Family http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4566/all en-US How to Use the Holidays to Teach Kids About Money http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-the-holidays-to-teach-kids-about-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-use-the-holidays-to-teach-kids-about-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/halloween_is_here.jpg" alt="Halloween is here" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My kids love the holidays. They plan their Halloween costumes as early as March; they ask to help make pumpkin pie the moment there's even a hint of chill in the air; and they have Hanukkah wish lists going nearly year-round.</p> <p>My husband and I get a kick out of their enthusiasm. It helps us remember the holiday magic we felt as children. But in addition to being fun and meaningful traditions, holidays also offer parents the opportunity to teach their kids about money.</p> <p>Before this year's holiday season kicks into high gear, consider using the occasions to teach your kids the following lessons about managing money:</p> <h2>Halloween</h2> <p>Your kids' favorite candy-based holiday provides you with several ways to teach important money management skills.</p> <h3>Costume budgeting</h3> <p>Whether you are footing the bill for your child's costume or you are asking them to use their own money, start by setting a dollar limit on the amount they can spend and offer to help them shop around. These limits will help your child understand the trade-offs they will have to make to stay within a budget.</p> <p>For instance, your daughter might find that the Wonder Woman costume at the local party store would blow her budget &mdash; but she could save money by stenciling Diana Prince's WW logo on a red T-shirt she already owns and adding white star stickers to a pair of blue shorts or a blue skirt. Recognizing that she could spend either money or time is an important part of learning to budget. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-simple-and-cheap-halloween-costumes-for-kids?ref=seealso" target="_blank">20 Simple and Cheap Halloween Costumes for Kids</a>)</p> <h3>Candy negotiations</h3> <p>Not every candy in your child's trick-or-treat bag can be a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup or a Snickers. There's bound to be some candy corn, Good &amp; Plenty, or even just Dum Dums that your kids aren't particularly interested in. You can help them to learn the value of negotiation by fostering candy exchanges.</p> <p>After they've finished with trick-or-treating, encourage your kids to trade with each other. These candy swaps can help your kids figure out just how much they value coveted candy. Is another Mars Bar worth three Twizzlers? Just how many Tootsie Rolls are equivalent to a Blow Pop? This kind of negotiation can help your kids learn how to compromise and determine what they value.</p> <h2>Thanksgiving</h2> <p>Thanksgiving is a time for family, but it can also provide your kids with an excellent opportunity to learn about the importance of tracking your expenses.</p> <h3>Track spending</h3> <p>The average household spent $342 over Thanksgiving weekend in 2016, according to Statistic Brain. You can involve your kids in your Thanksgiving expenditures by asking them to keep a running tally of your spending for the holiday.</p> <p>Save your receipts from any Thanksgiving-related expenditures &mdash; everything from your purchase of pumpkin pie fixings, to the gas station fill-up on the way to Grandma's house, to the 75 percent off fitness tracker you bought for Aunt Sue on Black Friday. Hand over the receipts to your child so they can keep careful track of just how much Thanksgiving will cost you this year.</p> <p>Not only will this exercise in tracking your household spending help your kids to practice their math skills, but it will also help them see just how quickly expenses can add up.</p> <h2>Christmas and Hanukkah</h2> <p>Kids get understandably excited about the gift aspect of Christmas and Hanukkah, but these holidays are also a perfect opportunity to teach them how to manage their money.</p> <h3>Gift budgeting</h3> <p>It's so easy to go overboard when buying gifts for loved ones, and it's important for children to learn that you can give presents without breaking the bank. Even very young children can help you to create a list of everyone you want to give a present to. From there, decide on the amount of money you can afford to spend per person. Older children who will be buying their own presents for family can make this decision themselves, with your help. Younger kids can help by writing down the dollar amount you can spend.</p> <p>You can then start brainstorming gift possibilities. Have your kids comparison shop for prices or figure out alternatives if certain gifts aren't in the budget. This exercise can help your kids understand that generosity and spending too much aren't synonymous.</p> <h3>Wants and needs</h3> <p>Holidays can often be a time of excess, which means it can be tough for kids to recognize the difference between their wants and their needs. One way parents can help their kids learn those differences is to institute the Four Gift Rule. With this rule, each child receives:</p> <ol style="margin-left: 40px;"> <li> <p>Something they want.</p> </li> <li> <p>Something they need.</p> </li> <li> <p>Something to wear.</p> </li> <li> <p>Something to read.</p> </li> </ol> <p>Limiting your children's wish lists to four distinct categories helps your kids focus on the things that they truly need and the wants that they value most. You can make it clear to your kids that they can put more than one item in each category, but that they will only receive one present from each category.</p> <p>Not only will this system help save you money and time, but it will help your kids keep their gift expectations reasonable.</p> <h2>Holidays, with a side of money management</h2> <p>Enjoying the holiday season with your children is a perfect time to teach them some of the finer points of budgeting, negotiation, money management, and managing expectations.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-use-the-holidays-to-teach-kids-about-money&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Use%2520the%2520Holidays%2520to%2520Teach%2520Kids%2520About%2520Money.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Use%20the%20Holidays%20to%20Teach%20Kids%20About%20Money"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Use%20the%20Holidays%20to%20Teach%20Kids%20About%20Money.jpg" alt="How to Use the Holidays to Teach Kids About Money" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-the-holidays-to-teach-kids-about-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/flashback-friday-52-ways-to-keep-your-finances-fit-during-the-holidays">Flashback Friday: 52 Ways to Keep Your Finances Fit During the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-tidy-up-your-finances-before-the-holidays">10 Ways to Tidy Up Your Finances Before the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-your-bad-credit-can-impact-your-kids">How Your Bad Credit Can Impact Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-ruining-your-retirement-by-spoiling-your-kids">Are You Ruining Your Retirement by Spoiling Your Kids?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family budgeting children Christmas gift giving Halloween hanukkah Holidays kids money lessons negotiating Thanksgiving tracking Mon, 09 Oct 2017 08:30:08 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2031775 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Talk to Friends and Family About Money (Without Making Everyone Mad) http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-talk-to-friends-and-family-about-money-without-making-everyone-mad <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-talk-to-friends-and-family-about-money-without-making-everyone-mad" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_women_drinking_coffee_and_talking_at_cafe.jpg" alt="Young women drinking coffee and talking at cafe" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Talking about money can get awkward in a hurry. Don't believe me? Ask your friends how much debt they have at the next social gathering and observe as the silence fills the room. However, sometimes those financial discussions need to happen. Here's how you can handle them with minimal discomfort.</p> <h2>1. Find neutral ground</h2> <p>If you need to talk about a mutually owned asset, or who's going to take over the finances for an aging or incapacitated parent, get to neutral ground. Schedule lunch at a favorite restaurant or find a quiet corner of a local cafe.</p> <p>A public space helps everyone stay calm: Who wants to make a scene? And the neutrality of the space can help defuse any sense of intimidation or ownership of the discussion, leaving it open for all parties to state their needs and concerns.</p> <h2>2. Give a three-point introduction</h2> <p>Growing up in the South, I heard a three-point introduction every single Sunday. It was a Baptist preacher staple in which they'd tell you, in summary form, what they were about to tell you. Three points made just about the right length for a sermon.</p> <p>Use this approach by clearly outlining what you want to discuss, and take all the other stuff off the table. It will help set the other people at ease: Now they know what the conversation is and isn't about. Everyone involved will feel as if they're more in control, which in turn makes them feel more comfortable.</p> <h2>3. Repeat it back</h2> <p>The most important part of a potentially tense financial discussion is understanding. You want to be sure that the other folks involved understand what you're saying. In turn, they want to be sure that you understand their needs and concerns. As you listen, give their words all your attention. Then, repeat back what you've heard: &quot;OK, what you said is that you think it's best to sell the family property as soon as possible because &hellip; &quot;</p> <p>This approach helps to avoid misunderstanding. As you repeat back what you've heard, they get a chance to listen to their own words and revise them if needed. And, by repeating back what you've heard with the intent to understand, you put yourself in the position of advocate, or ally, rather than enemy. You may not agree with the point they've made, but by striving to understand before you argue or correct, you lay the groundwork for a calmer and more productive discussion.</p> <h2>4. Use facts, not feelings</h2> <p>Feelings matter, of course. But when you're discussing finances, don't argue on the basis of feelings, intuitions, or preferences. Instead, if you disagree with a point or opinion, strive to explain why you disagree with facts. This helps to keep the discussion from becoming personal or offensive.</p> <p>For example, if you don't want to split the check evenly because you only got an appetizer and everybody else got an entree and a drink, don't say, &quot;I'm not doing that, guys! It's not fair and I don't want to pay for half of Melinda's cocktail again!&quot; Instead, say, &quot;Actually, my appetizer was only $8, which is less than 1/5 of the total bill.&quot; That's a calmly stated fact, rather than vented frustration and a thinly-veiled insult of Melinda.</p> <h2>5. Suggest a specific action</h2> <p>Specific actions are the way to move things forward and solve problems. In fact, many times people end up in arguments not because they disagree on the major point (&quot;We need to pay the bill&quot;), but because they're not sure exactly how to make it happen. We stumble over anthills more than we do over mountains. In the scenario above, you could follow up your calmly stated fact by suggesting a specific action: &quot;I'll put in $10 to cover my part, and you guys could split the rest evenly.&quot;</p> <p>By suggesting a specific action, you've solved the problem of too many options, which can be very unsettling for us humans. When we feel unsure and unsettled, it's often easier to fight than to move forward, which is why financial discussions can degenerate into insults so easily. Suggesting an action helps move people forward and give everyone a clear next step, which can prevent that discomfort and conflict.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-talk-to-friends-and-family-about-money-without-making-everyone-mad&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Talk%2520to%2520Friends%2520and%2520Family%2520About%2520Money%2520%2528Without%2520Making%2520Everyone%2520Mad%2529.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Talk%20to%20Friends%20and%20Family%20About%20Money%20(Without%20Making%20Everyone%20Mad)"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Talk%20to%20Friends%20and%20Family%20About%20Money%20%28Without%20Making%20Everyone%20Mad%29.jpg" alt="How to Talk to Friends and Family About Money (Without Making Everyone Mad)" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-talk-to-friends-and-family-about-money-without-making-everyone-mad">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/create-a-reverse-bucket-list-to-improve-your-money-management">Create a Reverse Bucket List to Improve Your Money Management</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ow-do-you-deal-with-family-members-who-are-bad-at-managing-money">How Do You Deal With Family Members Who Are Bad At Managing Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-signs-you-are-teaching-your-kids-bad-financial-habits">4 Signs You Are Teaching Your Kids Bad Financial Habits</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-the-holidays-to-teach-kids-about-money">How to Use the Holidays to Teach Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-make-these-5-common-mistakes-when-writing-a-will">Don&#039;t Make These 5 Common Mistakes When Writing a Will</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family advice discussions family meetings money meetings psychology shared assets talking about money Mon, 09 Oct 2017 08:00:07 +0000 Annie Mueller 2031349 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Fun Podcasts for Kids (That Parents Love, Too) http://www.wisebread.com/7-fun-podcasts-for-kids-that-parents-love-too <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-fun-podcasts-for-kids-that-parents-love-too" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/listening_to_some_tunes_with_mom.jpg" alt="Listening to some tunes with mom" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The variety of podcasts seems unlimited these days, and they're not just for adults. They can hold tremendous benefits for your kids by promoting listening skills, giving them a break from illuminated screens, enhancing knowledge, and entertaining them on trips. Here are seven great options for your kids that you'll enjoy with them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-new-podcasts-thatll-improve-your-money-mindset?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 New Podcasts That'll Improve Your Money Mindset</a>)</p> <h2>1. But Why? A Podcast for Curious Kids</h2> <p>Every kid's favorite question is &quot;Why?