Family http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4566/all en-US The 8 Best Pets for Frugal Animal Lovers http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-best-pets-for-frugal-animal-lovers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-8-best-pets-for-frugal-animal-lovers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000020594867_Large.jpg" alt="a goldfish is a frugal pet" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Contemplating becoming a pet parent? There are plenty of things to consider before taking the plunge &mdash; like making sure the animal is properly cared for and <em>loved</em> (it's not all about you, remember). But you also need to account for how much time and money it will cost to make a pet part of your life.</p> <p>If you're not ready to make a major commitment with a puppy or a kitten, however, you can still realize the joy of owning a pet with an animal that's a bit more self-sufficient. Here are a few suggestions that are good for pet-parent beginners, young and old alike. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-lessons-you-can-learn-from-your-pets?ref=seealso">6 Money Lessons You Can Learn From Your Pets</a>)</p> <h2>1. Hermit Crab</h2> <p>It's basically a rite of passage &mdash; if you live anywhere near a beach, anyway &mdash; to adopt a hermit crab as a kid. I grew up in the Mid-Atlantic, and everyone I knew had a hermit crab at one point or another during childhood, mostly because it was much easier to convince our parents to let us have this easy-to-maintain pet opposed to, say, a rabbit or an otter, or the pig I've always wanted. Hermit crabs cost about $8.</p> <p>Providing sustenance for a hermit crab is a cinch, it's no real fuss to keep a bowl of clean water and food in its habitat to access when necessary. Pelleted hermit crab food can be purchased from a pet store for around $10, but in addition, you also can feed it chopped apples, grapes, bananas, kale, and broccoli.</p> <p>Hermit crabs are nocturnal and social, so you may want to pick up a friend or two that it can jam out with when you go to bed at night. It's also recommended that you&nbsp;<a href="http://pets.petsmart.com/guides/hermit-crabs/caring-for-hermit.shtml">provide the habitat with a sea sponge</a> that the crab can climb on as well as bigger shells the crab can change into as it grows, and that'll cost you about $35.</p> <h2>2. Guinea Pig</h2> <p>If you're considering a small rodent, you have plenty of choices, and the most popular among them is arguably the hamster. Hamsters are cute, for sure, but in terms of ease of care and overall friendliness, a guinea pig could be the better fit for you. For starters, unlike hamsters, which are nocturnal, guinea pigs tend to nap, and are alert and friendly whenever you're ready to cuddle and play. Another plus &mdash; they're less likely to bite than other rodents, like hamsters and rabbits. Guinea pigs cost around $30.</p> <p>In terms of care, you should handle your pig regularly (and why wouldn't you &mdash; they're adorable!), and provide it with about four square feet of<a href="https://www.lovethatpet.com/small-pets/guinea-pig/"> habitat filled with creature comforts</a> like soft bedding, store-bought food, fruits, veggies, and water, which will set you back about $100 when all's said and done.</p> <h2>3. Gecko</h2> <p>Some people cringe at the thought of creepy-crawly pets like amphibians and reptiles, but geckos &mdash; a type of lizard (and also the Geico mascot) &mdash; are cute, quiet, clean, and very affordable at $20.</p> <p>All a gecko needs to live out its happy life is a terrarium outfitted with a few rocks and logs; a light bulb to keep it warm because it's cold-blooded (this part is very important so you don't freeze it to death at room temperature); and its favorite food: mealworms or crickets, which only cost a few cents a serving, and are available at any pet store. A complete equipment kit is $50, plus the cost of the actual homing structure, like an aquarium.</p> <h2>4. Freshwater Fish</h2> <p>Freshwater fish are one of the most, if not <em>the</em> most, inexpensive and low-maintenance pets to own. They're so cheap, in fact, that you can get goldfish &mdash; the reigning king of freshwater pet fish &mdash; for pennies. At PetSmart, for instance, goldfish cost about 14&ndash;29 cents. Including the bowl, water purification tablets, habitat features (like rocks), and food, you can walk away with the whole setup for less than $15.</p> <h2>5. Snake</h2> <p>You might notice somewhat of a trend on this list that most of the low-maintenance and low-cost pets are also low energy and make almost zero sound. Case in point, the snake, which for some will send shivers down their spines. But you can pick up a fancy corn snake for around $70, plus a complete habitat kit for $50. You'll also need a tank in which the snake can live, and that'll run you about $100 on the low end, but you can probably find one on Craigslist for cheaper. Mice, because the snake's got to eat, run about $13 for four frozen medium specimens, and you'll feed the snake one to two times a week.</p> <h2>6. Rat</h2> <p>I know, I know, it's a rat, but hear me out. Male fancy rats (it seems like everything at the pet store is called &quot;fancy,&quot; by the way, and I don't know why) are highly intelligent, and surprisingly cuddly. They're also only $11. A starter kit setup, which includes the cage, toys, and food, is $100. The love you'll have for your new scavenger friend, however, is priceless.</p> <h2>7. Ants</h2> <p>You can't handle or play with ants like you can many of the other animals on the list, but that might work for you, if you prefer to be a more hands-off pet owner. Amazon lists <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00000IRUG/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00000IRUG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=TMF2L7M5O25MAWPO">Uncle Milton's Giant Ant Farm</a> for about $24 all in.</p> <h2>8. Pet Rock</h2> <p>Some people shouldn't be responsible for the life of another being. You know who you are. If you can't even keep a houseplant alive, pet ownership probably isn't for you &mdash; at least right now.</p> <p>In that case, do what a million and a half other suckers did in 1975 and buy a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00A98BHK0/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00A98BHK0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=IKIBD44V4T4K6W4V">Pet Rock</a>. For about $13, you too can experience the sheer awesomeness of staring at a stone with zero responsibility to it whatsoever. On a side note, if this is up your alley, let's talk about a bridge I'd like to sell you.</p> <p><em>Do you have any low maintenance pets? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-best-pets-for-frugal-animal-lovers">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-money-lessons-you-can-learn-from-your-pets">6 Money Lessons You Can Learn From Your Pets</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-surprising-ways-your-dog-can-save-you-money">5 Surprising Ways Your Dog Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-least-expensive-dog-breeds-to-own">The 6 Least Expensive Dog Breeds to Own</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-the-easter-bunny-should-give-money-instead-of-candy">8 Reasons the Easter Bunny Should Give Money Instead of Candy</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-lessons-about-money-i-learned-after-having-twins">7 Lessons About Money I Learned After Having Twins</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Family adopt a pet animal lovers low maintenance pets pet owners pets Mon, 25 Apr 2016 10:00:06 +0000 Mikey Rox 1695990 at http://www.wisebread.com Does Your Kid Need an IRA? http://www.wisebread.com/does-your-kid-need-an-ira <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/does-your-kid-need-an-ira" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/child_piggy_bank_000073782665.jpg" alt="Child needs an IRA and here&#039;s how to set one up" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's a big day when you open a savings account for your child, but opening an investment account on their behalf takes the financial conversation to a whole new level &mdash; especially when you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-why-a-roth-ira-may-be-better-than-your-401k" target="_blank">invest through a Roth IRA</a>. Here are a few reasons why your kid needs one.</p> <h2>1. They'll Learn About Investing &mdash; And More</h2> <p>Investing is arguably the most complicated and intimidating aspect of money management, so the earlier you get your kids acclimated to the process, the better.</p> <p>You could open a plain old investment account for them, but investing through a Roth IRA provides powerful additional benefits by teaching them about (and saving them) taxes.</p> <h2>2. They Start Saving for Big Purchases &mdash; Like College or a House</h2> <p>A Roth IRA is a flexible, tax-efficient way to invest. Contributions can be withdrawn at any time without taxes or penalties. Earnings can be withdrawn on the same basis as well if the account has been open for at least five years and the money is used for qualified college expenses or a first-time home purchase (up to $10,000).</p> <p>Of course, the Roth really shines as a retirement savings vehicle. All of the money &mdash; contributions and earnings &mdash; can be withdrawn tax- and penalty-free after age 59&frac12;, and the benefit of those tax-free earnings really adds up over time. So, if your child has another way to pay for college and a house, all the better to keep adding to the account and let it build for later life. But it's nice to have the flexibility to pull money out earlier if needed for college or a house.</p> <h2>3. They'll Still Be Eligible for Financial Aid</h2> <p>Money held in an IRA, whether owned by a parent or a child, does <em>not</em> impact the financial aid calculation, at least not <em>initially. </em>By contrast, 20% of the money a student holds in a taxable investment account will reduce the financial aid they're eligible for.</p> <p>However, if money is withdrawn from an IRA to pay for college, that money <em>will </em>reduce financial aid. It's treated as income, 50% of which is considered to be available to pay for school. One workaround is to use such money only to pay for the last year of school since no aid will be required the following year.</p> <h2>How to Set Up an IRA for a Minor</h2> <p>Setting up a Roth for a kid is as straightforward as setting one up for yourself, but there are a couple of wrinkles to be aware of.</p> <h3>Qualifying for an Account</h3> <p>A child has to have earned income in order to qualify for an IRA, which can come from a job or their own self-employment efforts, such as babysitting, mowing lawns, shoveling snow, pet walking, and more.</p> <p>As long as the child meets the income qualification, they don't have to contribute their own money; parents or others could make IRA contributions on their behalf. Either way, annual deposits to the account cannot exceed the amount of income earned by the child, and is currently capped at $5,500 per year.</p> <h3>Opening an Account</h3> <p>The account must be set up as a custodial account since you need to be the &quot;age of majority&quot; (18&ndash;21, depending on your state) to have such an account in your own name. Any adult can open a custodial account on behalf of a minor &mdash; a parent, grandparent, other relative, or just a friend of the child. The assets transfer to the young person when he or she reaches the age of majority.</p> <p>Many brokers, including Fidelity, TD Ameritrade, and Schwab, offer custodial IRA accounts with no or very low minimum opening balance requirements.</p> <h3>Funding an Account</h3> <p>As for specific investments to consider after opening an account, mutual funds may not be the best choice since they often require $1,000 or higher minimum investment amounts. You might consider exchange-traded funds (ETFs) instead. They can be purchased one share at a time, offer great diversification, and many brokers, including the ones mentioned above, offer plenty of commission-free ETFs.</p> <p>Opening a Roth IRA for your child is one of the best financial moves you could make. Just be sure to involve them in the process of choosing investments and understanding the tax benefits. That combination of education and hands-on experience will set them on a path toward becoming a knowledgeable, confident, successful investor.</p> <p><em>Have you opened an IRA for a child?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/matt-bell">Matt Bell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-your-kid-need-an-ira">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-the-sandwich-generation-can-get-ahead">6 Ways the Sandwich Generation Can Get Ahead</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-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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-why-you-must-open-a-roth-ira-before-april-15">4 Reasons Why You Must Open a Roth IRA Before April 15</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-tax-mistakes-new-parents-make">4 Tax Mistakes New Parents Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unexpected-ways-stay-at-home-parents-save-big">7 Unexpected Ways Stay-at-Home Parents Save Big</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Investment dependents kids retirement accounts Roth IRA saving money taxes Fri, 22 Apr 2016 10:30:06 +0000 Matt Bell 1693266 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Unexpected Dog Costs You Should Prepare for Now http://www.wisebread.com/5-unexpected-dog-costs-you-should-prepare-for-now <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-unexpected-dog-costs-you-should-prepare-for-now" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000065477617_Large.jpg" alt="unexpected dog costs can add up" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Is dog man's best friend &mdash; or budget blower? Many potential pet owners are aware of the initial costs of buying and owning a canine, but what about the unexpected costs, such as furniture damage and travel expenses?