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investorHaving a new baby can get you to rethink your priorities. Putting your child's needs first can include investing and can help you as much as your child to become a smart investor.

Getting your baby started as an investor can set them up for a lifetime of financial success.

Here are four ways to help your baby grow up to be a smart and wealthy investor:

Start a college savings fund

College can be an investment in a child’s future. Starting to save for child as soon as a child is born can be one of the best investments a parent will make to help their child.

Don’t wait a month or so after your child is born. Because if you delay it now, you know what will happen next — you’ll continue finding excuses not to do it and eventually your kid will be asking you how they’ll afford to go to college and you won’t have an answer.

A 529 plan is one way to save for college. Legally known as “qualified tuition plans,” they’re available in all 50 states as a pre-tax way to invest money. The other type of 529 plan allows tuition to be paid ahead of time at some colleges. ...continue reading

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unethicalEditor's note: This guest post was written by Jon Dulin of PennyThots.com.

We are not afraid to admit that there are thousands of ways to make money on the side that can help you with your budgeting and getting out of debt. But we are also not afraid to admit that a number of these money-making schemes are not on the up-and-up.

While there are some very legitimate ways to make money (delivering pizzas or newspapers, doing some freelance work online, starting a small business), there are some that are illegal (prostitution, selling drugs, robbing banks), and there are those which kind of toe the line between legit and not-so-much.

We all know that just because some scheme is legal doesn’t always mean it’s right. Working a business and making money can and should have an ethical and moral component to it. But there are times when the love of money overrules ethics, morality and common decency. Even if legally the person can get away with it.

This is why we always say if something seems too good to be true, you should always ask questions and do research before getting involved in something that might be a little loose with ethics if not the law.

Now, to be clear, while we advocate finding ways to make extra money to help get your financial house in order, we are not writing about unethical money-makers as an encouragement to you. This is more for educational and informational purposes that there are some unethical things out there, and you should be aware of these so you can decide for yourself if doing something similar will work for you or not. If you have ethics, then you will pass and not get involved in anything like these. However, are any of these things truly wrong, in your view? ...continue reading

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Christmas giftsIf you know someone who works from home, chances are there are plenty of things they would rather have for Christmas than physical gifts. Your time, for example, such as taking them out for a cup of coffee or lunch is an excellent gift for someone who works alone at home all day (or at least some of it) and still wants some Christmas gifts.

I've worked at home as a freelance writer since 2008, and the chance to talk with someone interesting at lunch or even just a short walk so I can get out of the house is a wonderful gift.

But don't think that the freelancer in your life just wants to go out for a cup of coffee. Physical gifts are great too. I've compiled a list of 25 great Christmas gifts for freelancers, from your time to an expensive computer.

And if you're not sure if your friend who you haven't heard from in awhile is a freelancer, check if they go by another name: work-at-home parents, unemployed, underemployed, contractor, consultant, temps, self-employed, entrepreneur and mercenary. All will be happy to get Christmas gifts.

Here are 25 great Christmas gifts to give your favorite freelancer: ...continue reading