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Over Scheduling Your Child

over scheduling kid's camps and lessons

I have a wonderful 7 year old daughter. Since she is an only child, so we get one shot at parenting. We are fortunate that we have a good income and no consumer debt. That allows us to give her many advantages that people working paycheck to paycheck might not be able to do. That being said, there are about 4 million and one activities available for 7 year olds these days. How do I know which ones are worthwhile or how much is too much? I don’t want to over schedule my child. Too Many Activities When I was a kid, I think we could start softball and basketball in 4th grade. I grew up in a very rural town, so there was no private dance school or Mandarin Chinese lessons for 3 year olds. I don’t know any kids who ever did more than one thing at a time. Mainly, because there wasnt’ that much to do. Fast forward to today. We still live in a rural area, but starting at age 3, kids can do gymnastics, dance, soccer, wresting, and swim lessons. By kindergarten, you can also add skiing, karate, piano, violin, t-ball, football, and probably lots ...

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Say No To Your Children Now So You Won’t Have to Later

One of my guilty pleasures is watching Suze Orman every Saturday. I know she tends to polarize people faster than a Tea Party Presidential candidate, but I do enjoy her show. Suze was actually the first financial show I discovered.  I found it while flipping channels on vacation. At that point, we were deeply in debt, and I seriously needed a Suze smackdown. I’ve learned leaps and bounds about taking care of my finances since then. I’ve also learned to take every famous financial “expert” with a grain of salt. If they make their living from telling you how to manage YOUR money, you can bet they want a slice of it too. Back on point, my favorite part of the show is viewer calls. Usually they are pretty funny, but sometimes they strike a nerve. A few weeks ago, one such caller really brought home a point about saying no to your children now so that you don’t have to later. This caller was in her late 40’s, a wife and mother of four. She was a PE teacher, and her husband was an electrician. They didn’t live in a super expensive place. Her oldest child was graduating from ...

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Save Money on Kids’ Birthday Parties-Learn From My Mistakes

If you have children, you’d probably say it’s the best thing you’ve ever done. While I totally agree, I also admit that kids are expensive. My lovely, little daughter is turning six today, so in honor of her birthday, I thought I’d share some mistakes I’ve made  tips on how to save money on kids’ birthday parties. If you have a birthday party for your kiddo before age 4, you’re doing it more for you than for them. They could care less at this point. Our daughter’s first birthday was a big production. We had lots of people over, supplied food and beer (not for the one year olds!), and bought an expensive cake.  A one, two, or three year old does not care if there are 30 people having a dinner party at their house. If you want to have a party for you and your family, that’s fine, but pot luck or hot dogs with a Duncan Hines cake mix works just fine. When they hit preschool or school age, they WANT to have a party. They start planning months in advance.  How can you plan a birthday party and not break the bank?  

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Can You Avoid Spending Money on School Fundraisers?

We are about two months into the school year with our five year old. Kindergarten teachers are surely a special group. Two weeks ago,  I was able to attend the homecoming parade and help chaperone the kids. It’s really tough to take twenty four 5-6 year olds out to the parade and keep them from running out in the road while people are throwing candy at them. Teachers certainly don’t get paid enough! For all the wonders of kindergarten, I was not prepared for the onslaught of fundraisers that seem to come home each week. So far, we have had school sweatshirts and water bottles for sale, book fair, and the latest one, Little Caesars pizza kits and cookie dough for sale. Next week we have school pictures, which aren’t to raise money for the school, but I bet they aren’t free. Is there a way you can avoid spending money on school fundraisers? My honest answer is that I don’t know. I could boycott all things that cost money and be viewed as the villian parent whose child didn’t sell any pizza kits. I really hate that schools have to resort to asking kids to peddle overpriced dough to buy supplies and go on field trips, but that’s a whole ...

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What You Need and Don’t Need For New Baby

If you are planning on having a child, it can be confusing with all the gadgets that are available for newborns. When I was pregnant, we took a trip to Babies R Us, and I literally had to leave the store because it was so overwhelming with all the furniture, clothes, and items the store says you can’t live without. Actually, we found that babies really don’t need that much stuff. Obviously, you need diapers, food,  a carseat, and clothes. In a primitive sense you could get by just fine with those things only, but there are some baby items that make life easier. Here is my top five list of  new baby items you  might need and ones you surely don’t. Things We Couldn’t Live Without Pack ‘N’ Play. We used this  every day. These are especially useful after your baby starts moving around. If you need somewhere safe to put them down for a few minutes, the playpen is perfect. These also make great travel beds and changing tables. Boppy. This is a u-shaped pillow that you can lay a newborn on for feeding or naps. It supports their head. When they take forever to eat and it’s two in the morning, your arm ...

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