</p> <p>Here are five unexpected dog-related costs to be aware of before committing to your new furry friend. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-your-dog-is-ruining-your-credit-score?ref=seealso">3 Ways Your Dog Is Ruining Your Credit Score</a>)</p> <h2>1. Damaged Furniture and Housing</h2> <p>Puppies will be puppies, and that includes chewing on just about everything. While the occasional shoe or clothing item will not set you back a lot of money, you should prepare for costly furniture damage.</p> <p>Not only can dogs ruin table legs and couches, but some canines will even do costly home damage. One friend had a bulldog puppy who chewed a good-sized hole in the wall and baseboard. Puppies are not the only ones to blame, either. My husband's grandmother's adult dog ruined her front doorway because he was accidentally left outside during 4th of July and grew overly anxious during the fireworks.</p> <h2>2. Minor Medical Costs</h2> <p>Thankfully there is pet insurance that helps cover costly vet bills from injuries and old age. However, many people do not factor in the minor medical costs, such as flea and tick medication, special lotion for dry skin, nail trims, anal gland expression, and even sedative medication during certain holidays &mdash; like New Year's and 4th of July.</p> <p>Even just adding a puppy to your family can add on the costs of vaccinations, exams, and getting them spayed or neutered. Money.com says, &quot;Routine vet exams cost between $45 and $200 for puppies in the first year of life.&quot; So don't let that cute puppy face make you forget all of these extra upfront costs.</p> <h2>3. Higher Home Insurance Policies</h2> <p>Certain dog breeds are blacklisted by insurance companies due to their breed traits. Pit bulls, dobermans, rottweilers, German shepherds, huskies, and akitas are all breeds that can raise home insurance premiums. Even if your dog is the sweetest dog around, you will still be charged more, or be denied coverage altogether. The average dog bite claim <a href="http://www.iii.org/issue-update/dog-bite-liability">costs insurance companies $30,000</a>, so you can see why they charge more.</p> <h2>4. Excess Rental Fees</h2> <p>Landlords can charge you extra for living with a dog. Many landlords will charge a standard pet deposit and might even add on an additional monthly payment. Depending on the contract you sign, your landlord can come after you for damages if your dog ruins the yard or interior. Many apartments and landlords do not even allow dogs, so your pooch could put you in a tough spot when it comes to finding a place to live.</p> <h2>5. Traveling Fees</h2> <p>My husband and I got our two dogs in our first year of marriage. We missed out on several vacation and travel opportunities because of them that first year. I didn't realize how much it would cost to board them or to take them with us, and when you are newly married, the budget can be very tight.</p> <p>According to Pettravel.com, the average cost to <a href="http://www.pettravel.com/0001216.cfm">fly domestic with your pooch</a> is $125 each way. So expect to pay $250 roundtrip just for your pup to be on board. To keep your dog in a kennel, it costs on average $20-$25 per day, per pet.</p> <p>If you plan to take your pooch with you on vacations, you should prepare for these following costs:</p> <ul> <li>Air travel costs;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Vaccination updates;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Accessory costs, such as a carrier that meets flight requirements, and a travel bed;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Hotel costs. For example, the Best Western charges <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/hotels/2014/09/03/pet-dog-friendly-hotel/14972079/">$20 per day</a> and other hotels might charge a refundable damage deposit.</li> </ul> <h2>How to Avoid Higher and Unexpected Pet Costs</h2> <p>Most of these costs come from a lack of planning. Dogs can bring great joy and fun to a family, but the costs, pros, and cons needed to be thought out carefully. Dogs, like children, are living creatures that will need many years of love, care, and even sacrifice at times. Be sure you consider the future money and time required when you see that cute face and floppy ears.</p> <p><em>How do you prepare for costly vet bills? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-unexpected-dog-costs-you-should-prepare-for-now">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-money-lessons-you-can-learn-from-your-pets">6 Money Lessons You Can Learn From Your Pets</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/is-pet-health-insurance-worth-it">Is Pet Health Insurance Worth It?</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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-it-costs-to-raise-a-child">What It Costs to Raise a Child</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Family cat dog dog costs household pet pet costs pet owner vet bills veterinary bills Mon, 18 Apr 2016 10:30:09 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1691404 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Lessons That Teach Your Kid to Be Their Own Boss http://www.wisebread.com/5-lessons-that-teach-your-kid-to-be-their-own-boss <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-lessons-that-teach-your-kid-to-be-their-own-boss" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kids_lemonade_stand_000082855427.jpg" alt="Kids learning lessons that teach them to be their own boss" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Even if you don't want &mdash; or expect &mdash; your child to be in business for themselves, fostering an entrepreneurial spirit can be beneficial in many ways. Strong leadership skills and confidence can go a long way, no matter what career path your child ends up pursuing.</p> <h2>1. Teach Kids the Importance of Passion and Purpose</h2> <p>Ask your child what their wildest dreams are, and what they would do for the rest of their lives, even if it didn't make much money. The point is to see what they are passionate about. While not every passion of theirs will be profitable, it is important for them to pursue something they love so that they don't experience burn out later in life.</p> <p>Teach them to chase fulfillment rather than a filled wallet. For example, if they are really interested in being an EMT and helping people, but choose to pursue being a lawyer because it means more money, then they will feel unsatisfied with their lives no matter how much money they make.</p> <h2>2. Goal Setting Is a Must</h2> <p>Setting goals is more than just picking random resolutions in the beginning of the year. The act of goal setting is essential for developing discipline and giving a child the first taste of success.</p> <p>What kind of goals can your children have? Start with goals that center around what your children love and find interesting. For example, if your child loves to read or is on the soccer team, set slightly challenging goals that they will enjoy working at, such as reading two books in a week or scoring goals in consecutive games.</p> <p>As your children become more interested in goal setting, set goals for their weaker areas, such as getting an A or B on the next math test or keeping their room clean for a week. Your child will understand that continually setting goals helps shape them into the person they wish to be &mdash; and it can be fun. Goal setting can dramatically improve every area of an individual's life, so don't underestimate the importance of it.</p> <h2>3. Encourage Creative Thinking and Problem-Solving</h2> <p>When your child comes to you with a complaint or problem, encourage them to think outside the box on how to solve it. Maybe their problems include keeping their lunch warm or dealing with another kid who teases them at school. Brainstorm possible solutions to each problem, encouraging both logical and off-the-wall solutions.</p> <p>Some of the most successful people today are individuals that solved a problem with a unique or out-of-the-box idea.</p> <h2>4. It's Never Too Early to Teach Networking</h2> <p>Effective communication skills are essential for building up relationships. Kids naturally think and talk about themselves all of the time. Many adults have this same problem, too. The issue with this is that they miss opportunities to connect and learn from others. Encourage your children to ask others thought-provoking and non-invasive questions that others will love to answer. Have your children try these simple questions out on adult family members and family friends:</p> <ul> <li>What is your favorite thing about your job?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>What would you tell your x-year-old self (using your child's age)?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>What do you wish you learned in school if you could learn anything?</li> </ul> <p>These questions are meant to teach your children how to engage others in a thoughtful discussion, while practicing deeper listening skills. They might even learn something along the way. Sadly, most teens and young adults are well-versed in text messaging and social media, but cannot effectively network in person.</p> <h2>5. Get Hands-On Experience</h2> <p>While teaching goal setting and effective communication are essential, it is also important to jump into a small business to get hands-on experience. The business does not have to be the next greatest thing or one that is time-consuming. Try starting a weekend lawn service, pet walking service, or a mobile car washing business. Be sure to understand the child labor laws and income limits for your area before starting.</p> <p>The goal is to have your child to think about advertising, gaining clients, keeping clients, and working hard. While making a few bucks on the side will be a great incentive for your child, the real lessons come from doing. Even a failed business will teach your child or teen valuable lessons.</p> <p>Growing an entrepreneurial spirit in your child is a slow and steady process. Schools are so great at teaching children how to read and do complicated math equations, but when it comes to fostering an entrepreneurial spirit, many schools do not even touch on those valuable lessons. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-places-teens-and-adults-can-learn-about-money?ref=seealso">7 Places Teens (And Adults) Can Learn About Money)</a></p> <p><em>How have you helped encourage an entrepreneurial and business-savvy spirit in your child or teen? </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-lessons-that-teach-your-kid-to-be-their-own-boss">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/does-your-kid-need-an-ira">Does Your Kid Need an IRA?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-cosign-your-teenagers-credit-card-application">Should You Cosign Your Teenager&#039;s Credit Card Application?</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-ways-to-protect-your-business-during-a-divorce">5 Ways to Protect Your Business During a Divorce</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-easy-ways-to-keep-your-family-organized">8 Easy Ways to Keep Your Family Organized</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Family creative thinking entrepreneurial skills finding passion goal setting jobs kids lessons teens Tue, 12 Apr 2016 09:00:07 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1687116 at http://www.wisebread.com When Should You Start Saving for Your Child’s Education? http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-start-saving-for-your-child-s-education <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/when-should-you-start-saving-for-your-child-s-education" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/boy_school_books_000053329704.jpg" alt="Determining when to start saving for your child&#039;s education" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>College is expensive, and it's only going to get more expensive. Tuition costs continue to climb at a rate significantly <a href="http://www.finaid.org/savings/tuition-inflation.phtml">higher than the inflation rate</a>. In fact, on average, the cost of college doubles about every nine years. This means that for a child born today, once they enter college, the college costs will be nearly four times what they are now. You can help your child pay for college by saving (and saving early!), but before you open any accounts, be sure your understand your situation, and your options.</p> <h2>Is It Better to Save for <em>Your </em>Retirement or <em>Their </em>Education?</h2> <p>In a perfect world, you should be saving both for your retirement and your child's education. It's also important to have a sizable savings account in case of an emergency. However, if you can't save for everything, the first priority is to save for your own future retirement.</p> <p>If your child doesn't have enough money for their education, they can always take out educational loans and apply for scholarships. You won't be able to take out loans for your retirement, so it's important that you save for retirement first.</p> <p>If you can afford to save for your child's education, here's what to expect.</p> <h2>Compound Interest Is Your Friend</h2> <p>The best time to start planning for your child's education is from the day they are born. If you begin saving from day one, a good estimate is to save $250 a month for an in-state public college, $400 a month for an out-of-state public college, and $500 a month for a private college.