Kids And Money: Things My Children Have Learned

It is so fun watching kids learn, isn’t it?  Our kids are nine and seven, and they learn new things each day.  Even during the summer, they learn lots of new things.  As a personal finance blogger, seeing kids and money connect is satisfying to watch. My wife talk about money with them and explain many of the basics, but many things they figure out on their own.

We went on a recent camping trip, and it stood out how much they’ve learned. Of course, many of these things they wouldn’t be able to verbalize, but as a parent, it hit me that they are building an understanding.  Here are a few money lesson I have seen our kids figure out.

Work For Your Money

Our kids have enjoyed visiting the park stores this summer.  When camping, many campgrounds have small stores.  They often sell ice cream, candy, and basic supplies.  Our kids love going in their and want to buy small items.  They’ve figured out that if they do some extra work around the campground, they can sometimes earn money.  Picking up sticks for starting fires is a popular activity.  We’ve not run out so far this summer!

Save For Costly Items

Our kids typically earn a dollar apiece for their work around the campsite.  Sometimes this is enough for what they want.  Other times, they want something that costs more.  So, they’ve learned the concept of saving up for bigger items.

Better Items (Sometimes) Cost More

Kids have learned that not all candy costs the same. Sometimes, the premium stuff (or what they consider premium) is more than other stuff.  They learn to make choices.  They’re also learning to differentiate and also to form their own opinions.

Working Together Can Pay Off

The kids went to one store where small bags of candy were a dollar each.  Then, they saw that they were two for $1.50.  They figured out that if they agreed to each get a bag, they would pay less.  Seeing each of them walk away with that extra quarter was pretty cool!

You Have To Make Choices

That first time the kids walked into a store with some money in their hands, their eyes sparkled!  Oh, the possibilities!  But it didn’t take them long to realize that they had to make choices.  They didn’t have enough for the haul they wanted.  It’s amusing to see them walk around and discuss their options.  Picking out the right treat is serious business for kids!

Look For A Sale Sticker

They were pretty excited once when they came back having got an item on sale.  A toy that was normally $2 was on sale for $1.  And, they didn’t have to do anything special like pool their money.  They learn to watch out for sales stickers.  If it’s something they like, they realize they can get more for their money.

You Pay For Convenience

Our kids love candy bars.  Of course they do!  But, they know that their favorite candy bar isn’t always the same price.  It can be $1 in one store, $1.25 in a vending machine, and up to $2 in a park store.  Why?  Much of it has to do with convenience.  Park stores charge more because they’re offering the convenience to buy things without having to leave.  The kids have learned that if they want something there, they may be paying more.  They are figuring out that sometimes waiting and buying their candy ‘in town’ is a more economical option.  Of course, sometimes they choose to pay more, because they want candy now!

Taxes Suck

The first few times that my kids had to pay sales tax was eye opening.  It really didn’t make sense why they would hand over $2 for a $1.50 item, and only get 41 cents back.  Where did the other nine cents go?  Sales tax!  They’re now getting to the point where they expect it.  But, they still don’t like it!  Since nobody likes paying taxes, I guess they’ve figured out that lesson early! Kids and money lessons don’t always leave smiles on their faces!

It’s really cool to see our kids learn about money.  We’ve started making sure to bring them a few dollars on each trip.  To me, it’s an investment in their money education.

Readers, how do your kids learn about money?  Do you have any kids and money learning stories to share?  Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below.  Thanks for reading.

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

9 Small Frugal Ideas That Add Up To Big Savings

If you want to be more frugal, join the club!  There are always ways to save money.  But, where to start?  Many people think that frugality involves cutting big costs.  While this can be the case, it’s not always necessary.  You can save money by taking on small actions.  Here are some small frugal ideas that can add up to big savings.

Don’t Wash Clothes If They Don’t Need To Be Washed

Many times people throw everything into the dirty clothes basket.  This doesn’t always have to be automatic.  Many shirts, pants, dresses, and jeans can be worn multiple times.  This will keep the clothes lasting longer.  Plus, you will save in reduced costs for laundry.

Drink Water.  From The Tap!

Are you paying money for drinks?  Coffee? Soda?  Even bottled water?  You can save money by drinking regular old tap water.  Now, you don’t have to cut every purchase out, but even starting with half can make a big difference in your budget.

Use Rags Instead of Paper Towels

When we get new dishrags or towels, we keep the old ones for rags.  These are great to use instead of paper towels.  Every sheet of paper towel you don’t use is one less you have to buy.  Even a few rolls per year can cost a few bucks.  This won’t make you right, but hey, every bit helps, right?

Make Your Own Coffee

If you have a coffee habit, which I do, you can save money by making your own.  I actually spend a little more on extras like real half-and-half, but I still save tons compared to buying it at a coffee shop.

Pack Lunches

If you love going out for lunch, you’re probably spending big bucks to do so.  You can still go out, but mix in some packed lunches.  This can save a few bucks per week, which adds up to a few utility bills if you think about it.

