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    Make Your Kids Pay for These 7 Things: They’ll Thank You Later

    Make Your Kids Pay for These 7 Things: They’ll Thank You Later

    The great allowance debate aside, we all want our kids to grow up to be financially smart and self-reliant. That means giving them the opportunity to practice handling and managing money. We all know it is better for them to make mistakes with $5, $20 or even $200 than to make major $50,000 mistakes as adults.

    Whether your kids get a no-strings-attached, weekly allowance, are paid for chores or are given the opportunity to pick up small jobs at home and in your neighborhood, here are seven expenses they should be paying for themselves.

    1. Checkout Line Gimmes

    The checkout line is much less stressful when kids have their own money. You don’t have to feel like the mean parent who says no all day, but you also don’t have to indulge your child’s every last desire.

    “Mom, can I have this 53rd pack of Pokemon cards or a bag of potato chips?”

    “Sure! If you have enough money.”

    2. Lost Lunchboxes, Backpacks, Etc.

    Looking back, I’m surprised my mother didn’t tie all of my brother and my belongings to us each morning when we left for school. We were notorious for the sweater left in the gym locker room, a lunch box freezer pack accidentally thrown in the garbage or a mitten forgotten on the bus.

    Sometimes we were able to recover our possessions, but others were lost for good. One way to get your kids to respect the cost of their stuff is to require them to replace it themselves.

    If a lost item is too expensive, feel free to advance them the money if necessary — but expect them to pay you back through their allowance or side projects. And be sure to let them know that repaying debts comes before that new Lego video game.

    3. Library Book Fines

    Borrowing from the library is often a child’s first experience with loans and financial consequences. Teach them that if they are old enough to have their own library card, they are old enough to keep track of when their books are due.

    A 15-cent late charge is better than a $25 late charge that can hurt their credit score as an adult. If they struggle with the concept, help them mark the due dates on the family calendar or let them put sticky notes with due dates on the book covers.

    4. Toys and Video Games

    Aside from holidays and birthdays, we can’t try to shell out for each and every thing our child sets their eyes on. Toys and video games are the perfect introduction to saving for most kids and a larger expense they can fund themselves.

    Putting money in the bank for college or retirement is mystifying to an average 8-year-old, but stuffing $2 to $5 a week in their piggy bank for a robot dog may make perfect sense to them. Just be sure to maintain your veto rights over inappropriate or unsafe games.

    5. Holiday and Birthday Gifts

    If you’ve gone to a child’s birthday party lately, you have likely seen how out-of-control gift giving has become. Weddings are even worse. It is the suburban arms race.

    Help your kids understand that a great gift is one that is thoughtful — and within the bounds of what they can afford. Let them plan out gifts for their siblings’ birthdays or for the holidays. Then, either help them set goals to save for those purchases or encourage them to make something by hand instead.

    6. Cell Phone Plans

    If your older kids have cell phones, make sure these regular expenses aren’t hidden from them. Bill from FamZoo makes sure his kids’ allowance is high enough to cover their part of the bill, as long as they budget for it, but there are other options too.

    Let your child have a basic no-data-plan phone for emergencies — but if they want to surf the web and share photos on Instagram, they have to find a way to pay for themselves. This enforces the message that you may be willing to cover the “need” of reaching your kids at any time but that the other functions of a phone are still “wants”.

    7. Entertainment and Outings

    Family dinners and movie nights are outings that parents still pay for — that’s the joy of being a kid!

    But the kids can pay themselves if they want to go bowling with their friends, take the optional school trip to Six Flags or meet for ice cream. This gives them the opportunity to weigh their options and learn that they can afford anything — but not everything.

    Childhood is about freedom and fun, but it is also about learning. Make sure you’re giving your child a chance to learn how to budget and make smart spending decisions!

    Chelsea Brennan is an investment professional, mother, and founder of the family finance site, Mama Fish Saves. Her passion is helping parents feel empowered about money so they can reach their goals and raise financially smart kids!

    This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, one of the largest personal finance websites. We help millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. In 2016, Inc. 500 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the No. 1 fastest-growing private media company in the U.S.

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    Millennials: How Much Are You Really Spending?

    Millennials: How Much Are You Really Spending?

    Avocados were a top millennial expenditure in 2016 — or it could seem that way if you read the viral stories that fill your social media feeds. If you’re part of this generation, you know better.  You might share certain spending habits with other millennials — and you might occasionally catch flak for those habits. But some of these patterns…


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    This Company’s Hiring Real-Life Mermaids to Hang Out Under the Sea

    This Company’s Hiring Real-Life Mermaids to Hang Out Under the Sea

    OK, real talk.

