Do Stay-at-Home Parents Need Life Insurance?


Do Stay-at-Home Parents Need Life Insurance?


Parent. Its official definition ought to be, “Caretaker of child. Synonyms: nanny, tutor, launderer, chauffer, coach, nurse, therapist, chef . . . ” And the list goes on.

This definition especially applies to a stay-at-home parent (SAHP). While SAHPs may not pull down a six-figure income from a corner office, they provide a lot of valuable services for the family.

Let’s talk about why stay-at-home parents need life insurance, how big that policy needs to be, and what families should do with the payout if the unimaginable happened.

What a Stay-at-Home Parent Covers

The whole point of life insurance is to replace your income so your family can function if something were to happen to you. That makes sense for the spouse who goes to the office every day, but what does that mean for the stay-at-home parent? Why do SAHPs even need term life insurance if they don’t technically make an income? Because of the services they provide.

Here are some of the jobs a stay-at-home parent covers:

  • Teacher
  • Childcare provider
  • Chef
  • Chauffeur
  • Housekeeper
  • Laundry services
  • Tutor
  • Coach
  • Project manager

Running a household is a lot like trying to herd a litter of kittens! If something horrible were to happen to the SAHP, who would take care of these needs? The surviving spouse can’t quit work—they still need to bring home an income. That’s where term life insurance kicks in.


Protect your family with term life insurance. Get a quote now!

Do Stay-at-Home Parents Need Life Insurance?

life insurance policy for a stay-at-home parent doesn’t replace their income—it provides the money necessary to cover all the jobs the SAHP did before they passed away.

We know there’s no way to ever replace a parent. Nothing will ever fill that hole. But with the money from a life insurance payout, the surviving spouse can hire someone to cover many of the responsibilities the SAHP used to cover.

It’s a matter of keeping your family going in the worst of situations. Life will never go back to normal, but by hiring people to help fill in the gaps (at least temporarily), you can make sure nobody’s needs fall through the cracks. And that’s what matters, right?

So, when should you get life insurance as a stay-at-home parent?

If you’re fresh out of college and without debt, you don’t need it quite yet. But if you’re married and kids are on the horizon, it’s good to go ahead and purchase a policy now.

Then you’ll be covered no matter how long it takes for that little one to come along. After all, they tend to arrive on their own schedule—and often earlier than you’d planned!

How Much Life Insurance Do Stay-at-Home Parents Need?

The big question is how much term life insurance you should purchase for the stay-at-home parent. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this because every family is different, but a 15- to 20-year policy between $250,000–400,000 is a general rule. After that time, the kids are grown and out of the house, so there’s no need for coverage.

You need to think through what you’ll do in three major areas: childcare, education and household duties. Those decisions might mean you get a bigger policy to cover the extra costs.

Childcare. If something were to happen to the SAHP, how much money would you need to cover childcare expenses? According to, childcare for an infant costs about $200 a week for a day care center and $600 a week for a nanny.1 

So 50 weeks of care (you do get a vacation, right?) could run between $10,000 and $30,000. And that’s just for one child. Of course, those costs differ depending on where you live, but you get the idea.

Education. A lot of families choose to homeschool their children. If that’s the case in your family, you and your spouse need to decide where the kids will go to school if something were to happen to the SAHP.

If you want to go the private school route, then you’ll need to factor in those costs. The national average for private school tuition is about $10,700.2 Again, that’s just for one child. And that doesn’t include all the extra costs like supplies, fees and extracurriculars.

Household duties. Who will be responsible for cleaning the house if something happens to the stay-at-home parent? If you paid someone to clean and do laundry, that will cost you about $26 an hour.3 That’s an average, so if you live in California or New York, you may have to offer up the occasional arm and leg to pay for these costs.

Remember, how much life insurance you get for the SAHP will depend on your family’s needs.

Let’s think about Shauna, a mom who stays home to take care of her young children. If something happened to her, it would cost between $25,000–40,000 a year to pay for the different jobs she does on a weekly basis, like childcare, laundry and meal preparation.

Shauna and her husband would need to take out a 15- to 20-year term life policy on Shauna and make the policy worth between $250,000–400,000. That’s 10 times the amount of work she does in a year.

If tragedy struck and Shauna passed away, her husband could work with a financial advisor to put the life insurance benefit in a good mutual fund.

Each year, he could use the growth from that mutual fund (which could be around 10% a year) to pay for the costs of childcare, meal preparation, house cleaning and the other jobs his wife used to handle. So that life insurance policy of $250,000–400,000 could give Shauna’s family between $25,000–40,000 a year to take care of the services she provided.

If a leader doesn’t convey passion and intensity then there will be no passion and intensity within the organization and they’ll start to fall down and get depressed. Get Your Free Position Now

Make Sure to Look Up

Make Sure to Look Up


Have you ever lost something you loved?

I like hats. Since I am bald, they keep me from having a burnt head all summer. Hats are an important part of our culture and are a really important part of some subcultures. At some churches I visit, the ladies have spent an amazing amount time and money to seriously keep the people behind them from seeing the preacher. I like these ladies. They have style. There is The Red Hat Society for women over 50 who like to have fun, and boy do they—sassy bunch. And of course, there are the hats needed by a profession. You can’t be much of a cowboy without a cowboy hat.

Hats make a statement. In Texas, if you spend more than you make, they say, “Big Hat, No Cattle,” meaning that person is all show. If you tilt your cowboy hat back, you are friendly—most of the time. If that same hat is pushed down low over your eyes, you might be looking for trouble. If you turn your ball cap sideways, it can mean you are cool or it can just make you look dumb. If you turn it backwards, you are definitely cool, or you are a baseball catcher, or both.


Lead others to financial peace! It’s easier than you think. Learn how.

