Alicia Kellebrew, certified financial professional with The Village Family Service Center, talks about Family Finances, on North Dakota Today.
Morgan Almer, certified financial professional at The Village Family Service Center, was on North Dakota Today talking about Student Loan Debt.
Think back to a time when having an extra $1,000 would have made a major difference in the circumstance you were facing. How would the situation have played out differently if you had $1,000 to draw upon? Could you have avoided using a credit card and paying interest, taking out a payday loan, or having to borrow from family or friends? Whatever the situation, when you need to borrow money for unplanned expenses, it usually costs you in more ways than one.
The standard recommendation is to have a liquid savings account containing three to six months of your monthly expenses. Determine this amount by tracking what you spend. Don’t forget about your periodic expenses-the expenses that occur throughout the year, but not necessarily on a monthly basis. Periodic expenses include auto/home maintenance, gift buying, traveling, propane, medical deductibles, etc.
Three to six months of expenses in savings can feel like a very lofty goal for most families. However, having this amount in savings will protect your household from a tailspin if faced with periods of unexpected unemployment, seasonal income shortages, medical expenses, and major repairs.
Adequate savings provides you with a stable financial foundation. Just as a house is only as stable as the foundation it is built on, so are your finances.
Electronic Couponing and Deals
You can save money using the Internet through a variety of websites and mobile apps. Here are some of our favorites.
All of the websites listed here are also available as apps.
• Freebies2deals.com – Created by a mom from Utah with established connections to the best freebies and deals each day. She gives great advice and also matches up store coupons with manufacturers for you. This is a great time-saver for people who want to get the deals of a crazy couponer without spending the time.
• Zulily.com – Deals on clothing for babies and kids
• 1saleaday.com – Various products on sale
• Woot.com – Daily deals
• Retailmenot.com – Coupon codes and deals
• eBates.com – Just about every online retailer is on this site. Once you have an account, you can search by product or retailer, find discount codes, and receive cash back on all your purchases. You get a free $10 gift card to the place of your choice just for signing up!
• GeoQpon – Coupons you can scan at the register
• Shopkick – Find coupons and earn points toward gift cards
• Smartphonemate – Earn credit at Amazon.com just by having the app open on your phone ($3/month) or tablet ($5/month)
• Gasbuddy – Lists all gas stations in the area, along with prices. You can update the prices as well and earn entries for a free gift card
With school starting up again the wallet is opened up all too frequently. You have the regular supplies such as pencils, papers, books, folders and backpacks. It then goes to registration fees for this and that. And then can come the “big one” depending upon the child. Clothes.
I had two boys who were not in any way shape or form up on the latest trends – nor required a closet full of clothes and shoes. It was typically me trying to force them into some new jeans because they had so many holes from wear…(and skateboarding falls.)
The idea of giving your child a “set amount,” as Mary Hunt discusses in her article below, and letting them deal with the consequences is a fabulous tool to start them at a young age learning about setting goals and handling their money.
Good luck to everyone as another school year approaches.
The Joys of Raising Financially Confident Teens
By Mary Hunt on 08/15/13
Dear Mary: I just read the letter from 13-year-old Abby about teaching kids financial responsibility.
I did this with my daughter when she was just a little older than Abby. Prior to that, she wanted name brand jeans, clothing, shoes…whatever she thought all of the “cool” kids had.
She wouldn’t step into a thrift shop or discount store. It was a constant battle until I decided that she would have a clothing/necessity allowance.
I gave her a set amount of money each month to cover those expenses. If there was an event coming up she would need to save ahead to pay for whatever she needed, including her prom gown and all the accessories.
It worked wonderfully. She learned to sit down and figure out what she really needed and then budget for it.
She began shopping at thrift stores and discount stores to save money. She learned to make long range plans. She still dressed fashionably but did it by stretching her money to buy what she needed. It was a valuable lesson that I wished I’d started earlier! –Margaret, email
Dear Margaret: The longer I live the more convinced I am that the only way to train children to be financially confident in ways that will extend far into their adult years, is to give the ability to make their own independent financial decisions while they are still young—then requiring them to live with the consequences of those decisions, good or bad. Those lessons, as you may have experienced, can be harder on the parents than the kids because we so want to bail our kids out to make sure they suffer no pain. Suffering the consequences for the decisions we make is the best way to make sure we don’t repeat those mistakes in the future. I applaud your decision to give our daughter the opportunity and the mandate to manage money while she was still over the safety net of your home.