    Who here has dreamed of becoming a mermaid ever since you were just a tiny, ocean-loving tot brushing your hair with a fork while your parents begged you not to start a VHS of “The Little Mermaid” for the 50th time that day?

    Yeah, I know you.

    I see your shell-covered phone case and three consecutive years’ worth of mermaid-themed Halloween costumes.

    I hear you humming “Under the Sea” quietly to yourself as you pass me in the grocery store while you pick up anything but seafood for dinner because fish are friends and all that jazz.

    I know you’ve sat there, sometimes for hours, with your mouse hovering over the “Buy Now” button while you shop for those ridiculously expensive but totally realistic looking silicone mermaid tails.

    I even know you grew up with a weird crush on the cartoon Prince Eric.

    And you know what else I know?

    That your dream of becoming a real, live mermaid could finally, FINALLY come true.

    I’m serious: Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, home to the famous Weeki Wachee mermaids, is looking for people to slip on a fin and join the rest of the mermaid city down below.

    Yeah, you could become a mermaid. (Go freak out for a minute — I’ll wait here.)

    How to Become a Mermaid at Weeki Wachee

    Kelley Madden, left, and Brittany Fussell get ready to dive into “the tube” that leads the mermaids into the open spring on May 16, 2017.
    Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

    If you’re wondering what it’s like to be a Weeki Wachee mermaid, we’ve got you covered. See? We’re obsessed, too.

    If you’ve read that and you’re still totally committed to landing the gig, here’s what you should know:

    You’ll have to move to Florida, obviously, but there are worse things. (I promise.)

    You must be at least 18 years old.

    You must be available to work at least four days a week (including weekends) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    You need to be a strong swimmer, and should be able to swim 400 yards in under 15 minutes. It will probably also help if you’re not claustrophobic. (Why, you ask? Did you even read the story I gave you?!)

    You need to have a wide variety of skills, including everything from sewing to directing underwater shows.

    If you’re hired, you’ll have to get scuba certified, and you’ll have to learn how to perform routines underwater in 74-degree water while a current pulls you this way and that.

    Mermaids perform during The Little Mermaid show at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

    You’ll make about $10 an hour starting out — but you’ll get to be a mermaid, so there’s that.

    When you’re not performing, you might do a little travelling and make appearances with the rest of the mermaid crew.

    Convinced this job was created specifically for you?

    Then it’s probably time to apply to become a Weeki Wachee mermaid.

    All you have to do is send a recent photo of yourself along with a resume to the email address listed here. (Just be aware: Because this isn’t the largest of operations, you should probably only flood the inbox if you’re pretty serious about applying.)

    Grace Schweizer is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder. She hopes all your mermaid dreams come true.

    This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, one of the largest personal finance websites. We help millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. In 2016, Inc. 500 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the No. 1 fastest-growing private media company in the U.S.

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    Flood Insurance Claim Denied? Don’t Panic; Appeal

    Flood Insurance Claim Denied? Don’t Panic; Appeal

    Having a flood insurance policy is a relief if you’ve suffered water damage. But it doesn’t guarantee that your troubles are over, because your claim could be underpaid or denied. If you’ve read your policy thoroughly and believe your claim should be covered, it’s worth pursuing an appeal. If you have a National Flood Insurance…


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    Major Expansion Plans Mean Thousands More Amazon Jobs in 2018

    Major Expansion Plans Mean Thousands More Amazon Jobs in 2018

    Amazon is on a path to total world domination, and it seems we’re all powerless to stop it.

    OK, so it’s less like we’re powerless and more like we’re feeding into the all-consuming need for immediate gratification in the form of household items, clothing, video streaming, books, small appliances, electronics, accessories, foodstuffs and — oh yeah — literally anything else you could possibly dream up.

    However you choose to look at it, the company is growing at an (alarmingly) impressive rate.

    This means it’ll continue to build fulfillment centers and headquarters (and whatever else the future of Amazon may bring), which will, in turn, open up plenty of new jobs. That’s the part we care about.

    Amazon Jobs for Everyone

    This year, Amazon announced plans to build a second headquarters, equal in size to its existing Seattle-area HQ.

