Family

Honey, I Wrecked Your Credit

My husband and I were both in our mid-30s when we married. He was a couple of years into a psychiatric practice, and I had more than a decade of magazine experience under my belt. Each of us had been financially independent for quite some time (although as a freelance writer, my independence was of …

Balancing Spending and Time: How ‘Time Frugality’ Can Save You Lots of Cash

I have a number of hobbies that I deeply enjoy. I really enjoy playing board games and am the member of two different board game groups. I love to read. I love doing things with my children. I love tinkering with electronics, walking around my neighborhood, and countless other things. I also love just trying …

More Than One Kid? How to Save for College

A reader named Autumn asks a good question: “Hi, I need some advice… My sweet newborn was given a little over $1,000 from our family for his higher education. I thought about putting it into a 529 plan, but I don’t want this money to be only in his name since we plan to have …

Free Yourself From the Kids’ Birthday-Party Trap

Sometimes the most outrageous birthday parties are for the kids who probably care the least. One-year-olds, for example, won’t remember that you spent $700 on a standing birthday cake shaped like a My Little Pony, nor will they appreciate the fact that you hired a professional photographer for their “big day.” (Yes, that happened.) But has …

Categories: Family, Home and Life

Five Tax Breaks for Parents

There’s a lot to be said about having children; they’re a joy, they’re a handful — and they’re expensive. How expensive depends upon where you live and how much you earn. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates it costs between $180,000 and $540,000 to raise a child from birth to age 18, and those numbers just …

Categories: Family, Taxes

Four Unexpected Places to Find Free Babysitting

When you’ve got young kids, going out for the evening — or even just making some time for yourself, like with a trip to the gym — can be expensive enough. And that’s before adding the cost of a babysitter. The average babysitter in the U.S. makes around $10 an hour, according to Care.com. That seems like fair pay …

Categories: Family, Home and Life

Are Cruises an Affordable Family Vacation Option?

As a writer who focuses on family travel, I explore a wide range of vacation options year-round. And although I never took a cruise until last year, the idea of cruising has always been on the edge of my radar. I used to be a bit of a skeptic when it comes to the value cruises offer. I’ve heard countless stories of people who …

Categories: Family, Travel

12 Wildly Romantic Gestures in Movies

Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is frugal, too. Sure, splurging on a diamond necklace, an exotic getaway, a cherished memento, or a fancy dinner out are lovely ways to show your partner how much you care. But sometimes the most powerful romantic gestures don’t cost a thing — just some time, thought, and …

10 Frugal Ways to Say ‘I Love You’

With Valentine’s Day coming up, it’s prime time for the usual onslaught of carefully crafted radio and television ads aimed at parting you and your hard-earned dollars. Turn on the tube and you’ll see jewelry stores explaining why your spouse deserves a diamond necklace, watch, or locket. Meanwhile, big-box retailers are bringing out their flowers, chocolates, and holiday …

Health Care for Buster: All About Pet Insurance

Our pets are many things — companions, protectors, and servants. They are warm and fuzzy. They bring smiles to our faces and joy to our hearts. Our pets are good for our emotional well-being as well as our physical health. Our pets are members of the family that are woven into many of our fondest …

Categories: Family, Health, Insurance

Why Your Spouse Is Your Most Important Money Decision

Whether you like Sheryl Sandberg or not, there is one thing she got right. She encouraged women to be extremely choosy when it comes to selecting a spouse. Sandberg writes, “I truly believe that the single most important career decision that a woman makes is whether she will have a life partner and who that partner is.” …

It’s Never Too Soon to Protect Your Child’s Credit

Legendary bank robber Willie Sutton is often quoted as saying he robbed banks because that’s where they keep the money. Modern criminals in search of easy cash are more likely to use other means to separate you from your money. In 2011, for example, bank robbers took about $38 million from U.S. banks. That same year, …

My Five Worst Money Traps – and How I Handle Them

As proud as I am of our positive financial progress over the last several years, there are still big areas of my life where I don’t always make the smartest spending choices. Even with all of the mental preparation and good choices that I do make, there are still times when I will choose to …

30 Ways We Saved Money When Having a Baby

In 2005, Sarah and I had our first child. In 2007, we added another. In 2010, we added a third. Today, all of them have gone through their infant years (and their toddler years, for that matter). The fun part about having kids in consecutive order like that is that you have the opportunity to …

Categories: Family

A Funeral Costs How Much?

The loss of a family member can be too much for some people to bear, but learning how much a funeral can cost is enough to send many over the edge. I’ve seen it too many times to count. My husband has been a funeral director for most of his adult life, and I worked …

Categories: Family, Home and Life

The Three Elements of Changing Your Life

When I was a little, my mother made the choice to be a stay-at-home mom. It was not an easy financial decision for my parents and if it were not for my father’s relatively steady job and handful of side businesses to pick up the slack, she would have never been able to do it. …

Categories: Family, Getting Started

Should You Live at Home to Save Money During College?

What would you say to shaving off about $10,000 a year from your college expenses? The average college graduate leaves school with more than $29,000 in student loan debt, but one common option to reduce that figure by thousands of dollars is to live at home instead of on campus. The average annual cost of room and …

Categories: Education, Family, Housing

How to Stay Productive When Working at Home

The phone keeps ringing. The kitchen sink is full of dishes. The dog has been snoring for 30 minutes and you desperately need to write out your monthly budget and pay your bills. But those things have to wait, and it’s not always by choice. When you work at home, you have to ignore your …

Can You Save Money by Becoming Vegetarian?

Beef prices hit record highs last summer and prices for beef, pork, and eggs are expected to climb throughout 2015. Meanwhile, a growing body of research indicates that eating meat and animal products can contribute to a host of health issues, including diabetes and cancer. A recent study published in the journal Cell Metabolism revealed that middle-aged people who …

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