And we wear metaphorical hats. I wear the CEO of our company hat. I wear an author and media figure hat. I wear Papa Dave feeding my 5-month-old grandson Samuel David his bottle hat.

Hats in my world make a statement. I come from a line of the best kind of hillbillies or rednecks. The kind that loves puppies and babies and will fight you over honor. Hats are a big deal in my subculture. Hats in my world are virtually my only fashion accessory. Every morning I put on a ball cap that has something I love on it to go to work. It might have a T for Tennessee football on it during the fall. The next day my hat might have Predators on it to support our Nashville hockey team. One hat has MasterCraft on it for my ski boat, and another has Wilson Combat on it for my favorite hand gun. You can be arrested in California for that hat. Since we are building a new corporate headquarters, I have a hard hat with my name on it. Every boy in my old neighborhood wanted one of those. And every time I put it on, I feel like the guys from the old neighborhood see me.

When my family visited Belfast, Ireland, a few years ago, we got to spend some time in the Titanic Museum. The Titanic was built in Belfast and the museum is fascinating. Of course, to memorialize the occasion, I bought a Titanic 1912 hat. Since I have a sick sense of humor, I decided that is the hat I wear every summer at our lake house when driving the ski boat. Get it? Captain is wearing a Titanic hat? Most people never notice, but occasionally someone will point and laugh and we share a moment.

Make Sure to Look Up So last weekend, a bunch of our family jumped in the wakeboard boat with the big motor and big tower with all the speakers and lights to take a ride to the marina for fish tacos. Grandbabies, Ramsey kids, their spouses, and of course Mimi (my wife Sharon’s grandma name). As we get up to about 30 mph, Mimi gives Papa Dave instructions to close the front window to get the wind off of her. We have a rule at our house: When Mimi wants something, Mimi gets it. That is another story for another day. So as instructed, I stood—as well as my son Daniel—to close the offending window. Yea, you see this coming, don’t you? You got it.

The 30 mph wind took Daniel’s hat and my precious Titanic hat imported from Ireland and threw them out the back of the boat and into the lake. Well, over the years lots of stuff has left the boat and landed in the lake. Hats generally float for a minute or two—enough time to turn around and find them. So, we first see Daniel’s hat floating, of course, and retrieve it. Then we circle and circle and the fate of the Titanic hat appears to have followed its namesake to the bottom of the lake. This is looking bad. My favorite hat all the way from Ireland is gone. No luck. At this point, no one in the boat is happy, least of all the captain. Oh well, sad, but first-world problems. Darn. I liked that hat.

So, we are idling off and Mimi is apologizing for her request to close the window—well, it was her fault. Then, my granddaughter Amelia, who at three years old has the vocabulary of a college student and is really verbal like her mother Rachel Cruze, recognizes the mood in the boat has changed and says, “Daddy has a hat. Uncle Daniel has a hat. Papa Dave doesn’t have a hat and he is sad, but there is a hat.” What? We all turn and look UP at the wake board tower and apparently the Titanic hat had flown up there and was stuck on one of the lights. Yea!

We had all been looking everywhere but UP to solve our problem. The answer couldn’t possibly be UP. We all cheer and celebrate the lost sheep being returned to my head. Mimi immediately says, “That will preach.” If you aren’t southern, you might not understand that she meant there is a lesson here, folks. Be as a little child and look UP when you are searching for answers. And select your hat carefully.

If a leader doesn’t convey passion and intensity then there will be no passion and intensity within the organization and they’ll start to fall down and get depressed. Get Your Free Position Now

Dave Responds: Start Book’s Success

WOW! That just about sums up how I feel about the incredible success we’ve had with the release of Jon Acuff’s latest book, StartThis thing debuted on the New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-seller lists and Amazon’s overall Top 10 list. It totally dominated Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and just about everything else on social media! This thing is on FIRE, and I can think of two reasons for that.

First of all, Start delivers a message that the world is hungry for. I talk to people on the radio every day who are frustrated and miserable with their careers, and they honestly think it’ll never get better. They’ve settled for average, but they dream of awesome. This is the book that can take them there.

Second—and this is the really important part—the reason Start came out of the gate so strong is because of YOU! You guys bought into the message, and you told a LOT of other people about it! Maybe you saw some things on Jon’s blog or Twitter feed, or maybe you heard us talking about it on the radio, and something just clicked. Something inside of you woke up, and you decided to START! By the time we dropped the book into the marketplace, tens of thousands of you had already pre-ordered or you lined up to buy it the day it released! That’s incredible! We’re already hearing stories from some of you about how you’re flipping the switch from average to awesome in your own lives by putting this material into practice. You guys rock! Thank you for making Start such a big success!

Of course, we’ve been doing our part to get this life-changing message out there too! Jon was locked in his office for months getting the message just right. Literally dozens of people on our team have spent the better part of a year getting the edits, design and marketing ready for Start to hit the street. We even took over Times Square with enormous billboards and a huge wrapped bus for our live launch event! And then we kept Jon on that bus for two weeks on a massive book tour to keep the momentum going.

This book release has been a pretty wild ride, and that means there are ups—and downs. The downside right now is that some of you haven’t been able to get your copy of Start yet because several stores sold out so fast. That was never the plan! We had pretty big expectations for the book, but the response has been mind-blowing. If you haven’t been able to get your copy yet, we’re sorry! Our team is working like crazy to make sure your local stores and Amazon have Start back in stock as soon as possible. And if you want it before they get it, we’ve got plenty of copies on hand in our online store at There’s little chance WE’LL run out!

Thanks again for everything you’re doing to help us get the message out there. I really believe that Start is one of the most significant books you could ever read, and I can’t wait to hear your own Start story soon!


If a leader doesn’t convey passion and intensity then there will be no passion and intensity within the organization and they’ll start to fall down and get depressed. Get Your Free Position Now

Starting your affiliate marketing, with Clickbank.