    Fifty cities across the U.S. and Canada are currently fighting for the right to be home to Amazon’s next mega-headquarters. The company has said it will invest $5 billion in the construction of this new Amazon-opolis and promises the headquarters will eventually provide as many as 50,000 jobs.

    But really, why stop there?

    While all those major cities await Amazon’s decision on the new HQ, the company is moving forward with already planned initiatives — namely, opening an office (not a headquarters, mind you) on the west side of Manhattan in New York City.

    The 360,000-square-foot space in the new Manhattan West mega-development will house advertising, Amazon Fashion and Amazon Web Services teams — and the company is already expecting to hire about 2,000 additional people over the next few years to staff it.

    Earlier this month, Amazon also announced plans to build an 855,000-square-foot fulfillment center in New York, creating more than 2,250 full-time on Staten Island.

    You Get a Job, and YOU Get a Job Everybody GETS A JOB

    And because Amazon is the Oprah of warehouse and fulfillment center jobs, the company has begun releasing plans for 2018, and — you guessed it — those plans involve thousands more jobs across the country.

    In July, Amazon announced plans to open fulfillment centers in Orlando, Florida, and Romulus, Michigan, creating more than 1,500 new jobs in each city.

    In August, Amazon announced plans to open fulfillment centers in North Randall, Ohio, and Salem, Oregon, creating another 2,000 and 1,000 full-time jobs in each city, respectively.

    In September, Amazon announced plans to open fulfillment centers in Shelby, Michigan, Monroe, Ohio and Portland, Oregon. Each center will create more than 1,000 jobs for people in those areas.

    You can go here to browse Amazon’s current job openings (fulfillment and otherwise), but keep in mind that many of the aforementioned centers don’t open until sometime in 2018. You may have to check back later to see all of the open positions near you.

    And for those of you who are still adamantly anti-Amazon, someday soon you’ll all be forced to make a choice: Step outside and ask your grouchy, grudge-holding neighbor for a cup of sugar (like in the ancient times) so you can finish baking that pie, or wait a short 20 minutes for a friendly drone to deliver it to your window with a drone-smile.

    Listen, I’m not saying Amazon is the way of the future, but Amazon just might be the way of the future.

    Grace Schweizer is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

    This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, one of the largest personal finance websites. We help millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. In 2016, Inc. 500 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the No. 1 fastest-growing private media company in the U.S.

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    Toys “R” Us Is Hiring Thousands for the Holidays. Here’s How to Apply

    Toys “R” Us Is Hiring Thousands for the Holidays. Here’s How to Apply

    How much fun would it be to work in a toy store? You’d get to play with stuff all the time — or at least when you’re on break.

    Toys R Us is hiring more than 12,000 part-time seasonal employees to work in stores and fulfillment centers across the country.  

    The company’s customer service partner is also hiring over 900 people to fill work-from-home jobs in virtual call centers in 25 states.

    Toys R Us recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, but don’t let that stop you from applying. It simply means the company is working on new ways to pay down its debt — something a lot of us can relate to.

    “As the holiday season ramps up, our physical and web stores are open for business, and our team members around the world look forward to continuing to put huge smiles on children’s faces,” said Dave Brandon, chairman and chief executive officer at Toys R Us in a statement on the company’s website.

    If this isn’t the kind of job you’re looking for, don’t forget to check out our Jobs page on Facebook. We post new positions there all the time.

    What Kind of Seasonal On-Site Jobs are Available?

    Several different kinds of jobs are available at Toys R Us stores and fulfillment centers:

    • Cashier
    • Sales Associate
    • Stock Associate
    • Toy Demonstrator
    • Order Fulfillment Associate (daytime and overnight)
    • Distribution Center Warehouse Associate
    • General Labor (DHL Supply Chain Fulfillment Center)
    • Clerical (DHL Supply Chain Fulfillment Center)
    • Forklift Operators (DHL Supply Chain Fulfillment Center)

    Where Are the On-Site Jobs Located?

    Toys R Us has hundreds of stores across the U.S. The largest seasonal hiring markets include:

    • New York: more than 3,800
    • Los Angeles: more than 2,400
    • Groveport, Ohio (DHL Supply Chain Fulfillment Center): more than 2,400
    • Philadelphia: more than 1,400
    • Chicago: more than 1,100
    • Boston: more than 950

    Tell Me About the Work-From-Home Jobs

    Toys R Us partners with Acticall Sitel Group to staff its 25 virtual call centers in 25 states.