Dear Mary: I have a question with credit cards and electronic devices. I am not sure what would be best. As a general rule, I completely agree with you about no credit cards for kids. However this generation of modern electronics has me in a quandary. My daughter (age 14) has earned enough money to purchase her own eReader (I am so looking forward to fewer books cluttering her room!). In order to use the device to download things she must have a credit card on file. She is a responsible young lady and I have no fear she will abide by rules I set. Thanks for your advice on the best way to handle this situation. –Kathline K., email
Dear Kathline: I suggest that you add your daughter to your existing credit card as an “Authorized User.” The company will issue a credit card on your account with her name on it and she will have full access to charge to the account, without any legal responsibility for repaying the credit card balance.
And she benefits in another way: As an authorized user, your good credit history will begin show up in her credit file. Even at her tender age, she will begin to build a good credit record by piggybacking onto your credit history. Sounds like nothing but good, doesn’t it? There are potential downsides for you the credit account holder and for her, an authorized user.
As an authorized user she could go crazy and charge up the account to the limit, without you knowing. She would have no legal obligation to repay the debt and you would have no recourse to make her. Her potential downside is that your credit behavior as the account holder could take a dive sending all kinds of negative information to her account. While these possibilities exist, I would say the chances of things turning sour would be slim to none for you and your daughter. Congratulations for having raised a your daughter to be responsible enough to have earned your trust in this way. I wish you both the best.
This column The Joys of Raising Financially Confident Teens is posted at Mary Hunt’s Everyday Cheapskate blog.
A recent poll on the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) website revealed that 57 percent of respondents misunderstand the purpose of a budget, viewing it as a restriction on their spending, when in fact, just the opposite is true.
“A budget actually provides the structure through which a person can be in charge of his or her spending, directing the dollars to their best use,” said Gail Cunningham, spokesperson for the NFCC. “Spending should be a reflection of a person’s priorities, but without a plan, the priorities often get pushed aside in favor of the tyranny of the urgent.”
The reluctance to construct a budget suggests that people may be afraid to face the financial facts, choosing instead to allow the most pressing need or want of the moment to make the decision for them. Instead, the NFCC reminds consumers that a spending plan includes the following benefits:
• Creates a thoughtful awareness of spending;
• Relieves financial stress;
• Increases financial security;
• Helps structure a plan for the future;
• Allows planning for large purchases;
• Assists in meeting financial goals;
• Frees up money to designate for savings;
• Uncovers money available to invest;
• Allows preparation for emergencies;
• Avoids late payments through scheduling timely payments;
• Finds hidden money for debt repayment, and
• Potentially raises the credit score.
Instead of being restrictive, a budget often creates more money due to smart spending choices. If financial freedom is the goal, a spending plan is the tool that starts the process. “It’s a shame that budgeting has a negative connotation. Everyone needs a spending plan, but when times are tough, a budget is even more critical,” continued Cunningham. “When every penny counts, it’s important to count every penny.”
The actual poll question and answer results are below:
I consider a monthly budget to be…
A. A restriction on how I choose to spend my money = 57%
B. A freedom allowing me to spend my money as I have chosen = 43%
Every summer, a new crop of students graduate from high school, and their parents get ready to release them into the wild. Many of these students are planning to continue their schooling, so their parents dutifully teach them a number of useful survival skills—completing financial aid applications, choosing a school, doing their own laundry, and other important things they need to know to survive in the wilderness of college.
While these skills are vital, the financial skills necessary for survival tend to be neglected. Financial survival skills should be at the top of the list—right up there with learning how to do laundry and how to cook. If you ignore teaching your children financial skills, it could make their first years after high school pretty rough, and have financial consequences that could last well into their adulthood. Add the following financial skills to your list of things to teach your children before they leave the nest.
Budgeting. Very few families talk about money. Many people think money management is a skill our children will naturally pick up on their own. Take it from me, it isn’t. We learn how to manage our money either through education and positive role models, or we learn through making mistakes. And some money mistakes can take years to recover from.
Basic money management for your soon-to-be college student means creating a budget based on realistic expenses, and setting limits on discretionary expenses like pizza and beer, I mean soda. To be successful, fledglings have to understand the difference between wants and needs. As you help your child prepare a budget, include putting money into a savings fund for emergencies; you never know when their 1998 Toyota Corolla will need some fixing.
The key word here is that you are “helping” them create a budget—not doing it and handing it over. It is imperative they have a big hand in creating their budget, because they’ll be the ones having to follow it once they have flown the coop.
