, which means your child may have to pass on them. If your child is focused on a future that involves art, music, or sports, those missed opportunities may really matter.</p> <p>However, it's worth noting that, in general, there are inexpensive options to build a stellar academic resume. Look into free extracurricular activities such as volunteering in local communities, trading lessons for service or help, or applying for scholarships for workshops and camps. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-school-expenses-without-ruining-your-kids-childhood?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Save on School Expenses Without Ruining Your Kid's Childhood</a>)</p> <h2>It can negatively impact their home life</h2> <p>Poor credit can have a major impact on your ability to access housing, transportation, and work. It isn't fair to be judged solely by your credit score; unfortunately, it happens.</p> <p>Poor credit might prevent you from getting a lease, which can make your living conditions unstable and bring a lot of stress into your life. You might encounter the same issues being unable to get a car loan, which means you have to rely on public transportation, rides from friends, or an old, unreliable car for getting around.</p> <p>Of course, living and transportation issues can make getting to work difficult. If your job is unstable, your income is unstable. This instability leads to more financial issues and stress, all of which can directly impact your child's life at home. It's a vicious cycle.</p> <h2>What can you do?</h2> <p>Despite the negative consequences of bad credit, there are steps you can take right now to start improving things. It's not just for you; it's also for your kids. Here's a short list to get you started.</p> <h3>Get financial counseling</h3> <p>There are resources available, such as confidential, low-fee credit counseling from nonprofit organizations. A good place to find help is through the <a href="https://www.nfcc.org/" target="_blank">National Foundation for Credit Counseling</a> and the <a href="http://fcaa.org/" target="_blank">Financial Counseling Association of America</a>. You can also ask at your local credit union and religious or nonprofit organizations. Many of these places offer free or low-cost access to financial advisers, credit counseling, and debt management. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-organizations-that-really-can-help-you-with-your-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Organizations That REALLY Can Help You With Your Debt</a>)</p> <h3>Start taking steps now to deal with your bad credit</h3> <p>Don't put this off another moment longer. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-counseling-when-you-need-it-and-when-you-dont" target="_blank">Credit counseling</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tricks-to-consolidating-your-debt-and-saving-money" target="_blank">debt consolidation</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unnecessary-household-expenses-you-can-cut-today" target="_blank">lowering expenses</a>, and even <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-steps-to-take-when-bankruptcy-is-your-only-option" target="_blank">declaring bankruptcy</a> may be good options.</p> <p>Dealing with poor credit is not easy. However, you're not alone. Many people have <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-bad-credit-isnt-the-end-of-the-world" target="_blank">dealt with bad credit</a> and come through it stronger than ever, and you can, too. No matter how tough your financial past has been, you can build positivity for your kids by communicating, being proactive, and looking for ways forward, together.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-your-bad-credit-can-impact-your-kids&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520Your%2520Bad%2520Credit%2520Can%2520Impact%2520Your%2520Kids.jpg&amp;description=How%20Your%20Bad%20Credit%20Can%20Impact%20Your%20Kids"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20Your%20Bad%20Credit%20Can%20Impact%20Your%20Kids.jpg" alt="How Your Bad Credit Can Impact Your Kids" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-your-bad-credit-can-impact-your-kids">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-questions-to-answer-before-giving-your-kid-a-credit-card">4 Questions to Answer Before Giving Your Kid a Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/teach-your-kids-about-money-with-their-holiday-gift-lists">Teach Your Kids About Money With Their Holiday Gift Lists</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-family-money-matters-your-kids-dont-need-to-know">9 Family Money Matters Your Kids Don&#039;t Need to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-the-holidays-to-teach-kids-about-money">How to Use the Holidays to Teach Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-ruining-your-retirement-by-spoiling-your-kids">Are You Ruining Your Retirement by Spoiling Your Kids?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family bad credit children co-signing credit history financial habits impact kids negative stress student loans Thu, 21 Sep 2017 08:00:06 +0000 Annie Mueller 2022638 at http://www.wisebread.com Don't Make These 5 Common Mistakes When Writing a Will http://www.wisebread.com/dont-make-these-5-common-mistakes-when-writing-a-will <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dont-make-these-5-common-mistakes-when-writing-a-will" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/blue_ballpoint_pen_and_a_last_will_and_testament.jpg" alt="Blue ballpoint pen and a last will and testament" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's a task no one likes to think about: With everything going on in our lives, do we really want to add our own mortality to the list of our concerns? As unpleasant as it may be to consider, having a will is a critical way to take care of your family should you pass away. It will also ensure that your wishes are carried out in a way that aligns with your values. