1. Must-Have Items for Your Baby Shower’s Gift Registry

    Baby itemsGetting ready for a baby shower can be fun, whether you or someone else is handling the planning. Most of the time, the only “work” you have to do is start a baby registry for gifts that you’d appreciate receiving. Although baby registries are optional, they make it easy for guests to select items that you truly want and will use. They also help ensure that you won’t receive duplicate items, thereby saving you the time of having to return items to stores.

    Opening a baby registry at one or more stores nevertheless takes forethought, even though you can open the registry online and participating stores provide a “shelf list” of goods that they carry concerning baby.

    What exactly will you need? How many of each will you need? Which items are necessities and which are luxuries or frivolous? And besides, what in the world are half of the items mentioned on the store’s “shelf list” and what do those items do? If you’re a first-time parent, the following list of baby registry “must-haves” can be a real new-mother’s helper:

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    Categories: Saving Money
  2. 3 Mother’s Day Gifts That Children Can Make

    mothers day gift ideasHomemade Mother’s Day gifts are an ideal way to get your children involved and to add a personal touch that any mother, aunt or grandparent will undoubtedly love.

    The three Mother’s Day gift ideas below mostly involve steps that children can complete, but some steps will require adult assistance. Make sure that a parent is present to guide children through the process, and to help when necessary.

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    Categories: Parenting Tips
  3. What to Do if You Receive a Gift You Can’t Use

    Holiday Gift ExchangeOpening presents during the holidays can sometimes be a little awkward. While you’re opening a gift, the giver – and other people who may be in the room – watch expectantly for your reaction. One furrowed brow or downturned lip is a dead giveaway that you don’t care for the gift. Oops! Don’t grimace. Social faux pas.

    Whether the gift pleases you or not, it’s always best to graciously accept the gift and politely thank the gift-giver, including with a hand-written thank-you note sent by snail mail.

    Generally, it’s never a good idea to give back a gift. People give gifts as an expression of love, caring, friendship or appreciation. Turning down a gift can be considered rude, insulting, inconsiderate and bad manners, and complete disregard for the meaning of giving.

    What to do if you receive a gift you can’t use or don’t like? Here’s a quick guide for gift-giving etiquette:

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    Categories: Saving Money
  4. Homemade Holiday Gifts

    Cookie Recipe JarsThe holidays are a time for giving. Generosity, however, may leave you with an empty wallet as well as a full heart. According to the American Research Group, Inc., the average person spent $801 on holiday shopping in 2013. What’s a good way to keep the spirit of the season when on a tight budget?

    Consider making a homemade holiday gift that can be perfect for next-door neighbors, children’s teachers, or your fourth cousin twice-removed. Here are some low-cost gift ideas:

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    Categories: Saving Money
  5. For Some Holiday Shoppers, It’s Layaway or Stay Away

    Mother & Son Shopping for Holiday PresentPerhaps more than at any other time of year, the winter holiday season sends consumers into a shopping frenzy. For 2014, the National Retail Federation projects that consumers will spend an estimated $616.9 billion, a 4.1 percent increase over last year.

    Some shoppers will plunk down cold hard cash. Others will swipe their credit card or debit card. What about shoppers who lack any of those means of payment? Well, they aren’t necessarily left out in the cold.

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    Categories: Saving Money