Use Your Library

I love our library.  I rent books, movies, and music.  They have expanded their electronic resource catalog, so I can get books on my Kindle without even leaving the house.  They even have museum passes that you can use.  Check out what your library has to offer.  You can almost certainly save some money.

Look For Free Activities

If you love to get out and go, that’s great.  But, how much is this costing you?  There’s good news.  You can go out and do many different things with no cost at all.  Communities have fairs, festivals, and many different activities.  Look around social media or your community website to find out what’s going on.  There are probably many fun and free things for people of all ages.

Buy Stuff On Sale Whenever You Can

This seems like a no brainer, but hear me out.  Start looking at things you buy and figure if you can get it on sale.  Many people pay full price for things when they need it.  Ask if you can wait until it’s on sale.  Is it even on sale at all?  Can you get it somewhere else?  You don’t have to go too crazy here, but if you can wait to buy that pair of jeans until you know they’ll be on sale at the event a store has every year, consider waiting?

Get Free Entertainment

Are you paying for video games?  Why not play free games that are available for anyone to download?  If you’re paying for music, why not get a free streaming app and listen that way instead?  The downfall with many free things like this is that you either have to watch ads or listen to them, but that can be a small price to pay for some money in your pocket, don’t you think?

Those were just some of my ideas.  What I like about these is that, for the most part, they’re easy.  Most people give up on frugality because it’s too hard.  That can come from taking on too much all at once.  With the tips above, you can get started and start making a difference today.

Readers, what are some of your favorite small frugal ideas?

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

Affordable Web Hosting Hacks You Can’t Afford To Ignore

It’s time to bring your business idea to life, and one of the most important aspects of that is having a powerful online presence. That being said, you also want to stick to your startup budget, which means choosing affordable web hosting. The good news is that there are a few hosting hacks you can employ.

From pricey hosting add-ons to the different types of hosting services, there is much to consider. The following questions can serve as a quick guide that may save you a few hundred dollars.

What Type of Web Hosting Service Do You Need?

Choosing the right hosting service is a very essential factor is an essential element to launching your new online business under budget. There are plenty of web hosting services to choose from, but not all are created equal, and cost-effective. Three types of hosting services to research are:

  1. Shared Hosting 

Shared hosting is the most common of all website hosting services. However, this doesn’t make it the best. Yes, shared hosting is the most affordable, but it is important to be honest about your site needs, like bandwidth, disk space, control permissions, and more.

The biggest advantage of shared hosting is the price tag. You can launch your site on a shared server for as little as $5 per month. The disadvantage is that you’ll be sharing a server with hundreds of other websites. This can cause performance issues, like slow page load times, and even server downtime.

  1. Cloud Hosting

 Another web hosting service that has value, and relatively new, is cloud hosting. This is exactly what you are probably picturing, hosting services via the cloud. Cloud hosting works by drawing from a number of cloud servers to act as one. This has big time advantages, such as scalability, enhanced server security, and affordability.

The cost of cloud hosting used to be quite expensive, but since its inception, the cost has reduced significantly. If you know your business is going to grow fast, the scalable nature of cloud hosting may be worth the price to avoid long-term site growth issues.

  1. Dedicated Hosting

 Lastly, you can utilize the power of having your very own server with a dedicated hosting service. This is of course an ideal option if your soon-to-launch business has a large built-in following eager to visit your website. You will probably crash a shared server with thousands of people visiting your website daily after launch.

A dedicated server gives you more control with root permissions and also keeps your site performing at optimal levels. The downside is cost. You can expect to pay $100 at the very minimum to secure a dedicated server for your website, so be sure to evaluate all server types.

Do You Really Need Those Add-On Features?

If you have already done a bit of web hosting research, you probably ran into the long list of add-on features hosting providers serve up. These add-ons can be costly and eat away at your budget quickly. The good news is that you probably don’t need most of them.

For example, add-ons like multiple Microsoft 365 accounts. Do you even have five people that need access to Microsoft 365? And why not just use Gmail instead? Sure it’s good to have a domain name email, but there are hosting plans that include this in the price.

Other add-ons like SEO or marketing can all be added to your website later via WordPress plugins for free. To save you time and money, skip the add-ons you don’t need right away, because you can always get them later.

Should You Purchase the Long-Term Hosting Plan?

This is a question that you’ll ponder prior to purchasing your business’ website hosting plan. Should you get the long-term plan? Absolutely! Are you planning on being in business for only 12 months? Probably not, and the bonus is that you can save a truckload by looking toward the future.

For example, a three-year plan can be as much as 60 percent off the regular price. This depends on what hosting provider you choose to partner with of course. And do a bit of comparison research too, because often times the three year plan is the same price as the two-year plan.

Think long-term for your new business, and you’ll probably have more growth and success. Do a bit of shopping around and take your time as well, since there are always seasonal deals and promo codes out there you can find and use to save even more money.

