Family http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4566/all en-US 10 Time-Management Skills That Will Help Your Kid Win at School http://www.wisebread.com/10-time-management-skills-that-will-help-your-kid-win-at-school <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-time-management-skills-that-will-help-your-kid-win-at-school" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/little_girl_ideas_000040220958_0.jpg" alt="Girl with time-management skills winning at school" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Want your kids to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-back-to-school-shopping-tips-for-the-busy-parent">succeed at school</a> without spending every waking hour with their noses buried in books? Teach them how to manage their time most efficiently with these 11 tips on perfecting that September-to-May juggling act.</p> <h2>1. &quot;Mind Map&quot; Before a Writing Project</h2> <p>You may not have heard of &quot;mind mapping,&quot; but the concept isn't new at all. It's really just a fancy 21st &nbsp;century name for brainstorming, which we were taught as kids. Before your kid embarks on a project &mdash; particularly a written assignment &mdash; have them brainstorm their ideas, outline the steps of the project, and start organizing their thoughts into full-fledged ideas. That way, when it's time to get to the nitty-gritty of it all, the process will flow more seamlessly since all the moving parts will be in place.</p> <p>&quot;The best time-saving tip we know of is when a child has to write something &mdash; a book report, research paper, speech/presentation &mdash; is to use mind mapping,&quot; says Bryan Mattimore, chief idea guy at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.growth-engine.com/">The Growth Engine Co.</a>, an innovation agency. &quot;We have kids (and corporate innovation teams) create a mind map of what they might want to write first. It makes it a great deal easier for young and old alike to first get everything out in the mind map, so that they can write an outline and then more effectively and quickly write the piece.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Use a Calendar</h2> <p>I've used a monthly calendar to roughly plan out 30 days of advance assignments since I started my own business six years ago. I'm able to see what I've completed and what's coming up at a glance, and I can easily make room for additional assignments by moving other items around if need be. I've found this method of organization extremely helpful not only in terms of productivity, but also psychologically as the completed projects I cross off help ward off feelings of anxiety that I'm falling behind.</p> <p>Author Patty Wood suggests taking a similar approach with your child.</p> <p>&quot;Post a big school calendar above the child's desk or workstation so they have a visual of time and their assignments,&quot; she says. &quot;Have them put color stickers for tests and assignments on the due dates. When they look at any assignment, they can figure out how much work and time it will take to prepare and go on the calendar and assign time on days leading up to it. For example, if they have a speech on September 26, they can put an hour on, say, five days in the two weeks prior to the speech to get ready for it.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Prepare for the Next Day (or Week) in Advance</h2> <p>In addition to my monthly calendar, I also plan ahead on a more immediate level, like preparing my weekly meals all on one Sunday afternoon, as well as choosing and ironing that week's outfits. With all of those tasks out of the way for the week, I'm able to sleep in a few more minutes in the mornings and start my days with much less stress.</p> <p>Let your kids choose the clothes they'd like to wear that week, and invite them into the kitchen to choose what snacks and drinks they'd like in their lunches. As they get older, if this has become routine over the years, they'll eventually do all of this on their own (hopefully), so you can rest assured that your young adult is well on his or her way to being A-okay in the real world.</p> <h2>4. Establish a Dedicated Homework Time and Location</h2> <p>You'll have an easier time getting your child to do homework if you establish a dedicated time and location to do it. Once the routine is solidly in place, it will become habitual with, ideally, no after-school fuss.</p> <h2>5. Create a Checklist</h2> <p>In addition to my monthly calendar of projects, I also keep a daily to-do list &mdash; which includes both personal and professional items &mdash; to help me stay on task throughout the day. I try to plan them out in terms of the time I think each activity will take, but that's not always reliable as sometimes things don't go according to plan. Your kids can benefit from this system &mdash; and so can you &mdash; by providing them an outline of what needs to be done for the day and by what deadline.</p> <h2>6. Avoid Over-Scheduling Extracurricular Activities</h2> <p>A lot of kids get sidetracked or fall behind because of over-scheduling, and if that's happening in your family, it's time to take a step back and examine your priorities. Extracurricular activities &mdash; like sports, music, art, and theater &mdash; are important to your children's physical, social, mental, and emotional development, but not at the cost of education and overall well being. If they're doing too much in a day, and their homework or other educational pursuits are suffering, something has to go.</p> <p>Also, as a parent, stay sensitive to your child's demeanor and personality. If they're stressed out, unhappy, or constantly on edge, perhaps it's because they feel over-worked and overscheduled. Check in from time to time to see how they're doing in that regard.</p> <h2>7. Limit Phone/Social Media/TV Time</h2> <p>If you're addicted to social media, the Internet, or your e-mail like I am, you know firsthand how much time is wasted while you're on the phone and computer instead of concentrating on your work. This goes double for your kids whose hormones are raging amid all the traditional school drama that happens from pre-teen age all the way to high school graduation. To ensure their media doesn't interfere with their after-school responsibilities, limit the time they can spend on it by perhaps confiscating the devices until all homework, chores, etc. are finished, or granting them a certain amount of time to be online/the phone each night.</p> <p>You probably won't win any Parent of the Year awards in their eyes, but you're doing the right thing &mdash; and they'll recognize that someday.</p> <h2>8. Set Artificial Deadlines for Assignments</h2> <p>If your child has trouble remembering assignments or just procrastinates (like every other teenager &mdash; and adult &mdash; in the world), another potential tactic to take is to set artificial deadlines for assignments. I sometimes do this for myself if I dread a certain assignment, and I also employ this tactic when scheduling activities with my always-late husband. By creating a &quot;window of lateness&quot; as I like to call it, you can almost be sure that everything (and everyone) will be on time, or at least on the actual, much-later deadline.</p> <h2>9. Prioritize Assignments in Order of Importance</h2> <p>Kids tend to gravitate toward the easiest work there is, but that's not always the best approach to their assignments given that not all assignments are created equal. Some count for much more of their final grade than others, which makes the highly weighted projects a priority over smaller, more easily accomplished assignments. Review your child's schedule with them to go over their projects in depth to understand what they entail, recognize how much work they will require, and create a plan to meet the deadlines.</p> <h2>10. Keep a Regimented Schedule at Home</h2> <p>An after-school free-for-all will lead to certain disaster for your children in terms of their educational priorities, which is why it's in your entire family's best interest to keep a regimented schedule at home.</p> <p>&quot;To best help children manage their time effectively while in school, help them to understand and practice time management outside of the school day; this will allow them to internalize this structure and use it elsewhere, especially at school,&quot; says Dr. Lindsay Popilskis, certified school psychologist. &quot;Agree upon start and end times for academic tasks &mdash; such as homework &mdash; and fun tasks, and stick to those times. You may even set a timer for activities so that children can independently see how much time has been spent and how much time is left for each activity. With all that being said, the most important time for routine is bedtime. Without a good night sleep, children have difficulties maintaining their focus, which will not capitalize on their time no matter how managed it is.&quot;</p> <p><em>Do you have other time-management tips to help kids win at school that you'd like to add? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-time-management-skills-that-will-help-your-kid-win-at-school">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-terrible-things-science-says-you-do-to-your-kids">6 Terrible Things Science Says You Do to 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/frugal-ways-to-help-your-child-get-the-best-education">Frugal Ways to Help Your Child Get the Best Education</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-private-schools-worth-the-money-they-demand">Are Private Schools Worth the Money They Demand?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-a-good-workout-even-with-kids-around">10 Ways to Get a Good Workout... Even With Kids Around</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-having-kids-makes-you-more-frugal">8 Ways Having Kids Makes You More Frugal</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Family Productivity children good grades homework kids planning school time management Wed, 26 Aug 2015 17:00:29 +0000 Mikey Rox 1536917 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Apps Every Dad Needs http://www.wisebread.com/6-apps-every-dad-needs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-apps-every-dad-needs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/father_and_son_online_000019788770.jpg" alt="Father finding apps that dad needs" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you're a new dad or a seasoned pro, life certainly gets hectic with work and family in the mix. Here are some useful tools that will help you feel better organized, as well as healthier and more confident. (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-4-worst-mistakes-good-parents-make?ref=seealso">The 4 Worst Mistakes Good Parents Make</a>)</p> <h2>1. Cozi</h2> <p>Chances are, with lots of people living under one roof, life can get crazy. The worst part? You all have different schedules. Take charge with <a href="http://www.cozi.com">Cozi</a>, a social organizer for busy families. You can color code each family member's work, school, and personal schedules on one shared calendar. Write up grocery, chore, and other to-do lists to distribute with ease. You can even share photos and other information with your extended family.</p> <h2>2. Quick Tips for New Dads</h2> <p>Didn't have time to read all those parenting books before your kid was born? No worries. With <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/quick-%C2%AD%E2%80%90tips-%C2%AD%E2%80%90for-%C2%AD%E2%80%90new-%C2%AD%E2%80%90dads/id843364411">Quick Tips for New Dads</a>, you'll get everything you need to know in your phone. Check out quick snippets of useful information on everything from bottle feeding to naptime routines to looking after mom. With over 250 added stress-busting tips, this app is your holy grail for surviving that first year.</p> <h2>3. Mint Bills</h2> <p>You have enough things to worry about besides when your utilities or cable bills are due. And don't mention those dreaded late fees! Some banks have awesome apps you can use to manage your money. If yours isn't one of them, wrangle your due dates and payments with <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mint-bills-money/id285056092?mt=8">Mint Bills</a>. Set up all your bank account, credit card, and bills information once, and the app does the rest of the work.</p> <h2>4. 7-Minute Workout</h2> <p>Being a dad sometimes means skipping workouts to make way for other obligations. Put the power in your back pocket with the <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/7-minute-workout/id650762525?mt=8">7-Minute Workout</a> app by Wahoo Fitness. You can sneak in a sweat session whenever you find spare time or even combine a few for a longer routine. Each session groups 12 high-intensity bodyweight exercises (no equipment or gym required) at 30 seconds each with 10 seconds of rest between moves. A healthy dad is a happy dad, so take care of yourself.</p> <h2>5. College Saving Wiz</h2> <p>It's never too early (or late) to start saving for your child's education. Download <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/college-saving-wiz/id674276203?mt=8">College Saving Wiz</a> for handy cost-estimating calculators, savings goals, and even tips for how to stash away extra cash. This app was designed by emeritus professor of finance Lawrence J. Gitman at San Diego State University. And if you'd like to help your kids develop good money habits, also check out <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/saving-wiz-jr./id674198368?mt=8">Saving Wiz Jr</a>.</p> <h2>6. Evernote</h2> <p>While you're out and about at dance lessons or soccer games, you just might need to do some last-minute research for tomorrow's big meeting. That's where <a href="https://evernote.com">Evernote</a> comes in. You can gather information from anywhere and record your thoughts on essentially anything &mdash; work projects, shopping lists, home improvement projects &mdash; it's up to you. This app syncs across your different devices and lets you put everything into streamlined notebooks with tags and note links for added organization.</p> <p><em>What apps and tools do you use to be a better dad?