</p> <p>As is the case when saving early for retirement, saving early for your child's education can be huge. Compound interest can be your best friend because the interest that you earn early on will also earn interest from then on, which can spell huge gains if you start investing early. On the other hand, the longer you wait to save, the less interest you will accumulate, and the more you will need to save later on.</p> <p>For instance, if you start saving $250 per month at a 6% return from the time your child is born, you'll earn approximately $97,330 by the time they enter college. If you wait until they are 10 years old to begin saving, you'll have approximately $30,862 accumulated by the time they enter college. This is the beauty of compound interest.</p> <h2>How to Invest</h2> <p>In most cases, if you start saving early, it is best to use an age-based allocation for your investment. This means that it will start with more aggressive investments to earn more interest early on. The allocation will then become more conservative as your child gets older and closer to entering college.</p> <h3>529 Savings Plans</h3> <p>A 529 college savings plan, also known as a Qualified Tuition Program, will allow you to save for your child's education in a tax-free manner. Each 529 plan has its own associated annual fees and operating costs, so you will want to carefully compare these to get the best deal. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans?ref=seealso">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</a>)</p> <p>The plan works similarly to a 401K or IRA, so the contributions will be taxed, but the earnings will not be. You can contribute to this tax-free account until your child is 18. The money from the account must be used by the time they are 30. If your child decides that they don't want to go to college, you can change the beneficiary.</p> <h3>Coverdell ESA</h3> <p>A Coverdell Education Savings Account is a custodial account that can be used to cover any educational expenses, at any time, so you won't need to wait until your child enters college. While they function similarly to a 529 savings plan, the contribution amounts are much lower. While a 529 account allows lifetime contributions of $200,000&ndash;$400,000, a Coverdell ESA only allows contributions of $2,000 per year. The money from the account must be used by the time they are 30.</p> <h3>Prepaid Tuition Plans</h3> <p>A prepaid tuition plan will allow you to purchase tuition credit in advance at a predetermined price from an in-state public school, though many will also cover out-of-state schools. This means that you can pre-purchase tuition at today's price, so you won't need to worry about inflation or the increasing cost of education. These plans have the same tax and financial aid restrictions as 529 savings plans. The major downside to the plan is that if your child decides to go to another school, you'll get a return of your money, but inflation can still affect you.</p> <p>For instance, say you invest $10,000 for a year of tuition and the cost per-year increases to $20,000. You would still get a full year's worth of tuition. If your child decides to go to another school, your original investment of $10,000 (plus a very small amount of interest) will be returned to you. However, now that the tuition per year is higher, your investment won't go as far.</p> <h3>UGMA and UTMA Accounts</h3> <p>UGMA (Uniform Gift to Minors Act) and UTMA (Uniform Transfer to Minors Act) accounts are custodial accounts, which will allow you to reserve cash and assets for your children. According to the IRS, the initial $1,000 in gains is tax-free, the next $1,000 is taxed at the child's income tax rate, and the remainder is taxed at the parent's income tax rate. The downside to these accounts is you have less control over how your child spends the money because there are no restrictions on how the funds are used as long as they directly benefit your child. Once your child comes of age (between age 18&ndash;21, depending on the state), they can use the money however they choose.</p> <h2>Using Your IRA to Pay for Your Child's Education</h2> <p>The IRS allows you to <a href="https://www.irs.gov/publications/p970/ch09.html">withdraw IRA funds tax-free</a> and penalty-free to pay for qualifying educational expenses. This will allow you to save for their education, while having the peace of mind that if your child decides not to go to college, you can still use the funds for retirement.</p> <h2>Avoid the Savings Account Trap</h2> <p>Opening a savings account in your child's name may seem like a good idea, but it may end up costing you in the end. Financial aid is based on assets from the year prior to applying for aid. When determining how much financial aid to award your child, they will consider your child's savings accounts as well as any funds in any custodial accounts. This means that if your child has a large amount of savings in their name, they may end up losing out on financial aid.</p> <h2>Getting a Late Start</h2> <p>If you haven't begun saving for your child's education as they approach college, it's never too late to start. If you have less than five years to save before they enter college, it may be a good idea to work with a financial planner or advisor so that they can help you get the most from this time. They can help you determine what your risk tolerance is so that you don't invest too aggressively and take on too much risk in an effort to catch-up.</p> <h2>Get Your Child to Help</h2> <p>Once your teenager lands their first job, be sure to to make it into a learning opportunity for them. This can be a good time for them to begin saving and breaking their paychecks up into three portions: weekly expenses, short-term goals, and long-term expenses (such as saving for college). This will help to relieve some of the burden, and it will prepare your child for the real world and teach the importance of saving.</p> <p><em>Did you start saving early for your child's education? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-start-saving-for-your-child-s-education">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tax-tricks-to-try-if-youre-stuck-with-student-loans">8 Tax Tricks to Try if You&#039;re Stuck With Student Loans</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/dont-skip-these-8-tax-breaks-for-students">Don&#039;t Skip These 8 Tax Breaks for Students</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-leave-college-without-making-these-5-moves-for-financial-success">Don&#039;t Leave College Without Making These 5 Moves for Financial Success</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/21-things-that-young-adults-absolutely-need-to-know-about-money">21 Things That Young Adults Absolutely Need to Know About Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Family 529 plans college compound interest Coverdell ESA investing saving tuition UGMA UTMA Fri, 08 Apr 2016 09:30:31 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1682911 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Money Lessons You Can Learn From Your Pets http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-lessons-you-can-learn-from-your-pets <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-money-lessons-you-can-learn-from-your-pets" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000047379998_Large.jpg" alt="learning money lessons from your cat and dog" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Each morning, I am generally awoken in one of two ways: either Tivo, our three-year-old greyhound, places his wet nose directly in my face and snuffles with excitement, or our cat Lebowski (a.k.a. The Dude) lays himself across my neck and purrs jet-engine-decibel contentment straight into my ear.</p> <p>I love my pets, and not just because they have made the alarm clock app on my phone completely superfluous. They are great companions and friends, but they are also fonts of incredible money wisdom. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-surprising-ways-your-dog-can-save-you-money?ref=seealso">5 Surprising Ways Your Dog Can Save You Money</a>)</p> <p>Don't believe me? Consider the following.</p> <h2>1. Dogs Remind You to Enjoy the Little Things</h2> <p>If you want to make your dog happy, just grab his favorite ball and head outside. A little bit of rough-and-tumble play with Rover, or some scratches behind his ear are more than enough to send him over the moon. He knows that there's no need to commit to a huge, expensive indulgence to have fun, when walkies and a full bowl of kibble get his tail wagging.</p> <p>And researchers have found that dogs are onto something. We derive more happiness from the small, regular pleasures in life than we do from the big, occasional indulgences. That's because of something known as <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedonic_treadmill">hedonic adaptation</a>, where we feel less pleasure from something we have become accustomed to. After a day at the beach, you will not be feeling as happy as you were when you got there, and by the end of your vacation, you will be completely accustomed to sand and surf, which means you'll take it for granted.</p> <p>If you emulate your beloved pooch, however, and spend your money or time on smaller and more regular pleasures &mdash; such as weekly drinks out with friends, a monthly manicure, and daily walks with Rover &mdash; then you'll be much happier than if you deny the small indulgences in favor of big purchases.</p> <h2>2. Model Your Investments After Catnaps</h2> <p>Cats sleep between 12 and 16 hours a day, and will often only move in order to stay in the sunbeam they are napping in. But even with all of that shut-eye, cats are hardly &quot;sleeping on the job.&quot; Even a snoozing feline will twitch his ears if you drop something &mdash; and he can spring into action almost instantaneously if he feels threatened while snoozing.</p> <p>What Mittens is indirectly teaching you with this type of sleeping pattern is how to be a rational investor. Taking a long view and sitting tight on your investments through market ups and downs is by far the smartest way to grow your wealth. Most of us have a hard time doing what feels like nothing during market volatility. This is called the <a href="http://ambiguityadvantage.blogspot.com/2008/02/action-bias-in-decision-making-problem.html">action bias</a>, and it makes us feel as though doing anything, even if it is counterproductive, is preferable to sitting around doing nothing. But listening to the action bias is the reason why people sell when the market is at its lowest and buy when it's at its highest. They are afraid of doing nothing.</p> <p>It's important to note that your cat doesn't just sleep the day away. He always keeps one ear cocked for signs of trouble. Doing nothing may be his default &mdash; as it should be with your investments &mdash; but he is ready to take action when it is necessary, and not a moment before.</p> <h2>3. Dogs Teach Us That Boredom Is Destructive</h2> <p>When we first got Tivo, one afternoon he managed to tear open our locked bread drawer by pulling hard enough on the handle to break the wooden face of the drawer. We quickly realized that our new family member didn't just share our affinity for bagels &mdash; he was also suffering from boredom. Thankfully, increasing our visits to the dog park, and investing in a better drawer lock, helped solve the problem.</p> <p>But Tivo's drawer-breaking tendencies reminded me of the destructive power of boredom. Parents know that bored kids will always find something to do, and generally that something is destructive. Bored grownups, on the other hand, tend to spend money to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-frugal-ways-to-battle-boredom">relieve their ennui</a>. How often have you found yourself browsing Amazon or going out to eat because you can't think of anything else to do?</p> <p>For both dogs and people, the best boredom relief is often exercise. Heading out for a quick walk or even doing some jumping jacks when you are feeling bored can stimulate both your body and your mind, for free. Even better, it won't result in the better part of your kitchen being strewn through your living room.</p> <h2>4. Your Cat Doesn't Fear Failure, and Neither Should You</h2> <p>I have owned cats my entire life, and yet I never cease to be impressed by their ability to leap tall cabinets in a single bound. Cats do not weigh risks or do cost-benefit analysis when trying to navigate a tricky obstacle to the preferred spot on the highest piece of furniture. They simply leap without hesitation. Even if they do miss their target and fall, they simply get up, pretend that they meant to fall, and try again.</p> <p>Of course, cats feel confident making acrobatic jumps because they are uniquely suited to landing on their feet. But human beings are similarly well-suited to adapting to new circumstances and handling the issues life throws at them. We may fear big changes, like leaving a job to become an entrepreneur, or going back to school to learn a new skill. But like the cat's landing reflexes, we have the ability to handle those big changes. We should look at failure like cats do &mdash; as a potential cost you can easily bounce back from.</p> <h2>5. Emulate Your Dog by Thoroughly Investigating Opportunities</h2> <p>When you introduce your dog to a new person, their first instinct is to take a good whiff of the stranger before deciding if he's a friend or a foe. Dogs also thoroughly investigate every fire hydrant and patch of yellow snow on their walks to make sure they are au courant with the neighborhood doggy business.</p> <p>This kind of investigation is an important aspect of protecting your finances. Dogs are known for being easily excitable, and yet they take a moment to make sure they know everything they can about a person or fellow animal's scent before making a decision. Human beings, who are supposedly more rational, will often jump into the &quot;sure thing&quot; investment because they are so excited about the prospect of big money. Only when they discover that there are no tin mines in Bolivia and that they were taken in by a con man, do they remember that they should have investigated the investment thoroughly before writing a check.</p> <h2>6. Cats Know How to Ask for What They Want</h2> <p>Although cats have a reputation for being aloof and dignified, they are also perfectly happy letting the humans in their lives know when they want something &mdash; as anyone who has spent a day letting a cat in and then back out and then back in again, can attest.</p> <p>Human beings have trouble being both dignified and willing to ask for help. We tend to think of dignity as somehow being above asking others for help. But our cats show us that there is nothing undignified in recognizing when you need help getting what you want. Getting help from others is often necessary to meet your career and financial goals. You would hate to miss opportunities just because you were afraid to ask for help.</p> <h3>Four-Footed Friends and Finance</h3> <p>Tivo and The Dude may not have a thriving stock portfolio or even a simple budget. But my dog and cat both show me on a daily basis that they may know a thing or two about money anyway.</p> <p><em>What money lessons have you learned from your pets? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-lessons-you-can-learn-from-your-pets">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-unexpected-dog-costs-you-should-prepare-for-now">5 Unexpected Dog Costs You Should Prepare for Now</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-great-teachable-money-moments-to-share-with-your-kids">6 Great Teachable Money Moments to Share With 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/the-8-best-pets-for-frugal-animal-lovers">The 8 Best Pets for Frugal Animal Lovers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-95-best-ways-to-get-fit-for-free">Flashback Friday: The 95 Best Ways to Get Fit for Free</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/flashback-friday-the-76-best-life-lessons-you-should-learn-by-30">Flashback Friday: The 76 Best Life Lessons You Should Learn by 30</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Budgeting Family cat dog family pet lessons learned money lessons Thu, 24 Mar 2016 10:30:06 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1677206 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Fun Games That Teach Your Kids About Money http://www.wisebread.com/6-fun-games-that-teach-your-kids-about-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-fun-games-that-teach-your-kids-about-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kids_playing_games_000020528687.jpg" alt="Kids playing fun games that teach them about money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Parents want their kids to be financially savvy, and kids just want to have fun. Games that teach financial skills are a win-win for both the parent and child. Try adding these fun games to your family game night to get your child interested in investing, saving, and spending wisely. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/great-financial-gifts-for-children?ref=seealso">Great Financial Gifts for Children</a>)</p> <h2>1. Pay Day</h2> <p>How can we not start with one of the most classic games on money management? <a href="http://amzn.to/1S02fh3">Pay Day</a> makes finances fun and helps teach kids where money goes. It instructs on the fundamentals of budgeting and helps encourage an entrepreneurial spirit. If you can get your hands on an original 1970s version of this game, then you will get the version that comes with insurance options and savings options, which are also important to teach children.</p> <h2>2. Dave Ramsey's ACT Your Wage! Board Game</h2> <p>If you are a huge fan of Dave Ramsey's money principles, then the <a href="http://amzn.to/1S02HvY">ACT Your Wage!</a> board game could be a fun way to introduce your children to the same method of thinking. The board game does not come with as many decision-making options (such as in Monopoly) where players are allowed to decide what to buy, sell, and what property to expand to make more money. The main purpose of the game is for the player to do the following:</p> <ul> <li>Save $1,000 into an emergency fund</li> <li>Budget spending by using the envelope system</li> <li>Pay off debt using Ramsey's snowball effect</li> <li>Be the first player to get out of debt and yell, &quot;I'm debt-free!&quot;</li> </ul> <p>All four steps of the game are definitely wise money habits to instill in your children. This game can also be a great tool to open up conversation about the consequences of debt and how freeing it can be to live debt-free.</p> <h2>3. Charge Large</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/1V6Zrle">Charge Large</a> seems like a stark contrast from Ramsey's board game. While this game does promote credit card usage, the ultimate goal is to be debt-free. This game can help kids see that using credit cards is simple and can help you get what you want, but eventually it will lead to expensive debt if they do not use credit cards wisely.</p> <p>For a player to win, they must upgrade to a black card, save $2,500 in cash, and have zero debt. While some families wish to be 100% debt-free and never rely on credit cards, there are times when individuals will need to take out loans or use a credit card. Telling your children just to avoid credit cards altogether could backfire on you &mdash; since they will then be lured by the temptation of using &quot;free money&quot; later in life, not fully understanding the consequences of debt. It would be better to teach them how to use credit cards wisely rather than avoid the subject all together.</p> <h2>4. Cash Flow for Kids</h2> <p>Finance guru Robert Kiyosaki, best-selling author of <a href="http://amzn.to/1XqAiAp">Rich Dad, Poor Dad</a>, developed <a href="http://amzn.to/1SNdFqG">Cash Flow</a> and <a href="http://amzn.to/1V70mlD">Clash Flow for Kids</a> board games. This game teaches children the difference between assets and liabilities. It also teaches basic accounting and investing, while emphasizing the importance of passive income and giving money to charity. The kid's version is a good option for children ages 6-12. Once your children hit the tween and teen stage, try playing the adult version with them.</p> <h2>5. Net Worth</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/1XqArUI">Net Worth</a> is a card game that plays like Crazy Eights. The goal of the game is to collect financial assets and get out of debt. The card game also teaches players to strategize how to navigate financial perils, such as a stock market crash or job loss. The player with the highest net worth at the end of the game is the winner. The best part is that this game is less than $6 and takes 7-15 minutes to play.</p> <h2>6. Daytrader</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/1QST96M">Daytrader</a> is similar to Monopoly but much faster in pace. It simulates the stock market and helps teach young and old alike how the market works. No financial knowledge is needed to start playing. The game allows players to work at different jobs and to buy and sell stocks in the companies they work in to increase their savings. The first player to have enough cash to retire must get to the bank before the stock market sets them back in order to win.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite way to teach your kids about money management?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-fun-games-that-teach-your-kids-about-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-things-science-says-you-should-do-for-your-family">5 Easy Things Science Says You Should Do for Your Family</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/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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-the-easter-bunny-should-give-money-instead-of-candy">8 Reasons the Easter Bunny Should Give Money Instead of Candy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tax-mistakes-new-parents-make">4 Tax Mistakes New Parents Make</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family budgeting children kids money games money lessons for kids Wed, 23 Mar 2016 09:30:28 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1677288 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Reasons the Easter Bunny Should Give Money Instead of Candy http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-the-easter-bunny-should-give-money-instead-of-candy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-reasons-the-easter-bunny-should-give-money-instead-of-candy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000008240280_Large.jpg" alt="the Easter bunny brought money instead of candy" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In 2015, the <a href="https://nrf.com/media/press-releases/consumers-the-hunt-candy-new-spring-apparel-this-easter">average family spent about $140</a> on Easter-related goodies. That's a lot of cash for a lot of sugar. Is it a good idea to be spending so much on something that's gone by the end of the spring? (Aside from those immortal Peeps, of course.) Or is it better to save your dough and give them some lessons in personal finance instead?</p> <p>Now, I'm not going to be the one to suggest that the Easter Bunny forgo candy in favor of sensible financial gifts. It's the Easter Bunny, not the boring Easter Financial Planner, after all.</p> <p>But there may be ways to weave in personal finance lessons while letting your kids gorge on some treats. Here are some good &quot;financial&quot; alternatives to chocolate bunnies and jelly beans, and why they're so much sweeter as gifts than sugary, empty calories.</p> <h2>1. Kids Need an Early Lesson in Saving</h2> <p>Many banks offer savings accounts for people under age 18, with parents having joint custody and control. Other banks, including Wells Fargo, have some accounts allowing children over 13 to have full control. Your kids are free to use the savings account and learn about deposits and withdrawals, interest, and even how to use an ATM card.</p> <h2>2. Savings Bonds Teach the Power of Patience</h2> <p>It's easy to purchase U.S. Treasuries through Treasurydirect.gov and gift them to whomever you want. You can even have a gift certificate delivered with the bond. Savings bonds are very simple financial instruments that are virtually guaranteed to grow in value over time and teach children about interest. And if they are long-term bonds, they'll get lessons in patience, as well.</p> <h2>3. Becoming a Choco-Stock Holder Is Way More Fun Than Just Eating Chocolate</h2> <p>If you want to let your kids embrace chocolate, but give some financial lessons along the way, give them a few shares of a chocolate or candy company. Hershey [NYSE: NSY] is the largest chocolate company in North America. Its stock is a solid performer with a 2.5% dividend. Another solid option is Rocky Mountain Chocolate Company [NASDAQ: RMCF]. And it's also possible to invest in international chocolate makers including Nestle and Cadbury.</p> <h2>4. They Can Learn How to Build a Nest Egg</h2> <p>Let's say you take that $140 you're planning to spend on Easter and instead, place it in an index fund that mirrors the S&amp;P 500. If you do that every year for the next 10 years, you'll have more than $2,000 to give to your kiddos, according to most investment calculators. Do it for 20 years and you'll have more than $6,000. Do it for 30 years, and you'll have more than $14,000. Seems a lot better than cheap baskets and piles of fake grass, am I right?</p> <h2>5. Give Them an Early Start on Saving for College</h2> <p>It's hard to think about your kids going off to college when they still believe in the Easter Bunny. But college ain't cheap, and there may be no greater gift than helping them avoid thousands of dollars of debt when they graduate. A 529 college savings plan will allow you to put money into the stock market and have it grow tax-free, provided the funds are used for college later. And you may also get some additional tax breaks from your state. The annual cost of public college tuition in 2030 could top $40,000, while private school tuition might run you $90,000 or more, according to the College Board. Start saving now! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans?ref=seealso">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</a>)</p> <h2>6. You Can Help Them Start a Business</h2> <p>When your kid is opening a Hershey bar, consider telling him the story of how Milton Hershey founded several businesses before hitting it big with chocolate. Your kid has great ideas. Why not help them see if they can turn their smarts and creativity into a money-making operation?</p> <p>You can help them craft a business plan, learn how to develop and market products, and even keep a balance sheet. Many schools offer real-world business lessons through the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, so it's worth exploring whether the program is available in your area. Even if your child isn't ready to start a business now, giving them lessons in entrepreneurship can open up a world of opportunities later.</p> <h2>7. Make Chocolate With Them Instead of Buying It</h2> <p>Adults know it takes time to properly save for big ticket items like homes and cars, and that the most patient investors are the ones that come out ahead. By teaching your children to make chocolate instead of getting store-bought candy, they will learn the value of patience over immediate gratification. They'll also learn how to be frugal by exploring DIY options, rather than immediately spending money on pre-made, overpriced items. Because, after all, their homemade chocolate is bound to taste better than whatever the Easter Bunny drops off.