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Entries in saving money (4)


Entertainment Book - the gift that keeps on giving, and giving, and giving... has their books on sale just in time for the holidays! These books are filled with coupons and special deals for both local and national stores and restaurants.

My book came last month


and you can see how I've already started to dog-ear the businesses I frequent.


My plan is to leave the book in my car since that's when we often make our purchasing and dinner-out decisions. Last minute of course.

The good news is that Entertainment deals are also available with a wallet card AND the mobile app.



These books are the perfect gift for teachers, sports instructors, neighbors, babysitters, and any hard-to-shop for person on your list! Pair it with a gift card to their favorite restaurant with a deal in the Entertainment book and you've got yourself an awesome gift!

You can purchase the book online at

Happy Holiday and Happy Shopping!



Kids Have to Earn Money to Really Learn About Saving Money. Right?

This post was underwritten by BMO Harris Bank, which offers a matching $25 on a new savings account opened for your child through their Helpful Steps for Parents program. Learn more at

What better way to teach kids about money than with their own savings account?

The opportunity to write about this came at the perfect time.

The girls have been asking about getting an allowance for a few weeks now and just last weekend we sat down to discuss how we might handle that. The Mister and I agree that we don't want to necessarily pay them to do chores. We feel that each member of the family needs to contribute and that's what chores are...they are part of life in a family.

However, how are they supposed to learn about money, managing, saving, and spending if they don't have the chance to earn it?

We discussed what other families do:

Some pay a small amount for various chores...emptying the dishwasher is $.10, while taking out the trash is $.20.  Some simply pay a weekly amount and track the chores that get done...or don't get done. Other kids don't get any set amount but receive money here and there to spend (or save).

We've decided to go with the all or nothing approach.

In all honesty, I'm not sure how good I'll be at the 'nothing' part of this approach but we'll try it. For "all or nothing" the girls have a set of chores they have to do. Some are daily (putting those DAMN shoes away), some are weekly, and some are monthly. If they do all their chores for the month they will receive $20 at the end of the month! That's a large, tangible amount that they can see grow if they save it, or even a portion of it.

Earn Money then Save Money

The next step in this allowance adventure will be to open a bank account for each of them. This way, they can see the amount they save grow, but not be tempted to spend it as they are if they simply stuff it in their wallets. I think BMO/Harris Bank has a great idea matching $25 for a new kid's account! First of all - to go from $0 to $50 just for opening an account will get kids excited about seeing the balance grow, and thus excited about SAVING their money.


I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. To learn more about BMO Harris Bank, visit their website

Disclosure: I received compensation for this post but all opinions are my own and this post was neither reviewed nor approved prior to being published.


American Express can help parents PASS on financial responsibility


Make Good Spending Choices

My twins are still young but not too young to start learning about the value of money and responsible spending.

They already know that simply because they WANT something, is not reson enough to GET something...even if it doesn't cost much.

One tool I have discovered that can teach kids how to make good spending choices is the PASS card from American Express. This is a prepaid, reloadable credit card parents can give to their kids. It's a great way to start a conversation about spending versus saving. Parents control the money on the card and there is no risk of overdraft or of a negative impact to a teen's credit (or the parent's).

How PASS from AMEX works

I recently ordered a PASS card for the purposes of this review. It was fairly easy - create an account, link your bank account. Yes, for now you cannot load the card with a credit card - even an AMEX credit card. You must link it to your bank account BUT you decide how much is loaded on there and when it's loaded.


The PASS card can help you start a discussion with your teen about allowance, contributing to the household chores, getting good grades, and more that can be rewarded using additional funds on the PASS card. Parents might want to test out their teen's budgeting skills and pre-load a semester's worth of money to cover books, lunch, and entertainment money. If the card is empty at the end of the semester, well a discussion an a lesson on budgeting is in order!

What will Teens think of the PASS card?

Well, since I'm not a teen and I don't have teens, I can only guess. BUT...I'd say they would love the packaging.


AMEX makes the PASS card in a variety of colors and sends it in a very cool reusable box. I would also imagine that any teen is going to appreciate NOT having to ask mom and dad for $20 to go to a movie especially if they have an agreement with their parents already in place.

How do you start the money discussion with your kids? What do you think of giving a teenager a PASS card? I'd love to hear your thoughts.


Disclosure: I received a monetary credit on my PASS card as a thank you for participating in the She Speaks campaign. All opinions expressed here are my own and this post was neither reviewed nor approved prior to being published.


The Practecol line of eco-friendly devices are better for the Earth and your wallet

As a green blogger I'm always looking out for eco-friendly products that are EASY to install, and use. I'm not a rocket scientist like some of my friends, but I can read directions and use a drill. Lucky for me, I only needed to drill once for this review and The Mister was more than happy to help.

Practecol wants you to save money

The first thing you notice about the packaging is how much Practecol estimates you can save annually by using that product! If you add up all the savings it means a fabulous pair of Jimmy Choos for the holidays! (You like how I put it into terms we all can grasp, don't you?)

Practecol refrigerator kit, remote control surge strip, retractable clothesline and more

Putting Practecol to work

Here are some of the devices we've started using and my thoughts:

Energy Monitor 

Plug it into any outlet then plug in the device you want to test. It will tell you how much energy that device consumes and even the cost! Right now I have it in the outlet where The Mister plugs his laptop. I think he should unplut it once in a while. I'm trying to prove this point but so far it only looks like it costs about $1.40 for the amount of time it's been plugged in (maybe 2 weeks?)

Refrigerator Kit

Armed wtih a thermometer that sounds an alarm if the door is left open too long and a brush to get the dust off the coils, our fridge should be maintaining optimum temperature and using less energy. So far we have yet to set off the alarm! Maybe all you need is the power of suggestion!

Surge Strip

The remote control 8-outlet power strip has two always-on outlets. We have this for our TV/DVD/DVR setup since the DVR needs to stay on to keep recording while the other devices can be turned off. My biggest question was what if you lose the remote? Not to worry, Practecol can send you a new one or you can turn off those outlets with a switch on the device like a standard surge protector.

Remote Control Outlet Adapter

I have this installed in the outlet where I plug in my printer. The outlets around my des are all full and so I have to run an extension cord into this outlet on the other side of the room. I don't use my printer all the time and now I can easily turn it off with the zap of the remote! Easy and actually kinda fun!

Indoor Retractable Clothesline

We installed this device in our mudroom / laundry room. It's perfect to hang entire loads of laundry to dry when the sun isn't out. And it will be great during the winer to hang snow-covered coats, snowpants, and more! It easily retracts back into itself and even has room to store clothespins!

Currently Practecol products are availabe in Target stores and online at


Disclosure: I received Practecol products at no charge for purposes of a review. All opinions expressed here are my own and this post was neither reviewed nor approved prior to publishing.