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-apps-every-dad-needs">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/9-skills-that-will-be-obsolete-soon">9 Skills That Will Be Obsolete Soon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-time-management-skills-that-will-help-your-kid-win-at-school">10 Time-Management Skills That Will Help Your Kid Win at School</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-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</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/15-modern-life-skills-everyone-should-master">15 Modern Life Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-back-to-school-iphone-apps">10 Back-to-School iPhone Apps</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Productivity apps fathers organization parents working dads Tue, 25 Aug 2015 09:00:59 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1530568 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Best Credit Cards for Back to School Shopping http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-for-back-to-school-shopping <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-best-credit-cards-for-back-to-school-shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000045068704.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you have students entering elementary school or college, it&rsquo;s likely they have a long list of supplies and materials needed to start the school year out. According to the National Retail Federation, average families with a K-12 student, will spend approximately <a href="https://nrf.com/media/press-releases/after-splurging-2014-families-trim-back-school-spending-2015">$630 on back to school shopping</a>. If you have a college student, this number can be in the thousands.</p> <p>From colored pencils and protractors to electronics and clothing, if you use the right credit cards for your back to school shopping, you&rsquo;ll come out of it with extra money in your pockets. Here are the 5 best credit cards you should consider using to knock out your back to school shopping lists.</p> <h2>Chase Freedom&reg;</h2> <p><a title="Chase Freedom&reg;" alt="Chase Freedom&reg;" rel="nofollow" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=3765832&amp;fot=1262&amp;foc=2&amp;foc2=599917" target="_blank"><img border="0" src="http://content.linkoffers.net/SharedImages/Products/166071/599917.png" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" class="img-exempt" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chase-freedom-visa-review-200-cash-back-bonus?ref=internal">Chase Freedom&reg;</a> credit card is often rated among the best rewards cards available because of its quarterly rotating categories which award 5% cash back. The bonus categories for the July-September quarter are gasoline and Kohl&rsquo;s store purchases, which is not only going to allow you to earn 5% on your student&rsquo;s clothing, accessories, backpacks, and shoes, but if you have to drive around town searching for exactly three red folders with pockets, you will earn cash back on the gas.</p> <p>The Chase Freedom card is also a great card for back to school shopping because it currently offers a $100 bonus if you spend $500 with the card within the first three months of opening the account. Plus, you receive a 0% introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, giving you a year and a half to pay off all those school supplies before you are charged interest.</p> <p><a rel="nofollow" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=3765832&amp;fot=1262&amp;foc=1" target="_blank"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Chase Freedom&reg; card today!</strong></a></p> <h2>Discover it&reg; - New! Double Cash Back your first year</h2> <p><a title="Discover it&reg; - New! Double Cash Back your first year" alt="Discover it&reg; - New! Double Cash Back your first year" rel="nofollow" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=26153835&amp;fot=1262&amp;foc=2&amp;foc2=605217" target="_blank"><img border="0" class="img-exempt" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" src="http://content.linkoffers.net/SharedImages/Products/220537/605217.png" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-discover-it-card-attractive-cash-back-awards-for-shoppers?ref=internal">Discover it&reg; card</a> includes rotating quarterly categories similar to the Chase Freedom, but its bonus categories for the July to September are home improvement stores, department stores, and purchases at Amazon.com. You&rsquo;ll likely make clothing and accessory purchases at department stores and you might need shelving and materials from home improvement stores. However, nearly everything else you need for back to school shopping is likely to be available at Amazon.com, and unlike the other purchases, don&rsquo;t require you to leave your home.</p> <p>Furthermore, although Discover cards do not usually offer particularly valuable sign-up bonuses, they are currently offering a promotion for new cardmembers that doubles all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year. If you spend $1,000 on the three bonus categories, you can earn $50 cash back, which at the end of the year, will become $100 and results in a nice discount on your back to school purchases.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=26153835&amp;fot=1262&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Discover it&reg; card today!</strong></a></p> <h2>Amazon.com Rewards Visa</h2> <p>If you plan on shopping primarily with Amazon.com, you might want to consider the <a href="http://amzn.to/1JpTXOA">Amazon.com Rewards Visa</a> by Chase. Get 3% back for Amazon.com purchases, 2% on gas stations, restaurants, and drug stores, and 1% cash back on everything else.&nbsp;Amazon.com is known for providing huge sales and discounts for school supplies and other back to school necessities, and if you are a <a href="http://amzn.to/1gW7Ib3">Prime Member</a>, you have the advantage of free two day shipping right to your doorstep.</p> <h2>Citi&reg; Double Cash Card</h2> <p><a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-12003694-1424960114000?sid=5x-back-to-school" target="_blank"><img width="154" border="0" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/CitiDoubleCash.jpg" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" class="img-exempt" alt="" /></a>There are a variety of things that you need to buy in college, and they won't necessarily fall under a spending category that offers bonus rewards. If you want more flexibility with your rewards, the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/citi-double-cash-rewards-card-pays-you-to-pay-off-your-debt-or-does-it?ref=internal">Citi&reg; Double Cash card</a> may be a good fit. This card allows you to earn 1% cash back twice: once when you make a purchase, and again when you pay for your purchase. That's cash back for <em>every</em> purchase, no matter the category, with no caps or restrictions. This means you'll get cash back for all your back-to-school shopping, and you'll continue to get cash back for all your during-school shopping as long as you use your Double Cash card.</p> <p><a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-12003694-1424960114000?sid=5x-back-to-school" target="_blank"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Citi&reg; Double Cash card today!</strong></a></p> <h2>Target REDCard</h2> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://goto.target.com/c/27771/173676/2092"><img width="154" border="0" src="http://adn.impactradius.com/display-ad/2092-173676" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" class="img-exempt" alt="" /></a>As one of the most popular shopping destinations for school supplies, The Target Credit Card or REDcard is among the best credit cards for back to school shopping. There is a Target Credit Card and a Target Debit Card, both offering a 5% discount at the checkout on your purchases. This type of rewards program can come in handy because you realize your discount immediately and aren&rsquo;t required to redeem any points later on. Plus, if you select the debit card, there are no credit checks required and you aren&rsquo;t incurring any debt because the purchases are deducted from your bank account.</p> <p>As an additional bonus to both REDcards, Target donates 1% of your purchases to whichever elementary school, neighborhood middle school, or other eligible K-12 school that you select. In addition to its various sales and discounts, Target provides free shipping and other opportunities, such as the extra 5% discount on your purchases if you sign up for Pharmacy Rewards.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://goto.target.com/c/27771/173676/2092"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Target REDCard today!</strong></a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christina-majaski">Christina Majaski</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-for-back-to-school-shopping">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/save-hundreds-on-back-to-school-shopping-with-these-credit-card-tricks">Save Hundreds on Back to School Shopping with These Credit Card Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-time-management-skills-that-will-help-your-kid-win-at-school">10 Time-Management Skills That Will Help Your Kid Win at School</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-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries</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/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</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/top-seven-reasons-why-i-use-my-credit-card-for-everything">Top Seven Reasons Why I Use My Credit Card for Everything</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Education & Training Family Shopping back to school shopping Wed, 19 Aug 2015 22:32:29 +0000 Christina Majaski 1530206 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways Having a Family Boosts Your Career http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-having-a-family-boosts-your-career <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-having-a-family-boosts-your-career" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000028249970.jpg" alt="Man learning how having a family boosts his career" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Working full-time while <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-important-questions-to-ask-before-adding-to-your-family">raising a family</a> can be taxing. According to Families and Work Institute's National Study of the Changing Workforce, 67% of employed parents say they <a href="http://familiesandwork.org/downloads/ContextMattersInsightsAboutOlderWorkers.pdf">don't have enough time</a> with their kids and 63% of married workers say they don't have enough time with their spouse.</p> <p>But don't go choosing between career and family just yet. The data suggests you really can have it all. And, in fact, one can very well complement the other.</p> <h2>1. Family Boosts Productivity</h2> <p>Women with more children are more productive at work. Chalk it up to all that supermom multitasking, such as firing off emails while breastfeeding and baking a casserole for lunch. At any rate, mothers with at least two kids are <a href="https://research.stlouisfed.org/wp/2014/2014-001.pdf">most productive of all</a>, according to a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, which found that over the course of a 30-year career, mothers outperform women without children. The correlation between number of children and on-the-job productivity is true for men, too. But it's even more pronounced in women. Sarah Palin, a mother of five who was the ninth governor of Alaska until she became and the Republican Party nominee for Vice President in the 2008 Presidential election, is a great example.</p> <p>Author Anne-Marie Slaughter puts it this way: &quot;Believe it or not, we will actually be better and happier workers if we are allowed to be better parents.&quot;</p> <h2>2. You'll Be Happier and Healthier</h2> <p>Mothers with jobs tend to be <a href="http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2011/12/working-moms.aspx">happier and healthier</a> than moms who stay at home during their children's infancy and preschool years, according to a new study by the American Psychological Association. This conclusion is based on interviews with 1,364 mothers shortly after their child's birth and subsequent interviews and observations spanning more than 10 years.</p> <h2>3. Parents Make Better Managers</h2> <p>Parents tend to perform better in the workplace, especially in managerial roles, because they know how to multitask, cope with stress, and negotiate, according to research from Clark University and the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, N.C. That's because <a href="http://www.forbes.com/2007/02/27/parents-bosses-managers-leadership-careers_cx_hc_0227parents.html">parenting skills and management skills</a> overlap.</p> <p>&quot;Having kids forces you to learn how to make compromises, and to listen, and to try and support them to be better,&quot; says Steve Tirado, chief executive of semiconductor firm Silicon Image, who has four daughters between the ages of 19 and 24. Of course, just having kids won't make you a better manager, the study found. But being actively involved in raising them will.</p> <h2>4. Your Kids Will Be More Successful</h2> <p>A Harvard study found that daughters of working mothers <a href="http://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Pages/item.aspx?num=49311">have better careers</a>, higher pay, and more equal relationships. &quot;These findings suggest that in addition to transmitting gender attitudes across generations, mothers' employment teaches daughters a set of skills that enable greater participation in the workforce and in leadership positions,&quot; the study states.</p> <h2>5. Family Increases Your Chances for Tenure &mdash; For Men, Anyway</h2> <p>For men in academia, having children is a <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/07/08/should-women-delay-motherhood/what-you-need-to-know-if-youre-an-academic-and-want-to-be-a-mom">career advantage</a>, according to Mary Ann Mason, who studies the intersection between work and family. Among male tenured faculty, 70% are married with kids, a sign that fathers are far more successful in their careers than men without youngsters of their own. Unfortunately, this optimistic sign of parenting's positive effect on career doesn't ring true for women, according to Mason's data.