20 Beautiful Homemade Christmas Gifts

The holidays are great, but buying gifts can get expensive.  Real expensive.But if you’re like me, you enjoy giving gifts to people and watching them open them on Christmas day.  Even better is giving someone a homemade gift that you invested your own time and energy creating.Making a homemade Christmas gift or decorations can be economical and thoughtful at the same time.  If you’re the DIY type of person, consider one of these 20 homemade Christmas gift ideas to make this holiday season … [Read more...]

5 Helpful Moving Tips: What To Do When You’re About to Move

Moving usually isn’t the most enjoyable thing to do, especially if you’re making a move in the heat of summer. You have to consider all sorts of things like travel logistics, getting your stuff (which always seems to multiply) into a moving truck (which always seems to be smaller than you thought), and setting up everything at your new place.Sure, actually moving your stuff might take a weekend but there are a few things you should do ahead of time to make your move go as planned. Since mov … [Read more...]

10 Ways to Save Money at the Movies

Going to the movies is no longer an inexpensive night out, especially if you have a family. Where I live, movie ticket prices are bumping up to $11.75 each for a first run movie for an adult. “Student discounts” – always worth using – aren’t much help; the tickets are maybe a dollar or two cheaper. And concession prices certainly add to the expense. But there are ways to save money on entertainment, and if you go to the movies frequently, they can save you hundreds of dollars each year.1. Get m … [Read more...]

Inexpensive Christmas Party Ideas

As blessed a time as it is, Christmas can (and often does) wreak havoc on the household budget. It’s not just gift buying and giving either. Travel and expenses of all kinds rise with the holidays, turning them into a significant expense.Not many people have Christmas club accounts anymore, to help cover the cost of the holiday. That means that we’re on our own to find ways to celebrate and enjoy the holiday that won’t cost so much.I’m not going to propose a budget Christmas across the bo … [Read more...]

How to Become Self-Financing

Millions of people are on a debt treadmill. It starts the first time you swipe a credit card to cover a shortfall in your budget. Do that enough times, and before long you’re working to pay credit cards and other forms of debt.The way to avoid that is by becoming self-financing—that’s being able to fully cover your living expenses without having to resort to credit. But how do you get from here to there, especially if you already have a lot of debt?Clear some room in your budgetIn many ho … [Read more...]

How P.O.D. Accounts Help You Avoid Probate

If you'd like an easy way to keep your hard-earned money out of probate, payable-on-death (P.O.D.) bank accounts are the way to go. With this account, all you need to do is properly notify your bank of whom you want to inherit your money.How it WorksAs long as you're alive, the person you named as beneficiary has no rights to the money in your P.O.D. account. You're free to spend the money, name a different beneficiary, or even close the account.Some banks and credit unions offer P.O.D. … [Read more...]

5 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Probate

It's said that probate was designed to ensure that your wishes are honored and your family is protected after you're not around to oversee matters yourself. During the process, an impartial court supervises everything, looking out for the interests of both your family and your creditors.What's wrong with that? A lot, actually.Here are five reasons why you should avoid probate.1. Probate is PublicA will is a very private document, revealing much about both financial and family … [Read more...]

Talking With Your Kids About Financial Issues

I can remember asking my parents just to write a check to pay for something that was ‘too expensive.’  When you’re 6 years old, money is something that just appears in your dad’s wallet and checks are used to buy things that you don’t have money for!It wasn’t until I started saving my own money that I realized that you couldn’t just write a check or swipe a card to buy everything you wanted. The scary thing is that a simple concept like this hasn’t caught on for the millions of people in … [Read more...]

4 Fun Money Games to Play With Kids

I am excited to write this article as an educator and a parent.  There are a lot of fun ways to incorporate money into your classroom or your home.  Here are a few that came to my mind instantly:MonopolyMonopoly is a really fun game to play with older children in the house (or with adults), but did you know it can also teach a valuable lesson about money?While playing the game, talk about money and how to buy/sell real estate.  This will be a great tool when they're older and they are re … [Read more...]