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-writing-a-will?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What You Need to Know About Writing a Will</a>)</p> <p>For most of us, it's a fairly straightforward process. We have the options of free online kits, using a service like <a href="https://www.legalzoom.com/sem/ep/last-will-and-testament.html?kid=a32c64dc-b16f-422e-bdfd-cc47896bf276&amp;utm_source=google&amp;utm_medium=cpc&amp;utm_term=+wills_on_line&amp;utm_content=204280076284&amp;utm_campaign=EP_%7C_LWT&amp;gclid=CjwKCAjw5PDLBRB0EiwAh-27Mu9zeexWTPYuaCbSnpbP3828RuJ0dJ0x4mT0AbnOJHtPkqJltQzFlxoCaGMQAvD_BwE" target="_blank">LegalZoom</a>, or consulting with an attorney. No matter which option you choose, here are some common mistakes to avoid when creating a will.</p> <h2>1. Not giving anyone responsibility</h2> <p>When a will is executed, there must be a person assigned to settle the will when the time comes. This person is known as an executor, and that person makes sure that your wishes are carried out exactly as you intended. It's very important for you to select a responsible person you trust, and get that person's permission to name them as the executor. This is not something you want to be a surprise.</p> <p>Also, you may want to strongly consider naming a second executor in the event that something happens to the first person you name, or if he or she is unable to serve as executor for any reason. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fair-way-to-split-up-your-familys-estate?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Fair Way to Split Up Your Family's Estate</a>)</p> <h2>2. Not taking care of the kids</h2> <p>If you have children, it's critical that you select who will become their guardian(s) and communicate that to the named guardians as well as to other family members. I have seen this become a bone of contention before and after someone's passing, and it's a heartbreaking ordeal for everyone involved. Unfortunately, the people who suffer most in the battle are the children. It can be a difficult thing to communicate these wishes to your family, but it is far easier to deal with that difficulty now than to have a potential custody battle unfold after you're gone.</p> <p>You must also consider how to give your assets to your children if they are still minors. This is a very complicated financial and legal issue, though there are a number of different options that you can put in place to properly take care of it. Creating trusts or accounts under what's known as the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) are avenues worth exploring.</p> <h2>3. Not knowing your state laws</h2> <p>Wills are state-specific and different states have different laws for them. The state that executes your will should be the state where you claim legal residence even if you have homes or spend significant amounts of time in different states. FindLaw provides a clear overview of <a href="http://statelaws.findlaw.com/estate-planning-laws/wills.html" target="_blank">laws that govern wills</a> in the different states.</p> <h2>4. Not signing the will or having a witness</h2> <p>You've done all of the work to create a will. Make sure to sign it and have a witness sign it in accordance with your state's specific laws. If a will is left unsigned by you or a witness, there is a high risk that it won't be honored. Also bear in mind that you must be of sound mind and body, and you must create this will without being threatened or pressured by someone else to do so. If either of these points could be disputed, a legal battle could ensue before the will is executed.</p> <h2>5. Not making it accessible</h2> <p>Make sure your completed and signed will is easily accessible when the time comes, particularly by your executor. There are a few options for this. You can keep it in a secure location such as a safe in your home or a safe-deposit box. You may also choose to provide a copy of your will to your attorney, accountant, or financial adviser if you feel comfortable doing so. Though you are not required to file your will with the court or place it into public record, some courts may provide the option to store it for you. This last possibility is a good option if the court in your local jurisdiction allows it.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fdont-make-these-5-common-mistakes-when-writing-a-will&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FDon%2527t%2520Make%2520These%25205%2520Common%2520Mistakes%2520When%2520Writing%2520a%2520Will.jpg&amp;description=Don't%20Make%20These%205%20Common%20Mistakes%20When%20Writing%20a%20Will"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <h2 style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Don%27t%20Make%20These%205%20Common%20Mistakes%20When%20Writing%20a%20Will.jpg" alt="Don't Make These 5 Common Mistakes When Writing a Will" width="250" height="374" /></h2> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-make-these-5-common-mistakes-when-writing-a-will">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/the-fair-way-to-split-up-your-familys-estate">The Fair Way to Split Up Your Family&#039;s Estate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-end-of-life-cost-savings-your-survivors-will-thank-you-for">9 End-of-Life Cost Savings Your Survivors Will Thank You For</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-writing-a-will">What You Need to Know About Writing a Will</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-you-need-to-include-pets-in-your-will">6 Reasons You Need to Include Pets in Your Will</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-money-moves-to-make-before-you-remarry">8 Money Moves to Make Before You Remarry</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family assets