</p> <h2>6. Egalitarian Parenting Pays Off</h2> <p>Today's mothers are securing high-paying jobs <em>and</em> having families. And it's all made possible by this secret formula: Mothers of today are insisting that their husbands do at least half the housework. Perhaps it's not such a novel idea, but historically this hasn't been the case. Caring for your children all day is draining work, but when the work is split 50-50 it becomes a lot more manageable, allowing both husband and wife to find success in endeavors outside the home. Seven of the 18 women who are Fortune 500 CEOs have at some point had a <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/magazine/behind-every-great-woman-01042012.html">stay-at-home husband</a> to focus on child-rearing while she chases her career goals.</p> <p><em>How has being a good parent helped you professionally?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-having-a-family-boosts-your-career">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/6-terrible-things-science-says-you-do-to-your-kids">6 Terrible Things Science Says You Do to 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/10-basic-manners-you-must-teach-your-kids">10 Basic Manners You Must Teach Your Kids</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-time-management-skills-that-will-help-your-kid-win-at-school">10 Time-Management Skills That Will Help Your Kid Win at School</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-investing-lessons-you-must-teach-your-kids">10 Investing Lessons You Must Teach Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke">24 Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Family children parenting raising kids working parents Mon, 03 Aug 2015 09:00:14 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1507539 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Terrible Things Science Says You Do to Your Kids http://www.wisebread.com/6-terrible-things-science-says-you-do-to-your-kids <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-terrible-things-science-says-you-do-to-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/unhappy_kid_000011364070.jpg" alt="Parent doing terrible things science says they do every day" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In all likelihood, you are probably already a pretty good parent. I'll bet you limit video games, provide healthy meals, get your kids to scheduled doctor's visits, help with homework, and the like.</p> <p>New science, though, thinks you can do a little better. Do any of the six <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-4-worst-mistakes-good-parents-make">parenting subjects</a>, below, ring a bell?</p> <h2>1. You Don't Let Your Child Self-Soothe</h2> <p>Have you tried teaching your baby to self-soothe? It occurred to me to research this concept after my friend, a grandmother, related how her daughter has to lie down with her two-year-old to get her to nap, and then again to get her to sleep at night. Among my co-workers, neighbors, and friends are women whose children sleep with them in their bedrooms, on cots, or in their beds. They also sleep with their children in their children's rooms. My neighbor's daughter has a charming room, but she will only sleep on the living room couch. The phrase (and I know this is harsh) &quot;the inmates are running the asylum&quot; comes to mind.</p> <p>&quot;We, as parents, think our job is to make sure the baby is not crying,&quot; says pediatric nurse Jennifer Walker, RN. &quot;That's because we associate crying with the fact that we are doing something wrong and we need to fix it,&quot; she says. &quot;Babies are designed to cry. They can be perfectly diapered and fed and still cry like you are pulling an arm off...&quot;</p> <p>Many parents are vehemently opposed to the practice of self-soothing, calling it a myth, or &quot;harmful.&quot; And, you know it's not fun. Even if you know your baby has been fed, burped, changed, and is in comfortable bedding, listening to them cry is extremely upsetting. We used the <a href="http://www.drgreene.com/qa-articles/when-baby-wont-go-sleep-her-own/?tid=207">Dr. Greene method</a> and yes, it was extremely difficult, but it worked.</p> <p>&quot;The difficulties begin when the child's sleep patterns begin to interfere with the lives of the other members of the family unit. For example: when the mother is ready to return to work and needs to sleep, herself, or when marital tensions arise because of a lack of privacy in the bedroom,&quot; says Dennis Rosen, M.D. &quot;At that point, it's absolutely reasonable to <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sleeping-angels/201405/teaching-child-self-soothe-not-everyone">reconsider the existing patterns</a>, and to find a different way of doing things that works better for everyone else. And that usually means redefining, and setting limits, which is a normal part of <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/parenting">parenting</a>.&quot;</p> <h2>2. You Don't Insist on Your Child's Recess</h2> <p>I'm an adult, and I could barely manage to sit through a boring hour-long webinar last week. Fortunately, I could get up and take a walk afterwards. But what if you are a kid who feels fried and fidgety? Who ever thought parents needed to be concerned with their children having recess? Guess what: <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/07/08/why-so-many-kids-cant-sit-still-in-school-today/">Recess is disappearing</a>.</p> <p>Even pediatricians in the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend recess. Dr. Robert Murray, a pediatrician and professor of human nutrition at the Ohio State University, stated that &quot;Children need to have downtime between complex cognitive challenges.&quot; Interestingly, structured time (like a gym period or an organized game) is not a substitute, because it is still considered to be instructional time.</p> <p>Childhood obesity rates have more than <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/obesity/facts.htm">doubled in children</a>, and quadrupled in adolescents, in the past 30 years. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends an hour a day of exercise for children. If your child's school has reduced or eliminated recess, how will that help this issue?</p> <p>It may be time for you to get involved in a discussion about the benefits of recess at your child's school, and how you, as a parent, can help. And if the school won't change, perhaps you ought to consider supplementing their play time with some daily &quot;at-home&quot; recess.</p> <h2>3. You Aren't Insisting They Do Chores</h2> <p>Your own parents and grandparents probably insisted on chores, and so should you. Psychologist Richard Rende is the author of soon-to-be-published <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0399168966/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0399168966&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=OZ5B3SUFPJKHBT27">Raising Can-Do Kids</a>. His research indicates that &quot;...various types of housework are correlated with better academic performance and social relationships, increased professional goals, and good mental health in adulthood.&quot;</p> <h2>4. You Stopped Reading to Your Kid</h2> <p>Many parents read to their babies, toddlers, and school-age children, and that's great. However, according to educator Jim Trelease, you <a href="http://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/read-aloud-to-children/">shouldn't stop reading</a>.</p> <p>&quot;People often say to me, 'My child is in fourth grade and he already knows how to read, why should I read to him?' And I reply, 'Your child may be reading on a fourth-grade level, but what level is he <em>listening</em> at?'</p> <p>A child's reading level doesn't catch up to his listening level until eighth grade. You can and should be reading seventh-grade books to fifth-grade kids. They'll get excited about the plot and this will be a motivation to keep reading.&quot;</p> <h2>5. You Don't Let Them Experience Failure</h2> <p>It's so hard to see your child feeling sad, or disappointed, when things don't go their way. I really think it's just as painful for the parents. My mother used to tell me, &quot;well, life is full of disappointments,&quot; and she was right, it is. However, if you don't allow your child to fail, feel sad, and deal with things on his or her own, the child doesn't learn how to build resilience. Being able to roll with the ups and downs of life is a necessary skill, and they can't learn that when &quot;everybody gets a trophy.&quot; Sometimes you fail, and you feel bad. What happens next? You lick your wounds, gather strength, pick yourself up, and try again. Kids need to learn that, as painful as it is for the parent.</p> <h2>6. You Don't Let Them Suffer the Consequences for Wrong Actions</h2> <p>Kids are going to make bad choices occasionally. They want to test boundaries, try the &quot;easy way,&quot; or prove their independence. When they are caught, though, it isn't up to the parent to &quot;fix&quot; that mistake.</p> <p>&quot;Parents tend to worry about their child's <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-verge/201411/natural-consequences">ability to cope</a> with life's natural 'negative' consequences,&quot; writes Mendi Baron, CEO of Evolve Treatment Centers. &quot;In fact, today's parents, in an effort to be helpful and involved, actually impose themselves to minimize natural negative consequences so that their teen can avoid the subsequent discomfort, pain, and shame of his actions.&quot;</p> <p><em>Readers, do you agree, or disagree, with any of these suggestions?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-terrible-things-science-says-you-do-to-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-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/10-time-management-skills-that-will-help-your-kid-win-at-school">10 Time-Management Skills That Will Help Your Kid Win at School</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-having-a-family-boosts-your-career">6 Ways Having a Family Boosts Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/having-a-baby-nine-financial-considerations-for-new-parents">Having a baby? Nine financial considerations for new parents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-a-good-workout-even-with-kids-around">10 Ways to Get a Good Workout... Even With Kids Around</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-having-kids-makes-you-more-frugal">8 Ways Having Kids Makes You More Frugal</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family behaviors children kids parenting tantrums Thu, 30 Jul 2015 17:00:20 +0000 Marla Walters 1508690 at http://www.wisebread.com 14 Free or Cheap Toys That Will Make Your Kid Smarter http://www.wisebread.com/14-free-or-cheap-toys-that-will-make-your-kid-smarter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-free-or-cheap-toys-that-will-make-your-kid-smarter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/child_playing_toys_000046742926.jpg" alt="Child playing with educational toys made at home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It may seem like you need to spend a fortune on educational toys for your kids these days. Heck, many stores have entire sections devoted to learning aids cleverly disguised as playthings. All that stuff is great, but you can beef up your child's smarts with some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-diy-crafts-that-will-save-you-money">awesome DIY projects</a>. You'll spend much less money making things at home, and frugality is a great lesson to teach children at any age.</p> <h2>1. Sensory Tables</h2> <p>Bring your child's preschool favorite to you own playroom with these <a href="http://www.ringaroundtherosies.net/2012/04/diy-sensory-tables.html">DIY sensory tables</a>. Construct a simple wooden base out of pallets and plop in a plastic bin. You can fill them with rice, dried beans, or whatever else you like. And if you're looking to do this project on a dime, skip the table and just place the plastic bin on a waist-high surface.</p> <h2>2. Alphabet Board</h2> <p>I love this <a href="http://nicandkate09.blogspot.com/2011/08/alphabet-board.html">alphabet board</a> project because you could take it in so many different directions. Just mount a metal oil pan on your wall to create a magnetic surface. The author cut up an alphabet poster and glued it to the pan. Then her child used magnetic letters to match. You could repeat with numbers, maps, or anything else you're looking to teach your child.</p> <h2>3. Felt Board</h2> <p>Here's a similar idea <a href="http://buggyandbuddy.com/make-your-own-felt-board-tutorial/">making a felt board</a> versus metal. Cut a piece of felt so it's a bit larger than a cork board. Then use an X-Acto knife to size it perfectly before spraying with adhesive and pressing onto the board. Once it has dried, you can use homemade felt cut-outs to explore a variety of subjects.</p> <h2>4. Emo Dolls</h2> <p>Teach your child about facial expressions, emotions, and even empathy with these <a href="http://www.danyabanya.com/diy-educational-toy-emo-dolls/">DIY emo dolls</a>. Making them couldn't be easier. Take two types of cardboard tubes that are different sizes (toilet paper and cling wrap, for example). Cut them to the same length. Then cut a circle (face) into the larger one. Draw different faces on the smaller one. Nest them together, and you're done!</p> <h2>5. Sight Word Rolls</h2> <p>Use a similar approach for these <a href="http://laughingkidslearn.com/2013/06/word-rolls.html/">sight word rolls</a>. Cut varying lengths of tubes in different diameters. On one tube, write the first part of a word. One the second, the rest of it. There are many different ways to form your words, and this author started with consonant blends and digraphs.</p> <h2>6. Sewn Letters</h2> <p>Those of you who sew will love this <a href="http://www.chicagonow.com/quilting-sewing-creating/2013/06/fabric-alphabet-toy-letters-tutorial-diy/">plush alphabet</a> project you can make using leftover scraps of fabric. Simply cut squares of fabric, sandwich in some batting, and then sew around a stencil guide. Cut out the letters using pinking shears so there's no fraying at the edges.