Family

15 or 30 Year Mortgages: Which One Is Right For Me?

My wife and I are buying a home this summer and we’re pretty confident on what we’re going to buy based on the local marketplace: a pre-owned four bedroom house. We’ve looked at several in our price range and we’re getting set to make a move. One major part in this decision is determining whether …

Categories: Debt, Family, Housing

How Much Money Does Breastfeeding Really Save?

A reader wrote to me recently with the following interesting query: I was wondering if you had ever sat down and done the math? It seems that exclusively breastfeeding would save an enormous amount of money. It would be very interesting to compare breastmilk versus formula costs for one year (at which point you can …

Categories: Family, Frugality

The Financial Implications Of A Second Child

As many of you know, I’m the proud parent of a sixteen month old boy. My wife and I are carefully considering the possibility of adding a second child (and perhaps more) to the family. One major part of this decision is the financial aspect of it: can we really afford another child on our …

Categories: Family, Parenting

Personal Finance and Families: How Much Detail Should The Kids Know?

I’ve been a part of a parenting email community for almost two years now, and recently we’ve been engaged in a lengthy discussion about the degree to which our children should be aware of our personal finances. The differences of opinion have been dramatic, and I’ve collected some of the pros and cons here for …

Categories: Family, Parenting

Three Money Lessons My Grandfather Taught Me

I was only seven when my grandfather passed away, but during the last year and a half of his life, he made a special effort to take me under his wing and express to me, as only he could, some of the lessons life had taught him. Some of them were hauntingly accurate; others, more …

Financial Independence Week: The Dangers Of Damaging A Relationship

I wanted to finish up this week with what I felt was the biggest danger with financial independence. From my perspective, the biggest challenge that people on the cusp of financial independence face is the danger of a damaged relationship. Parents are afraid to let go, or push their children away roughly in an effort …

Financial Independence Week: The Dangers Of Financial Dependence

For many people, adulthood is a time to find your own path and walk alone, but some parents and children have difficulty breaking the financial ties that bind and the financial dependence continues well into traditional adulthood. This is a dangerous path, fraught with many challenges for both the parent and the child, some of …

Financial Independence Week: Paying For Your Own Education

College-age readers (and younger), this post is directly aimed at you. Paying for college isn’t easy, whether it’s you doing it or your parents covering it for you. Unless you were very lucky in the scholarship department, someone is facing a financial hardship from this: your parents, you, your future self, or maybe even someone …

Child Is Father To The Man: When Financially Stable Children Want To Help Their Parents Prepare For The Future

Several times during the ongoing discussion of financial independence on this site, readers have asked about how they, as young and financially stable professionals, can help their parents who have given them so much. Parents are often very uncomfortable about such situations, as they view it as a reversal of the parent-child relationship that they …

Financial Independence Week: Paying For Your Child’s Education

As a parent of a young child, I’m already struggling with the question of whether or not I should pay for my child’s post-secondary education, and how much I should pay for if I do. To put it simply, there is no easy answer to the question; if you were hoping to be told what …

Financial Independence Week: Should I Expect My Parents To Rescue Me?

For many young people, one of the biggest fears of financial independence revolves around what happens in the event of a disaster. Should you expect to be able to move back in if something goes awry? Will they provide financial assistance? Or are you on your own? Although it is best to expect no assistance …

Financial Independence Week: Should I Rescue My Children?

As a parent, there is a strong likelihood that at some point, your child will fail at their goals during young adulthood. Their situation may even become dire, and as a loving parent, you may feel a very strong desire to jump in and rescue your child. Before you do that, consider the following advice: …

Financial Independence Week: When And How To Cut Direct Financial Ties

For some, deciding when to cut financial ties is easy. In my situation, it was the day I left for college: other than birthday and Christmas gifts, I was basically on my own after that (though my mother would irregularly send me small amounts of cash with the purpose of “going out and having fun” …

Financial Independence Week: Talking With Parents About Money

Earlier today, I discussed methods for parents of young adults to talk to their children about money. Now, I’m going to tackle the opposite direction: how can a young adult (a college student or a young professional) discuss financial matters with their parents? Many college students dread talking to their parents, mostly because they believe …

Financial Independence Week: Talking To Adult Children About Money

Many of my friends during my college and early post-college years were swimming in debt, some of them to the point of being scared to open the mail. Whenever I would suggest talking to their parents or guardians about it, their faces would freeze with an additional layer of fear, as though it was the …

The Money Savvy Pig and My Son’s Allowance

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to teach my son about money. I’ve looked at a lot of different resources that could teach my son about money gradually as he gets older. I have four basic criteria that I’m looking for: It has to be visual. At first, I want my child to …

Money and the One Year Old Child

I’ve had several discussions with readers on the costs of having a child. We’ve all heard quotes of thousands of dollars in hospital costs for the delivery and numbers like a quarter of a million dollars from conception to graduation. However, the big question that many parents-to-be have is how expensive is it on a …

Categories: Family, Parenting

Thinking About Loaning Money To Family? Don’t Do It!

Most of us have faced this dicey financial situation at some point. A relative or a close friend comes to us with a tale of woe about some great financial disaster that has befallen them, then they ask you for a loan to help them get through their disaster. Your heart wants to help them, …

Categories: Family

How to Celebrate Christmas Without Money

A college friend of mine lived in a family where Christmas was celebrated without the commercialism. The family was very involved in making beautiful decorations and a wonderful Christmas atmosphere, but there was little or no money spent on anything – not on gifts or decorations. Amazingly, it sounded like a beautiful Christmas. How did …

Categories: Family, Frugality