I have no plans of allowing my son to have a cell phone until he’s old enough to drive. I just don’t. Part of my aversion toward children, tweens and young teens carrying cell phones stems from my years of teaching and the fact that I would really like to avoid adding another distraction to my child’s academic life. I also worry about the financial aspect of cell phone usage. Small children are lacking in both an income and an understanding that easy-to-make phone calls and text messages cost money.

Still, I know that things may change in the next few years, and it’s certainly possible that I will want to give my peanut a cell phone sometime before 2026. So here are some things to consider as you are fielding your child’s daily pleas for a cell phone:
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thinking about finance

Financial success is a little bit like fitness — we all know what we should be doing, but for a lot of us, ramping up our retirement savings and jumping on the treadmill are two things that just don’t happen.

Even though making the rational decision to save or exercise is in our best interests, it’s awfully difficult to make the right long-term decision in our day-to-day lives. The question is, why? When we all know the right decisions to make, why is it so difficult to make it happen?

Psychologists and behavioral economists have some answers:

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buy in bulk

One of the rules of frugal grocery shopping is to buy in bulk.

Indeed, we’re told to buy larger amounts of the things we like when they are on sale so that we save money in the long run. However, in some cases it’s actually better to forgo buying in bulk.

Here are 8 things where this is particular true:
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behavior and money

One of the most interesting areas of finance is called behavioral finance, which is the study of how our behaviors can influence the outcomes of our portfolios.

According to H. Kent Baker and Victor Ricciardi in The European Financial Review, there are several behavioral biases that can impact your investment portfolio and result in lower returns.

Here are two of those biases:

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Our family vacation this year involved a trek from Lafayette, Indiana to Norfolk, Virginia with a 10-month-old infant in tow. Before we even started the first leg of the trip, my husband and I had a major disagreement. He felt that the 13-hour drive would be easier and cheaper than flying. I felt that the cost of the flight — which involved a layover in each direction — was worth it considering the amount of travel time necessary to take the car.

If you’re planning a long trip and are not sure if flying or driving is the best option, here are some factors to consider:

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save money going out to dinner

When trying to save money, going out to dinner becomes a real treat. This one is about going out for a great meal, having some fun while keeping your wallet in mind.

It takes a little planning and a bit of work, but with some clever strategies, you can still enjoy a good night out.
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