Having children is a wonderful experience that is priceless in so many ways! But do they cost you a lot! Fortunately there is some tax help for parents in the form of deductions and claims. Robert Meighan, vice president at Turbo Tax, has listed some great tax tips for parents:
What a wealth of culture and learning we have here in NYC!
The only thing holding us back from taking in all of the museums, gardens, zoos, and whatnot is time and money. We’ve been trying to make the time to take the kids out and do things with them whenever we can.
That leaves money!
It’s expensive taking a family out these days. Well, it was a most pleasant surprise to learn that Bank of America was extending it’s Museums on Us program. Not only did they extend it but they added museums and states that the program takes part in.
What is Museums on Us?
So you’re expecting? Congratulations! A new baby is an exciting event in one’s life (how’s that for understatement of the year!). In preparing for the little one’s arrival you’ll start to think of all of the things you are going to need for the baby as well as the costs! But it doesn’t have to always be expensive.
Here are 9 ways to save on baby costs:
1) Shop at wholesale stores
Places like BJ’s, Costco, and Sam’s Club will be your friend when it comes to shopping for your baby. We love the big boxes of diapers and wipes that we get at BJ’s. They also have great deals on car seats and strollers from time to time. Do your homework on what you expect prices to be of course, but we find that things like diapers are always worth getting at a wholesale store.
2) Reach out to friends, family, and co-workers
If you know anyone else who had a baby before you then talk to them about what they have. Not only can they give you some practical advice on what they bought but odds are they have a ton of stuff that’s relatively new that they would be happy to give you! Baby stuff takes up space and parents love to clear out the clutter. We’ve gotten tons of clothes (it’s great when you can be clothing kids close to free), toys, bassinet, high chair, swing, and much more from friends and family. Sometimes it was to keep while others said just give it back when we’re done. Understand that many items will be used for a baby for a few weeks or months and will still be like new! Heck, there was a time when we had to rush to put our little guy in clothes before he outgrew them. Seriously, reach out to friends, family, and co-workers!
3) Check Craigslist and local Mommy forums for toys and furniture
Remember my point above about parents wanting to get rid of clutter? Same idea here. A parent buys X for their baby, uses it for a couple of months, and now it sits in the garage practically new. We picked up a huge toy chest for $25 that originally cost about $75. It looked like new and the Mom was more than happy to have us take it off her hands. Bargains like that are all over the place! You want to be careful with something like a crib or anything that the baby would be supported in to make sure it’s fully intact and has all the parts. Safety first! Bargains second! (Car seats may not be a good idea to get used as they wear out over time).
This one is a personal choice for sure. But by breastfeeding you don’t have to buy formula! Plus it’s natural and better for your baby. But what about a pump? First, you may not need one, it depends on your situation. Second, you could rent them out if needed or possibly you may have a friend that doesn’t need theirs anymore. My wife bought her pump when her daughter was born. It was well worth the money as it was used for our son and will be used for the little one on the way.
5) Set Up a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account
If your employer has this option you can set up flexible spending money to be taken out of your paycheck pre-tax for child care expenses. If you already have a plan but re having an additional child you can make flexible spending account changes to account for costs on the additional child. You then apply with a receipt to get the money back. The benefit here is this money isn’t taxed! The limit is $5000/year when I last checked. That’s a lot to not be taxed.
6) Set up Health Care Flexible Spending Account
Same idea as dependent care but this can be used for things such as prescription medication and doctor’s visit co-pays. Check with your employer for the contribution limit.
7) Set up a 529 plan for the little one
A 529 plan doesn’t only save for college in the future. Many states offer tax benefits now for money you contribute to a 529 plan.
8 ) Sign up for a baby registry
I’ve heard parents-to-be say that they don’t want a baby shower; that they don’t like the idea of a registry. But the truth is this is one even in your life that people genuinely want to help you start off on the right foot and want to contribute to your child’s well-being! You don’t know who may be planning a surprise shower for you or who wants to send you a gift. One thing they’ll ask about is a registry to get you something you need. You don’t have to get a baby registry. But it could also leave with a TON of onesies, bibs, and clothes as gifts rather than items you really need (nothing wrong with onesies, bibs, and clothes, but there comes a point where it too much). Maybe your aunts and uncles will chip in to get you a crib? Perhaps your college roommates will get together to buy you a car seat? You don’t know! Give them the option. Also, most places that have a registry make it very easy to return gifts. You’re going to find that you have extras you don’t need or items you thought you needed but don’t use. We had a registry and were still fortunate to get two car seats! We returned many a bib that we never used too.
