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Seven budgeting mistakes you didn’t know you were making

Smart-MoneyWe’ve talked a lot about budgeting these past couple of months and hopefully, we’ve inspired you to at least get started with a budgeting app or set up a spreadsheet to track where those hard-earned dollars are going.

Whether you’re a budgeting newbie or have been keeping track for years, there are some common budget traps and mistakes that are all too easy to fall into. For many people, spending habits are a blind spot that aren’t always easy to correct. Here are seven common budgeting pratfalls to avoid:

Five essential money lessons for money smart kids

Smart-MoneyManaging money is a skill you can teach kids at a very young age. Instilling some good money habits early could prevent your kids from joining the masses stuck in a dangerous debt cycle or on the verge of financial disaster. Being a good role model is a part of the process, and there are several things you can do to make sure your kids are hardwired to manage their money effectively through every stage of life.

Here are five essential money lessons for kids to learn at any age:

Fun money apps to teach kids budgeting lessons

Smart-MoneyTeaching kids the ins and outs of saving can be challenging, especially if they’re just getting started with their own account and earning money from chores and household tasks. Many banks make saving and money management tasks fun with games and prizes linked to savings goals. You can make money management even more attractive by getting kids to use a budgeting app that teaches them basic skills

Here are a few fun money apps for kids:

Kids online bank accounts that make saving fun

Smart-MoneyTurning saving money into a game could be just what it takes to get kids excited about the prospect of managing their money. Even though they may be motivated to save money for that shiny new toy they have their eye on, learning to save without a specific purpose is a good habit to have through adulthood. Several banks make saving fun with games and prizes for achieving certain goals. Here are a few kids online bank accounts that caught our eye:

Five simple tips to
get kids started saving

Smart-MoneyOne of the best ways to instill good money habits in your kids is to set up them up with their very own bank account. The process of going to a bank to make deposits versus filling up the piggy bank (or whatever change receptacle) with money can help kids understand the value of saving and maintaining a healthy balance. Many banks have kid-friendly accounts with incentives for reaching savings goals. Help your kids take a big step now toward financial independence later by introducing them to the art of saving.

Here are some tips for choosing your kid’s first bank account:

Five ways to get the best hotel deals in any season

piggybank_360.pngWhether you’re planning a long weekend getaway with the family or a mid-week retreat under the guise of being sick from work (it’s okay, we won’t tell), keep costs down by snagging a great deal on your hotel room. Even though sites like Travelocity say they’ve got your back with a low price guarantee and most hotels promise the lowest published rates when booking direct, you can find even better deals on private sale websites and via other booking engines.

Here are five ways to snag the best hotel deals in any season: