Financial Friday: A Look At The Past & A Look to the Future

>> Friday, December 25, 2009

Financial Friday: A Look At The Past & A Look to the Future
by Alice Shaffer

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas and end of the holiday season. I wanted to share four favorite blog posts with you all as well as something new for the future. Of course, it will involve budgeting, but it does including shopping!

Four Blasts from the Past:
Thursday Sept 17: Financial Friday: Step 1: Getting ready to start a budget
Friday Sept. 25:Part 2: Setting up a Monthly Budget
Friday Oct. 9:Part 3: Putting everything in your Spreadsheet
Thursday Oct 22: Where Do I Put My Money?

A Look To The Future:
As you are putting away those Christmas gifts and holiday gifts, you notice who gave you what and remember who you gave to this year. Pull out a small notebook and write down those recipients/givers. This helps you decide on the 2010 gift giving list. Yes I did say 2010 gift giving list!

Many retailers will be marking their Christmas/Holiday items down to 50 & 75% and more starting on Saturday December 26. This is the time to gather the wrapping paper, tissue paper, gift bags, Christmas tree lights, lawn ornaments, and other stocking stuffer type items. It is also a great time to purchase winter clothing for the kids in your life for next winter season. Look for Baby's First Christmas items for those friends and family who are expecting a child in 2010. Holiday shirts, sweaters and other festive wear is on sale for next year.

Last year on December 26th, I went to Target and purchased holiday ornaments that were originally 15 dollars a piece for 75% off. I purchased 6 Mr. Potato Head Santas for about 89 cents each(regularly$6.99) and 12 mini Christmas tree Magna Doodles for 37 cents each (regularly $4.99). I spent $9.78 on items that I gave to National Center for Children & Families for their homeless shelter Santa Shop. This Shop allows parents to get Christmas gifts for their kids. I purchased one of the 60 gallon totes from Sterilite at Target and put all my charity donations in it for this. This year I will be looking for hats, gloves, scarves, books for older kids, board games, among the stocking stuffer type items. Give yourself $20 to purchase Charity items for 2010.

Next week look for 10 Things for 2010!


Financial Friday: Do you have your gifts for your employers and donations for 2009 done?

>> Friday, December 18, 2009

As 2009 winds down we have a few things left to deal with. Have you made your final purchases for your holiday gifts for your employers? Have you made your final donations for 2009 to your charities?

Make sure you get receipts for those items you donated. Do a quick sweep of your closet for any winter items you don't need that someone at a shelter could use this winter. Many places are still taking items for holiday gifts. Check your local listings for the Salvation Army and Goodwill openings for donations.

Gifts for Employers
As nannies, we are sometimes in a bind on what to get our employers if anything at all. NannyMall LLC posted a blog post on this very thing a week or so ago.

I recently had a NannyMall Nanny email to say she was giving gifts to the children of the family in which she was placed and she asked a really great question:
Is it appropriate to gift the parents and if so, what do you give them?
Etiquette dictates you don't truly need to gift the parents because after all, it's the children you are there for.....however.....if you'd like to give to the parents, here are a few easy, inexpensive ideas.
to read the rest of the article please visit:
Gifting your families this holiday season


Financial Friday: Gifts That Last A Year!

>> Friday, December 11, 2009

Financial Friday: Gifts That Last A Year!
by Alice Shaffer

As a professional nanny, I sometimes struggle with what to get my nanny friends for the holidays and their birthdays. Some of them are live in and others are live out. Either way we all are downsizing in some capacity of what we need or want for the holidays or our birthdays. Our employers, our siblings, our parents and friends all ask us what we want for the holidays and even for our birthdays.

I have come up with a solution to this question. My Grandmother kept asking me what I want for Christmas. I told my Grandmother this year that I wanted an INA Membership. The fee has been reduced from $95 to $35 for a nanny membership. This is an awesome gift, that will help enrich my life as a professional nanny. This is a great gift from her, because she values my career as a professional nanny. I also told her I wanted some homemade Chicken Corn Soup, Red Beet Eggs and chocolate covered pretzels :) She lives in Pennsylvania, so she makes lots of yummy foods.

Do you have friends who are not members of INA, your local nanny support group or don't receive The Be The Best Nanny Newsletter? Why not consider giving them a gift of membership that lasts till next year? If their employeers or family ask you want to give them for the holidays, send them this email or share the websites with them.

Have a wonderful Holiday Season!


Financial Friday: A Membership For A Year

>> Friday, December 4, 2009

Financial Friday: A Membership For A Year
by Alice Shaffer

This week I was watching the news and they had a segment on Warehouse Store Shopping Secrets. I didn't know some of the secrets they shared. I knew of one they didn't share.

What they shared:
-At Costco, you do not need to be a member to use their pharmacy
-At Sam's Club you can take advantage of 100s of $4 prescriptions
-the items ending in .97 are clearance items-non restocked at Costco
-the items ending in .01 are clearance items-non restocked at Sam's Club
-free electronics phone support 24/7 even if you didn't purchase there at Sam's Club & Costco

For further details make sure you read the article and read the website of the warehouse clubs.

What I have learned/been told:
-you can take advantage of the Optical shop at BJ's without a membership, it is a state law in most states.
-you can use coupons from the newspaper/clipper magazines at BJ's.

As we all strive to save money, why not explore sharing a membership with a friend or family member. This would make an excellent gift to someone for their birthday or holidays. Saving money year round! You can have a joint account with someone.

Membership Fees (basic):
Sam's Club is $40 a year
Costco is $50 a year
BJS Wholesale Club is $45 a year

There are other membership levels with various rewards/benefits. They all offer different things. You can get a day pass for the majority of them and check them out. You might have to pay a slightly higher surcharge for the products but for some of the items you are still getting an awesome deal.

What have been some of the awesome deals you have gotten at a Warehouse Club?


Financial Friday: Online Coupons and more

>> Friday, November 27, 2009

You don't need to always get the Sunday newspaper to get the best deals at the store. Many times you can subscribe to the stores online emails and receive the coupons right in your own email inbox.

With the holidays here and people making "homemade" gifts, joining the many hobby & craft store email lists is great. You can use them at the various stores. If you have a A.C. Moore coupon for 50% for one item, you can take that to Michael's Craft store and use. Just call the store to ask if they accept competitor's coupons.

Hobby Lobby
A.C. Moore sign up for the email to receive the coupon
Michaels Arts & Crafts
Jo Anne Fabrics 40% off coupon for online item expires 1/2/10

For blogs that give you great coupon deals for various stores visit:
Deal Seeking Mom
Stretching a Buck
Hustler Money Blog- One month FREE of Amazon Prime on this link

To find various coupon codes for all types of places visit:
Retail Me Not anything from Domino's Pizza, Kohl's, Snapfish to Amazon.
Cheep Tweet this blog scours Twitter to find the best deals available.


Financial Friday: How to make the most of Black Friday

>> Friday, November 20, 2009

I love getting a great deal when shopping. As a nanny I shop for the family, and I am always looking at the sale items and so forth. They don't ask me too, I just do it because I enjoy finding a good deal.