</p> <h2>8. Give Them an Allowance &mdash; And a Budget to Buy the Chocolate</h2> <p>Depending on the child's age, it may be time to pay them for doing chores around the house. It's often recommended to give a child 50 cents a week for every year they've been alive. So a six-year-old might get $3 a week if they take care of their responsibilities. But the allowance should also come with lessons on spending. Set limits on what a child can spend each week, so they understand the power of accumulating savings. Who knows? Perhaps they'll realize they can afford even more than what was left on Easter morning.</p> <p><em>What other gifts should the Easter Bunny give other than candy? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-the-easter-bunny-should-give-money-instead-of-candy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-diy-easter-baskets-that-cost-10-or-less">7 DIY Easter Baskets That Cost $10 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-fun-games-that-teach-your-kids-about-money">6 Fun Games That Teach Your Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-save-on-a-shoestring">25 Ways to Save on a Shoestring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-lessons-about-money-i-learned-after-having-twins">7 Lessons About Money I Learned After Having Twins</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/unusual-ideas-to-save-an-extra-100-a-month">Unusual Ideas to Save an Extra $100 a Month</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Family budgeting candy Easter interest kids saving Tue, 22 Mar 2016 09:00:05 +0000 Tim Lemke 1677120 at http://www.wisebread.com The Surprising Way Birth Order Decides Your Money Habits http://www.wisebread.com/the-surprising-way-birth-order-decides-your-money-habits <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-surprising-way-birth-order-decides-your-money-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_000087462289_Large.jpg" alt="wondering how her birth order determines spending habits" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The order in which you were born can say a lot about you. There have been many studies done that suggest your <a href="http://familyservices.us.com/pdf/A%20Review%20of%20200%20Birth-Order%20Studies-Lifestyle%20Characteristics.pdf">birth order is directly connected</a> with your personality, achievements, and even who you marry. Your birth order might even give some significant insight in how you save and spend money.</p> <h2>Oldest Child</h2> <p>Being the eldest of the family usually means you are <a href="http://www.uclouvain.be/cps/ucl/doc/psyreli/documents/2003.BirthOrder.pdf?spnCategory=525&amp;spnDomain=17&amp;spnContent=23&amp;spnContent=28&amp;spnID=41021">more responsible and driven</a>. Firstborns tend to be more organized and punctual, too. You have probably been in charge of your younger siblings on multiple occasions. And there were also many times when your parents depended on you.</p> <p>All of these personality traits translate to healthy financial habits. Firstborns are more likely to pay bills on time, spend responsibly, and calculate financial risks thoroughly. Their driven behavior might be why many firstborns also make more money or have prestigious careers, such as a profession in the medical or law field.</p> <p>Firstborns can also come with flaws. Their perfectionist nature can drive them too far. Firstborns are more likely to suffer burnout and mid-life crises. Your finances will suffer if you reach burnout and give up on your career or savings goals. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-smarter-than-your-sibling-your-birth-order-might-provide-the-answer?ref=seealso">Are You Smarter Than Your Sibling?</a>)</p> <h2>Middle Child</h2> <p>Middle children tend to be the <a href="http://familyservices.us.com/pdf/A%20Review%20of%20200%20Birth-Order%20Studies-Lifestyle%20Characteristics.pdf">family's peacemaker</a>. They are good at solving problems and coming up with inventive solutions to conflict and issues. Middle children can fall into the trap of not wanting to look upstaged by their older sibling. Middle children are more likely to hide their true financial situation, so that parents and siblings will think the middle child is responsible and successful.</p> <p>Middle children will benefit the most financially by being honest with themselves and others about money. You will only put your budget in trouble if you pretend that you can afford everything your older sibling can. While the pressure to compete might have you embellishing how much is in your savings account, don't let your pride cause you to overspend or forgo asking for help when you are in financial hot water.</p> <p>As an inventive problem solver, middle children can tend to deal with financial problems in a creative, but unhelpful way. Shuffling debt around to new <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">0% APR credit cards</a> might seem smart, but it does not address the root issue &mdash; debt.</p> <h2>Youngest Child</h2> <p>As the baby of the family, you are used to being in the spotlight. Family members are more likely to dote on the youngest and provide extra leniency as far as responsibility goes. The youngest tend to be more social and fun-loving, too.</p> <p>All of these traits can lead to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-habits-that-kill-your-buying-power">poor money habits</a>. The youngest child might rely on their parents for financial support much longer than their other siblings and have a hard time developing financial responsibility. They can tend to blame bad financial consequences on others instead of owning up to mistakes. For example, a late bill is not their fault since the company forgot to send the bill or they were working too many hours to have time to pay it.</p> <p>The youngest children can tend spend their money carelessly, especially in social and fun settings. They might complain about not having enough money to fix their car or pay rent, but they always seem to have money for a dinner out with friends or a Starbucks latte.</p> <p>Don't let your youngest-child status ruin your finances though. You can still enjoy fun, social nights out, but learn to budget for it and find creative and more affordable solutions. A potluck with friends can be just as fun &mdash; and much less expensive &mdash; than going out for a dinner and a movie.</p> <h2>Only Child</h2> <p>Only children share many of the great financial habits of firstborns. They tend to have <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-your-credit-score-mean-good-bad-or-excellent">great credit scores</a> and be driven to make more money. Since only children have spent most of their lives around adults, they also tend to be more mature. However, only children can also feel more inclined to impress others and take risks. They might overspend and live above their means to impress others and to fit in.</p> <p>Only children might also take riskier financial moves, such as putting their money in a new startup or risky investment. Their higher level of risk can either work for them, or against them. Some risks will pay off in big ways, while others will drain their bank accounts.</p> <p>It is important to remember that birth order is a theory and not a law. While your birth order <em>might </em>mean you have natural inclinations to certain personality quirks and spending habits, it should by no means be what defines you. Don't write off your bad money habits just because you are the youngest child. Instead, learn what your natural inclinations are and work against them to create healthy money habits.</p> <p><em>Did we nail your money habits right on the head or were we completely wrong? Share your how your birth order affects your money management. </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-surprising-way-birth-order-decides-your-money-habits">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/what-s-your-budget-personality">What’s Your Budget Personality?</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/make-grocery-budgeting-a-game-the-price-is-right-style">Make Grocery Budgeting A Game, The Price Is Right Style</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/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-often-do-you-get-your-paycheck">How often do you get your paycheck?</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/leave-marley-in-the-movies-why-buying-a-trendy-pet-makes-no-sense">Leave Marley in the Movies: Why Buying a Trendy Pet Makes No Sense</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Budgeting Family birth order budgeting money habits money personality only child spending habits Wed, 16 Mar 2016 10:00:06 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1673866 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Tax Mistakes New Parents Make http://www.wisebread.com/4-tax-mistakes-new-parents-make <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-tax-mistakes-new-parents-make" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mom_dad_baby_000068517403.jpg" alt="New parents making common tax mistakes" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Raising a child in America isn't cheap. CNNMoney and FutureAdvisor reported that it would cost $245,340 to raise a child born in 2013 from birth through age 18.</p> <p>That's a lot of money. But your children can actually save you dollars one time each year: When you're <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-important-tax-changes-for-2016">preparing your income taxes</a>. Kids come with some valuable tax deductions and credits. The problem? Many new parents, understandably overwhelmed with the burdens of taking care of a baby, fail to claim these savings.</p> <p>And that can cost them thousands of dollars. If you are a new parent, don't pass on these key tax savings.</p> <h2>1. Skipping the Child Tax Credit</h2> <p>The <a href="https://www.irs.gov/uac/Ten-Facts-about-the-Child-Tax-Credit">child tax credit</a>&nbsp;shouldn&rsquo;t be overlooked. If you had a new baby in 2015, whether through birth, adoption, or the foster care system, you can claim this additional $1,000 tax credit. It doesn't matter, either, on what day of the year you became a new parent. You can claim the credit even if you had your child on Dec. 31. Your child just needs to be younger than 17 at the end of the tax year in which you are claiming the credit.</p> <p>&quot;Having a baby gives you access to a tax bonus, and will help you reduce your taxable income,&quot; said David Hyrck, partner with New York City's Reed Smith. &quot;I see way too many new parents who overlook this child tax credit. Everyone needs to be doing this.&quot;</p> <p>There is one downside to the tax credit: It is nonrefundable if the credit is higher than your tax liability. Say you owe the government $500. Your $1,000 child tax credit will erase the money you owe the government. But you will lose the extra $500 that you could have claimed if you owed more than $1,000 on your tax bill.</p> <h2>2. Forgetting to Adjust Withholdings</h2> <p>Michael Eckstein, owner of Michael Eckstein Tax Services in Huntington, New York, says that new parents need to adjust the amount of money that their employers withhold from each of their paychecks for taxes.</p> <p>To do this, ask your employer for a new W-4 form. Once you have that form, indicate that you have a new child.</p> <p>Eckstein says that it's important to do this because children bring with them new deductions and credits. You should also tell your employer to reduce the amount of money you&rsquo;re withholding to account for these new tax benefits.</p> <p>If you don't, you will receive a larger tax refund. But remember: Getting a big refund isn't the goal. You'd rather have that extra money in your own hands with each paycheck. You can then use that money for important purchases, or you can invest it and watch it grow. That's a better alternative than giving it to the U.S. government for a full year.</p> <h2>3. Missing Out on Adoption Credits</h2> <p>If you became a new parent this year through an adoption, you're eligible for a significant federal tax credit of as much as $13,400. That's a big help with the high costs that can come with adopting.</p> <p>You don't have to use this tax credit in just one year, either. Say your bill for the 2015 tax year is $5,000. You can use $5,000 of the $13,400 tax credit and then save up the rest of the credit for future years. You can carry over any unused portion of the adoption tax credit for up to five years or until you use up all of the entirety of the credit, whichever comes first.</p> <p>To take this credit, your adopted child must be under 18 at the end of the tax year.</p> <h2>4. Skipping the Child and Dependent Care Credit</h2> <p>New parents should also investigate the <a href="https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc602.html">child and dependent care credit</a>. This tax credit benefits parents who are working and must pay others to care for their children. To qualify for this credit, both you and your spouse must have earned money during the year from a job and must have paid someone to care for your child while you were working.</p> <p>Calculating how much you can claim for child care expenses is complicated, and depends on how much you spend on childcare, as well as your income. The maximum amount of expenses that you can claim for one child is $3,000, and for two or more children, $6,000.</p> <p><em>Are you making any of these parenting and tax mistakes?</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-tax-mistakes-new-parents-make">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/does-your-kid-need-an-ira">Does Your Kid Need an IRA?</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-fun-games-that-teach-your-kids-about-money">6 Fun Games That Teach Your Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-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/5-ways-to-make-adoption-affordable">5 Ways to Make Adoption Affordable</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-things-science-says-you-should-do-for-your-family">5 Easy Things Science Says You Should Do for Your Family</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family adoption children deductions dependents kids new parents tax credits Mon, 14 Mar 2016 11:00:13 +0000 Dan Rafter 1665554 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Fun Money Apps for Kids http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-money-apps-for-kids <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-fun-money-apps-for-kids" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_daughter_tablet_000076004131.jpg" alt="Finding the best money apps for kids and families" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Think personal finance is an adults-only matter? Think again. You can start teaching your child smart money habits from a very young age. Whether you use points or dollars, the concepts will surely sink in if a little fun is involved. Here are 10 apps that will teach your kids about money &mdash; all while letting them play on their favorite devices.</p> <h2>1. Savings Spree</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $5.99 on iTunes</p> <p><strong>Ages</strong>: 7 and up</p> <p><strong>Rating</strong>: 4+ stars</p> <p><a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/savings-spree/id430150476?mt=8">Savings Spree</a> doesn't just teach your kid how to count nickels and dimes. Instead, it focuses on how different lifestyle choices in the everyday can add up to either big savings or big expenses. Your child can earn, spend, donate, or invest &quot;money&quot; in a variety of scenarios, which are presented in a game show format for added interest. Along with teaching the basics, this app will even present your little one with the harsh reality of those unexpected expenses that necessitate an emergency fund. Important lesson, indeed!</p> <h2>2. P2K Money</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Free on iTunes</p> <p><strong>Rating</strong>: 4+ stars</p> <p><a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/p2k-money/id405631656?mt=8">P2K Money</a> is all about teaching your child the value and responsibility of money &mdash; plain and simple. You can engage in the learning process together using tools for budgeting, spending, and savings of your kid's earnings, like an allowance. They can even create wish lists to save for the items they want to buy. And what's especially cool is that the app will save those wish lists so your little guy or gal can evaluate if those items were actually worth the expense.</p> <h2>3. Bee Farming</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $1.99 on iTunes</p> <p><strong>Rating</strong>: 4+ stars</p> <p><a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bee-farming/id358168136?mt=8">Bee Farming</a> gives your child the opportunity to start his or her own virtual business with a swarm of bees and just $100. Each week, the bees can go to work in the forest collecting honey that your child will &quot;sell&quot; in a market to earn more bees or other supplies. This is such a fun game, even adults play it and compete to earn a spot on the Top Farmers Board. What a great way to give your kid the basics on business, hard work, and managing expenses.</p> <h2>4. PiggyBot</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Free on iTunes</p> <p><strong>Ages</strong>: 6 to 8 years old</p> <p><strong>Rating</strong>: 4+ stars</p> <p>Even young kids with an allowance can jump in on&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/piggybot/id844151884?mt=8">PiggyBot</a> to collect a virtual allowance. This tool will help your child visualize his or her allowance and categorize it into what areas they'll spend, share, and save. This app also motivates kids to pick savings goals and gives them useful information for how much money they need to save and how long it will take them to save it.</p> <h2>5. The Game of Life</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $0.99 on iTunes and Google Play</p> <p><strong>Rating</strong>: 4+ stars</p> <p>Want to really disguise the financial learning experience? Try&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/game-life-classic-edition/id326912270?mt=8">The Game of Life</a> app, which is an electronic version of the favorite board game. Throughout play, your child will be encountered with a number of decisions that have them choosing between wise or risky investments. Players even have the chance to earn Wealth Cards that can stack up to $1,000,000. Plus, you can play with up to six friends, which makes it a great activity for the whole family.</p> <h2>6. Flocabulary</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $12/month or $96/year</p> <p><strong>Ages</strong>: 11 to 18</p> <p><a href="https://www.flocabulary.com/">Flocabulary</a> takes on yet a different approach for older kids, with catchy songs, rap battles, and videos about&nbsp;<a href="https://www.flocabulary.com/topics/financial-literacy/">financial literacy</a> (plus many more subjects and life skills). The topics range from paying for college to budgeting to credit cards to goal setting, and beyond. Since the cost for this service is somewhat steep compared to the other apps on this list, you may want to check with your local school district to see if it's available to your child through school. You can also get&nbsp;<a href="https://www.flocabulary.com/trial/individual/">free trial</a> to check it out for 14 days.</p> <h2>7. Save! The Game</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Free on iTunes</p> <p><strong>Rating</strong>: 4+ stars</p> <p>The object in&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/save%21-the-game/id360805496?mt=8">Save! The Game</a> is to collect as much virtual money as possible and put it in the bank. Along the way, your child will need to avoid &quot;iWannas&quot; &mdash; you know, impulse buys like soda, toys, candy, and more. One reviewer downloaded this game before a long car trip and said that after playing, his kids engaged in a great discussion about avoiding &quot;iWannas&quot; in life, not just on the screen.</p> <h2>8. Bankaroo</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Free on iTunes</p> <p><strong>Rating</strong>: 4+ stars</p> <p><a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bankaroo-virtual-bank-for/id504924470?mt=8">Bankaroo</a> is another great allowance-tracking app that is also unique because offers different currencies. In fact, you can track funds using U.S. Dollars, Euros, hearts, stars, points, and more. In other words: Even the youngest kids can start to learn money concepts. This app was created by an 11-year-old girl who was looking for a way to keep track of her own allowance and thought other kids might want to do the same. The graphics are cute, and you can keep track of multiple accounts if you have multiple children.</p> <h2>9. Coin Math</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $1.99 on iTunes</p> <p><strong>Ages</strong>: 9 to 11*</p> <p><strong>Rating</strong>: 4+ stars</p> <p>What ever happened to old fashioned dollars and coins? They're definitely still around. With&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/coin-math/id296596459?mt=8">Coin Math</a>, your child can learn to identify and count coins, as well as how to pay and make change. Though this app is rated for slightly older kids, many reviewers share that their little ones as young as five years old enjoyed playing with the game.</p> <h2>10. FamZoo Family Finance</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Free on iTunes</p> <p><strong>Ages</strong>: 4 and up</p> <p><strong>Rating</strong>: 4+ stars</p> <p>Give your child a headstart to understanding money, budgeting, and saving with&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/famzoo-family-finance/id399321476?mt=8">FamZoo</a>. This app can be used by your entire family &mdash; even preschoolers &mdash; to manage allowances, track chores, handle reimbursements, and more. How does it work? Each member of your family is issued a card that is linked together in the app. In the &quot;Family Bank,&quot; the parents serve as the bankers while the kids are the customers. Then you get to tracking your everyday financial flow (even experiment with setting up automated tasks). You can also choose the IOU option if you'd rather track your money elsewhere. No matter how you do it, you'll be learning the rules of money together.</p> <p><em>Do you use these or other money apps for kids?</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/10-fun-money-apps-for-kids">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-should-your-kids-know-about-your-finances">How Much Should Your Kids Know About Your Finances?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/6-surprising-ways-your-smartphone-can-keep-you-and-your-family-safe">6 Surprising Ways Your Smartphone Can Keep You and Your Family Safe</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/this-season-give-your-child-the-gift-of-fiscal-responsibility">This Season, Give Your Child the Gift of Fiscal Responsibility</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-your-kid-need-an-ira">Does Your Kid Need an IRA?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Technology apps educational financial literacy games kids money teaching Fri, 04 Mar 2016 11:00:06 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1665772 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Cities for Starting Over http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-cities-for-starting-over <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-cities-for-starting-over" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000067096029_Large.jpg" alt="one of the best cities for starting over" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The number one reason people push for getting a <a href="http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/files/2010/10/Movers-and-Stayers.pdf">fresh start in a new city</a> is economic opportunity &mdash; with 44% of respondents citing a new job or business endeavor as their primary motivation, according to Pew Research report.</p> <p>Slightly fewer said they had moved to raise a family (36%) or to be near a loved one (35%). But, obviously, there are other good reasons for starting over. Perhaps you simply dislike the weather in your hometown or prefer to put some distance between you and your loved ones. Whatever your reason, here are five cities for starting over that all have thriving industries and offer good salaries relative to a low to moderate cost of living. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-mid-sized-cities-for-millennials?ref=seealso">The 5 Best Mid-Sized Cities for Millennials</a>)</p> <h2>1. Long Island City, Queens, New York</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5170/long_island.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>LIC, as New Yorkers like to call it, is just on the east side of Manhattan, connected by the Queensborough Bridge. It's a waterfront community with a hodgepodge of new high-rise, pre-war, and multi-family buildings. Its biggest advantage is a subway commute into the bustling city of Manhattan that takes anywhere from 5-20 minutes. Renting a studio apartment in LIC ranges from about $1900 (for a recently built luxury high-rise) to $900 for a walk-up. Though not the most luxurious, it's the alternative to renting a room and having roommates, if you want a new start and work in New York City.</p> <h2>2. Phoenix, Arizona</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5170/phoenix.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>If you're looking for some of the best year-round weather conditions this country has to offer, head southwest to Phoenix &mdash; where the average forecast is a mild 72 degrees and sunny. The major industries are technology, tourism, and hospitality. But that's not to say career opportunities aren't abundant elsewhere. Phoenix has a low unemployment rate of 5.4% and a median household income of $53,365 relative to a cost of living &mdash; that's only 2.5% above the national average. Average home prices in any one of the city's neighboring communities ranges from $150,000 to $250,000. However, a home in Scarsdale, one of the city's most prominent and sought after communities, will cost anywhere from $350,000 and up.</p> <h2>3. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5170/philadelphia.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>From rooftops of hotel bars, to towering office buildings, you can overlook all of Philadelphia and still see remnants of the Industrial Revolution &mdash; a boisterous time of economic prosperity when only 3% of the population lived in cities. Actually, Philadelphia is one of the East Coast's best kept little economic secrets. The average rent for a top of the line studio rental in the affluent Rittenhouse Square costs around $1,600 per month. Philly is an epicenter of wealth management, real estate, academic, medical, advertising, hospitality, tourism, and manufacturing enterprises. And it's just a short train ride away from New York City and Washington, D.C. If career and business opportunities are what you seek, then Philadelphia just might be your calling.</p> <h2>4. Portland, Oregon</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5170/portland.