One of the first things you will want to get involved with is affiliate marketing. Although you need to drive traffic to your website, blog, or “mini-site”, getting set up with a Clickbank account is very important. You see, Clickbank is a huge marketplace of e-products. Someday in the future you may actually make one of those e-products and place it on Clickbank for other affiliates to sell. For now, you are going to want to take products and sell them to others, and you will make a hefty commission, usually at or over 50%, for each sale.

If you go to you will find it remarkably easy to establish an account. The most difficult part will be choosing a name that may not already be taken. Keep in mind that later on you may use that name when you sell a product, so don’t make it too funky. Something marketing related like myproducts would be good. I believe it is limited to 10 characters.

Now head on over to the Clickbank “marketplace” and you will see that it is divided into various “niches”, or areas of interest. You will be able to create what is called a “hoplink” for each one of those products, that would lead to paying YOU the commission if you were to sell that product. Clickbank recently introduced a way to “cloak” your hoplink so that people will not be able to easily figure out the product name, and place their own affiliate id into this url instead of yours.

There are a huge number of ways to decide on which products to sell, but it depends of course on what you plan to focus on with the subscribers that you will eventually be getting and repeatedly “making suggestions” (selling) to. One thing to look for in product is a high “gravity” meaning that a lot of other affiliates are promoting the product, not just the product owner.

As with most of these newsletters, I’m pointing you in the right direction, but it is up to you to find out as much as you can through the Clickbank marketplace itself and through forums. In my next report, I’ll be talking about forums and how you can use them.

If a leader doesn’t convey passion and intensity then there will be no passion and intensity within the organization and they’ll start to fall down and get depressed. Get Your Free Position Now

SAVING 22 Home Security Tips for the Holiday Season


22 Home Security Tips for the Holiday Season

22 Home Security Tips for the Holiday Season


Content Sponsored by SimpliSafe

Christmas is just around the corner! You’re probably preparing to travel over the river and through the woods to exchange gifts and spend time with loved ones.
As you get ready to celebrate, there’s one thing that should be at the top of your check-it-twice list: Figuring out how to secure your home from bah-humbug burglars who want to steal more than your holiday cheer.

Think back to glorious 1990 and the movie Home Alone. (Yep, we think the fact it came out over 20 years ago is scary too.) We’re not saying you need to tar the steps, heat the doorknobs, put cutouts of Michael Jordan in the windows, and release the tarantula—but there are some easy steps you can take to protect your home, family and memories.

1. Get to know your neighbors (especially the nosey ones).

Okay, we know some neighbors are quirky and some might be annoying—especially when they blow leaves and grass all over your driveway. But there has to be one neighbor you can ask to look out for deliveries, newspapers and the trash can. Remember Old Man Marley in Home Alone? He scared Kevin at the start, but they were friends by the end! So muster up some courage (and cookies) and ask a neighbor for a hand.


Ready to start saving? Download our free budgeting tool today!

2. Find out about the neighborhood watch in your area.

Did you know Facebook hosts a national neighborhood watch page that’s a division of the National Sheriffs’ Association? Check it out to see if your area has a group (which could be really helpful while you’re away). You could also reach out to your community’s homeowners association.

3. Get packages shipped to your workplace.

Or at least track them so you can tell that friendly neighbor when to pick them up. That way they’re not piling up on your porch and announcing you’re not home to the world.

4. Shovel the snow from your driveway.

If a burglar is scoping out your neighborhood and sees your driveway hasn’t been cleared (when everyone else has done theirs), they might think you’re away. Give a neighbor’s kid the chance to earn some festive commission. And maybe give them a little extra if they build an awesome snowman. Nothing says “We’re home for the holidays!” like a fresh snowman in the front yard. Now that’s festive and effective.

5. If you live in an apartment, get to know management and maintenance staff.

Not only will you recognize them if they come knocking, but they’re also more likely to remember you (and help out!) if you need them. Why not bake some cookies to show them a little love? And if you live in a ground floor apartment, double-check that your windows and porch doors are locked and your curtains are drawn.

6. Don’t showcase expensive items.

We get it: There’s nothing like seeing that Christmas tree twinkling in the front room. But those big, boxed gifts around it? That’s like window shopping to the Wet Bandits. Move those presents out of sight from people creeping by and looking for easy pickings.

7. Make it sound like someone is home.

Timers on your indoor lights? Check. Timers on the outside lights? Check! Lights are the obvious things to remember here, but think about sound too. Try setting up a clock radio or iPad near the front door and time it to turn on during the day. If your TV can be seen from outside, link it to your smartphone to turn on while you’re away.

8. Change up your spare key hiding spots.

It’s handy to have a spare key outside in case you get locked out. But how easy is it to find? Try thinking of obvious places a burglar would look. Is it under the flower pot or on top of the door frame? Too easy. But buried under the third shrub from the right? Now that’s better. Get creative if you’re keeping a key outside.

9. Make a spare key inventory.

We’ve all gotten a little too happy with key cutter kiosks at the store every once in a while—but now everyone from Aunt Betsy to second cousin Stu has a key to your place! And Aunt Betsy might not have the best memory when it comes to where she leaves things. Take a moment to write down who has a spare key and who really needs one, and make sure they’re all accounted for.

10. Put combination locks on your shed and backyard fence.

This one’s simple: If your garden shed is home to expensive tools and equipment, you need a lock on the door. Same goes for your backyard fence.

11. Make sure your garage is locked.

Raise your hand if you don’t lock the door that leads to your garage when you leave. It’s an easy one to forget! And what about leaving the garage door opener inside your car . . . while it’s parked in the driveway for days on end? Guilty as charged. You should always make sure to bring garage door openers inside with you, otherwise you’re giving burglars an invitation to waltz right on in and shut the door behind them.