&quot; and we love them for it. They want to understand every part of the world around them. And you can leverage that natural curiosity with the <a href="http://www.npr.org/podcasts/474377890/but-why-a-podcast-for-curious-kids" target="_blank">But Why?</a> podcast's wide variety of content. Recent episodes include &quot;Where Do Hurricanes Come From?&quot;, &quot;How is Glass Made?&quot;, and &quot;How Do Bees Make Honey and Why Do They Sting?&quot;</p> <h2>2. Wow in the World</h2> <p>Another podcast for curiosity seekers, <a href="http://www.npr.org/podcasts/510321/wow-in-the-world" target="_blank">Wow in the World</a> shares the coolest stories in science and technology explored and told by Guy Raz and Mindy Thomas. They just completed the first season, so you have plenty of content to keep you and your kids occupied until they return for season two.</p> <h2>3. Eleanor Amplified</h2> <p>New to the podcast scene, <a href="http://www.npr.org/podcasts/483123262/the-radio-adventures-of-eleanor-amplified" target="_blank">Eleanor Amplified</a> combines adventure, storytelling, and timely news stories. Eleanor, a clever reporter, takes you along her journey through Hollywood, into haunted mansions, and even down the halls of Congress.</p> <h2>4. Brains On!</h2> <p>If you were a fan of Mr. Wizard growing up, then the <a href="https://www.brainson.org/" target="_blank">Brains On!</a> podcast is perfect for you and your kids. Recent episodes explore why sea turtles live so long and where thunder comes from. Best of all, each episode is hosted by a kid scientist, which may just inspire your little one long after each episode is over.</p> <h2>5. Storynory</h2> <p>Your bedtime story companion, <a href="http://www.storynory.com/" target="_blank">Storynory</a> tells tales new and old that are just right for your kids. From <em>Alice in Wonderland</em> to Aesop's fables and some original stories, too, this podcast will make bedtime something your kids look forward to. It also has children's author interviews as well as music, poetry, and stories from history.</p> <h2>6. Stories Podcast</h2> <p>Like Storynory, the <a href="http://wondery.com/wondery/shows/storiespodcast/" target="_blank">Stories Podcast</a> on Wondery features a new story every week. It's suitable for all ages and specifically focused on stories that are best enjoyed on car trips and during bedtime.</p> <h2>7. Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child</h2> <p>For music lovers and their music-loving kids, <a href="http://sparetherock.com/wordpress/" target="_blank">Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child</a> selects a weekly indie playlist that you and your kids will love. From Quincy Jones to They Might Be Giants to Ella Fitzgerald, this podcast will be music to everyone's ears.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-fun-podcasts-for-kids-that-parents-love-too&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Fun%2520Podcasts%2520for%2520Kids%2520%2528That%2520Parents%2520Love%252C%2520Too%2529.jpg&amp;description=7%20Fun%20Podcasts%20for%20Kids%20(That%20Parents%20Love%2C%20Too)"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Fun%20Podcasts%20for%20Kids%20%28That%20Parents%20Love%2C%20Too%29.jpg" alt="7 Fun Podcasts for Kids (That Parents Love, Too)" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-fun-podcasts-for-kids-that-parents-love-too">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-new-podcasts-thatll-improve-your-money-mindset">10 New Podcasts That&#039;ll Improve Your Money Mindset</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-amazing-board-games-you-can-diy">8 Amazing Board Games You Can DIY</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-books-that-will-get-your-kids-excited-about-money">10 Fun Books That Will Get Your Kids Excited About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-entertain-your-child-for-free-or-cheap">25 Ways to Entertain Your Child for Free or Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-creative-no-mess-activities-for-kids-stuck-at-home">17 Creative, No-Mess Activities for Kids Stuck at Home</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Family educational entertainment free entertainment fun activities for kids headphones new podcasts podcasts podcasts for kids Wed, 27 Sep 2017 09:00:06 +0000 Christa Avampato 2026294 at http://www.wisebread.com How Your Bad Credit Can Impact Your Kids http://www.wisebread.com/how-your-bad-credit-can-impact-your-kids <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-your-bad-credit-can-impact-your-kids" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/working_at_home.jpg" alt="Working at home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>This is not about laying the guilt on you as a parent (there's already plenty of that to go around). However, you need to know that bad credit not only impacts your financial situation, but can also have long-term effects on your kids. Here's what you need to know.</p> <h2>It could keep them from getting a student loan</h2> <p>Co-signing a student loan should not be the default decision in helping your child afford college. Co-signing can cause serious financial problems for you down the line if your child cannot afford to make the loan payments. However, if you do decide you want to help your child apply for a student loan by co-signing, a poor credit score could prevent you from doing so. Your negative credit history will come up in the loan application and can cause it to be denied.</p> <p>Being unable to get a student loan means that your child may have to choose from limited educational options. Is that the end of the world? No, of course not. But certain career tracks depend on specific educational programs, and limited college options can make that difficult.</p> <p>Federal student loans, however, are still an option for your child even if you have poor credit. The Perkins loan and the Stafford loan, for example, have fixed interest rates and don't depend on credit history to determine eligibility.</p> <h2>It could make it more difficult for them to establish a credit history</h2> <p>College is often the time when young adults start establishing their own, independent credit history. That seems like no problem, until you realize that &quot;independent credit history&quot; isn't so independent at first.</p> <p>In fact, many credit card companies require a co-signer on a card if the primary applicant is under 21 years of age. That means that if you want to co-sign on a card to help your child start building credit, your own bad credit can cause your child's application to be denied. Keeping your kid out of credit card debt is great, but well-managed use of a credit card is often a great way to start establishing credit history. It's tough to get credit for a bigger purchase when there's no credit history to check.</p> <p>A <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-secured-cards-with-no-annual-fee?ref=internal" target="_blank">secured credit card</a> may be a good alternative, but keep a careful eye on hidden fees and increasing interest rates. The key to using a secured credit card successfully is to pay it off in full each month; otherwise, the high interest rates will cost you and your child much more than it's worth to build that credit history.</p> <h2>It could teach them poor financial habits</h2> <p>If your bad credit is a result of poor financial habits, you may have passed those &mdash; and a bad attitude toward money in general &mdash; on to your kids. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-bad-money-habits-youre-teaching-your-kids?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Bad Money Habits You're Teaching Your Kids</a>)</p> <p>If they haven't learned from you how to budget, how to save, and how to plan for the future, they probably don't know how to do it. And if you're not showing them how to handle financial stress in a healthy way, or communicate with each other about financial issues, chances are they won't learn how.</p> <p>The great news is that you can all learn together, starting now. A poor financial past does not have to mean a poor financial future. You can change your habits and your attitudes, and there's help available to do so. Start with financial counseling to figure out how you (and your kids) can build better financial habits for today and for the future.</p> <h2>It could prevent them from accessing opportunities</h2> <p>There are often special extracurricular activities, such as field trips, tutoring, music lessons, and more, which come with a hefty price tag. Many parents can't afford these expenses outright, but can use a credit card or other loan option to pay for the expense and then pay that debt off within a few months.</p> <p>Poor credit can keep you from being able to access this payment option for these extra expenses, which means your child may have to pass on them. If your child is focused on a future that involves art, music, or sports, those missed opportunities may really matter.</p> <p>However, it's worth noting that, in general, there are inexpensive options to build a stellar academic resume. Look into free extracurricular activities such as volunteering in local communities, trading lessons for service or help, or applying for scholarships for workshops and camps. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-school-expenses-without-ruining-your-kids-childhood?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Save on School Expenses Without Ruining Your Kid's Childhood</a>)</p> <h2>It can negatively impact their home life</h2> <p>Poor credit can have a major impact on your ability to access housing, transportation, and work. It isn't fair to be judged solely by your credit score; unfortunately, it happens.</p> <p>Poor credit might prevent you from getting a lease, which can make your living conditions unstable and bring a lot of stress into your life. You might encounter the same issues being unable to get a car loan, which means you have to rely on public transportation, rides from friends, or an old, unreliable car for getting around.</p> <p>Of course, living and transportation issues can make getting to work difficult. If your job is unstable, your income is unstable. This instability leads to more financial issues and stress, all of which can directly impact your child's life at home. It's a vicious cycle.</p> <h2>What can you do?</h2> <p>Despite the negative consequences of bad credit, there are steps you can take right now to start improving things. It's not just for you; it's also for your kids. Here's a short list to get you started.</p> <h3>Get financial counseling</h3> <p>There are resources available, such as confidential, low-fee credit counseling from nonprofit organizations. A good place to find help is through the <a href="https://www.nfcc.org/" target="_blank">National Foundation for Credit Counseling</a> and the <a href="http://fcaa.org/" target="_blank">Financial Counseling Association of America</a>. You can also ask at your local credit union and religious or nonprofit organizations. Many of these places offer free or low-cost access to financial advisers, credit counseling, and debt management. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-organizations-that-really-can-help-you-with-your-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Organizations That REALLY Can Help You With Your Debt</a>)</p> <h3>Start taking steps now to deal with your bad credit</h3> <p>Don't put this off another moment longer. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-counseling-when-you-need-it-and-when-you-dont" target="_blank">Credit counseling</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tricks-to-consolidating-your-debt-and-saving-money" target="_blank">debt consolidation</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unnecessary-household-expenses-you-can-cut-today" target="_blank">lowering expenses</a>, and even <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-steps-to-take-when-bankruptcy-is-your-only-option" target="_blank">declaring bankruptcy</a> may be good options.</p> <p>Dealing with poor credit is not easy. However, you're not alone. Many people have <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-bad-credit-isnt-the-end-of-the-world" target="_blank">dealt with bad credit</a> and come through it stronger than ever, and you can, too. No matter how tough your financial past has been, you can build positivity for your kids by communicating, being proactive, and looking for ways forward, together.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-your-bad-credit-can-impact-your-kids&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520Your%2520Bad%2520Credit%2520Can%2520Impact%2520Your%2520Kids.jpg&amp;description=How%20Your%20Bad%20Credit%20Can%20Impact%20Your%20Kids"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20Your%20Bad%20Credit%20Can%20Impact%20Your%20Kids.jpg" alt="How Your Bad Credit Can Impact Your Kids" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-your-bad-credit-can-impact-your-kids">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-the-holidays-to-teach-kids-about-money">How to Use the Holidays to Teach Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-ruining-your-retirement-by-spoiling-your-kids">Are You Ruining Your Retirement by Spoiling Your Kids?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-start-a-family-before-reaching-these-5-money-goals">Don&#039;t Start a Family Before Reaching These 5 Money Goals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-surprising-ways-bad-credit-can-hurt-you">15 Surprising Ways Bad Credit Can Hurt You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-fun-games-that-teach-your-kids-about-money">6 Fun Games That Teach Your Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family bad credit children co-signing credit history financial habits impact kids negative stress student loans Thu, 21 Sep 2017 08:00:06 +0000 Annie Mueller 2022638 at http://www.wisebread.com Don't Make These 5 Common Mistakes When Writing a Will http://www.wisebread.com/dont-make-these-5-common-mistakes-when-writing-a-will <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dont-make-these-5-common-mistakes-when-writing-a-will" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/blue_ballpoint_pen_and_a_last_will_and_testament.jpg" alt="Blue ballpoint pen and a last will and testament" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's a task no one likes to think about: With everything going on in our lives, do we really want to add our own mortality to the list of our concerns? As unpleasant as it may be to consider, having a will is a critical way to take care of your family should you pass away. It will also ensure that your wishes are carried out in a way that aligns with your values. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-writing-a-will?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What You Need to Know About Writing a Will</a>)</p> <p>For most of us, it's a fairly straightforward process. We have the options of free online kits, using a service like <a href="https://www.legalzoom.com/sem/ep/last-will-and-testament.html?kid=a32c64dc-b16f-422e-bdfd-cc47896bf276&amp;utm_source=google&amp;utm_medium=cpc&amp;utm_term=+wills_on_line&amp;utm_content=204280076284&amp;utm_campaign=EP_%7C_LWT&amp;gclid=CjwKCAjw5PDLBRB0EiwAh-27Mu9zeexWTPYuaCbSnpbP3828RuJ0dJ0x4mT0AbnOJHtPkqJltQzFlxoCaGMQAvD_BwE" target="_blank">LegalZoom</a>, or consulting with an attorney. No matter which option you choose, here are some common mistakes to avoid when creating a will.