Monday Night Finance- Volume 41

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Holiday Gifts: Managing Expectations with your Kids

This week is Thanksgiving, which means it is the start of the traditional holiday shopping season. (Although to be fair, it seems to start immediately after Halloween nowadays). Do you typically have a plan for your Holiday shopping? Perhaps you have a dollar amount you normally spend for each child. Or maybe you try to buy the perfect gift regardless of the cost. Have you ever regretted a holiday purchase? While you can draw from your past Holiday shopping experiences, this year is a blank slate.

Yes, we want to see their faces lit up with joy when they get that new toy they’ve always wanted, but we also want to make sure we’re not going into major credit card debt to get those smiles. With the “perfect” gifts, you and your kids may both be smiling in December, but come March when you’re still paying down that debt … you won’t be smiling anymore. ~Marriage Kids and Money

In this article, Andy Hill, of Marriage Kids and Money talks about how to manage Holiday gift expectations with your children. Andy states that the average family goes into debt to buy Christmas presents and that many of these families continue to pay for these presents well into the Spring. Given the uncertainty in the economy with COVID-19, this might be a great year to scale back holiday spending so that it is affordable. Andy breaks down five tips for how to manage holiday spending and expectations. The first step? Setting up a budget using a budgeting app (like CountAbout). Check out the article for the remainder of the tips.

32 Best Passive Income Ideas for 2021

Passive income is a key concept in becoming wealthy. In case you didn’t know, passive income is where your money makes money for you. In a very simple case, this could be the interest that your money earns in a savings account. However, it would be hard to live of the few pennies that savings accounts generate. If you’re able to build up enough passive income, you never have to work another day. Because passive income has the power to transform your life, there’s lots of people selling the idea of passive income. Before you put down money for a one-of-a-kind-life-transforming seminar at a hotel ballroom, check out this free article by Financial Wolves.

Among the most powerful ways to generate wealth is to leverage passive income, meaning that you are generating revenue with little or no effort, even while you sleep. You’ll find no shortage of passive income strategies in bookstores and online, each with their strengths and weaknesses.

In this article, Kyle from Financial Wolves presents an ultimate guide to earning passive income. While many websites suggest you can “earn passive income through real estate”, Kyle shows you many different ways to do so. These ideas range from buying an income property to investing in a crowdfunding real estate website to taking in roommates (i.e. house-hacking). And those are just a few of the ways he details how to make money with real estate. Stocks are another great way to earn passive income. Similar to real estate, the article breaks down many different ways to make money with investments from certificates of deposit (CD) to peer-to-peer lending. Finally, the article presents alternative ways to generate passive income, like becoming an entrepreneur and growing a business. Check out the article for all 32 different passive income strategies!

Remote Learning During COVID-19: How It’s Going So Far

COVID-19 has completely changed the entire world economy in just a few short months. It has given rise to “Zoom Happy Hours”, changed whether people want to live in cities, and even how many of us get our groceries. But one of the biggest changes for parents has been school. In the spring, many schools closed and parents were trapped inside their house with their children for weeks upon weeks. Depending on where you live, school this fall could look one of a multitude of ways. Your children may be forced to attend virtual school or instruction could be 100% in person. There are also a multitude of hybrid options as well.

In my Q3 2020 update, I shared our decision to enroll our kids in remote learning this year. It was a difficult choice; in order to register for remote learning, we had to withdraw our kids from their home schools.

In this post, Chrissy from Eat, Sleep, Breathe FI shares her parenting story during COVID-19. This fall, Chrissy had the option to send her kids to in-person school (she lives in Canada). However, she opted to send her children (ages 12 and 15) to a virtual school. Virtual schools operate under the same standards as normal schools but they are fully virtual. Chrissy calls it the perfect mix of homeschooling and traditional schooling. Chrissy decided to enroll her children in virtual school for three reasons- COVID, academic concerns (some of which involve COVID), and aspirational concerns. Since Chrissy is working towards FI- she could imagine a scenario where the kids attend a virtual school and they could travel full time. If you’re considering virtual schooling, Chrissy does an amazing job of talking about the pros and cons. It’s well worth the read!