Credit. Most college bound kids have no understanding of credit. They learn a little about it from the example set by their parents, but still don’t have much of a grasp on how it works and why it is important. They absolutely need to know how credit works and why it is essential to use it wisely.
Sit down with your child and talk about how to use credit properly. If you don’t understand credit and credit reports yourself, consider taking your child with you to visit a credit counselor to learn more. As a credit counselor myself, I would love to be able to say, “Don’t use credit!” But the truth of it is, if you want to be able to take out loans to buy things like cars or homes later on in life, you have to start using credit now in order to build that credit report. If your son or daughter can be trusted with one, consider opening a joint credit card. By beginning to build a positive history of credit use now, your child will be in a much better position after college, as far as their credit report is concerned.
Student Loans. This is a tricky one. Parents and university financial aid officers often caution prospective students to keep their student loans to a minimum. However, if you have neglected to teach your child about budgeting, how will they be able to figure out how much money they need to make it through the college year?
I, not being a very wise kid, took out the maximum student loan amounts because I had no idea how much money I would need to get me through the semester. I figured it was better to have enough to get me through rather than coming up short. I was wrong. I wish I had listened to the advice I had been given so I didn’t have to spend 20 years paying back student loans.
Teach your young ones some of these financial survival skills before you kick them out of the nest. The lessons won’t all stick and your children will make mistakes, but your initial guidance and encouragement will give them a good head start in their struggle for survival.
With Fathers Day approaching, what better place to look for fatherly financial advice than from dads who also happen to be executives at the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) Member Agencies?
“If father knows best, then the dads who lead the NFCC agencies are the perfect ones to provide financial tips to the young men of America,” said Gail Cunningham, spokesperson for the NFCC. “These leaders direct over 2,000 NFCC Certified Counselors who deliver expert advice and provide solutions to the more than two million consumers who reach out to an NFCC Member Agency for help each year.”
Below are excerpts from the experts:
• Mike Robards, Credit Counseling of Arkansas – “My one piece of financial advice this Father’s Day to the young men of America is to be wary of stuff. I doubt that apple Eve ate was any more enticing than the stuff we men are attracted to today: season tickets to our favorite team’s events, golfing, hunting and fishing equipment, nice trips with friends and family, picking up the tab at the café and the list goes on. None of these, other than the apple, are bad. The key is to count the cost, and take the time to get past the initial lure. Speaking of lures, think about fishing and how that fish on the hook flops around in the boat. That shiny lure must have looked pretty good at one time, but the fish might want to rethink the decision to go after it. Again, enjoy the wonderful material products available in a country as wealthy as ours. But think through each purchasing decision and look beyond the shining lure to the end game that could result in financial and marital stress; or with a sound, mature decision, the result could be enjoyment with peace. I’ll take peace of mind over a piece of stuff every time.”
• Paul Atkinson, Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Buffalo – “Value your credit reputation as you would value a friend. They will both serve you well through all economic times.”
• Joe Schenkel, FinancialHope Counseling and Education – “My advice draws back on conversations with my father who passed away back in 1989. He grew up in tough times living through the Depression and wars. He taught me that nothing can take away your education. From him I learned the long term value of acquiring knowledge and a solid education. He also had a saying about work – that it is easier to push a pencil that to push a shovel.”
• Jay Seaton, Apprisen – “The three tips I’ve given our 20 year old college son are to understand credit reports and scores; understand the pros and cons of credit and be very cautious about incurring debt, including student loan and credit card debt; understand the time value of money and that by starting at a young age, wealth can be built steadily over time.”
• Steve Piotrowski, Advantage Credit Counseling Service – “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Young people sometimes do not understand that the zero interest for two years on a major purchase has a caveat with it. If you are late on one payment in that two year period, all the interest will likely be added to the account balance from the date of purchase, and will continue until the account balance is paid in full. And this doesn’t even count the potential late payments and fees. Be smart by reading the fine print before you take that great deal.”
• Ken King, Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Sheboygan – “It is always easier to borrow money than it is to pay it back. If you think you really need something, first try living without it for a week. There are two ways of getting everything you want: keep accumulating, or desire less. To me, the second way is personally the most satisfying.”
• Joe Allen Stokes, Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Springfield – “Avoid purchasing those ‘big-boy toys’ such as a boat or new car, unless the payments can be made without causing a cash-flow issue.”
• John Jackson, Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Mid-Ohio Valley – “It’s never too early to start thinking about, planning and saving for retirement. Many fathers get serious about retirement planning when they start a family, but the earlier retirement savings is worked into a budget, the more rewarding those “Golden Years” can be.”
