How to Teach Your Kids to Go Wild About Saving

 Idea go, freedigitalphotos.net

Idea go, freedigitalphotos.net

When my friend, Nancy, was eight years old, she wanted a horse more than anything in the world. After pleading her case six ways to Sunday, her dad (a practical Midwestern guy) simply said, “If you can earn the money, you can get a horse.” Then he put a pencil to paper to show her how much a horse really cost–from purchase to upkeep. With goal in-hand, Nancy began her quest to save like never before. Three years (and an endless string of odd jobs) later, Nancy was the proud owner of Crystal the horse. And by then, Nancy was also in the habit of goal-oriented saving. She’d learned that money doesn’t grow on trees but…if you save hard enough, one day it just may seem like it does.  Continue reading

Birthday Moments to “Save-or” with Kids

BHG.com

BHG.com

In recent years, I’ve been to an increasing number of birthday parties for kids that have left me speechless (ok, nearly). Instead of small gatherings with cake, ice cream and a few token gifts like the kind I grew up with, I’ve watched a three year-old and her entire preschool class party down in a castle-sized bounce house, stood far away from a petting zoo caravan (with a resident boa constrictor) that arrived on the doorstep of a grade-schooler; and marveled at a spa day party with more pampering for five year-olds than I’ve yet to experience as a grownup. And did I mention each kid had so many gifts it looked like Christmas had come early–twice?

If yours is one of the 24 million households with at least one kid in it, my guess is -that unless you’ve been lottery lucky- you may yearn for a less wallet-wilting way to show your kids the love on their birthday and, perhaps, even teach them the value of a buck.
Continue reading

This New Year, Pay Your Bills On Time…Online

StockImages, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

StockImages, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Does paying bills make you want to pull your hair out every month? If so, it’s easy to see why. Gone are the days when bills always arrived in the mailbox on time and with a 30-day period in which to pay them.   Continue reading

5 Fun Ways to Celebrate Christmas with Kids

BHG.com

BHG.com

I’ve always been a Christmas kid. I couldn’t wait for the tree to go up (“And why not in October?,” I’d ask Dad with indignation), the boxes of decorations to come off the closet shelf (let me at that tinsel!) and for Mom to bake her reindeer-shaped sugar cookies that we’d ice, then eat as fast as we could. Memories like these last a lifetime so this Christmas, take a break from the hustle and bustle. Whether you’re a parent, aunt, uncle or family friend, grab the kids in your life and make some happy moments. Need ideas? Here are five!  Continue reading

4 Ways to Spend Wisely on Holiday Gifts

Serge Bertasius Photography, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Serge Bertasius Photography, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“So many pretties. So many sales. So easy to come home broke.” Alas, this can happen to the best of us the minute we start the post-Thanksgiving mall crawl. Aspire to break the cycle and come through this holiday season without giving your checking account CPR? Then it’s time to get strategic with a little help from friends. Continue reading