</p> <h2>7. Sponge Letters</h2> <p>Not so crafty? Try cutting <a href="http://www.learning4kids.net/2011/08/16/alphabet-sponge-letters-bath-time-fun-2/">letters from clean sponges</a> instead. The advantage here is that you can take them into the bath. You could also use them as paint stamps. Here's a free <a href="http://www.learning4kids.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Sponge-Alphabet5.pdf">alphabet template</a> you can print off and use as a guide.</p> <h2>8. Inventor's Box</h2> <p>Older kids will go crazy for this <a href="http://www.ehow.com/ehow-mom/blog/build-stem-skills-at-home-make-an-inventors-box/">inventor's box</a>. Fill a plastic bin with old electronic items, like a flashlight, keyboard, clock, radio, or whatever else you can find at yard sales and thrift shops. Then let your child independently explore. The author suggested taking a flashlight apart and letting your kid put it back together.</p> <h2>9. Memory Game</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.dandee-designs.com/2011/05/shapes-colors-memory-game.html">memory game</a> is something fun you could scale up or down for your child depending on age. Take wooden disks (you can find them at most craft stores) and cut out wool felt shapes in all different colors. Adhere the shapes to the wood and play.</p> <h2>10. Tide Pool</h2> <p>Create your own ecosystem with this <a href="http://buggyandbuddy.com/tide-pool-science-experiment-kids/">tide pool</a> project. You'll fill a metal pan with rocks, mini plastic marine animals, and sand. Then add water to the pan, noting which animals are covered by the water as it rises. Then slowly remove water and watch the tide in reverse.</p> <h2>11. Geoboard</h2> <p>Work on fine motor skills and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning with this <a href="http://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/diy-simple-geo-board-for-fine-motor-skills-fine-motor-fridays/">homemade geoboard</a>. Grab a slab of wood at a craft or home improvement store, then mark off a grid in pencil. Hammer nails into the corner of each marked square. Then give your child some colorful rubber bands to create shapes, letters, or whatever else.</p> <h2>12. Giant Puzzle</h2> <p>Rainy days call for creativity. This <a href="http://www.two-daloo.com/diy-giant-block-puzzle/">giant block puzzle</a> will come to your rescue and challenge your child's spatial and problem-solving skills. Take shaped blocks (or other toys) and trace a bunch on a large sheet of paper. Then give your kids the blocks and let them figure it out.</p> <h2>13. Handwriting Tray</h2> <p>If your little one is just starting to write, try this <a href="http://thismummaslife.com/2013/02/28/diy-salt-tray-and-alphabet-cards/">handwriting tray</a>. The author recycled wooden toy packaging for the tray. The letter cards are made of thick watercolor paper. Once you've finished writing all the letters, fill the tray with salt or sand and let your child write using his or her finger or a q-tip.</p> <h2>14. Color Classifier</h2> <p>Work on advanced color recognition with this <a href="http://www.walkingbytheway.com/blog/shades-of-color/">shades of color</a> activity. Pick up a variety of paint chip cards at your local hardware store, cut them up, and store in a zip bag. Create a quick chart on a plain piece of paper and let you child try putting the chips in order based on gradation.</p> <p><em>Do you have a great project to share? Leave a note in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-free-or-cheap-toys-that-will-make-your-kid-smarter">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/15-awesomely-fun-toys-you-can-diy">15 Awesomely Fun Toys You Can DIY</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-ways-to-help-your-child-get-the-best-education">Frugal Ways to Help Your Child Get the Best Education</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-homemade-child-products-that-are-cheaper-and-better-than-store-bought">10 Homemade Child Products That Are Cheaper and Better Than Store Bought</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-fun-toys-and-games-you-can-make-at-home">10 Fun Toys and Games You Can Make at Home</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/20-cheap-fun-things-to-do-with-kids-this-weekend">20 Cheap Fun Things to Do With Kids This Weekend</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Family educational kids learning playing toys Thu, 30 Jul 2015 15:00:12 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1502076 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Things to Do with Kids at the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-to-do-with-kids-at-the-st-croix-national-scenic-riverway <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-things-to-do-with-kids-at-the-st-croix-national-scenic-riverway" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/stcroix1.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><font color="#666666"><i>This post contains references to products from our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Please visit our <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/advertiser-disclosure">Advertiser Disclosure</a> to view our partners, and for additional details.</i></font></p> <p>With a three-year-old and an 11-month old, most weekends my family stays pretty close to home. But when I learned that one of our nation's national parks, the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, is less than an hour's drive from my hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota, I knew my family could enjoy some time away together without the long drive to make. The St. Croix National Scenic Riverway is a unique national park because it is long and narrow, encompassing 225 miles of the St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers along the border of Wisconsin and Minnesota, and is made up almost entirely of the waterway. And what better way to spend a Midwest summer weekend than on the water? Courtesy of the Amex EveryDay Credit Card our family was able to enjoy some great moments together and create new memories. (<a href="http://bit.ly/1elJ6qC">Jump to details on how to win a free trip to a national park</a>.)</p> <h2>1. Camp</h2> <h2><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/stcroix5.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; font-style: normal; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); line-height: 22.1000003814697px;" /></h2> <p>Interestingly, because the national park is mostly water, the park has extremely primitive camping (think holes in the ground and no real toilets). Instead, the national park's website directs you to camp overnight at some of the many state parks that adjoin the national park. While I might be up for true wilderness camping with just my spouse, with the two little ones we thought a more developed campground would be a better fit. We opted for William O'Brien state park, which shares land and water with the national park. Our older one loved setting up the tent, &nbsp;&quot;building&quot; a fire (by gathering sticks), and exploring the campground with the many other kids nearby. Surprisingly, he slept extremely well in the tent. Our 11 month old loved crawling around the campsite, trying to eat dirt, and playing inside the tent. (She didn't sleep so well.)</p> <h2>2. Boat</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/stcroix6.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Since the St. Croix Scenic Riverway is a <i>river</i>, one of the best ways to explore it is by boat. Both Stillwater and Taylor's Falls have very large boats which you can take a river cruise on. We had planned on taking a lunch cruise out of Taylor's Falls, but due to thunderstorms decided to skip it this time around. Various parts of the rivers are good for kayaking and canoeing, which was a little too risky for our ever-moving 11 month old, but would be great with a child old enough to sit still. Our kids turned out to be good &quot;pontoon-ers.&quot; Slow moving and enclosed, a pontoon boat proved the best way for our family to get out on the water.</p> <p>There are plenty of places to rent boats, or public water access spots, all along the river, and you'll likely need a credit card if you want to rent. If you use your Amex EveryDay, you can get Membership Rewards points for all these purchases.</p> <h2>3. Fish</h2> <p>Interestingly, adult Minnesota residents can fish within the state park without having to obtain a fishing license. And kids younger than 16 don't have to get a fishing license anywhere in the state. We got a kid-sized pole, but the fish weren't active enough for my three-year-old. Nevertheless, it's a great activity to teach kids patience and for them to learn more about nature.</p> <h2>4. Hike</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/stcroix7.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>There are hundreds of miles of trails up and down the St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers. We carried our youngest in a baby carrier and let the three-year-old walk. He loved running up and down the trails, climbing the large stones left by glaciers many years ago, and finding interesting leaves and bugs to pick up.</p> <h2>5. Make S'mores</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/stcroix2.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>No trip to a national park is complete without a campfire and s'mores. Luckily for us it didn't rain during our entire stay there and we were able to build a campfire. The three-year-old found sticks for us to cook the marshmallows with. And I can't think of anything that makes a kid happier than eating a s'more. (And I used my EveryDay card for the supplies purchases, making it even easier for me to enjoy this #EverDayMoment.)</p> <h2>6. Eat St. Croix Chocolate</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/stcroix4.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>When I was researching the best locally made chocolates for Valentine's Day this year I learned about the St. Croix Chocolate Company. I didn't order any at the time, but I couldn't have been happier to have stumbled upon it just outside the boundaries of the national park in Marine on St. Croix. We pulled the car over, and like the proverbial kid in a candy store, my son was in heaven. Truly gourmet chocolates, these are as much for the parents as the kids.</p> <h2>7. Visit Teddy Bear Park</h2> <p>While Stillwater, Minnesota is technically just beyond the boundaries of the national park, if you're driving to the St. Croix River from Minneapolis, you'll drive right through the town and by a park called Teddy Bear Park. If you have young children, it is definitely worth a stop. There are activities for kids ranging from just crawling to a playground large enough for 10 or 12-year-olds. They also have clean restrooms which makes it an easy stopping point on your road trip.</p> <h2>8. Eat Snacks on the Road Trip</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/stcroix3.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>I have fond memories of roadtrips with my family when I was growing up, and they all involve peanut butter M&amp;M's (which my dad insisted was a must for every road trip.) We used our Amex EveryDay to load up on snacks at the grocery store (which I love because you get 2x points at U.S. grocery stores) before we headed out of town, and then at stops along the way. With the number of stops we made, it was easy to compile almost our entire 20 purchases, which earn us a 20% bonus each card-period that we make 20 purchases. An added benefit for the roadtrip? The EveryDay card comes with access to the Roadside Assistance Hotline, which will coordinate help if a tire blows or your car breaks down. Thankfully, we didn't need this feature on our trip to the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway.</p> <p>St. Croix National Scenic Riverway is a phenomenal national park to visit with kids. Load up the car with lots of snacks and the hour drive from the Twin Cities will go by fast.</p> <p>Starting on July 30th, Amex EveryDay is <a href="http://bit.ly/1elJ6qC">kicking off a contest</a> that encourages people to share a photo and caption of their own #EveryDayMoments, taken at any park, for a chance to win one of three trips to some spectacular National Parks: National Mall &amp; Memorial Parks (Washington, DC), Yosemite National Park (California) and Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona).</p> <p><a href="http://bit.ly/1elJ6qC">Click Here to Enter</a> between July 30th and August 31st; terms apply.</p> <p><i>What is your favorite national park to visit with kids?</i></p> <p><i>Disclaimer: I am an Amex EveryDay CardMember and Ambassador for this program. However, all opinions about the Card are my own.</i></p> <div> <p><em>Editorial&nbsp;Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author&rsquo;s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any bank, card issuer, airline or hotel chain.</em></p> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/elizabeth-lang">Elizabeth Lang</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-to-do-with-kids-at-the-st-croix-national-scenic-riverway">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/5-money-saving-tips-for-the-summer-road-trip">5 Money-Saving Tips for the Summer Road Trip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-minimize-baggage-fees-when-flying">5 Ways to Minimize Baggage Fees When Flying</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/surefire-ways-to-save-on-summer-camp-costs">Surefire Ways to Save on Summer Camp Costs</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/train-now-for-a-summertime-family-cycling-trip">Train Now for a Summertime Family Cycling Trip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-should-never-do-when-camping">7 Things You Should Never Do When Camping</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Travel Thu, 30 Jul 2015 11:00:12 +0000 Elizabeth Lang 1476878 at http://www.wisebread.com 20 Cheap Fun Things to Do With Kids This Weekend http://www.wisebread.com/20-cheap-fun-things-to-do-with-kids-this-weekend <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-cheap-fun-things-to-do-with-kids-this-weekend" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kids_summer_water_balloon_fight_000062702582.jpg" alt="Kids paticipating in cheap summer activities this weekend" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>School's out for summer for a few more weeks, which means <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-a-good-workout-even-with-kids-around">the kids</a> are about to tear your house apart in three&hellip; two&hellip; one. Unless, of course, you help them channel that boundless energy elsewhere with these cheap or free things to do with kids this weekend.