• Joshua Huffman, The Village Family Service Center – “Never make a financial decision thoughtlessly, no matter how minor a decision it may be. Make sure your values and goals are reflected in your money choices.”
“Taken collectively, this advice is a formula for financial success,” continued Cunningham. “Even if a person only embraces one of these tips, they’ll be in a better place than they were last Fathers Day.”
Village Financial Counselors Advise Couples to Talk Before They Walk
The recent poll hosted on the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) website revealed that 68 percent of respondents held negative attitudes toward discussing money with their fiancé, with five percent indicating the discussion would cause them to call off the wedding.
“It is telling that two people who intend to spend the rest of their lives together would see a conversation about money as so disconcerting,” said Gail Cunningham, spokesperson for the NFCC. “The ability to have open and honest discussions is key to a successful marriage. With many brides and grooms walking down the aisle in June, regardless of how difficult it may be, the conversation about personal finances is one that should be neither ignored nor postponed. As a matter of fact, to increase the odds of making ‘happily ever-after’ a reality, the discussion should take place before the ‘I do,’ not after.”
Financial counselors at The Village Family Service Center recommend the following Do’s and Don’ts for that much-needed financial conversation:
- Don’t spring the conversation on the other party. Instead, set a time to talk that is convenient for each.
- Do make it a casual conversation about a serious subject, respecting the fact that each person has valid opinions and concerns.
- Do be honest about the current financial situation. If the courtship phase of the relationship has painted a financially unrealistic picture, it’s time to be honest about what the long-term lifestyle will look like.
- Do probe to understand long-held financial attitudes, often present since childhood and likely ingrained by observing how parents addressed money issues.
- Do acknowledge that one may be a saver and one a spender, understanding that there are benefits to both approaches and agreeing to learn from each other’s tendencies.
- Don’t hide income or debt. This is known as financial infidelity. Instead, in the spirit of openness, bring financial documents, including a recent credit report, pay stubs, bank statements, insurance policies, existing debt obligations and investments to the table.
- Don’t point the finger of blame. That’s a real conversation stopper.
- Do make a plan in advance to deal with any skeletons that come out of the financial closet. Such surprises can potentially compromise access to future credit. Now is the time to deal with surprises.
- Do construct a budget that includes savings. When just getting started, money is often tight, making it tempting to delay beginning to save. However, when every cent counts, it is even more important to have a financial safety net in the form of savings.
- Do decide which person will be responsible for paying the monthly bills. It is likely that one spouse will be a good fit for this task, while the other finds it burdensome.
- Do allow each person to have independence by setting aside money to be spent at his or her discretion.
- Do decide upon short-term and long-term goals. It’s appropriate to have individual goals, but having family goals is important, too.
- Do talk about loaning money to family members and friends. Decide if it’s something each is comfortable with, or should be avoided.
- Do talk about caring for aging parents, and how to appropriately plan for their financial needs, if necessary.
The fact of the matter is that people bring financial baggage into a relationship, but often don’t deal with it until problems arise. Baggage can come in the form of a poor credit rating, significant debt, or no experience managing money. Regardless of the issue, the time to address money differences is up front, before the financial bottom falls out. Court records show that financial stress is one of the main causes of divorce. Taking action now could prevent a disaster later,” continued Cunningham.
For professional assistance bringing two incomes, two lifestyles and two financial attitudes together, talk to a financial counselor at The Village. Go to HelpWithMoney.org or call 1-800-450-4019.
With Father’s Day fast approaching, it’s time again to figure out how you are going to celebrate the Dad in your life. Mary Hunt from Everyday Cheapskate has come up with some awesome gift ideas that don’t have to break the budget. One thing I’d like to add is the gift of “time.” Maybe It’s a Mothers view, but having your kids want to spend time with you is priceless.
Depending up on the age of those involved – and your location – how about a fun game of Frisbee golf or croquet, a barbecue in the backyard or just sitting, enjoying the view together and sharing memories.
It doesn’t have to be a special occasion to show someone you care…Happy Father’s Day to the great Men in our lives.
Our EC 2013 Father’s Day Gift Guide!
By Mary Hunt on 06/06/13
Don’t panic. Father’s Day is a week from Sunday. You still have time to get ready but you need to move quickly. To help you out, I’ve compiled a handy resource list of 16 different gift ideas, starting as low as $5, for that special Dad in your life.
