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How to Prepare Your Adult Children Financially for Your Eventual Demise

by Melissa Batai on November 14, 2012

I recently read of a story about an adult woman who lived at home and did not work. Her aging mother paid her expenses, and after her aging mother passed, the woman lived off of her inheritance. The only problem now is that the money is gone, and she is only steps away from homelessness.

Of course, this example is extreme, but if you are a 20 or 30 something, how many friends do you know who live at home? Do mom and dad help you to pay your bills some months? Do they frequently take you out for dinner and pay for your meal?

If you are an aging parent, do you do these things for your children?

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Do You Need a College Education that Costs as Much as a Home?

by Melissa Batai on November 12, 2012

CollegeMany high school advisers and parents encourage high school students to go to the best college they can get into. For many, that means striving for Ivy League schools, even though the competition is fierce to get into those schools.

A recent report on CNN Money found that those top schools now cost more than $50,000 for room and board for one year. Planning to go to Darthmouth? That will set you or your child back nearly $58,000 a year, or $232,000 for a four year education, not factoring in yearly tuition increases. How is that for sticker shock? To put it in perspective, according to the U.S. Census, the median home price in the United States in 2010 was $221,000. A Dartmouth education will cost you as much as a home.

Is it worth it?

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5 Ways to Make Extra Money this Holiday Season

by Melissa Batai on November 08, 2012

extra moneyThere is probably no greater time when your budget feels strained than the holidays. If you have children, of course, they expect presents both from you and Santa. That expense is a given, but then there is also pressure to give a small token to everyone who helps you during the rest of the year: your hairstylist, the mailman, your children’s teachers, your children’s coaches, babysitter or your children’s daycare, on and on the list seems to grow. If you have extended family, you may exchange presents with them too.

If you are searching for ways to make extra money this holiday season, consider some of these ideas:

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6 Ways to Become More Popular & Increase Your Salary

by Melissa Batai on November 07, 2012

camerasA recently released study determined how popular you were in high school may determine how much money you make.

What about you? Were you the homecoming king or queen in high school? Were you more like Emilio Estevez’s jock character in The Breakfast Club or more like Judd Nelson’s rebel character? Molly Ringwald’s character or Ally Sheedy’s? Turns out, how popular you were in high school may help determine how much money you will make throughout your career.

The National Bureau of Economic Research conducted a long term study which revealed, “that a teenager’s popularity in high school is directly and positively related to a subject’s income decades later” (CNBC). Surprisingly, the research showed that “relative family income status plays only a minor role” (CNBC).

So, while it may be too late for us adults to reverse our social standing in high school, there are still things we can do now to improve our social standing as well as our connections, which could help increase our income. Consider the following:

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How to Save Money with Nanny Sharing

by Melissa Batai on November 06, 2012

NannyNo matter what option you choose, childcare is expensive. When I discovered it would cost nearly $2,000 a month for childcare for my two children, then aged 6 months and 2 years, I decided it made more sense to quit my job, take care of my children, and work from home. Unfortunately, not all parents have that option.

If you are exploring options for affordable childcare, one option that might make sense is nanny sharing.

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Holiday Price Match Policies of Target, Walmart and Best Buy

by Melissa Batai on November 05, 2012

Target Shopping CartsLooking to save both time and money this holiday season? (I know, who isn’t?)

If you are in the habit of searching the ads every week and then stopping by several stores to buy the best deals for the kids’ presents, think again. Keep searching the ads, but then use the power of price matching to simplify your life. Only go to one store, but get the benefit of the sales offered at all of the other brick and mortar stores (and at some stores, online retailers) by using price matching.

Today, we’ll cover the regular and special holiday price matching policies of three of the largest retailers in the US. Hopefully, one of these policies can save you a bunch of money!

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4 Unexpected Uses for a Roth IRA

by Melissa Batai on November 01, 2012

RothMost people know that a Roth IRA is a great retirement investment if your income is below $110,000 if filing as a single person or if you and your spouse’s income is below $173,000 if married and filing jointly. What makes the Roth so attractive is that since you’re putting in after tax dollars, you can withdraw the money tax free in your retirement. But did you know there are several other perks to the Roth IRA and other ways you can use the money besides for your retirement?

Of course, you should be careful about withdrawing money from your Roth IRA before your retirement years, but in some cases, deciding to withdraw some of the money early may be a prudent decision. (The caveat is that you must have held your Roth IRA for 5 years, and you’re only allowed to withdraw the money you invested, not the interest you earned, to withdraw it penalty free.)

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How to Avoid Purchasing Your Own Haunted House

by Melissa Batai on October 31, 2012

HauntedDid you grow up in a neighborhood where there was a “haunted” house? You know, the house that everyone knew about that usually had an overgrown yard and broken windows? The house that sat empty for years except for the teenagers that frequented it for weekend parties or the younger kids who dared one another to go into the house at night?

This type of house was a hot ticket around Halloween, and kids scared one another with stories about what happened in the house and whose spirit haunted the house. You know the house I am talking about.

As a home buyer, you may hope that all houses with sordid histories are so easy to identify, but the problem is that they often look as nice or nicer than the other houses in the neighborhood.

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