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Children

Planning Ahead To Save Money On Kid Expenses

paying less for kid's expenses

While I don’t really believe reports that say raising a child costs $245,000, I think most people would agree that having children is expensive. Without a daughter, there would be no spending on dance lessons, organic milk, and pediatric dental visits. I won’t complain about those costs because we wanted a child. Whatever we spend on her is worth it a million times over. That doesn’t mean I want to spend more than necessary. One way we save money on kid expenses is by planning ahead. Buy Winter Clothes For Next Year Right Now One thing I’ve learned about buying kid clothes is not to buy right before the season you need them. It’s not that big of a deal for summer, but winter garb can be expensive if you live in a cold climate. Between snow pants, boots, gloves, hats, and coats, it’s easy to spend a few hundred dollars paying full price. Right now is the perfect time to buy winter gear for next year. We just found a pair of good quality snow boots at 60% off. There is a little bit of guessing about sizes, but if it’s too big, they will eventually grow into it. ...

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What If My Kid Wants To Go To Stanford?

Hoover Tower at expensive Stanford University

I had a continuing education class in Durango last weekend, and we used it as a family day trip, treating ourselves to dinner at our idea of gourmet; Applebee’s. As we sat there waiting for our food, Jim was watching college football on the many TV’s that are scattered about this four star establishment. Stanford was battling someone on one of the screens, and our daughter asked who was playing. Jim looked at her and said, “That’s Stanford, where you are going to college.” We kind of laughed since she doesn’t know Stanford from Pueblo Community College,  but that got me to thinking. What if my kid does want to go to Stanford? She is only 7, and I’m not a tiger Mom who has been planning her educational future from conception, but let’s just for a minute consider it as a possiblity. Could we do it, and would it make sense? Could She Get Accepted? Because I’m a geek well rounded parent, I checked out some stats on getting accepted to Stanford University. We’ll assume today’s statistics because I have no idea what the next decade will bring. For fall 2014, There were 42,167 applicants, of which 2,145 or ...

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Field Trip Friday

easy hike to geyser

Happy Friday! It’s not just Friday today, but Field Trip Friday! No, Field Trip Friday is not a holiday you forgot about or even want to celebrate, it’s my own creation. Our daughter’s school is out two Fridays per month for teacher development. I managed to take every one of those days off, and I am also keeping another kid whose Mom is a teacher. I’ve made it a goal to take the two kiddos on a field trip every Friday when there is no school. We live in such an amazing outdoor paradise, that I’m gonna make them get outside and appreciate all this area has to offer. While they would be happier just watching Curious George right now, someday they will thank me, right? For the last field trip, we went to the Old Hundred Gold Mine Tour in Silverton, CO. They were a little unsure about going into the mine, but they absolutely loved panning for gold, which was included in the tour. Two hours with no fights or complaints! Amazing. We also went to see Colorado’s only geyser. It’s not as cool as Old Faithful, but it’s a good hike for kids ,and they got a ...

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My 2nd Grader Asked For A Phone!

2nd graders getting phones

School has been back in session for about 5 weeks now, and second grade is fantastic for the most part. However, I had and interesting conversation with my 7 year old a few weeks ago. I expected it at some point, just not so soon. Yes, my 2nd grader has already asked for a phone! It’s Not The Students From being casual observer parents plus all of Jim’s insight as a teacher and principal over the past 14 years, we’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not the students who have problems. It’s the parents! From the kid in my daughter’s class who brings a Starbuck’s iced coffee drink every morning to the parent who yelled at one of Jim’s teachers because the class policy is healthy snacks only, there are some real winners out there. (Lady with the kid having Doritos for breakfast, I’m talking to you!)  I try really hard not to judge, but come on people. My bottom lip must have hit the floor when our daugher told us about one of her friends who has a phone she brings to school. To be fair, I have no idea what kind, but it is a working cell ...

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Should Parents Control Their Kids’ Money?

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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