12. Trim trees and overgrown shrubs so there’s less cover for thieves.

Trees can give you private, cozy seclusion—and that’s great for you. But it’s also great for thieves who want to hide from security lights or watchful eyes of neighbors.

13. Try to rob your own home.

This sounds nuts, but hear us out! Remember when we talked about being creative with hiding your spare key? Well, spend some time trying to get into your own home. You want to find yourself saying things like, “The freakin’ fence is locked!” or “Oh, the windows are locked too,” and “I see a light and can hear a TV—someone’s home!” If you’re thinking it, then a pesky thief probably will too and give up.

14. Don’t share too much on social media.

It’s never a good idea to overshare on Facebook, but it’s a really bad idea to advertise your travel plans to everyone. If you’re just dying to post a selfie of your feet dipped in the ocean, wait until you get home! Check out more tips on prepping for travel in our Ultimate Travel Checklist.

15. Do you have a family password?

To keep your kids safe during those times they’re home alone (and older than Kevin McCallister), establish a family password. This is a word or phrase that only you and your kiddos know. It can be shared with close family and friends as needed, but it’s meant to keep strangers out.

16. Don’t hide cash under your mattress.

Or in the freezer. Or the cookie jar. Or the million other places cash-hungry crooks look when they bust into a joint. Keep it in a safe, bank or mutual fund!

17. Shred documents you don’t need.

Because it’s not just the obvious things like electronics or jewelry that a burglar will swipe. Your mail and personal details with your Social Security number, driver’s license, and date of birth are rich pickings for identity thieves.

18. Lock your safe.

If you have a safe somewhere in your house, make sure it’s locked with those important documents (like birth certificates) and family heirlooms tucked inside before you travel. Oh, and make sure you bolt that sucker down so it can’t be carried away.

19. Take pictures of all your valuables.

This is an old insurance trick. Take a quick shot of your jewelry, art, tools, electronics, furniture or anything else that might tempt a burglar. This helps you remember what was taken if someone breaks in, but it’ll also help the insurance company process your claim. To find the best home insurance coverage, check out Dave’s recommended local providers.

20. Get references for any service professionals.

Make sure the housekeeper, gardener, plumber or HVAC guy is the real deal before you call them to take care of something in your home. The only person visiting your house without a reference should be Santa! Just watch out for those creepy little elves that sit on the shelves—we hear they can get just about anywhere.

21. Be aware of what you’re throwing away.

Picture the scene: The presents have been unwrapped, the gizmos and gadgets are ready to be played with, but the living room looks like the aftermath of a Christmas war. You’re tempted to stack the boxes and packaging at the curb just to claim your living room back. Stop! You don’t want to advertise those awesome gifts to shady characters circling the block looking for their next score, do you?

Break boxes into smaller pieces and put them in recycling or trash bags. Then wait to put those bags out on pick-up day. Or you could even take a trip to the recycling center yourself!

22. Install a home security system.

You’re probably wondering why this isn’t at the start of the list. Well, all of these tips are important to consider (and you could never go wrong putting them into action). But if you had to choose just one for your best line of defense, a home security system would be it.

That’s why we recommend securing your home with SimpliSafe. With zero annoying contracts and easy customization and installation, it’s exactly what your home needs without paying for the stuff it doesn’t need. Plus, a home security system can shave some bucks off your home insurance premium—and we’re all about saving money.

About SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe, Inc. provides wireless security alarm systems, cameras and monitoring services for houses, apartment and other commercial properties.

Content sponsored by SimpliSafe

If a leader doesn’t convey passion and intensity then there will be no passion and intensity within the organization and they’ll start to fall down and get depressed. Get Your Free Position Now

8 Christmas Extras You Don’t Need


8 Christmas Extras You Don’t Need
8 Christmas Extras You Don’t Need

It feels like every Christmas season, businesses are competing for your hard-earned cash in new ways. The festive marketing is everywhere trying to get you to spend a little extra.

And if you’re getting out of debt or building up your savings, the phrase extra money probably isn’t even in your vocabulary. But stores will do everything they can to convince you to toss a couple of added items into your cart this season.

Steer clear of these Christmas extras they say you can’t live without!

Extra! Extra! You Don’t Need These Things
1. Extended Warranties
You’ll hear the pitch for the extended warranty as soon as you reach the register. So, we want you to practice saying this: No. It’s a complete sentence. Now wasn’t that easy?

You should decline the extended warranty simply because it’s not a good deal. Warranties at electronic stores are ridiculous because these stores have slim margins on the products they sell. And since they have to make money somehow . . . hello, upselling of extended warranties. The markup is unreal! Stores can make a major profit (and commission) just from selling one to you. That’s why you’ll hear a pitch about a $1 warranty on your $2 pack of chewing gum.

Ready to start saving? Download our free budgeting tool today!

2. Store Credit Card Discounts
Say it again: No!

You’re getting really good at this.

Everyone from big-box retail stores to Uncle Bob’s Toothpick Shack seems to have their own store credit card these days. They’ll be more than happy to offer you 10–20% off a $7 purchase of Santa Claus socks, if you’ll just open a credit card account. And watch out for those tricky “store cards”—a lot of them are credit cards in disguise!

Just think, you could still be paying off this year’s Christmas next December! Talk about Christmas memories that last—bah, humbug to that!

3. High-End Electronics
So this is Christmas.
And what have you done?
Bought everyone on your list an iPad.
When your budget said only buy one.

It might be Christmas, but that doesn’t mean you need to buy people pricey electronics. It’s still Christmas whether you gift your friends and family with a nice coffee mug for beverage-sipping or a big-screen TV for game-watching. And once you start buying the fancy Apple products, TVs, cameras and other gadgets—where do you stop?