</p> <h2>1. Not giving anyone responsibility</h2> <p>When a will is executed, there must be a person assigned to settle the will when the time comes. This person is known as an executor, and that person makes sure that your wishes are carried out exactly as you intended. It's very important for you to select a responsible person you trust, and get that person's permission to name them as the executor. This is not something you want to be a surprise.</p> <p>Also, you may want to strongly consider naming a second executor in the event that something happens to the first person you name, or if he or she is unable to serve as executor for any reason. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fair-way-to-split-up-your-familys-estate?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Fair Way to Split Up Your Family's Estate</a>)</p> <h2>2. Not taking care of the kids</h2> <p>If you have children, it's critical that you select who will become their guardian(s) and communicate that to the named guardians as well as to other family members. I have seen this become a bone of contention before and after someone's passing, and it's a heartbreaking ordeal for everyone involved. Unfortunately, the people who suffer most in the battle are the children. It can be a difficult thing to communicate these wishes to your family, but it is far easier to deal with that difficulty now than to have a potential custody battle unfold after you're gone.</p> <p>You must also consider how to give your assets to your children if they are still minors. This is a very complicated financial and legal issue, though there are a number of different options that you can put in place to properly take care of it. Creating trusts or accounts under what's known as the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) are avenues worth exploring.</p> <h2>3. Not knowing your state laws</h2> <p>Wills are state-specific and different states have different laws for them. The state that executes your will should be the state where you claim legal residence even if you have homes or spend significant amounts of time in different states. FindLaw provides a clear overview of <a href="http://statelaws.findlaw.com/estate-planning-laws/wills.html" target="_blank">laws that govern wills</a> in the different states.</p> <h2>4. Not signing the will or having a witness</h2> <p>You've done all of the work to create a will. Make sure to sign it and have a witness sign it in accordance with your state's specific laws. If a will is left unsigned by you or a witness, there is a high risk that it won't be honored. Also bear in mind that you must be of sound mind and body, and you must create this will without being threatened or pressured by someone else to do so. If either of these points could be disputed, a legal battle could ensue before the will is executed.</p> <h2>5. Not making it accessible</h2> <p>Make sure your completed and signed will is easily accessible when the time comes, particularly by your executor. There are a few options for this. You can keep it in a secure location such as a safe in your home or a safe-deposit box. You may also choose to provide a copy of your will to your attorney, accountant, or financial adviser if you feel comfortable doing so. Though you are not required to file your will with the court or place it into public record, some courts may provide the option to store it for you. This last possibility is a good option if the court in your local jurisdiction allows it.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fdont-make-these-5-common-mistakes-when-writing-a-will&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FDon%2527t%2520Make%2520These%25205%2520Common%2520Mistakes%2520When%2520Writing%2520a%2520Will.jpg&amp;description=Don't%20Make%20These%205%20Common%20Mistakes%20When%20Writing%20a%20Will"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <h2 style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Don%27t%20Make%20These%205%20Common%20Mistakes%20When%20Writing%20a%20Will.jpg" alt="Don't Make These 5 Common Mistakes When Writing a Will" width="250" height="374" /></h2> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-make-these-5-common-mistakes-when-writing-a-will">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fair-way-to-split-up-your-familys-estate">The Fair Way to Split Up Your Family&#039;s Estate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-writing-a-will">What You Need to Know About Writing a Will</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-before-you-remarry">8 Money Moves to Make Before You Remarry</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-you-need-to-include-pets-in-your-will">6 Reasons You Need to Include Pets in Your Will</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/who-really-owns-your-digital-assets">Who Really Owns Your Digital Assets?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family assets beneficiaries estate planning executor last will and testament minors state laws will Tue, 19 Sep 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Christa Avampato 2021475 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Things You Need to Know About Pet Insurance http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-pet-insurance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-pet-insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/This_is_not_a_chew_toy.jpg" alt="This isn&#039;t a chew toy" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you need pet insurance? That depends. It can mean life or death for your pet if they experience a major medical issue &mdash; especially an expensive one that requires hospitalization or emergency surgery &mdash; but it can seem like an unnecessary monthly expense if you're paying into the plan and not using it. To make a decision whether pet insurance is right for you, here are a few things you should know. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-pet-health-insurance-worth-it?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Is Pet Health Insurance Worth It?</a>)</p> <h2>1. There are three types of pet health coverage</h2> <p>Most pet insurance companies break down coverage into three categories. The lowest tier is an accident-only plan, which only covers accidents and emergencies, like if your dog gets hurt by another dog at the park. This coverage does not include any hereditary issues or serious health conditions. Conversely, there's a wellness plan, which doesn't include anything that the accident-only plan includes, but rather focuses on wellness and routine care, like annual exams, dental cleanings, and routine medications, like heartworm and flea-and-tick prevention.</p> <p>Two plans that don't overlap anywhere kind of force pet parents into the all-encompassing third option, and that's where the more expensive, major medical plans come in.</p> <p>More than 90 percent of all pet insurance plans purchased are in this category, according to PetInsuranceQuotes.com, which helps users compare coverage and prices among leading providers. It's likely major medical plans are so popular because they cover everything <em>except</em> wellness and routine care. Accidents, illnesses, cancer, orthopedic issues, hereditary conditions, and prescription meds are under the veil of these plans, the price of which is mostly determined by the breed of pet you have.</p> <h2>2. Pet insurance can help you avoid major debt</h2> <p>For many pet parents, putting an animal down when an expensive health issue strikes just isn't an option. They'll use any means possible to come up with the money to keep their pet alive. Using money from your emergency fund if it's readily available is one thing, but putting the bill on a credit card when money is already tight just isn't smart.</p> <p>Pet insurance, however, can eliminate that issue altogether. You'll pay a small amount each month so you don't have to experience even greater stress about your finances when your pet is in the hospital. The premium is probably worth the peace of mind. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-pet-costs-you-dont-see-coming?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Pet Costs You Don't See Coming</a>)</p> <h2>3. Having coverage could mean saving your pet's life</h2> <p>When I first moved to Manhattan, barely able to pay my bills, my husband wanted a dog. I was dead-set against it, but his continued pleas caused me to cave, and before I knew it, we had a rambunctious puppy.</p> <p>Fast forward to a year-and-a-half later, still struggling to make ends meet, and our dog Jaxon is rushed to the hospital with a respiratory infection that cost about $8,000. There was a brief period of time when we weren't sure if our pet insurance would cover the cost of treatment &mdash; or how much we would have to spend out-of-pocket &mdash; and we had to make a tough decision. It was a quick decision. We could afford up to $3,000 in out-of-pocket expenses and nothing more; otherwise we would have to say our goodbyes. Thankfully we didn't have to, because the little bugger is still my best bud. Pet insurance saved Jaxon's life that day, and it could very well save your pet's life, too. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-pet-expenses-you-should-never-skip?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Pet Expenses You Should Never Skip</a>)</p> <h2>4. Age plays an important part in the coverage you'll get</h2> <p>It's important to enroll your pet while they're young and healthy enough to get the best coverage at the lowest price. No pet insurance provider will cover pre-existing conditions, which makes getting coverage as the pet ages tougher and more expensive, if possible at all.</p> <p>&quot;If your pet is a senior and/or has pre-existing conditions, you may want to consider the accident-only plan,&quot; says Chris Middleton, president of Pets Best, a leading pet insurance provider. &quot;Or get the accident-only plan and add routine care to it.&quot;</p> <p>I decided to end major medical coverage on Jaxon because he doesn't go anywhere that he'll get hurt and he hasn't had any major medical issues for years; that level of insurance was becoming an expense that wasn't worth it. He's also getting up there in age, and at some point I have to let nature take its course. For now, he's happy, healthy, and we're enjoying life together.</p> <h2>5. Your pet's breed will influence coverage and cost</h2> <p>Some pet breeds are more prone to hereditary conditions and medical issues than others, which will affect the price you'll pay for pet insurance right off the bat. For example, you can expect to pay an average of $45 a month for a Labrador retriever versus $53 a month for an English bulldog, according to PetInsuranceQuotes.com. Both of these breeds come with their own set of hereditary issues that can be expensive to treat, which affect prices. If you know you want pet insurance but haven't found the perfect pet yet, it's worth researching insurance premiums based on breed; it may inform your decision on what breeds to focus on and which to avoid. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-lower-your-vet-bills?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways to Lower Your Vet Bills</a>)</p> <h2>6. Find the coverage that works best for your pet and your wallet</h2> <p>To get the most for your pet insurance price, look for a provider that covers the largest portion of your veterinary bill, coverage for congenital and hereditary conditions, and has no limits to the amount they will pay out.</p> <p>&quot;Choose a deductible that fits your budget and how they are applied,&quot; adds pet insurance provider Trupanion. &quot;Deductibles can help you control your premiums while making sure you see coverage before you hit your budget limit.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Pet insurance usually works on a reimbursement model</h2> <p>Pet insurance is a reimbursement model, meaning the pet owner pays their bill at the veterinarian (and often you must pay it in full before your pet is allowed to leave the facility), then submit the proof of payment to the provider for reimbursement. You should research the company's options for submitting claims before choosing a provider, advises Middleton.</p> <p>&quot;Since pet insurance is a reimbursement model, getting your money back quickly is one of the most important features,&quot; Middleton says. &quot;It's also important to look at how they will reimburse you. Some companies will only cut a check to pay your claim; so you have to factor in the time to cut the check, get it mailed to you, then deposit it.&quot;</p> <p>Direct-deposit reimbursement also is available at some providers.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-things-you-need-to-know-about-pet-insurance&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Things%2520You%2520Need%2520to%2520Know%2520About%2520Pet%2520Insurance.jpg&amp;description=7%20Things%20You%20Need%20to%20Know%20About%20Pet%20Insurance"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Things%20You%20Need%20to%20Know%20About%20Pet%20Insurance.jpg" alt="7 Things You Need to Know About Pet Insurance" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-pet-insurance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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-pet-expenses-you-should-never-skip">6 Pet Expenses You Should Never Skip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-lower-your-vet-bills">8 Ways to Lower Your Vet Bills</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-personal-finance-tips-for-animal-lovers">7 Personal Finance Tips for Animal Lovers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pet-flea-shampoos">The 5 Best Pet Flea Shampoos</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-unexpected-dog-costs-you-should-prepare-for-now">5 Unexpected Dog Costs You Should Prepare for Now</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Health and Beauty cats dogs health care pet care pet insurance pet owner pets vet bills veterinary bills Fri, 15 Sep 2017 08:30:11 +0000 Mikey Rox 2020340 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Save for Retirement While Caring for Kids and Parents http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-for-retirement-while-caring-for-kids-and-parents <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-save-for-retirement-while-caring-for-kids-and-parents" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/three_generations_women_laughing_in_the_kitchen.jpg" alt="Three generations women laughing in the kitchen" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a member of the sandwich generation, you're not only raising your children, you're also caring for your aging parents. The financial burden, not to mention the daily responsibilities, can leave you struggling to invest in your own financial future. Here are some ways you can still save for your retirement while caring for those who depend on you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-strategies-for-the-sandwich-generation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Money Strategies for the Sandwich Generation</a>)</p> <h2>1. Make your financial future a priority</h2> <p>Your financial future matters as much as the current responsibilities you have. Consider the stress you experience as you try to navigate life while being a parent and caring for your own aging parents. Do you want to repeat the cycle of stress by failing to plan for your retirement? No, of course you don't. However, by letting guilt and the needs of the moment dictate your financial choices, you may end up in that place. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-financial-steps-to-take-when-your-aging-parents-move-in?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Financial Steps to Take When Your Aging Parents Move In</a>)</p> <p>When you're juggling medical bills and child care costs, retirement may seem far away and unimportant. It isn't. You deserve to have your financial needs met in the future as much as your children and parents deserve to have good care now.</p> <h2>2. Take advantage of employer programs</h2> <p>If your employer offers any sort of matching contribution to your 401(k), take full advantage of that opportunity.</p> <p>As you're able, increase the amount of money you're putting into your 401(k) from each paycheck. Having it automatically deducted &mdash; which is how most employers handle contributions &mdash; will keep you from depending on these savings for your daily expenses. Your goal is to bring your savings amount to the point of maximum matching contributions from your employer. It's an easy win, as those matching contributions double your savings.</p> <h2>3. Take advantage of tax-free savings</h2> <p>If you don't have a 401(k), now is the time to set up a traditional IRA. It's another way to maximize your retirement savings, as a traditional IRA will generally allow you to defer taxes on the money you save until much later &mdash; when you start withdrawing it. Deferring taxes enables you to save more now, while you're living in the sandwich generation budget crunch.</p> <h2>4. Find and apply for available tax benefits</h2> <p>Some additional tax breaks exist for adult children who are providing full-time care for their aging parents. Talk to your CPA about the requirements for claiming your elderly parents as a dependent.</p> <p>Additionally, examine your options for claiming tax deductions for medical care and other dependent expenses such as transportation, food, and supplies. Not all costs will qualify for tax deductions, but those that do can save you a good chunk of money that can go straight into your retirement savings.</p> <h2>5. Liquidate the assets your parents no longer need</h2> <p>It can be difficult to work through big financial decisions with your aging parents, but doing so can help you both navigate the somewhat rough financial waters of elder care. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-youll-encounter-when-taking-over-a-loved-ones-finances?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Things You'll Encounter When Taking Over a Loved One's Finances</a>)</p> <p>Identify the assets that are used very little but require ongoing maintenance, such as a house that's not lived in, or a boat or car that sits unused. These unused assets are financial drains. Work together to come up with a plan for liquidating them. Then put the money gained from their sale into an account that pays for your parents' monthly expenses. This relieves the financial burden you're carrying so that less of your income is required for your parents, and more of your income can go to your retirement savings.</p> <h2>6. Reduce a big, ongoing expense</h2> <p>The goal here isn't to come up with a one-time win, but to find a monthly cost that eats up your income and find a way to reduce it. Then you'll take that difference and add it to your monthly savings.</p> <p>Make a list of your monthly expenses, rank them from most to least expensive, and start going down the list with your goal in mind. You can shop for better insurance rates and a cheaper cellphone plan. You can sell the expensive car you're still making payments on, buy a cheaper one outright, and put the amount you used to spend on a car payment directly into your savings. The key is to make sure that the amount you save goes into savings; don't let it get absorbed into your budget and spent on other things.</p> <h2>7. Take a money challenge</h2> <p>A <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-money-challenges-you-can-totally-do?ref=internal" target="_blank">money challenge</a> is a fun but temporary way to reduce your costs and increase your savings by cutting an expense for a short amount of time. It's doable because it's temporary, which also makes it fun. You might not want to haggle over expenses or shop from thrift stores all the time; however, you can do it for a month or so and use what you save to add to your retirement.</p> <h2>8. Invest in a hobby that makes money</h2> <p>Taking on yet another responsibility may seem impossible. However, prioritizing your own interests &mdash; in this case, one that can make you some money &mdash; is a good idea. You need time to dedicate to your own interests in this time of intense caregiving. If you put time into developing a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-money-making-hobbies?ref=internal" target="_blank">hobby that has income potential</a>, you'll be able to add to your retirement fund.</p> <p>If finding the time is an issue (and of course it is!), don't be shy about asking family members and friends to pitch in on child care and parent care. You may handle most of the responsibility for your aging parents, but you don't have to do everything yourself. Set up a schedule so that adult siblings, cousins, and community members take on caregiving for a day or afternoon out of the week. Use that time to work on your side hustle, and funnel the money you make from it straight into your retirement savings.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-save-for-retirement-while-caring-for-kids-and-parents&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Save%2520for%2520Retirement%2520While%2520Caring%2520for%2520Kids%2520and%2520Parents.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Save%20for%20Retirement%20While%20Caring%20for%20Kids%20and%20Parents"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Save%20for%20Retirement%20While%20Caring%20for%20Kids%20and%20Parents.jpg" alt="How to Save for Retirement While Caring for Kids and Parents" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-for-retirement-while-caring-for-kids-and-parents">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-help-your-parents-retire">How to Help Your Parents Retire</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-age-milestones-that-impact-your-retirement">6 Age Milestones That Impact Your Retirement</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-ways-you-can-cut-costs-right-before-you-retire-0">6 Ways You Can Cut Costs Right Before You Retire</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/half-of-americans-are-wrong-about-their-retirement-savings">Half of Americans Are Wrong About Their Retirement Savings</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-questions-financial-advisers-hear-most-often">8 Questions Financial Advisers Hear Most Often</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Retirement aging parents caregiving cutting costs extra income IRA raising kids sandwich generation saving money taxes Thu, 14 Sep 2017 08:31:09 +0000 Annie Mueller 2019188 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Help Your Parents Retire http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-help-your-parents-retire <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-help-your-parents-retire" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/all_grown_up_but_still_her_mother's_daughter.jpg" alt="All grown up, but still her mother&#039;s daughter" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the toughest transitions into adulthood is when you realize that you need to help your parents instead of the other way around.</p> <p>Add money into the mix, and that can make an already awkward transition feel even more uncomfortable. Money is often a taboo topic in families, and parents sometimes have trouble letting go of the idea that you are a child rather than someone who can help them with financial planning. It may feel easier to just assume Mom and Dad have everything covered for their financial future, and let the chips fall where they may.</p> <p>But helping your parents prepare for retirement is one of the best gifts you can give the people who raised you. That's because even the most financially savvy planners may run into issues, questions, or problems that they are not sure how to handle. You can help your parents get ready for retirement, and grow closer in the process.</p> <p>Here's what you need to know about helping your parents retire.</p> <h2>Prioritize your own retirement savings</h2> <p>Most parents know that it's smarter to save for retirement before putting money into the kids' college funds. After all, students can take out loans for school, but there are no loans for retirement. Adult children should prioritize retirement savings over paying for their parents' retirement needs.</p> <p>It may seem strange to prioritize your own retirement as a part of helping your parents retire, but it's an important first step in financially protecting your entire family. Taking care of your parents' retirement instead of saving for your own means that you will simply be passing money problems from one generation to the next. By putting your own retirement savings first, you are teaching your kids how to responsibly plan for their own financial futures.</p> <p>Being prepared to have your parents use their assets for as long as they last will also allow you to make the best use of programs like Medicaid, which requires long-term care recipients to have exhausted their own assets before it kicks in. Rather than exhaust your own finances, plan to protect your future retirement so your kids are not left with another tough decision in 30 years.</p> <h2>Introduce the initial conversation</h2> <p>To be able to help your parents retire, you need to know where they stand financially so you can best help them fill in the gaps and prepare for that major transition. If you're lucky, your parents have already looped you in on what they have saved, where it is, what plans they have for the future, and who they trust as their financial adviser to make the decisions. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-youll-encounter-when-taking-over-a-loved-ones-finances?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Things You'll Encounter When Taking Over a Loved One's Finances</a>)</p> <p>Where it gets tricky is if your parents shut down any money conversations and change the subject to &quot;something more pleasant.&quot; If you know your parents will not feel comfortable talking openly about their money planning with you, frame the conversation as an opportunity for you to learn together.</p> <p>For instance, you might mention that you want to look over your 401(k) information and would love to chat with them about how they handle their retirement accounts. In addition, you could invite them to read a book with you about financial planning so you can use the information as a jumping off point for personal discussion.</p> <h2>Talk about the day-to-day details</h2> <p>Knowing where your parents hope to live and how they intend to spend their time in retirement will give you (and them) a baseline understanding of how much they will need in retirement. Encourage Mom and Dad to talk about how they want their lives to look in retirement. Do they want to stay in place, move closer to grandchildren, or sell everything and live in an RV?</p> <p>In addition to helping you get a better sense of their financial needs in retirement, these conversations will also help your parents enjoy the anticipation of planning for retirement.</p> <h2>Learn more about Social Security and Medicare</h2> <p>While spending an afternoon navigating Social Security and Medicare's websites is no one's idea of fun, taking the time to determine your parents' eligibility for these programs can help you better understand what to expect from their government entitlements. You and your parents can check out the eligibility questionnaires at <a href="http://www.medicare.gov/" target="_blank">Medicare.gov</a> and <a href="http://www.benefits.gov/" target="_blank">Benefits.gov</a> to find out what benefits are available and whether your parents qualify.</p> <h2>Meet with a financial adviser</h2> <p>No one expects you (or your parents!) to know everything about the complexities of planning for retirement. Together with your parents, take the time to interview and hire a financial adviser to help with the details of building your parents' retirement.</p> <p>A financial adviser is also in a good position to help your parents make sure their estate planning is up-to-snuff and that all of their accounts have properly named beneficiaries. Even if Mom and Dad are uncomfortable talking about these issues with you &mdash; who wants to think about their own deaths, after all? &mdash; having a trusted financial adviser can help make sure they have all the necessary estate planning paperwork in place.</p> <h2>Keep talking</h2> <p>If money conversations are uncomfortable, you might feel like having that single afternoon of financial planning with your parents is sufficient. But checking in with your parents regularly is an essential part of helping them prepare for retirement. This lets them know you are there to help them with any difficult issues or decisions.</p> <p>Continuing the conversation can also help <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-elderly-loved-ones-from-financial-scams?ref=internal" target="_blank">protect your parents against scams</a>. According to a 2015 True Link Financial report on financial elder abuse, annual losses from elder fraud totaled over $36 billion. By staying connected with your parents and offering to help them with financial decisions, they will be less likely to fall victim to a predatory scammer because you will be there to help sniff out anything untoward.</p> <h2>Paying it back to Mom and Dad</h2> <p>Your parents took care of you throughout your childhood (and maybe a little into adulthood, too). Now it's your turn to look out for them. Give your parents the gift of some help with retirement planning, so they can relax and enjoy the end of their career and the beginning of the next phase of their lives.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-help-your-parents-retire&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Help%2520Your%2520Parents%2520Retire.