Choosing between Oxygen OS vs Android? Smartphones provide the ultimate convenience and portability that no other device can offer today.
They even defined 2019 because of how versatile they are as a personal gadget.
There is a vocal voice that states everyone lies. This might be an exaggerating statement but holds a sense of logic. Not everyone is expected to lie, but some tend to do as they hold the information in a positive light. You could have gone on to find the ideal candidate for your company, might have gone on to meet them, you do not know them and what is the process so as to know them better. At this juncture a pre -employment skills test comes into prominence. [Read more…]
Kids grow fast. The speed at which they grow often means they only get a handful of wear out of brand-new jeans before their ankles start making an appearance. Buying new clothes at a rapid case is a sure way to go broke. It’s also wasteful. The good news is that most moms are in the exact space you are. Trading your kids’ old clothes can save a ton of money. Here’s how to do it.
A clothing swap is a great way to not only save money by finding new-to-you clothes for your children; it’s a great way to socialize and meet new people with similar interests.
Invite your friends with kids roughly the same age (or size) as yours. If your kids attend school, you can send an invite through their classroom. Ask everyone to bring a few gently used items of clothing for a swap.
As everyone arrives, collect the donated items of clothes. Give everyone a ticket for the number of things they brought. As they browse the merchandise, they can turn in their tickets for new-to-them clothes.
By swapping clothes at a consignment shop, you can not only save money, but you may also even make a little.
Once a month, I take a bin of clothes to two consignment shops in my town. I’ve collected the clothes all month as I’ve done laundry and noticed things don’t quite fit anymore. I also strategically save holiday and seasonal items until a few months before, as the shops are more likely to purchase at that time.
The consignment shop will sort through my bin based on what meets their qualifications. They’ll offer cash for the items they want, or a 20 percent bump if I choose store credit instead. Depending on if I need new clothes for my kids, I may choose the store credit and grab some items they may be lacking. What they don’t take, I’ll hit up at the next consignment shop, or take directly to goodwill.
Occasionally, I’ll take the cash and apply it to whatever financial goal I’m currently working on.
Selling online has become much more sophisticated since the days eBay first came on the scene. It’s more convenient, especially if you tend to have higher-end clothes or clothes with tags.
Think about the clothes you receive for your kids from Grandma and Grandpa that never get worn because they’re already too small. Sell them online, then use that cash to subsidize the cost of new clothes. Better yet, make that cash go further buying gently used clothes either on the same site you sold to, or a consignment shop.
Do you have a favorite method to save money on kids’ clothes? Share with us in the comments below.
Nearly 85 million Americans own pets, and millennials lead the way in pet ownership. But, like humans, health care for pets can be expensive. That’s why many choose to cover their pet with pet insurance.
But what exactly does pet insurance cover and how does it work? In this blog post, we’ll give you the low-down on everything pet insurance, including how to find the best coverage for your particular pet.
As my children grow older, I’m beginning to explore the need to keep them busy while 1) allowing unstructured time for them to play and 2) providing them with moderate access to technology. It’s an art, and I’m often wondering if I’ve found the best recipe. What are the optimal measurements of each?
Part of this exploration also involves determining how much my budget allows for extracurricular activities.
Because – like kids, extracurricular activities ain’t cheap. And it continues to rise.
My daughter takes to things reasonably easy. She’s a quick learner, prone to beginner luck with almost every activity I’ve signed her up for – ballet, soccer, gymnastics, cheerleading, karate, art, piano – to name a few. But once it gets hard and she has to make an effort, she doesn’t enjoy it, and it becomes a power tug of war between the two of us. It’s a juxtaposition of forcing her to stick to her commitments vs. allowing her to explore her real interests.
However, to my delight, riding horses has proven to be something special. It wasn’t love-at-first-sight, but I watcher her desire to learn blossom a little each day.
What was not to my delight, equestrian hobbies come at high expense. Between weekly riding lessons, show clothes, and show fees – I spend approximately $300 a month, on average. And we don’t even own (or lease) a horse. (yet)
I could buy a car for that. Not a Testa, but a reasonable car – something like a Honda Civic.
Once I realized that riding horses was something she was going to stick with, I realized I needed to adjust my budget. But truth-be-told, I wasn’t sure how – our budget is pretty tight, and I would prefer to pour all my money into paying off our mortgage.
At this point, I wrestled with whether the cost of riding horses was something I was willing to bear. What value was this adding to her life? The merits can be debated, but where I landed was that riding a horse requires caring for a horse.
