Sometimes, throwing a kid’s birthday party can be a real pain. You have to prepare a bunch of food for your guests, entertain a house full of kids, and pull it all together with a little style.

It can be expensive and stressful — but it doesn’t have to be!

Here are five tips for throwing an awesome kids birthday party on the cheap:

1. Choose a theme

While choosing a theme isn’t a necessity, it can help you pull your party together.

When you choose a theme, you can come up with snack ideas, games, and décor more easily. Choose a simple theme that your kid is sure to love, and use it as your party guide. [ continue reading... ]

I’m satisfied with my family size. I only have one child, and, to tell the truth, I’ve never really been that interested in having a big family. I think I could handle maybe one or two more, but having several children has never been my ideal. That being said, my satisfaction with one child puts me in the minority — at least according to a recent study from the Pew Research Center.

The organization compiled research on ideal family size versus actual family size, and they found that many Americans wish they had slightly larger families. According to the study, 52 percent of women in the United States said two children is ideal, while 44 percent thought the magic number was three.

To put this in perspective, 40 percent of American women reaching the end of their childbearing years said they don’t have as many children as they would like.

What’s causing us to limit our family sizes?  [ continue reading... ]

If you’re one of the more than 70 million Americans who work as hourly employees, chances are good that you may soon be offered a payroll debit card instead of a traditional paper check on payday.

While these debit cards are much less expensive for employers, they can come at a cost for the employees who are depending on them. What’s worse, some employers are (illegally) telling their employees they have no other choice than to accept their pay in the form of a fee-laden debit card.

Before you find yourself in a confusing and potentially contentious conversation with your boss, here’s what you need to know about payroll debit cards: [ continue reading... ]

I never would’ve imagined that a simple trip to Target could have evolved into such a great financial learning opportunity for my eleven-year-old daughter.

The automatic doors opened before us, my daughter’s purse slung over her shoulder. We headed to the video section, as she was looking to purchase her very own copy of “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” which had recently been released. She mentioned she also wanted to get a slushy from the deli on our way out.

“You sure you have your money with you?” I asked. She opened her purse, carefully counted out twenty five dollars, and nodded her head.

She removed a copy of the movie from the display, priced at $19.99, and we headed to the register. While we waited in line, she placed a package of mints and a pack of gum next to her movie.

“Daddy, do I have enough?” [ continue reading... ]

Did you know that the online retail giant Amazon offers its workers money to quit? In any normal business, this would seem anti-productive and a waste of money.

Sure, people quit all the time. But should you give them an incentive for it?

Amazon and Zappos (the company that first came up with the idea) seem to think so. Here’s why:

It Weeds Out the Slackers

Offering a large lump sum to workers who want to quit naturally filters out those workers who are discontent, or otherwise unmotivated. [ continue reading... ]

In today’s economy, finding a good job can be tough — and experiencing career growth can be even tougher. That’s why it’s so important to build your personal brand and bring your A game every day.

If you’re tired of your career remaining stagnant, here are three ways to catapult its growth:

1. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone every day

If you want to experience growth in any aspect of your life, you have to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. When it comes to your career, you’ll remain stagnant if you let yourself get too comfortable. [ continue reading... ]