Children

kids' summer vacationsIf you have, or plan to have, children, you’ve got to change up your financial roadmap. The sooner the better for this one, but even if you already have kids, it’s not too late to make some important changes that will benefit them in the long run.

There are several ways to organize finances for the benefit of your children. We’ll cover three main areas of focus:

  1. Preparing for the future.
  2. Preparing for emergencies.
  3. Creating a stable, nurturing life in the here and now.

Each of these need careful consideration and a fair amount of financial discipline. But if you make the right plan and stay the course, your kids will have a better financial life than you may even dream possible.

Preparing for the Future

Kids have a big future ahead of them. With many decades ahead of them in all likelihood, there are ample opportunities to build a good life...or a bad one...depending on the choices that are made.

In the early days of a child’s life, most of these decisions are up to you. One of the best ways to help your kids out in the long term is to model good financial behavior by saving, investing, and avoiding debt.

You may also wish to save or invest on behalf of your child, giving them the building blocks they need for a nest egg somewhere down the road. Finally, teach your kids basic money skills. This will help them make good choices when they are financially independent. ...continue reading

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schoolSummer seems to have passed by quickly, and now it seems like parents and their children are already preparing for a new school year.

While the average parent will spend $673.57 per child for items needed, it doesn’t have to be so expensive. There are lots of ways to prepare for back to school on a budget.

Check Your Inventory

First things first, check your inventory. You may find supplies, clothes that your kids can fit into now, and more. As you are going through the supplies you have, keep a running checklist of things you may need or that come to mind. If you have a list of items needed from your child’s school, you can just add on to this list.

Checking your inventory helps you prepare for back to school on a budget by helping you avoid buying extra things you may not even need. Why buy an extra pack of crayons if you already have three?

Set Your Budget

Once you’ve gone through your inventory, the next step is to actually set a budget for your back to school shopping. Every family’s financial situation is different, but you should at least aim to only spend what you have in cash to spend.

If that means only $100 for each child, that’s OK. With these tips, you should be able to prepare for back to school on a budget, even if your budget is smaller.

Shop Sales and Clearance Racks

Now that you have your list and your budget set, you can get to shopping. The easiest way for preparing back to school on a budget is to buy what you can on sale or clearance. Many stores have back to school sales, so make sure you read their flyers or online options before shopping at one place.

If you find deals at multiple stores, don’t be afraid to make a few stops. You are trying to get the best price and stay within budget. If there are items on your list that you can’t find on sale or clearance, there are other options to consider as well, like thrift stores and shopping online. ...continue reading

Mother's Day giftsIf you could, you would take mom on a world cruise to thank her for everything she’s done for you. Taking her globetrotting might be out of the budget, but it doesn’t mean you can’t give her something she’ll love, use and cherish.

These 20 gifts are guaranteed to delight, and they’re all $100 or less. Some are even less than $20.

Kamik Jennifer Rain Boots
$64.99 at Kamik.com
If she’s not one for jumping in puddles, that’ll change once she steps into these cute boots. She’ll love the comfort and the classic style, and they’re available in five colors.

Terrace Jewelry Organizer by Umbra
$29.99 at ContainerStore.com

Mom has collected lots of baubles and bangles over the years and they’re all in a tangle. This three-tier lined wooden box offers a smart storage solution for her earrings, rings, necklaces and even her reading glasses. Drawers can slide out for display or remain neatly stacked.

Grow Oya
$24.95 and up at growoya.com

This clever clay receptacle waters thirsty plants with minimal effort. The Oya is buried in the garden for spring and summer and periodically filled with water. The plants in the vicinity draw the water they need. Because there is less surface watering, weeds are less likely to germinate. Available in three sizes. Wondering what to plant? You can grow these five groceries in your garden. ...continue reading