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How to teach your teenager to manage money


When I turned 12, my mother and I went to the bank and opened a checking account in my name. She taught me how to balance my checkbook and the importance of always knowing how much money was in there, and every month she would deposit money sufficient to keep me in clothes and modest entertainment.

paris hiltonShe never had to hear me ask her for money for a movie or other weekend activities. Other than large items like winter coats, she didn’t have to suffer through my teen years with me begging for every single new and trendy outift.

I knew that if I had enough money, I could buy it, and if I didn’t, I should consider saving up for it. My allowance wasn’t extravagant — probably equivalent to the change at the bottom of Paris Hilton’s purse — but it was plenty for me start to understand the value of delayed gratification.

By the time I got to college, I was able to keep my checkbook balanced, pay my rent on time, and still have enough left to purchase my college staples. You know, like ramen and mac and cheese. (Good times, good times.)

Well, enter the 21st Century, and now you have a slightly more sophisticated way to introduce your kids to the power of budgeting and saving: the Pay Jr Visa Buxx Card. That is just a long name for a product which will simplify your life as the parent of a tween or teen.

Pay Jr has two different cards for kids depending on their ages.

credit cards for children

They make it easy to track your kid’s chores and any other conditions on their allowance. For older children, they offer a debit card fully controlled and trackable by you. You see the statements, you add the money if and when you deem it appropriate.

PAYjr is an online allowance and chore system for kids. The program is designed to act as a tool for parents to help manage the age old activity of managing chore charts and allowances with kids. Once a child turns 13, we offer the optional PAYjr Visa Buxx Card, which allows parents to electronically move money to their teen with the click of a button.

In addition, we provide parents with complete visibility into card activity, giving parents an important peace of mind. Teens love the PAYjr Visa Buxx Card because they finally gain the independence and ability to shop online without borrowing their parent’s credit card.

In addition, the PAYjr Visa Buxx Card is the only card that allows teens to upload pictures and art to create their very own card design..a feature teens really love!

PAYjr has been featured on the Today Show, the CBS Early Morning Show, ABC World News, and in the Wallstreet Journal and Parenting Magazine.

It is really easy to sign up and get started helping your kids learn about money. I’m pretty sure that if this had been around when I was a kid, my mom would have signed me up too :)

I turned out OK — see if it can help your kids!

Pay Jr Visa Buxx Card

Popularity: 6% [?]



Travel Must-Have: Aero Inflatable Bed for Children


Do you travel overnight with your kids? Then you need one of these beds. Aero inflatable beds are comfortable and great for adults, and the extra features in this child travel bed make it a travel essential.

Sloped sides mean no one rolls out in the night in an unfamiliar hotel room. Cozy fleece cover encourages deeper sleeping. The included air pump blows the bed up in less than a minute. Flip open the valve and it deflates in seconds and easily rolls up into the included travel storage bag. We’ve had two of these beds for a couple of years and would never travel overnight with our kids without them. In fact, just yesterday I ordered one for our youngest child, so now all three boys have one!

Aero Inflatable Travel Bed for Children

Where to buy

Regularly $100, Amazon carries them for $69.99 with free shipping. I remember they sold out last year at around this time — check your calendar and see how many days are left between now and when you leave on your next trip!

Popularity: 14% [?]



Get your hair in shiny, sparkly shape for New Years Eve


I was at Target last month (and every other month before that) to pick up my favorite and surprisingly inexpensive shampoo, John Frieda Sheer Blonde (comes in other hair colors too). It smells good without being overpowering, it makes my hair look great, and I can find it everywhere for about $7. But this time I noticed something new sitting next to it on the shelf, and on impulse I bought it. This turned out to be a fantastic decision!

John Frieda Luminous Color Glaze

John Frieda Luminous Color Glaze is this amazing product you let sit on your hair for a few minutes after you shampoo and condition. It incorporates a salon-style “glazing” treatment for shine and body, plus it adds a teensy bit of temporary color in a shade similar to your natural (or not :) color to give it some oomph.

This stuff rocks

After one use my hair was shinier and significantly smoother, and after about a week I decided I would never be without this product again. It is simple to use — just smoosh it through your hair and leave it there for a couple minutes– has no strong fragrance, and is affordable like the rest of the John Frieda products.

Where to buy

The best prices are online, and at Drugstore.com you can even get it shipped free if you get a couple of items to bring your total up to at least $49. (Secret fact about me: I love free shipping!!)

And right now Drugstore.com is having a great deal on shipping for new customers. If you’ve never used them before, the minimum for Free Shipping is just $25, so you have no excuse not to try them now :)

Popularity: 12% [?]



Yum, great beauty gift sets for under $60


Satisfy your inner beautanista, or make sugarplum dreams come true for the girly-girl on your list with any of these fab sets.

Give them as a set for a high-impact gift, or break them up for stocking stuffers, to hand out to the ladies at the office, sisters-in-law — anyone you think needs a fantastic treat. (And scroll a bit to see how to score Free Shipping too :)

Bare Escentuals
Bare Escentuals Classic Rock Flawless Diamond 9-Piece Color Collection ($145 Value) just $59
The original and most coveted of the new mineral makeups, bareMinerals now contains Crushed Diamonds for an extra dazzle. What luxury!