Here is what you can do now:
1. Make a list of your family that you need to purchase gifts for
2. Make a list of your friends that you would like to purchase gifts for
3. Make a list of anyone's birthdays that are coming up in December, January or February.

With these lists start assigning gift ideas to them. Remember that 2009 has been a hard year for everyone in just about every economic bracket. You are allowed to not purchase gifts for people this holiday season. You can give gift certificates to be used at a future date. For example, last year I was signed up for 3 different holiday card exchanges, but life got in the way and I didn't get them out. I was going to make Inauguration cards for the people, but it was too close to the madness of the holidays. I ended up making Valentine Cards for them. I had several people email me and let me know it was such a nice surprise to get a card in February and not in the middle of the other cards of the holiday. Look for next week's Financial Friday on alternative gift ideas on The Financial Nanny.

This brings me to what is going to happen next Friday, November 27, the day after Thanksgiving-Black Friday! This is when people have little sleep and go shopping before the coffee is brewing and the kids are awake for the best deals of the season.

The ads have been leaked on the Internet. I will be honest with you and tell you that last year was the first year I believe I looked at Black Friday Ads online. I want you to save money this holiday season so I have gathered numerous websites that have the ads available to us.

1. Slickdeals Black Friday Forum This site has many sub forums of the various stores, discussions broken up into categories like LCD TVS, digital cameras, laptops etc

2. Black Friday at Gotta A Deal on the left side of the site, is a listing of all the stores they have ads for. In the middle are discussions about how to attack Black Friday, if you can purchase items online for Black Friday and other helpful things

3. Black Friday Info more ads from the stores

4. Black Friday 2009 They have a shopping list, if you sign up for the site and sign in. On the left side, they have a pricing guide, store hours

5. Black Friday Online Specials This is a listing of the retailers that have online specials on Black Friday if you don't feel like going out in the craziness of the shopping frenzies.
6. Cyber Monday is the Monday after Black Friday, November 30. You can complete your list with any items, you missed on Black Friday.


Financial Friday: How to find a great airfare & more

>> Friday, November 13, 2009

How to Find Great Airfare & More
by Alice Shaffer

As professional nannies, we are most likely working in a location far from our hometowns. This can make going home complicated with the holidays and expensive. I am lucky enough to be a five hour car ride away from my hometown where I work. I have the luxury of having three major airports within 45 minutes of my job, and about an hour and 15 min plane ride home.

The holidays are coming up. The INA conference is coming up in May 2010. Spring breaks are coming up. You will want to start checking airfares now for the best rate. You can also find deals on car rentals and hotels too.

There are several websites that can you use to find the best deal for your travels.

1. Bing Travel With Bing's software, they are searching 100s of sites for the best deals for you. They also have a "Price Predictor". This tool will let you know if you should buy now or wait. It has about a 75% rate of accuracy. You can also compare flight prices/times with other fares they found in their search. They allow you to buy directly to the supplier of the airfares. The former Farecast has been acquired by Microsoft and is now on Bing Travel.

2. Kayak I have been using Kayak for a while to search for flights. I love how they search the various airlines for deals. They will also compare airfares with other sites too. (, , , , )

3. Yapta This site also lets you track the prices of airfares up to three months in advance.
Just sign up for the alerts. You may also be eligible for a voucher rebate if the airfare you
purchased drops below the purchase price.

4. ITA: This is the site that travel agents use. It is not very fancy but you can find prices and
so forth. Click on Searching Airfares using QPX You will need to know the airport codes to
search on this site. Log in as a guest. You will also have to buy the ticket from the airline

5. Mobissimo Travel is another site that searches several other sites too. Clark Howard
discusses this site frequently on his talk show.

6. Sidestep is another site that searches other sites as well. It was acquired by Kayak and
uses a very similar website layout

I personally love checking out:
Southwest Airlines and signing up for their Ding! Alerts
Jetblue Airlines
United Airlines
Delta Airlines

There are two airports close to San Francisco: San Francisco (SFO) and Oakland (OAK)
so make sure you check out both airports for the best airfare to the INA Conference

Let us know what deals you have found! Good luck and Safe Travels!


Financial Friday: SmartyPig helps you save for Conferences and more!

>> Friday, November 6, 2009

Several months ago I found out about SmartyPig. I instantly fell in love with the little guy as a professional nanny who wanted to save for goals ! Isn't he adorable? SmartyPig is an online "piggy bank" for all of your goals you want to save for. SmartyPig is FDIC insured as well and run through the West Bank of Iowa. Whether it be the INA Conference, a Nanny retreat, plane ticket home for the holidays, a new couch, or a new car...SmartyPig is here for you!

Today I am going to share with you how I have been using SmartyPig to save for my INA conference fees goal that can be sent in starting on March 1, 2010. I have been saving since June 2009. I will also be adding two more goals (Hotel payment goal & airfare goal).

First you will need to have a rough estimate of what it will cost you to attend the 25th Anniversary of the INA Conference, May 20-23, 2010 in San Francisco. There are many factors in this "price tag." They include membership fee, conference fee, hotel costs and airfare. Two of these are fixed expenses: Membership Fee ($95 for nannies) and the Conference Fee ($295 has been the past fee for members, you have been able to get a 10% discount for going with a group, or first time attendee). There has also been an optional outing normally that is about $30 in the past. I get the reduced conference fee of 10% off due to being a member of ADCAN and having 5 or more members present at the conference. I save $300 for the conference fee/optional outing.

No matter what the "price tag" of a conference is for you to attend, you are investing in your education and future. Sometimes it seems like the "price tag" is more expensive than others or out of reach, but you must remember to invest in yourself. Determine what your "opportunity cost" is for education in the nanny field for yourself. Hopefully SmartyPig will give you the opportunity to attend the INA conference or the other Nanny events in 2010.

The hotel is at the lovely Hyatt at Fishersman's Wharf at $115 a night with 15.5% tax and .13 city tax (max 4 people to a room) This brings one night to $132.96 ($115 + $17.83 tax +.13 city tax) This rate is good for three days before the conference and three days after.

Here is the tally of the expenses I have:
$95 Membership Fee (paid earlybird October 25 & saved $10-pay by November 30 & save $10)
$ 300 for Conference Fee (10% discount) & optional outing if one -payments accepted 3/1/10
$265.92 for the Hotel stay (Wed-Sunday- with ONE roommate-$531.84 total) due 5/1/10
$400 for the airfare ($349 for 1 stop/$465 non stop- DC to SFO found on Kayak) due 3/1/10
Total needed is: $965.92 not including Membership fee.

In June I set up my first goal with SmartyPig. $300 for the Conference Fee/optional outing. I had to make the initial $25 deposit. My goal is set to be met on March 1, 2010. Every month on the 12th, my bank account auto drafts $30 to my SmartyPig goal account. I receive currently 2.01% interest. I have reached 48% of my goal so far. The cool thing is that you can add to your goals at anytime, any extra money you have. You can also have relatives contribute to your goals as well. (click on photo to enlarge)

When my goal is met I can either have the money redeposited back into my checking account or receive a Mastercard issued from SmartyPig.

