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Should Parents Control Their Kids’ Money?

"Me, join the circus? No way, I want to be a princess when I grow up!"

I don’t remember having much money as a kid. Aside from the tooth fairy and a few $5 bills I got for birthdays, income was pretty low. As a teenager, I got a part time job as soon as I could. I spent MY money on clothes, cassette tapes (yeah, I’m old), and all sorts of crap I’m sure I “needed” (a $30 Hypercolor t-shirt and some cool Ray Bans come to mind). My parents never gave me rules on what I could and could not buy (except for the obvious illegal things). If I earned it, I could spend it. It seemed like a good deal at the time, but now that I’m a Mom, I wonder if parents should control their kids’ money. How Much Money Should Kids Have? My parents or in-laws never did allowances, so Jim and I aren’t really into that. We think it’s not unreasonable for a kid to keep their stuff neat and be able to do some basic chores appropriate for their age without getting paid for it. If our daughter does something extra helpful or wants to sell her toys at a yard sale or consignment, she gets money for that. ...

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When a Bargain Is Not a Bargain

Cadillac.com

One of the reasons we got into and stayed in debt so long was because of “bargains.” Jim and I were almost always shopping, meaning that if we saw something that seemed like a good deal, we bought it. It didn’t matter if we needed it or if we had cash on hand to pay for it. That’s what credit cards were for. I bet 95% of the stuff we bought back in the day was on sale, sometimes at a great discount, but if you don’t need it and can’t afford it, a bargain is not a bargain. I’ve had two experiences over the past few weeks that have really tested my money resolve. I think bargains can approach from many directions, often when you aren’t looking. Sometimes the presentation can seem like such a good thing that all your frugal and money smart tendencies just don’t have time to register. But It’s My Family When a so called bargain comes from your family or friends, it’s an even greater temptation. If someone you know and love has it and loves it, it can’t be all bad, right? I love my sister. She would never try to steer me ...

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Great Clips + Sally Beauty Supply Vs The Salon

hair-color

I have another confession to make. It’s probably the number one reason why I never fit in as a true Southerner growing up in Kentucky. Ready?…. I hate to have my hair done. I have naturally straight, thin, brown hair. My Mom always loved big hair, even before big hair was a thing. She started me on perms when I was in 5th grade. Highlights followed. Until I was in my early 20’s, I had a standing haircut, color, or perm appointment every 3 months. It was more regular than the dentist! I gave most of that up a long time ago, but I do still enjoy the results of a good color job and a new haircut. We all know it’s easy to spend a small fortune on personal care, but I don’t think it has to be that way. I though it would be fun to compare the cheap  DIY routine of Great Clips and Sally Beauty vs going to the actual salon. In A Perfect World If life were as it was supposed to be, I’d just cut my hair really short and let it go gray. I am OK with getting older, but I’m not ready ...

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My Thrift Store Shopping Failure

Salvation Army thrift store

I absolutely love getting good deals. In fact, that’s one reason we ended up in so much credit card debt years ago. I bought lots of stuff I didn’t need because it was a “good deal.” Now I’ve learned to shop only for things I do need and value,  but I still love the rush of finding what you need on the cheap. One of the best ways to do that is to shop used. While we were in Las Vegas recently, I thought it would be a great opportunity to try big city thrift store shopping, but it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Thrift Store Wins in the Past I have had some major success at thrift stores and yard sales in the past. When I first moved out west, I brought my dog and whatever fit in my car. While it is somewhat liberating to own only enough stuff to fit into a vehicle, I do appreciate things like a bed, chairs, and dressers. so I furnished my first small house with finds from thrift stores. We still have some of that furniture in our extra bedroom. It’s really good quality if you can see ...

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9 Ways to Pinch Pennies Around the House

ways to save money around the house

I’m certainly not an extreme frugalist. I’ll never reuse plastic bags or ration toilet paper into a certain number of squares per use, but if I can save a few pennies here and there, we all know they add up to dollars. Every dollar counts, especially if you are trying to get out of debt, save for a goal, or plan for retirement. Here are nine simple ways to pinch pennies around the house. 1. Eliminate Food Waste According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, Americans throw away 25% of the food they buy. While that’s wrong to think about on many levels, it also adds up to lots of wasted money. Some easy ways to prevent food waste are using leftovers for brown bag lunches, freezing fruit and veggies for later use in smoothies or stir fry, and taking a week each month to eat out of your pantry or fridge instead of grocery shopping. 2. Turn the Thermostat Up or Down We used to keep our thermostat on 70 degrees pretty much year round but have realized that if we turn it down to 66-68 degrees in the winter and 72-74 degrees in the winter, it saves about ...

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