7 Ways to Raise a Money-Smart Kid

As frugal parents, naturally, we want our kids to be smart about money too. Here are seven easy ways to raise a money-smart kid!

1. Expose your pre-schooler to cash

By showing money to kids, they get a better understanding of what you are trying to teach them. Try playing “bank” or “store” for further understanding in a fun way.

2. Ditch the “replace it” attitude

When a toy breaks, have you ever heard your child say, “it’s ok, we can get another one”? When that moment comes, think of it as a learning time. Let them know that it costs money to replace a broken item. Replace that attitude with a “waste not” attitude. Let your child help donate items they no longer use, or have them “earn” a new toy by helping with chores.

3. Encourage delayed gratification

I cannot say enough how many times my mother taught me this. If I saw a toy in the store that I wanted, she would tell me that I would have to earn it. And I did! By doing chores, she would pay me a little here and there so I could buy the toy myself. I also took better care of things I bought myself because I understood I would have to save up again if it broke or got lost.

4. Talk about it

Some parents never talk about money in front of their kids. My mom did, but only to say that we couldn’t afford this or that new thing that I wanted. This helped me to understand that I couldn’t have everything that I wanted. By not talking about money, kids may grow up thinking a debit card never runs out of money and that if something breaks then you can just go buy a new something. Explain where money comes from and that it can (and will) run out if you aren’t careful about what you spend it on.

5. Be a role model

If you want your kids to be money-smart, they need to see you be money-smart. When you go to the bank to make a deposit, take them with you and explain what you are doing. If you are donating or volunteering, get your kids involved too.

6. Practice, Practice, Practice

Make some pretend money and play “store” or “bank”. Let your kids pick out a piggy bank to keep up with the money they are saving. Even if they don’t have an allowance, coins they find on the street or in the couch cushions could go right into the piggy bank when they understand the value of saving money.

7. Tell stories, not lectures

If you start lecturing about the importance of saving money, your kids will probably zone out pretty quickly. Instead go to your local library about pick out some books about saving money. For a start, try out “The Berenstain Bears’ Trouble with Money” or “The Berenstain Bears’ Dollars and Sense,” both by Stan and Jan Berenstain.


Create a Memory Art Book for 2015

As parents, we tend to want to save just about every piece of artwork our child masterfully creates. But, unfortunately because of the lack of space, we can’t. I recently found an article about how one parent created a Memory Art Book for her child.

Every once in a while, when the child is creating a masterpiece, get out a big sketch book (specifically for this purpose) and have the child draw or paint in it. Make sure you date each page, that way you can track the child’s progression in skills.

Try to find a sketchbook with at least 24-36 pages so your child can create at least 2-3 masterpieces per month.

Another option is to scan artwork into your computer and upload the images to a photo website like Shutterfly and make a photo book. If you choose to make a photo book, wait until I post a Shutterfly deal for the best bang for your buck! I often see offers for a free photo book.


11 Ways to Get Your Toddler to Eat Healthy


I don’t know about you, but I had a crazy hard time getting my toddler to eat, not to mention eat healthy. She lived off goldfish and pretzels. The only reason I wasn’t crazy about this is because she loved V8 V-Fusion Juices; that way I at least knew she was getting her recommended fruits and veggies each day. But I stumbled upon an article about how to get your toddler to eat healthy food. You can check out the full article here, but here are a few of the highlights:

Get the Kids Involved: Let your toddler help with menu planning and writing the shopping list. Ask him to hold the grocery list at the store. Let him help make choices about what to buy… apples or oranges?

Encourage Your Kitchen Helpers: Let him help wash lettuce or measure the flour for a cake.

Have Fun With It: Arrange veggies on a plate to look like a face. Make pancakes into shapes or cut toast into shapes. Offer yogurt as a dip.

Take a Field Trip: Take your toddler apple picking at an orchard or berry picking at a berry farm. Or plant your own fruits and veggies and let him harvest them himself.

Watch the Juice: Limit juice intake to encourage eating other foods. Make sure the juice you do offer is 100% juice and not a “juice drink’.

Blend and Bake: Get your toddler involved in making smoothies; try some fresh or frozen fruit, milk or frozen yogurt, and fruit juice. How about baking some muffins? Add some blueberries to a basic muffin mix.

Don’t Be Too Sneaky: Don’t hide “hidden” ingredients. Your toddler may be upset about it later.

Make It Count: Be aware of your toddler’s nutritional needs. They are pretty basic (and small) at this point. Just make sure to cover the basics, then he can continue to live on pretzels and goldfish.

Make the Fast Food Switch: Occasional fast food won’t hurt, but try to switch out fries for apple slices or try a grilled chicken sandwich instead of a cheeseburger.