9) Check product forums and sites like Amazon for reviews
If I’m making a big purchase I scour the web for product reviews! I want to know what everyone is saying. I’ll try to get as much information as I can. I want to know the pros and cons of an item from people who are not salespeople in the store. There are a ton of choices out there for expecting parents and it can be a daunting task trying to figure out what is best. Do your research! You may find that for some items spending a little more will save you in the long run. I’m thinking about products like strollers which take a lot of abuse. Amazon Bonus: They now have a program called Amazon Mom that offers discounts and free Amazon Prime for a time.
There you have it! 9 ways to save on your baby costs. Can you think of any more?
The following was written by Mrs FFB. As you may remember, before the school year started we made the decision that my wife wouldn’t return to work (in education) and instead stay home to raise the kids. Below is her rationale. Enjoy!
I remember when I was in college and I had this end term goal of having a career, making my own money, buying my own things and being a “professional” woman. The thing is, ever since I was a little girl, I also always had a dream of being a mom. I never knew or could ever even imagine how these two, opposing aspirations would collide with each other in my future life.
When I was in college I had this assistant teacher position in a nursery/daycare. I remember working the “extended” day which ran until 6pm and feeling so awful for these young children who were still in the daycare center. I was so judgmental of these mothers: “This is wrong!”, “How could they leave their babies here until 6pm!” “A young child should be in their home during this time of the day!” I was real heated about this topic. ….Little did I know at the young age of 19 years old, that this would be my life one day.
So I graduated college and nabbed myself a teaching position for September. I was so excited about this upcoming career and making “good” money (up until that point, I had made minimum wage working the daycare). It turns out that I was pregnant and expecting in January but I didn’t care and wasn’t going to let the pregnancy get in the way of working. I didn’t tell the principal during my interview that I was pregnant and just showed up the day after labor day all prego. Luckily, I wasn’t really showing, but by October there was a buzz going around the school and I finally told the principal but assured him that I would return to work in 6 weeks.
I had no idea what I was in for. When my daughter was born, I fell in love times 1000 and I couldn’t bare the idea of leaving my little baby. So I took off the rest of the school year and returned to work that following September.
That September became the beginning of a long, hard phase in my life: working mom (and for a few years -single, working mom). My daughter was 8 months old and I had a stay at home friend of mine babysit my daughter. The problem with this friend was that she lived really far and out of the way. So I had this awful drive to her home each morning. Not to mention that I barely had any sleep. I remember nights when my daughter would just wake up and stay up- we’d watch Elmopalooza! in the dark wee hours of the morning. Then I was expected to be a completely functional teacher for a very challenging class.
When my daughter turned two I enrolled her in daycare. So this was my life for a number of years: late to work every morning, trying to get a difficult toddler ready to leave the house, driving haphazardly to the daycare, rushing her into the daycare and then running out to my car and racing to get to the school. On top of all this stress, I was going to graduate school and because I was a poor single mom, I worked afterschool too. There were some nights when we didn’t get home until 10 pm. Then we’d have to get up early and do it all over again.
It was very hard and depressing, so not what I thought motherhood would be like. So when I was engaged to be married (with the wonderful FFB, edit) and knew that I wanted to have more children, I vowed and proclaimed that I would stay home at least 2 years with my child due to the trauma I experienced with being a working mom with my daughter.
Four months after we were married, I was pregnant. It was one of the happiest, most pleasant phases of my life. I actually was ok with going to work at this point. My daughter was a bit older, in first grade now and I new that I was taking a long leave of absence. I literally worked up until the day I delivered the baby.
Somewhere during the childcare leave, I started to feel pressured to return to work in September and against my original plans to stay home for at least 2 years, I decided to go back to work… again. It was the year of hell. My son was 8 months old and I put him in daycare. I remember bringing him to the “wobbler” room and thinking about how surreal it all was. 8 babies sitting in little high chairs and wondering about how well a daycare worker, who is paid minimum wage, was going to care for my son. I felt so bad and guilty. Not even 2 weeks into daycare, my son got sick. Then he was sick every single week with some kind of cold virus. Either he was just getting a cold or getting over a cold. I was constantly at the pediatrician’s and at one point he was even on a nebulizer for respiratory distress. It was so horrible to know that I needed to stay home with my sick son but also face the repercussions of being absent from the job. I felt that my son was more important so I would always stay home with him when he was sick but i still found the whole scenario agonizing and extremely distressing. I hated having to call into to work, over and over again as it turns out – 17 times! After a while, i just accepted the fact that maybe I would get fired or get written up or something. I didn’t even care at that point.