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Help%20Your%20Parents%20Retire"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Help%20Your%20Parents%20Retire.jpg" alt="How to Help Your Parents Retire" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-help-your-parents-retire">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-for-retirement-while-caring-for-kids-and-parents">How to Save for Retirement While Caring for Kids and Parents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-overcome-these-4-common-retirement-fears">How to Overcome These 4 Common Retirement Fears</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/13-crucial-social-security-terms-everyone-needs-to-know">13 Crucial Social Security Terms Everyone Needs to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-enjoy-retirement-if-you-havent-saved-enough">How to Enjoy Retirement If You Haven&#039;t Saved Enough</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/heres-how-your-taxes-will-change-when-you-retire">Here&#039;s How Your Taxes Will Change When You Retire</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Retirement assistance caregiving financial help medicare parents saving money scams social security Tue, 12 Sep 2017 08:00:06 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2019028 at http://www.wisebread.com A Granny Pod May Be the Smartest Way to Care for an Elderly Parent http://www.wisebread.com/a-granny-pod-may-be-the-smartest-way-to-care-for-an-elderly-parent <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/a-granny-pod-may-be-the-smartest-way-to-care-for-an-elderly-parent" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-547129138.jpg" alt="the granny pod is an affordable solution to long-term care" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many of us are feeling the pinch of caring for elderly loved ones. Between the cost of long-term care, the longer lifespan we're experiencing thanks to modern medicine and healthier lifestyles, and the desire for intergenerational families to remain intact, entrepreneurs are trying to figure out ways for people to age in place and continue to be part of their families and communities long into their golden years. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-simple-guide-to-planning-for-a-loved-ones-long-term-care?ref=seealso" target="_blank">A Simple Guide to Planning For a Loved One's Long-Term Care</a>)</p> <p>One option on the table is affectionately known as a &quot;granny pod.&quot; While some have criticized it as putting Grandma into a shed in the backyard, granny pods are far from this characterization. As with most real estate, it's all about location, location, location. Think of granny pods as part of the tiny house movement, but outfitted specifically for a senior's needs. They let our elderly parents stay close to us while providing them with their own self-contained, private space. And let's be clear: I've spent the majority of my adult life living in a studio apartment in New York City that is the same size as a granny pod, so it's not an unlivable housing option. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-strategies-for-the-sandwich-generation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Money Strategies for the Sandwich Generation</a>)</p> <p>Below are three manufacturers who are designing, building, and distributing granny pods around the globe. Given the growing senior demographic and the growth of the population, we should continue to keep our eyes open for new companies in this niche and in the sustainable housing industry as a whole. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-financial-steps-to-take-when-your-aging-parents-move-in?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Financial Steps to Take When Your Aging Parents Move In</a>)</p> <h2>MEDCottages</h2> <p>Based in Blacksburg, Virginia, <a href="http://www.medcottage.com/home.html" target="_blank">MEDCottages</a> prices their granny pods at $85,000 to $125,000. They have three different styles and some are available as kits that can be assembled as units that can be leased rather than purchased outright. It's also possible to just purchase the architectural plans from MEDCottage and hire your own contractor to build it for you. The MEDCottage products are equipped like hospital rooms with hand rails, lighted floorboards, hospital beds, large bathrooms, first aid kits, and defibrillators.</p> <h2>S-Pod</h2> <p>Manufactured by U.K. company Swift Group, the <a href="https://www.swiftmyspace.co.uk/s-pod" target="_blank">S-Pod</a> illustrates the possibilities that this kind of living structure offers. Though only available in the U.K. at the moment (keep an eye out for U.S. expansions!), it's easy to see how this option can be used for seniors who want to stay close to their families, but maintain their independence. These are currently priced at &pound;22,145, which is about $28,690.</p> <p>Unlike MEDCottages, these aren't specifically outfitted for seniors. However, just as we outfit our own homes to help aging family members, they could also be altered as needed.</p> <h2>Breezepod</h2> <p>Hopping over to New Zealand, we find <a href="http://www.breezepod.com/index.html" target="_blank">Breezepod</a>. Like the S-Pod, this product is marketed to a wide demographic, including seniors. What makes their marketing message unique is that they are designing these units from an environmental sustainability perspective. Energy efficient, easy-to-assemble with just two people, and having the ability to add features like solar panels, Breezepods don't require any timber, so they don't cause any deforestation. The polymer materials used to create them are recyclable, and their designs are both earthquake-proof and wind-resistant.</p> <p>Currently, the cost of a granny pod is the responsibility of the land owner. However, MEDCottage is laying the groundwork in the U.S. to push to have the construction of granny pods receive assistance from Medicare. Given that the cost of a granny pod is roughly the same as the cost of long-term care in a nursing facility for two years, and the need to reduce the strain on existing nursing facilities, granny pods make economical and societal sense for those seniors who can live independently with some assistance on an as-needed basis. Aging in place is coming of age thanks to this innovation. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-ease-your-parents-into-assisted-living?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways to Ease Your Parents Into Assisted Living</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fa-granny-pod-may-be-the-smartest-way-to-care-for-an-elderly-parent&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FA%2520Granny%2520Pod%2520May%2520Be%2520the%2520Smartest%2520Way%2520to%2520Care%2520for%2520an%2520Elderly%2520Parent.jpg&amp;description=A%20Granny%20Pod%20May%20Be%20the%20Smartest%20Way%20to%20Care%20for%20an%20Elderly%20Parent"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/A%20Granny%20Pod%20May%20Be%20the%20Smartest%20Way%20to%20Care%20for%20an%20Elderly%20Parent.jpg" alt="A Granny Pod May Be the Smartest Way to Care for an Elderly Parent" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-granny-pod-may-be-the-smartest-way-to-care-for-an-elderly-parent">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/re-nesting-tips-for-moving-back-in-with-your-parents">Re-Nesting: Tips for Moving Back in With Your Parents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-trade-in-your-car-why-not-your-home">You Trade-In Your Car…Why Not Your Home?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/turn-one-room-into-two-with-these-10-simple-tricks">Turn One Room Into Two With These 10 Simple Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-cities-for-starting-over">The 5 Best Cities for Starting Over</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/mcmansion-to-mccottage-why-smaller-houses-are-smarter">McMansion to McCottage: Why Smaller Houses Are Smarter</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Home Real Estate and Housing elderly care grandfather grandmother granny pod guest house nursing home tiny home Wed, 06 Sep 2017 08:30:11 +0000 Christa Avampato 2016058 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Pet Expenses You Should Never Skip http://www.wisebread.com/6-pet-expenses-you-should-never-skip <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-pet-expenses-you-should-never-skip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-522185081.jpg" alt="don&#039;t skip these pet care expenses" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For some of us, our pets are the only children we're going to have (sorry, mom) &mdash; and like any good parent, we want to take care of our babies as best we can. But in the world of pet care, how do we know what's worth it and what isn't &mdash; especially when we examine the price tags associated with such expenses? You and your favorite cuddle buddy can live without a lot of what's out there, but here are the pet care costs you should never skip. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-lower-your-vet-bills?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways to Lower Your Vet Bills</a>)</p> <h2>1. Vaccinations</h2> <p>Vaccines do an incredible amount of good versus whatever rogue side effects have been suggested, largely by the nonscientific community. This goes for your pets, too.</p> <p>There's been some controversy on whether cats actually need annual shots, and the general consensus &mdash; among some, but not all vets &mdash; is that if your cat is strictly indoors and doesn't come into contact with other cats that may have feline leukemia, you can probably skip a year or two on vaccinations.</p> <p>Pet-care author, Kelly Meister-Yetter, affectionately known as the Critter Lady, says she has four indoor-only cats and she doesn't have them vaccinated every year. If your cat is to be boarded, however, virtually every establishment will require updated shots.</p> <p>Dogs, however, are a different story. &quot;You should never skip dog vaccinations, especially the rabies update shot every year,&quot; Meister-Yetter says. And some rabies vaccinations are good for three years. &quot;Dogs can get into all manner of mischief, and it's always best to keep them safe.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Consistent veterinary care from infancy</h2> <p>A pet parent should never skimp on vet care, which should include a yearly physical exam. Not only does the examination allow your veterinarian to assess the overall health of your pet, it also creates a health care team for you, the pet parent.</p> <p>&quot;When the pet is sick or injured, they will be worked in right away with someone who knows the pet and has its medical history, known medications and allergies, everything,&quot; according to Kathryn Primm, resident veterinarian at pet wellness site IHeartDogs.com.</p> <p>Vet care shouldn't be used as an emergency resource, but rather an established method of preventive care, from the moment you adopt or decide to bring a pet into your family.</p> <p>House Call Vet NYC Dr. Jeff Levy, whose practice specializes in holistic pet care, says regular checkups combined with a reasonable vaccination protocol can prevent unforeseen and costly medical problems throughout your pet's life. This preventive care can save you a substantial amount of money by addressing potential problems before they reach a stage that you may not be able to afford.</p> <h2>3. Pet insurance</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-pet-health-insurance-worth-it" target="_blank">Pet insurance</a>, though it may seem costly over the span of your pet's life, will spare you money and heartbreak in emergency situations that can cost thousands.</p> <p>My own dog had a respiratory issue very early on, the surgery for which crept upwards of $10,000. It's horrible to say, but if I didn't have pet insurance for him, we wouldn't have spent the past seven years post-procedure enjoying each other's company. Pet insurance saved his life.</p> <p>Jamie Thomas, executive director of Motley Zoo Animal Rescue in Washington State, says she experiences the consequences of uninsured pets on a regular basis.</p> <p>&quot;We routinely see animals surrendered for something as simple as a broken leg &mdash; [which costs a pet parent] about $1,500 to $2,000 [to mend],&quot; she says. &quot;This is really avoidable and it breaks our hearts. All it takes is one accident where your cat gets out the door and hit by a car, or your dog gets injured by another, and you might be facing euthanization rather than care and treatment, simply due to expenses.&quot;</p> <p>Outside of pet insurance, it's also a good idea to have a small emergency fund set up for your pet, just in case. And as your pet ages, certainly you can reconsider your insurance coverage. You may decide that your pet doesn't need a high level of coverage or coverage at all as it enters its final stages of life, but that's a personal decision you'll have to make.</p> <h2>4. Good food and nutrition</h2> <p>Be mindful of your pet's diet, and don't skimp on their food. This doesn't mean following the latest fads or advertising. Consider your veterinarian's professional opinion and conduct your own research using authoritative sources.</p> <p>&quot;You cannot underestimate the value of good food and what this can do for your animal's long-term health and well-being,&quot; explains Thomas. &quot;The ingredients and fillers in cheap pet food can actually cost you more in vet bills, trying to figure out why your pet's coat is really dry, coarse, or why your pet is super itchy or has skin issues. Ingredients like chicken and grains are the biggest culprits causing pet allergies, including skin and ear infections.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-most-useful-pet-food-websites?ref=seealso" target="_blank">20 Most Useful Pet Food Websites</a>)</p> <h2>5. Exercise and socialization</h2> <p>I'm a pretty lucky pet parent because there are plenty of dog parks, beaches, and even dog-friendly happy hours where I live that my best fur-buddy and I can go to socialize and get regular exercise, and it's all free (except for the beers, of course). This is probably the case for you as well (a quick search will find all the dog-friendly places in your vicinity), and it's important to utilize these community assets so your pet can make friends and play.</p> <p>&quot;While cats are often solitary animals, dogs thrive on social interaction; invest your time, effort, and resources into enriching your pet's daily life,&quot; Dr. Levy advises. &quot;Both species need exercise to keep their bodies healthy. For cats, invest in toys and dedicate time to daily play. Dogs should not stay home alone while you are at work, so pony up for a walker or daycare.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Dog training, if needed</h2> <p>A lot of pet parents manage to raise friendly, gentle, loving dogs without the assistance of trainers. The problem is, you never really know how your pet will turn out as an adult based on your specific combination of nature and nurture, which makes it a good idea to invest in formal training.</p> <p>Thomas says, &quot;Many people rely on the breed of dog &mdash; 'good family dogs' &mdash; and think they don't need training, or think that hanging out with the family is actually socializing their dog. But investing in a better understanding of what training entails and how to communicate effectively with your dog, as well as how to truly socialize your dog, will be a priceless experience and can truly be the difference between keeping your dog or not. If people invested as much time and attention into these factors as they do researching a dog breed that will be perfect for them, they'd be more successful &mdash; and find many more dogs that would actually work for them.