She has to groom her horse before she can ride. Horse camp involves mucking out stalls. Caring for an animal like a horse develops responsibility, as well as respect for an animal. She’s also building her confidence as she showcases her skills in front of her peers and judges.
I hope that her relationship with horses continues to grow and as she enters junior high and high school, she chooses to spend her time at the barn, rather than out partying (as I did at that age).
Ultimately, I decided the cost was worth it. I took on some additional writing assignments to offset the cost, and I cut back on the amount I was allocating to my mortgage-free fund.
My son, on the other hand – he’s a different beast. He has little to no interest in extracurricular activities, and he’s an introvert. This combination is something I’m aware needs special attention in the current society we live in. I need to make sure he develops his social skills, but balance this need with respect for his personality.
He’s also extremely bright. Over the next few years, I believe I will find myself becoming a chess or Mathlete parent. I’m okay with that. Time will tell. And when it does, I’ll need to adjust my budget again.
How do you approach the cost of extracurricular activities for your children? Have you found them to be more expensive than you initially expected?
America is facing a crisis due to extreme student loan debt. There is currently $1.48 trillion in outstanding student loan debt throughout the country. If your kids are planning on heading off to college, it makes sense that you’d want to do everything you can to help pay for their education without taking on the burden of student loans.
But what are the alternatives to student loans when it comes to paying for college? We’ve got you covered. Read on to learn all about the best ways to pay for college!
Every parent dreams of a full-ride scholarship for their child. I, personally, have high hopes on an Ivy League education. But full-ride scholarships aren’t always realistic. And what if your child wants to attend an out-of-state college?
Out-of-state tuition can increase your education costs by over 100%. However, some options may make out-of-state tuition more affordable.
Look for colleges that are on a flat-rate tuition policy. Flat rate tuition does not discriminate based on where you live; the cost is the same regardless of your residency.
An example of a university that charges the same tuition for in-state and out-of-state residents is Mississippi Valley University.
Similar to studying abroad for a year, some schools allow an exchange to another university, for the same cost as your home school. Generally, these are available for one-year increments. Check out the National Student Exchange for more information.
Neighboring states or counties may offer reduced tuition. It’s often not advertised, so it’s worth giving the financial aid office a call to ask what kind of assistance they can offer.
Some colleges are cheaper than others, or the gap between in-state and out-of-state tuition is more narrow. West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas, is an example where the difference between in-state and out-of-state is less than $1,000 per year.
Top performing students may be eligible for a non-resident tuition waiver. There may be certain restrictions, as every state has different regulations. For example, the student may need to be studying in a particular area. East Tennessee University has waiver options if you major in History.
Similar to good neighbor schools, some states hold agreements with other states to allow residents to swap states for the sake of saving on college tuition. The Western Undergraduate Exchange is an exchange of approximately 16 states on the West Coast that allow for reduced out-of-state tuition if you attend a school in one of the participating states. Deadlines are a big deal here – so make sure you apply early.
Legacy scholarships may be available for alumni of many colleges.
In exchange for service, many schools offer free tuition. Alice Lloyd College in Kentucky is an example. Through a student work program, students may be eligible for free tuition. More schools are listed here.
While not the most realistic of the options, it’s worth mentioning. Massive action produces massive results. If your child has their heart set on a specific school, and you have the flexibility to move – perhaps you work remote – this may be an option. It’s crucial to review residency requirements in each state as they often have loopholes that will hinder short term moves for the sake of paying in-state tuition.
Do you think out-of-state tuition is out of your reach? Share your concerns in the comments below.
I have a confession.
I overspent my Christmas budget.
(And I’m not done shopping.)
I did everything right. I made a list of who I was shopping for and created an overall budget. All was going well until I deviated from my plan.
Typically I plan a vacation for Christmas. I prefer to gift experiences to my family over wrapped presents. Last year, we went to Disney World. The year before, we went to Great Wolf Lodge.
However, this year, my daughter wanted a saddle, and my son had been asking for some 1000+ piece Lego sets. These were items I’d buy for my kids outside of Christmas, so I thought let’s go ahead and have Santa buy them. We’ll stay home this year and spend our budget on Christmas presents.
I also expected this would create a more relaxed Christmas. I wouldn’t have to coordinate the logistics of travel, and I wasn’t planning to buy much for Christmas. After all, the presents I was going to buy weren’t extra for the sake of Christmas.