I was so spent. I too become sick often and was severely sleep deprived. I sucked at the job cause I was so distraught over my decision to return to work, taking care of a sick baby and lack of sleep. It was just terrible. One morning I was so tired and in such a rush that I crashed our car in the garage! I knew that things were really bad at this point.
So I persevered and made it until the end of the school year and had this long summer vacation to look forward to. I pulled my son out of daycare and enjoyed every second with my children but then we got to the end of August and the anxiety of returning back to work started to over take me.
After a friend of mine made an enlightening comment to me about why wouldn’t I just return to work when my son was older (since my leave permits that), then why wouldn’t I just do that? So I started to really sit on this idea. Why was I so afraid to follow my dream of being a stay at home mom? There is my whole life to work but only like 4-5 years of a child’s life when they really, really need their mothers. So why was i doing this to us? Maybe I wouldn’t have any more kids and I would’ve missed my only chance to do the “right” thing (for us). I missed out on all those years with my daughter and was doing the same damn thing, 7 years later to my son. Now when my daughter was little, I was a single mom and didn’t have a choice. But now I had a husband and our financial situation was solid, so why not just try it? “I could always go back to work the following year,” I pleaded with my husband.
I have to tell you, I am so happy now. I can wake up in the morning. I don’t curse the sun for rising like I used to. I no longer have grim thoughts of despair about the day ahead of me, ” how am I going to make it through the day,” “why can’t it be Saturday,” “I am sooo tired, I can’t do this,” or my favorite - “what if I just quit and not even call or show up?!?” Now I wake up get my daughter ready for school and I don’t have to drag my 23 month old son out in the wee hours of the morning. He gets to bumble around HIS home, eating breakfast at his leisure. We got to the park, we do errands, we make meals, visit other stay at home moms… Life is truly wonderful now! I am so happy and so is my son and daughter! I realize now that when they would give me a hard time in the morning, they were just reacting to being rushed and all the stress I would put on them. Now things are so pleasant.
We had to make a lot of changes to accommodate to one income and we certainly aren’t living the lifestyle I imagined we would’ve been at this point in my life, but we are happy now!
As you know we are living off of one income now. It’s been a bit different but I think we’re doing well so far. One thing we’ve done to help stretch my paycheck is to cut back eating out so often. I didn’t think we ate out too much before the income switch but now I can see that we had a budget leak that could have been more savings for us. And we’ve discovered there are more benefits than saving money!
We were already in the habit of making dinner at home and having family time together. It was the weekends when we usually ate out. Saturdays were probably the worst culprits. We would get up and go to our favorite diner for breakfast. Then as we’d go and take care of things during the day we’d find lunch somewhere. This would also tend to be pretty unhealthy. I’m talking mall food here. Afterward we’d be too beat to make dinner so we go out for dinner or order in. Three meals may not seem like a lot but it would drain my wallet pretty quick! I would usually go to the bank on Friday to take money out for the weekend and often I’d find that I was broke by Sunday!
And that was just eating out on Saturday! I didn’t even get to eating out on Sunday or during the week. Sundays would usually be breakfast and lunch out again. During the week we usually ate in but if we were tired we would easily get food out!
Overall we’re really happy with the fact that we have been eating at home more.
Here are six ways eating out less has made our family better:
- We have more more family time together. When we eat we eat together at the dinner table. We have more time for conversation to talk about our days. Our daughter knows that dinner time is “family dinner.” “A family that eats together stays together.
- We are eating healthier. Sometimes we would eat out at a nice restaurant with great food but most of the time it would be at a chain type restaurant. Yeah, we filled up but the food wasn’t really great for us. Now the food we eat is prepared by us and we know better what the ingredients are.
- We’re setting a better example for our children. By eating together at home our kids see that we don’t have to eat out for every meal and they can learn how food is prepared. This will set them up to take care of themselves later on in life.
- We’re saving money. This is a big one for us. This is Free From Broke after all! It’s tough to put a dollar figure on what we’re saving but I can tell you that I don’t have to go to the ATM twice in one weekend anymore!! We’re finding that although our food shopping expenses have gone up some we still have extra money at the end of the month that we didn’t have when we ate out more often.
