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Nov 17 2014

Can We Even Afford a Second Child?

By at 10:02 am

Can We Afford a Second Child?

I should expect to spend $2,500 out-of-pocket for a standard labor and delivery, according to my health insurance plan. Full-time childcare runs us around $18,000 a year in Seattle. Add the cost of diapers, wipes, goldfish crackers, and an occasional trip to the zoo—there’s another thousand at least, per year.

When we decided to have our first baby, we definitely didn’t factor in the cost or really grasp the financial consequences of having a child. I remember the first week of paying our nanny in Brooklyn and heading to the ATM to withdraw $400 in cash. I thought back to the last time I handed someone that much money in actual bills—it was when I paid my rent in shekalim to a man named Shimon, in Jerusalem, during my junior year abroad. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 10 2014

Is It Too Early to Start Worrying About College?

By at 1:47 pm

Is It Too Early to Start Worrying About College?

As the mother of a toddler, most of my fellow parent friends have children who are on the young side as well. But when the topic of affording a college education came up during several recent conversations, I was a bit surprised to learn that other parents don’t seem nearly as worried about it as me.

“We’re so many years away from college,” was one friend’s response.

“We’ll save more when we can,” said another blithely.

And my favorite: “We’re hoping our parents will somehow help—though we’re not necessarily counting on it.” Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 31 2014

My Exodus: Emerging From The Financial Ruin of Divorce Better and Stronger

By at 3:59 pm

forclosure

When the doorbell rang late at night a few weeks ago, as the boys and I lie upstairs in our beds, I knew there was reason to be alarmed. I grabbed the pepper spray that I have kept in my nightstand since my husband moved out and I cautiously made my way to the front door. I felt some relief when I peered through the window and saw a woman on the other side of the door. But it was the contents of the envelope that she held in her hands that would inevitably leave me paralyzed in fear.

The law firm representing our mortgage company had sent this messenger to inform us that our days in our house were numbered. It had been months since we had paid our mortgage, with both our salaries instead going to our respective divorce attorneys. Our legal battle has cost us our home, among other things.

When I lived in Israel many years ago, I participated in a monthly study group composed of some remarkable young women who had traveled from all over the world determined to learn a new language, assimilate into a very different culture and create a life much different from anything they had known previously. We gathered monthly to learn together, to support each other and to share. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 5 2012

You Can Be A Philanthropist (Really!)

By at 1:59 pm

As part of our month-long series dedicated to Women, Work & Money, Tamar Snyder highlights the best ways for women to get involved with philanthropy.

Women rarely refer to themselves as philanthropists. We tend to think that the term refers only to the uber-wealthy–to people like Bill Gates, Michael Steinhardt, and the Bronfmans (all men!). But that’s not the case.

In fact, a growing body of research on men, women, and charitable giving suggests that women of all ages–especially Baby Boomers and older–are more likely to give to charity and give more than their male counterparts. This is true even though women still earn less than men, on average; live longer and tend to be more risk averse. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 2 2012

Teach Me How to Splurge

By at 11:28 am

As part of our month-long series dedicated to Women, Work & Money, Melissa Langsam Braunstein tells us about her struggles to splurge.

Not too long ago, I had lunch with a college friend. When we hung out in our 20s, we’d talk about politics, office politics, and the romantic entanglements of our friends. Now that we’re new parents, we kvelled about parenthood.

He loves being a father, and I love being a mother. We love it all–-except the cost. At some point, we found ourselves agreeing how surprisingly expensive baby gear is. “I just don’t buy things for myself anymore,” he said. I nodded, because while I hadn’t really thought about it, the same is true for me. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 1 2012

This Mama Pays Child Support

By at 2:00 pm

As part of our month-long series dedicated to Women, Work & Money, Sarah Tuttle-Singer shares her child-support strategy.

Last month I had a grand total of 42 shekels in my bank account and no place to sleep with the kids. Nights get cold here, now. The sun sets early, and the usual standbys–the pool, the pub for dinner, or sleeping in a tent–are no longer options.

But the most stressful part of all of this was I couldn’t pay child support for two months. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 31 2012

Five Easy Ways to Save Money for Your Family

By at 1:23 pm

As part of our month-long seriesdedicated to Women, Work & Money, Alina Adams shares her money-saving secrets.

It may come as somewhat of a surprise to those who’ve read my (very opinionated) blog posts over the past year, but I am actually not particularly comfortable telling people what they should do. My opinions extend to me and my family only. Other people’s decisions are none of my business. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 30 2012

How to Pay Nanny Taxes (And Why You Should)

By at 10:22 am

As part of our month-long series dedicated to Women, Work & Money, CPA Bette Hochberger offers her advice about paying nannies on vs. off the books.

We all know that the cost of childcare is high. After considering how much we will be paying for a nanny or housekeeper, who wants to think about taxes we need to pay in addition to that amount? Wouldn’t it be easier to just pay your help under the table? It is very tempting to avoid these so-called “nanny taxes,” but here’s why you need to pay them, and an overview of how it’s done.

The IRS and the state you live in require you to pay these taxes–it’s the law! And the consequences are severe. By not paying these taxes you are committing tax fraud. You could face penalties, interest, and, in the worst-case scenario, jail time. Your nanny will also face penalties when she fails to report this income on her personal tax return. You will also be cheating her out of her future Social Security, Medicare and unemployment benefits by not paying the taxes. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 29 2012

As a Single Mom, Can I Handle Being My Kid’s Sole Provider?

By at 5:05 am

As part of our ongoing series about Women, Work & Money, Emily Wolper, who is currently in the process of becoming a single mother by choice, shares her concerns about being the sole provider to her future child.

I grew up in a traditionally structured, suburban household. My dad worked and my mom stayed home to raise my sister and me. She was very involved with the community, serving as president of the PTA at almost every school we attended and leading boards of various organizations that had a significant impact on our town. Still, with all of this activity, I knew that my mom was, first and foremost, my mom. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 26 2012

Kveller Hits of the Week: October 22-26

By at 3:31 pm

This week’s most popular posts, in case you missed them.

– Making A Fabulous Birthday Party With Just One Hand. Mayim Bialik only has one hand to run her family these days, so she couldn’t handle baking a birthday cake from scratch. Her improvised solution? An ice cream sundae bar, complete with a 1950s soda jerk costume.

– Why We Chose A Jewish Day School Over Public School. Avital and her husband put off making a decision about their children’s schooling for as long as they could. Between public school, montessori school, and Jewish day school, they had several good options, and while Avital was leaning toward the Jewish school, her husband wasn’t leaning with her. Read about how and why they ended up at a Solomon Schechter day school.

– Can We Afford Jewish High School? One family that has been sending their kids to day school through middle school now has to make a decision about high school. With a double curriculum and a massive price tag, the choice isn’t going to be easy.

Shopping For My Daughter’s First Bra. Have you ever said a blessing in a department store dressing room? This mom (and rabbi) took her daughter bra shopping, and celebrated the beginning of womanhood with the shehecheyanu prayer.

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