&quot;</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-pet-expenses-you-should-never-skip&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Pet%2520Expenses%2520You%2520Should%2520Never%2520Skip.jpg&amp;description=6%20Pet%20Expenses%20You%20Should%20Never%20Skip"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Pet%20Expenses%20You%20Should%20Never%20Skip.jpg" alt="6 Pet Expenses You Should Never Skip" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-pet-expenses-you-should-never-skip">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-things-you-need-to-know-about-pet-insurance">7 Things You Need to Know About Pet Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-lower-your-vet-bills">8 Ways to Lower Your Vet Bills</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-personal-finance-tips-for-animal-lovers">7 Personal Finance Tips for Animal Lovers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pet-flea-shampoos">The 5 Best Pet Flea Shampoos</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-pet-expenses-that-arent-worth-it">4 Pet Expenses That Aren&#039;t Worth It</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Health and Beauty cats dogs pet care pet expenses pet insurance pet owner pets veterinary costs Wed, 06 Sep 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Mikey Rox 2016057 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Feed a Large Family on a Small Budget http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-feed-a-large-family-on-a-small-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-feed-a-large-family-on-a-small-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_family_having_roast_chicken_dinner_at_table.jpg" alt="Happy family having roast chicken dinner at table" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Feeding a large family is a challenge. You need plenty to eat for plenty of hungry people, and you'd like to accomplish that without draining all of your free time and money. As the mother of four hungry kids, I've learned a few strategies that work well for our family. I also called in an expert: my friend Jeff Page, father of eight and founder of Hectic Meals.</p> <h2>Plan your meals</h2> <p>You need to plan your meals in advance. Winging it on meals, especially with a large family, will cost you. You'll stress every day over that, &quot;What's for dinner?&quot; question, and end up depending on fast food, takeout, or multiple grocery store trips to feed hungry people. It's impractical and terrible for your budget. Jeff calls meal planning, &quot;a matter of self-preservation.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-the-takeout-meal-cycle-and-save?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Stop the Takeout Meal Cycle and Save</a>)</p> <p>Meal planning doesn't have to be complicated, though. It's usually easiest to plan a week's worth of meals at a time. Jeff recommends collecting your favorite recipes and using them on a regular rotation.</p> <h3>Get input from your family</h3> <p>You may be the meal planner, but you can get great ideas on favorite meals by polling the crowd. I've found that my kids are quite happy to eat the same basic thing for breakfast everyday, but they get tired of that kind of repetition for lunches.</p> <h3>Work with the seasons and the sales</h3> <p>If you pay attention to what's in season for produce, and what's on sale at your local grocery store, you can plan your menu around these items. You'll not only get fresher, better produce with this approach, but you'll also save money.</p> <h3>Combine new and old recipes</h3> <p>Depend on your tried-and-true favorites for the bulk of your meal planning, but add in some new and interesting recipes here and there. It's a good way to expand your family's eating repertoire without alienating your picky eaters. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-and-eat-better-with-these-6-online-meal-planners?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Save Money and Eat Better With These 6 Online Meal Planners</a>)</p> <h2>Buy and prepare food in bulk</h2> <p>If your family eats in high volume, buying and prepping your food in correspondingly high volume makes sense. Meal planning will help you determine what you need in advance, and buying in bulk will help you get it at the best price.</p> <h3>What to buy in bulk</h3> <p>Basic pantry items, such as baking ingredients and canned goods, are almost always a good idea for bulk purchases. The savings might not be huge, but since you can go through high quantities of these staples, you want to keep them on hand and buy them in large quantities when they go on sale. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-shop-for-food-once-a-month-and-save-big?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Shop for Food Once a Month and Save Big</a>)</p> <p>Another smart bulk purchase is your main protein source: meat, eggs, beans, dairy, etc. For Jeff's family, their biggest value has been in purchasing meat in the largest quantities possible, then freezing it for use as needed.</p> <p>Fresh produce can be a great bulk purchase, as well, if you're able to process or preserve it. Otherwise, you might watch it go to waste, which is the opposite of budget-friendly. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-food-items-to-always-buy-in-bulk?ref=seealso" target="_blank">13 Food Items to Always Buy in Bulk</a>)</p> <h3>How to prep your food in bulk</h3> <p>Whether you bring home 15 pounds of ground beef or a couple of overflowing boxes of ripe tomatoes, you need to do something with your bulk food to make it easily usable. Some bulk purchases are best treated with a partial prep. For example, if you bring home 10 pounds of fresh carrots, you can peel and slice them, divide into portions, freeze some for use in soups later and refrigerate the rest for easy snacking. You can buy chicken in bulk, chop and season it, then freeze.</p> <p>For the most efficient bulk food prep, Jeff recommends a high-quality <a href="http://amzn.to/2vm1htL" target="_blank">set of knives</a> and a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-vacuum-sealers" target="_blank">vacuum sealer</a>. That way you can work your way quickly through a big pile of whatever's in season and ensure that it won't be frostbitten and gross by the time you eat it. Another great tool for bulk prep and preservation is a <a href="http://amzn.to/2xHgnqx" target="_blank">food dehydrator</a>; couple it with that vacuum sealer for maximum prep and storage efficiency.</p> <h3>Go local</h3> <p>Check into <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-affordable-alternatives-to-the-grocery-store" target="_blank">your local grocery options</a> for other bulk food purchases. You may find grocery co-ops, ethnic food stores, and local farmers markets can offer you great ingredients at a much better price than your regular grocery store.</p> <h3>Have a storage plan</h3> <p>Don't bring home the bacon (or any other food in bulk), unless you have a plan for how you will store it. You need to have adequate pantry or cabinet space for dry and canned goods, and adequate freezer space for other items.</p> <h2>Implement a meal schedule</h2> <p>You need a healthy amount of organization to keep a big-family kitchen from falling into chaos. When multiple people access the food and food spaces, basic rules can keep things clean, organized, and usable.</p> <p>The most important rule is to clean up after yourself. Even young children can learn to wash a dish after they use it. Yes, you will have to remind them of their ability to do so approximately 4,327 times before they will learn it, but stick with it. Eventually, they will remember. Or they'll move out. Either way, fewer dishes for you!</p> <h3>Get organized</h3> <p>For large families, it's very helpful to have a secondary refrigerator and/or freezer, perhaps in the garage or on the patio, for food storage. You can designate the kitchen refrigerator for this week's snacks and meal ingredients, and the other refrigerator can be used for less-often used items and ingredients you're storing for later use.</p> <p>A key part of food organization is finding a way to communicate it with the rest of your family. Use labels to mark where things should go, and bins or other storage items to keep things separated in the freezer or pantry. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-pantry-tricks-that-save-you-big?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Pantry Tricks That Save You Big</a>)</p> <h3>How to schedule meals</h3> <p>A schedule and a list will help you get through the grocery shopping as quickly as possible. Jeff generates a list from his meal plan and, with that in hand, he's usually able to keep his weekly shopping trip under an hour.</p> <h3>Share the information</h3> <p>Print out your meal plan, so all the hungry members of your family can see at a glance what's for dinner. That might encourage them to quit asking you about it. In an alternate universe, it might encourage them to start making dinner. I have not found the entrance to this universe. If you do, let me know. Please.</p> <h3>Designate shelves</h3> <p>In the pantry, Jeff recommends labeling shelves so there's a designated area for particular items. This can make the putting away process faster for everyone after grocery shopping. We have a designated snack shelf, and when it's snack time, the kids know what they can have and help themselves.</p> <h2>Keep it simple</h2> <p>An endless variety of food costs money. My kids would like to have a pantry that looks like the snack aisle at Costco. I would rather pay the bills &mdash; all of them &mdash; because having that much variety would cost a small fortune. I keep three to five snack options on hand, along with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, and that's enough for us.</p> <h3>Incorporate change every once in awhile</h3> <p>The same snacks or dishes over and over again can get boring for you and everyone in your family. You can rotate options, but you don't have to have all the options at one time. So, choose a few snack options this month, and different ones for next month.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-feed-a-large-family-on-a-small-budget&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Feed%2520a%2520Large%2520Family%2520on%2520a%2520Small%2520Budget.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Feed%20a%20Large%20Family%20on%20a%20Small%20Budget"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Feed%20a%20Large%20Family%20on%20a%20Small%20Budget.jpg" alt="How to Feed a Large Family on a Small Budget" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-feed-a-large-family-on-a-small-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-hot-new-food-trends-the-frugal-way">8 Hot New Food Trends — The Frugal Way</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-affordable-alternatives-to-the-grocery-store">10 Affordable Alternatives to the Grocery Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-food-waste-from-spoiling-your-budget">How to Keep Food Waste From Spoiling Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-delicious-ways-to-go-meatless-for-the-newly-vegetarian">12 Delicious Ways to Go Meatless for the Newly Vegetarian</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-only-15-foods-that-are-worth-buying-organic">The Only 15 Foods That Are Worth Buying Organic</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Food and Drink dinner dinners feeding the family food shopping grocery budget grocery shopping meal planning Wed, 30 Aug 2017 08:30:05 +0000 Annie Mueller 2011824 at http://www.wisebread.com Don't Start a Family Before Reaching These 5 Money Goals http://www.wisebread.com/dont-start-a-family-before-reaching-these-5-money-goals <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dont-start-a-family-before-reaching-these-5-money-goals" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/parents_carrying_son_on_shoulders_as_they_walk_in_park.jpg" alt="Parents Carrying Son On Shoulders As They Walk In Park" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Raising kids is expensive. The numbers bear this out: The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that in 2015 a middle-income family spent an average $12,980 each year on each child. To raise a child from birth through age 17, it would cost married parents an average $233,610. And these figures don't include the cost of a college education.</p> <p>Because raising children &mdash; not to mention buying cars and homes to accommodate them &mdash; is an expensive task, it makes sense to set certain financial goals for yourself before you start a family. Being financially prepared for children can make raising them, and paying for this process, a far easier task.</p> <p>Here are a few money goals to set before you start having children.</p> <h2>1. An emergency fund with six months of daily living expenses</h2> <p>Children come with unexpected expenses; everything from $200 for an emergency room visit to a surprise $500 bill from the dentist. You can prepare for these expenses by creating an emergency fund.</p> <p>As its name suggests, an emergency fund is an account that you only tap to cover unanticipated necessities. With an emergency fund, you won't have to resort to paying for unexpected expenses with a high-interest credit card.</p> <p>Most financial experts recommend that you have at least six months' worth of daily living expenses saved in your emergency fund. That might seem like a daunting goal, but you can get there by steadily putting away even just $100 every month.</p> <h2>2. A credit score of 740 or higher</h2> <p>Your credit score is an important number. Lenders use it to determine if you qualify for mortgage, auto, personal, and student loans. They also rely on it to set your interest rate, with a high score usually equaling lower interest rates.</p> <p>Most lenders today consider a credit score of 740 or higher to be very good. Getting your score to this level, then, should be one of your goals before you start having children. Having a strong credit score means you'll pay less for a mortgage or car loan. That can reduce your living expenses significantly, something that can help ease the financial stresses that come with raising children. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-improve-your-credit-score-fast?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Improve Your Credit Score Fast</a>)</p> <h2>3. A work history</h2> <p>You'll need a steady income to pay for the expenses involved in raising children. The best way to get this income is to build a stable career in your field. Make sure you have several years logged in your field before you begin having children. While there are no guarantees that you'll never lose your job, the odds will be lower if you've already established yourself in your field. And if you do lose your job, you'll have an easier time finding new work.