Money Saving Tips

Kid Allowances: What do YOU think?

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Kid Allowances: What to Consider

Let’s talk about kid allowances today.  Are they a “do?”  A “don’t?”  A maybe?  If so, how does your family go about it?

This subject recently came up in our home, as our little girl is now in 1st grade. As she continues to grow, we continue to give her more responsibility which she is handling with grace and a newfound maturity (most of the time).  With increasing her responsibility, we started talking about whether to give her an allowance at the ripe age of six.


To be honest, I was uncomfortable with the idea (at first).  She hasn’t asked for a weekly allowance.  So why introduce it?  And the thought of giving her money to manage each week gave me the tiniest bit of a headache (okay, kind of a big headache).  Like, I could see us battling in the Target Dollar Spot every shopping trip.

Then, there’s the question of whether we should tie it to chores…have her earn it.  Or if we should just give it to her.

Pay her for chores?  For responsibilities she is supposed to be doing anyways to contribute to our home and being part of our family…?  It didn’t sit right with me (to begin with).

I had pretty much talked myself out of it.  At least for now.

And, of course, my husband brought up some pretty valid points as to why an allowance may be a great learning process for her (as I’m sure you knew he would!).

Benefits of an Allowance for Kids 

– We can teach our kids about how money really works in the “real world,” in a controlled and nurturing environment.

– Our kids will continue to hear about money – it’s everywhere.  Shouldn’t we teach them what our financial values are, and install them in our children at a young age?

– She understands numbers.  She understands basic math concepts.  She understands that we need money to buy things.  She understands that mommy and daddy help people at work…and that by helping people, we earn money so that we can buy things.  So let’s have her earn money by helping people.  (Hmmm, well played, honey. Well played).

– We should teach both of our kids the importance of saving and giving to charity at a young age.

If you decide to give an allowance, take into consideration…

– How much do you give your child?  Determine how you will calculate this on a consistent basis.

– Decide if you will tie their allowance to chores and/or behavior. If so, think about your parameters so that both you and your child understand the rules.

– Talk to your child about money!  Start a dialogue.  Ask them what they know about money.  How it’s earned.  What it’s used for.  Why it’s important.  How you feel about it.  How they feel about it. And so on and so on.  Best way to get a baseline for what they know!

What we’ve decided to do…

– We are going to give our daughter an allowance.  That she will have to earn (this part is still a work in progress).  Based on a lot of different research and reading (and somewhat loosely adapting a concept from Dave Ramsey’s financial methods), we have decided to give her three clear jars (so she can see the money…but you could use buckets, jars, baskets, envelopes…pick your preference).  One for savings, one for charity, and one for spending.

– Since she’s six, we will give her $1 per her chronological year…so she’ll get $6 per week.

– Each week, she will be asked to divide up her allowance equally.

– At the end of each month, so can choose how to give her money to charity.

Fingers crossed, this little experiment will be successful!  And, if it’s not…guess what?  We’ll come up with a Plan B!

Great Kid Allowance Resources:

Teach Kids About Money with Allowances
CNN Money

Should You Give Your Child an Allowance?
U.S.News Money

Understanding Kids’ Allowances

The Smart Way to Pay Kids an Allowance
U.S.News Money

Top 3 Kids and Money Q&A
Dave Ramsey

Here is a website that gives free printable behavior charts for allowances, should you decide to tie your child’s allowance to behavior or chores.

Pinterest even weighs in – check out the many, many pins posted about kid allowances!

There are hundreds of articles on this subject.  Hundreds!  I think at the end of the day, it comes down to you and your co-parent being on the same page.  Talk about the pros and cons, what you are both comfortable with, and set boundaries.

I want to hear from you!  What do you do in your home?  Do your kids receive an allowance?  If so, how did you determine how much?  Is it tied to chores?

Please share tips and experiences below!

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Your Opinion Earns You Rewards at iPoll

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Paid online surveys

What if I told you there are paid online surveys that could start earning you rewards just by offering your honest opinion ~ sounds like music to your ears, right? 

That’s why I’m so excited to introduce you to iPoll, a genius tool that pays customers to communicate with corporations and market research firms in an easy and modern way.

By joining iPoll you get paid to voice your opinion to the retailers, restaurants and places that you frequent most often!
ipoll mobile 2

What is iPoll?

iPoll is an online and mobile community that rewards customers for their feedback on products and services that they use everyday.

