The Christmas Gift That Could Change Your Financial Future

finances

Seven years ago on my youngest daughter’s first Christmas, her aunt and uncle gave her such a wonderful gift.

 

Instead of running out to purchase an extra toy for that eight month old (who clearly didn’t need a thing), they asked if they could spend their regular gift money on a savings bond for her instead.

 

We were thrilled.

 

The temptation to buy an extra gift for those kiddos is all too easy (even when we know they don’t need it!) And, while splurging on your kids is so much fun when they’re little, it’s amazing to consider what saving a few of those pennies could do to change their financial future.

 

Did you know that if you chose to invest just $50 today for your child, in thirty years that little $50 would turn into $872.50? (Assuming just a 10% annual rate of return?)

 

Now, that may not seem all that exciting, but what if you decided to invest $50 every year (4.16 per month) for the next thirty years . . .

 

Your total investment would be $1500, but in thirty years you’d have $9,905 in that little account.

 

Wow.

 

Now, let’s just say you go really nuts, put it all out there, and decide to give up a meal or two out each month to add $50 to that account every single month for the next 30 years (that’s $12.50 per week. I’m betting you can do that?) 

 

That little $50 each month ~ maybe just two meals out a month ~ would come out to a ridiculous total of . . .

 

{Are you ready for this???}

 

$109,438.68.

 

For real. 

 

Your total money invested would be $18,000, but you’d earn a whopping $91,000 in interest.

 

Craziness!

 

So, are you heading out Christmas shopping for that cute kiddo of yours today? :)

 

You might want to consider what pinching a few pennies instead could do to change the direction of their financial futureAnd, if you’ve not started investing yet for your own future, it’s kind of fun to take a few minutes to consider what just a small investment can do.

 

Check out this investing calculator to see just how strong the power of investing is ~ I love that it allows you to see how adding just a few dollars each month has the power to completely change the direction of your long term financial goals!

 

Take a minute to step away from the hectic holiday hoopla and contact an investing Endorsed Local Provider. They’ll help you determine exactly how much money you’ll need for retirement, and guide you in choosing the best investment options for your family. You’ll get a chance to start planning for the future and an opportunity to focus on your family’s long term financial goals.

 

Dave Ramsey’s Endorsed Local Provider program is also a great place to find tax help or a local real estate agent, or get insurance advice!

To get more information on how to invest wisely, click HERE and decide how to best plan for your family’s financial future.  Spend a few minutes getting information on investments from someone who understands how investing works, and change the future of your family’s finances today!

 

This is a sponsored by Dave Ramsey’s Endorsed Local Providers, however all opinions are my own.

 

 

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Our Christmas Surprise!

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Soooo excited about our fun Christmas surprise for our kids today! Meet Summit ~ our new Goldendoodle. (My kids said last Spring that if we ever bought a dog they’d name him Summit so that when he got in trouble we could holler “dadgummit, Summit!”) :)

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When we moved to Ohio so many folks shared that getting a pet might help our house feel more like home, and already (in the 3 hours we’ve had him!) he seems to be just the perfect fit for our family. We are new to house training and having an indoor dog though, so I could sure use any tips you have.

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If you have any recommendations on favorite pet toys, house training, or puppies in general I would love to hear them ~ we’re so excited but a little lost too. So much fun though!

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(Pretty sure watching a sleeping puppy is like watching a sleeping baby – they just look so perfect, and it’s the only time they stand still. We love him already!)

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Christmas Gifts For Our Children: When Is Enough, Enough? (Guest Post on DaveRamsey.com)

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Oh my goodness gracious. Like, for real, oh. my. stars. 

 

I’m so excited (really, thrilled!) to share a guest post today over at DaveRamsey.com. (Y’all, I have chill bumps just knowing it’s over there. WOW!)

 

Here’s a preview of the post . . . 

 

A good friend of mine once asked: “How much do real families budget for Christmas gifts for their children?”

Yikes.

If there was ever a question I didn’t want to get into at Christmas, that would be the one. 

It did get me thinking though—and after fourteen Christmas mornings with a few of the cutest kids running around our home, our family has learned a thing or two.

Decide early what Christmas will look like for your family.

Goodness, I wish I could tell every momma of a one-year-old that they simply don’t need to spend more than $20 to $30 on their sweet baby. Babies have as much fun with the packaging—wrapping paper and boxes—as they do the actual presents . . . and my bet is a few family members will add to their Christmas loot.

By choosing to purchase less when they’re little, you’re  paving the way for your child’s future expectations. If you shell out $500 in gifts to a four-year-old, just imagine what their expectations will look like when they’re fourteen.

Start simply. Be different. Determine when your kids are young that Christmas will be about more than dozens of gifts under the tree.

 

Read the rest of the post over HERE.

 

(yay!) :)

 

Looking for more posts like this one?