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The city of Portland's Development Corporation (PDC) has put together an <a href="http://pdxeconomicdevelopment.com/industries.html">economic development plan</a> to attract the young, ambitious, and business-minded. What's the strategy? To become the capital of the global green economy. And no, that doesn't mean marijuana, but it's a good place for that, too. Portland is one of three U.S. cities that has legalized both medical and recreational marijuana use. The PDC is on a mission to become the center of clean energy, green technology, and building practices. It hopes to do so by revitalizing its business districts and urban centers, which it expects will help boost the local economy and spur population growth.</p> <h2>5. Austin, Texas</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5170/austin.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>It's hard to believe that at one time, Austin was only thought of as a college town &mdash; home to the University of Texas (UT Austin). But in the last 15 years, it has emerged as the live music capital of the world. And unearthing talent and hosting music festivals isn't all the city is good for. The city has a strong job market with a low unemployment rate of only 2.6%. Forbes has even ranked Austin #1 for consecutive years as one of the fastest growing cities, and best places for jobs, &quot;attracting large numbers of college grads, immigrants, and families with young children.&quot;</p> <p><em>What other cities are great for starting over. Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/qiana-chavaia">Qiana Chavaia</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-cities-for-starting-over">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-affordable-cities-to-start-a-family">The 7 Best Affordable Cities to Start a Family</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-hidden-housing-costs-new-homeowners-dont-expect">10 Hidden Housing Costs New Homeowners Don&#039;t Expect</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/self-employed-heres-how-to-get-your-apartment-application-approved">Self-Employed? Here&#039;s How to Get Your Apartment Application Approved</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-forget-to-budget-for-these-unexpected-moving-expenses">Don&#039;t Forget to Budget for These Unexpected Moving Expenses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-7-things-when-living-with-roommates">Avoid These 7 Things When Living With Roommates</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Real Estate and Housing cities fresh start life hacks moving new city starting over Wed, 24 Feb 2016 10:00:04 +0000 Qiana Chavaia 1661806 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Lessons About Money I Learned After Having Twins http://www.wisebread.com/7-lessons-about-money-i-learned-after-having-twins <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-lessons-about-money-i-learned-after-having-twins" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_twin_girls_000010839496.jpg" alt="Learning money lessons after having twins" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I first found out that my wife and I were having twins, I figured that raising our boys would be expensive. Learning that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated that middle-income parents would spend an <a href="http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/sites/default/files/expenditures_on_children_by_families/CRC2013InfoGraphic.pdf">average $25,880</a> on twins in their first year really shocked me.</p> <p>The USDA estimated that U.S. families could spend from $353,100 to $815,640, depending on the family&rsquo;s income level, to raise twins born in 2013 through high school. These estimates didn&rsquo;t even include college tuition!</p> <p>The good news is that there are plenty of ways to bring down the estimated costs of raising twins. Here are the seven lessons about money I learned after having twins.</p> <h2>1. Don&rsquo;t Buy Everything</h2> <p>&ldquo;Two of everything!&rdquo; is one of the first things that people tell me once they find out that I have twins. In theory, having twins should double your expenses. In reality, it doesn&rsquo;t. More than one parent of multiples advised me not to buy everything and they were 100% right. You can do just fine with only one of many items, including baby bathtub and pack-and-play.</p> <p>Even more, there are so many baby items marketed to parents that you can do without, such as the <a href="http://amzn.to/1Xe2RBD">Baby Brezza Formula Pro One Step Food Maker</a> retailing for $150. While you always want to give your babies the very best, keep in mind that sometimes less is more. You already have a long list of must-buy-two items, including car seats and cribs (you can get away with just one only for so long!), so don&rsquo;t hesitate to cut down on non-essentials.</p> <h3>Money Lesson</h3> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pieces-of-financial-wisdom-from-warren-buffett">Warren Buffett</a> said it best: &ldquo;If you buy things you do not need, soon you will have to sell things you need.&rdquo; Splurging should be the exception and not the rule.</p> <h2>2. Look for Niche Discounts</h2> <p>Somedays you may feel that you&rsquo;re the only parent of twins in your neighborhood. The reality is that the U.S. twin birth rate was <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr64/nvsr64_12.pdf">33.9 per 1,000 births</a> in 2014, up from 33.7 per 1,000 births in 2013. As more parents have twins, more businesses are extending special discounts to those parents.</p> <ul> <li>Babies R Us extends a 10% discount when you purchase two of the same item on the same in-store visit. Qualifying items include baby furniture, car seats, strollers, high chairs, and gates.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Pampers offers a <a href="http://news.pampers.com/faq-item/do-you-have-pampers-multiple-birth-offer">one-time set of coupons</a> to parents of twins and multiples by mailing your name and address along with the hospital discharge copies to: Pampers Multiple Birth Offer, The Procter &amp; Gamble Company, P.O. Box 599, Cincinnati, OH 45201 or by calling 1-800-726-7377.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Luvs Diapers also offers a one-time set of coupons as well and you can write to the same mailing address as above with attention to &ldquo;Luvs Multiples Birth Program&rdquo; or call 1-888-665-3257.</li> </ul> <h3>Money Lesson</h3> <p>Businesses seek ways to attract customers from different niches. There may very well be a discount out there for you, but it may require you to do some extra leg work, such as calling the company or mailing a letter.</p> <h2>3. Buy Life Insurance</h2> <p>Now that you are a parent, buying life insurance is one of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-these-7-money-moves-now-or-youll-regret-it-in-20-years">money moves to make</a> or you&rsquo;ll regret it 20 years from now. Right now is the cheapest rate that you&rsquo;ll ever be able to get life insurance, so you&rsquo;re better off locking into it now than waiting several years.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re the main or sole breadwinner of your household, provide financial security to your dependents in case you&rsquo;re no longer there for them. Could your spouse tackle the monthly mortgage payments, car payments, and living expenses without you at all? Nobody likes to think about their own mortality, but things are very different now.</p> <h3>Money Lesson</h3> <p>Life insurance is the foundation of financial planning to help protect your family against life&rsquo;s pitfalls.</p> <h2>4. Start or Build Up Your Emergency Fund</h2> <p>With twins, I have learned how essential it is to have a cushion to lessen the blow of many surprise costs &mdash; such as certain vitamins and medicines not covered by health insurance, or changing to a more expensive baby formula due to sensitive digestive systems. Only 38% of Americans can pay unexpected expenses, such as $1,000 for an emergency room visit or $500 for a car repair, from savings. Achieving the right balance between interest rate and liquidity is often possible with a high-yield online savings account, which provide interest rates ranging between 0.75% and 1.25%. Make sure to read the fine print on access to funds to avoid surprises.</p> <h3>Money Lesson</h3> <p>Having a rainy day fund is essential to keep your monthly budget on track, so start (or build up!) yours today.</p> <h2>5. Adjust Your Withholding</h2> <p>Of course, since I&rsquo;m asking you to start paying for life insurance and putting money away in a savings account, I do need to give you a way to come up with those extra monies! The easiest one is to revisit how much you&rsquo;re currently withholding every month for taxes. In 2014, the IRS doled an <a href="https://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/2014-Refunds-Ahead-of-Last-Year">average of $3,096</a> in tax refunds.</p> <p>Unless you got a refund entirely based on tax credits, you&rsquo;re withholding too much in taxes. Using the $3,096 average, you could have an extra $258 every month. Now that you have dependents, you may qualify for several exemptions and tax credits, including the <a href="https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Child-Tax-Credit">Child Tax Credit</a> and the <a href="https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Child-and-Dependent-Care-Information">Child and Dependent Care Credit</a>, to effectively reduce your tax bill.</p> <p>Remember that a refund is money that just sits in Uncle Sam&rsquo;s pocket making you 0% interest!</p> <h3>Money Lesson</h3> <p>Use the <a href="https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/IRS-Withholding-Calculator">IRS Withholding Calculator</a> or talk with your accountant to find out how much you should withhold every month. Then, accordingly adjust your W-4 with your employer.</p> <h2>6. Open a Traditional or Roth IRA</h2> <p>While the 401K is the most popular type of retirement account, the Roth offers much more flexibility when it comes to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-penalty-free-ways-to-withdraw-money-from-your-retirement-account">taking distributions before age 59 1/2</a>. As a parent of twins, having my retirement account as a last-resort fund that I could tap into without IRS penalty to help my sons is very important.</p> <p>For example, I could take up to a $10,000 distribution to help them to pay for their first home. As long as I don&rsquo;t go over that total limit, I can split the distribution as I see fit and can take one in separate years. Another penalty-free withdrawal from an IRA I can take is to cover qualified higher education expenses, including tuition, fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for the enrollment or attendance of my sons at an eligible educational institution.</p> <p>Bonus: Using an IRA, you can save an extra $5,500, or $6,500 if you're age 50 or older, in 2015 and 2016 for retirement.</p> <h3>Money Lesson</h3> <p>Saving in an IRA allows you to take early distributions without penalty for qualifying purposes.</p> <h2>7. Start Saving for Your Kids</h2> <p>Another great Buffet-ism is &quot;Someone&rsquo;s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.&quot; Imagine if you had an extra 18 years to save for college or retirement, wouldn&rsquo;t that be awesome? That&rsquo;s exactly the lesson that my wife&rsquo;s and my own parents passed on to us the moment they found out we were having twins. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-when-you-find-out-youre-pregnant?ref=seealso">8 Money Moves to Make When You Find Out You're Pregnant</a>)</p> <p>A little bit goes a long way. Even saving $100 every year for 10 years is much better than starting to save $1,000 10 years from now:</p> <ul> <li>With a 0.5% annual rate of return, you would end up with $1,025.57.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>With a 1% annual rate of return, you would end up with $1,051.88.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>With a 2.5% annual rate of return, you would end up with $1,135.45.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>With a 4.5% annual rate of return, you would end up with $1,258.57.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>With a 7% annual rate of return, you would end up with $1,443.48.</li> </ul> <p>When thinking about saving for your kids, especially for education-related expenses, evaluate all options, including custodial IRA accounts and 529 plans. Many of these type of accounts provide full or partial income tax deductions. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans?ref=seealso">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</a>)</p> <h3>Money Lesson</h3> <p>Leverage the power of interest compounding over a long period of time and give your children a head start on saving for education or retirement.</p> <p><em>What money lessons did you learn with the arrival of your baby?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-lessons-about-money-i-learned-after-having-twins">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/8-reasons-the-easter-bunny-should-give-money-instead-of-candy">8 Reasons the Easter Bunny Should Give Money Instead of Candy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-financial-mistakes-to-stop-making-by-age-40">6 Financial Mistakes to Stop Making by Age 40</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-cloth-diapers">Everything You Need to Know About Cloth Diapers</a></span> </div> </li> <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/9-child-care-purchases-you-should-never-skimp-on">9 Child Care Purchases You Should Never Skimp On</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-sibling-discounts-that-can-save-you-big">6 Sibling Discounts That Can Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Family babies financial planning kids life insurance multiples retirement twins Wed, 17 Feb 2016 11:30:04 +0000 Damian Davila 1654792 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Get Divorced http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-divorced <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-divorced" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/marriage_money_000050529986.jpg" alt="Married couple making money moves when getting divorced" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Half of all marriages end in divorce. And while hiring a lawyer is commonly an instinctive first move, seeking guidance from a financial adviser isn't &mdash; and it should be. Severing ties with a spouse means cutting the cord on matters both emotional and financial. And it's smart to discuss each and every one of them with a professional if you're not equipped to handle them yourself. Read on for our roundup of the important money moves to make the moment you say, &quot;I don't.