I’m Sick Of Hearing It’s For The Kids – Stop Spoiling Them

Stop spoiling the kids.

Ever run across someone that gives their children everything?

All the latest clothes, electronic gadgets, extracurricular activities, lavish weddings, education, you name it they have it.

And then you find out the parents are struggling to keep their heads above water financially.  (Note: the parents aren’t always in financial jeopardy but I find it’s a common theme.)

Not “we’re just getting by.”  No.

I mean one month they don’t pay cable, another month they miss the electric bill; the rent gets paid late; always something and always “it’s for the kids!”

When you talk to these people they take great pride that they provide for their kids.  They insist that their kids have the best even when it’s out of the parent’s means.

The problem though, comes when the kids start to expect a certain lifestyle with nothing in return (read: they’re spoiled).  When you get stuff just for asking without having to work for it then the stuff you get starts to lose value.  That may sound like it doesn’t make sense but it does.  When you keep getting things you don’t worry about what happens to it.  Why should you?  If you break that new toy or lose it you’ll just ask for another one or for whatever else is new out there.  It’s a cycle that builds a certain negative character in a child that they take to their adult life.

Of course the other problem is the parents that can’t afford the lifestyle they are creating for their kids.  It creates debt which creates stress.  And somewhere down the line it has to stop and the child is left wondering what they did wrong that they can’t have their cushy lifestyle anymore.

Here are 6 Excuses/Reasons I’ve Heard Regarding “It’s for the 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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Second Marriage? Have a Financial Date Before You Tie the Knot

With a divorce rate that is commonly quoted as being 50%, second marriages are common. 

However, according to the Wall Street Journal, many experts cite the divorce rate of second marriages to be 40%.

Second marriages come with more baggage — ex-spouses, stepchildren who may or may not like the new step parent, and, of course, financial complications including spousal support and first family obligations, just to name a few.

It’s no secret that money disagreements can be one of the top causes of divorce.

According to a study conducted by Jeff Dew of Utah State University, “Couples who reported disagreeing about finance once a week were over 30 percent more likely to get divorced than couples who reported disagreeing about finances a few times a month” (The New York Times).

So how do those in second marriages, who perhaps bring more money issues and baggage into their marriage with them than they did their first marriage, avoid financial conflict?

One strategy is to have a financial meeting before they marry (and some may argue before they even get engaged).

Make sure to consider these financial topics before that next marriage:

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Ten Things The Walking Dead Can Teach You About Life and Money

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You don’t really believe a zombie apocalypse will come to fruition, do you?  [Well, not really…]

But you may be one of the millions that loves the AMC show The Walking Dead.

Like most great series you get more than just entertainment from The Walking Dead.  If you pay attention you can learn a lot of great lessons that can help you, even without a zombie-pocolypse.  (This is a continuation of our previous article on our site, 10 Life Lessons from the Television Series “The Walking Dead”.)

Here are ten things to learn from The Walking Dead about life and money:

1. When It Comes to Survival Tools, Simple Is Better

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Is the YOLO (You Only Live Once) Mentality Dangerous for Your Finances?

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When you are young and of limited means, access to experiences can be few and far between — at least without debt.

But to some, experiences are so important that they’ll head off on vacation in spite of mounds of debt.

One of the underlying characteristics of the “You Only Live Once” (YOLO) philosophy is that you should enjoy yourself now, before it’s too late.  What happens if you fritter away all your young and healthy years without truly living, only to find that your golden years are taken up by infirmity?  All that money you scrimped to build a nest egg just goes to paying medical bills.

YOLO says that it’s ok to be comfortable carrying a certain amount of debt, as long as you are pursuing great life experiences and enjoying the lifestyle you want to live.  In some cases, it’s even ok to incur more debt in order to travel the world — as long as you can handle the payments.

How YOLO Can Become Problematic for Your Finances

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5 Strategies for Keeping the Peace When Parents Move Back in with Their Adult Children

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As much as parents love their children, some parents prefer that their grown children fly the coop and don’t come back to live. 

Having adult children move back in with you can be challenging and often requires that you establish firm boundaries and ground rules so both generations can live in peace under the same roof.

While much has been written about the boomerang generation, not much has been said about the reverse trend–parents moving in with their adult children thanks to an inadequate retirement or health problems.

If you foresee that there may be a day when your parents could potentially move in with you, it is important to begin preparing now, years before it may actually happen.

Here are some strategies to help keep the peace when parents move back:

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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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