If you’re getting mom an iPhone, dad’s going to want one too. If you’re bro is getting a drone, what do you get your sister-in-law? Your 7-year-old wants an iPad? Nice try, kid, here’s a pencil and a notepad.

Think about it: Any way you slice it, electronics add up to be way more than most people want to spend on Christmas. But we end up giving in once we get caught up in the Christmas craze. Steer clear and focus on more personalized (and cheaper) gifts that will be meaningful.

4. Exercise Equipment
You might be thinking, Who buys exercise equipment at Christmas? And the answer to that is—a lot of people, actually. Why? We all know January is lurking right around the corner. And even though we aren’t about to pass up that second round of chocolate pecan pie, we’ll splurge on an expensive elliptical . . . in the hopes that seeing it every day will make us want to use it.

So you want to make a commitment to stay healthy—and that’s a good thing. But if you wait until January, you might find some better sales headed your way. Stores are trying to clear out what didn’t sell over Christmas, and they know the rush of New Year’s resolution-ers has already passed. That’s the time to score a great deal. Better yet? Check out your local Facebook Marketplace or craigslist for good, used equipment to get your fitness on.

5. Gift-Wrapping Services
If it’s complimentary at the store, go for it. But you really don’t need to pay for someone else to wrap all your gifts. This isn’t the North Pole. You’ll save a ton of money by just buying a roll of wrapping paper and a bag of bows from the local dollar store. It’s all going to get ripped up on Christmas morning anyway.

You could also get crafty and creative! Grab some newspaper, brown bags or butcher paper and wrap your gifts with it. You can dress them up with some festive twine and ribbon, or let the kids decorate them with stamps and markers to give to the grandparents. It’s affordable and adorable!

And if you really want to try something unconventional this year, how about using wrapping paper made out of a potato chip bag? We’re serious. All you have to do is turn an (empty) bag of chips inside out, wash it, and then use the shiny, silver foil to wrap your gifts!

6. Overnight Shipping
You don’t need overnight shipping because you’re planning ahead, right? Don’t wait until December 22 to order your Christmas presents. If you order a few weeks earlier, you might even be able to get free shipping and have it arrive in plenty of time for Christmas.

Santa’s on a tight schedule, and he doesn’t have time to sit around and wait for your last-minute order! Plan ahead (like right now!) so you don’t have to worry about those extra overnight shipping rates.

7. Everything on Your Kids’ Christmas List
Oh yes, this is so “extra” as the youths would say. Just because your kid (who has been mostly good all year) put 20 super-expensive items on their list doesn’t mean you have to spring for all of it.

Set a reasonable budget, determine what’s fair for each kiddo, and stick to it. Be sure you’re following realistic gift guidelines before you go out shopping. Don’t let your kid’s list dictate how much money you spend—your budget should do that.

Look out for sneaky buys that drain your budget too. Some people can spend just as much money on stocking stuffers as they do on regular gifts under the tree. Don’t get swept up in a stocking that looks like it was stuffed by Santa himself. Set a minimum per kid and keep it simple. Don’t break the bank on stocking stuffers when your local dollar store has everything you need.

8. Christmas Cards for Everyone
We know you want to send out the annual Christmas card with a festive photo of the family and your holiday-ready pet, but do you really need to?

If you do, go the inexpensive route: Skip the professional photographer and set up your tripod and self-timer. Or ask a family friend with a good eye (or on-point photography skills) to snap some Christmas photos for you.

When it comes time to print the Christmas cards, look for companies offering coupon codes. Some will even give you a certain number of cards for free—all you have to pay is the shipping cost.

You can cut costs even more if you only send those Christmas cards to five to 10 of your closest friends and family. It’s okay to be a little selective here. You don’t really need to send a card to the pizza delivery guy, your boss’ cousin, and your ninth grade Sunday School teacher.

Make the Most of Your Money This Season
Ready or not, this is the last full week before Christmas is finally here! We’re not trying to burst your holiday shopping bubble, but remember this: Christmas is all about finding joy by spending time with others and blessing them—not spending money just because every Christmas commercial told you to.

Invest in meaningful experiences and gifts that will make a difference in their lives—not in another fruit cake, trendy gift or touch-screen gizmo. If you’re stumped for ideas, we have plenty of purposeful gifts in our online store that will leave a lasting impact long after this Christmas season is over!

If a leader doesn’t convey passion and intensity then there will be no passion and intensity within the organization and they’ll start to fall down and get depressed. Get Your Free Position Now

The Ultimate Travel Checklist


The Ultimate Travel Checklist


Taking a vacation is a great way to unwind and relax. But getting prepped and ready for vacation can be a real pain in the neck! It’s easy to forget something along the way or miss a step in the planning process. And the last thing you want to take with you on your trip is stress!

Check out these travel checklists so you can be prepared before you hit the road.

Ultimate Travel Checklist

Travel Checklist #1: Getting Your House Ready

Here comes the “fun” part of walking through your home and doing the check. You know how it goes: it’s when you double- and triple-check everything before you can walk out the door in peace. Cross these things off your travel checklist when preparing your home for vacation.

  • Cut the lawn. Or ask a friendly neighbor to do it while you’re gone.
  • Take out the trash. Or roll it to the curb if you’ll be gone during trash pickup.
  • Finish the laundry. Don’t leave clothes in the washer or dryer. You don’t want to come home to mildewed clothes!
  • Change your bedsheets. You can’t beat the feeling of jumping into a freshly made bed, especially when it’s your own.
  • Set your thermostat to a lower level. Or turn it off completely. This will help you save on energy costs while you’re gone.
  • Get a timer for your outdoor lights. You don’t have to go Home Alone-style to make it look like you’re still there. A couple of well-timed lights will get the job done.
  • Leave a key with a neighbor (if you’re comfortable with it). This way, they’ll be able to keep an eye on the place for you and get in if there’s an emergency.
  • Check your water main and consider turning off the water supply. This will help you avoid a leak or—even worse—a burst pipe.
  • Unplug your electronics. We’re talking your computer, toaster and anything else you don’t need to run on a consistent basis. Your electric bill will thank you.
  • Clean out the refrigerator. Because really, no one wants to come home to molded food.
  • Clean up the kitchen. To avoid coming home to stink, don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink. And make sure to run the dishwasher before you leave!
  • Stock your shelves with nonperishables. That extra cereal and coffee will come in handy if you get back home and don’t want to go to the store.
  • Check your windows and doors. Make sure everything is shut tight and locked up.

