Family

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 …

Are You Spending Too Much on Groceries?

If there is such a thing as an average family of four, there’s nothing average about how much that family spends on groceries. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a family of four with two kids under age 11 spends anywhere from $654.20 to $1,302.20 per month on food. Why the huge disparity? First …

Cheers to the Holidays: Food, Beer, and Wine Gift Guide

We’re in prime gift-buying season. Your list of who to buy for probably includes a foodie, beer lover, and/or wine enthusiast. This is a fun group to buy for because you can really get creative with your gifts. Plus, you can find awesome presents regardless of what you’re looking to spend. Here are some gift ideas …

Dear Mom, You Were Right

Right after the first of the year, I’ll turn 35. And what a life it’s been so far. My childhood wasn’t perfect, but I was raised by parents who showed me they loved me every day. I didn’t always like the lessons they taught me, but I know now that they were always coming from …

Debt and Your Marriage

When you marry your spouse, you’re merging lives. You’ll need to make room in yours for their books and furniture, sure, but also their family, maybe their pet — and, more often than not, their debt. In fact, seven out of 10 Americans enter into marriage with debt, according to debt.org. To make matters worse, those first few …

When Cheapness Goes Too Far in a Marriage

Sarah and I are frugal people. We like to cook at home. We fill our free time with lots of low-cost activities. Our social calendar involves a lot of potluck-style dinner parties. We often do things like make our own laundry detergent. We like to calculate the cost of everything. Still, there are lines we …

Categories: Family

Should You Tell Your Kids About Your Debt?

Parenting is a no easy task, as you already know. There is no playbook or instruction manual to tell you the best way to handle a given situation. One tough parenting dilemma and highly debated issue is whether your children should know when your family is struggling with debt. There are many schools of thought on …

How to Deal with the High Cost of Children’s Sports

After much thought and consideration, my husband and I decided that it is finally time to get our kids started in a few sports and activities this year. And since our two daughters are only 3 and 5, we chose to begin this chapter with a weekly gymnastics class we thought our girls would enjoy. …

Categories: Family, Home and Life

An Introduction to Geocaching, My Family’s Favorite Frugal Activity

On a hot August afternoon, the five of us found ourselves in the shade of an old wooden bridge. There was a wonderful cool breeze blowing through the bridge’s underpinnings, so we sat down for a bit and took a few gulps out of our respective water bottles. When we checked our GPS, we found …

Categories: Family, Frugality

10 Holiday Gifts to Combat Consumerism Fatigue

We’re all guilty of it: You put off buying a present for a loved one, and suddenly it’s too late — so you just throw money at the problem and buy something for buying something’s sake. In the end, it’s a waste of money, and your friend or family member has another piece of junk they …

12 Surprising Ways to Save on Groceries

If you’ve been trying to cut costs to stop living from paycheck to paycheck, the food category was probably one of the first to take a hit. You may have tried slashing your grocery budget to an unrealistic amount and clipping coupons to make ends meet. If this approach is working, kudos to you. But …

20 Financial ‘Rules’ I Hope to Instill in My Children

I relish being a parent. For me, it is deeply satisfying to see children develop from infancy to toddlerhood to childhood and onward through the teen years and into adulthood. I love having conversations with them as they figure out their own morality and sense of right and wrong. I love watching their faces as …

Categories: Family, Getting Started

Ten Red Flags of Financial Infidelity and What to Do About It

Financial infidelity is one of the most dangerous things that can happen in a marriage. When one spouse is making significant financial moves without the knowlege of the other, it endangers the financial future of both people and exhibits a disregard for the most fundamental parts of a healthy marriage: trust and communication. Financial infidelity …

Categories: Family, Getting Started

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