</p> <h2>1. Investigate Summer Programs at Your Local Library</h2> <p>Believe it or not, your local library still exists &mdash; and it probably has a whole calendar of activities planned for the summer. Pop in on your ride home from work one day to pick up a schedule to see what programs your kid might like.</p> <h2>2. Take a Hike on Nearby Trails to Search for Wildlife</h2> <p>Even if you live in a big city like I do, you can find well-worn hiking trail that provides a bit of the great outdoors without going too far from civilization. On this hike, let the kids take a camera so they can capture the various wildlife and insects they might encounter along the way.</p> <h2>3. Set Off on a Playground Hopping Adventure</h2> <p>Take that bar-hopping concept you know so well, apply it to playgrounds, and you've got yourself a lively afternoon of exercise for the kids and a bit of bench relaxing for yourself.</p> <h2>4. Visit a Nearby Transportation Hub and Watch the Vehicles</h2> <p>When I was a kid, my grandparents would take me to all kinds of places to watch various kinds of transportation. We'd sit outside of airports to watch planes take off and land, hang out in Baltimore's Inner Harbor to watch the boats, or spend a couple hours at the B&amp;O Railroad Museum learning about old trains and even taking a quick ride on one. Even though those examples are specific to my childhood, you can likely find some version of these activities in your neck of the woods that'll create lifetime memories for your brood.</p> <h2>5. Splash Around in a Public Fountain on a Hot Day</h2> <p>This is equally as fun for the kids as it is for parents &mdash; if the fountain allows adults to participate. A few summers ago I spent a hot day in Boston and headed straight for the Copley Square Fountain. I had a blast, and it looked like all the ankle-biters did too. Do a quick search online to see what your area has to offer.</p> <h2>6. Head to Your Local Lanes for Free Bowling</h2> <p>For several years now,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.kidsbowlfree.com/">KidsBowlFree</a> has offered free bowling for kids at participating centers during the summer. It's actually a fairly generous program, which allows two hours of bowling per day per child. That's not to suggest that you should shuffle your kids off to the local alley every day to get them out of your hair, but, you know, when you've had enough it's not a bad way to let them wear themselves out.</p> <h2>7. Pop Into Your Town Cineplex for Low or No-Cost Movies</h2> <p>Legit &mdash; I kind of want to have a child (or at least borrow one part time in the summer) so I can take advantage of the low and no-cost movies available to kids and their parents. Lots of theaters &mdash; most national chains, actually &mdash; participate in this <a href="http://freebies.about.com/od/familyactivities/tp/free-summer-movies.htm">freebie program</a>, and the screenings are titles in which your kids will definitely be interested. Find these cheap or free screenings at theater near you.</p> <h2>8. Beat the Heat at an Indoor Play Area at a Nearby Mall</h2> <p>Too hot outside? Let your kids burn off a few dozen summer junk food calories at the play area at the local mall. These areas are mostly for toddlers, so if you've got big kids give 'em a few bucks for a matinee or the food court so they can do their own thing.</p> <h2>9. Catch a Major or Minor League Baseball Game</h2> <p>One of my all-time favorite summer activities as a kid &mdash; and even now as an adult &mdash; is spending a few hours at the ballpark. Most MLB teams have inexpensive kids' tickets (or free tickets for kids younger than a certain age), and the price is even more affordable to watch MiLB in action. Wise Bread has more tips for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-complete-guide-to-saving-at-americas-baseball-stadiums">saving at America's baseball stadiums</a>.</p> <h2>10. Check the Air Show Schedule to Find One Near You</h2> <p>If you want more of a spectacle than watching airplanes take off and land at your nearby airport, find an air show in your area. These stunt flyers are sure to impress, and it's honest-to-goodness fun for the whole family. This&nbsp;<a href="http://www.airshows.aero/Page/ASCalendar">air-show calendar</a> will help you plan your trip.</p> <h2>11. Find a Fun Pool for Refreshing Playtime</h2> <p>Most neighborhoods have a public pool for the kids to cool off in during the summer months. If that's not an option, perhaps you have a friend or family member who's lucky enough to have a pool in their backyard and willing to let you use it.</p> <h2>12. Pack a Picnic and Enjoy it on the Beach</h2> <p>Beaches &mdash; both along the ocean or surrounding a lake &mdash; offer hours and hours of fun. Bring along all the sand essentials &mdash; shovels, pails, boogie boards, sunscreen &mdash; and let the kids run wild. Pack a picnic with their favorite lunch foods to keep them satiated and out of your hair.</p> <h2>13. Set Up Water Games in the Backyard</h2> <p>When splashing around in a pool isn't an option, get creative with backyard water fun. Turn on the sprinklers, set up a slip-and-slide apparatus, or have a water balloon battle. There are lots of great ways to get wet and have fun without ever leaving home.</p> <h2>14. Invite Your Kids' Friends Over for Crafts and Snacks</h2> <p>There's hot and then there's too hot, so it's not a bad idea to have a plan B if the temps outside are too much for your little ones to handle. On days like this, invite over your kids' friends, set up a couple craft projects, and serve a few snacks so everyone can stay occupied, creative, and cool.</p> <h2>15. Break Out the Board Games on a Rainy Day</h2> <p>You can almost bet that when the weather is unbearably hot, there's a storm a-brewin' to break the heat. When the skies open up, hunker down and introduce your kids to a few of your favorite childhood games that don't require batteries, plugs, or controllers.</p> <h2>16. Look Into What's Happening in Your Neighborhood Park</h2> <p>All the open space should be put to good use, and most areas take great advantage of its green space. Visit your town's website or stop by your local library or town hall to browse a calendar of what's coming up that your kids might like.</p> <h2>17. Visit Some of the Free Attractions Your Town Has to Offer</h2> <p>Do you know what's fun and free in your town? You may think that there's nothing to do that doesn't cost anything, but I can assure you there is. Dig into the Internet to find these special spots that'll entertain the kids while saving you dough.</p> <h2>18. Go on a Mini-Excursion to a Nearby Town You've Never Been</h2> <p>I love to explore, and sometimes I hop in the car with a friend and we visit a not-too-far-away town we've never been to check out the shops, have lunch, and just hang out. Kids can enjoy these mini-getaways too with advanced planning to find things to do that complement their interests.</p> <h2>19. Visit Your Local Retailers' Websites for Cheap Activities and Workshops</h2> <p>A few major retailers (and probably some of your mom-and-pop shops, too) understand that it's a full-time job trying to keep your kids occupied and out of trouble while school's out for summer. That's why they offer classes and workshops for kids to keep their little heads thinking and hands moving.&nbsp;<a href="http://workshops.homedepot.com/workshops/kids-workshops">Home Depot</a> and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.michaels.com/classes-and-events/classesandevents">Michaels craft stores</a> are chief among the retailers that host these type of events, but you can find a bevy of <a href="http://freebies.about.com/od/freestuffforkids/tp/classes-for-kids.htm">more free classes</a>.</p> <h2>20. Put Together a Backyard Campout</h2> <p>Save yourself all that hassle of packing and lugging your camping gear around this summer by setting up a campout in the backyard. The kids will have a blast because they can invite over a few of their friends to join in the fun, and you can rest a little easier since you'll have all the modern convenience of home to pull it off without a hitch. Ghost stories and s'mores will be required.</p> <p><em>Have any other cheap fun things for kids to do this summer? Let us know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-cheap-fun-things-to-do-with-kids-this-weekend">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-awesomely-fun-toys-you-can-diy">15 Awesomely Fun Toys You Can DIY</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-free-or-cheap-toys-that-will-make-your-kid-smarter">14 Free or Cheap Toys That Will Make Your Kid Smarter</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-time-management-skills-that-will-help-your-kid-win-at-school">10 Time-Management Skills That Will Help Your Kid Win at School</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-12-best-weekend-activities-for-introverts">The 12 Best Weekend Activities for Introverts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-relaxing-ways-to-enjoy-your-kids-first-day-at-school">23 Relaxing Ways to Enjoy Your Kid&#039;s First Day at School</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Family cheap fun kids low-cost playing summer Fri, 17 Jul 2015 09:00:10 +0000 Mikey Rox 1486789 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Life Skills for Working Moms http://www.wisebread.com/10-life-skills-for-working-moms <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-life-skills-for-working-moms" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_pressure_stress_000025928475.jpg" alt="Woman learning helpful life skills for working moms" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I was a working mom, myself, for 18 years. I won't kid you: It wasn't easy. A lot of it is a blur. So, I polled my co-worker moms, friends, and neighbors to see what skills they need to keep the &quot;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-legit-ways-for-stay-at-home-moms-and-dads-to-earn-some-extra-cash">working mom</a>&quot; machine running. Here are some of the top life skills they rely on day in and day out.</p> <h2>1.The Ability to Find Support</h2> <p>&quot;I'd be so screwed if I didn't have my family close by.&quot;</p> <p>All moms interviewed cited the &quot;ability to find help&quot; answer as their most-needed skill. My group relied on husbands or partners, family members (usually their own mothers), babysitters, daycare, after-school programs, neighbors, and friends to help take care of children. A sick kid meant taking time off, but if that wasn't possible, they relied heavily on spouses or family. Struggling the most in my group was &quot;S,&quot; a mother of three, going through a difficult divorce without family close by. She gave credit to her boss, who allowed her to work flexible hours or occasionally work from home.</p> <h2>2. The Ability to Deal With Guilt</h2> <p>&quot;I feel so bad when I don't spend enough time with my son.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Even though she was whiny, I sent her to school, and it turned out she had a double ear infection.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;I was late to pick him up at daycare, and he was the last one there. I felt so bad.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;I was off work and had to ask for people to cover for me.&quot;</p> <p>Guilt is a powerful emotion. Every working mom I talked to had experienced it, and I know it well, myself. What I found encouraging, or healthy, was that the moms were able to articulate that emotion, discuss it, and then move forward. Even though they all experienced guilt, they weren't letting the negative emotion dictate their lives.</p> <h2>3. The Ability to Find a Family-Friendly Workplace</h2> <p>&quot;It's so wonderful when my boss lets me work from home.&quot;</p> <p>In the group of moms interviewed, most were happy and engaged in their work. The mom with the best situation teaches at a community college, where she also has access to an on-site preschool for her daughter. She enjoys flexible hours, particularly in the summer, and a good salary.</p> <p>The moms who worked for larger corporations appreciated their benefit packages, but complained of the paperwork involved in obtaining time off. Working in smaller offices meant having more work or responsibility, but some moms appreciated that they could just &quot;make up time&quot; and not have to clock in or out. Only one in the group was unhappy with her work situation, but was reconciled to staying in it for the pay and benefits for the time being.</p> <h2>4. The Ability to Schedule Everybody</h2> <p>If you need a person on your staff capable of scheduling, hire a mom. The collective ability of my group to meet work deadlines, get multiple kids to various activities, and handle everyday life is impressive. All owned smartphones, which they credited for keeping things straight. Several also had calendars on refrigerators. Many glowed about teachers who would answer texts, or schools that had online homework portals where they could check on their kids' progress. Today's moms are hardwired.</p> <h2>5. The Ability to Carve Out &quot;Me&quot; Time</h2> <p>&quot;Some days, going up the stairs is the only exercise I get.&quot;</p> <p>Alarmingly, the entire group of moms I talked to was pretty much ignoring exercise. There simply seemed to be no time. If a co-worker dragged them on a quick walk during break, that was it. After work, everyone piled into their cars, picked up kids, and went to after-school activities. This was followed by dinner, baths, homework, and bed.