Each of these gifts can be purchased online at Amazon, however that may not be your only resource. I am giving you links to make it as simple as possible for you to shop and compare in the little time you have left. And just so you know, no companies, retailers or manufacturers provided any of these products to us in exchange for an endorsement. My husband and I have purchased these items on our own and created our own reviews and recommendations.
So let’s get started. This first group of gift ideas will appeal to your man …
BECAUSE He’s Manly…
1. Cordless Drill. There are cordless drills and then there’s this Black & Decker 20-volt Matrix Drill. This thing is amazing. With a 20-volt high-performance motor (serious power for a handheld drill) it’s anything but wimpy and more than able to carry out even the most challenging home improvement and maintenance jobs. Your man will love the quick-charging lithium battery that comes with a charging unit. This baby is is quite a bargain, too. About $60.
2. LED Flashlight. Every man needs one of these in his pocket at all times. This super mini Cree LED Flashlight is like a mini torch, that’s just how bright it is. It runs on a single AA battery, producing 300 lumens output with adjustable focus zoom. For the price it can’t be beat. About $5.
3. Stud Finder. I know what you’re thinking: They don’t work. And normally I would agree, but finally someone known as CH Hanson has broken the code. This Magnetic Stud Finder is amazingly reliable and accurate. If a man in your life has ever made 57 holes in the wall before actually locating a stud, he wasn’t trying to annoy you. He just didn’t have one of these! This is every handyman’s dream come true. And a bargain to boot. Under $8.
4. LED Lantern. Now this is some serious kind of light. And reliable? Oh, yeah. Rayovac Sportsman LED Lantern runs on three D batteries, which will power it up for 40 hours on high, 90 hours on low. See what I mean? Reliability. And the 4-watt LEDs will last for 100,000 hours, which really means forever. And get this: It comes with a full lifetime warranty. No man wants to run the risk of being stuck in the dark and one of these will make sure it doesn’t happen. Under $25.
BECAUSE He’s a Culinary Rock Star…
5. One Serious Appliance. Yes, this is Blendtec Total Blender and it is the biggest and baddest. Blendtec sits on our kitchen counter where we have used it every day for years. I know about this appliance. It’s not for sissies. And it’s not just a blender. Your guy can get rid of his grain mill, juicer, bread machine, ice-cream maker, smoothie maker, blender, milkshake maker, coffee grinder and ice crusher too, because Blendtec does it all. This professional-quality 1,500-watt 3-horsepower juggernaut of a machine can handle almost any kitchen task. I’m sure it could grind nuts and bolts into a fine powder. This is it: the last blender you’ll ever buy. Under $360.
6. Stovetop Griddle. Oh, how I love and adore my new Nordic Ware 2 Burner Backsplash Griddle. Know why? It makes me feel like a guest on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” (Food Network). I now know the joy of cooking on a “flat top.” You know what I’m talking about and it’s not Guy’s hair. My new gas range does not have a built-in griddle, a choice I regretted at first. But no more. This baby is so cool. It sits over two burners and it’s made of cast aluminum so it heats evenly. (When not in use, I store it in the oven.) I have not used a skillet or fry pan since this sweetie followed me home. And clean up is a breeze because it is non-stick and has that little backsplash and drip reservoir. Truly a remarkable piece of kitchen awesomeness. (Also available in a single-burner size.) Under $50.
7. Grill Set. With summer in full swing, who wants to cook indoors? Not a serious grill man, that’s for sure. And he needs the right tools to get the job done. Here they are: Cuisinart 14-Piece Deluxe Stainless-Steel Grill Set. This set even includes 8 corn holders and cleaning brush, with everything fitting neatly into a sleek aluminum carrying case. Under. $40.
8. Chef’s Knife. Prepared to be amazed by this next item. And I mean by the quality and the price. This 8-inch multipurpose chef’s knife is perfect for chopping, mincing, slicing and dicing. It is high-carbon stainless steel, which means it’s sharp and retains that edge when cared for properly. Made in Switzerland where they know a thing or two about cutlery, this Victorinox Fibrox 8-Inch Chef’s Knife is an excellent choice for the home chef. Your man will not be disappointed. Under $30.
BECAUSE He’s Techy…
9. TV Streaming Player. I don’t know a man alive who wouldn’t be excited about pulling the plug on his cable service and still have access to all of his favorite TV shows and movies. Roku 3 Streaming Player plugs into his TV and works with the existing Internet or WIFI in your home to allow him to stream thousands of movies and TV shows for FREE. The Roku also allows you to connect your Amazon Prime, Netflix, or Hulu Plus accounts to expand your viewing library. Roku 3 has all the bells and whistles with up to 1080p HD video and extended-range, dual-band wireless performance. Free iOS and Android device apps allow him to use his Android or iPhone like a remote. Check. It. Out. And the price? I’m guessing less than one-month of your current cable service. Under $100.