Stay Under Budget When Choosing Your Hosting Service

Web hosting is more affordable than ever before, especially as new technology surfaces, like cloud hosting. This can push the needle down on prices, making it very cost-effective to purchase the perfect website hosting service for your business. Think about what you really need and don’t forget you will have success, so prepare for it.

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

10 Ways To Improve Your Outlook On Life

It’s hard to slow down these days.  There’s always something to do, and ten more after that.  If you feel like your day ends before it begins, you’re not alone.  But this isn’t healthy.  Stress increases your chances of heart attacks and creates other health risks.  But what do you do?  The first step is to slow down.  Once you do that, you can improve your outlook on life.  After that, you might find some of the things that are keeping you so busy aren’t as important as you think.

Here are some tips to get started.  These ten ideas can help slow you down.  Once you do that, you may find that you will improve your outlook on life.

Focus On Family

Your immediate and extended family are important. They will be there for you.  And, also, they need you to be there for them.  Have you played with your kids lately?  When was the last time you saw your nieces or nephews?  Even picking up the phone and checking in on a family member you haven’t talked to is important.  Family comes first.  Make an effort to let your loved ones know that they are just that.  Those connections are important and can ground you to a happier place.

Exercise

Take a walk.  Or, if you’re up for it, a jog.  Maybe a bike ride.  Whatever you do isn’t as important as getting out there and doing something.  Your heart needs to work.  The chemical release you’ll get after you finish a workout can help you feel better.  If you haven’t exercised in a while, start small.  But the important word there is to start.  You’ll feel better.

Enjoy Nature

The world around us is a beautiful place.  Many times we miss that.  We get in the car and go where we need to do.  We rush around. When all that is done, we never take a chance to look around and enjoy the world around us. Get out there and do just that!  Find a beach.  Go to a park.  Enjoy a sunrise or sunset.  When we take time to enjoy nature, we realize what a big place the world is.  That perspective is cool.

Turn Off Technology

Phones and tablets and satellite radio keeps us connected.  That’s a good thing, but it’s also overwhelming.  Many people stay so focused on all of the information those things deliver that they miss out on what’s right in front of us!  I’m often guilty of this. If you put down the technology for a while, you’ll pay attention to people and things right in front of you.  You’ll find that the information you think you need can wait.

Save Money

One thing that keeps us going is money.  We try to earn it so that we can spend it.  This cycle keeps us busy, that much is for sure!  But it often takes over our lives.  One thing you can do to counter that is to save money.  When you have savings, you won’t need to worry as much about how you’ll pay for things.  The comfort of knowing that money is where you need it can free your mind and your time for other things.  Start saving money today and it’ll pay off tomorrow.

Read A Book

The world around us can stress us out and overwhelm us.  One way to get away from that is to enjoy the other worlds out there. And there are so many!  Getting lost in a good book can take you away from your worries.  Once you put the book down, you’ll often find that the things you are worried about aren’t as bad as you think.  Opening your imagination will stimulate your brain.

Catch Up With An Old Friend

How many people do you think of that you no longer talk to?  Why? Because we don’t have enough time?  That’s the common excuse.  Well, guess what?  You’ll never get more time than you have today!  So, stop using that excuse and call an old friend.  Catch up.  Reminisce.  Laugh.  It’ll make you feel better.  If you want to improve your outlook on life, this is an easy one!

Try Something New

Taking on a new challenge is a big opportunity for many.  We often get stressed because we’ve built walls around our lives.  These walls keep us doing the same things and getting stuck in the same patterns.  Breaking free of that is important.  There’s no better way to do that than by taking on a new challenge.  Try something you haven’t done before.  Start a blog.  Learn a new language.  Take a class.  You’ll open up parts of your brain that are waiting to be used.  This can give you excitement and stimulation and improve your outlook overall.

Worship

I’m definitely guilty of saying that there isn’t time to go to church.  That’s one thing that’s different from previous generations.  In the old days, going to church was something you did, and if you ran out of time, something else got pushed aside.  Somehow we’ve reversed that.  If you, like me, are guilty of this, put some time to worship on your calendar, and stick to it!  Attend a service.  Being reminded that there are higher powers that have put us here for a reason can help put things in a vastly different perspective.

Cross Something Off A To-Do List

Everybody’s got a list of things they need to get done.  How many of those things have been on your list for a long time?  You may not realize it, but those things weigh your mind down.  They’re always there.  Nagging.  Waiting.  Making you worry and causing you stress.  So, find something that you have wanted to do, and do it!  Find the time.  Get it done.  Cross it off.  Then, enjoy the reduced stress you now have from accomplishing a goal.

These are just some of my ideas on how to reduce stress and improve your outlook on life.  We only get one chance at this.  Many people always look toward tomorrow as a chance to get started.  But, we only get so many tomorrow’s.  They aren’t endless.  Make today and tomorrow and each day after that count.  Every day we put off doing things to improve ourselves is a day we’ll never get back.    Time itself is limitless, but our time is not.  Get started.  Improve your outlook on life and guess what happens next? You’ll lead a better and happier and maybe even longer life!

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.