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Dec 27 2012

How To Throw the Best (Cheap) Star Wars Birthday Party Ever

By at 11:36 am

star wars birthday party light saber kidsWe’ve made some pretty lovely budget-friendly birthday parties in our day. For my older son’s 3rd birthday party we celebrated him reaching the “age of education” by decorating kippot and tzedakah boxes and doing Aleph Bet Yoga. For the baby’s 2nd birthday we did an all-out Elmo party that cost just $25.

But our schedules have been jam-packed these days, and poverty be damned, I was totally resigned to throwing money at the birthday party problem this year. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 17 2012

Women, Work & Money: Five Interesting Facts

By at 2:25 pm

women, work and money month on kvellerThroughout the month of October, in conjunction with the Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York, we put a special focus on women, work and money here at Kveller. This meant talking about everything from savings plans to work-life balance (or as one of our readers pointed out, imbalance) to maternity leave and childcare. And what did we learn? Well, just as there’s no one way to be a woman, there’s certainly no one way for women to handle, think, and talk about money.

At the end of the month, we asked you (our awesome readers) to take a short survey and tell us about your work and financial lives. We were very interested to learn what you had to say, and better than just a bunch of pie charts and graphs, we were able to get a better picture of the women of Kveller and how they roll. We thought you might like to know, too, so here are five interesting facts from our survey results: Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 3 2012

News Roundup: Royal Baby Edition

By at 3:02 pm

All the parenting news you probably didn’t have time to read this week.

- The Duchess of Cambridge is totally knocked up! And apparently has really bad morning sickness. We’re hoping she recovers quickly and we cannot wait to add her exploits to the Kid-Dish! (Remember how she might be Jewish?). (Washington Post).

- If we go over the fiscal cliff, guess who will be most adversely effected? Women and children living in poverty. Oy. (New York Times)

- Yahoo! CEO Marisa Mayer had her baby, didn’t take maternity leave, and is now saying her baby is “easy.” Some moms aren’t happy with that, but another asks why we can’t just accept that she’s an outlier. (Slate DoubleX)

- There’s a new prenatal test that can detect genetic issues, is way less invasive than an amnio, and can be done earlier in the pregnancy. The catch? The tests aren’t regulated by the FDA and are very expensive. (Washington Post)

Nov 19 2012

A Letter To My Daughter About Fighting Back

By at 9:44 am

playground in israelTo My Darling Daughter,

I watch your eyes glow when the kids in preschool want to play with you. I see how it matters to you what they say and how they smile.

I watch your bottom lip tremble when someone hurts your feelings.

And I watch you on the playground–your face flushed, and your breath staggered as you chase the child that was mean to you. I know you, and I know you are blaming yourself for their bad behavior.

I know you are trying to get a second chance at friendships not worth having.

You are so much like me that it takes my breath away.

Please. Don’t be this way. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 15 2012

A Cheap Person’s Guiltiest Secrets

By at 3:01 pm
first day of school

First day of school!

In August, I confessed to being cheap, and wondered if it was messing up my kids.

I followed that up in October with Five Easy Ways to Save Money for Your Family.

But, now comes the deepest darkest confession that an out and proud cheap person like me can make. I am going to talk about the things that I actually will–unashamedly–spend money on:

Item #1: Hebrew School/Jewish Day School Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 7 2012

Q&A With Hurricane Sandy’s Youngest Relief Workers

By at 12:01 pm

Lulu and Burke, age 5, sold milk and cookies to benefit the victims of Hurricane Sandy. They raised money to give to Masbia Soup Kitchen in New York. We have an exclusive Q&A with these two generous (and adorable) kiddos.

Was Hurricane Sandy scary?

Yes, because it broke down everything. It was so windy and rainy. Guess what? Red Hook lost electricity, the traffic lights ran out and I was thinking about the houses. I felt cozy in my house. 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 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 →

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