Travel Checklist #2: Setting Your Itinerary

Now that you’ve gotten the pesky tasks of preparing your home for vacation out of the way, it’s time to make your trip itinerary.


Ready to start saving? Download our free budgeting tool today!

  • Figure out what days you want to be gone. Decide how long you want to take off and get to planning! The earlier you decide, the better everyone can stay in the loop with your travel plans.
  • Decide where you want to stay. Are you thinking a beach trip or just a quick getaway? Start checking those prices and pick what budget-friendly vacation you want to go on.
  • Send out your itinerary to emergency contacts. Share details like what days you’ll be in certain places, and don’t forget to include your flight and hotel information too!
  • Make copies or take pictures of important documents. This could include things like your reservations, itinerary, confirmation numbers, and driver’s license (just in case you lose the hard copies).

Travel Checklist #3: Getting Packed

Knowing you’re about to go on vacation is a great feeling. That is, until the realization hits that you need to pack! Ugh. Since we don’t live in the Jetsons’ world (yet!), that bag isn’t going to pack itself. Don’t stress! Think through the things you use on a daily basis and the things that’ll be needed on the trip—like your favorite pair of shades.

  • Clothing (don’t forget to check the weather report!)
  • Phone and tablet chargers
  • Umbrella(s)
  • Raincoat(s)
  • First-aid kit
  • Toiletries
  • Prescription medication

Travel Checklist #4: When Traveling by Airplane

Did you know air travel was once considered glamorous? It’s hard to imagine, isn’t it? People used to get dressed to the nines and relax as they flew the friendly skies. But just because air travel is a bit more frazzled these days doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared.

  • Check your flight status online 24 hours prior to departure.
  • Check-in for your flight via their app.
  • Put toiletries and liquid items that are going through security in clear, zip-close bags. Remember, keep it under 3.4 ounces!
  • Are you leaving your car at the airport? Take a picture of where you parked so you can find it easily when you get back.
  • Gather email addresses or phone numbers in case you need to contact your airline.

Travel Checklist #5: When Traveling by Car

If your summer excursion has you taking a long trip in the car, here are a few things to think about before you hit the road.

  • Get an oil change.
  • Fill the car with gas.
  • Check your jumper cables and emergency kit.
  • Make sure you have up-to-date insurance. Connect with an Endorsed Local Provider in your area to get the best rates!
  • Pack snacks and drinks. Loading up on snacks before you leave home will help you avoid paying high prices at gas stations along the way.
  • Decide if you’ll need extra pillows and blankets.
  • Grab some activities for the kids, like games, coloring books, tablets, and DVDs.
  • Gather some reading material or audiobooks. You can pass the time by learning more about how to jump-start your goals with our best-selling audiobooks.
  • And of course, make sure the car is stocked with all the music you could possibly need!

Travel Checklist #6: Staying Safe

Don’t get so caught up in the excitement of your vacation that you forget to focus some attention on your security. Here are some important steps you can take to keep your home and money safe while you’re traveling.

  • Put your mail on hold or have a family member or friend gather it for you. Letting mail linger in your mailbox for days puts you at greater risk of becoming a victim of identity theft.
  • Put your newspapers on hold or have them delivered to charity. One of the biggest giveaways that you’re out of town is a pile of newspapers in your driveway. You might as well just tape a sign to your front door that says, “Hey, world! We’re not home!”
  • Pay your bills. The last thing you want is to be greeted by late notices when you get back. Don’t let late fees for missed payments sneak up on you.
  • Call your bank to let them know the dates of your vacation. They can monitor your accounts for irregular activity and unauthorized transactions.
  • Confirm that your health insurance is up-to-date.
  • Secure your life insurance and personal documents in a safe or fireproof lockbox. Don’t have life insurance? Get a free life insurance quote from Zander Insurance!
  • Make sure you have an up-to-date will. This information should always be updated, but especially when you’re about to travel.
  • Use one debit card to minimize risk. And pay with cash at gas stations to avoid card-skimming devices at the pump.
  • Update and password-protect your smartphone in case it gets lost or stolen.
  • Keep your receipts so you can match them up with your statements later to confirm your expenses.
  • Secure valuables when you’re out of your room if you’re staying in a hotel.

Now comes the final step on our travel checklist—and it’s a big one: get out there and enjoy yourself!

If a leader doesn’t convey passion and intensity then there will be no passion and intensity within the organization and they’ll start to fall down and get depressed. Get Your Free Position Now

How to Rent a Car Without a Credit Card

How to Rent a Car Without a Credit Card

How to Rent a Car Without a Credit Card


There are a million reasons why people think they can’t part with their credit cards. Believe us, at this point we’ve pretty much heard them all. One reason that always seems to pop up is the age-old, “But I need a credit card to rent a car.” And guess what? That just isn’t true.

We’re going to let you in on a not-so-secret “secret”—you can rent a car without a credit card. You can even travel without using a credit card. It’s mind-blowing stuff. In fact, you can live your life as you normally would without ever using a credit card for anything. But that’s a different rant for a different day . . .

Buckle up, because we’re about to show you how to rent a car without a credit card.

