Free Museum Days From Bank Of America with Museums on Us

Happy penguin at aquarium

Wouldn’t you love to visit more museums?  

What generally holds us back from going out to more museums is time and money.  Let’s face it, not only can it get expensive for a family to go to the museum these days but it can get pretty hectic too (at least it is with our small army of kids).

Still, we try to do what we can to schedule trips out when we can.

That leaves the money part of the equation.

Some years ago, we discovered that Bank of America® actually has a great program called Museums on Us®.  

What is Museums on Us?

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5 Free or Inexpensive Summer Activities to Keep the Kids from Being Bored

free inexpenive or free summer activities for kids

Summer is here and children are out of school. 

If your kids are like mine, they count down the days until school ends, and they revel in their newfound freedom — for a week or two.  Then, the inevitable sibling bickering and the whines of “I’m booooored” begin.

By mid-July at the peak of summer when they’re most bored and the temperatures are soaring, things can seem pretty grim.  Parents may begin counting down the days until school is BACK in session.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

There are plenty of things you and the kids can do to have a fun, educational summer.  (All the better if they don’t realize they’re learning while they’re having fun!)

Best of all, many of these activities are cheap or free!

Here Are 5 Free or Inexpensive Summer Activities to Help Occupy Your Kids

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The Best Four Companies and States for Family Leave

The four best states and companies for family leave

In our current environment of wage freezes and increased health care costs, one of the features that can distinguish a good company from a great company is the fringe benefits you receive.

While your wages may remain stagnant, fringe benefits can provide substantial bonuses and savings for your bottom line.

Unfortunately, one benefit that few companies have is a comprehensive family leave plan.

Of course, back in 1993, President Clinton signed into law the Family Medical Leave Act.  This act allows a new parent (either biologically or through adoption) as well as those with sick family members to take up to 12 weeks unpaid leave from their job within a 12 month period.  The employee is able to retain health care benefits, and they cannot lose their job.

However, not all companies have to follow the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) such as those with less than 50 employees.   Likewise, if the employee seeking to take FMLA has not worked for the company for at least 12 months and worked at least 1,250 hours in the past 12 months, the company does not have to grant the employee leave.

With these contingencies on FMLA, many, many employees fall through the cracks and find themselves back at work less than a week after they have a baby because they do not qualify for FMLA or they cannot afford to take an unpaid leave.

However, there are some companies as well as states that go above and beyond and offer their employees or residents better FMLA benefits than required by federal law.

As a working parent, these are the companies that you want to work for or states you want to live in.

Top 4 Companies to Work for With Great FMLA Benefits

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Not Every Baby Is Born Into Royalty But Yours Can Still Prosper

set_child_up_like_royalty

Prince George, or Georgie, as he will be called, was born in July to much fanfare and anticipation. 

What does it mean to be born into the House of Windsor?   Even though he likely won’t exert his political power when he becomes king, he will still be influential.

And he will be worth a pretty penny. 

According to International Business Times, he will inherit 700 million pounds.  There’s no doubt little Prince George is already one of the wealthiest babies in the world.

Of course, not every baby is born into royalty, with the proverbial silver spoon.  Chances are, you probably wouldn’t want that life for your child anyway.

While you may be from modest means, you CAN help your child get a financial advantage over many of his peers by taking important steps when he or she is young.

7 Ways to Set Your Child Up Like Royalty

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Children and Allowance – When to Start and How Much

Long before we enter the working world, wage disparity can occur in the form of allowance.

I don’t remember talking to my friends about how much allowance they made, but I am guessing the subject probably came up.  As a parent, allowance is definitely something to consider carefully.  You don’t want to give your child too much nor too little.

-“This is an emergency!  I need to know all of your allowances!”

-“Why?”

-“Because you are all still friends, even with different allowances!  I have to know how you do it.”

-“Do we get different allowances?”

-“I don’t know, do we?”

From the kids’ show Arthur, in the episode More! where Arthur’s little sister, D.W., is angry she earns less allowance than her friend.

When Should Children Get an Allowance and How Much Should it Be?

Determining the Work to Be Done

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Should Students Get Paid for Good Grades?

Theoretically, students should go to school and learn simply for the sheer love of learning and the knowledge that studying hard will eventually land them a good paying job (though that assumption is getting harder and harder to prove in these current economic times). 

But is learning for the love of learning and a promise of a brighter future enough?

Or, should we pay our students to learn?

Isn’t Paying Them Just a Form of Bribery?

Some may argue that paying students to get good grades, whether they are elementary, middle school, high school or even college students, is akin to bribery.  These people worry that students will always expect a reward for every good action and test and that they won’t be intrinsically motivated to study just for the sake of learning.

While there is some truth to this concern, the simple fact is that not everyone is a good student.
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3 Ways to Have a Less Commercialized Holiday Season

Are you feeling like scrooge yet? 

I love the holiday season and all of the festivities, but the commercial aspect of it diminishes my joy.

Having to go out and fight the crowds to buy presents is an activity I enjoy about as much as going to the dentist for a root canal.  The longer I wait to shop, the meaner and angrier people at the mall seem to be.

What’s even worse is that studies show that many recipients don’t even appreciate or value our gifts.

“Despite the fact that people spend a significant amount of time and money on gift-giving, their purchases often are less appreciated than they might hope,” say business school professors Francis Flynn of Stanford University and Francesca Gino of Harvard University in a study published in 2011 (WSJ).

Based on my own personal experience, I can attest that this is true.

Last year my mom was most happy to give me a Mint, which is a vacuum/mop that runs on its own presumably to clean the floors while you are doing other things.  My mom is a clean freak, while we, well, we are not.  She thought this would be the perfect gift.

The problem?
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