Let's set up your first goal: The Hotel expenses that are needed by May 1, 2010 (This allows time for money transfer etc)

You will set up all your information regarding your checking account and so forth in the beginning. Then you will create your goal. The SmartyPig set up is very straight forward and easy. You must do an initial deposit of $25.00 to start any goal.

Starting on November 12, 2010 -SmartyPig will take out $40 a month till May 2010 to reach my goal of $266 for the 4 nights at the hotel with one roommate. (click on image to enlarge)

You can adjust the amount taken out monthly by increasing your initial deposit or making your goal date much longer. At this time, you can not say that you want $10 out monthly then switch it to $50 in 3 months. To get an affordable withdrawl amount for the say the first two months, you can play around with the end goal date. You can change your goal end date/amount at anytime. You can stop your goal at anytime as well without penalty.

For more details on how SmartyPig works, visit How Does this Work? Make sure you check out the page on their Best in Class Retailers, where they will give up 6% interest to various retailers in the form of a gift card to them. You can set up up goals for other parts of your life besides the INA Conference and get some great interest rates on your savings goals! The best thing is that the Hyatt is on their list of Best in Class Retailers!!!!!!

Any questions, let me know. See you in May 2010 at the Hyatt on Fishermans Wharf!


Financial Friday: Stuck On You Sale & Announcement of November's giveaway!

>> Friday, October 30, 2009

What a great sale at Stuck on You! Just in time for the Holidays!

We, at Regarding Nannies, just fell in love with Stuck on You, a fun innovative company that makes labeling FUN! They have ideas and products for all aspects of your house and gift giving packages! They have wall stickers, wall art, personal labels, personal t-shirts,pantry labels, dog tags and you name it basically. Anything that needs a label!

The products are made with the best vinyl that is microwave safe, dishwasher safe, waterproof and UV resistant. Their iron/sew on labels are built to last through the rough and tough play and washer/dryer wear.

These will make awesome holiday gifts for your charges, new moms and even for yourself! Several people have commented on how awesome the labels are for sippy cups, toys, diaper bag items and other items that are easily left behind.

! (Click on photos for larger images)
Our Gift Labels, Party Invites, Skin Prints and Sasi Journals are 30% off until November 5th and the new Designer Collection is 10% off until November 5th. All perfect for holiday gift giving and stocking stuffers. (It does take 2-3 weeks for delivery)

The sale prices are already in the system, so hurry fast and order now before it is too late!

Giveaway for November: (open from Oct 30-November 20th-announced on November 21st, with order being placed on Monday November 22nd, so you have in time for the holidays)
$25 gift certificate to Stuck on You. Visit Regarding Nannies to find out how to enter! All are welcome to enter!


Financial Friday: Where do I put my money?

>> Thursday, October 22, 2009

A couple of weeks ago, I posted Step 2: Setting up a Monthly Budget for professional nannies and others on making sure you have enough money for your fixed and flexible expenses. JanStClair commented and asked

"Will you address expenses that come due annually, such as insurance? In the
past, I've divided them by twelve and put them into the monthly budget. But it
does confuse me because it looks like I have more money in the bank than I
should until WHAM, the bill comes due."

This was an excellent question. I have quarterly, semi annually and annually bills due as well. Jan was correct that you should be saving for these monthly in your budget along with other expenses like clothing, gas, food and utilities. I have been using the online ING Orange Savings account at ING Direct This is an online savings account that is linked to my checking account. I can put money into my ING Orange Savings Account at any time online or via phone. What you would do is monthly deposit your expenses that you are saving for later pay dates. When it is time to pay the bill you will need at least 3 business days for the transfer from Orange Savings to your checking account. You can also set up an automatic transfer from your checking to your ING Orange Savings.

This is taken from the website regarding Orange Savings:

Watch Your Savings Grow.
Earn a variable 1.30% Annual Percentage Yield (effective 09/09/2009). Open an Orange Savings Account today.

The Orange Savings Account

  • High Interest, No Fees, No Minimums - All your money goes to work for you.

  • No Changing Banks - It electronically links to your current checking account. Transfers are free and easy.

  • FDIC Insured - Your deposits are FDIC–insured up to $250,000 per depositor.

  • Quick Application - Start saving in less than 5 minutes.

  • Start now

The other really neat thing is that you can earn $25 free from ING for setting up an ING savings account with an initial $250 deposit. That is a 10% return on your deposit. If you are interested in receiving the email for this email me at thefinancialnanny (at) gmail (dot)com. I will receive $10 per person that signs up through the special link. I will be using the money I receive from this to buy holiday items for a local children's shelter that ADCAN is working with closely throughout the coming year.


Financial Friday: How much and How Long?

>> Thursday, October 15, 2009

As a professional nanny we can see our employers spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars on items at the drop of the hat. At times this can cause a nanny or anyone for that matter to try to "Keep with the Jones". This is what can sometimes get a nanny into debt.The past 3 weeks we have gone over how to set up a budget and track daily expenses. This week I will share with you a great little tool online called a Debt Management Calculator.

This is what you need to get started:

  • your credit cards

  • bank loans

  • car loans

  • mortgages

  • school loans

For each of these debts (up to 9) you will need:

  • the current balance

  • the interest rate-is it fixed or special rate for 6 months etc? You will need the APR's payment due

Then you will also need (based on setting up your budget from the previous weeks)

  • Your monthly budget savings: Money from your current budget that you can apply to your debts

  • Income raises: Any anticipated raise to your monthly income that you can apply to your debts

  • Cash 'windfalls': Any one-time events that will increase the cash you have in a given month

I will share with you that I do NOT put any bonuses in this amount of "cash windfalls" as the amount is unpredictable. I do not put raises either as they vary from year to year. I know that I have an additional amount of money that is not allocated for my fixed and flexible spending in my budget. This is the amount I use for my budget savings.

Then you go to the Bankrate's Debt paydown calculator and follow the questions. At the end of the questions, it figures out how long it will take you to pay off your debt. For my debt and what I can pay monthly on it, it says 30 months, which will be April 2012.

There is also a chart that is included to tell you how much to pay on the debts each month. This is so awesome to me as it shows me monthly how my debts are going down and how close I am getting to becoming debt free. I have printed out this out and have it sight daily so I can look at my debt end date.

When will you be getting out of debt?


Part 3: Putting everything in your Spreadsheet

>> Friday, October 9, 2009

Part 1: Getting ready to start a budget
Part 2: Setting up a monthly budget

We have finally reached the fun part of our budget-putting it together in a spreadsheet! This is where the fun happens. Putting everything in the spreadsheet and watching your debts go down monthly along with your expenses being paid regularly and on time.

Here is what your spreadsheet might end up looking like if you are a live in professional nanny. If you are a live out professional nanny you might have additional items such as rent, utilities, and car expenses etc. Those expenses can easily be added to your budget spreadsheet.

(Click on the picture to enlarge it-you will need to do this to figure out the next steps)

This is an example of my budget (alias numbers/names).

The column (A) names my expenses and column (B) shows the payment due. Column (C) shows the accumulated total of those expenses due. Column (D) is the due date for these expenses. These are fixed for me. You may have some flexible expenses. Cash is my monthly allowance to use on those items that are not fixed like gas, eating out, clothes, and anything else not written on this budget.