How to Rent a Car Without a Credit Card

Renting a car without using a credit card sounds fine and dandy in theory, but how does it all shake out in reality? Look no further, we’ve got you covered with seven tips to figure out how to rent a car without a credit card.

1. Choose a company that allows you to rent a car with a debit card.

Believe it or not, they’re out there. And they’re more than myth or legend.


More than 5 million have beaten debt this way. You can too!

Up until now, a lot of car rental companies would make you jump through some serious hoops if you slapped down a debit card instead of a credit card. And some of them still will. If you want to rent a car without using a credit card you might be asked to bring in everything but your social security card, medical history and attendance report from third grade.

Okay, we’re kidding. But only kind of.

Car rental companies vary on what they require from you if you’re paying with a debit card. But some common things they might ask for are proof of car insurance, a pay stub, a recent bank statement, or even a utility bill with an address that matches the one on your driver’s license.

Our friends at Dollar Car Rental are one of those not-so-mythical creatures who will let you rent a car with a debit card (that is, non-prepaid debit cards backed by Visa, Mastercard or Discover). Imagine that, a car rental company who will take your debit card (and not your first born with it). Dollar will rent a car to you, process your debit card, and send you on your way. Renting a car with a debit card just got much easier. Finally!

2. Research your car options.

Some car rental companies limit the types of cars you can rent if you’re paying with a debit card. Check with your rental company to see what kinds of vehicles you can rent when paying with a debit card. If you have your sights set on renting a luxury or exotic type of vehicle, you might have to think again. But don’t worry, those minivans and economy cars are calling your name! And they’ll get you better gas mileage anyway.

3. Meet minimum age requirements.

A lot of car rental companies are going to either not allow you to rent a car until you’re 25, or they’ll make you pay a pretty penny for being under their age requirement. That’s standard stuff. But Dollar Car Rental is one of the few companies that will let anyone age 20 and up rent a car—and you can use your debit card too. How’s that for first-class treatment?

4. Have a valid driver’s license.

This goes without saying, but if you want to rent a car then you need to have a valid, up-to-date driver’s license. Why? Because those of us on the open road with you want to be sure you know how to drive. Funny how things work like that, isn’t it?

But really—don’t forget your driver’s license at home.

5. Be prepared for credit checks.

If you want to rent a car without a credit card, some companies will run a credit check on you—because seeing how well you manage debt somehow means you’re more likely to return their rental car. Yeah, we don’t get it either. And neither does Dollar. They want to save you that hassle, which is why they’ve done away with credit checks and credit limits.

6. Look out for travel plan requirements.

Car rental companies can be pretty nosy when it comes to your travel plans—especially at airports. If you land at the Nashville airport and want to rent a car with a debit card, you’ll be asked to show proof of your return flight out of Nashville.

This is another area where Dollar is flexible. As long as you book your car rental 24 hours in advance, just show your driver’s license, pay with a debit card and you’re all set. Didn’t book in advance? No sweat. Just be sure to bring in a second form of I.D. and your travel plans (along with your license and debit card).

7. Prepare for holds/deposits.

Holy inconvenience, Batman! No one wants to see a hold from the rental company sitting in their bank account. Here’s the thing: A hold can be annoying—but at Dollar, it’s actually the same hold amount you’d pay if you were paying with a credit card anyway. So pony up for that $200 hold or deposit (don’t worry—they’ll give it right back when you return the car).

But Don’t I Need a Credit Card for Rental Car Insurance?

Ah, yes—this is a common misconception. Most people assume they need to use a credit card to rent a car so they can get insurance coverage through their credit company.

But guess what? You’re actually covered through your primary car insurance carrier! Take that credit card companies! We don’t need you! Besides, not every card offers coverage, and some of them don’t even cover property damage or damage to another vehicle anyway.

Benefits of Renting a Car With a Debit Card

Here’s a crazy notion: Renting a car with a debit card means that the price they quote you is actually the price you’re going to pay. Why? Because paying with a debit card means no interest added (unlike paying with a credit card).

If you rent a car with a credit card, you’ll end up paying interest on the amount of the rental price you put on the card. And every month you don’t pay it off, you’ll add on more and more interest. So a $300 car rental that seemed like such a good deal, could end up costing you. . . well, a lot!

Let’s say you charge that $300 car rental fee to your credit card, which has an annual percentage rate of 19%. You’re in no real hurry to pay it off and drag it out over the next year. The grand total you’ll end up paying back is now $357.

And that’s assuming you weren’t already carrying a balance on the card. If you had a revolving balance of $1,500 on the credit card and then charged this $300 car rental to it, your balance is now $1,800. But with that 19% interest being charged on the entire amount, you’ll now have to pay back $2,142 total. Ouch!

You Can Rent a Car Without a Credit Card

Don’t buy into the hype that you need a credit card to make it through life. That’s just crazy talk. And you definitely don’t need a credit card to rent a car. If you’re looking for a rental company that makes it easy, reach out to our friends at Dollar Car Rental.

And the next time you need to hit the open road in a car that isn’t yours, remember what’s in your wallet—a debit card.

If a leader doesn’t convey passion and intensity then there will be no passion and intensity within the organization and they’ll start to fall down and get depressed. Get Your Free Position Now

GETTING OUT OF DEBT Are Your Odds of Winning the Lottery Good? Don’t Bet On It!


Are Your Odds of Winning the Lottery Good? Don’t Bet On It!

couple with a lottery ticket


If you’re one of those people who think winning the lottery will solve all your problems, you’d better think again.

Winning the lottery is probably one of the quickest, most surefire ways to ruin your life—we’re serious. Not to mention your odds of winning the lottery are slim to none.

Still, lots of people think that instantly coming into a few million dollars means life on easy street. They assume the money will be around forever and they’ll never have to work another day in their life.