How to Sign Up:

Sign up online for free here and follow the easy instructions on downloading the iPoll app. Yes, it is free to sign up for these paid online surveys.

Once you download iPoll to your phone you can immediately start earning rewards. 

You earn rewards by completing “missions” (by the way, don’t let the word mission scare you, it might involve a trip to Target!)

All missions are based on information you supply at registration so each survey is tailored to fit your interests and experiences.

Taking the Surveys:

You can choose to take a survey online or one that requires you to visit a local store or restaurant.

The paid online surveys are kept brief, usually between 15 – 20 minutes and you’ll know up front the expected time each survey will take to complete.

It is important to note that your reward compensation will be based on the length and complexity of the survey. Some surveys may involve taking photos, videos etc., which will have a higher reward than those that are short and sweet and require less of your time.

The great thing is – you choose what you can participate in based on how much time you have to devote to the mission.

What can you earn?

iPoll offers a diverse reward program so you can get paid in a variety of ways.

Some that jumped out at me are Amazon gift codes, deposits to your Paypal account and if you’re feeling generous, iPoll can even donate your reward to a wide variety of global charity organizations – I love that!

So, now that you have the skinny on iPoll, go start earning those Amazon gift codes – happy earning! 

 [Disclosure: We’re thrilled to announce that iPoll is a new Tiny Oranges sponsor and happy to spread the word about their $$ earning app!]

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Menu Makeovers with Menu Therapy!

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Menu Therapy Coupon Code

My family needs a dinner menu makeover. Does yours? 

Could you use a family meal planning service? I could, because I always seem to be stuck in the same weekly food rut, cooking the same things over and over again because…

1.) It’s convenient.  I default to comfortable when I’m busy.

2.) I always “pin” hundreds of recipe ideas on Pinterest and then don’t have time to shop or actually cook them.

3.) Many of the recipes I find look delicious, but then take 70 minutes to prepare and two hours to cook – who has the time?

4.) My cupboard full of all of the cookbooks we got for our wedding – with literally thousands of recipes – can be overwhelming when I want something quick during the week – seriously, I don’t need gourmet, I need a tasty chicken and veggie dish.

5.) I’m tired.  (Not lazy, just tired by dinnertime!)

Can any of you relate?

I was thrilled when I had the opportunity to chat with our newest Tiny Oranges sponsor, Menu Therapy, about their fabulous family meal planning services they offer. They are offering the first month free for all Tiny Oranges’ readers, make sure to read below on how to sign up so you can try it out yourself!

Picture this – a new week rolls around and you can log in to Menu Therapy’s site and have access to five delicious, healthy family-friendly recipes, complete with a grocery list organized by food group.  My favorite part is the grocery list, already planned out.  Be still my heart.

Once logged in, you can also peek at the past month’s recipes so that as a new subscriber, you are still able to see what they’ve been cooking up for the past four weeks.

My next favorite part is that the culinary pro behind these fabulous menus, Loryn, picks five meals that will use ALL of the ingredients she puts on your list.  No more recipes that call for a “pinch” of cilantro or a teaspoon of whatever…and then the rest goes bad because you don’t use it in another meal.

family meal planning service

Hmmmm, a planned menu, well-balanced, delicious recipes, an organized grocery list, and a way to be more efficient with my food budget.  What else could I ask for?

Oh, I know.  Access to the chef!

Loryn explains that she created Menu Therapy to share her passion for food, healthy eating, and an easy way to help mamas who love to cook.

And because of that, she gives all of her clients her personal email address.  She explains, it’s basically like having a “personal chef on speed dial.”  So when you run out of an ingredient and want to substitute, have a dietary restriction question, or even want to know what an ingredient is, just send her a quick email!

Here are her Menu Plan Options

For only $15 per quarter (that’s just $5/month), choose from one of her tasty menus:

Traditional Menus
Vegetarian Menus
Prenatal Menus 

Yep, you read that correctly.  She creates prenatal menus for all of you expectant mamas! (Disclaimer: Loryn writes – “I’m a chef not a doctor. Always consult with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about your diet while pregnant.”) 

Check Out Menu Therapy’s Recipe of the Week!

Sign Up Now and Get One Month Free 

It’s your turn for a menu makeover!  New subscribers who sign up from this blog for $15 for 3 months can enter in the Menu Therapy coupon code “tinyoranges” to receive your first month FREE.  That means you are getting 3 months of this family meal planning service for only $10. Now, that’s a pretty sweet deal!