Row 14-C shows my monthly total of $910 for expenses a month. There is a formula for this that automatically figures out the addition for you :)

The column (E) is my debt-credit cards. There are three credit cards on this budget. Column (F) is the balance of the debt. Column (G) is the minimum amount due. Column (H) is the amount of money I am paying towards these items to pay the debt down faster. This will vary based on how much money you have left over a month after subtracting your flexible/fixed expenses from your income. I will share in the coming weeks how to determine which credit card to pay down first via Bankrate.

F-5 is the total debt of credit cards
G-5 is the total minimum due monthly for my credit cards.
H-5 is the total amount of money I pay on my credit cards monthly.
H-17 is the minimum amount needed monthly to pay your credit card debt and expenses
I-17 is the minimum amount you need for 3 months worth of your expenses/debts.
L2-9 is the names of my checking, money market, IRA and savings accounts
M2-9 is the balances of those accounts. This is helpful when figuring out where your money is.
P-Q shows the dates of my paychecks and the amount received on my paychecks.

You may notice several color cells on the spreadsheet. It is color coded according to my 3 banks and what money for debts come out of what account.
Green is Fidelity Credit Card
Blue is LGCU Credit Union
Gold is Wachovia

I have 3 items that are paid on my Fidelity Credit Card monthly because I receive cash back awards for using that account. I then transfer 5000 points to $75 to my Fidelity IRA account. I allow my money to work for me. I get rewarded for paying my bills for my retirement. The items in blue for my Credit Union are auto drafted from my checking account. My paycheck is direct deposited every two weeks on Friday. The gold items come from my Wachovia checking account. This is my account that basically is my "allowance" account. It is a seperate account from my expenses/bill checking account. I have found this has been working very well for me as it seperates my money. Every two weeks I write a check to myself from the Credit Union to Wachovia for my "allowance" When the money is gone in that account, the money is gone.

I hope this gives you an idea of how to set up an excel spreadsheet of your budget. If you do not own Excel you can go to Microsoft Office Live Workshop and set up an account there. Then if you email me at thefinancialnanny (at) gmail (dot) com with the names of your expenses/debts I can fill it in for you and share it with you via MS Office Live Workshop. Then you can enter your amounts of everything. You can also use Google Documents to make a spreadsheet as well. I will be happy to help you with formulas or setting up the columns if you run across problems.

You should revisit your budget monthly. This way you can make sure you are staying on task for your budgeting. This way you can see your monthly debt going down versus staying the same.

Up next week: Where do you put that money for expenses that is due quarterly or bi-monthly.


Part 2: Setting up a Monthly Budget

>> Friday, September 25, 2009

I left you with some homework last week. To gather all the bills and income you have as well as writing down all the money you spend. Did you do it? If you did not-then work on it this week! If you did-awesome you can move on to step 2 in the process of making a budget.

I hope that you have gathered all your other expenses as well in your notebook.

This week we are focusing on your fixed expenses and flexible expenses. I have prepared a spreadsheet for you to enter your info into. This is on Google documents called Monthly Expenses. This is where your expenses from the past week go. You should be able to edit it and copy it into your own google documents account via gmail. If that doesn't work, let me know and I will try to help you another way.

1. Fixed Expenses: figure out from your list of expenses what is fixed. Rent, car insurance, cell phone bill, membership dues, etc. These are the items that don't change in amount due. Add these items up.

2. Flexible Expenses figure out from your expenses how much you spend weekly on flexible expenses: gas, groceries, clothes, eating out, entertainment etc. Tally up these expenses. You can then multiply this by four to get your monthly flexible expenses.

3. What is your monthly income after taxes? Include part time work if you earn that regularly a month.

4. Do your fixed expenses and flexible expenses cost more than your monthly income?

If your flexible/fixed expenses are more than your income, you need to work on cutting out some of your flexible expenses so that you have movement in your budget without drowning in further debt.

Next time we will put everything into a spreadsheet.

Remember to let me know if you are working along with the steps so that you are eligable for a giveaway. You must comment on the blog to be eligable.


Financial Friday: Step 1: Getting ready to start a budget

>> Thursday, September 17, 2009

As I have mentioned, being a professional live in nanny has wonderful benefits and sometimes a downfall of falling into debt. I have been working with a budget lately and wanted to help others set one up so they can be as financially responsible.

Over the coming weeks, I am going to share with you how to set up a budget along with weekly homework assignments that help you get to the next step in making a budget.

This week we will gather money totals for everything - money coming in and money going out. I suggest getting a one subject notebook for your budget and keeping things together. We will eventually put the budget on a spreadsheet so that it will do the calculating for you.

Here’s what you need to get started:

For all of the following you need the amount due, payment due date, amount of loan/balances of accounts, and interest rates

  1. Your last paycheck (preferably two) and a schedule of when you get paid (weekly, bi-weekly, bi-monthly, etc) with dates

  2. Credit card bills (most recent)- Visa, Mastercard, Sears, Discover, Kohl's - all of them

  3. Banking information - this includes checking, savings, money market, CDs, Savings Bonds including fees.

  4. IRA/401K/Brokerage account balances and information

  5. Insurance paperwork - car, life, health, pet, home/renter's, etc.

  6. Utilities –phone, cell, internet, cable/satellite, electric, rent, water/sewer, trash, and appliances etc

  7. Student loans or other personal loans

  8. Prescription & health care costs

  9. Subscription/Membership fees - Health club dues/fees, Netflix, union dues, etc

  10. Doctor/dentist visits

  11. Daily living:
    Groceries, clothing, eating out, dry cleaning, salon/spa services, gas, snacks, bus/metro/subway/cab fares, movie rentals, concerts, purchase of music/DVDs/books/toys/birthday presents, pet supplies, magazine & newspaper subscriptions,

  12. Yearly/Semi Yearly expenses: car insurance, organization membership fees, conference fees, hotel fees, vacation, tuition, music/language lessons, charitable donations

  13. anything else that you pay for or collect interest on

    This is a large list of items to work on. I promise you that when we get this budget together, you will feel great about yourself.


In addition, to gathering the

above information I would like for you to track ALL of your EXPENSES for this week. You can carry an index card and write down all cash/credit/debit purchases or write them in a notebook. This will help us figure out where you money goes and what kind of budget you need to work with.

Feel free to ask if you have any questions. Let me know if you are going to work on a budget along with me - there might be a special giveaway at the end of all these homework assignments.


How to organize those receipts!

>> Saturday, September 5, 2009

Over at Regarding Nannies, I published a post on a fun way to organize your receipts.

To read the article , A Fun Storage place for receipts & work notes

don't forget to pick up an accoridon file when you are done reading!


So Very excited! Savings Savings and more Savings

>> Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Over at Regarding Nannies, they have gathered around 20 different direct sales companies to offer 10% off your total purchase and some even offer Free Shipping!

To celebrate being a professional nanny and National Nanny Recognition Week, please hop on over to NNRW Specials. Buy something for yourself, pass it along to your bosses, gift a little something for your nanny friends or nanny group. This is the time you can pick up a little bling to show off you being a professional nanny! Shop for the holidays!