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White Chocolate Gingerbread Bars

 

These are one of my favorite Christmas treats to bake, and it packs well to give as gifts! Last Christmas I found this recipe for White Chocolate Gingerbread Bars (originally adapted from Martha Stewart), and couldn’t wait to try them out. They were perfect, and such a nice different treat to bake.

 

I had everything except molasses in my pantry, so I substituted with honey and they turned out just the way I would have expected, however they might be a wee bit richer with molasses. Either way, I’m pretty sure you’ll love with the results, and am betting you’ll want to add them to your gotta-make-each-year list too. They also pack easily, so they’re perfect if you’re getting recipes ready to share this Christmas season! (By the way, with the amount of butter these babies call for I definitely would have figured they were a Paula Deen recipe rather than from Martha Stewart, but apparently butter makes things better for everyone.  I’m pretty sure I’ve never made another recipe that called for this amount of butter, but I’m sure that’s why they’re so good!) 

White Chocolate Gingerbread Bars

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups + 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 2 1/2 sticks butter
  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cups + 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup molasses (I substituted with honey)
  • 10 oz, white chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray 17x12" baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Mix together butter, brown sugar and white sugar with a mixer until fluffy.
  3. Add eggs and yolk, 1 at a time and mix well.
  4. Add in vanilla and molasses (or honey if substituting). Reduce mixing speed to low.
  5. In separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, salt and spices.
  6. Slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating just until combined.
  7. Pour into prepared pan and bake 350 for 25-30 minutes. Cool in pan on wire racks.
  8. Enjoy!
http://passionatepennypincher.com/2014/12/white-chocolate-gingerbread-bars-2/

 

Do you have a favorite Christmas treat that you love to make? Leave a comment sharing the recipe, and feel free to link to it on your blog or another page and we might sample it here! Here are a few more recipes you may want to try . . .

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My Fresh Thyme Shopping Trip (+ How Often Do You Eat Steak?)

 

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I made a quick trip today to Fresh Thyme Market (probably my favorite store that I’ve found in Ohio), and found some fantastic deals! My kids absolutely love fresh pineapple so I was thrilled to pick two up for just 97¢ each (in the middle of December? Love that!)

 

I also splurged and picked up 3 Boneless Ribeye Steaks that were on sale for $8.99/lb. Recently at my husband’s office Christmas party I was talking groceries with another wife, and she was shocked to hear that we only have steak two or three times (maybe four times?) per year. Because we’ve been penny pinchers for(ever?) the thought of paying so much for just a small cut of meat (when I like chicken just as well), almost pains me. Like, pains. me. While we’re in a place financially that our budget can handle steak every once in awhile these days, I’d so much rather use that money towards things to fluff up my home or a cute outfit for my kids!

 

So, we eat a lot of cheaper chicken, as well as less expensive cuts of beef and pork around here. But, since especially the boys in my family do love a good steak, I splurged today. ;)

 

Sorry for all the rambling ~ here’s the price breakdown . . .

3 Ribeye Steaks $20.99 (OUCH OUCH OUCH – OUCH!)

3 lb bag onions $1

5 lb bag of potatoes $1

3 lb bag clementines $5.99 (not on sale, but my kids love them)

3 lbs apples $3.59

1 lb carrots $.99

2 pineapples $1.94

Total: $35.60

 

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Total without those steaks? $14.59. (Sigh.)

 

So now I’m curious . . . does your family eat steak much? ;) Leave a comment to let me know I’m crazy (or maybe just not alone!) ;)

 

 

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Hallmark Find Me Santa Snowflake Product Review

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One of my children’s favorite Christmas traditions is undoubtedly heading to Hallmark to pick out a new ornament. Each year they pick out their favorite (we encourage them to stick to a budget of course!), and when they’re grown they’ll get to take their set of ornaments to their own home. This year, Hallmark contacted me to see if I’d be interested in reviewing their new Santa Find me Snowflake Ornament, so of course I agreed. :) With the Find Me Santa! Snowflake ornament, your child can be 100 percent sure Santa will find them on Christmas Eve.
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The Santa Find Me Santa Snowflake is so fun if you have small children at home. It lights up in different shades to alert Santa where your child is on Christmas Eve, and, especially if you’re traveling over the Holiday season, is such a fun way to let your child know that Santa won’t miss them wherever they are. The ornament has  a customizable center for you child’s name, (including an extra label if you mess up the first time like I did!) The ornament stays on for about a minute ~ just long enough for you to persuade your kiddo to head to bed on Christmas Eve. ;)

 

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We’ve always loved Hallmark ornaments, and I think this is a fun Christmas tradition that younger children will love. For us it just always feels like Christmas a wee bit more after walking through Hallmark (and trying out every single ornament ~ my kids love them!), and this is a cute ornament for children of all ages. (I love that it’s pretty too ~ it looks great on my little-bit-hodge podge tree!)  You can also visit Hallmark’s Northpole website to find interactive games to play as well as a fun Christmas countdown ~ go HERE to take a peek!

