Guest Post - Creative Ways Your Kids Can Make Money in College

~ Posted on Friday, January 18, 2013 at 2:16 AM ~

College costs are on the rise, making it more and more difficult for college students to make ends meet without going deeply into student loan debt.  As a parent, you may have set money aside in a college fund for your child only to find out that while you can pay an ample portion of their tuition, there may not be enough available to cover their room and board or living expenses. 
Luckily, there are jobs that your student can do while in college that don't require many hours and can net them some money for living expenses. 

Jobs Through the College

Work Study--If your child qualifies for a work study position, he should take it.  Most of these jobs require 10 or fewer hours per week, and your child may get real-life work experience which can help when he graduates and looks for a job.
Resident Assistant--Your child can get her room and board completely free if she agrees to be a resident assistant in the dorm.  (Some also get a small stipend for this job.)  Of course, your child will need to be good at negotiating and solving problems.  She also has to be available for the other dorm residents when conflicts arise.  Typically she will need to work 20 hours a week and have a G.P.A. of 2.5 or greater.

Sell Notes--Many community colleges allow a student in a class to take notes for a student with disabilities who may not be able to keep his own notes.  The student will typically earn $2 to $3 per page of notes and will need to write on special paper so he has notes for himself as well as a copy of the notes to give to the student with disabilities.  Check with the office for students with disabilities.


Jobs Outside the College

Medical Study Participant--There are many medical studies that are non-invasive such as sleep studies that pay very well.  For a week or two of sleeping in a hospital being observed, your student can earn $600 or more.
Audit a Liquor Store--Your child can join a company to audit a liquor store.  All he has to do is try to buy alcohol and see if he is carded and then write a report afterward.  For this, he can earn $20 to $30 per audit.  Students generally have to be under 25 years old for this job.

Babysitter--You might think your child's babysitting days are over when she graduates high school, but there is quite a market for college babysitters.  Your child can look in the local paper or use a site like to snag a babysitting gig.  In larger cities or more expensive college towns, these jobs can pay $10 to $16 per hour, and the hours are flexible.
Your child does not have to commit to a job working 20 hours or more at college.  He can keep his studies as his priority and find some unconventional jobs to help him earn some extra money without a large time commitment.

What are other ways you would suggest college students make money?

** Kyle Taylor blogs about weird ways to make money at The Penny Hoarder. Connect on Facebook or join the newsletter and get his “5 Wackiest Ways to Make Extra Money.

Guest Post - Choosing The Right Shoes For Your Kids

~ Posted on Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 2:24 PM ~

Children get through a great many pairs of shoes and trainers - jumping, climbing, running and general playing means that footwear for most active kids takes quite a pounding. The only way to keep a control of shoe spending is ensuring that you know how to select comfortable shoes for your kids every time, so here are a few handy tips to keep you shoe savvy...
What can their old shoes tell you?
Finding out why an old shoe is no longer suitable can be difficult; 'they hurt' is often the best explanation you can get for why a shoe has become uncomfortable, so it can be beneficial to examine the existing shoes to look for tell-tale signs. Children's feet can grow in odd and unpredictable ways, but signs of bulging on the shoe upper or stress at the seams where the upper meets the sole can give you an indication of where the problem may be. Bulging on the top indicates the shoe may be too shallow, stress at the sides suggests it is too narrow.
Get the measure
Having your children's feet measured is recommended on every shoe-shopping trip - again, children are typically not great at vocalising whether shoes fit correctly or not. And don't assume that because your son or daughter was once found to have wide or narrow feet that this will still be the case a year later.
Choose specialists
Choosing a children's shoe specialist means you get the best possible advice on what footwear is best for your child, reducing the chances of them experiencing discomfort soon after purchase. Not only that, children's shoe specialists also have plenty of experience dealing with kids - which can be a big help if your little one has a tendency to get impatient and difficult when out shopping!
Knowing what 'fit' means
If shopping with the kids is something you rarely have time for, and you want to take advantage of the great deals you can find online with retailers such as Debenhams, you'll need to know what to look for when your child tries those new shoes on for the first time.
It can be tempting to buy shoes that are too big for a child with growing feet, in the hope that they will last longer, but you should not buy anything more than one size too big. Any more than this and the extra space will cause tripping and can lead to foot problems. Besides, that extra bit of shoe is likely to be worn and misshapen before your child's foot grows into it. Heel cups should rest snugly on the back of the foot, but not grip it, and if your child has one foot larger than the other, be sure to buy something which accommodates the larger one properly.

Guest Post - Start the New Year with a Brand New Nursery

~ Posted on Friday, January 4, 2013 at 6:19 AM ~

The New Year always brings with it fresh starts and new beginnings for the coming twelve months. What greater way to start 2013 than by redecorating your baby's nursery. Here are some great ideas that you can use to make the nursery more exciting for toddlers.

Brighten up the walls with bright colours

Young children should be in exciting and stimulating environments to help them learn and develop. If your nursery has plain white wash walls then you should inject some colour with a bright feature wall or by painting your baby's favourite cartoon characters and animals on the wall. If you are not the best with a paint brush or would like an alternative to painting the nursery then you can use wall stickers to bring your toddler's nursery to life.

Make your nursery educational

There are many great ways to make your nursery educational. One way to interact with children in the nursery is to create a reading area in the corner of the room. Start by using beanbags and an assortment of soft cushions and throws in a circle, for you to sit and read together. By fitting bookshelves in the same corner of the room you can easily access interactive toys and games when having learning time.

Making the nursery exciting for toddlers

To make your nursery exciting for toddlers it is a great idea to create a theme for the room and to build on this with colours, pictures, themed bed covers, curtains, rugs, lampshades and accessories.

If you have a boy then you could choose a cowboy theme and have a big sheriff Badge Night light placed above their bed and a rocking horse in the room. Or you could choose a racing theme and have a car shaped bed, a rug with racing cars on that your child can play or accessories and characters from the Disney and Pixar film, Cars.

If you are creating a theme for a girl then you could opt for a princess theme and have a castle painted onto the wall, shelves to display their favourite dolls or even a mini wardrobe with clothes in for dressing dolls and teddy bears. Or you could create a fairy and magical creatures theme and create a secret treasure chest for storing all of their toys.

For more exciting nursery ideas visit Vertbaudet for tips on how to decorate your nursery for a fresh start in the New Year.