Paws and Effect - The annual cost of pet ownership and how to reduce costs

There’s a good reason there’s an estimated 74 to 96 million owned cats and 70 to 80 million dogs in the U.S. With wagging tails, slobbery kisses, and little whiskers that make for adorable Instagrams, pets give us that warm, cuddly feeling inside. They are part of our families and some of our best friends. But, they can also be a substantial part of a personal budget, especially since it (hopefully) is a long-term commitment that can last for a couple decades. It was estimated that over $62 billion was spent collectively on U.S. pets in 2016.

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Debt After Death – Do You Have it Covered?

Many people deal with credit card debt all of their lives with most of them giving little or no thought to what happens with their debt after they die. The fact that nearly 60% die without a will is a strong indication that they’ve given absolutely no thought to it. As a consequence, those that survive the debt holder are often left to deal with a myriad of issues that can be time-consuming and unpleasant. Credit card debt doesn’t simply evaporate when someone dies.

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Life Unexpected: Are You Prepared?

Life happens, and, when it does, it sometimes has a tendency to get in the way of the things we are trying do for ourselves and our families. The one certainty on which we can count is that life is full of uncertainty, so why aren’t we more prepared?  Most people are just a paycheck away from financial disaster, yet the odds of an unexpected occurrence such as a job loss, a medical emergency, a debilitating accident, or even a death in the family are fairly high when you consider them all together.  Taken as whole, the question is not if a financial disaster will strike, but when.

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Beyond just an Allowance: How to Engage your Young Kids in Learning about Money from a Young Age

Think back to those early days in life when it seemed like everything in the candy aisle was free if you begged your parents hard enough. Not a fleeting thought was given to the expenses of a vacation or the copay costs at the doctor. There’s something beautifully unburdened in the way which children experience the world: recklessly present and innocently ambivalent. Teaching your children lessons about money from a young age won’t crush that. What it will do is to set them on a path to future financial success with enduring financial concepts.

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Habits of a Savvy Saving Family

When people warn you that having kids is expensive, it’s no joke. From diapers to food, braces to sports activities the costs add up quick. For a middle-income family in the U.S. raising a child up until age 18, costs an estimated average of $245,340 (or $304,480, adjusted for projected inflation), according to the 2013 “Cost of Raising a Child” report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Of course, this number fluctuates dependent on where you live and your living habits.

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