One of the things I hear from my son regularly is that he wants a “raise” on his allowance. Usually this conversation takes place after he’s spent his savings on something else. Though he’s pretty good about saving up, like all of us, he sometimes gets off track.

While I can sympathize with the idea of earning more money to meet your financial goals or live your lifestyle, I’m also not going to hand my son extra cash just because he wants it. I like to encourage him to earn more money.

How Kids Can Earn More Money

It can be challenging for kids to earn money — especially if they’re under 16 and can’t get a more traditional after-school job. Some of the ways my son, and the kids around the neighborhood, earn money include: [ continue reading... ]

I’m a work-at-home-mom with two kids under the age of four. I’ve been doing the freelancing-from-home gig since my eldest was two months old. And despite nearly four years of evidence to the contrary, I still wake up every single morning believing that today will be the day I cross off every item on my to-do list — from paid work to exercise to housekeeping to errands to childcare.

And every evening, when I look sadly over the long list of things left undone, I shake my head and wonder if I’ll ever achieve that elusive “work/life balance” I’ve been striving for.

As it turns out, however, I’m probably worrying about work/life balance unnecessarily — and am making myself a little crazy to boot. That’s because our concept of work/life balance doesn’t really exist.

Consider the following:

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There was once a time in my life that money seemed to disappear from my bank account as quickly as it came in. And the more income I generated, the less disposable income I had available. In fact, I often found myself scrambling to make money stretch until the next direct deposit came in.

Surprisingly, my transition to the freelance world was exactly what I needed to get my spending habits under control. The amount of income wasn’t the problem — but failing to properly account for it was.

Sound familiar? If you’re living from check to check, a few minor adjustments to your habits can help you cut costs and start working towards financial freedom.

Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
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Once family members and friends found out I’d sold items on Ebay and Craigslist for a profit, they started to ask me to sell their stuff. They asked me to sell an ancient printer, “very expensive” dolls, and many other odds and ends.

For the most part, I declined, telling them I appreciated the thought but didn’t have the time. There were, however, a few select times I’ve sold items for others — and enjoyed a nice payday.

Not sure if you should sell other people’s junk as a side business? Here’s how to know if it’s worth your while:

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I’ll be honest: I’ve never really understood the difference between money market funds and money market accounts.

Recently, however, I read a few articles that showed me the basic differences between these two investments, and I want to pass my new knowledge on to you.

First of all, both money market accounts and money market (mutual) funds are liquid investments that can be easily transferred back into cash. The vital differences are: who you’re investing with, the security of your funds, and the yield rates.  [ continue reading... ]

I’d always thought of bingo as a game that only elderly people played. But I’m always up for a new adventure, so I agreed when our neighbors asked us to join them at a new bingo hall. Walking in, I was surprised to see people of all ages — including a group of high school girls celebrating an 18th birthday.

Inquiring at the service counter, we discovered how it worked:

  • The early bird session was about to start, for which we could buy a pack of bingo sheets for $5 a piece.
  • In 30 minutes, the regular session would start, for which we could buy a large pack of bingo sheets (with 12 bingo boards for each game) for $10 a piece.
  • Seven special games would be offered throughout the evening for $1 a piece.

My wife and I each purchased the early bird and regular session pack for a total of $30. We planned to decide about the special games as the night went on. We sat down just as things were getting rolling, expecting a slow-paced game of bingo.

We were wrong. So wrong. [ continue reading... ]