Family

10 Reasons Moving Always Costs More Than You Think

If you’ve ever considered moving on up to a bigger, more expensive home or apartment, you’re not alone. In fact, a recent survey from the U.S. Census Bureau revealed that a sheer desire to upgrade is the number one reason (14.8%) people packed up their belongings and performed the dreaded deed in 2013. Other reasons …

Categories: Family, Housing

How to Make Money Dog Sitting With Rover

Just because someone owns a dog doesn’t mean they never want to travel again, but it’s not always practical to take the pupper on a seven-hour flight with layovers. That’s part of the reason the pet sitting industry brought in $332 million in revenue at 720,000 households nationally in 2014, according to Pet Sitters International. That’s a whole lot …

Some Thoughts on My Father

In the spirit of Father’s Day, I wanted to share some thoughts about my own father and the huge impact he’s had on my life, personally and professionally. I grew up in a single income household. Most of the time, my father worked in a factory making construction equipment, while my mother stayed at home. …

Categories: Family

20 Ways to Make a Great Birthday for Your Child When Money Is Tight

One of the most difficult experiences when you’re a parent is not having enough money to make your children’s special days feel very special at all. For most parents, their child is a key part of their life and it’s not the child’s fault when you don’t have the resources to make their birthday special. …

The Cost of Raising a Child (and the Baby Checklist You Really Need)

If you just assumed that having children must be an expensive proposition, last year’s “Cost of Raising a Child” report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture removed all doubt. The cost for a middle-class family to raise a child to the age of 18 comes in at around $245,340, according to the report — and that doesn’t …

Categories: Family, Insurance

Five Cheap Vacations to Take This Summer

Summer’s here, and you deserve a vacation. The problem is, can you afford one? We’re here to help. There are a number of ways to get a discount on where you want to go — from cashing in credit card travel rewards, to making the most of online booking sites. But sometimes just picking a …

Categories: Family, Travel

What to Bring to College: The Smart (and Frugal) College Checklist

Angela writes in: In nine days, our oldest son is graduating from high school. He will be the first one in our family to go to college as he is going to [a major state school]. While we have spent a lot of time figuring out scholarships and financial aid and other things, we are really …

How We Decided an Expensive Child Care Center Wasn’t Worth It

I live in Indiana, and in the Midwest, almost everything is cheap – including daycare. According to Pew Research Center, the average cost for full-time infant care in Indiana is somewhere between $6,000 and $8,999 a year. Compare that to $14,939 in New York or more than $16,000 in Massachusetts. Still, averages mean nothing when you’re …

Categories: Family, Home and Life

10 Smart Graduation Gifts for College-Bound Seniors

Summer is almost upon us, and with it a barrage of social events, from backyard barbecues to weddings to, of course, graduation parties. And while you can bring a tray of baked beans to a neighborhood cookout, and something straight off the registry to a wedding, it’s often difficult to decide what to get a newly-minted high school …

Categories: Education, Family, Shopping

Best Home Security System for 2015

The best home security systems have a proven track record in protecting homes and their valuable contents. Unfortunately, many people don’t address home security until it’s too late — after they’ve already had a break-in. According to the FBI, just under 2 million burglaries were reported in 2013, resulting in roughly $4.5 billion in losses. Homes with alarm …

How to Write a Thank-You Note

With graduation and wedding season upon us, you may be faced with the arduous task of finding the proper way to thank others for their generosity. In some ways, it can be difficult to be on the receiving end: Not only do you have to accept your gift graciously, you also have to make sure your loved …

20 Ideas for a Frugal (Not Cheap) Wedding on a Budget

“Angela” writes in: What advice do you have for a frugal wedding? We’re getting married this fall and want to explore as many cheap wedding ideas as we can. Since we are both in our early twenties and don’t have a lot to spend, we were hoping to keep our wedding as small as possible. …

A Basic Guide to an Inexpensive and Incredibly Fun Family Camping Vacation

This summer, my family and I are going to be camping in northern Wisconsin for several days. We plan on camping at two different locations during the trip so that we get a chance to see and enjoy two completely different areas. Small camping trips are a staple of our summer – we usually camp …

102 Things to Do on a Money-Free Weekend

Some time ago, I offered up the idea of the money-free weekend: For the last few months, my wife and I have been doing something every other weekend or so that we call a “money-free” weekend, in an effort to live more frugally. It’s actually quite fun – here’s how we do it. We’re not allowed to …

Should You Co-Sign a Loan?

“Will you co-sign a loan?” That’s almost like asking, “Will you marry me?” Well, maybe not quite that intense. However, a marriage can end in divorce, while a co-signed loan can last forever. A co-signer is generally needed when a person applying for a loan, say a car loan or student loan, doesn’t have enough …

Four Businesses Kids Can Start Themselves

The Internet was buzzing recently about a 15-year-old New Yorker who rakes in $300,000 a year with her babysitting agency, Nannies by Noa. Noa Mintz saw a need for matching parents with suitable babysitters. She now oversees 25 nannies and 50 babysitters, and she receives 15% of their initial gross salary. While a nanny service …

Five Reasons It Pays to Become a Work-at-Home Mom

After years of decline, a new look at government data shows that the number of stay-at-home moms is finally on the rise. This news comes courtesy of Pew Research Center analysis from 2014. According to the research, the percentage of mothers who don’t work outside the home surged to 29% in 2012, up from only 23% …

Categories: Careers, Family

Three Simple Money Management Lessons for Teenagers

My most important goal for my children is that they grow up to be independent human beings. Although my twins are only a few weeks shy of being one year old, I fully plan to discuss money management tips with them from now (while they can’t talk back) until they’re teenagers and beyond. I had an unusually good …

Financial Success and Parenting

As Sarah and I roll along the path to financial independence, it naturally has some degree of impact on our parenting. The financial choices and decisions we make, like it or not, are different than the average American family and thus likely different than the decisions made by the families of their friends. Our goal …

Categories: Family, Getting Started

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