Happy Shopping! Thank you everyone who has agreed to give nannies and those involved with nannies, a fun way to celebrate NNRW!


Savings online!

>> Monday, August 31, 2009

There are so many opportunities on the Internet for saving money. You can sign up for coupon blogs, sign up for receiving coupons in your mailbox, or print them out right then and there.I am going to post some great links to some great discounts that are time sensitive, so make sure you take advantage of them today.

To read the rest of the article for the awesome deals please visit Financial Friday on Regarding Nannies


What a deal! $9.99 for Dave Ramsey!

I was going through my emails today of the blogs I subscribe to and came across Nickels N Dimes.

Over at Dave Ramsey's store everything is $9.99. This includes the envelope system, DVDS and books!

A few weeks ago I talked about the envelope system from Dave Ramsey, now is a great time to get the book or system if you have been procrastinating! Start September off with a financially smart decision!


Kids WOOT!

>> Thursday, August 20, 2009

Woot has entered the kids market with the introduction of Kids WOOT this week. This site is going to be selling everything that is known to dealing with kids- carseats, toys, clothes and games etc. The term "kid" is loosely defined as anyone from 0-100. They will have all kids of "kid" products for young and old.

So what is the Kids Woot store? Taken from their website page on What is Woot:
How does this store work?
Like the other Woot sites: we offer a new deal every night at midnight Central time, in limited quantities at a discounted price. Only one product is available at any given time. If you want one, you click that big orange button that says I WANT ONE. When it sells out, or the next midnight rolls around, that deal is gone. No backorders, no rainchecks, no do-overs. And no, we don’t tell you what the next product is. What fun would that be?

They will post an item at midnight daily for people to purchase. When their set amount of that item has been purchased. The sale is over. You will have to wait for midnight for the next item to be posted.

I know alot of people who are addicted to WOOT. They have got amazing deals on products for like 15 dollars from 70 dollars. It all depends on the item at the time. Make sure to add Kids Woot to your list of websites you visit daily. You could pick up some awesome holiday and birthday gifts.

If you want to read more about the items they have had this week hop on over to their blog.

Let me know what you pick up!


Giveaways, Oh some Giveaways!

>> Saturday, August 15, 2009

Here are several fun giveaways I have entered tonight! Check them out before they expire!

  • Enter to win @carolinapad giveaway find details here ends Sunday August 16, 2009 at Midnight

  • win a set of Hallmark cards celebrating Motherhood & encouraging your kids from @ThriftyChicMom ends August 21 at midnight

If you want a whole list of giveaways visit Thrifty & Chic mom's list!

Let me know which you enter! good luck!


Financial Friday: Staples Rewards

>> Thursday, August 13, 2009

Continued from Regardingnannies Financial Friday

I was on vacation this past week in North Carolina, and went to Staples to pick up some stuff. The twenty minutes I was in the store was a financially rewarding one. They have an awesome deal on paper for printers till Saturday. $4.99 but after the rebate it is $1! You use their easy rebate system online. It is at stapleseasyrebates. They make it hard to give people an excuse as to why they couldn’t apply for their rebate. It is all online.

I was waiting in line and a lady had her check from her Staples Rewards she was speaking to the manager. She told him that it had expired the day before and wanted to know if she could use it still. He said yes they will be accepting expired Staples Rewards checks from now on. It is a new corporate policy. I spoke with him about that when he was ringing me up. He said that if a manager doesn’t accept your “expired” to call the Corporate Offices and the manager will get in trouble. Awesome-no more rushing to use it to just use it.

Also from the website on the Staples Rewards. You can get $3 per ink cartridge you recycle each month, up to 10 a month. I know I have several ink cartridges running around in drawers at work and in my stuff. I plan on getting them together this weekend. If you don’t have a rewards card from Staples, pick one up the next time you are in there. They are free and worth money


Envelopes? How can they help me save money?

>> Thursday, July 30, 2009

For almost all of 2009 I have been trying to stick to a budget. Some months are way better then others. I started researching the Envelope Budgeting System by Dave Ramsey. I found some articles online that explain how to do this.

It is so cool. Basically you make envelopes for all your bills that you pay monthly and your spending habits. You have one for gas, cloths, food, entertainment, and even one for fun. You fill the envelopes with the designated amount of money each month. When the envelope is gone, the money is gone. You don't reach for your credit cards. This helps keep you honest and on track. This can also help you save money for the INA conference or something else big by having an envelope and putting money in there too, and then putting it into your online savings account at ING or WAMU, etc.

I think that after my beach trip next week I will be implementing this system for the rest of 2009 to see how it goes. They say it might take a few months to start getting the hang of it and seeing results. Why don't you join me and we can be "budget buddies" together making sure we are staying on track.

14 steps to the Envelope System

Modified Dave Ramsey Envelope System

update on Modified Dave Ramsey Envelope System


Time to get some things for free!

>> Sunday, July 26, 2009

July is wrapping up and there are several ways to add to your professional nanny career with upcoming conferences and membership giveaways.

We are entering the 4th and final week over at Regardingnannies of their Partial Year INA Membership. So don't delay and go enter!

There are several ways that you can earn free conference registrations and a hotel stay for the upcoming Nannypalooza.

Nannynetwork has a giveaway that ends on July 31 which features a hotel stay and conference registration!

What are you waiting for? Make sure you have this blog in an email subscription or reader so over the next few days you can enter these contests...some of them just requiring you to email your contact info!

Good luck!


Really why is he interested in tipping?

>> Thursday, July 23, 2009

The other night at dinner, my teenager asked her preteen brother why he was so interested in what I gave for a tip at lunch. I shared with her the fact that he now puts the tip on our bill when we go out to dinner. Here is how this started:

Last year I started having my preteen figure out what the tip was on our meals when we went out to eat. The family eats out a lot and I thought this would be great practice at percents and fractions. There are several reasons for having him do this. The main ones are to have a grasp on how much things cost and practice with practical math applications.

We worked on taking 10% of the total bill ( $49.83) which would be $4.98Then you take the $4.98 and double it to give you 20% of the bill to give you a 20% tip.If you want to do a 15% tip you divide the 10% tip ($4.98) in half $2.49 and add it to the 10% total making the 15% tip=$7.47

The majority of the time we round up the change portion to a whole number. This also helps my kidlet understand that things do cost more than just the list price.Here is a website I found regarding tipping.

What do you do with your kids to encourage teaching math skills in every day environment


Free DVD Movie every Monday!

>> Friday, July 17, 2009

About six months ago, I cancelled my Blockbuster Online account. The main reason was that it was 18 dollars a month and I used it more for my kidlets than me. The store I went to also closed, so it made the decision easy!

This is when I discovered Redbox. They are located in grocery stores ,some convenience stores, McDonalds, Walmarts & Walgreens. The cost per rental day is ONE DOLLAR plus tax! To check out the DVD you must use a credit card or debit card. No cash is accepted. To me this is kind of a no brainer. When I go to the grocery store, I see if they have a movie I like, if they do great, if they don’t ok. I can also reserve one online. Redbox will tell me which location has the movie I would like to rent. I can return it to any location as well, not the original location. If you happen to not return it the next day they charge you an additional dollar plus tax.