Disclaimer:  Menu Therapy is a new Tiny Oranges sponsor and we are so glad they are!  I personally can’t wait to enjoy their menu services, and hope you do too!

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Wittlebee = Amazing Children’s Clothes, No Malls.

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I am a shopper.  I can shop ’til I drop, and then get a venti iced coffee and find another store.  I really enjoy the thrill of the hunt, but with two kids, a husband, a part time job,  trying to keep the house together, fixing meals and fitting in some exercise somewhere- who has the time?!?!  Enter Wittlebee = amazing children’s clothes, no malls.

Wittlebee is a subscription clothing club for kids that saves parents time & money.  Curious how it works?

Parents sign up by filling out their Style Profile to let the people over at Wittlebee know a little bit about how you dress your child.  Then they have the option to have a call with a Wittlebee Mom Stylist to confirm their order and answer any questions.   Next thing they know there’ll be a custom box of new clothes shipped right to their door every month!

I thought this was so funny- show me a Mom who doesn’t know the Mall Meltdown?  When the suckers have run out and the bribes have stopped working?!

Each box has a retail value of at least $100 but a membership is only $39.99 per month (and shipping is FREE).  I love a bargain!  Especially when it doesn’t mean sacrificing quality.

As the child grows, the sizes change and as the seasons change, so do the types of clothes sent!   And Wittlebee make it easy to pause or cancel your subscription at any time…

I don’t know about you, but I easily blow an extra $40 at Target each month and then my kid winds up in the same clothes as all of her friends.  Wah wah…

They feature a wide selection of brands:

Tea Collection        American Apparal

Lately Lilly        Baby Lulu

Calvin Klein        Carter’s

Gioberti        Luca Charles

Paul Frank        Laughing Giraffe

Teddy Boom        Wes and Willy

Twirly Girl        Kicky Pants

Wouldn’t a Wittlebee subscription make an adorable baby shower gift?  Here are some sample boxes:

With Wittlebee your kiddos wardrobe will be taken care of- and maybe you can put the extra money,time & focus into your own look?!?  Wouldn’t that be fun!

Check Wittlebee out on PinterestFacebook & Twitter!

 1-888-WITTLEBEE (1-888-948-8532)

{Wittlebee is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor- we are thrilled to be sharing them with you!  PS- They have a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee!}

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I Can, You Can, We All Can Can

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When I got the title of this guest blog I just couldn’t resist!   Just typing the can-can line made me smile!  Sarah is a mommy of 3 little ones and  wrote a guest blog on the virtues of canning.   She writes…

 “Have you noticed how inexpensive apples are lately?  Fall fruit is getting ready to go into full swing!  Why not preserve this fall’s bounty with a little project at home?  Canning and freezing fall fruit is an easy way to teach your children about eating in season and allows your family to eat seasonally (and inexpensively) year round.  My five-year old knows that we when we run out of my canned applesauce, we don’t have more because it’s not apple season.  She will be the first one out into the orchard this fall.

If you are up for canning, I recommend the website  This gives detailed information about the tools you need, the ratios of fruit to jars, and basically everything you need to know about canning.  You could also pick up the Ball Blue Book of Preserving from any of your favorite booksellers.  These resources will have you canning like a pro in no time.  I buy organically grown pears from my CSA for around 80 cents a pound, can them in the lightest syrup possible, and end up with a nutritious product that is also a great deal.  We pick apples from a local orchard and I buy bushels of seconds, meant for baking.  I put my crock pot to use and make batches of applesauce; our family favorite recipe involves a little brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice.  The main challenge is having enough to can and to eat.If you are more the freezer friendly type, you can easily preserve this fall’s bounty.  The best way, in my opinion, to freeze apples is in cobbler or crisp filling portions.  Prepare the fruit the way your favorite cobbler or crisp recipe recommends and then freeze in gallon bags, flattening out to remove all air bubbles and make for easy storage in your freezer.   Usually, when I am making one cobbler, I cut enough fruit for two and freeze one set.  It saves time and money.

Have fun preserving the best fruits the fall has to offer!”

P.S. Thanks Sarah for the great idea!  I had friends that were looking into going to Julian to pick apples.  Click here to see  the list of orchards.   What a fun family activity…

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