10. Remote Control. You know what drives me crazy? Multiple remote controls. I mean seriously, is this the only way to control multiple electronic devices? The answer would be yes, unless you replace all of them with this one, sleek Logitech Harmony 300 Remote Control. It controls up to four audio/visual components and is compatible with 225,000 difference brands and models. Unlike other universal remotes, online programming of this remote is awesome and quick—like five minutes to get everything set and ready to roll. And it’s priced well. Under $45.
11. Kindle Reader. If your man is as voracious a reader as mine, you may know what it’s like to have stacks and stacks of books everywhere. And some of them library books that are about to become overdue. Know what solved that issue for us? An electronic reader. Kindle Paperwhite is the latest and greatest version and just too cool for school. Holds up to 1,100 books so he can take his library wherever he goes. The price is right, too. Under $120.
12. GPS Rangefinder. The GolfBuddy Voice GPS Rangefinder is the first golf GPS that displays and also speaks the distances. He won’t have to worry if he forgot his reading glasses. GolfBuddy is smaller than 2-inches square and weighs only 1 ounce. All your golfer has to do is press a single button and it displays and speaks the distance to the next hole. Isn’t technology great? For the serious golfer. Under $125.
BECAUSE He’s Adorable…
13. Aftershave. Here it is, ladies. An aftershave that men like because it is cooling while at the same time reduces rashes and razor burn—and we love because it smells so wonderful. Not overpowering, Proraso Aftershave Lotion, Refresh is made from natural ingredients offering a very pleasant, clean, mild fragrance—an aftershave product you can give with confidence. And it won’t bust the budget. Under $15.
14. Pocket T-Shirt. If your guy is like mine, he is picky about his T-shirts. They have to be all cotton, tight around the neck, a pocket on the left, sleeves that are not too short and made from material that won’t shrink. And they have to feel sturdy. I know of only one brand that meets my boys’ Dad (had to get Father’s Day in here somewhere) and that is Carhartt Men’s Workwear Pocket T-Shirt. Available in regular or tall and in sizes to XXXX-Large, this shirt comes in 20 different colors. Caution: This T-shirt runs large. Under $12 (Hunter Green, Size L; price varies slightly with size and color).
15. Sunglasses. Not all guys can tolerate sunglasses from the dollar store. If that describes your man, take a look at the latest Ray-Ban New Wayfarer Sunglasses. With a rock-and-roll look, these frames are classic Wayfarer, first introduced by Ray-Ban in 1952. He’ll love the great fit (two sizes from which to choose), and you’ll love that they come in a variety of frame and lens colors. As a bonus, the polarized lenses are RX-able, which means they can be taken to an optician to be ground to a prescription. Under $120.
16. PJs. What would Father’s Day be without new PJs for Dad? And given that it’s summer and all, why not save a few bucks with just pants—Bottoms Out Mens Relaxed Fit Woven Lounge/Sleepwear Pants. They’re roomy, super soft, two-pocketed, and just plain cool. Under $15.
Hopefully, this gives you some ideas for Father’s Day gifts and takes the stress out of last-minute planning. Have a great celebration.
It’s that time of year again…Spring Clean Up; Window washing, clearing the yard of winter’s remnants and dusting off the grill. AND it’s also nearing Mother’s Day.
Mother’s Day doesn’t need to equate to presents. The gift of presence is SO much more valuable. Consider all the special women in your life – it may be your Mom, an Aunt, a dear neighbor…give of yourself to show how much you appreciate them.
Here are some suggestions for Mother’s Day on a budget:
• Offer to help clean up the yard or wash the windows.
• Bake a cake and delight your honoree. You don’t have to be a master baker, there are box mixes that can be easy to use and easy on the pocket book.
• Find a favorite photograph and frame it. It captures a special moment that will bring joy every time she looks at it.
• A plant for in the house – or one for outside. If you watch the stores there are great bargains this time of year.
• Offer to cook a meal. They’d be thrilled – even if you used their pantry! (Personal opinion of course).
• Make a card. Sound corny? Remind you of grade school? Believe me – no matter the age, a personal card is heartwarming
Whatever you do to acknowledge her – coming from the heart is priceless.