I also like using this DVD rental as a friendly bribe for my charge who dreads going to the grocery store. He is a teenager, so the chance to get a movie is a good deal for 40 minutes at the store. A lot of people also enjoy Redbox because they rent movies whenever they travel and return them at the other end of the destination. Great for kid rentals!

How do you get the free movie? Each Monday, Redbox releases a code for a free rental. You can grab that code and take it to the store or reserve online.

The how to’s of REDBOX:
Sign up for an online account
Sign up for emails to get the latest movie releases & deals.
Reserve your movie online with your credit card
Go pick up your movie with your credit card0A
Pop some popcorn and enjoy your movie!
Return your movie the next day and you will receive an email confirmation that you returned it.

Don’t delay sign up for your account and scope out what movie you want to watch for FREE on Monday! Let me know what you watch!


What is your Opportunity Cost?

>> Thursday, July 9, 2009

A few months ago, several nannies who are members of the INA sponsored an essay contest. The topic of the essay was “Why you are committed to being a professional nanny?” Now you may ask what does this have to do with finances. A lot of this essay contest has to do with finances. I saved $276 by writing a 300 word essay on why I am I committed to being a professional nanny. I saved that money by making the decision and taking the time during one day to write this essay. It took about an hour to write. So one hour of my time was worth $276. This is what my opportunity cost was. This is about the only phrase I remember from my Economics class. What opportunity cost means basically is what is the cost of doing something when your decision has been made. I choose to give up an hour of my day so that I could save $276. For a more detailed explanation visit opportunity cost.

Over at Regarding Nannies, they are giving away 4 partial year INA memberships for a few minutes of your time during the month of July. There is one entry that you have to do for being entered, and if you want to increase your chances of winning, there are additional opportunities for entries. Will you take this opportunity to show what your economic cost is when wanting to become a member of a National Nanny Organization, such as the INA. Will take this opportunity of winning a $39 partial year membership? I hope you review your finances and see what this opportunity cost might be worth to you.

Here is a copy of my essay that was worth an hour of my time:

One of many reasons, I feel committed to the profession is because as a child I was taught to be self sufficient among many other things. Being self sufficient is a stepping stone to having life skills. I was that person in college who knew how to check the oil level in my car, while many didn’t.

Today’s world is so busy with academics and knowledge, that the simplicity of common sense and achieving life skills is often forgotten. As a professional I bring a certain level of “common sense” or “life skills” to my job. I have seen the brightest children not know how to wash clothes to not knowing how to mail a package. With all my jobs I have helped children become self sufficient, even just getting a bowl of cereal prepared to figuring out how to order tickets online from Ticketmaster. Children are often catered to by their families that they often “sink” once they reach the “real” world. I feel that by helping them achieve “life skills” and “common sense” it helps them become a stronger person.

“Basic Skills” is something that I have enjoyed helping my charges, other nannies and even moms utilize. Through communicating about the basics of nannying like having taxes paid, getting health insurance, set work hours, communication with employers, a work agreement and how to find a job or nanny, I have reached many people. I am involved locally in a nanny support group, nationally in many online groups, INA and the late National Association of Nannies. Many people outside of my nanny circle come to me for information on hiring nannies or what to do with their nannies if there is a problem etc. I am committed to being a professional nanny by spreading the word of the “Basics”.
Thank you ladies for choosing my essay. See you in Dallas on the 23rd of April!


Will follow up

>> Tuesday, June 30, 2009

This past week was definitely one for reflection on our own mortality and what we have in place for our loved ones when we pass on.

Last Monday, nine people were killed in the Washington DC metro train crash. They ranged in age from 23 to 62. All walks of life. One woman was a widow and mother of six, one was 23 and just starting her career as a hairstylist with a young child to the retired decorated Major General of the DC National Guard and his wife. Some had life insurance and money for burials and care for their children, others did not.

Thursday was the passing of Farrah Fawcett and the unexpected death of Michael Jackson. Then Sunday the death of Billy Mays.

This brings me to ask, Have you looked into making your will from the link last week? I have heard reports that Michael Jackson didn't have a valid will. Why? Who knows exactly, but this should not stop you from making yours. You need to make sure you look at and update yours yearly to include new children, assests and other items.

Go visit Suze Orman's Free Will & TRust and start yours now. Use the code PEOPLE FIRST to receive it first.


Do you have a will?

>> Wednesday, June 17, 2009

As a single live in nanny, I have not made a will. I am not really sure why. I don't own a car, own a house or have dependants so really I just have life insurance. Besides life insurance, I have a "ton" of material stuff that I guess needs a new home should I pass on.

I know I need to make one. My mom and I had a conversation about 3 months ago about making one with this computer program she bought. I never got the software though. Yesterday I received my email update from DealSeekingMom which included a link to Suze Orman's Will and Trust Kit. You can get this for a limited time for free!

I signed up for it. I have to go through it all and fill out the paperwork. I am still debating on who gets my bird, Lemongrass :) Anyone? This is really an awesome FREE item that Suze is giving us. It includes a financial power of attorney, revocable trust, and many other things that need to be filled out. It took me about 15 minutes to fill in my information to get into the system. I hope that you carve out 15 minutes of your day to start setting up your estate. It is one of the items I will be working on creating this weekend.


Cars & Work

>> Friday, June 12, 2009

We just had a poll on car usage. There were 7 people who responded. Here are the results:

What kinda of car situation are you in?

own your car, don't use for work 1 (14%)

own your car, use for work 4 (57%)

don't own a car/don't drive 0 (0%)

don't own a car/car provided by work for work/personal use 2 (28%)

lease a car for personal use 0 (0%)

lease a car for personal/work use 0 (0%)

Using your car for work purposes can be very tricky. If you transport children daily in your personal vehicle, you need to make sure that you have the highest level of insurance coverage of 500/500/500 and a possible umbrella policy of a million dollars. Why you ask? Think if you were in the unfortunate event to be involved in a car accident with you and two of your charges. You each are taken to the hospital, ER visits, xrays, possible overnight stays. This can run into $100,000 in medical bills before the day is over. We normally never think that something can happen. My previous insurance agent shared with me the potential costs of an accident involving 3 people. This doesn't even include the property damage, other car/driver involved or your car damage.
You need to make sure that your insurance agent understands that you are carrying children in your personal vehicle for "work" purposes. You will need to make sure a rider is attached to your insurance for this. This bump in insurance coverage does cost more, but in the long run will pay off if you are ever involved in an accident.

If you are using your car to drive the kids around you should be getting reimbursed the IRS's mileage rate of 55 cents a mile. What you should do is track your mileage and turn it in at the end of week for reimbursement or whatever time frame you and your employers agree to. From what I understand, but I could be wrong, you can use google to figure out the mileage to/from preschool, grocery store, doctors etc and the IRS accepts those rates. If you take little "Billy" to preschool 3 days a week and it is 9 miles round trip, you submit 27 miles for reimbursement. That is 14.85 a week for driving little "Billy" to preschool.
This money is to be used for car repairs and gas. You should open up a savings account at your bank or online like at ING and put that money in there. That way if you need to replace your brakes or tires you will have the money waiting there.


