How To Save Money On Summer Camps

For many families in America, sending your children to summer camp is a family tradition.   When I went to camp at Speers-Eljibar in the Poconos as a child, I can distinctly remember learning how to canoe, ride a horse, and most of all having fun playing tons of games and activities.   However, summer camps can cost your family and arm and a leg if you aren’t careful on how to look out for a bargain.  Here are some your smart money moves tips on how to save money on summer camps. Ask about the “group” discount-  Even though your children may want to go to different summer camps, some camps will offer a discount if multiple children attend the same camp.  If you can get some consensus amongst your kids, this can save you a few bucks going into the summer. Be an ‘early’ bird-  Just like registering for a conference, camps like it when they know that guaranteed income ...

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My High School Was Ranked #144th Last Year

U.S. News and World Report (source: www.usnews.com) just came out with its recent ranking of the top high schools in the United States last year.   U.S. News evaluated more than 28,000 schools to determine the top public high schools nationally, and in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Five hundred high schools received gold medals, 2,173 schools earned silver and 3,545 took home bronze in the national rankings.  Texas and Arizona has the most schools while Maryland had the most number of schools that qualified for silver and gold medals relative to those schools that were eligible. Just as any good parent would do, I immediately scanned the list to see where my chlidren’s school fleshed out on the list because we moved 10 years ago to get into a good school district.  It turns out that Milton High School (with over 2,000 kids) place #255th nationally and was also ranked #7 in the state of Georgia.    Looking at how ...

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Seven Great Wedding Gift Ideas

Wedding have changed so much over the past 25 years from the popularity of destination weddings on the beach to the cool environment of you having your wedding in a barn.   New websites have been built out today such as www.appycouple.com where you can keep everyone organized, track RSVP’s, share photos, travel, chat, and much more.  If you are going to a wedding, one of the timeless difficult questions is what you should be giving for a gift.   Should you just tuck some cash in an envelope or hit the registry list?  What if the couple wants you to make a donation in their name?  What if they tell you to bring nothing but yourself?   Here are my ‘your smart money moves’ guide to seven great wedding gift ideas. Matching Passport Holders-  If you are going to a wedding for a couple that loves to travel, a reasonably inexpensive but cool gift idea is to get matching passport holders.  There ...

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5 Estate Planning Lessons We Can Learn From Prince

Recently, I was invited into the Washington, DC Bureau to do a timely piece of the estate of Prince.  His estimated fortune was in excess of 300 million currently, and this doesn’t include the recent or future sales of his records.  As we have seen from legends such as Elvis Presley, money can be made off your name for many years into the future.   The sad news came out that it appears Prince did not have a will.  With one real sister and five half siblings it will surely be a mess to settle.   Here are five really good lessons you can learn from the lack of planning Prince may have done with his estate. What If I Don’t Have A Will? –  Here’s the newsflash.   If you don’t have a will, then the state that you live in will have one for you.   The problem with this is that you might assume all of your assets will go to ...

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Six Gifts Under $100 For The College Graduate

With high school and college graduation right around the corner, one of the big questions you may be asking to what to buy your graduate on their special day.  You can certainly splurge on a fancy dinner, but there are some really cool ideas out there for less than a $100.  Here is my short smart money moves guide to graduation day. Get Them A Budget- www.youneedabudget.com (YNAB) will only cost you $60, but could help your graduate save thousands for the years to come.  Think about whether or not you want them to me moving home.  The sooner they learn good budgeting habits, the better of you will be. Netflix Subscription- There are all kinds of different subscriptions you can get including Amazon Prime, but if since many young adults are skipping TV altogether, this can be an excellent low cost idea to give them for their first real year on their own. The Dollar Shave Club- For just ...

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Which Financial Documents Do You Need To Keep?

When you are twenty one, most of your entire life will fit in a box.   As you get older, you begin to collect more boxes.   After buying a car, a house, going through a few jobs, and having a few children, the amount of financial information you begin to compile can be overwhelming.   People who come into our offices will sometimes walk through the door with a stack of envelopes asking the key question, “Do I have to keep all of these documents?”   Here is Your Smart Money Moves guide on what originals you need to keep, what you can shred, and what you might want to store up in the cloud. What you should keep for your originals? Birth Certificate Social Security Card Marriage License Diplomas or Transcripts Wills What about the cloud? With the proliferation of the cloud, there is much larger opportunity to store documents through an online service.   I would recommend trying to get an online ...

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Five Memberships You Can Save Money With Today

There are many types of membership models, but gym memberships are probably the most popular type of membership.  As most of you know, gyms often sell (or give) away many more memberships than the gym can actually hold.   Membership companies love to sell to people who they know either won’t use it, won’t show up, or just plain forget that they have the membership.   In doing my research, here are five membership ideas that can really save you money without breaking your wallet. AAA- (aaa.com) AAA is a membership that has been around for a long time. Most consumers think about AAA as the ‘car’ company.  You buy a AAA membership in case you have a flat tire, battery dies, you need a tow, or you get locked out of your car.   What most people don’t think about are the hundreds of discounts that the AAA card offers.   One of the biggest ones that I have used over the years ...

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Socks Are The New Ties

In 1991, I distinctly remember shopping for my very first real suit purchase in Filene’s Basement in downtown Boston.  How I longed to start my career a la the Alex Keaton days of Family Ties and come dressed up to work in my spiffy brand new suit.   Of all the major accessories that come with a suit, you could easily turn an average suit into a great look with a spectacular tie.  The tie is what really brought everything together.   You could turn a plain old gray or blue suit with a white shirt into some eye popping candy with a tie that jumps out off of the dull canvas of the plain old suit. I was never one for spending tons of money on clothes, but when I hit my first stride of success, I knew that one stop in the Ermenegildo Zegna store would truly show the level of success I was having.   It wouldn’t seem like prudent ...

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