    As a work-from-home Toys R Us customer service agent, you’ll answer phone calls and assist customers with billing or account questions, product inquiries and more.

    Do the Jobs Include benefits?

    Yes! Benefits include competitive pay, flex hours, varied shifts, and a Team Member shopping discount.

    Part-time seasonal workers may also be eligible for long-term jobs once the holiday season ends. “Over the past several years, Toys R Us hired thousands of its holiday workforce after Christmas to fill permanent roles,” the company states.

    I’m Interested! How Do I Apply?

    It’s easy, and you can even apply right from your mobile phone! Here’s how:

    • To apply for DHL Supply Chain Fulfillment Center jobs, visit dhlsupplychainjobs.com or text “TOYS2017” to 31996 for job information.

    Lisa McGreevy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She loves telling readers about new job opportunities, so look her up on Twitter @lisah if you’ve got a tip to share.

    This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, one of the largest personal finance websites. We help millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. In 2016, Inc. 500 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the No. 1 fastest-growing private media company in the U.S.

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    Here’s How to Donate Supplies, Money or Time After a Natural Disaster

    Here’s How to Donate Supplies, Money or Time After a Natural Disaster

    Our world is not lacking in natural disasters. In any given month, communities are experiencing or cleaning up from a hurricane, flood, earthquake or other unexpected event.

    Whether watching events unfold from near or far, many people have a natural inclination to provide compassionate assistance in any way they can.

    But it can be difficult to decide where to donate supplies, money or boots-on-the-ground labor where it will do the most good.

    Here are some resources to help you decide.

    How to Donate Supplies

    People in disaster-stricken areas almost always need food, water and other basic supplies. But each disaster also brings its own set of unique needs based on the type and duration of the event, how much time residents had to prepare and how badly the disaster impacted the community’s infrastructure.

    “Generally after a disaster, people with loving intentions donate things that cannot be used in a disaster response, and in fact may actually be harmful,” Juanita Rilling, former director of the Center for International Disaster Information told CBS News. “And they have no idea that they’re doing it.”

    Here’s what to do instead:

    • Check the affected area’s official website and Facebook page for information. Local officials often post lists of supplies victims and relief workers need most.
    • Check with the area’s local food bank to see whether it’s accepting food deliveries.
    • Look around your house for unused medical equipment like CPAP machines and wheelchairs. Type the item’s name and “donate to disaster victims” to find out where to send your donation.

    How to Donate Money

    Several national and international organizations accept financial donations to assist with specific disasters.

    Be sure to do your homework before donating money to a relief fund. These independent watchdog groups provide insight into the reputations of charitable foundations and how contributions are spent.

    Groups That Provide Local and International Disaster Assistance

    These organizations provide disaster assistance to stricken areas:

    Groups that Provide Specific Types of Disaster Assistance  

    These groups provide disaster aid for animals, children and people who need or want specific types of assistance:

    • Goonj: Assistance for disasters that occur in India.
    • Portlight: Disaster assistance for people with disabilities.
    • Support the Girls: Bras and feminine hygiene products for people in disaster-affected locations .

    How to Donate Time and Labor

    If you plan to donate time and labor after a future event, consider taking the free disaster training course though the American Red Cross to understand how communities are affected by disasters and how they recover.

    Here are some organizations to connect with if you want to help out in person in the wake of a disaster. Note: Some of these opportunities require volunteers to meet certain eligibility requirements.

    Lisa McGreevy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. Follow her on Twitter @lisah.

    This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, one of the largest personal finance websites. We help millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. In 2016, Inc. 500 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the No. 1 fastest-growing private media company in the U.S.

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    Huge Gap Inc. Seasonal Hiring Event at All Stores Sept. 23

    Huge Gap Inc. Seasonal Hiring Event at All Stores Sept. 23

    It’s one of the great kindnesses of life that during the holiday season — the time when everyone starts thinking, “Man, I could use a few extra bucks this month.” — a slew of seasonal, holiday jobs opens up.

    And this year is no different.

    Already, companies like Target and UPS are advertising tens of thousands of seasonal jobs for those who want to make a little extra money by helping stores get through their busiest season.

    And now we can add Gap Inc. to the list.

    (By the way, if you’re constantly on the hunt for a great job opportunity, be sure to like our Jobs page on Facebook. We post awesome opportunities there all the time — including some great work-from-home positions!)

    Work for Gap Inc. This Holiday Season

    Gap Inc. is the parent company of Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy.

