Tag Archives: budget

Product Giveaway! – Make Sure to Enter Before 9/03

1 Sep

Hi Everyone,

I wanted to announce a product giveaway – this comes from Andrea over at Simple Organized Living  she runs a business and blog about organization/simplicity and is the proud mama of a little girl named Nora. 

I really hope all you mom and dads really enjoy this – and Good Luck! Below is what’s included in the giveaway:

  • Johnson’s baby essentials special pack
  • Johnson & Johnson tote
  • Neutrogena beach ball
  • Froggy wash mit
  • Bath tub toy organizer
  • Tub lights
  • Foam letters

Saving Money on Baby Clothes

21 Jun

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Saving money is one of the most important things to do when you have a baby in the house or on the way.Buying designer clothes or any type of expensive clothing is just a waste because baby doesn’t know any better and will outgrow it soon enough. Not to mention the likeliness of a blowout or spit up on an expensive outfit. Why? Why pay so much for so little clothing and to wear something for so little time. Here’s the simplest tips I know of to save money on baby clothes:

  • If you have older children always keep their clothes washed and stored away that way when the next baby comes along of the same sex you don’t need all new clothes
  • Buy clothes that are larger (baby will grow quickly) plus you through in a diaper and the next thing you know 0-3 months often only take care of baby for the 1st month (just buy the 3-6 month size for your newborn)
  • Go to the thrift stores (Goodwill and Salvation Army make a great start) and buy lots of clothes for very little money (here’s my suggestion take $100 and go there you will be surprised how many baby clothes you can buy for that amount)
  • Go to garage sales
  • Don’t be afraid to swap clothes with other mothers and don’t be ashamed to ask (so you give her your child’s old clothes from your first son and she swaps you her daughter’s old clothes) very affordable
  • Go ahead and lie, there I said most moms I have ever known or read about complained (not trying to make them sound ungrateful) but made a valid point those that disclosed the sex of their baby to any friends or co-workers for baby showers found mostly clothes for gifts those that claimed they didn’t know or really didn’t find out found themselves receiving more baby blankets, diapers, bottles etc. Let’s face it as soon as someone tells people their having a baby and the sex of the baby people can’t resist all those cute little baby clothes. The choice is ultimately yours.

Saving for College

7 Jun

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Most parents know that some day their little bundle will grow up, graduate high school and might pursue going to college. With that said very few parents actually make a road map for this financially. Going to college costs a lot of money and its not getting any cheaper. Here are some suggestions to help get you started. If you have a young baby or toddler now is the time to get started. The longer you have to save the better.

  • When your child is little make sure to save all monies given to them for birthdays and holidays (tell friends and family your toddler really doesn’t need another cute outfit) 
  • The younger you start saving means the longer you have to save / grow that college fund
  • Open a UPromise account – don’t buy items just for Upromise sake but a small percentage of purchases will go into a fund for your child this won’t take the place of traditional savings but will help add to it
  • Consider opening a Coverdell Education Savings Account (parents, g.parents anyone can contribute) or an Independent 529 account – not familiar with these learn more here
  • Consider using cash back options on credit cards to deposit “extra money / rewards money” into a savings account
  • Commit to saving a percentage of your monthly income for college savings now just like you would for retirement

Summer time activities with your children

5 Jun

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Don’t let your children’s summer be wasted by playing video games and watching TV. My suggestions below are to help you find activities in everyone’s budget and age range for mom’s and dad’s to do with their kids. If your a stay at home mom (SAHM) I hope these will inspire you and why not get together with a friend or sister that can bring their kids along too and have some adult company.

  • Make a scrapbook of your entire summer
  • Get a pack of balloons, fill with water and have a water balloon fight in the backyard
  • Enroll your kids in swimming lessons, especially if you live in a hot climate
  • Go to your local dollar store or Wal-Mart buy some chalk and jump ropes for some outside activities
  • For days when it maybe raining out buy a couple colors books from the dollar store for little ones and you to color during summer showers
  • Why not get the schedule from your local library for book reading and  movie showings perfect for your children
  • Teach your children to ride a bike
  • Spend 30 minutes every day learning a new language together (try some educational videos)
  • Make sure your children are active each and every day public schools have cut too many phys ed  and art programs so the summer is a great time to stay active
  • Go to a museum or aquarium together, take lots of pictures
  • Save $ by creating your own mommy and me group (have yourself and 2 or 3 other SAHM) get together at each others house a set day every week and cook together, go swimming in the pool, let your kids play together its a great mommy day and child day

Make every day of your summer count!

What Every Mom Needs – part 3

11 May

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Where in our third installment – and hopefully helping you get a strong financial foundation in place.

What does every mom NEED?

Life Insurance (whether your a high powered career woman, stay at home mom, or single parent) you NEED life insurance. Now here’s something many people overlook: the reasons they need life insurance, especially women.Where should I look for life insurance?  Well, consider getting online quotes from multiple sources try Select Quote and Insure

Myth # 1 – I don’t need life insurance I’m a stay at home mom, so I don’t need income replacement. 

Ready for my answer? WRONG!

And here’s why a stay at home mom needs term life insurance to cover expenses that would usually be unaccounted for. Take this example, God forbid something happens to a stay at home mom and she dies who will take care of her children while her husband works? A daycare or babysitter if there not school aged. If the children are old enough to be in school you must figure there will still be before and/or after school care since your spouse may need someone to get the children on the bus or watch them till he gets home from work.

Myth # 2 – I only need a small policy.

Have you realistically calculated the costs both present and future (remember inflation rates need to be calculated) for what your policy will need or you want it to cover. Typically when someone does work many advisors suggest 20x their income – so a person making $50,000 per year would be advised to buy at least $1,000,000 policy. This only sounds like a lot initially trust me every dollar will need to be earmarked.

