Tag Archive for parenting

Should You Pay for Childcare When You Work from Home?

Should You Pay for Childcare When You Work from Home?
Should You Pay for Childcare When You Work from Home?

Having children is an incredible experience. It is exciting and fulfilling, while at the same time being incredibly challenging. Trying to balance everything that is involved with being a parent is no easy feat.

Among the many decisions that you will need to make is how you are going to continue to make a living while caring for your kids. For those who work from home, this topic is especially tricky.

Working from home is great in many ways. Those who work at home are able to avoid a traditional commute, and they often enjoy more flexibility with regard to when their work gets done. Once kids are added to the equation, things can get harder to handle, however.

As every parent knows, trying to get work done while the kids are running around the house is no picnic.

So, the question at hand in this article is the following ? should you pay for childcare when you work from home? Let?s discuss.

An Added Expense

Obviously, the main downside to paying for childcare is the expense that will be added to your budget. In order to make it work financially, you?ll need to make enough money during that time to at least cover the cost of the childcare. And, of course, you don?t want to work for free. So, you should be making enough to come out ahead comfortably even after the childcare costs have been paid.

If your work from home arrangement is such that you earn less per hour than it will cost you to have the kids cared for by someone else, it will probably be best to simply watch the kids yourself and cut back or eliminate that work.

Can You Do Both?

When your kids are little, it is effectively impossible to both watch the kids properly and get any kind of meaningful work done. Little kids require near-constant attention, so focusing on a work task while making sure the kids are okay is probably not going to happen. You may be able to get some work done after the kids go to bed. That is, if there is any energy left at the end of the day. But, working during the day is a no-go.

This can change a bit as your kids get older. As they become more independent and able to entertain themselves for periods of time, you might be able to work without bringing in outside childcare. In the end, you will know your situation best. You will need to decide what makes sense for you and your family.

Remember, it doesn?t make any sense to work for free. And it certainly doesn?t make sense to lose money while you work. If you do decide to bring in childcare so you can work from home, be sure to do the math. This will confirm that you?ll be coming out well ahead in this situation.

If you work from home, do you pay for childcare? Why or why not?

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Should You Allow Your Kid to Get a Part-time Job?

Should You Allow Your Kid to Get a Part-time Job?

Should You Allow Your Kid to Get a Part-time Job?Whether or not you require your teenager to work or not is specific to each family. While some parents lean towards the side of focusing solely on academics, many others choose to have their kids get a part-time job.

In many cases, teenagers themselves opt for a position in the real world in order to earn money for the items that are important to them. It can be difficult to know which path, job or no job, is more beneficial in your kids teen years. So, if you?re debating on whether or not to let your kid apply, consider these three factors.

Time Management

One of the biggest factors you should consider before allowing your kid to get a job is their time management skills. Having a part-time job in itself can teach your child important skills in managing their time, as they?ll have to balance school, work, homework, and a social life.

This can be an invaluable skill once they reach college and adulthood. On the other hand, you should take into consideration your teen?s capacity. If school is already a struggle or something that takes up a lot of their time, be sure to weigh the pros and cons in the event that a part-time job could hinder their academics.

Important Life Skills

Once school is officially over, work is simply a fact of life. Hence, having a part-time job can help your kids learn some important life skills they?ll continue to use for years.

Apart from actually learning the value of work, applying for a job itself will teach your child how to prepare an application and resume, how to interview, and get along with co-workers and customers.

Furthermore, depending on the job, they could even acquire computer, customer service, and even more specialized skills that could help them in the future.

Ability to Manage Money

When you?re a kid, it?s not too often that you have a significant amount of money to spend. Working a job, however, will give your teen income that they?ll then have to decide how to use.

One of the biggest benefits of a part-time job is the fact that it?ll teach your kids what it means to get a paycheck and manage their money well. Moreover, they?ll learn the importance of spending and saving and likely be more cautious with their funds because they had to work hard to earn it.

While school should no doubt be the top priority in your children?s lives, there is value to be had in working a part-time job when you?re younger. In the end, you have to decide together what the best option is for your family.

And whether your teenager has the capacity to do so during the school year or finds a job come summer, the real life experience and job skills they gain from doing so, only serves to prepare them for their future.


Did you have a part-time job growing up? What are some part-time jobs that could work well with their school schedule?


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4 Money Games to Play with Your Kids

4 Money Games to Play with Your Kids

4 Money Games to Play with Your KidsIt?s hard to teach kids about money. When kids are young, they don?t think at all about money, and for good reason. They would not yet understand the concept behind how money works and how it is earned. So, they just assume things show up when you need them.

As those kids get older, however, it becomes important to teach them about the monetary system. Everything has a price, and when kids learn that lesson they?ll be far better prepared for the ?real world?.

If you have kids who are approaching an age where you can start to speak with them about money, the following four games could make the learning process fun as well as informative.

Guess the Price

If you regularly go grocery shopping with your kids, have them try to guess the cost of some of the items you frequently purchase. You don?t need to keep track of the results or anything like that. Instead, just make it a fun little game that you can play while moving through the store.

Even though they won?t be thinking about it at the time, you?ll gradually be teaching them the important lesson that nothing comes free. Everything in the store has a price. They will soon come to understand that they need to have the right amount of money if they want to purchase something specific.

Save Up

When you child sets his or her sights on a specific toy or other items, ask them to work on saving enough money to purchase it at a later date.