I was wrong.
It’s not more relaxed and I’m buying more presents than what was on my list.
Something I always do is that I plan to go over budget ahead of time. I do this by creating a budget buffer – usually 5 to 10% of my overall budget. Because overspending at Christmas is not an unrealistic scenario.
Since we’re home this year, I’ve been more inclined to accept invitations to Christmas parties. Also, because we are home, we’re going to my in-laws Christmas morning. This added additional people to shop for that were not on my original list.
But good plans are fluid, so I adjusted the budget per person to accommodate the extras.
Another thing that surprised me is my kids wanted to buy presents for other people. I appreciate this, and it was a simple budget obstacle to overcome.
They pitched ideas on what they would do in exchange for extra money. I was able to secure some “maid” service for the next few weeks in exchange for some small gifts. The amounts were small enough that it didn’t set me over budget because I had built in a buffer for unexpected purchases.
What I didn’t expect was nostalgia to travel over Christmas. Impulsively, I booked a 3-day trip to Legoland. I paid the full price for the hotel room and park tickets. I was able to use miles for two of our plane tickets and paid for the other two. This was the primary reason that led to my overspending at Christmas.
So what am I going to do now that I’m WAY over budget?
Good plans should be fluid and be able to accommodate roadblocks.
I have to sacrifice in other areas of my budget. I reduced the amount my husband is allowed to spend on me and I pulled from our travel savings account to cover the hotel and tickets.
To pay for the plane tickets, I pulled from January’s budget by cutting expenses. Food was cut back, clothing was eliminated, and I cut the flash cash budget in half.
Through this process, I have been reminded of how grateful I am that:
1) I have set my budget up to accommodate impulse decisions – knowing this is standard behavior for me,
2) I have diversified my income so that I know I can generate some back-up income when I needed, and
3) I am committed to remaining debt-free. A few years ago, I would’ve slapped the trip on a credit card and not thought twice about taking two years to pay for it.
Have you gone over budget this Christmas? How do you handle impulse purchases? Is your budget set up to accommodate your personality? Let us know in the comments.
Families, like individuals, can develop good and bad habits. And like people, most families have a few bad habits that they should try and break. What’s worse is that some behaviors aren’t just unhealthy or unproductive –– they’re actively bad for your financial well-being. Indeed, certain habits can cost families hundreds –– if not thousands –– of dollars every year. Here, we’ll list the four worst familial habits, and explain what you and your kin can do to break them once and for all:
In August 2013, a New Jersey girl sued her parents for the cost of her college tuition. Caitlyn Ricci won that case in 2014, and the decision was upheld in court later that year. The details of the lawsuit is worthy of soap opera. Amongst which is that Ms. Ricci is estranged from her parents for failure to follow the rules laid out by her parents. While we leave the legal merits of the case up to the judges, it begs the question, are parents are legally obligated to pay for college.
This topic is particularly personal for me. We save money for our children’s college. However, I don’t necessarily plan on spending that money on college. My parents didn’t pay for my college. The education I gained from that alone was worth as much as the cost of my degree.
While there is no black and white answer, there are some signs that point to yes, parents are expected to contribute financially to their children’s higher education. This may not always come in the form of payment for a child’s tuition; it can be through other means of financial support, such as providing housing or transportation.
The case referenced above was filed in the state of New Jersey, which is a progressive state in terms of state laws that have been established which define parental requirements in terms of financial contribution towards a college education.
Each state sets its own laws, and some states such as California are on the other end of the spectrum and limit parental obligations. Overall, there is no specific requirement for parents to pay for their children’s college education in most states. However, if a parent is divorced, this may be a game-changer.
The obligation is more strict when the parents are divorced.
When a marriage ends in divorce, and parents and children get involved, the parent with custodial rights generally receives some sort of financial contribution from the other parent. This is agreed upon as part of the divorce settlement, and higher education costs are typically included in the agreement.
Again, each state will differ – here is a breakdown of requirements by state.
There is an expectation that the child should make a reasonable attempt to contribute to their college education. In the case referenced above, Ms. Ricci’s parents appealed on the grounds that she did not apply for all applicable scholarships and loans. The claim was ultimately rejected in favor of the parents due to the fact Ms. Ricci was emancipated from her parents. Thus she showed intent to be independent of her parents. The court applied that independence to financial support, as well.
Do you think parents should be legally obligated to pay for college? Are you planning to pay for yours? Share your opinion in the comments below.