beneficiaries estate planning executor last will and testament minors state laws will Tue, 19 Sep 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Christa Avampato 2021475 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Things You Need to Know About Pet Insurance http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-pet-insurance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-pet-insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/This_is_not_a_chew_toy.jpg" alt="This isn&#039;t a chew toy" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you need pet insurance? That depends. It can mean life or death for your pet if they experience a major medical issue &mdash; especially an expensive one that requires hospitalization or emergency surgery &mdash; but it can seem like an unnecessary monthly expense if you're paying into the plan and not using it. To make a decision whether pet insurance is right for you, here are a few things you should know. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-pet-health-insurance-worth-it?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Is Pet Health Insurance Worth It?</a>)</p> <h2>1. There are three types of pet health coverage</h2> <p>Most pet insurance companies break down coverage into three categories. The lowest tier is an accident-only plan, which only covers accidents and emergencies, like if your dog gets hurt by another dog at the park. This coverage does not include any hereditary issues or serious health conditions. Conversely, there's a wellness plan, which doesn't include anything that the accident-only plan includes, but rather focuses on wellness and routine care, like annual exams, dental cleanings, and routine medications, like heartworm and flea-and-tick prevention.</p> <p>Two plans that don't overlap anywhere kind of force pet parents into the all-encompassing third option, and that's where the more expensive, major medical plans come in.</p> <p>More than 90 percent of all pet insurance plans purchased are in this category, according to PetInsuranceQuotes.com, which helps users compare coverage and prices among leading providers. It's likely major medical plans are so popular because they cover everything <em>except</em> wellness and routine care. Accidents, illnesses, cancer, orthopedic issues, hereditary conditions, and prescription meds are under the veil of these plans, the price of which is mostly determined by the breed of pet you have.</p> <h2>2. Pet insurance can help you avoid major debt</h2> <p>For many pet parents, putting an animal down when an expensive health issue strikes just isn't an option. They'll use any means possible to come up with the money to keep their pet alive. Using money from your emergency fund if it's readily available is one thing, but putting the bill on a credit card when money is already tight just isn't smart.</p> <p>Pet insurance, however, can eliminate that issue altogether. You'll pay a small amount each month so you don't have to experience even greater stress about your finances when your pet is in the hospital. The premium is probably worth the peace of mind. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-pet-costs-you-dont-see-coming?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Pet Costs You Don't See Coming</a>)</p> <h2>3. Having coverage could mean saving your pet's life</h2> <p>When I first moved to Manhattan, barely able to pay my bills, my husband wanted a dog. I was dead-set against it, but his continued pleas caused me to cave, and before I knew it, we had a rambunctious puppy.</p> <p>Fast forward to a year-and-a-half later, still struggling to make ends meet, and our dog Jaxon is rushed to the hospital with a respiratory infection that cost about $8,000. There was a brief period of time when we weren't sure if our pet insurance would cover the cost of treatment &mdash; or how much we would have to spend out-of-pocket &mdash; and we had to make a tough decision. It was a quick decision. We could afford up to $3,000 in out-of-pocket expenses and nothing more; otherwise we would have to say our goodbyes. Thankfully we didn't have to, because the little bugger is still my best bud. Pet insurance saved Jaxon's life that day, and it could very well save your pet's life, too. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-pet-expenses-you-should-never-skip?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Pet Expenses You Should Never Skip</a>)</p> <h2>4. Age plays an important part in the coverage you'll get</h2> <p>It's important to enroll your pet while they're young and healthy enough to get the best coverage at the lowest price. No pet insurance provider will cover pre-existing conditions, which makes getting coverage as the pet ages tougher and more expensive, if possible at all.</p> <p>&quot;If your pet is a senior and/or has pre-existing conditions, you may want to consider the accident-only plan,&quot; says Chris Middleton, president of Pets Best, a leading pet insurance provider. &quot;Or get the accident-only plan and add routine care to it.&quot;</p> <p>I decided to end major medical coverage on Jaxon because he doesn't go anywhere that he'll get hurt and he hasn't had any major medical issues for years; that level of insurance was becoming an expense that wasn't worth it. He's also getting up there in age, and at some point I have to let nature take its course. For now, he's happy, healthy, and we're enjoying life together.</p> <h2>5. Your pet's breed will influence coverage and cost</h2> <p>Some pet breeds are more prone to hereditary conditions and medical issues than others, which will affect the price you'll pay for pet insurance right off the bat. For example, you can expect to pay an average of $45 a month for a Labrador retriever versus $53 a month for an English bulldog, according to PetInsuranceQuotes.com. Both of these breeds come with their own set of hereditary issues that can be expensive to treat, which affect prices. If you know you want pet insurance but haven't found the perfect pet yet, it's worth researching insurance premiums based on breed; it may inform your decision on what breeds to focus on and which to avoid. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-lower-your-vet-bills?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways to Lower Your Vet Bills</a>)</p> <h2>6. Find the coverage that works best for your pet and your wallet</h2> <p>To get the most for your pet insurance price, look for a provider that covers the largest portion of your veterinary bill, coverage for congenital and hereditary conditions, and has no limits to the amount they will pay out.</p> <p>&quot;Choose a deductible that fits your budget and how they are applied,&quot; adds pet insurance provider Trupanion. &quot;Deductibles can help you control your premiums while making sure you see coverage before you hit your budget limit.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Pet insurance usually works on a reimbursement model</h2> <p>Pet insurance is a reimbursement model, meaning the pet owner pays their bill at the veterinarian (and often you must pay it in full before your pet is allowed to leave the facility), then submit the proof of payment to the provider for reimbursement. You should research the company's options for submitting claims before choosing a provider, advises Middleton.</p> <p>&quot;Since pet insurance is a reimbursement model, getting your money back quickly is one of the most important features,&quot; Middleton says. &quot;It's also important to look at how they will reimburse you. Some companies will only cut a check to pay your claim; so you have to factor in the time to cut the check, get it mailed to you, then deposit it.&quot;</p> <p>Direct-deposit reimbursement also is available at some providers.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-things-you-need-to-know-about-pet-insurance&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Things%2520You%2520Need%2520to%2520Know%2520About%2520Pet%2520Insurance.jpg&amp;description=7%20Things%20You%20Need%20to%20Know%20About%20Pet%20Insurance"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Things%20You%20Need%20to%20Know%20About%20Pet%20Insurance.jpg" alt="7 Things You Need to Know About Pet Insurance" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-pet-insurance">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/6-pet-expenses-you-should-never-skip">6 Pet Expenses You Should Never Skip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-lower-your-vet-bills">8 Ways to Lower Your Vet Bills</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-personal-finance-tips-for-animal-lovers">7 Personal Finance Tips for Animal Lovers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pet-flea-shampoos">The 5 Best Pet Flea Shampoos</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-unexpected-dog-costs-you-should-prepare-for-now">5 Unexpected Dog Costs You Should Prepare for Now</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Health and Beauty cats dogs health care pet care pet insurance pet owner pets vet bills veterinary bills Fri, 15 Sep 2017 08:30:11 +0000 Mikey Rox 2020340 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Save for Retirement While Caring for Kids and Parents http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-for-retirement-while-caring-for-kids-and-parents <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-save-for-retirement-while-caring-for-kids-and-parents" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/three_generations_women_laughing_in_the_kitchen.jpg" alt="Three generations women laughing in the kitchen" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a member of the sandwich generation, you're not only raising your children, you're also caring for your aging parents. The financial burden, not to mention the daily responsibilities, can leave you struggling to invest in your own financial future. Here are some ways you can still save for your retirement while caring for those who depend on you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-strategies-for-the-sandwich-generation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Money Strategies for the Sandwich Generation</a>)</p> <h2>1. Make your financial future a priority</h2> <p>Your financial future matters as much as the current responsibilities you have. Consider the stress you experience as you try to navigate life while being a parent and caring for your own aging parents. Do you want to repeat the cycle of stress by failing to plan for your retirement? No, of course you don't. However, by letting guilt and the needs of the moment dictate your financial choices, you may end up in that place. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-financial-steps-to-take-when-your-aging-parents-move-in?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Financial Steps to Take When Your Aging Parents Move In</a>)</p> <p>When you're juggling medical bills and child care costs, retirement may seem far away and unimportant. It isn't. You deserve to have your financial needs met in the future as much as your children and parents deserve to have good care now.</p> <h2>2. Take advantage of employer programs</h2> <p>If your employer offers any sort of matching contribution to your 401(k), take full advantage of that opportunity.</p> <p>As you're able, increase the amount of money you're putting into your 401(k) from each paycheck. Having it automatically deducted &mdash; which is how most employers handle contributions &mdash; will keep you from depending on these savings for your daily expenses. Your goal is to bring your savings amount to the point of maximum matching contributions from your employer. It's an easy win, as those matching contributions double your savings.