&quot;</p> <h2>1. Know Your Assets</h2> <p>It's imperative that you understand your assets &mdash; what you have as a couple, as well as what you're entitled to after the split. This includes what you want, what you need, and what you lawfully ought to get. You should know, for instance, that assets acquired during marriage are divided in accordance to laws that vary by state. Learn those laws and how they'll apply to you.</p> <p>Start a file and fill it with photocopies of your financial records. Seek out professional help if you come across something you don't understand. And, if you don't already know the role your spouse has played in handling your shared finances, find out. Then, educate yourself on those duties so that, post-divorce, you'll be able to pick up his or her slack when you're on your own. Taking the time to develop this level of fluency in your financial state of affairs is the best preparation for life after divorce. And it's a great way to begin to position yourself for good financial health once the divorce process is over and done with.</p> <h2>2. Know Your Child Custody Strategy</h2> <p>If you have children, there are important questions you need to be able to answer. Which parent will live with the children? How will you coordinate visitation rights? What are the child support payment requirements in your state, and who will enforce them when the divorce is finalized? How will you and your soon-to-be ex approach saving for your child's higher education? Child custody mediation is one way of processing all of this. With the help of a neutral third party, parents can sometimes work together to chart a plan for parenting after the split.</p> <p>Another option is arbitration, in which the arbitrator acts like a mediator but also has authority to make legally binding decisions. Mediators, on the other hand, simply guide parents through the process of coming to an agreement about custody matters on their own.</p> <h2>3. Terminate Joint Accounts</h2> <p>In your journey to protect yourself from any possible financial liabilities, one of the first actions you should take is to inform your bank of the pending change in your marital situation. Consider canceling any bank accounts or credit cards you share jointly with your spouse and opening new ones exclusively for yourself. You should also terminate or change the password on any online accounts you jointly held: email, social media, Apple ID, and so on.</p> <p>However, you should discuss these moves with your spouse before your make them, and invite his or her input on how to go about handling them. Be amicable whenever possible. And most importantly, keep track of whose money is in each account &mdash; this will be important information during the division of assets.</p> <h2>4. Pinpoint the &quot;Date of Separation&quot;</h2> <p>In some states, the date of separation is the day on which one spouse informed the other of their intent to file for divorce. In others, it's the date on which a married couple physically separates &mdash; for instance, the day one spouse moves out of the house. Then there are those states that mark the date of separation as the day on which the divorce is finalized in court. Find out the guidelines for your state and use them to determine your own date of separation.</p> <p>This date is important because it draws the dividing line between all of the assets and income that the court will deem as marital property and everything that you and your spouse own separately. The implications can be enormous. For example, a big bonus, salary raise, or any debt acquired by one spouse before the date of separation would likely be considered marital property that will be divided between the couple. Income and assets acquired after the date of separation do not need to be divided.</p> <h2>5. Determine Whether You Need a Lawyer, Financial Adviser, or Both</h2> <p>An attorney isn't required in order to process a divorce &mdash; but one can be helpful. If you and your spouse can trust one another to negotiate fairly, then you might not need to involve any attorneys, which will help keep down costs. But if you can't agree to play fair and square, then it might be smart to lawyer up. Determine where you stand.</p> <p>When it comes to deciding whether you need a financial adviser, the litmus test is actually quite simple: Do you thoroughly understand your current financial situation and how it will change once you are divorced? Do you understand all of the options available to you in your quest to limit your financial liabilities? If you answered a confident &quot;Yes&quot; to these questions, you probably don't need to seek the help of a financial adviser, though you may want to anyway. If you answered &quot;No,&quot; then the financial benefits you'll attain through hiring a financial adviser will likely outweigh the cost.</p> <p><em>What other moves should you make when you decide to get divorced? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-divorced">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-times-we-are-likely-to-lie-for-money">6 Times We Are Likely to Lie for Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-year-end-financial-moves-you-must-make-now">10 Year-End Financial Moves You Must Make Now</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-ways-to-protect-your-business-during-a-divorce">5 Ways to Protect Your Business During a Divorce</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-afford-to-have-a-baby">Can You Afford to Have a Baby?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-16-cardinal-rules-of-loaning-money-to-friends-and-family">The 16 Cardinal Rules of Loaning Money to Friends and Family</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family accounts child support custody divorce legal moves money moves separation Wed, 17 Feb 2016 11:00:05 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1656434 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Money Rules That'll Save You Big in Baby's First Year http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-rules-thatll-save-you-big-in-babys-first-year <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-money-rules-thatll-save-you-big-in-babys-first-year" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000072976509_Double.jpg" alt="Mom saving big in baby&#039;s first year" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My family is expecting a new addition in June, and we're beyond psyched! Since this is our second child, we won't be making a registry list or having a baby shower. With almost five years between kids, however, we certainly are in need of a few things. Here's how we're planning to save throughout our baby's first year on gear and clothing, and how you can, too!</p> <h2>1. Digging Deep</h2> <p>Before doing anything else, I looked through all the bins of my daughter's baby stuff. For families where kids have tight age gaps, this is a natural. Reuse what you can. Unfortunately, if you do have a longer period of time between kids, like we do, things like car seats can expire, and other gear might be recalled. We've cleared out the items we cannot use and assessed the condition of the rest.</p> <p>Stuff like clothing can stand the test of time with babies because they wear outfits for only a couple months before they outgrow them. Cloth diapers are also a great item to use again, doubling the initial savings. And if you have old baby gear you'd rather not use, try reselling it for cash for the new things you want to buy.</p> <p>We find out soon if we're having a girl or boy, so if things are looking blue, I have a huge mountain of clothing I can sell at the local second-hand shop. <em>[Editor's note: It's a girl!]</em></p> <h2>2. Buying Used</h2> <p>That's right &mdash; you can sell your old stuff, but you can also buy used to save money. When I was a first-time mom, I didn't take advantage of thrift shops and other second-hand opportunities. This time around? I know better. That expensive baby swing you have on your shopping list might get a whopping two months of use. Babies grow out of toys and clothes in what seems like minutes. What does this mean? Thrift shops and consignment stores are teeming with quality gear at a fraction of the original price.</p> <p>Check around your town to find shops that sell gently used baby items. You may even find places online, like a local Facebook garage sale group, where you can browse listings right now. We have a Salvation Army, Good Will, Thrifty Shopper, and a specialty store called Once Upon a Child. Check these places often (once every week or two weeks) to see what comes in. And monitor for sales and other events. Our local Once Upon a Child recently had a huge bag blowout sale, where you could get an entire packed bag of clothing for just $15. One of my friends calculated that she got $100 worth of like-new clothing in just one bag.</p> <h2>3. Buying Smart</h2> <p>Of course, there are things we will want or need to buy new. For those items, I'm taking my time and using my shopping ninja powers. Whenever I'm out at Target or Walmart and see something we might need, I pull out my phone and check around for the best price. If I see a better price listed somewhere else online, I march to customer service and ask about their price-matching policy. I've never been denied a lower price if I can produce the proof on my phone. (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-to-get-a-sale-price-match-at-16-popular-stores?ref=seealso">Here's How to Get a Sale Price-Match at 16 Popular Stores</a>)</p> <p>That being said, I do the majority of my shopping online, so I go through sites like Ebates to get cash back on whatever I'm buying. I also used the Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other seasonal sales events to my advantage this year. My tip? Make a list of what you are looking to buy, then browse around your favorite shops online to look for sales, savings codes, or other promotions. Pregnancy lasts over nine months, so you'll likely see what you're looking for at a discounted price with time and patience.</p> <h2>4. Needing Less</h2> <p>Another advantage of being a seasoned mom is that I know I don't need everything on those fussy registry must-have lists. In theory, babies only need basic clothing, somewhere safe to sleep, breast milk or formula, and love. The rest is extra. Well, for the most part. Your own must-have list will look different compared to mine. But before you buy everything you're told you need, think about your own lifestyle.</p> <p>For us, this means we don't need a bassinet or moses basket because the baby will sleep in a Pack 'N Play in the early days (that we'll also use for traveling well beyond the first year). We likely won't need to stock up on bottles if breastfeeding goes well again. I'm skipping the travel system because we never used one with our daughter and plan to, instead, carry our baby in a ring sling that I bought used. You get the idea. A lot of registry lists get you prepared for absolutely every scenario you might encounter. Try to resist the items that don't make sense to you and your way of life.</p> <h2>5. Waiting</h2> <p>As of today, my list of to-buy baby items is pretty minimal. I'm sure I'll eventually want or need some stuff for convenience or &mdash; let's be honest &mdash; just for fun. But for now, I'm waiting on making those purchases until after the baby arrives. As I've waited, some of my friends have even offered up to let me borrow things like bouncers and rocking chairs. Another friend handed me a stack of never-used cloth diapers she didn't need when her son was a baby.</p> <p>Once our little one is here, I'm also resisting the urge to buy things ahead of time. With my daughter, I thought I was being frugal by stocking up on clearance clothing with sizes a year in advance. The problem is that not all children grow at the same rate. My daughter didn't end up fitting in a lot of the duds I bought to &quot;save money,&quot; defeating the entire purpose. In the end, if we can live without whatever it is for another day or two, chances are we don't need it in the long run.</p> <p><em>How are you saving money as a new parent? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-rules-thatll-save-you-big-in-babys-first-year">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke">24 Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unexpected-ways-stay-at-home-parents-save-big">7 Unexpected Ways Stay-at-Home Parents Save Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-stuff-and-coupons-for-new-parents">Free Stuff and Coupons 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/3-life-lessons-ive-learned-since-becoming-a-parent">3 Life Lessons I&#039;ve Learned Since Becoming a Parent</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-stock-in-your-freezer-before-baby-arrives">What to Stock in Your Freezer Before Baby Arrives</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Family baby frugal living new parents parenting saving money Fri, 12 Feb 2016 10:00:05 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1653873 at http://www.wisebread.com