Farmers know how to get the most out of every dollar spent. Nothing goes to waste when you live on a farm — they even recycle manure! For many farm families, living frugally is a way of life passed down from generation to generation. Frugality is an intentional part of raising farm kids.
Here are five lessons on frugality for kids from the farm.
Money Lessons for Kids from the Farm
1. Recycling is essential.
Food scraps get fed to cats, dogs, cows, and other livestock instead of being put in the trash or down a garbage disposal. Old tractor tires are used to grow potatoes or serve as swings and flower beds. When a building needs repairs, materials are often found already on the farm. Old roofing isn’t discarded. Nails are pulled from old boards for re-use, and roofing that’s no longer fit for the farmhouse is recycled for the chicken coop or wood shed.
Bailer twine is saved for tying up plants, securing loose items, and even holding up your britches in a pinch. Look under the kitchen sink, and you’re likely to find a ball of used tin foil, carefully washed and stored for re-use. [ continue reading... ]
Finding creative ways to eat out is important in my line of work. During baseball season, we’re on the road 50% of the time. During these periods, we’re given a certain amount of money per day to spend on food (more commonly known as a per diem). Many people travel for work on a regular basis, so finding ways to save money and eat right is important.
Here’s what I keep in mind when deciding when and where to eat:
Make It Last
Though we’re given a set amount of money per day for food, nearly half of it goes to the opposing clubhouse manager. He gives us food at the field, does our laundry, and makes sure we’re comfortable. He feeds us before and after the game, and provides snacks in between. After we pay him and tip him, we have about $10 per day for breakfast and lunch. While this doesn’t seem like much, minor league players can make do with just about anything. [ continue reading... ]
There’s a lot to be said for paying off your debt and living debt free. But should you really work hard to pay off all of your debt right now?
High Interest Consumer Debt vs. Other Debt
Too often, we lump all debt together and call it “bad.” And while there is an argument that there’s no such thing as good debt, the truth is that some debt is worse than other debt.
High interest consumer debt is the worst type of debt. This is money owed on things that we consume — things that don’t retain value and don’t provide the hope of income or some type of solid return later. Not only do you pay for something that won’t have the same value a year from now (or that might be totally gone a year from now), but you also pay a high rate of interest on it.
Credit cards are a good example of this, since credit card debt often (but not always) results from purchases made for consumer items like clothes and electronics. High interest consumer debt doesn’t offer you the chance to build assets, and you almost definitely won’t receive any sort of return; you’ll just be paying high interest charges into someone else’s pocket. [ continue reading... ]
“Mom! What can we do?”
“Can we go to Disney World?”
If you’ve got kids at home, you’ve likely heard that once or twice during the summer.
But you don’t have to pay for expensive summer camps or vacations to keep them entertained.
Welcome summer and all of its glories with your own summer camp.
This won’t be easy — banish that thought from your mind. But, the kids will LOVE you for it. And you’ll re-form those family bonds that were stretched so thin during the long school season.
What you’ll need for your successful summer camp:
1. A notebook
This will become your best friend this summer. You’ll keep your plans, ideas, and even results in here.
2. A plan
Sit now and start planning your activities. By starting early, you’re not only making sure you have enough excitement ready; you’ll have time to stock up on craft supplies without paying (toilet paper and paper towel rolls), or without paying for them all at once (markers, glue, etc).
3. A theme
If you want to make this da bomb for the kids, involve them in the planning. Let them help you come up with a theme for your summer camp. One year, we did Flylady’s “GonnaWannaFly” summer camp. It was truly amazing to watch the kids get excited about cleaning house! [ continue reading... ]
It may seem shocking after just a few short years from the greatest market panic of our lifetime but major stock market indices are hitting new highs almost on a daily basis these days. Are you thinking of adding to your investment portfolio? Are mutual funds part of your strategy? FutureAdvisor helped me put together this simple infographic listing a few key points you’ll want to remember about mutual fund selection by digging deep into their 401k database.
Take a look below:
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Last week, the House passed a bill that would require bondholders and Social Security beneficiaries to be paid first in case of a failure to raise the ceiling on the national debt later this summer.
While the bill passed, there’s doubt it will get past the Democratic majority in the Senate; the White House has already promised to veto it. Even if this legislation doesn’t make it farther than the House of Representatives, it is stimulating debate about the real issue behind it — the national debt crisis.
The U.S. has already maxed out its $16.4 trillion debt limit, but thanks to a movement by Congress to ‘stall’ the crisis in January, the government has until at least May 18th and, most likely, longer. Obviously, the national debt crisis is the main concern of this session of Congress. [ continue reading... ]