Save Big Time on Kids’ Holiday Presents: Why Shopping Gently Used Makes Dollars and Sense

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Okay, maybe the thought of gifting your children previously owned toys and gear is greeted with an eye roll or — let’s be honest — disgust. I get it; I used to be that way too. Using hand-me-down clothes and older siblings’ baseball cleats is one thing. But, what would I be saying with a used gift? That my kid isn’t important enough, not valuable enough, to receive a brand-spankin’ new toy? I mean, what kind of parent does that?

But then came private preschool bills (for two — my oldest are twins), a move to a state with a significantly higher cost of living, college savings funds, life insurance, health insurance, you-name-it insurance premiums, and then the birth of our third child.  Over the course of these events, I wised up. (more…)

Teaching Life Skills: Money Management 101

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After denying my 6-year old’s request to download yet another $10 book onto his Kindle, he replied, “But, Mom, you have lots of money in the bank.” At that moment, my heart started pounding and my face turned red: Kids who take money for granted push my buttons. It was at that moment that I realized we weren’t doing a very good job teaching our boys the value of money. (more…)