Receipts...and how not to store them :)

>> Monday, June 8, 2009

Today, Kidlet #3 wanted his scissors back. He asked to go in my purse to get them, I said fine. He starts pulling things out and can't find them. In order to find his scissors, he dumps my purse upside! I was just laughing. He then goes on to lecture me on the contents of my purse.

I have tons of receipts loose in my purse, werther's candies, a notepad,my camera, a calendar, pens, and candy wrappers..junk basically. He then starts telling me that I don't need the candy, the notepad: because I have the calendar, and that I need to keep my receipts in a box or something.

That leads me to my question to you my readers: "How do you organize your work receipts?"

Please leave a comment so that we can discuss. Oh and my receipts are now in a gallon size ziploc bag till I go through them and get reimbursed :)


Poll Results and a new Poll is available

>> Thursday, June 4, 2009

For the past two weeks, I had a poll on "What type of living situation did you have". I am happy to report that 45 nannies took part in this poll.
The results are:

live in 10 (22%)

live in married 1 (2%)

live out single 19 (42%)

live out married 15 (33%)

These results didn't surprise me too much, as the demand for live in nannies has been decreasing it seems since 9/11. I was shocked to see that someone was a live in married nanny. I would love to know more details on that.

For those of you that are live out single, do you have roommates or live alone?

This week's poll is "What type of car situation do you have". Looking forward to the results!


And the winner for the INA membership is....

>> Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Over the past two weeks, Glenda and myself, have given nannies the opportunity to win an INA membership for the upcoming year. It is valued at $95. We tallied the entries from the 31 nannies who entered and used to draw the number. The winner is:

Number 18

belonging to


from Minnesota!

Congratulations on receiving the INA membership from Creative Nanny, Nanny Adventures, Nanny Transitions & The Financial Nanny.

Thank you everyone who shared with others and entered our contest.

Please consider joining INA.


How does $95 given to you feel for about 5-10 minutes of your time?

>> Saturday, May 30, 2009

Please remember that this is the final weekend to enter the INA Membership Giveaway. (full details at this link)

This giveaway is worth $95. That is about 10 movies that you don't need to skip so that you can get your INA Membership for the upcoming year.

Here is a breakdown of what you need to do:
Starting on Friday, May 15 and running through Monday June 1, we will offer you the opportunity to win a one year INA Nanny membership (Valued at $95) If you are already an INA member we will pay your membership for the following year.

You can gain entries by doing any or all of the following.

1. Sign up to follow either blog. (Each blog counts for 1 entry so if you sign up for all 4 you will get 4 entries). Please leave a comment at each blog stating that you signed up to follow or already do.

2. Talk about this give away and post a link to our blogs on your blog, talk about it to a yahoogroup, or post about it on a message board like NannyNetwork , Nanny Island Twitter it, or put it on Facebook.Send us a copy or a link and each one will count as an entry.Send it to (put INA Giveaway in subject)


3. In addition to that you will get double entries for posting on any of our blogs

a. Why you want to be a member of a professional organization,


b. What it means to you to be a member of a professional nanny group.

The winner will be chosen from


35 nannies and 5 days away...

>> Tuesday, May 26, 2009

till the INA membership giveaway is closed on June 1. 35 nannies have visited my blog and taken my little poll on their living conditions, please take a minute and enter the giveaway as well! I know there are 35 nannies out there that read this blog. :) This is an awesome opportunity to save $95 dollars and gain a year full of valuable information for your nanny career and personal knowledge.

I wanted to comment on INA for a second about what I have gained from it personally. I have been an active member (ie attending conferences except 2 of them) since rejoining in 2003. I have been connected with so many new and old nanny friends. I have also made great personal and work related connections with nanny agencies and nanny industries companies etc. Just this year at the conference I was reconnected with a nanny that I have not seen in several years. This year's conference helped me "see the light" in what I can further share with others in my life through my new blog, The Financial Nanny.

Yes $95 dollars a year can seem steep, but really that is $10 a month put aside to pay for your yearly dues in December for the coming year. Glenda and myself have decided to help another nanny, a new or existing INA member, receive an INA membership. I hope that you will take the time to enter the giveaway.

I look forward to meeting you via the INA facebook page, twitter or blog locations including the 2010 INA Conference!


Where do I start in getting a budget?

>> Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Having a budget or "financial lifestyle change" can be challenging. I have had one done many times yet it continually is being re-evaluated and updated every few months depending on what is happening in my life.

This week I am going to give you a "homework" assignment so next week on Monday we can set up a budget system. I am going to be doing this along with you as well.

It might be a good idea to get a notebook for your finances and worksheets that we will be going over and so forth.

On a sheet of paper, I want you to write down everything you physically pay for: clothes, dentist, doctors appts, prescriptions, gas, eating out, snacks, movies, cell phone, cable, health insurance, life insurance, IRA, etc.

Include items that are quarterly, or yearly like insurance policies for rental insurance, car insurance etc.

Make sure you put the dollar amount of what they cost if you know them. If you don't know what your bill cost find out.

How are you paid? Weekly, biweekly or monthly? Direct deposit or by check/cash?

Breakdown of the assignment for next week:
1. write down all the things you pay for
2. write down the amount of money you pay out for each of these
3. write down the due date of these items
4. what is your after tax paycheck (weekly, biweekly, monthly) and your amount paid
5. how is your paycheck paid?

if you have any questions before Monday, don't hesitate to
email me at thefinancialnanny at gmail dot com


A Giveaway from The Financial Nanny & Nanny Transititions

>> Friday, May 15, 2009

Since returning from the INA Conference in Dallas 3 weeks ago, my good friend Glenda and I have been brainstorming about how to get the message out to nannies that we can't simply sit around lamenting about the lack of respect our profession gets. We have to be actively working to improve the image of the nanny profession and one of the most important ways to do that is to be actively involved in a professional nanny organization.

We both knew and loved the late Harriette Grant. Harriette was a Co Founder of the first and longest running support group in the United States. Association of DC Area Nannies (ADCAN). She was a founding member of INA, a board member of INA and the first INA Nanny of the Year in 1990 We will be posting her story on her June 3rd Birthday and in honor of her upcoming birthday Glenda and I decided we would work in conjunction to give away an INA Membership on our blogs.

I have two blogs. The first blog is This is a blog about my adventures as a nanny, helpful tools for parents and nannies as well as other items of interest. I was also inspired by Dr. Lynne Kenney at the INA Conference to brand herself. I am launching her new blog, The Financial Nanny that is focused on helping nannies (and others) save money and invest wisely with the start of this contest.

Glenda's first blog is about nannies in transition from leaving their nanny positions to other changes. It is called Nanny Transitions. Her second blog is highlighting her creative side as The Creative Nanny.

Starting on Friday, May 15 and running through Monday June 1, we will offer you the opportunity to win a one year INA Nanny membership (Valued at $95) If you are already an INA member we will pay your membership for the following year.

You can gain entries by doing any or all of the following.

1. Sign up to follow either blog. (Each blog counts for 1 entry so if you sign up for all 4 you will get 4 entries). Please leave a comment at each blog stating that you signed up to follow or already do.

