We know how busy you are. So once a month we'll pick one topic to highlight and offer some tips and ideas for you to explore. We hope that these In Focus features will help you get organized, find new resources, and make your work-life juggling act go a bit more smoothly. This month, Work It, Mom!
focuses on money, with tips on how to manage it, how to budget it, and how to make the most of it.
1.) Track your spending and balance your budget online. There are plenty of tools online to help you manage your money. We like Mint.com. Their free service is comprehensive, easy to use, and super secure (TRUSTe certified). Check out their Mint.edu blog for some great, down-to-earth advice, personal stories, and secrets to financial success.
2.) Find frugal ideas fast. Work It, Mom!'s own Frugal Moms Group is a great place for members to share ideas and life hacks that have worked from them. Take a look at the discussion about credit cards vs. cash and add your 2 cents. Want to get the most bang for your shopping buck? Check out Want Not, Mir Kamin's award-winning blog that helps you have it all with less.
3.) Take care of your taxes for free. Tax day is fast approaching. If you're one of the 25 percent of US taxpayers who have not yet filed (or one of the 10 percent who plans to file an extension and deal with it by October), there are online options out there for you. If your income is $54,000 or less, you can use Free File. And eSmart Tax is a great alternative to expensive tax-prep software. Wondering about that rebate from the IRS? Take a look at SingleMa's fabulous article on the Economic Stimulus Payment and what you can expect.
4.) Learn about investing your money. Make sure you vet your investment opportunities thoroughly; the National Consumer's League has some great advice on avoiding investment fraud. Eying the stock market? Stop by Qwoter's Stock Market College and take a look at their Top 20 Trading Rules.
5.) Teach your kids how to handle their allowances. Handipoints allows you to create an allowance program with customizable goals to help you show your kids the importance of saving and managing money. (Plus, they have a great parents' portal).