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Manage Your Finances

Raising a child to age 18 can cost more than a quarter of a million dollars, according to government estimates. It's important to manage your finances. As a parent, you'll become an expert in explaining coins and allowance to your preschooler, negotiating a clothes budget with your tween, and saving enough to send your teenager to college.

Are You Missing a Child or Child Care Tax Benefit?
Have you checked out every possible child and child care tax benefit allowed under federal law? To make sure you're getting every possible child care tax benefit, educate yourself. From the dependent tax deduction to the child care tax credit, here's a rundown of the major dependent and child care tax benefits.

How to Claim the Child Tax Credit
Claiming the child tax credit can significantly reduce your family's tax liability. You may be able to reduce your income taxes due by up to $1,000 for each minor child who qualifies for the child tax credit. See if you meet the tests to be eligible for the child tax credit.

How Does the Dependent Tax Deduction Work?
If you're a new parent, you may be wondering about the dependent tax deduction. This valuable tax deduction for a dependent can reduce the amount of taxes you owe, if you qualify. A person can only be named a dependent, for purposes of the dependent tax deduction, on one tax return. Here's how the dependent tax deduction works.

Understanding the Dependent and Child Care Tax Credit
All working parents should understand the dependent and child care tax credit, which reduces the amount of federal income tax you owe. If you paid a caregiver or daycare center so that you could work or look for work, you probably can claim the child care tax credit. This article will explain who qualifies for the child care tax credit and how to file.

Save Money on Thrifty Thursday
Thursdays are thrifty here at the About Working Moms blog. On Thrifty Thursday, I feature a set of money saving tips or ideas for tightening your household budget. Please feel free to contribute your own advice for Thrifty Thursday.

Thrifty Tips to Ease Your Budget
Do you have thrifty living tips to help other moms save money? Please share your thrifty tips, and read free thrifty tips from other readers.

Do I Have to Pay Nanny Taxes?
Do I have to pay nanny taxes? It's a question many working parents ask. Generally the answer is yes, you must pay nanny taxes to comply with federal law. But there are a few exceptions that may allow you to avoid paying nanny taxes.

5 Reasons to Skip Saving for College in a 529 Account
Parents worried about paying for a child's college education are often steered to a 529 account. But 529 accounts aren't for everyone. In fact, there are 5 good reasons to avoid opening a 529 college savings account for your child. This article will help you decide if a 529 account is a mistake for your college saving needs.

Pay the Nanny Tax - Easy Instructions for Forms W-2 and W3
Don't pay an overpriced nanny tax service to fill out your W-2 and W-3 forms! Follow these simple, free instructions to pay the nanny tax yourself. If you pay the same adult babysitter $35 or more a week, you must pay the nanny tax. Not only is it illegal to dodge the nanny tax, it costs your child's caregiver future Social Security and Medicare benefits.

Give Nice But Cheap Gifts This Holiday Season
Cheap gifts often seem so, well, cheap. But your loved ones don't really want you to bust your budget buying an extravagant present. Sure, it can take more time and effort to find perfect, cheap gifts for everyone on your list. But you may find that the recipients are just as happy - or more so - with cheap gifts.

5 Money Saving Tips for Working Moms
Money saving tips so often sound difficult and no fun. But you can save money without making yourself or your family miserable. Here are some money saving tips for working moms that will keep a smile on your face. There’s no better time than now to start saving money.

How to Organize Your Bill-Paying Process
Use this step-by-step solution to organize your bill-paying process. Bill paying is much easier when you're organized. Avoid missed payments, late fees and penalties by organizing your monthly bills.

How to Organize Your Tax Documents
Use this step-by-step solution to organize your tax documents. Tax return preparation is much easier when you implement these suggestions for how to organize tax documents. Organize your tax documents and reduce the stress associated with April 15.

Take Cheap Family Vacations
When many families set out to take cheap family vacations, they often find they've exceeded their budget at the end of the trip. You can take cheap family vacations with these planning and budget tips.

5 Ways Working Mothers Can Make Extra Money
Even though we work hard for a living, working mothers often find ourselves searching for ways to make extra money and spend less. If you’re like most working mothers, you can't imagine finding time to make extra money when you already work full-time. However, there are some creative ways you can make extra money without cutting into your...

Financing Your Child's College Education
If you're the parent of a newborn or young child, you've probably heard the depressing estimate of the cost of a college education when your child is ready to enter college 18 years from now. The cost of four years in a public college is expected to cost in excess of $100,000; a private school, over $200,000. What's a parent to do?

Kids and Allowance: Start Early for Best Understanding
While kids typically learn about money and its value at school (and sometimes at daycare), how to manage money happens at home. Providing your kids with an allowance is a great tool for creating early understanding about the concept of money.

Teach Your Kids to Be Financially Successful Adults
How do kids learn about money? It doesn't happen by osmosis or at school. They have to be taught these principles and allowed to practice them (on an appropriate scale) from an early age. How will you teach your children to be more financially successful, avoid living from paycheck to paycheck, and steer clear of crippling credit card debt?

Can You Afford to Have Kids?
If you considered only the financial implications of having children, you might end up childless. As with any other decision that will impact your financial situation, it's smart to go into it with your eyes wide open and to be prepared. The changes that accompany adding a new little member to your family can be stressful, but you can reduce the stress greatly by minimizing the financial factor.

Money and the College Student
You're in college, so it's too early to be thinking of having a personal financial plan. That's for after you graduate and you're making the big bucks, right? Unfortunately, many college graduates who believe this start their new lives after graduation weighed down with debt that often follows them for the rest of their lives. Now is the time to make sure that you don't start down that road.

7 Ways to Get the Best Back to School Deals
Some of the most daunting words for working moms are "back to school deals." In the past, back to school deals appeared in newspaper advertisements and on television commercials right before Labor Day. But now all of August has been unofficially designated back to school month. In fact, parents are bombarded with back to school deals that arrive in their e-mail inbox and via snail mail for weeks …

The Best Back to School Deal
You probably remember that rush of excitement when you found backpacks on sale -- and with their favorite cartoon characters. Share your favorite back to school deals and stories of shopping success! We all could use fresh ideas for finding back to school deals.

How to Organize Your Paper Documents
Are your important paper documents in an organized, safe and secure place or are they spread throughout your house stashed in piles, files and drawers? Use this simple step-by-step solution to organize your important papers. The whole process will take less than one hour.

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