What are some items life insurance money should be used to cover:

  • Your children’s daycare or babysitting,
  • The mortgage on your family home (wouldn’t it be nice to know your mortgage would be paid off and your spouse will never loose the children’s family home)
  • College tuition (with student loans being such a huge burden it would be great to help give your children a head start in life by graduating college debt free)
  • Maybe private school tuition
  • or money set aside for children’s lessons (he likes soccer, she likes gymnastics, etc)
  • Also one item very much forgotten about is any debt you may have (credit cards, student loans, car loans, etc)

What Every Mom Needs – part 2

10 May

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Here’s part two in the continuation of this saga

What does every mom NEED?


A high (okay higher interest) savings account these are often typically found as online savings accounts or at credit union, while writing this I have found the interest rate at 1% compared to most bricks and mortars banks where its significantly less (and yess that’s possible in the world of interest rates it can be a lot less than 1%). Barclay’s Online Savings – just one of many options out there.

However, in the future all you have to do is search for “online/high yield savings accounts”.

What are the must features: no monthly fees and no minimum deposits/balances.  For single mothers I highly encourage you to set up an automatic transfer every month from your checking account to this savings account. On the first of every month this money will be re-directed and will create a forced savings perfect for those who are on tight budgets because the less you earn the easier it is not to save.  Make sure to read the full story on what every mom needs.

What Every Mom Needs – part 1

9 May

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What does every mom NEED?

Well, this list might surprise you and while it does  apply to all moms I am hoping this list will lend some extra special advice to the stay at home moms and single mothers. Please share this posting with all the women in your life so they can benefit from this free advice. I am going to apologize up front for the length so in order to make this posting more reader friendly I have broken it down into multiple parts.

All moms need a retirement account  – not just working mothers.

The best way to start is to open a ROTH IRA – see  this simple chart for a easy snapshot overview. Pretty much a Roth IRA allows you deposit $5,000 a year, grows federally tax free, and must be 18+ to have one. Stay at home moms can open one too if you manage to earn income even from non-traditional sources like babysitting, cleaning houses, or any EARNED INCOME. Why do stay at home moms/single mothers need retirement accounts? Because planning for retirement even a little bit each month will make life less stressful and easier later in life. Plus stay at home moms will receive less Social Security (if its there when your of retirement age) because you worked less years and paid less into. Also, please remember social security was NEVER meant to be your sole source of retirement income so great for those that can live on it but don’t ever put yourself in the position of needing social security (it should be in addition to not in place of).


 


Books on Finances (for beginners)

7 May

Finances can be stressful especially when mismanaged and that can lead to  problems both in a marriage or between parents and children in single parent households. I wanted to provide you with some resource listings to help encourage you to get better control of your family’s finances:

Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover

Suze Orman’s The Money Class

I think either one of these books is a great place to start without being overwhelmed.

Keeping a Nursery Inexpensive

25 Apr

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With the economy as bad as it is and the unemployment rate not improving I think its most important to remember what babies need versus want and what they need is love, good health, and a few basic essentials to keep them safe while sleeping, eating, bathing and playing. Today’s article features some basic ways to maximize savings and have a wonderful nursery. I am sure this will work within everyone’s budget:

  • Paint – it really does wonders to a wall and for very little $, plus I love paint because its a simple DIY project (consider taping the wall for some stripes) – shop around for price just make sure the paint is NO VOC in the nursery.
  • Consider buying any item on sale and repainting it yourself – if you find the perfect lamp, chair, dresser at some estate/garage sale feel – just sand and spray paint it sometimes people will spend more $ on an item that is the perfect color and it can really add to the price of your nursery
  • Don’t buy expensive crib bedding – look for sales I always say start shopping as soon as possible so you have the longest amount of time to find the best bargains
  • Consider buying used clothes  there’s no shame in go to your local thrift store and buying lots of baby clothes on sale there, also check out the Goodwill and Salvation Army their baby clothes are very inexpensive make sure the clothes have no rips, holes, tares, or stains.
  • Consider using an adult’s dresser and just adhering the changing topper to it for a cheap changing table then when baby outgrows it you can remove it and still use it
  • As far as decorating goes pick a color scheme is easier to find bargains then let’s say a specific theme (Spiderman or Winnie the Pooh)
  • If your having a baby shower a hint people who told their guests the sex of the baby ahead of time were more likely to receive lots of clothes, onesies, socks, etc. Moms to be who said they were keeping the sex unknown (at least to guests even if the mom/dad to be knew) received less clothes and more diapers, baby car seat, high chair, etc. Why? Because most women going to a baby shower hate to buy the green/yellow neutral colors requested for “unknown” sex they rather buy that cute little pink dress or blue coat.
  • Don’t buy things labeled “baby” because often they are overpriced (e.g. The Diaper Genie and what not, if you want a trash pale in the babies room a simple stainless one like this will do just fine)

Please share anything you did for your baby’s nursery that you saved money on

Teaching Children the Value of Money

26 Mar

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Money is something everyone could use more of most days, however teaching children the value of money, hard work, and budgeting at a young age will most certainly help them succeed in life. These resources I believe can help children and teens learn an appreciation for money and to be wise with it. 

These books and tools are good for children home schooled and non-home schooled. For children that are home schooled it could easily be incorporated into an additional daily / weekly math lesson.

The Motley Fool: Investment Guide for Teens 

Dave Ramsey’s: Home Schooling 

Dave Ramsey’s: For Children ( ages 3 to 12)  and for Teens

and make sure to read this article written on Simple Organized Living they have a well written article on children’s finances