 

 

 

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Hallmark, and I received the Find Me Santa Ornament and was paid for this review. All opinions though are (as always) my own ~ we really do love Hallmark ornaments around here! 

 

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Winner of the Kitchenaid Mixer Giveaway

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Congratulations to Hollho….7@comcast.net for winning the PPP Kitchenaid Mixer Giveaway, and thanks so much to everyone who entered. (I wish I could buy each one of you a Kitchenaid!)

 

Those savings are still available if you’re looking for a fantastic price on a Kitchenaid ~ head over HERE to check out which deals are still available. So far I’ve whipped up 8 dozen cookies since getting mine yesterday ~ my idea of the very best Saturday. ;)

 

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Get A Kitchenaid Mixer Like Me Giveaway!

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Congratulations to Hollho….7@comcast.net for winning ~ and thanks so much to everyone who entered (I wish I could buy each one of you a Kitchenaid!)

Isn’t she lovely?

 

So, I have a confession to make.

 

I have absolutely no self control and bought that Kitchenaid MixerThe one that I didn’t need. 

 

Yup. No. self. con. trol.

 

I stayed up last night dreaming of this thing, and when a PPP’er on Facebook mentioned the even better deal at Bed Bath & Beyond, I was totally suckered in and headed out to buy that beautiful mixer.

 

(Both the Bed Bath & Beyond deal and Amazon deal are INCREDIBLE prices ~ you’ll save more than 50% off the original price on this beauty!)

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I have so little control that I couldn’t even wait to have my husband wrap it and give it to me as a Christmas gift. I thought it through, and seeing as I probably have right around sixty five Christmas baking seasons in my future (assuming I live to the ripe age of 104 ~ I have an aunt who’s 101, so it’s clearly possible, I think?) I decided that I needed to go ahead and use it now though so I wouldn’t miss a single opportunity. ;)

 

I have some guilt about this purchase (although honestly, I love it. And my husband was sweet enough to approve.) I already have a Kitchenaid that works just fine other than being a wee bit smaller, and I know there are so so so many people who have so little. (So why on earth do I need a bigger Kitchenaid?)  Splurging for myself on this just seems beyond ridiculous, but goodness I do love it already. (Is that terrible? I struggle so much with when it’s okay to splurge and when to give more!)

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 (Best Ever Chocolate Cookie Recipe)

 

So, to ease my guilt just a bit, I decided to share exactly the same Kitchenaid with one of you. (WOOOHOOOOO!)

 

Tomorrow night at 10 PM Eastern Time, I’ll pick one ever-so-lucky PPP reader to get this just so beautiful-wonderful-make-me-so-happy mixer so you can feel just a wee bit like Martha Stewart too. (Or Paula Deen. Whoever you choose.) ;)

 

 

 

Here’s how to enter to win:

  1. Required Entry:  Leave a comment on this post sharing sharing one item you’ve saved on since following PPP.
  2. Additional Entries:  Join Passionate Penny Pincher on Facebook and leave a comment to let me know (or leave a comment if you’re already a Facebook fan.)
  3. Share this post on Facebook (leave an additional comment to let me know that as well)
  4. Join PPP on Pinterest and leave a comment to let me know (or leave a comment if you already like PPP.)
  5. Pin my favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe and leave a comment with the link to your Pin
NOTE: If you normally comment via Facebook, please click HERE to comment so that I can have your email in case you win ~ there’s no way for me to contact you otherwise if you win. :)

 

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Thanks so much for reading PPP ~ I appreciate you each so very much!

 

This giveaway is not sponsored by Amazon or Facebook ~ just a gift from me to thank y’all for reading. Good luck!

 

 

 

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Kohl’s Pajama Deal: PJs For The Whole Family As Low As $11.93 Each

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One of our family traditions is opening new pajamas on Christmas Eve, and I’m so excited because I just scored a great deal on them at Kohl’s! While your family’s styles may be different, here’s one scenario:

1 pair Carter’s Reindeer Pajamas $15.20

1 pair Carter’s Snowflake Pajamas $15.20

1 pair Dollie & Me Pajamas $17.20

1 pair Sonoma Women’s Pajamas $19.99

1 pair Chaps Men’s Pajamas $29.99

1 pair Hanes Men’s Pajamas $30.00

 

  • Use code CYBER20 to save 20%
  • Pay $101.60 + tax, got $30 in Kohl’s cash
  • Like getting 6 pairs of pajamas (including 3 pairs of adult pjs for just $71 or $11.93 per pair – not bad!

 

Check out the rest of the crazy deals at Kohl’s going on right now.

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Kindle As Low As $49

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