Family

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 …

What Do New Parents Really Need?

If you ask baby boomers how parenting has changed over the years, many can name a host of once-safe practices that have since been outlawed. People from my mother’s generation talk about how, as babies, they rode in the front seat of their family car without a car seat. And my mother often jokes about shrouding us in …

Investment from the Inside Out

When we talk about investments on a personal finance site, we’re usually discussing things that you can buy for a certain amount of money that will, in theory, provide a return on that money. Stocks, bonds, real estate, porkbelly futures – you get the idea. Such investments are a valuable thing to know about, of …

10 Financial Mistakes Too Many Parents Make

Every loving parent has hopes and dreams for their children, whether it’s about college, falling in love and starting a family, or finding their passion in life. But most of all, most parents want the same thing – for their children to grow up and live happy, productive lives. But having kids requires more than just dreaming …

Five Money Mistakes We’ve All Made

It can be hard to admit you’ve made some financial mistakes, especially when those mistakes had embarrassing and expensive consequences. Using myself as an example: Exhibit A: When I was 21, I financed a $25,000 Mitsubishi Galant with no money down. Even worse, I only made around $8 an hour at the time. Exhibit B: …

How to Get Organized in 2015 Without Pulling Your Hair Out

A new year means resolutions may be weighing heavily on your mind. But instead of getting fit, eating healthier, returning to school, or taking more vacations, maybe you’ve resolved to get organized so you can take control of your life. Sounds like a phenomenal idea, but you’ll first need to clear the haze and organize your …

Vacations You Can Take With Credit Card Rewards

The average vacation for a family of four rang in at a staggering $4,580 in 2014, according to a recent study from American Express. That total includes the cost of lodging, transportation, food, and entertainment, and of course the excessive taxes and fees that are levied on every component of your travel itinerary. Furthermore, a recent …

Categories: Credit Cards, Family, Travel

Disney on a Budget: Managing the Magic for Less

I’ll admit it – I have a serious Disney addiction. Not as bad as some, it’s true. (I know a woman who logs in to online meetings at work as “Cinderella.”) But for moms like me, there’s nothing like a Disney vacation, especially around the holidays. Literally the whole family has fun. Decorations, cookies, and …

Four Tips for Using FSA Money Before New Year’s

At the end of the year, we can all get a little scatterbrained. Between work deadlines, gift shopping, baking treats for the kids’ holiday parties, making travel arrangements, and stressing over what to write in the greeting card, there’s just not enough time to get everything done. So we forget stuff — important stuff like our flexible …

What a Deal: Groupon for Essentials

It’s easy to dismiss Groupon as a service aimed at getting you to waste your hard-earned cash on frivolous splurges and bargains of questionable value. After all, some of the most popular Groupon deals are for things like buy-one-get-one-free restaurant meals, spa treatments, and vacation bundles. In other words, stuff you don’t need. An article in The Atlantic echoed …

32 Simple (and Free) Ways to Entertain Your Kids

Winter break is upon us, so you know what that means: last-minute holiday shopping, travel preparations, and children bouncing off the walls awaiting the arrival of Santa Claus. If you’ve already made arrangements for your little ones, kudos to you. The rest of us have to figure out ways to get a gang of tasks done in a …

Seven Practical Gifts for College Students

The holiday season is well under way. If you’ve got someone on your list who’s headed to college next semester or already there, here are some practical suggestions to send them back to school with a smile: Gift cards. Funds are usually low in college, so a gift card is always welcome and generally a …

Categories: Education, Family, Shopping

Five Family Vacation Spots on Sale for Winter Break

The holidays are rarely the cheapest time to travel, as airlines hike fares to make the most of increased demand and space sells out quickly to hordes of travelers visiting relatives or taking advantage of school vacation. In fact, between an improving economy, lower gas prices, and some quirks of the calendar, this holiday travel season is set to be …

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