- We’re being more efficient. Now when we go food shopping we know that everything we buy on our grocery shopping list will be used. It used to be we would go out to eat and the food we had would spoil. Even when we ate out our meals were so big most of it would go uneaten.
- Our home is a home! It’s hard to explain but our home is more complete now that we eat out less. We’re using our home to it’s fullest extent. All those things we got for our wedding like salad spinners and cooking sets are being used rather than sitting up on shelves. It just feels like this is what it’s supposed to be.
It’s a shame it took our going to one income to take advantage of all of these benefits! Imagine what we could have been saving when we had two incomes?!? Or how much healthier we would have been eating?
We haven’t completely given up eating out. We still have the occasional pizza night. And we’ll get together with friends every now and then at a nice restaurant. But eating out less has definitely benefited our family in more ways than we would have thought!
I hear some people complain that they have to buy expensive things for their kids because it’s what they expect. Some don’t know what they are going to do this holiday season as times are getting tight. How are we going to get little Johnny the latest (insert expensive popular toy here)?!?
Here’s what I say – Don’t!!
Where do your kids get their expectations from? Do they get them from friends? From television? Those are influences but not the real source. Children get their expectations from their parents!!
If you make it a habit to buy your kids expensive gifts for every occasion then you are setting yourself up for financial trouble! The younger you start the worse it will be. If you are already buying expensive items when the child is a toddler what are you going to do when they get older? How about when they are in their teens?
It’s tough to tell kids they won’t be getting all the goodies they are used to. But if your spending is putting you in debt or you don’t have an adequate amount for savings and retirement then you better re-think your holiday spending plans! Make your kids understand that they won’t be getting as much this year.
But all their friends are getting it!! Hmm. Are their friends paying your bills? Are they putting money away for retirement. Are they making sure the mortgage is on time? I didn’t think so. Teach your child to take pride in who they are not what they have. This lesson will be valuable for their entire life!
And you better practice what you preach!! Your child’s expectations come from watching you as well. Don’t think you’re getting that new flat-screen TV or expensive cell phone while they don’t get the goods. Parents must set the example for their kids. We are not our stuff!!
Say that to yourself – We are not our stuff! It’s important. Get this into your mind set and teach it to your children, not just by explaining but by setting the example.
I’m not saying don’t buy any gifts. But watch what you buy for your kids. Yes, they love getting stuff. I know I did as a kid. But what is the child really getting out of it? Are they using and loving the gift? Not just for a day but for months, maybe years? Or did they say it was their favorite for a few days then it joined all their other stuff in the corner? Do your kids really appreciate the gift? If your always buying them expensive stuff then your kids will start to see you a the person who will get them stuff. Not for the person you are! Think about that.
Stop the cycle of consumerism that hurts us in the end. You don’t have to buy your kids everything they want. Let them love you as the great parent you are rather than the person who gets them stuff. They won’t hate you if you don’t get them all the hottest toys. If they say they do then think about the values you are teaching them. We all want to make our kids happy but we need them to grow up responsible too.
As I told you yesterday we’re moving from a two income family to one income. This will take some adjusting on our part. If you’re considering moving from two incomes to one you should check out 9 Tips For Going To One Income from PT Money.
Among the things we have done so far to adjust:
- Changed my 401(k) contributions – I was contributing more than the company match for my 401(k). I’ve now lowered it to the company match. Anything lower than the company match and I would be missing out on free money.
- Roth IRA contributions – We lowered our monthly contribution to our Roth IRA’s. Yes it’s important to save for retirement but for right now we need to make sure we can handle our new budget constraints. If we find we have enough left over we’ll up the amount.
- 529 Plans - Again, it’s important that our kids are able to go to college but having money now is more important. We didn’t eliminate contributions, just lowered them.
- Tax Withholding – With my wife not working I plan to change my tax withholding so I can keep more of my paycheck. We’re waiting to hear back from our accountant for advice on what we should set my withholding for.
- Health Care – Our health care was through my wife’s job. I’ll have to switch it over to my company’s once my wife’s coverage officially ends. This will cost us as my wife had free coverage and I don’t. We had to keep this in mind when we worked out our budget.
- Look for ways to trim expenses – The Starbucks days are coming to an end. And now when we go to Target or BJ’s we’ll go in with a set list of things we need and not buy things we want.
