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Cheap Things To Do With Your Kids This Summer

ways families can enjoy summer for little money

The last day of school might be the most exciting day of the year for many kids. I can even remember how happy I was as a kid to be released on that final day; no more schedules, no getting up early, and no homework. It was really fun, for about a week. Then parents start to hear the dreaded words, “I’m bored.” I’ve worked hard to be able to have lots of time off to spend with my daughter this summer, and I want to make the best of it.  Luckily kids are pretty easily entertained and there are lots of fun, cheap things you can do with your kids this summer. Get Outside No matter where you live, summer provides the perfect time to get outside. When I was younger, my Mom shoved me out the door in the morning and didn’t expect to hear back from me until lunch. That doesn’t work as well in today’s world, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a ton of free outdoor ideas to keep kids entertained, under your supervision, of course. Plant a Garden Kids love to watch things grow, and even little ones are old enough to water and ...

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How Do You Tell Your Kid a Minimum Wage Job Is a Bad Idea?

struggles of minimum wage jobs

We all know that people who work minimum wage almost always get the shaft. Either from low income, no sick days, or companies sending jobs overseas because someone in Laos will work for 10 cents an hour, employees who work in low wage jobs face more struggles than those with higher earning potential. As my daughter grows and gets more curious about the word, I am finding myself having to answer a harder and broader range of questions.  Recently, I’ve had to explain what the tampon machine in the public restroom was for, and I’ve had to offer comments on many a tattoo we’ve unfortunately seen in the swimming pool locker room. However, I was a bit stumped last week when she asked me if being a cashier at the grocery store was a good job. How do you tell your kid a minimum wage job is a bad idea? Blue Collar Roots My first knee jerk reaction when she asked about the cashier job was to say “NOOOOOO Way!” but am I being a snob? My Mom worked as a grocery store cashier for years when I was a kid. I know it caused her all sorts of back ...

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The Most Frugal Birthday Party Ever

letting kids plan the birthday party

It’s the end of March. That means spring is here, days are longer, and yes, we have to plan for another birthday party! Every year I complain about the craziness that goes into kid birthday parties then I feel guilty for not wanting to celebrate each one to the fullest extent. After all, it won’t be long until our kiddo doesn’t want anything to do with us, we should splurge on hired ponies and ice sculptures, right? Nope, this year will be our most frugal birthday party ever. Not Having A Party Is The Cheapest Option Last year I was able to talk our daughter into not having a party in lieu of a trip to Sea World. We had a barbeque with one friend and ate an ice cream cake I won for being the 7th caller in a radio contest. Unfortunately, I haven’t won any contests this year, and I was told that we have to have a party this year. We needed a good plan. Since we are about to head off on a trip to San Francisco, it had to be cheap cost effective so we can do and see all the things we hope to ...

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Get Kids Excited About Investing

buy stocks with low comissions

Kids all have their own personalities, but most of the time, they follow what they know. That means if parents yell, scream, and create drama, so do kids. If parents are laid back and open minded, their kids generally see the world with a broader view. While, you can change behaviors as an adult, its much easier to imbed good habits at an early age. In our house, financial literacy is one of the habits we’re trying to cement during the formative years. It’s important to teach kids about wants vs needs, plus how to spend and save responsibly. Recently, we’ve found that its also easy to get kids excited about investing! An Easy, Cheap Way Kids Can Invest in Stocks I am a big fan of some of the new types of brokerages that make investing less expensive and easy to understand. With Motif Investing, I think we’ve found the medium where small time investors can buy stocks without losing a big chunk of money to fees. With Motif, you can choose up to 30 stocks in a pre-selected bundle called a Motif, or you can build your own. The minimum buy in is only $250, and each trade ...

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Should Kids Have A Credit Card?

giving kids a credit card

It’s pretty safe to say that we won’t get giving our daughter a credit card for her 8th birthday next month. I can’t believe how fast eight years have passed, and I bet the next eight will go by even faster. While I’d like to bury my head in oblivion, we are getting to the point where financial and life education are very important. Hopefully, our daughter will be as smart as possible about the real world before we turn her loose to become a productive member of society. Part of that will include learning about debt and credit cards. The question today is, should kids have a credit card? Pros of Giving Kids A Credit Card Hands On Financial Education By giving kids a credit card while they still live at home, parents can keep tabs and set limits. The first credit card would likely be a joint venture between child and parent, which would allow family discussions about credit limits, interest rates, purchases, payments, and how to decipher a credit card statement. Building Credit Many pros suggest giving kids a credit card to build credit, but I don’t agree with that. Kids will have plenty of time to ...

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