</p> <h2>4. Saving for retirement</h2> <p>Retirement might seem far off, especially when you're thinking of starting a family. But it's never too early to start saving for retirement. The earlier you start, the more dollars you have once you leave the workforce.</p> <p>Before you have children, start socking away money each month for retirement. The easiest way to do this is to sign up for the 401(k) plan that your employer offers. This way, your retirement funds will be deposited automatically with each paycheck.</p> <p>If you don't have access to a 401(k) fund, open a traditional or Roth IRA. Deposit as much as you can each year to get into the habit of saving for retirement. If you do this, it'll be easier to continue saving for retirement after your children are born. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-ruining-your-retirement-by-spoiling-your-kids?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Are You Ruining Your Retirement by Spoiling Your Kids?</a>)</p> <h2>5. A plan for your children's college education</h2> <p>College might seem far away, too. After all, your children aren't even born yet. You're focused more on paying for preschool than on picking a college.</p> <p>But you should start planning for your children's college education before you even begin building your family. The average class of 2016 graduate took home $37,172 in student loan debt, a number 6 percent higher than the year before. That amount continues to rise each year. You don't want your children to be burdened with student loan debt as they become young adults.</p> <p>Consider opening a 529 college savings plan to help you start stowing away money for your soon-to-be-born children's secondary education. You might be surprised at how quickly college costs sneak up on you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-places-to-stash-your-kids-college-savings?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Smart Places to Stash Your Kid's College Savings</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fdont-start-a-family-before-reaching-these-5-money-goals&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FDont%2520Start%2520a%2520Family%2520Before%2520Reaching%2520These%25205%2520Money%2520Goals.jpg&amp;description=Dont%20Start%20a%20Family%20Before%20Reaching%20These%205%20Money%20Goals"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Dont%20Start%20a%20Family%20Before%20Reaching%20These%205%20Money%20Goals.jpg" alt="Don't Start a Family Before Reaching These 5 Money Goals" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-start-a-family-before-reaching-these-5-money-goals">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-financial-decisions-youll-never-regret">8 Financial Decisions You&#039;ll Never Regret</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/money-a-mess-try-this-personal-finance-starter-kit">Money a Mess? Try This Personal Finance Starter Kit</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-signs-youre-making-all-the-right-money-moves">6 Signs You&#039;re Making All the Right Money Moves</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-ways-americans-are-getting-better-at-managing-their-money">3 Ways Americans Are Getting Better at Managing Their Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-every-new-college-student-should-make">7 Money Moves Every New College Student Should Make</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family career college credit score emergency funds expenses goals kids money moves raising children retirement saving money Tue, 29 Aug 2017 08:00:06 +0000 Dan Rafter 2009180 at http://www.wisebread.com 17 Creative, No-Mess Activities for Kids Stuck at Home http://www.wisebread.com/17-creative-no-mess-activities-for-kids-stuck-at-home <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/17-creative-no-mess-activities-for-kids-stuck-at-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girl_paint_mess_498734754.jpg" alt="Girl doing creative, no-mess activities at home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Maybe you have a kid stuck at home because they're not old enough for school yet, or maybe they're home with a cold, or it's a snow day. It doesn't matter. This list is jam-packed with ideas to keep them occupied and fully entertained all day long, without a huge, sticky mess to clean after it's over. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-fun-things-to-do-when-youre-stuck-inside-during-winter?ref=seealso" target="_blank">50 Fun Things to Do When You're Stuck Inside During Winter</a>)</p> <h2>1. Get pointillistic with dot markers</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2w5408c" target="_blank">Dot markers</a> have been around for a long time, used primarily for playing Bingo. I've found the best deals at the local dollar store.</p> <p>Use them to create connect-the-dots or to draw on plain paper. You could also have the kids try a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9DX5MhkfYQ" target="_blank">crash course on pointillism</a>, a cool art technique that involves a lot of dots. They can use the dot markers to create their own pointillistic masterpieces.</p> <h2>2. Draw a comic strip</h2> <p>Your kiddo can be a cartoonist. First, print out blank comic strips or draw your own comic strips by marking out the lines on plain paper. Use a ruler to get them straight.</p> <p>Then they can use colored pencils, washable markers, or pens to draw and color in their own comic strips. Encourage them to make up new characters going on amazing adventures, or suggest that they simply draw out stories based on their own daily lives.</p> <h2>3. Make (and play) a ringtoss game</h2> <p>You can make a ringtoss game out of almost anything (just make sure it isn't sharp, or hard, or breakable). You'll need things that are ring-shaped or that you can bend into a ring shape, like pipe cleaners. Then you need a target: something thin and tall enough for the rings to slide over.</p> <p>To play, have your kids set the target up and take two or three big steps back from it. They toss as many rings over the target as they can. You can make it more interesting by adding in extra challenges, such as a time limit, smaller rings, or having them stand further away from the target.</p> <h2>4. Create your own board game</h2> <p>Your kids get to design the whole game: characters, the goal, the board, and the rules.</p> <p>Have them start by deciding what the goal is: how can someone win the game? Do they need to get a certain number of points? Or go all the way around the board? Then have them set some rules: do they roll dice or use a spinner? (They can use parts from other board games you own &mdash; such as dice or an hourglass &mdash; for their new game.)</p> <p>Suggest that they use whatever they can find as raw materials. For example, draw the game board on a piece of cardboard, cut paper into cards, create characters or game pieces out of modeling clay, or use tiny toys they already have.</p> <h2>5. Try an origami challenge</h2> <p>Start with some simple shapes for origami. There are a lot of YouTube tutorials, for example, a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KG62H5QaD2o" target="_blank">ninja star</a> or <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_ubB8Ff2Vs&amp;list=PLnoO3k54vcBQ_tNFyn7ukM1-LaQBAG2Ld" target="_blank">a baby chicken</a> or a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSrVSbEdPEE&amp;index=10&amp;list=PL2vt_TPKQbZob-85AoY8Cxtj8LjigvTNk" target="_blank">water bomb</a>. (Obviously you should start with the water bomb.) When they've mastered a couple of the easier tutorials, have them try some harder shapes.</p> <h2>6. Build a tiny town</h2> <p>Hit up the recycling bin for empty plastic bottles and cardboard boxes. The thin cardboard is best, because it's easier to cut.</p> <p>They can build the structures of their town by cutting, stacking, and combining boxes and bottles. Cut out or draw on doors and windows. Washi tape or masking tape can be used to attach the structures together. Colored tape can also be used to designate roads through their very own tiny towns.</p> <h2>7. Make a marble run</h2> <p>Start with a hard surface (like the floor) and use toys and books to create a racecourse. Your kids can put in little obstacles; they should be small and light so the marble won't be stopped completely. To start the marble on its run, cut cardboard tubes (from toilet paper or paper towels) in half. Tape them together to make them longer. Stack one end on books or a table and make sure it slopes down into the beginning of the racecourse.</p> <h2>8. Make a toy car track</h2> <p>If they have some toy cars, they can make a custom track, with jumps and challenges, out of almost anything. My kids use stools or a stack of books and then pieces of cardboard, small boxes, or big, flat books to build ramps and jumps.</p> <p>They can even come up with tunnels and create obstacle courses. If they have blocks or Legos around, they can build some structures or tunnels for the cars to go through. Or demolish. That part is entirely up to them.</p> <h2>9. Create an ad</h2> <p>The idea of this game is for your kids to come up with their very own advertisement for a made-up product. So, to start with, have them come up with a product that they want to &quot;sell.&quot; It can be as stupid or silly or serious as they want it to be.</p> <p>Next, they need to come up with some ideas about how to advertise it. Maybe a story, or act out a scene, or perform a song. They can use costumes, props, a whole scene. My kids like to video their ads and then review and improve them. Or just laugh at them.</p> <h2>10. Make a music video or do karaoke</h2> <p>They should select their songs, decide on a script or choreographed dance if they're making a video, or just sing and dance their hearts out. Costumes and props make this extremely fun and allow them to be more immersed in the music.</p> <h2>11. Go on a scavenger hunt</h2> <p>A scavenger hunt can work inside or outside. You can come up with your own list and have them hunt around the house for them, or they can come up with their own list of ideas. They can decide to hunt as a team or go separately as a competition. Set a timer to make it more challenging and exciting.</p> <h2>12. Create a memory challenge</h2> <p>The kids will need a timer for this. They should start by finding five to 10 small objects: a marble, a toy car, a spoon, etc. Spread them out on a tray and look at them for 30 seconds. Then move the tray somewhere they can't see it and have them try to remember all the objects on the tray. They can write a list or draw a picture of each one. How many did they remember? If they got them all, add more objects, or start with a completely new set. Make it more challenging by giving them less time to look at the objects on the tray (try 20 seconds, and then 15).</p> <h2>13. Take a Lego building challenge</h2> <p>Kids can use any sort of building toy for this. Blocks or K'Nex or Magnetos will work just as well as Legos. First, make a list of 10 to 15 things they want to build. Or check out <a href="http://afewshortcuts.com/free-printable-lego-challenge-cards/" target="_blank">these printable Lego challenge cards</a> for inspiration.</p> <p>To do the challenge, choose something from the list to build. Then start building. They can use a timer to see how quickly they can build it. Or they can take their time and do the best possible job.</p> <h2>14. Tell some fortunes</h2> <p>This is fun to do with friends or siblings. Make some paper fortunetellers by following <a href="http://innerchildfun.com/2016/10/make-paper-fortune-tellers.html" target="_blank">these instructions</a>.</p> <p>Or, for a simpler version, you can play a game from my childhood (I know, right? So old.) called MASH. All you need is a piece of paper and something to write with. Here are <a href="http://mashplus.com/how-to-play-mash/" target="_blank">the full instructions</a>.</p> <h2>15. Do some pasta-marshmallow architecture</h2> <p>Get their inner architect to work with dry pasta. Seriously! They'll need dry spaghetti noodles and mini marshmallows. Gumdrops work too, if you're low on marshmallows.</p> <p>To build, stick the spaghetti noodles into the marshmallows and gumdrops to connect them and create structures. You can also use toothpicks, or break the spaghetti into pieces for shorter sections. You can start with simple squares and cubes, and then connect them for more complex structures. Here's <a href="https://modernparentsmessykids.com/stem-activity-gum-drop-engineering/" target="_blank">some inspiration</a> to get you started.</p> <h2>16. Make a felt board and pieces</h2> <p>You'll need felt, some cardboard, and scissors. To start, have the kids cover a cardboard with felt, then staple or carefully glue it on. They could use a few different colors of felt to create a background or setting. Maybe a green strip for grass on the bottom, and a gray triangle for a mountain.</p> <p>Next, they can cut out shapes with the rest of the felt. The felt shapes will stick to the felt board, so they can use them to create characters, settings, buildings, and all sorts of other stuff on the felt board.</p> <h2>17. Come up with 10</h2> <p>Need some more ideas? I got this method from a writer named <a href="http://www.jamesaltucher.com/2014/05/the-ultimate-guide-for-becoming-an-idea-machine/" target="_blank">James Altucher</a>, and it works well. You can do this or have your kids do this if they're bored.</p> <p>First, think of a problem or a question, like &quot;What are some cool things I can do by myself?&quot; or &quot;What could I do when I'm bored that won't get me in trouble?&quot; Then make a list of 10 ideas that answer your question. Don't stop at five or six. Your brain will want to. Don't let it be lazy. Insist on 10. Your brain saves all the really good ideas for eight and nine and 10.</p> <p>If you make one list, you can make another one. What's another question? How about, &quot;What can I do with my friends?&quot; or &quot;What are some things I want to learn about?&quot; or &quot;How can I not be bored?&quot; Make another list for each question. Make 10 lists! Now you have 100 ideas. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-entertain-your-child-for-free-or-cheap?ref-seealso" target="_blank">25 Ways to Entertain Your Child for Free or Cheap</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F17-creative-no-mess-activities-for-kids-stuck-at-home&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F17%2520Creative%252C%2520No-Mess%2520Activities%2520for%2520Kids%2520Stuck%2520at%2520Home_0.jpg&amp;description=17%20Creative%2C%20No-Mess%20Activities%20for%20Kids%20Stuck%20at%20Home"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/17%20Creative%2C%20No-Mess%20Activities%20for%20Kids%20Stuck%20at%20Home_0.jpg" alt="17 Creative, No-Mess Activities for Kids Stuck at Home" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-creative-no-mess-activities-for-kids-stuck-at-home">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-frugal-families-love-boardgame-night">8 Reasons Frugal Families Love Boardgame Night</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-money-apps-for-kids">10 Fun Money Apps for Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-books-that-will-get-your-kids-excited-about-money">10 Fun Books That Will Get Your Kids Excited About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-best-sites-to-help-your-kids-learn-about-money">8 Best Sites to Help Your Kids Learn About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-money-on-kids-activities">How to Save Money on Kids&#039; Activities</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Family arts and crafts fun things to do games keep kids busy kid activities kids no mess activities things to do with your kids Fri, 25 Aug 2017 08:30:11 +0000 Annie Mueller 2008742 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Build a Back-to-School Capsule Wardrobe That's Trendy and Affordable http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-a-back-to-school-capsule-wardrobe-thats-trendy-and-affordable <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-build-a-back-to-school-capsule-wardrobe-thats-trendy-and-affordable" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-477988890.jpg" alt="build a back-to-school capsule wardrobe" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You want your kids to have clothes they both love to wear and that didn't cost an arm and a leg to buy. Especially as kids get older, they tend to want the latest trends to help them fit in, but that isn't always compatible with your budget. So, how do you balance trendy fashion and affordability? Helping your child build a capsule wardrobe is the perfect solution! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-essential-pieces-for-your-capsule-wardrobe?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Essential Pieces for Your Capsule Wardrobe</a>)</p> <p>A capsule wardrobe is made up of a few essential clothing items that can be paired with seasonal pieces. When it comes to dressing your kids, planning a capsule wardrobe that fits into each season can help you make sure they have the clothes they need year-round while sticking to your budget.</p> <h2>Check your inventory</h2> <p>Before you go out shopping, take inventory of what's in your child's closet. Have them decide on a number and go through the items together or with their friends for help. Place items they'll no longer wear in a discard or donate pile. Hang up the final keeper items in the closet and see what you've got. Decide together what type of clothes your child needs to finish their capsule wardrobe for each season that year, such as shorts, skirts, or warmer jackets.</p> <p>In order to keep on top of your child's wardrobe, and not have to suffer through last-minute shopping when you realize that they don't have a quality jacket that fits for winter, it's important to write down each type of clothing they will need and which season it can be used for. This way you can shop for specific pieces when you can get the best prices. Keep in mind the majority of their capsule wardrobe should remain the same with only select seasonal pieces switching out as the weather changes.</p> <p>Tweens and teens who are allowed to have a smartphone may benefit from adding virtual closet apps that show each piece and outfits available in their closet, such as <a href="http://about.stylitics.com/" target="_blank">Stylitics</a>, or <a href="http://closetapp.com/" target="_blank">Closet</a>. These apps also suggest randomized outfits in the mornings.</p> <h2>Choose the basics</h2> <p>The capsule wardrobe is all about combining reliable, affordable clothing plus a few trendy, seasonal pieces each year. Typically, this number for a full wardrobe is around 30 pieces, but your child should be free to pick a reasonable number that makes them comfortable. Overall, your child's capsule wardrobe should mean less clothes overall, which will save you money.</p> <p>The pieces can be interchangeable and layered to create completely new outfit selections. The total number of items could easily double the number of outfits to choose from in the closet. Included in the capsule are day-to-day looks and matching shoes, but pajamas, workout clothes, snow clothes, and accessories don't count. Basic starter pieces in a fall capsule for a girl could include:</p> <ul> <li>Four pairs of jeans or khakis.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>One pair of black dress pants.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Three solid color undershirts.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Three overshirts or cardigans.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Five dressy tops of choice.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Three dressy skirts of choice.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Three dresses.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Shoes: a pair of street shoes, formal shoes, and ballerina flats.</li> </ul> <p>Or, your child's capsule may be simpler, with six tops and five pairs of pants. A go-to hoodie or jean jacket is a great option to consider as an extra staple. Aside from smart basics that are easy to interchange, and are comfortable and appropriate for school, your child may add in whatever else makes them feel confident. Try to find pieces that your child can grow into as well so the item can last for a year or (or perhaps two) within the capsule wardrobe. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-ways-parents-can-save-on-back-to-school-clothes?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Smart Ways Parents Can Save on Back-to-School Clothes</a>)</p> <h2>Plan for the seasons</h2> <p>Most likely, the majority of your child's capsule wardrobe will flow from season-to-season. You may add a few cardigans or jackets to layer over the summer tank tops. You'll also want to switch out the shorts for warmer pants or thick leggings.</p> <p>Allow for one big splurge on an item that's trendy or is clearly loved by your kid, such as a pair of purple pants or boots. Remember, for every item that you pull out of storage or purchase new, remove an item to keep the total number in the closet the same.</p> <h2>Get creative, sell, or reuse outgrown pieces</h2> <p>Don't be afraid to get creative to stay trendy and on-budget. Moms and dads will have '90s items their children may love to wear or repurpose. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-recycle-and-reuse-old-t-shirts" target="_blank">T-shirts can easily be upcycled</a> into dresses, tanks, and more, while old jeans may be cut down into shorts and secured by sewing or fashion tape. Have your kids invite friends over to do a clothing swap, complete with a pizza party or sleepover.</p> <p>Used clothing boutiques or sites like <a href="https://www.thredup.com/" target="_blank">thredUP</a> or <a href="https://letgo.com/" target="_blank">LetGo</a> are also great ways to get rid of clothes that don't fit and can cover at least some of the cost of adding new items to the existing capsule wardrobe. It's cheaper to replace just a few items than to buy them a full new wardrobe as they grow or as the seasons change.</p> <p>Back-to-school shopping doesn't mean you have to break the bank or disappoint your kids with less than fashionable clothes. Creating a kid's capsule wardrobe is the perfect solution to keep the budget in check while letting your child have control of their fashion choices, remain trendy, and actually wear the clothes in their closet.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-build-a-back-to-school-capsule-wardrobe-thats-trendy-and-affordable&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Build%2520a%2520Back-to-School%2520Capsule%2520Wardrobe%2520Thats%2520Trendy%2520and%2520Affordable.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Build%20a%20Back-to-School%20Capsule%20Wardrobe%20Thats%20Trendy%20and%20Affordable"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Build%20a%20Back-to-School%20Capsule%20Wardrobe%20Thats%20Trendy%20and%20Affordable.jpg" alt="How to Build a Back-to-School Capsule Wardrobe That's Trendy and Affordable" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/anum-yoon">Anum Yoon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-a-back-to-school-capsule-wardrobe-thats-trendy-and-affordable">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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-back-to-school-items-you-can-buy-used">6 Back-to-School Items You Can Buy Used</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-effortless-ways-to-save-on-back-to-school-shopping">4 Effortless Ways to Save on Back-to-School Shopping</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-smart-ways-parents-can-save-on-back-to-school-clothes">6 Smart Ways Parents Can Save on Back-to-School Clothes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-books-that-will-get-your-kids-excited-about-money">10 Fun Books That Will Get Your Kids Excited About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-genius-ways-to-stock-up-on-school-supplies">6 Genius Ways to Stock Up on School Supplies</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Shopping back-to-school family saving money school shopping shopping for kids Thu, 17 Aug 2017 09:00:06 +0000 Anum Yoon 2004470 at http://www.wisebread.com Are You Ruining Your Retirement by Spoiling Your Kids? http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-ruining-your-retirement-by-spoiling-your-kids <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/are-you-ruining-your-retirement-by-spoiling-your-kids" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cute_surprising_kid_girl_holding_wallet_and_dollars.jpg" alt="Cute surprising kid girl holding wallet and dollars" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's true that most parents would do anything for their kids, and giving them money is no exception. Parents are all too willing to hurt their own financial health to provide a more comfortable life for their children.</p> <p>When parents spend too much on their children, they can easily damage their own chance of enjoying a stable retirement. The best approach is to help your children when they need financial assistance, but be wary of providing so much help that you're hurting your own financial picture. That could, in turn, make you a financial burden on your children in the future.</p> <h2>Nearly half of Americans say they risk their retirement to help their children</h2> <p>Parents aren't shy about extending financial assistance to their children and family members. A 2017 report from Merrill Lynch and Age Wave, <em>Finances in Retirement: New Challenges, New Solutions</em>, found that 48 percent of Americans age 50 years and older are willing to overextend themselves financially to provide their children with a more comfortable life.</p> <p>The survey also found that 60 percent of these respondents would delay their retirement, and 40 percent would return to the working world after retiring, if they needed to provide extra financial support to family members. In fact, the majority of respondents had provided financial support in the past year, for an average amount of $6,500.</p> <p>There's nothing wrong with helping a family member in need, of course. The problems begin when parents give so much to their children and other relatives that they run the risk of not having enough for their own retirement.</p> <h2>It starts with college tuition</h2> <p>Many parents really begin to hurt themselves financially when their children are ready to attend college. They do this by spending too much of their own money to help pay for their children's education, often dipping into their retirement savings or putting off saving completely.</p> <p>This isn't surprising, given the high tuition rates at colleges across the country. The College Board reported that the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2016&ndash;2017 school year was $9,650 for state residents at public colleges, and $33,480 for private colleges &mdash; not including the cost of room and board.</p> <p>It's easy for parents to overextend themselves to help their children pay for their college education, but doing so can only hurt parents in the long run. It's important for parents to continue saving for retirement, even if that means they can't give as much money as they'd like to help their children through college. There are loans for college, but not for retirement. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-not-to-save-for-your-childs-college-fund?ref=seealso" target="_blank">3 Reasons Not to Save for Your Child's College Fund</a>)</p> <h2>Restraint is key</h2> <p>This is important: Parents <em>can</em> help their children financially, but they are under no obligation to ruin their own finances doing so. It's difficult for parents to do, but sometimes the best answer to an adult child asking for extra money is to say, &quot;No.&quot;</p> <p>If you're wondering if you are giving your children or other family members too much money, take a close look at your own finances. Are you on track to meet your retirement goals? Are you struggling to make all your monthly payments on time? Are you running up credit card debt too quickly?</p> <p>If so, you might need to be less generous with your family members. The Merrill Lynch study said that adults should work with their children and family members to provide them with a financial education that will help them make better money decisions. They should also encourage their children to attend more affordable state schools rather than private colleges.</p> <p>Keep in mind how much money you can afford to give or loan to family members without compromising your own retirement. After all, you don't want to become a financial burden to your children in the future by spending too much today.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fare-you-ruining-your-retirement-by-spoiling-your-kids&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FAre%2520You%2520Ruining%2520Your%2520Retirement%2520by%2520Spoiling%2520Your%2520Kids-.jpg&amp;description=Are%20You%20Ruining%20Your%20Retirement%20by%20Spoiling%20Your%20Kids%3F"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Are%20You%20Ruining%20Your%20Retirement%20by%20Spoiling%20Your%20Kids-.jpg" alt="Are You Ruining Your Retirement by Spoiling Your Kids?" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-ruining-your-retirement-by-spoiling-your-kids">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-the-holidays-to-teach-kids-about-money">How to Use the Holidays to Teach Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-your-bad-credit-can-impact-your-kids">How Your Bad Credit Can Impact Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-start-a-family-before-reaching-these-5-money-goals">Don&#039;t Start a Family Before Reaching These 5 Money Goals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-16-cardinal-rules-of-loaning-money-to-friends-and-family">The 16 Cardinal Rules of Loaning Money to Friends and Family</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tax-mistakes-new-parents-make">4 Tax Mistakes New Parents Make</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family children college costs giving money kids loaning money retirement savings tuition Tue, 15 Aug 2017 08:00:06 +0000 Dan Rafter 1999857 at http://www.wisebread.com