- Work on finding alternate sources of income – We’re keeping an eye out to see if there are any ways to earn some extra money. I’d love to say this site would help support us but blogging isn’t as lucrative as some make it out to be.
- Go through all of our monthly bills/expenses – We made sure to see where our money was going monthly. We didn’t want to build a budget then find out we skipped something that would make us go over. Make sure you check for any automatic contributions or payments you may have set up!
This will be a big adjustment for us but it will be worth it. We’ve saved and planned and budgeted and I think we’ll be fine. A little tighter than we used to be but fine.
Do you have any other ideas?
What is it worth to raise your child? Is it worth giving up an income? For us the answer will be yes. First the first time in a long while my wife will not be heading back to work this September (she works in education). Instead she will be staying home to raise our little guy and our princess (19 months and 8 yrs old respectively). This wasn’t an easy decision for us. Giving up her income will require us to be a lot more frugal and we’ll really have to watch our spending now. Our future savings will also decrease as we won’t have as much to put away. We have a nice cushion already and I think we can do this; it just requires us to change our lifestyle.
Here is why we’re moving to one income:
- Child Care Cost – We were paying a LOT in child care. And yet for all we were paying our son was getting sick way too often, catching bugs from the other kids at day care. Not that the day care was bad; it’s just inevitable that a child gets sick and spreads it around.
- Sick Days – My wife took a lot of sick days during the last school year. As I mentioned the little guy was getting sick a lot. Day care is supposed to help us go to work but it was causing a lot of stress instead. Let’s face it, it’s painful seeing your child sick and not be able to do much about it. And my wife was getting to a point where her sick days were going to start costing her.
- Stress of getting around and making arrangements - Mornings were hectic to say the least in our home. Getting two kids ready and getting to work on time s a big deal. The evening before we had to make sure everything was prepared and laid out for the next day. Then there’s actually dropping the little guy off and picking him up (sitting in traffic, finding a spot, etc…). Ever leave you child with someone else and have him cry for you? It will break your heart! We also had to find arrangements for our daughter after school for a good part of the year. And because I was dropping her off in the morning I was getting to work and leaving later.
- Enjoying raising our children – Last on this list but first in our hearts, the main reason for my wife staying home to raise the kids is because we feel it’s the right thing to do. We feel strongly about being there for our children in their formative years. My wife originally intended to take more time out when the little guy was born but she ended up going back anyway. Now she will take the time off to be there for them.
It’s a shame that in today’s economy having a parent stay at home to raise the kids has to be a difficult decision. When did it switch from a second income being gravy to it being just about necessary?
Stay tuned to see what we have done so far to adjust to one income!
Have you moved from two incomes to one? How is it working for you?
We got back a few days ago from our trip to Virginia Beach. According to Google Maps this was around 380 miles and should take about 7 and 1/2 hours to get there (more on that later). We drove down on Sunday morning and came back Friday evening.
I was originally going to call this our “staycation” but it seems that staycation really means that you stay home and go to local attractions. Still, this was our first driving vacation. In previous years we would fly to our destinations. Since we just bought a new mini-van we figured it would be a great time to drive and save money on plane fare too! Virginia Beach seemed close enough to drive to from NYC and we heard a lot of great things about it.
So we packed up our stuff and put the kids in the car and left Sunday morning. Many, many hours and rest stops later we finally made it to Virginia Beach (we had a major delay at one point but more on that later). It was basically an all day drive for us, what with stops and all. One exciting about the drive was going over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel which spans 20 miles (on the way back we saw what might have been a a Navy Destroyer passing through the channel section). It was also interesting to see all of the different towns and landscapes in the different states (four total: New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia).
Virginia Beach is beautiful! Our hotel really was just two quick blocks to the beach! There was a beautiful boardwalk on the beach to walk along with a separate trail for bikes (we wanted to rent a bike for all of us but we didn’t get a chance). Within two from the beach are places to eat (the four main food sources seem to be seafood, ice cream, waffle/pancakes, and pizza), shops, a fun house, a haunted house, lots of ice cream shops, outdoor performance areas, miniature golf, and more! It was really fun to walk around at night and take in the scenery. In fact one of the performances we saw was the Edgar Winter Group at a bandstand right off the beach (we caught Frankenstein and Free Ride)!