You can decide on a reward structure where your child receives a small amount of money for completing certain chores. You should also set up somewhere they can accumulate their earnings.

Along the way, they will learn about the work required to earn money. Plus, they’ll learn the importance of saving up for a specific purpose.

Play Monopoly

This one steps out of the real world and into the world of board games. However, valuable lessons can still be had. By playing the classic board game Monopoly as a family, you can work on learning financial lessons while having fun together.

Simply teaching your kids how to count money properly is a good step while playing this game. They will also be forced to strategize how they are going to allocate their money in an attempt to win the game.

Explain the Bills

It might be a stretch to include this in the category of ?games?. But, it is extremely important in terms of a young person understanding how money works in the real world. With an older child, take an opportunity to speak with them about the bills that come and go from your household each month.

The mortgage, insurance premiums, utilities, groceries, and on and on. Talking about it is essential to earn enough money each month to pay all of those bills, along with having enough left over for both fun and savings.

Kids often don?t see the big picture of what it takes to run a household budget, so explaining it clearly is a valuable lesson.


How have you taught your kids about money? Did you play any money games with them?


Photo courtesy of: VABo2040

4 Ideas to Reduce Summer Childcare Costs

4 Ideas to Reduce Summer Childcare Costs

4 Ideas to Reduce Summer Childcare CostsDuring the school year, sending your kids to school each day serves a couple of purposes. In addition to educating them for the future, you will also have a place for them to go while you are at work (for part of the day, at least).

Of course, when school lets out for the summer, you lose that benefit and you?ll need to make other arrangements. Unfortunately, those arrangements can be quite expensive, and they can quickly put a dent in your budget.

To help you cut back on the expense of summer childcare, we have listed four cost saving ideas below.

Look for Camps

If your child plays sports, or takes part in other activities, you may be able to find local camps that run during the summer. This is not a plan that is going to last all summer long, but it might be able to help you out for a week or two.

Of course, these camps aren?t free, so you?ll need to compare the cost of such a camp with the cost of other childcare arrangements. In addition to solving your childcare problem, camps are just a great way for your kids to have fun and interact with others.

Work from Home

Depending on the age of your kids and the nature of your job, you may be able to work from home on occasion to reduce your childcare bill. This is only going to work if your children are at just the right age ? old enough to mostly occupy themselves during the day, but not old enough to be left at home alone.

If your kids are too little, they will need your attention through the day and you won?t be able to actually get any work done.

Family Help

For those with local family, asking for a bit of help in the summer may be possible. This is most often the case when it comes to retired grandparents who can watch the kids during the workday.

Even if you only take advantage of this arrangement once or twice during the week, you could wind up saving a significant amount of money over the course of the summer.

Shop Around

At some point, you may have no other option than to take your child to a childcare business for at least some of the days during the summer. If that is the case, you would be wise to plan ahead and shop around for the best combination of rates and service.

Remember, this is somewhere you are going to be leaving your child for several hours, so you want to be comfortable with the business and their reputation. Don?t just shop on price alone ? make sure that the price you are paying also comes with the kind of service and care you expect for your child.

Childcare isn’t cheap and when you have to pay for full-time childcare in the summer, it can be hard on your budget. Use these ideas to find a solution that works for your family and your? budget.


Where do your children go in the summer? Do you have other ideas to save on childcare?


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How to Teach Your Kids to Budget

How to Teach Your Kids to Budget

How to Teach Your Kids to BudgetAs a parent, you have a lot on your plate. You need to teach your kids so many things on a day to day basis, along with handling your own work responsibilities.

It can be overwhelming at times, so it is tempting to cut corners and keep things as easy as possible. However, if you are willing to go the extra mile and teach your kids how to budget, you will be doing them a huge favor as they move toward adulthood.

Believe it or not, you can start quite young with the idea of a budget. Even though these early budgets will be quite simple, they will lay the groundwork for what is to come later in life. Let?s take a look at how this might work.

It Starts with Chores

One of the most important lessons that comes from budgeting is the understanding that nothing comes free in life. Even though you would gladly give what you have to your child, it doesn?t do them any good to get everything for nothing.

This is where chores come into the picture. You can think of household chores as your child?s first job, even if it is an informal one.

When your child reaches an appropriate age, have them help with a chore that is safe and reasonable for their age and size. If you choose to do so, you can attach a reward to the chore as a form of payment.

For small children, this probably won?t be money, but rather something like a tasty treat or a new toy after they have completed the chore a certain number of times. As your children get older, you can start to think about making the reward financial. Then, you can work on a budget.

A Child?s Budget

Your kids don?t have their own bills, but you can still sit down with them and establish a budget for the money they earn from chores.

For example, let?s imagine that you are giving your child $20 per month for the completion of a few chores (the amount is up to you, of course). Talk with your child about what that amount of money can buy, and speak with them about the importance of saving along the way.

So, maybe you will suggest that they save at least $10 per month, while using the other half to buy a couple small things. When you are at the store, you can point out prices and explain how money works.

As time goes by, your child?s budget will naturally get more and more complex. At some point, they will be able to drive and will need to pay for the costs that come along with a car. Also, they will head out into the real world and get a job of some kind, allowing them to have their own source of income.

By laying the groundwork early with a simple budget, the realities of the adult world will be much easier for your child to handle. Good luck!


How have you taught your kids to budget? Did your kids do chores?


Photo courtesy of: David Kessler