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... ]

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... ]

My 11-year-old son has started thinking about college. Right now, he claims that he’ll either stay here, and wear the white and blue of the Utah State Aggies, or that he’ll head down south to SUU, in the town he was born — and where his father and I met.

If he decided to go through with those plans, it would be great. We’ve got a 529 plan going for him, and neither of those schools is expensive. Plus, since we’re connected with both of them, he’s eligible for legacy discounts.

The reality, though, is that he’s 11 years old, and still thinks his parents are kind of awesome. I suspect things will change in the next couple of years as he considers what he really wants to do, and he may decide that going to one of his parents’ alma maters isn’t the way to go.

With all these factors up in the air, how do you figure out what to save for college?

[ continue reading... ]

The first time I walked into Babies”R”Us when pregnant with my first child, I felt overwhelmed almost to the point of hyperventilating. There were so many products out there — and it felt like every single purchase I made would determine my child’s fate.

Four years and another baby later, it’s clear to me now that baby gear manufacturers and retailers probably want you to be panicked. It’s much easier to sell unnecessary items to frightened and overwhelmed parents, since you’ll be happy to buy any product that will help you feel more in control.

But just like any other purchases, some baby gear is worth the investment, while some will clutter up the nursery until you have a yard sale a decade later.

Here are four baby products worth spending extra money on: [ continue reading... ]

The Hotels.com giveaway was so overwhelmingly successful the guys from CouponPal decided to do it all over again. This time they are giving away a Toshiba Chromebook, and we’ve partnered with them one more time to give you a chance to participate in the drawing!

The giveaway ends on April 27, 2014, so enter today and good luck!

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The difference between defining something as a need or a want can mean the difference between a blown budget or a healthy savings account.

These terms seem so simple and easy to understand, but all too often, we blur the lines. When you say you “need” something, it should mean that you literally can’t continue to function without it. Unless we’re talking about the need to eat, be clothed, stay healthy, and have a bed to sleep on, most of the “needs” in life actually fall under the category of “want.”

It’s funny how we reason with ourselves until we’re convinced that something we want is actually something we need. I need a new purse for summer. I need a manicure. I need new shoes.

In this case, our definition of need becomes anything we want desperately enough that our personal happiness will be hindered without it.

This is a cultural trait; we feel the need to measure up to those around us, to keep up with the current trends, to have the coolest car, the nicest house, or the most elaborate wedding. Although there’s nothing wrong with gratifying some of our wants as our circumstances and finances allow, it’s dangerous to categorize every new thing we want as a need. [ continue reading... ]