Parents, You Need An Intervention!

Last year I did a post entitled, Counting Up The Cost. The post was about how parents are buying their children expensive, luxury brands. Now, I stumble on another article about how parents are spending tens and thousands of dollars on kiddie birthday parties. America, we need a parent intervention!!

The problem did not start with MTV’s “My Super Sweet 16,” but I am sure that the show contributes to the excessiveness of parents and children. The CNN article highlighted a mother who spent $5,000 USD for a 3 year old toddler’s birthday party. The party had expensive favors, lavish entertainment, a four-layer cake. (That sounds like a wedding reception to me!)

Cake with bow

Another family spent $10 million on a bat mizpah. According to the CNN article, “former defense contractor David H. Brooks of Long Island reportedly spent in 2005 on his daughter’s bat mitzvah. That soirée, at the storied Rainbow Room in Rockefeller Center, featured 50 Cent, Don Henley and Aerosmith, among others.” (Sidebar: please note his career choice!!)

Above picture is a Coach™ – themed cake for a birthday party. This cake runs about $1500. I know many brides who spent less on their wedding cakes.

What kind of values are we passing on to our children, when we spend lavishly on a birthday party? To be honest, I do not think most of the parents have the money to spend on these parties, but they want to look like good parents by giving their children the “best” of everything.

I feel like children today do not have anything to look forward to in life. Parents shower them with expensive everything and when they get older, they will try to maintain the lifestyle and realize they cannot. At some point, these excessive acts must end. Parents have to realize that affection, love and care cannot be bought.

We are destroying our children by giving into their every whim or creating these whims. Parents need more backbone and learn how to say no. I tell you my parents had no problems telling my sibling and I “NO!!” on a regular basis. I do not even know how I would live in the world, if my parents spoiled me.

I believe the children are the future. Teach them well and let the lead the way. BUT we cannot do so if parents do not have any self-control.

Let us move up a little higher,

Mix Maven

Stimulate the Package

I know many of you are looking forward to the tax rebate. (To be honest, I am not sure how well the rebates will stimulate the economy.)

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Please make sure you mail or complete taxes (online) by April 15, 2008, so you can receive the tax rebate. You will receive your payment, how you received your tax refund (assuming you did not have to pay this year). If you sent or received tax payment via DIRECT DEPOSIT, you will receive tax rebate payment DIRECT DEPOSIT. So, if you sent or received tax payment via PAPER CHECK, you will receive tax rebate payment PAPER CHECK.  The payment schedule also correlates with the last 2 digits of your Social Security number.

Direct Deposit Payment Schedule

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Paper Check Payment Schedule

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Have fun today, check out this video. (Gotta love YouTube.)

Walk It Out – Fosse Version

Live Triumphantly,

Mix Maven

Alert: Free Suze Orman Book

Suze Orman is giving away free copies of her new book, Women and Money on Oprah.com.

Women and Money - Suze Orman

You will be able to download a free copy of the book (pdf file.)  The book is available in English and Spanish.

Ok, there is a catch.

The deadline to download this free copy is

February 14, 2008 June 27, 2008

5PM (Pacific Standard Time) /8PM (Eastern Standard Time)

To download Adobe Reader, go to Adobe Reader download page.

Download your copy ASAP!!!

Thanks “happy mom” for the update!!

Iventory Time

Hey Pumps and Glossies,

I hope the holiday season is going well for you. I know that many of us celebrate different holidays around this time, so remember that we live in a multicultural and multi-ethnic society. Happy holidays, everyone!

Ok, ok the new year is fast approaching and the time has come to do a personal year-end checklist. The checklist can include goals from 2007 that have been attained, goals you want to attain in 2008, financial data (monthly and holiday budgets), annual tasks/projects e.g. purchasing real estate, preparing for a new baby, finally working on the scrapbook and self-improvement, which could also fall under the goals category.

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Really take the time to do this checklist and monitor your progress weekly or monthly. In the past, instead of making resolutions during the new year i.e. January 1, I would make monthly resolutions. Definitely helps to better track the progress.

When setting goals, think big! I think by writing down those big dreams, you will/may find a way to achieve them.

When doing your financial checklist, you will need to consider your estate, insurance coverage, investment accounts and taxes. A few years back, Mr. Maven and I tweaked our financial checklist. We thought about our short and long term goals and needs and how we could get those items taken care of. (Sidebar: insurance coverage for renters – Please oh please make sure you have rental insurance. The cost is quite nominal a year. When we were renting, we always made sure we had rental insurance, especially living in wood-framed homes of New England.)

Keeping accurate records is a must. Mr. Maven has been very fortunate that he was able to telecommute cross country from the corporate office. He kept all relevant bills and such, so he could claim his business expense on our taxes. If we had this stuff floating around, who knows what would have happened.

I wish everyone a happy new year. May 2008 bring you peace, love, joy, wealth, and many more blessings. I am looking forward to the time we will spend with you, our readers, in 2008.

Live Triumphantly now and in the ’08,

Mix Maven