L’Occitane Open Up To Shea
L’Occitane Open Up To Shea ($52 Value) just $38
Mmmmm, a set full of Shae Butter goodies for those freezing cold months. Nothing quenches dry hands better.

Laura Geller Set
Laura Geller Baked to Perfection ($126 Value) just $60
Give the gift of flawless skin with this set of skin-perfecting makeup.

Marc Jacobs
Marc Jacobs “Beauty By Marc” Set ($71 Value) just $50
Get this gardenia scent in 3 travel varieties. Indulge yourself in floral goodness every day.

And all these sets are available at Sephora where for a limited time you get Free Shipping on all orders over $50 by using code SHOPNOW5.

Popularity: 9% [?]



Air Drives Safe Headphones for Kids


I recently got to borrow some Air Drives safe headphones for kids. They are incredibly lightweight headphones which hook over your child’s ears. They are “open” headphones as opposed to “closed” which means that you child will also be able to hear what is going on around them. Both the earpieces as well as the cord feel sturdy, and I doubt your kids will be able to break them any time soon. The plug is very slim so, for example, it has no problem connecting to my iPhone.

Air Drives safe headphones for kidsTraditional headphones can be fine for adults, but children are more likely to damage their hearing by turning the volume up too high. The earpieces are adjustable — think Gumby — and do not go inside the ear. Air Drives headphones are designed to keep the volume at a safe level and away from direct contact with the ear.

I tried them on my 3, 5, and 5 ¾ year old boys and for each, their first reaction was giggles. (The picture is of my 3-year-old, and he’s a pretty small guy.) It was fun for them not to have their head smashed by huge, heavy headphones. There was no “plug” that they had to make sure didn’t fall out of their ear. They could even lie with their ear on a pillow and feel comfortable. I was able to have a conversation with them while they listened to music (Talking Heads, if you must know), and I liked not having them cut off from the world by their headphones.

These would be a great gift for a child you know is getting a game system, iPod, computer, or CD player this year. The kid will love the gift, and the parents will appreciate that these headphones help avoid hearing damage in their children.

Where to buy

Air Drives are available direct from AirDrives.com as well as at Amazon for $70. A slick version for adults is available as well.

Popularity: 11% [?]


Wayside the Movie


Wayside the movie DVDBased on the popular kids books, The Wayside movie is hilarious. Packed full of voices that adults will recognize, this movie had my boys laughing their heads off. We’ve actually never checked out the books, but I think we’ll have to now!

Where to buy

You can grab a copy of the movie at Amazon for $15. Fans of the books as well as folks like us who had never heard of them before will both enjoy this movie. You can also get a boxed set of Wayside books for $13.

Popularity: 6% [?]



A Personalized Letter from Santa to your Child


Are you worried that in the rush of Christmas, Santa might not remember to write to your child? The folks at Santa Mail have you covered. You can choose between 14 different letters which are then personalized for your child. They even offer letters for baby’s first Christmas!

letter from Santa

  • Personalized with:
    • Your child’s name
    • Best friend’s name (optional)
    • Hometown
    • State
  • Created by the original “Letter From Santa” company, with letters sent to over 200,000 happy kids.
  • Click here to read sample letters.
  • Printed on beautiful heirloom-quality acid-free linen paper.
  • Arrives in a gold-embossed envelope.
  • Unique letters for each child in a household.
  • Available in traditional or Christian versions.
  • Optional add-ons:
    • Birthday Card From Santa
    • Good List Certificate
    • After-Christmas Postcard From Santa
    • Santa’s Cookie Kit
  • All letters will be postmarked from North Pole, Alaska.

Where to buy

Just head on over to Santa Mail and your letter will cost just $9.95 including shipping. Ho Ho Ho!

Popularity: 9% [?]



Unique Stocking Stuffers to put on top of the orange in the toe


Are you planning to help Santa stuff the stockings this year? I’ve found a couple of unusual things you might never have put in there before.

A set of four of Bourjois’ award winning lip glosses and a keychain — a $36 value for just $18 from Sephora. In fact, Sephora has a ton of great stocking stuffers.

lego magnet sets
LEGO Magnets are hilarious. Build them right on your fridge! They have tons of sets like Star Wars, City People, Castle People, plain bricks, EXO-FORCE, and more. There are even pens and keychains — something for all LEGO-lovers on your list.

Chocolate Sardines from Plow & Hearth - $9.95 For that person that might have deserved coal instead? This would be pretty funny.

Netflix, Inc.Did you know you can give membership in Netflix as a gift? It is very cool — you can give someone a one month subscription for just $5, or go all the way up to a full year. I love Netflix, and it would be a great stocking stuffer for that hard-to-buy for person on your list. Sweet!

Peppermint Pig and Hammer - $15.95 from Plow & Hearth Tradition says that this pig is good luck — plus you get to smash him with a hammer and eat delicious peppermint!

Apple Online Store
When in doubt, gift cards are fantastic gifts, and iTunes gift cards are great for music lovers as well as folks who want to watch TV shows on their iPods!

Popularity: 9% [?]