</p> <p>Still, they managed to carve out little bits of time for themselves. Some enjoyed reading magazines on their lunch breaks. Others looked forward to hair or manicure appointments, or visiting with other moms while waiting at soccer, little league, or dance lessons. Many watched reality shows (&quot;I know it's totally fake, but it's my guilty pleasure...&quot;) or playing games on their phones. &quot;K,&quot; a champion multi-tasker, said, &quot;I put the baby in the stroller, attach the dog leash, stick a beer in the beverage holder and we go walk and unwind.&quot;</p> <h2>6. The Ability to Delegate</h2> <p>In my little group, the husbands/partners do almost all of the cooking. Kids over eight do laundry, or fold clothes. Older children make their own lunches, or buy lunch at school. Some do a little yard work or feed the family pets. Clearly, being able to delegate chores at home is a skill that working moms need. You can't do it all yourself.</p> <h2>7. The Ability to Say &quot;No&quot;</h2> <p>Happily, if my group was any indication, today's moms have learned that sometimes &quot;no&quot; is the answer. While they still expressed some guilt about not being able to work overtime, fill in a shift, take that PTA Treasurer job, or bake cookies, they were able to say &quot;no.&quot; when needed. Family has become priority #1, and they all knew how to set boundaries. Also interesting was the fact that, rather than traveling to work meetings, more were utilizing webinars, Skype, or conference calls. &quot;There is no reason I need to drive an hour to sit in a meeting,&quot; said one, &quot;when we can just bang out the details over the phone.&quot;</p> <h2>8. The Ability to Cope With the Difficult Times</h2> <p>&quot;I am being pulled in so many different directions.&quot;</p> <p>Who has it the hardest? Having been there myself, I'd say it's the sandwich generation. These are the women trying to work, take care of children, and take care of parents. K, for example, has three children under the age of 11, works fulltime, and her mother is beginning to experience dementia. Her life involves constant caretaking. She has also had to quickly become an expert in insurance programs, various care facilities, and in-home nursing. She and her husband frequently &quot;tag-team&quot; each other just to get through the day.</p> <h2>9. The Ability to Reconnect</h2> <p>&quot;I never knew I'd learn how to keep score for baseball!&quot;</p> <p>My moms group figured out that they needed to spend time with their families, and I think they have surprised themselves by learning new things in order to stay connected. These moms are cool &mdash; they learned about little league, rodeo, dance, band, etc. &mdash; along with their partners and husbands, and now the whole family is together, no matter what the activity.</p> <h2>10. The Ability to Keep a Sense of Humor</h2> <p>&quot;I'll look back on this and laugh, right?&quot;</p> <p>It's true. I can laugh now about how upset I was at the time about dealing with head lice, or projectile vomiting, or that time when we forgot to pick her up at school. It helps a lot to have other moms to talk to for encouragement. Kids are going to do some dumb things, too, and they're going to occasionally embarrass you, but if you can keep your sense of humor, you'll be all right. Here's just a little more humor:</p> <p>&quot;Being a working mom is not easy. You have to be willing to screw up at every level.&quot; &mdash; Jami Gertz</p> <p><em>What working mom life skills do you find essential?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-life-skills-for-working-moms">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-time-management-skills-that-will-help-your-kid-win-at-school">10 Time-Management Skills That Will Help Your Kid Win at School</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-things-never-to-bring-up-in-a-job-interview">5 Things Never to Bring Up in a Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-to-do-before-your-first-day-at-a-new-job">5 Things to Do Before Your First Day at a New Job</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-resume-rules-you-should-be-breaking">4 Resume Rules You Should Be Breaking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-free-or-cheap-toys-that-will-make-your-kid-smarter">14 Free or Cheap Toys That Will Make Your Kid Smarter</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Family employment kids life skills working moms Tue, 14 Jul 2015 13:00:15 +0000 Marla Walters 1484701 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Awesomely Fun Toys You Can DIY http://www.wisebread.com/15-awesomely-fun-toys-you-can-diy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-awesomely-fun-toys-you-can-diy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/child_playing_toy_kitchen_000046919258.jpg" alt="Kid playing with super fun DIY toy" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Have you been to a toy store lately? There are gadgets and dolls and blocks and other stuff for every age and every stage. So many options, in fact, that it can get quite overwhelming to choose something for your child. Plus, the prices on most of these toys are absolutely outrageous.</p> <p>So dig around the house for some raw materials and get back to the basics with this list of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-diy-crafts-that-will-save-you-money">DIY</a> toys will help you craft playthings your kids will enjoy for years to come.</p> <h2>1. Baby Gym</h2> <p>Cut a few boards and connect them with a dowel to make your own <a href="http://mthanded.blogspot.com.au/2014/09/wooden-baby-gym-tutorial.html">baby gym</a>. The tutorial is pretty lax because you can make it to suit your individual needs. Once the base is constructed, use links to tie up store-bought (or homemade) toys for playing. The best part? When your child grows out of it, you can sew a cute tent cover for more fun.</p> <h2>2. Kinetic Sand</h2> <p>If you haven't discovered the sand craze yet, save yourself some cash by making <a href="http://parentingchaos.com/diy-kinetic-sand/">kinetic sand</a> at home. This stuff holds shape but doesn't make a mess, so it's easy to pick up. You'll need some fine sand from a craft or pet store. After you've baked it dry, add glue and liquid starch until the mixture sticks together but not to your hands.</p> <h2>3. Rag Doll</h2> <p>So many dolls on store shelves look the same. Give your little one something unique with this <a href="http://www.makeit-loveit.com/2013/02/girl-boy-fabric-dolls-pattern-pieces-included.html">DIY rag doll</a>. You'll find patterns for both girl and boy dolls with a detailed sewing tutorial. The difficulty is up to you. The dolls might take some work, but when they're done, you'll be glad you put in the effort.</p> <h2>4. House Blocks</h2> <p>Skip the pricey block sets and make your own <a href="http://mermagblog.com/diy-stacking-house-blocks/">stacking house blocks</a> from scratch. You can cut blocks from 4x4 lumber, but I also recommend checking out your local craft store for cheap pre-cut blocks. Once they're all sanded, decorate with non-toxic acrylic paints and finish with beeswax polish.</p> <h2>5. Animal Spools</h2> <p>Or here's another stacking toy using <a href="http://www.handmadecharlotte.com/diy-mix-em-animal-spools/">wooden spools</a> instead of blocks. Download the free animal template, cut out the parts, and then tape together. Your child will play for hours making different combinations with the heads, bodies, and legs.</p> <h2>6. Play Garden</h2> <p>Grab an old box and get &quot;planting&quot; with this <a href="http://www.abeautifulmess.com/2014/03/diy-plantable-felt-garden-box.html">DIY play garden</a>. You'll use jersey fabric to make round tubes of pretend dirt filled with stuffing. The tutorial describes how to make a variety of colorful veggies from felt. When you've finished sewing, stuff everything together and let your child harvest.</p> <h2>7. Car Ramps</h2> <p>Your kid's cars will zoom faster than ever before with this super simple <a href="http://buggyandbuddy.com/make-wooden-toy-car-ramp/">car ramps</a> project. Cut a few wooden boards to around three feet long. Then paint each black like pavement. Add some yellow dashes for extra flair before placing your new roads on different level surfaces for downhill speed.</p> <h2>8. Toy Treehouse</h2> <p>My jaw dropped when I found this clever <a href="http://www.northstory.ca/dollhouse-no-way-build-your-kids-a-toy-treehouse/">toy treehouse</a> made from various found objects. The author of this project used a branch, cutting board, craft bird house, dowels, and some other thrift and Dollar Store trinkets. Better than spending nearly $200 for <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002RBWKOO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002RBWKOO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=BPYYH7MJUXL7ZLXC">something similar</a>.</p> <h2>9. Play Kitchen</h2> <p>Start combing Craigslist now! You can use an old entertainment center as a starting point for this adorable <a href="http://www.greenyourdecor.com/7042/crazy-beautiful-toy-kitchen/">play kitchen</a>. Depending on how your old furniture is configured, you can make a shelf the cooktop, the cabinet a pretend refrigerator, and add hooks for play plates or towels. Give the whole thing a bright coat of paint for looks.</p> <h2>10. Slime</h2> <p>Everyone loves oozy slime, especially in <a href="http://frugalfun4boys.com/2014/09/29/make-sparkly-gold-slime/">metallic colors</a>. Mixing it together takes just a few minutes. You'll combine liquid starch, clear glue, gold powder, and glitter. Use different powder and glitter for different colors.</p> <h2>11. Cardboard Bed</h2> <p>Here's an awesome <a href="http://www.hellobee.com/2012/10/09/diy-cardboard-bed/">cardboard bed</a> you can make with recycled cardboard and a handy PDF. In other words: It's free. You'll cut out different shapes to make the headboard, footboard, side supports, and more. Then use the slots to nest everything together.</p> <h2>12. Story Stones</h2> <p>I had never heard of <a href="http://thinkcrafts.com/blog/2013/08/27/diy-story-stones/">story stones</a>, but they seem like a genius way to get your kid's imagination going. Look around your house, backyard, or at a park for a few smooth stones. Clean them well, then paint with different pictures &mdash; preferably around a theme. For best results, paint a white background where your image will go. It will help the colors pop.</p> <h2>13. Mini Foosball Table</h2> <p>I want one of these <a href="http://www.handimania.com/diy/mini-foosball-table-kids.html">mini foosball tables</a> for myself. The idea is that cool. You just need an adult-sized shoebox, some dowels, clothespins, and paint. Once you've assembled the playing field, toss in a ping pong ball and keep score.</p> <h2>14. Rainbow Rocker</h2> <p>This <a href="http://ramblingsfromtheburbs.com/2014/01/diy-rainbow-rocker/">rainbow rocker</a> is a multipurpose toy for toddlers that gets wonderfully physical. And the author's inspiration was a toy that retails for $188! To build, you'll need some birch plywood, pocket hole screws, food coloring (to stain wood), and isopropyl alcohol. With materials and printing of plans ($7 at an office supply store), you'll only spend around $50 on this project. Just cut your pieces, sand, stain, and assemble.</p> <h2>15. Play Grill</h2> <p>You can make this <a href="http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/diy-toy-grill-116515?image_id=1411234">pretend grill</a> for around $20. The most important part is a plastic mixing bowl, so if you have one you're willing to part with, it might be even cheaper. Drill holes in the bowl, make a tripod base for it to rest on with thick dowels. The grate is also made from dowels. After a coat of spray paint, you're done.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite DIY toys?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-awesomely-fun-toys-you-can-diy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-free-or-cheap-toys-that-will-make-your-kid-smarter">14 Free or Cheap Toys That Will Make Your Kid Smarter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-toys-and-games-you-can-make-at-home">10 Fun Toys and Games You Can Make at Home</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-homemade-child-products-that-are-cheaper-and-better-than-store-bought">10 Homemade Child Products That Are Cheaper and Better Than Store Bought</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/20-cheap-fun-things-to-do-with-kids-this-weekend">20 Cheap Fun Things to Do With Kids This Weekend</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-ways-to-help-your-child-get-the-best-education">Frugal Ways to Help Your Child Get the Best Education</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Family crafts fun kids playing toys Mon, 06 Jul 2015 13:00:11 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1475752 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Make Adoption Affordable http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-make-adoption-affordable <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-make-adoption-affordable" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_adoption_000035736418.jpg" alt="Family finding ways to afford adoption" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In a perfect world, you would meet the love of you life, get married, have a couple of kids, and embark on a booming career that afforded you many great luxuries in life. Unfortunately, the fairy tale doesn't always work out that way.</p> <p>Many couples are faced with the reality that they are unable to have to kids for one reason or another. Not only that, the cost of adoption has skyrocketed, with many adoptions topping $40,00 in costs. When was the last time you had an extra $40,000 lying around?</p> <p>There's no reason to go broke when you adopt. Here are five ways to afford adoption so you can get your family started right now.</p> <h2>1. Grants</h2> <p>Adoption grants are generally based on some sort of financial need, but for those that qualify, they can provide some much needed cash. A grant is a fantastic way to fund your adoption because they don't have to be paid back&hellip;ever. Some organizations are very specific about the qualifications for grants, while others remain more open. No matter what your situation is, there is an adoption grant waiting for you.