Be a Good Role Model: Remember that your toddler likes to mimic you, so practice what you preach! If you want your toddler to eat healthy, you need to eat healthy too! (Plus it’s good for you.)

Be Positive: Don’t force your toddler to eat. It’s likely that the more you and your toddler fuss about food, the harder it will be to get him to eat. Offer praise when your toddler does eat healthy food.

Do you have any other ideas?

CVS Coupon Policy


When shopping with coupons it is best to be informed of the stores coupon policy. Print a copy of the CVS coupon policy and keep it in your coupon binder.

Highlights include:

  • Coupon value may not exceed item price, which means no overages. Coupon value will be adjusted down.
  • CVS will accept one manufacturer coupon and one CVS coupon per item.
  • CVS accepts printable coupons with a valid bar code.
  • You can purchase multiple items as long as there is sufficient stock for other customers. Management reserves the right to limit items purchased.

CVS also has a great Question & Answer page if you have any concerns that are not addressed in the coupon policy.

Earn Money at Home with Swagbucks

What is Swagbucks?
Swagbucks is a search engine that rewards you for searching. There are many other ways to earn Swagbucks, which are points you can trade in for cash, prizes, or my favorite, gift cards. I find the $5 Amazon gift card is the most versatile and the best value at 450 Swagbucks.


How to Earn Swagbucks

Sign Up – First of all, you must sign up with Swagbucks.

Search – Use Swagbucks as a search engine to earn points. You will not earn points for every search, just randomly throughout the day. I usually win once in the morning and once in the evening.

Finding Swagcodes – Swagcodes are bonus codes released by Swagbucks that you can find to earn points. Make sure to follow Swagbucks on Facebook and Twitter, as well as reading their blog, as these are the most common places Swagcodes are released.

Using the Toolbar – Use the toolbar at least once per day to earn one Swagbuck every day! You must download the toolbar from Swagbucks.com. Go to the homepage and look across the top to find “Toolbars.” You can use the toolbar to keep track of your Swagbucks, to search, and sometimes Swagcodes are released on the Toolbar as well.

Daily Poll – You can earn one Swagbuck every day for completing the daily poll. Along the left side of the Swagbucks homepage you will find the Daily Poll. Answer the poll to be rewarded.

Trusted Surveys – Earn one Swagbuck each day for visiting the Trusted Surveys. Along the left side of the Swagbucks homepage you will find the Trusted Surveys. You can also take surveys to earn additional Swagbucks.

Printing CouponsSwagbucks rewards you with ten Swagbucks for every coupon you print and redeem. The only drawback here is that it can take 8-12 weeks for the Swagbucks to be posted to your account.

Completing Special Offers – There are two different ways to earn points with special offers. The first is through “NOSO”, which you will find along the left side of the Swagbucks homepage. Just skip through the offers to find 2 swagbucks at the end. The second is “Special Offers.” Complete any offers that appeal to you to earn points.

Mega Swagbucks Friday – Every Friday, you have the opportunity to earn extra Swagbucks just for searching through Swagbucks as you normally do. This is a nice bonus.

Daily Deals – Swagbucks offers limited-time deals every day from local and national retailers. Purchase the deals through Swagbucks and earn points. These deals are usually at least 50% off the usual price, so it is a great way to earn Swagbucks.

Tasks – Complete special tasks online to earn Swagbucks.

Playing Games – You can play free games to earn Swagbucks. They will be rewarded randomly throughout your play. You can also pay to play other games for the chance to earn higher denominations of Swagbucks.

Swagbucks TV – Watch video clips on Swagbucks TV to randomly be rewarded with Swagbucks.

Trade In – Trade in cell phones and MP3 players, video game consoles and games, and books to earn Swagbucks.

Refer Your Friends – Have your friends join Swagbucks through a special referral link and when they earn Swagbucks for searching, you will too. To find your referral link, click “Refer Friends” along the top of the homepage.

How to Redeem your Swagbucks

At the top of the Swagbucks homepage, click “Rewards” then “Rewards Store”. You can browse through the categories of prizes. I personally redeem my Swagbucks for Amazon gift cards, with the $5 one being the best value.

Select the prize or gift card that you want to redeem and click redeem. You must verify the purchase via email.

If you choose an Amazon gift card, it will take about 10 days for it to be posted to your account. But after it is posted you can go to your account on Amazon.com to apply the gift code to your account. The gift card will not expire and will be stored in your account until you are ready to use it.

Swagbucks is a great program that you really do earn from. Go to Swagbucks.com to get started earning!

FREE E-Book Unit Studies – A $223 Value!

Educents Freebie

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Reading Eggs: 2 Week FREE Trial!

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