2. Talk about this give away and post a link to our blogs on your blog, talk about it to a yahoogroup, or post about it on a message board like NannyNetwork , Nanny Island
Twitter it, or put it on Facebook.

Send us a copy or a link and each one will count as an entry.
Send it to (put INA Giveaway in subject) or

3. In addition to that you will get double entries for posting on any of our blogs
a. Why you want to be a member of a professional organization, or
b. What it means to you to be a member of a professional nanny group

The winner will be chosen from and announced on all four blogs on Tuesday June 2, 2009. Good luck!

For more information on the INA please visit their website, their blog, their Facebook fan page or twitter.


Why giveaways are good & 6 giveaways for Thursday!

>> Thursday, May 14, 2009

I am going to post weekly giveaways via other blogs I come across. The great thing about giveaways is that you generally make comments to enter. Sometimes you get extra enteries for blogging, twittering, or facebooking about it. I actually won a free dinner from Pizza Hut from JerseyBites on their Win It Wednesday! You should see their giveaway this week!

Now what does entering giveaways/contests have to do with Financial information and getting out of debt. Let me tell you some of these items are worth hundreds of dollars. They make great baby shower gifts, birthday gifts, and wedding gifts. The sky is the limit to what giveaways you want to enter. It takes a minute or so to enter and you can potentially save money on an item you would like to own or give away.

Here are some giveaways for this week:

  1. Jerseybites: Win it Wednesday A dozen free cupcakes from StuffedCupcakes. Deadline for entries is Tuesday, May 19th at 11:59pm.

  2. Eco-Libris: Big Green Cookbook by Jackie Newgent, RD . Eco-Libris is a site about moving towards substainable reading by planting a tree for every book you read! What a great way to give back to the environment! Submissions are accepted until Tuesday, May 19, 12PM EST. The winner will be announced the following day.
  3. Joyful Money Saving: Tote Bags by Ziggety Deadline for entries is May 17th at 11:59 PM PST
  4. 24/7 Moms: Made Here Baby! book. The book highlights 400 American companies that produce safe, high-quality children’s products.. Deadline: 7:08 pm CT, May 16, 2009
  5. Outnumbered 3 to 1: $100 gift certificate to Moxie Shoes! These are some cute shoes and bags! This giveaway is open to residents of the US only and will end on May 26thth at 11:59pm. I will notify the winner via email and post on this blog. The winner will have 72hours to respond to the email or I will have to pick a new winner.
  6. Sweeps4bloggers: 500 Business Cards from UPrinting Two lucky winners for this one!Ends on May 23rd, 2009 at 8pm Pacific Time. Giveaway is open for US mailing addresses only


The Financial Trap of a Live In Nanny

I have been a nanny for fourteen years...all as a live in. Many would think that is an easy way to save for the future. Sure but reality is that is not how it works all the time. I have made some stupid mistakes as a nanny financially with my personal debt. I have a good FICO score, and good credit despite the amount of credit card debt I have.

I know first hand how easy it is to purchase things with credit cards because they are easy to use. You basically can buy whatever you want and just make payments. As a live in nanny we have very little "utilities" to pay for. I have mostly been in charge of paying for my Internet, cell phone , land line phone, and part of my health insurance. There are other items such as gas, weekend and evening eating out/food items , and entertainment to purchase. That is partly how I got to where I am today. I hope that through this blog I can share with you some of the ways I have gotten out of debt, paid my bills on time, closed credit cards, paid off loans, saved for my nanny conferences and memberships and still have money leftover each month to play with.

I started working slowly on getting out my debt, setting up my future retirement accounts, and savings accounts over the past two years. It is not easy and it doesn't get fixed overnight. The debt didn't come over night so it won't disappear overnight, unless you win the lottery. I have some fun ways on working to get out of the "trap" and onto solid ground again. I am hoping to start off 2012 debt free and standing outside the "trap" and on solid ground. I hope you find something that could work for you.

On Friday, Glenda and myself will be announcing a wonderful giveaway for any nanny out there. So sign up to receive the RSS feeds, or the emails and come back on Friday to find out what is happening.


The Financial Nanny is born

>> Thursday, May 7, 2009

April 23-26, 2009 proved to be very rewarding to me in my life as a nanny. I was attending the International Nanny Association's 24th annual conference in Dallas, Texas. There were two speakers who "spoke" to me: Dr. Lynne Kenney and Jeff Crilley.

Dr. Kenney spoke about how nothing is yours truly till you give it away to someone else. She spoke about how important "branding" yourself is as well. I took that to heart throughout her keynote speech and her workshop later on the "Middle School Minefields." Dr. Kenney spoke on how you can "sprinkle the seeds" of knowledge through various things that you do. You just have to figure out what knowledge you are cultivating. I knew right then and there I wanted to "brand" myself as a nanny who shared financial information with other nannies on how to save for their future, save money through coupons, giveaways, discounts and getting out of debt.Jeff Crilley spoke on "Free Publicity" it was an amazing workshop for myself. I have been involved in direct sales for the past four years. I found several crossover items in his talk with what I learned from some of the top direct sales trainers in the industry. Communication is the key. Picking up the phone and speaking with someone,versus emailing is key too. Bundling items together for someone is awesome. In the direct sales world we called that "upselling". Mr. Crilley was using the bundling in reference to responding to news articles and how bringing the media a "poster child" along with a deeper story helps one's cause get further recognized. "Poster Child" is being referred to as a "real life" example of whatever the story is speaking of. We heard Mr. Crilley speak the day after the Iphone application of the "Shaken Baby" was pulled after the cries from the public. The "Shaken Baby" application paved the way for the media and others who have branded themselves or have knowledge in the department of Shaken Baby dangers to make light of how serious this truly is.Throughout my years as a professional nanny I have been to many conferences, workshops, and nanny meetings. We always hear of ways to improve our resume/portfolio, how to land the job we want, and child development etc. Rarely do we hear how to deal with our financial issues. Nannies come in all kinds of packages some are live in, or live out and rent, and some are married etc. Regardless of their living situation most financial planners I have heard or come across don't understand the dynamics of the live in nanny or the career progression of the nanny. Being a professional nannies, we are not eligible for 401ks, employee stock purchasing options, group medical insurance and other benefits offered in corporate America. We don't always have the knowledge of how to set up an IRA, individual medical insurance, purchasing stocks, mutual funds, savings accounts, obtaining three plus months of emergency savings and

As a professional nanny of fourteen years, who has lived in, I have found myself in the "financial money trap." I was/is in the trap of debt, no retirement of any size and just spending money because I didn't have a mortgage, a car payment, or utilities etc. For the past two years along with my brother who loves financial stuff and so forth, I have been working slowly on getting myself out of debt, starting my own Roth IRA, putting money away for emergency funds if I find myself out of work, how to save for the yearly conferences regardless of how much they cost and putting myself on an spending allowance.

I have come to realize that other nannies could benefit from the things I have learned, the traps I have fallen into and working to get out of those and that is how "The Financial Nanny" was born in Dallas, Texas at the 24th annual INA conference. I hope my experiences can help you gain financial knowledge for your future and present.



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