</p> <p>Adoption grants require you to be working with a licensed agency and have a home study completed before you apply for the grant. The average cost of a home study is around $2,500, and you can use this home study for grants and loans as needed.</p> <p>There are hundreds of organizations that offer grants, and a good place to start your search is on <a href="http://www.fundyouradoption.tv">Fund Your Adoption</a>. Lori and Jeremy started Fund Your Adoption in 2012 after being swamped with details of trying to find ways to afford adoption. Fund Your Adoption offers a ton of great tips and resources for families who can't quite manage the expense adoption, and loads of wisdom through their experience.</p> <p>Here are a few of the most popular grant organizations:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.helpusadopt.org">Help Us Adopt</a> &mdash; this organization offers adoption grants for everyone, married or single, and regardless of religion.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.giftofadoption.org">Gift of Adoption Fund</a> &mdash; this organization offers grants ranging from $2K&ndash;$5K and accepts all individuals.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.showhope.com">Show Hope</a> &mdash; this organization awards grants averaging $5K.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.achildwaits.org">A Child Waits Foundation</a> &mdash; this organization awards grants ranging from $1K&ndash;$5K and offers grants for everyone.</li> </ul> <h2>2. Crowdfunding</h2> <p>Crowdfunding is no longer reserved for Kickstarter type projects funding the latest and greatest gizmo. It has now become a popular tool to raise money to adopt children, too. All you need is a great network of friends and family (or other potential donors), and a compelling story.</p> <p>Companies like <a href="http://purecharity.com">Pure Charity</a> offer an easy-to-use platform to raise an unlimited amount of funds online. Pure Charity takes 5% of your fundraising to pay for fees and administration costs. In exchange, they offer a site with tools like videos and how-tos, and any funds raised can go directly to an adoption agency that you name. This ensures that the funds raised might also qualify to be tax-deductible to the donor. (Make sure you check with your CPA before you set up your campaign to qualify for tax-deductibility.)</p> <p>Your crowdfunding page is sure to make for an awesome show-and-tell story for your adopted child.</p> <h2>3. Tax Credits</h2> <p>Most people adopting don't realize that they will qualify to receive a tax credit. In 2015, you can claim up to $13,400 in adoption tax credits for qualified adoption expenses. Expenses include a long list of costs, but cover things like adoption and court fees, as well as travel expenses. The tax credit works for all types of adoption, including international, domestic, and foster-to-adopt programs.</p> <p>If you are adopting Internationally, you will usually need to spend a few weeks in country before you are allowed to take your child home with you. The tax credit could certainly help make a dent in those expensive costs. You will want to make sure you keep very good records, receipts, and details of any costs that you expect to use towards the tax credit. You can hand all those documents over to your CPA at tax time to make sure you are applying the right costs.</p> <p>One word of caution: the adoption tax credit is a heavily audited item on tax returns. Many people have abused this tax credit and falsified information. The best advice is to use a CPA or accountant the year that you file for the tax credit in case you are audited.</p> <h2>4. Loans</h2> <p>If you are unable to secure grant money, or just need to fill a gap in funds for adoption, loans can be the answer. You'll probably want to exhaust grants and any crowdfunding ideas before you explore loans, unless the idea of putting your adoption story online sounds like such a terrifying proposition that you'd prefer to assume debt, instead.</p> <p>There are two types of loans &mdash; interest-free and low interest. As with any loan, you need to make sure that you can afford the monthly payments once the loan is in the repayment mode.</p> <p>Interest-free loans are always the preferred method of funding, and there are a couple of great options. <a href="http://www.abbafund.org">ABBA Fund</a> offers loans ranging from $6,000&ndash;$8,000 for Christian families, while the <a href="http://www.hflasf.org">Hebrew Free Loan Association</a> offers loans up to $15,000 for Jewish families.</p> <p>If you can't get an interest-free loan, low interest loans will be your next stop. One of the most competitive interest rates is with A Child Waits, which offers up to $10,000 in funding and charges 5% interest. You have a five-year repayment window, but no penalty for prepayment of the loan. That is still lower interest than most credit cards would offer, but certainly higher than some other options you might have available.</p> <h2>5. Fundraising</h2> <p>If all else fails, good ol' fundraising might do the trick. There are stories after stories of couples that raised enough money for adoption just through fundraising events alone.</p> <p>Some of the more popular are car washes, dinners, auctions, and T-shirt selling campaigns. Credit card rewards points are also a great way to fund adoption. If you configure your spending properly, you could earn a significant amount each year in rewards points that can be traded in for cash and used towards expenses.</p> <p>These are a few of the most popular ways to afford adoption, but certainly not the only ones.</p> <p><em>What are some of the ways you've used to save money adopting?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shannah-game">Shannah Game</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-make-adoption-affordable">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/great-financial-gifts-for-children">Great Financial Gifts for Children</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-time-management-skills-that-will-help-your-kid-win-at-school">10 Time-Management Skills That Will Help Your Kid Win at School</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-adjustments-you-should-make-mid-year">12 Money Adjustments You Should Make Mid-Year</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-ways-to-save-money-on-your-cup-of-coffee">9 Ways to Save Money on Your Cup of Coffee</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family adoption children fundraisers grants loans savings Thu, 02 Jul 2015 17:00:24 +0000 Shannah Game 1470990 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: How Will You Show Your Appreciation This Father's Day? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-will-you-show-your-appreciation-this-fathers-day <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-how-will-you-show-your-appreciation-this-fathers-day" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fathers_day_gift_000063141029.jpg" alt="Daughter showing her appreciation for her dad on Father&#039;s Day" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-will-you-show-your-appreciation-this-fathers-day#comment-776192">Jeff</a>, Michelle, and Susan for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>Sunday is Father's Day! While it's important to love and appreciate the special dads in your life all year round, Father's Day is usually the time when many people want go the extra mile.</p> <p><strong>How will you show your appreciation this Father's Day?</strong> Will you be giving a gift, your time, or both? How do you usually show your appreciation when it <em>isn't</em> Father's Day?</p> <p>Tell us how you'll show your appreciation on Father's Day and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; here's how you can win!</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will be randomly selected to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</li> </ul> <h3>For Extra Entries:</h3> <ul> <li>You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:</li> </ul> <p><a id="rcwidget_uu0693ue" data-template="" data-theme="classic" data-raflid="79857dfa192" rel="nofollow" class="rcptr" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857dfa192/">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a> </p> <script src="//widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script></p> <p>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, June 22nd at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after June 22nd on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us how you&#039;ll show your appreciation on Father&#039;s Day and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-will-you-show-your-appreciation-this-fathers-day">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-share-your-best-parenting-tips-stories-100-prize">Ask the Readers: What&#039;s Your Favorite Childhood Memory? (Win $100)</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/ask-the-readers-do-you-return-gifts-chance-to-win-10">Ask the Readers: Do you Return Gifts? (Chance to Win $10!)</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/ask-the-readers-do-you-do-black-friday">Ask the Readers: Do You Do Black Friday?</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/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-dream-job-0">Ask the Readers: What is Your Dream Job?</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/ask-the-readers-cheap-ways-to-stay-cool-chance-to-win-20">Ask the Readers: Cheap Ways to Stay Cool? (Chance to Win $20!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Giveaways Ask the Readers Father's Day Tue, 16 Jun 2015 15:00:16 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1456841 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Financial Pitfalls Stay-at-Home Parents Should Avoid http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-pitfalls-stay-at-home-parents-should-avoid <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-financial-pitfalls-stay-at-home-parents-should-avoid" 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_sons_000039504068.jpg" alt="Stay-at-home mother avoiding common financial pitfalls" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Staying at home with my daughter has been one of the best choices I've made in my life. At the same time, there are a number of money concerns I didn't necessarily expect when I handed in my resignation. For those of you who stay home (or who might be considering this big life change), take heed. You can do it the right way &mdash; protecting your financial future &mdash; with a little research and planning.</p> <h2>1. Retirement Planning</h2> <p>Suze Orman's advice is to <a href="http://www.oprah.com/money/Financial-Advice-for-Stay-at-Home-Parents">contribute what you can</a> in preparation for retirement. Spouses can claim Social Security benefits based on their partners, even in the event of divorce. Use the <a href="http://www.aarp.org/work/social-security/social-security-benefits-calculator.html">AARP's Social Security Calculator</a> to estimate your individual take-home benefit. Beyond that, there are Spousal IRA accounts where you can stash away as much as you like, provided the working partner makes enough each year to cover your contribution.</p> <h2>2. Life Insurance</h2> <p>It's an area nobody likes to think about, but securing life insurance is wise for both working and stay-at-home parents, alike. And just because you're not making money doesn't mean you're not contributing to your family. Securing life insurance will help your family with funeral bills, child care, education costs, and more if something ever happens to you.</p> <h2>3. Divorce Dollars</h2> <p>The rate of divorce has more or less stayed the same over the past several decades at around a whopping <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/emmajohnson/2014/10/27/are-you-a-stay-at-home-mom-facing-divorce-dont-expect-alimony/">50% of marriages</a>. Stay-at-home parents are in vulnerable financial positions if they find themselves in the courtroom to make the split. Whereas alimony used to be the standard means of support in years past, judges are now <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/beverly-willett/are-stayathome-parents-at_b_907792.html">granting these maintenance dollars</a> much less freely. Of course, health insurance, retirement, court fees, and other money woes are wrapped up in this issue as well.</p> <h2>4. Resume Builder</h2> <p>Thinking ahead, I know I'll someday need to go back to full-time employment. Getting a job with a huge gap in my work history sounded daunting. So, I've been keeping my skills current. As a writer, I've had the amazing opportunity to work from home through freelance writing. Even if your area of expertise isn't so easily honed from home, you can check out different volunteer gigs, side-jobs, education opportunities, professional connections, and other ways of staying fresh in your field. That way, when you do submit a resume years down the line, you'll show you've stayed connected to the job market.</p> <h2>5. Emergency Fund</h2> <p>Even the most financially sound families should save up an emergency fund. We found this area particularly important when I decided to stay home. For example, my daughter ended up having some unforeseen medical issues. Our monthly budget only makes ends meet, so having some extra money set aside helped soften the blow from all the doctor bills. A broken furnace, totaled car, or even your spouse's job loss could spell disaster without some planning. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-building-an-emergency-fund-always-a-good-idea?ref=seealso">Is Building an Emergency Fund Always a Good Idea?</a>)</p> <p><em>How has staying at home impacted your financial planning?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-pitfalls-stay-at-home-parents-should-avoid">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unexpected-ways-stay-at-home-parents-save-big">7 Unexpected Ways Stay-at-Home Parents Save Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-investing-lessons-you-must-teach-your-kids">10 Investing Lessons You Must Teach Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke">24 Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-should-your-kids-know-about-your-finances">How Much Should Your Kids Know About Your Finances?