An interesting thing we discovered was that Virginia Beach is close to a Naval base. As a result there are military jets flying routes overhead all day. Living near two airports in Queens, NY I’m used to hearing planes overhead but seeing military jets is different. The last time I saw a military jet flying was on September 11th over the Empire State Building so it brought back some somber memories. Once I got used to that though it was pretty awesome seeing the jets flying. At times we would see three together flying in close formation. If we ever go back we’ll have to tour the Naval base!
Funny story…One day my daughter wanted to go to the pool rather than go to the beach. She couldn’t quite grasp that we didn’t drive 400 miles to go to a small hotel pool! Well the beach won out. As I was playing with her, jumping waves I saw a fin a little ways off. I noticed it was a curved fin. I told I thought I saw a dolphon but wasn’t sure. She got worried thinking it could be a shark! A few minutes later I saw for sure two dolphins swim to the surface. Other people noticed it too. In all there were about four dolphins swimming around and playing a little ways off from us. We saw a couple jump out of the water and twist. We must have watched them swim around on and off for the next hour! At one point, holding my daughter up to see the dolphins, I asked her if she would have rather stayed at the pool. Begrudgingly she said no, that it was much more fun at the beach. Ha! On a similar note, I had seen dolphin watching boat rides advertised for about $20 a person. We saved a bundle by just going to the beach instead!
As well as the beach and the local scenery we also went to the Virginia Beach Aquarium and spent a day in Colonial Williamsburg. The little princess loved seeing all of the old time building and costumes.
Remember how I said Google Maps said the trip should be 7-8 hours? I’ve discovered that with two kids we have to add at least 30% to the time listed! Coming home took much longer with stops and traffic entering NYC.
The trip was a lot of fun and I would definitely consider going back to Virginia Beach but it seems for us every silver cloud has a lead lining. While driving down there we got into a car accident. We got rear ended on the highway. Our brand new car now has a dent in the front and a smashed in rear door. No one was hurt and the car runs but it really hurts to have a new car get beat up like that. The accident was the other person’s fault and insurance should cover the repairs but it did put an ill feeling over the trip. We even considered going back home after the accident but we’re glad we went through with the trip.
In all I think we saved money by not flying off someplace. We certainly spent money but it was less than we would have flying to a Caribbean locale.
Accident aside, we had fun and I think we have more driving trips in our future. As you can see from the Frugal Things To Do series there’s so much to see and do in this country! Even a couple of days before the big trip we went out to Sesame Place and a couple of weeks earlier we went to the Bronx Zoo.
Summer’s here! How are you going to spend your time? Will you go to the beach? Maybe a pool or a lake is more your speed? Maybe go to the park for a picnic? How about camping? Perhaps you’ll go for a bike ride or maybe a nice hike through the woods on a historic trail?
If you live in or near New York State then you have access to all of these activities and more in New York’s State Parks!
A great way to take advantage of all that NY State Parks have to offer is to purchase the NYS Empire Passport. For $65 you get access to most of NY State’s parks and facilities. Consider this: parking is easily $8 for Jones beach. That means the pass pays for itself with about 7 visits to the beach! But what’s great is the pass can be used for so much more. In fact it’s good from April 1st until March 30th of next year. Using it 7 times over the year is easy!
My wife has the summer off as she works in education. This gives her all summer to go to beaches such as Jones Beach or Robert Moses State Park. We worked it out a couple of years ago and the Empire Passport easily saves us money! You can also use the passport to pay for parking for concerts at the Jones Beach Theater (park in an adjacent lot and walk over, it will also be easier to leave after the concert)
Outside of summer beaches we’ve also gone to Harriman State Park, Bear Mountain State Park, Fahnestock State Park, and Valley Stream State Park. Harriman and Bear Mountain aren’t too far from the Woodbury Commons shopping center where you can find some frugal deals.
I’ve gotta say, in putting this article together I’m seeing how much we can do and what we’ve been missing out on! I can’t wait to get out with the family again!
You can order an Empire Passport online. The site says it could arrive in 3-4 weeks but we got ours in a week. You can also visit a state park office and buy it direct. Check online to see which parks sell the pass directly. The quicker you get yous the sooner you can enjoy all that NYS Parks have to offer!
How will you use your NYS Empire Passport?
This article is #14 of the Summer Savings Series from the Money Life Network. Check out the article on the MLN site to see how you can participate in the Summer Savings Series and possibly win a $100 Amazon gift certificate! You can see tip #13 at My Investing Blog. Article #10 will be at Milk Your Money tomorrow!