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Budgeting: A Teachable Moment with my Pre-Teen

Do you wonder how to effectively teach your kids financial responsibility? The financial behaviors we impart to our children are significant in shaping their future money management skills. As a financial advisor who frequently encounters deeply ingrained money habits, I understand the importance of these early lessons and aim to share them with my own children.

Teaching kids financial responsibility starts at home. My children, although young, exhibit distinct attitudes towards money, highlighting their understanding and unique relationship with it. The core principle I wish to instill in them is that they are in control of their own financial situation. This understanding becomes particularly clear with my youngest, aged seven.

A real-life scenario unfolded recently when my 12-year-old son prepared for a camping trip with his Boy Scouts Troop. A portion of funds from the boys' fundraising activities are allocated to their scout account, teaching them the value of money. The...

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Need some quick cash?

As they say, "one man's trash is another man's treasure."

Experiencing periods of financial strife has happened to almost everyone. When it happens, it can bring on feelings of worry and anxiety. But one way to make some quick money is to sell some belongings you don't use or no longer want. From big-ticket items to clothing and tchotchkes, you might be surprised what you can sell to thicken your wallet. 

Follow these strategies to make the most from your sales:

1. Consider selling almost everything.

Make a list of the items you'll sell room by room and jot down reasonable prices to ask. Don't worry; you won't miss them once they're gone. Are your rooms over-stuffed with too much furniture? Sell your least favorite pieces. Sell that extra recliner in the back bedroom that's piled with junk. Sell the junk on it, too! 

You don't use your bread maker anymore? Sell it to someone that will. What about the wrong size clothing or those you dislike? If you don't wear them, sell...

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Tips to Negotiate a Higher Starting Salary

In life, everything is negotiable and starting salaries in a new position are no exception. Regardless of whether you are returning to the workforce after staying home with your kids or you're trying to uplevel your job, you are a knowledgeable professional. Know your worth. You have experience under your belt and other valuable skills that employers should be charged a premium for utilizing.

Give yourself your worth by negotiating your starting salary within a new company. Not only will it put you on a better financial footing, but it'll also make you seem like an ambitious businessperson.

5 tips to confidently and successfully negotiate a higher starting salary:

  1. Be prepared. Negotiation is all about the legwork. Do your research on the company, their current salary offerings, and the average salary in your locality. If this is your first time negotiating a salary or your first time in a while, it can be daunting. Practice with a friend or family member to give you...

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10 Strategies for Reducing Household Expenses

Do you often wonder how to put more money into your savings account? Balancing a household budget can be a real challenge. Expenditures can spiral out of control if you're not vigilant. Rest assured, there are more thrilling ways to allocate your funds than overpaying for auto insurance or other costs. By making smart changes, you can manage your household expenses better and start saving money each month.

Related post: Crafting an Effective Household Budget

10 Powerful Strategies to Reduce Household Expenses:

  1. Prescriptions and Over-the-Counter Medications: Generics are a great way to reduce household expenses. They can cost up to 85% less than brand-name drugs. Try online services like GoodRx.com that compare prices to help you save more.
  2. Entertainment: Find economical ways to entertain your family. Organizing a movie night at home or visiting the local park can be both fun and budget-friendly. Look out for free or low-cost festivals and fairs during weekends.
  3. Cable TV: Consider...
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Should you give an allowance? That is the question.

By Kelly Greene

It starts with the tooth fairy, right, moms? Your child loses that first tooth and you’re both so excited! The tooth fairy will be visiting! As your child is asleep you stress over how much the tooth fairy is paying these days for a tooth. Your friend maybe gave their kid a dollar or a quarter but what about that one mom who gave her kid a $20 bill?!? And so it begins…

Now flash forward a few years and your kids are older, they want money for things plus they live in your house and make their kid messes so they have chores. So, should you give an allowance? Should you pay them for doing chores? If you google this you will find so many varying opinions and methods, leaving you even more confused. Here are a few ideas:

1. Give them a weekly allowance along with a list of chores. The amount of this can be their age or an amount you feel comfortable with. Also, if you have more than one child the chore list may rotate. If you choose the amount to match...

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10 Money-Saving Tips for New Moms

By Kelly Greene

Your bundle of joy has arrived and through the endless laundry, sleepless nights and spit-up on your clothes, you don’t want to be stressing about money. We want the very best for our children but do they really need all the fanciest items and expensive gadgets as infants? We easily fall prey to these things, especially with our first child. Many of these items aren’t necessary or can be obtained in much cheaper ways.

Here are 10 money-saving tips for new moms:

  1. Buy gender-neutral items. It’s hard not to want your baby girl’s nursery to be the epitome of a pink princess palace, but a few years down the road when you have your son you’ll wish you had opted for something more neutral. 
  2. Consider convertible items. There are so many great options now like cribs that can convert into a big kid bed later. Car seats and strollers also come in more options that will last longer as your child grows. 
  3. Don’t dismiss...
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5 Ways to Save Money on Back-to-School

by Kelly Greene

It's that time of year again! Many moms celebrate the end of a summer full of video games, "I'm bored," and coming home to a sink full of dishes and cups (and what is up with those cups?!? How many cups does one child need in a day?) But, celebrating aside, this time of year can cause some financial stress. School supplies, activity fees, equipment, and, of course, CLOTHES. It seems the older your kids get, the more costly these things become. So what are some ways to save money?

  1. Recycle school supplies from last year. Most kids didn't use the entire box of 24 pencils or 12 glue sticks that were on last year's list. Scissors last an eternity, markers still have some juice and a backpack can be washed. 
  2. Stock up for next year during this year's back-to-school clearance sales. I've seen prices slashed up to 80% a few weeks after school started. 
  3. Look on Craig's List, Offer Up and at thrift stores for athletic equipment. You'll be amazed at what you...
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How to Be a Positive Money Role Model for Your Kids

We all grew up with various ideas about money instilled in us by our parents, some good and some not-so-good.

How do we, as parents, become positive money role models for our children?

Teach your kids the value of money at an early age.  

I know how tempting it is to buy your child every single toy or book they want, especially around birthdays and holidays whether it's to avoid a tantrum or just because they’re so darn cute, buying your children anything and everything they want doesn’t teach them the value of money. 

Encourage your kids to save money.  

It can be very tempting to spend birthday and holiday money on one trip to Target, only for your child to be bored with their purchase a week later. Motivate your child to set a goal and save up for it. One of my sons is currently saving for a Nintendo Switch. It's a lofty goal for him, but I know he’ll feel a sense of accomplishment.

I recently took two of my kids to open up an account at...

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Steps to Start Paying Off Debt: 6 Actionable Strategies

Feeling overwhelmed by the sight of your mail? Does your mounting debt seem like an insurmountable hurdle? Remember, it doesn't have to stay this way! Let's embark on the journey toward financial freedom with these six easy-to-follow steps to start paying off debt.

Step 1: Honestly Evaluate Your Debt

When bills flood in at various times during the month, it's easy to lose sight of your total debt. Gather all your bills, lay them out, and take an honest look at the big picture. It might be a tough pill to swallow, but acknowledging your debt situation is the first of the steps to start paying off debt.

Step 2: Negotiate Lower Interest Rates

Your loyalty to your credit card companies can be leveraged. Reach out to them, express your loyalty, and discuss the possibility of a lower interest rate. This approach can also work wonders with internet and cable companies!

Step 3: Review Your Credit Score

Mistakes in credit reports are not uncommon. Ensure your debts, credit limits, and missed...

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