</p> <h2>3. Take advantage of tax-free savings</h2> <p>If you don't have a 401(k), now is the time to set up a traditional IRA. It's another way to maximize your retirement savings, as a traditional IRA will generally allow you to defer taxes on the money you save until much later &mdash; when you start withdrawing it. Deferring taxes enables you to save more now, while you're living in the sandwich generation budget crunch.</p> <h2>4. Find and apply for available tax benefits</h2> <p>Some additional tax breaks exist for adult children who are providing full-time care for their aging parents. Talk to your CPA about the requirements for claiming your elderly parents as a dependent.</p> <p>Additionally, examine your options for claiming tax deductions for medical care and other dependent expenses such as transportation, food, and supplies. Not all costs will qualify for tax deductions, but those that do can save you a good chunk of money that can go straight into your retirement savings.</p> <h2>5. Liquidate the assets your parents no longer need</h2> <p>It can be difficult to work through big financial decisions with your aging parents, but doing so can help you both navigate the somewhat rough financial waters of elder care. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-youll-encounter-when-taking-over-a-loved-ones-finances?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Things You'll Encounter When Taking Over a Loved One's Finances</a>)</p> <p>Identify the assets that are used very little but require ongoing maintenance, such as a house that's not lived in, or a boat or car that sits unused. These unused assets are financial drains. Work together to come up with a plan for liquidating them. Then put the money gained from their sale into an account that pays for your parents' monthly expenses. This relieves the financial burden you're carrying so that less of your income is required for your parents, and more of your income can go to your retirement savings.</p> <h2>6. Reduce a big, ongoing expense</h2> <p>The goal here isn't to come up with a one-time win, but to find a monthly cost that eats up your income and find a way to reduce it. Then you'll take that difference and add it to your monthly savings.</p> <p>Make a list of your monthly expenses, rank them from most to least expensive, and start going down the list with your goal in mind. You can shop for better insurance rates and a cheaper cellphone plan. You can sell the expensive car you're still making payments on, buy a cheaper one outright, and put the amount you used to spend on a car payment directly into your savings. The key is to make sure that the amount you save goes into savings; don't let it get absorbed into your budget and spent on other things.</p> <h2>7. Take a money challenge</h2> <p>A <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-money-challenges-you-can-totally-do?ref=internal" target="_blank">money challenge</a> is a fun but temporary way to reduce your costs and increase your savings by cutting an expense for a short amount of time. It's doable because it's temporary, which also makes it fun. You might not want to haggle over expenses or shop from thrift stores all the time; however, you can do it for a month or so and use what you save to add to your retirement.</p> <h2>8. Invest in a hobby that makes money</h2> <p>Taking on yet another responsibility may seem impossible. However, prioritizing your own interests &mdash; in this case, one that can make you some money &mdash; is a good idea. You need time to dedicate to your own interests in this time of intense caregiving. If you put time into developing a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-money-making-hobbies?ref=internal" target="_blank">hobby that has income potential</a>, you'll be able to add to your retirement fund.</p> <p>If finding the time is an issue (and of course it is!), don't be shy about asking family members and friends to pitch in on child care and parent care. You may handle most of the responsibility for your aging parents, but you don't have to do everything yourself. Set up a schedule so that adult siblings, cousins, and community members take on caregiving for a day or afternoon out of the week. Use that time to work on your side hustle, and funnel the money you make from it straight into your retirement savings.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-save-for-retirement-while-caring-for-kids-and-parents&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Save%2520for%2520Retirement%2520While%2520Caring%2520for%2520Kids%2520and%2520Parents.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Save%20for%20Retirement%20While%20Caring%20for%20Kids%20and%20Parents"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Save%20for%20Retirement%20While%20Caring%20for%20Kids%20and%20Parents.jpg" alt="How to Save for Retirement While Caring for Kids and Parents" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-for-retirement-while-caring-for-kids-and-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-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/how-to-help-your-parents-retire">How to Help Your Parents Retire</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-common-retirement-regrets-you-can-avoid">3 Common Retirement Regrets You Can Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-age-milestones-that-impact-your-retirement">6 Age Milestones That Impact Your Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-you-can-cut-costs-right-before-you-retire-0">6 Ways You Can Cut Costs Right Before You Retire</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-money-strategies-for-the-sandwich-generation">5 Money Strategies for the Sandwich Generation</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Retirement aging parents caregiving cutting costs extra income IRA raising kids sandwich generation saving money taxes Thu, 14 Sep 2017 08:31:09 +0000 Annie Mueller 2019188 at http://www.wisebread.com