    The company has just announced nationwide hiring events scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 23, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (local time zones) at all locations of the following stores in the U.S. and Canada: Gap, Gap Factory, Banana Republic, Banana Republic Factory and Old Navy.

    Available positions include everything from stockroom to sales.

    Pay isn’t listed, but it will most likely vary by position.

    What won’t vary by position?

    The awesome perks and benefits.

    • Discounts on merchandise at Gap Inc. stores. (Think about the holiday gift possibilities.)
    • Wellness offerings that include free flu shots and discounts on vision and dental programs, plus family care assistance that includes back-up child care options and access to day care services.
    • The opportunity to grow with the company beyond the holiday season.
    • Flexible scheduling that works with you during the busy holidays.

    If you’re interested in joining the team over at Gap Inc., try to make it out to any of the Gap Inc. stores for their nationwide hiring events.

    And just so you don’t have to scroll back up to the top of this post to re-read the details, here they are again:

    What? Seasonal job openings at all Gap Inc. stores, including everything from stockroom to sales to transportation.

    When? Saturday, Sept. 23, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (local time zones).

    Where? All Gap Inc. stores throughout the U.S. and Canada, including Gap, Gap Factory, Banana Republic, Banana Republic Factory and Old Navy.

    Why? Because of all the people who will head to the mall in droves to fight each other over the last sweater in a size small that their child just haaaaas to have — but don’t worry, you’re just there to collect that extra cash.

    Go here to see some of the available seasonal openings on the Gap Inc. website.

    And — just so you know — Gap Inc. has announced it will be closing about 200 Gap store locations over the next few years. It will, however, open about 270 Old Navy and Athleta store locations over the same period.

    Here’s a (boring) explanation about growth and balance, but what you really need to know is these seasonal jobs are just that — seasonal. Regardless of what’s shutting down three years from now, it’ll still be nice to have a little extra money coming in this holiday season.

    Grace Schweizer is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

    This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, one of the largest personal finance websites. We help millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. In 2016, Inc. 500 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the No. 1 fastest-growing private media company in the U.S.

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    Visa Checkout is Hooking It Up With BOGO Movie Tickets This Weekend

    Visa Checkout is Hooking It Up With BOGO Movie Tickets This Weekend

    Just in time for the weekend, Visa and Fandango have partnered up to save you money on date night.

    When you buy one movie ticket through Fandango or the Fandango app, you’ll get one ticket free if you enter promo code DEALSTHATCLICK9 and then pay with the Visa Checkout option.

    Unfortunately, if you’re flying solo this weekend, you can’t use this BOGO deal to get movie tickets for two different flicks. It only works for multiple tickets to the same showing.

    Hurry, because this deal ends Sept. 24.

    Get a Free $15 GAP Gift Card With Visa Checkout, Too

    If you love Gap Inc., Visa Checkout has another deal for you.

    If you make a purchase from Gap.com or one of its partner stores’ websites, like Old Navy, Banana Republic or Athleta, by Sept. 30 and pay with Visa Checkout, you’ll get a free $15 electronic gift card you can use at any of the four stores.

    You will receive the gift card via email within three business days. No promo code is necessary to claim the deal.

    How Visa Checkout Works

    No, you don’t need a Visa card to use Visa Checkout. The system takes all major credit and debit cards.

    If this is your first time using it, you’ll have to create a free Visa Checkout account. Once you do, you can log in and use it to make purchases without having to enter your card information and address again on every website offering this payment option.

    You can start using that new account right away.

    Stack These Deals With Cash Back

    You know we’re all about stacking deals at The Penny Hoarder, and Ebates gives you the perfect opportunity to save a little more.

    Just head over to Ebates, search for Fandango or the Gap store you prefer and click the “Shop Now” button to get up to 2% cash back.

    Desiree Stennett (@desi_stennett) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.

    This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, one of the largest personal finance websites. We help millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. In 2016, Inc. 500 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the No. 1 fastest-growing private media company in the U.S.

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    Are You Squeamish About Buying Used Items? Get Over It

    Are You Squeamish About Buying Used Items? Get Over It

    Bedbugs. Weird smells. The possibility of imminent breakdowns. People have all sorts of excuses for not buying used stuff. Those who deliberately buy used items, though, say such fears are not just overblown — they’re also expensive. Katy Wolk-Stanley, a Portland, Oregon, labor and delivery nurse, has a short list of things she’ll buy new,…


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