Family 
8
comments

Cheap Fun for the Kids

With the kids out of school, I know there are a ton of parents out there trying to think of ways to keep them entertained without draining the family’s coffers.  I know I remember my mother having the same problem with the three of us.  At the beginning of every summer, we’d get bored and slowly tear up the house looking for stuff to do.  After a few days of driving her nuts, we got used to playing on our own outside and she took us on a few frugal trips every summer as well.  Here are some ideas for cheap fun for the kids.

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 Family 
3
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Budgeting for a Baby – Inexpensive Ways to Prepare

There must be something in the water. Most of the female friends I have that are about my age seem to be getting pregnant right now. Despite the fact that I am not in the market, I have been helping plan for a bunch of babies on the way. The hardest part is helping my friends stay within their own budgets. Having a baby does not have to break the bank. In fact, here are a few inexpensive ways to prepare for a baby on the way.

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 Personal Finance 
9
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Kids and Money: Teaching Toddlers

One of the most difficult assignments you have as a parent is likely to be teaching your kids about money. The earlier you start, the better. However, teaching toddlers about money can be hard, since money is a largely abstract concept. If you want your children to grow into money savvy adults, though, it can help lay the foundation for good money decisions when they are toddlers.

There are some things that toddlers can understand about money. Many of them do notice that some sort of transaction takes place when you go to the store. It’s a little bit easier to explain money to toddlers when you use cash. On the other hand, though, plastic is likely to be a part of your child’s financial life, so getting him or her used to it is also important. As you begin teaching your toddler about money, here are some ideas for laying a good foundation:

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 Family 
71
comments

Kids and Money: Summer Job Ideas for Kids Under 16

Lemonade StandThe school year is drawing to a rapid close. For many of us, that means trying to figure out what our kids will do all summer. If you want your kids to learn a life lesson, and make some money in the process, you might encourage them to get a summer job.

A summer job is a great way for kids to learn the value of hard work, as well as get some practical experience with money management. A summer job offers your children a chance to go beyond allowance and earn their own money. You can use this as a chance to teach them valuable financial skills, and help them put into practice such time-honored money moves as saving, wise spending and even investing. Here are some ideas for summer jobs for kids:

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 Personal Finance 
10
comments

Teach Kids Money: Tying Chores & Allowances

Coins in a JarThis is a guest post by Danny Kofke, a special education teacher and author of How to Survive (and Perhaps Thrive) on a Teacher’s Salary. Danny and I have been emailing back and forth for the better part of the last month or two, working on a guest post about children and allowances. I asked Danny to write this post because it involves a hotly debated topic in parenting – should you tie your kid’s allowance to their chores? Or should they do chores “for free” because they are part of the family? Here’s his take.

My wife, Tracy, is a stay-at-home mom to my two young daughters – Ava, age 5 and Ella, 2. We don’t make a large salary so we have to be frugal with our money. We are trying to pass on our values to our children. Ava gets an allowance every week for the chores she does. We check each chore off on a daily basis and at the end of the week Ava gets paid for doing these chores.

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 Family 
19
comments

Daycare vs. Stay At Home: A Mom’s Perspective

Dancing in DaycareEditor’s Note: Last week, I wrote a brief post about the financial tradeoffs of daycare versus being a stay at home parent. Kelly of The Centsible Life offered to write a more detailed guest post on the subject because, as a mother of four, she is clearly way more qualified to speak on the tradeoffs than I am. I gladly took her generous offer so here is a mom’s perspective on the issue.

In Jim’s original post he posed a seemingly simple question: Stay at Home or Pay for Daycare? Since Jim isn’t a parent yet, there are many intricacies and options that the post didn’t discuss. I’m here to fill that gap. :)

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 Family 
85
comments

Stay At Home or Pay for Daycare?

Dancing in DaycareWe’re getting to the age when our friends are starting to have kids and so the topic of daycare has come up on a number of occasions. As a couple with no kids, we haven’t done the research but we’ve always known intuitively that daycare was expensive. In doing some research for this article, I was amazed at how expensive daycare was. A whole year for an infant can run you $18,000!

So in our modern age where you have two working parents, many couples have to decide whether they want to keep two incomes or drop down to one. If we were to make that decision, here is what I think we’d do in preparation.

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 Family 
16
comments

When Is The Right Time To Have Children?

Baby with an iPodThis is a guest post from Cathy, who writes about family finances, parenting and cooking at Chief Family Officer.

The short answer to this question is that there is no right time. But, there are a lot of things to consider when deciding whether to have children, and many of them are financial. Here are some things to think about when you’re making that big decision:

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