What Are Your Kids Gift Expectations?

What are your kids' gift expectations?

I hear some people complain that they have to buy expensive things for their kids because it’s what they (the kids) 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!!

Continue Reading

Give a Smile to the Kids on Your List – Top Holiday Gifts Under $75 for Kids – 2014


The holiday shopping season is upon us. 

Now is the time to find the perfect present for those special people on your list.

While there are plenty of ideas for gifts under $25, we recognize that sometimes a $25 present isn’t going to cut it.

For kids in your family, a gift of $75 or under may pack more return (and excitement) than a smaller gift.

With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of presents under $75 that will thrill every child on your list, from baby to teen.

Keep in mind that with sales, you can nab many of these items for less than their retail price.  Amazon, especially, often discounts their merchandise, so that might be the site to check first before you head to the toy store.

The Top Holiday Gifts Under $75

Continue Reading

6 Personal Finance Books to Give for the Holidays (or Read Yourself)

Personal finance books for the holidays.

It feels good to give, doesn’t it?

But most of the things we tend to give to family and friends have a short-term effect.  They get a gift, consume it, and then it’s on to the next thing.

That’s cool and all but would it be great to give a gift that could really impact a person’s life?  

When I started getting my head straight about my personal finances books were the place to go.  The internet didn’t have as many useful sites about the subject.

But you know what?  Even with all of the information out there I still turn to books for information.

Below are some great books that I’ve either read or have heard so much about they are on my reading wish-list.  Take a look and consider checking these out.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on the books and what your favorite personal finance book is in the comments.

Oh, and you don’t have to give one of these to someone else for i to be a gift.  This could be a gift to yourself too!

Here are some of the best personal finance books that would make great gifts:

Continue Reading

Know Your Spending Triggers To Change Your Financial Behavior

Know your spending triggers to change your financial behavior.

Many financial experts advocate knowing your financial personality. 

Investopedia defines five major financial personalities: big spenders, savers, shoppers, debtors, and investors.  While these financial tests can be entertaining, most people fall into a several categories or none of the categories.

What can be more beneficial than learning what broad category you fit into is to identify your spending triggers and how to deal with them.

For instance, I am generally frugal.

I hang up my clothes rather than dry them in the dryer, my car has over 100,000 miles and is 8 years old, and I barter for services that I need rather than paying for them.

My one spending weakness is food, specifically going out to eat.

Generally, my desire to dine out is motivated by stress.  If I have had a busy or chaotic day, there is nothing I want more than to sit in a restaurant, relax, and have someone cook and clean up the mess.  To combat this trigger, I try to find other ways to relax, but I also prepare freezer meals so food is already prepared on a crazy day.  If I still want the dining out experience, I have learned to prepare ahead by buying deal certificates to our favorite restaurant so we can dine out for less.

By taking these steps, my family has curbed our dining out excursions from several times a week to once or twice a month.  I recognized my spending trigger and found solutions for avoiding it or ways to dine out for less.

4 Big Spending Triggers You Need to Know!

Continue Reading

Being Thankful Works Wonders for You, Including Your Money

Practicing gratitude improves your relationship with money.

It’s easy to lose focus when it comes to your money.

When you’re struggling to get your bills paid, stressing over retirement, worried about the kids paying for college — it’s a lot weighing on you and it can bring you down.

Even if you’re doing well you can lose focus.

With more money comes more desire for more stuff — bigger house, nicer car, wider TV…you know the drill.

That’s why gratitude is so important.

You need to appreciate what you have even if it doesn’t seem like a lot.

How Practicing Gratitude Will Improve Your Relationship With Money (and Other Aspects of Your Life Too!)

Continue Reading

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”:

Continue Reading

7 Ways Your Finances are Scarier Than Zombies

7 ways your finances are scarier than zombies.

Thanks to the Walking Dead zombies are more popular than ever this Halloween.

You might even say they’re cool.

But do you know what’s scarier than zombies?  Facing yet another Halloween with your financial demons!

Here are 7 Ways Your Finances are Scarier Than Zombies…Read on…IF YOU DARE!!!

Continue Reading