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-nfls-5-most-frugal-players">The NFL&#039;s 5 Most Frugal Players</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Family Lifestyle kids retirement savings stay-at-home parents Tue, 26 May 2015 09:00:08 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1431028 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Unexpected Ways Stay-at-Home Parents Save Big http://www.wisebread.com/7-unexpected-ways-stay-at-home-parents-save-big <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-unexpected-ways-stay-at-home-parents-save-big" 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_son_000015641889.jpg" alt="Mother saving big by being stay-at-home parent" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are you a stay-at-home parent? Or are you perhaps considering becoming one? It's a scary jump &mdash; and that's something I understand personally. There are a number of factors I considered before leaving the full-time working world to stay home with my daughter almost four years ago. But thankfully, there are ways to find unexpected savings just by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-legit-ways-for-stay-at-home-moms-and-dads-to-earn-some-extra-cash">staying home</a>. Here are an important few to consider as you prepare your new budget:</p> <h2>1. Work Wardrobe</h2> <p>Of course, we all want to look nice and be fashionable. But when you stay home, there's less pressure to maintain up-to-date work clothing and other sets of wardrobes. Not only that, you can also experiment with second-hand shops for your family's clothing. I'll admit, it feels strange to see my closet shift from workwear to mostly casual duds. At the same time, I've been able to adopt a more minimalist approach with my apparel. It's saved us lots of money, at least several hundred dollars a year. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-essential-pieces-for-your-capsule-wardrobe?ref=seealso">8 Essential Pieces for Your Capsule Wardrobe</a>)</p> <h2>2. Meals Out</h2> <p>When I worked my last job at a local university, I would often grab lunch in the union or elsewhere around campus. Little by little, the dollars added up. I'd spend $25 a week (okay, probably more) when I had plenty of food spoiling at home. Dinners, too, would present challenges. All too often, I'd find myself getting out of work late and browsing a takeout menu.</p> <p>Staying at home leaves more hours open for meal planning and cooking. Not only that, you can try out <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-time-and-money-with-a-monthly-assembly-or-bulk-cooking-weekend">bulk cooking</a>, which saves time and money. You'll also have more motivation to survey your grocery store choices. I love budget stores like Aldi, where I can usually pack a whole cart full of food for less than $100. Every bit counts. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-never-buy-from-aldi?ref=seealso">10 Things You Should Never Buy From Aldi</a>)</p> <h2>3. Daily Commute</h2> <p>I left my 9-to-5 when gas prices were at their absolute highest. Though my commute wasn't terribly far, I have friends who travel an hour or more to their jobs. All that money on transportation and upkeep is blown away like so much exhaust. Parents who stay home can work to schedule activities and errands to maximize efficiency. In fact, you may even find the opportunity to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/becoming-a-one-car-family-5-points-to-consider">become a one-car family</a> in the process. We've been living this way for the past year. It was challenging at first, but the money back in our pockets (gas, car insurance, maintenance costs, etc.) has made it worthwhile.</p> <h2>4. Daycare Costs</h2> <p>Obviously, if you stay home with your kids, you won't need much or any childcare. Since I do work part-time from home, I have my daughter in a preschool class a few mornings a week to give us both a breather. It's a fraction of the cost of full-time daycare. And I can write-off this expense during tax season. For those of you on the fence, try calculating how much you might spend on full-time childcare. How would this expense impact your monthly budget? My old salary, for example, would have been cut in half or worse, making staying at home a more viable option.</p> <h2>5. Basic Living</h2> <p>I've also found that staying home allows me to return to those <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-old-fashioned-skills-that-save-you-money">old fashioned ways of living</a> and, therefore, saving money. When I was working outside the home, I didn't have the time or desire to make my own cleaning supplies. Now I mix up batches of all-purpose cleaner, homemade <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-diy-laundry-detergent-recipes">laundry detergent</a>, and other scrubs like it's my job. Well, I guess it <em>is</em> my job. You get the idea. Staying home allows me to take better stock of what we're spending and how we might less expensively run our household from the inside out.</p> <h2>6. Free Stuff</h2> <p>During nap times or other breaks, you can take a look around at local calendars to find free activities in your area. I've collected coupons, vouchers, loyalty bonuses, and all other sorts of stuff in a binder. That way, when we're looking for entertainment, I can find fun on a budget. And you'll be surprised by the number of free or low-cost things you'll discover when you have the time to seek them out. We have saved a huge amount of money this way and often spend less than $25 on a weekend. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-entertain-your-kids-for-free?ref=seealso">20 Ways to Entertain Your Kids for Free</a>)</p> <h2>7. Sound Budget</h2> <p>After I left my job, I had more brain cells to focus on our operating budget. As a result, I have an extremely good handle on how much money goes in and out of our home. I'm able to adjust our budget accordingly. This keen attention to detail has been invaluable to us. It's also an action that's allowed me to stay home without feeling as much financial pressure. We no longer waste money on extras, like magazine subscriptions and gym memberships. Overall, we're just more mindful in our spending. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-mindless-ways-youre-spending-money?ref=seealso">10 Mindless Ways You're Spending Money</a>)</p> <p><em>In what ways has being a stay-at-home parent boosted your budget?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unexpected-ways-stay-at-home-parents-save-big">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-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-pitfalls-stay-at-home-parents-should-avoid">5 Financial Pitfalls Stay-at-Home Parents Should Avoid</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-important-questions-to-ask-before-adding-to-your-family">5 Important Questions to Ask Before Adding to Your Family</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-sibling-discounts-that-can-save-you-big">6 Sibling Discounts That Can Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-time-management-skills-that-will-help-your-kid-win-at-school">10 Time-Management Skills That Will Help Your Kid Win at School</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-free-or-cheap-toys-that-will-make-your-kid-smarter">14 Free or Cheap Toys That Will Make Your Kid Smarter</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Family child care kids saving money stay-at-home parents Tue, 19 May 2015 23:00:09 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1423350 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Signs You Are Teaching Your Kids Bad Financial Habits http://www.wisebread.com/4-signs-you-are-teaching-your-kids-bad-financial-habits <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-signs-you-are-teaching-your-kids-bad-financial-habits" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000043444084_Full.jpg" alt="Kids learning parents&#039; bad financial habits" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="158" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You spent that extra money in your bank account on a weekend trip to New York City, instead of using it to pay down your credit card debt. Maybe you even accidentally paid your power bill a week late last month.</p> <p>Are you inadvertently teaching your teens bad <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-habits-of-financially-successful-people">financial habits</a>?</p> <p>You might be.</p> <p>It's not easy measuring how influential parents are when it comes to influencing their children's behaviors. Just ask parents who've tried to change a teen's mind on anything from fashion to dating to finding a job. But a 2014 study by Bank of New York &mdash; <a href="https://www.bnymellon.com/us/en/our-thinking/business-insights/new-rules-for-engagement.jsp">New Rules for Engagement</a> &mdash; found that 52% of Millennials ranked their parents as their most trusted source of financial advice, while just 10% trusted the money advice of their peers.</p> <p>&quot;Maybe children don't trust their parents when it comes to picking friends, music, spouses, or even careers, but when it comes to financial advice, parents come out on top,&quot; says Kendrick Wakeman, founder and chief executive officer of FinMason.</p> <p>Because of this, parents have a special burden to pass good financial habits on to their kids. Wakeman says that ideally parents do this by example &mdash; they save money, pay their bills on time, and don't run up their credit cards. Their children see this and do the same things when they're adults.</p> <p>But what if you are far from the perfect financial role model for your children? What if you often forget to make your car loan payment on time? What if the debt on your credit cards grows every month? Might you be passing bad financial habits onto your kids?</p> <p>Here are four signs that you are passing bad money habits onto your teens, and what to do about it.</p> <h2>Can't You Just Use Your Credit Card?</h2> <p>You're in the department store shopping for a flat-screen TV. There are models within your budget, models that you've saved up enough to buy with cash. But there's an even better TV that's outside your budget &mdash; far outside it. Your teens want it. When you tell them it's too expensive, they ask &quot;Can't you just put it on the credit card?&quot;</p> <p>This is a sure sign that your children have watched you use your credit cards to buy items that you can't really afford. It's time to act like an adult and only make credit card purchases that you know you can pay off in full once your bill comes due. You want to teach your teens how to use credit cards wisely; using them to buy items that you can't afford is not how to do this.</p> <h2>Let's Get One More Thing</h2> <p>You're at the grocery store with your teens. You've checked off every item on your shopping list. But as you get nearer to the cashier, your teens start tossing packs of gum, magazines, or candy bars into your cart.</p> <p>The odds are good they've learned how to impulse shop from you. You don't want your teens to grow up to be impulse shoppers. Those extra Milky Way bars and bottles of Diet Pepsi add up. Resist the urge to add them to your cart at the last minute. And make sure to stop your teens from adding them, too.</p> <h2>Can't We Just Buy This One?</h2> <p>You've decided to buy a new laptop for the family to use. Your teens are thrilled with this idea. Your plan is to do some comparison shopping, either online or at local electronics stores. Your teens, though, just want to buy the first laptop they find online, regardless of its price or reviews.</p> <p>Look back at your own behavior. How many times have you simply gone online and ordered a new washing machine after a 10-minute online search? Have you gone to a car lot and simply picked the first car shown to you by the salesperson? If your teens have observed this behavior, the odds are high that you've taught them that comparison shopping doesn't matter. You can reverse this lesson, though. Next time you need to buy a new dishwasher, refrigerator, or other large item, take your kids comparison shopping with you. They need to see just how much money you can save when you shop around.</p> <h2>Why Can't I Have It, Too?</h2> <p>Your daughter wants a new pair of expensive jeans because her friend at school has the same brand. Your son wants a new pair of gym shoes because his friend dropped $50 on the same pair.</p> <p>It's likely that your teens have learned this why-can't-I-have-it-too behavior from you. Have you upgraded to a new car because your neighbor did the same? Have you purchased a swimming pool because you've seen your neighbors enjoying one? It's okay to buy these things, if you can afford them. Teach your kids self-control &mdash; and help them avoid neighbor envy &mdash; by only upgrading to a new car when you're financially ready, no matter what your neighbors have parked in their driveway.</p> <h2>You Don't Need a Big Bank Account to Teach Good Habits</h2> <p>Debbie Crowder, branch banking executive vice president at Richmond, Virginia-based SunTrust Bank, said that parents, even if they are struggling with their own finances, can teach their children how to avoid their mistakes and become financially savvy adults.</p> <p>&quot;Involve your child in in the day-to-day financial decisions you make for your household,&quot; Crowder says. &quot;When the power bill is higher than usual, explain the reason why and discuss how the entire family can conserve energy the next month to lower the bill.&quot;</p> <p>Chris Hogan, a financial speaker with Ramsey Personalities in Brentwood, Tennessee, says that parents can pass on good financial habits even if they themselves have a history of financial mistakes.</p> <p>&quot;The worst thing we can do as parents is to pretend like we're perfect,&quot; Hogan says. &quot;It's important to talk about the mistakes we've made financially. That's what can make a real impact on our children's behavior.&quot;</p> <p><em>How do you model good financial behaviors for your kids?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-signs-you-are-teaching-your-kids-bad-financial-habits">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. 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