Nope! The truth is, even if you did win the lottery (and that’s a real long shot), it’s not going to fix everything. Winning the lottery just means you’d have a whole new set of problems to deal with.

Your Odds of Winning the Lottery Aren’t Good

Let’s just be real here: Your odds of winning the lottery are pretty bleak at best. The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot? 1 in 302,575,350.(1)

So, you’re telling me there’s a chance?

Umm, no.

There are plenty of other off-the-wall things that are much more likely to happen to you . . .

You have a 1 in 6 chance of getting food poisoning.(2)

You have a 1 in 12,000 chance of making a hole-in-one playing golf.(3)


More than 5 million have beaten debt this way. You can too!

You have a 1 in 3,748,067 chance of being killed from a shark attack.(4)

You have a 1 in 60 million chance of having quintuplets.(5)

Does all this sound ridiculous? Good! That’s because it is! Banking on winning the lottery is about as ridiculous as it gets. Do you really want to waste your time and money on a long shot like that?

The crazy thing is, most people know their odds of winning the lottery are really, really bad . . . but they keep buying tickets! Why? Because they’re looking for a rescue plan, a light at the end of the tunnel, a life raft to come along and save them.

They think they need a big windfall to pay off debts, buy a house, or save for retirement. In their mind, the lottery represents a fresh start and a promise of a lifetime of luxury. But sadly, it’s all just a well-marketed pipe dream. The truth is much less glamorous.

How the Lottery Can Ruin Your Life

Coming into a quick pile of cash usually means that people will come out of the woodwork looking to get a piece of your newfound fortune.

Third cousins you never even knew existed will call and hit you up for money. You’ll get letters in the mail from complete strangers armed with every sob story in the book—they’re unemployed, their children are sick with a rare disease, they’re being held hostage in Timbuktu, and you’re their only hope. It’s all just an attempt to get sympathy points and money from you.

If (and that’s a big if) you win the lottery, be prepared to have a big target on your back and a slew of new troubles to figure out.

In 2007, Donna Mikkin hit it big and won $34.5 million from the New York State Lottery. She thought her life was set, but she soon realized that achieving this dream life wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

“Most people look at winning the lottery as some magic pot of gold waiting for you at the end of the rainbow,” she wrote in a blog post. “If you ask me, my life was hijacked by the lottery.”

For Donna, winning the lottery led her down a path of “emotional bankruptcy” and even impacted her overall happiness. “When we won the lottery, my inner dialogue was manic. I became more concerned about how I was being judged and perceived,” she wrote.

The moral of the story? If you’re looking for financial peace, you’re not going to find it in winning the lottery.

The Lottery Steals Your Greatest Wealth-Building Tool—Your Income

Playing the lottery is a guaranteed way to lose money—fast. And most of the time, it’s a hefty tax on people who really can’t afford it.

Have you ever noticed millionaires don’t play the lottery? Research shows folks who earn the least gamble the most. According to a study by the University of Buffalo, gambling is twice as likely in neighborhoods with the highest levels of poverty.(6)

28% of Americans in the lowest income bracket play the lotto once a week. If they keep that up all year long, that means they’re spending $412 each year on lottery tickets.(7)

Is that a fortune? Nope. But you know what? Instead of playing the lottery for 10 years, you could be investing that money! And the chances of getting a return on your investment is much better. After 10 years of investing $412 annually with an interest rate of 12%, that $412 will have grown to $7,159. Take that, lotto! You basically doubled your money thanks to the magic of compound interest.

When you are feeling strapped for cash, the last thing you want to do is spend what little money you do have to your name on a gimmick like the lottery. And the less money you have, the more wisely you need to manage it, because you really don’t have as much room for error.

Ditch the Lotto, Make a Plan for Your Money

If you’re sick of this cycle, we have a better idea: Forget the lottery. Instead, focus on working hard, living on a budget, and saving your money. It works every time, unlike the lotto.

When you make a budget and get out of debt, you have some breathing room in your life. And that’s going to feel pretty good! You might even feel like you got a raise when you see how much money you have left over after doing your budget.

Ready to come into some money without ever having to gamble on the lotto again? Get our free budgeting app, EveryDollar, and get started making your first budget!

If a leader doesn’t convey passion and intensity then there will be no passion and intensity within the organization and they’ll start to fall down and get depressed. Get Your Free Position Now

You NEED to Know about this!

I just got word in writing that
the IRS has officially approved plans to
focus an audit campaign specifically
aimed at small and home-based business
owners who have reported a business
LOSS for 2 or more of the past 3 years.

In fact, I have a copy of their complete “plan
of attack.” Of course, it is marked “Internal
Use Only,” but it’s not “classified” or anything,
so I’m going to spill my guts to you about
everything I know – which is a LOT!

We’ve been through this before, but this plan
has some twists and turns that are new (and,
in my opinion, sinister).

Scheduled launch date: 4 weeks from now.

In war, the best intelligence one side can
ever get, is knowledge of the enemy’s battle
plan. The “element of surprise” is was can
kill you, but knowing in advance WHAT they
are planning to DO, and WHEN and HOW,
you have a fighting chance at victory.

Every year millions of small-business owners
report a Business Loss for variety of reasons.
If losses continue 2-3 years in a row, “Big
Brother’s” tracking system notifies the IRS
Audit Division. Auditors then race to the
“conclusion” that you are not running a “real
business” (i.e., not a for-profit business) or
else (they claim) you’d be profitable by now.

They then conclude that ALL of your business
expenses are NON-Deductible, because
“you are not running a “real business.” That
would leave you with a big fat tax bill!

To QUALIFY for small-business tax deductions
you must meet only ONE out of two requirements:
Report and pay taxes on Business PROFIT.
OR, you have
Be able to prove a “PROFIT INTENT –
i.e., prove that you’re legitimately
TRYING to make a profit.

READER ALERT: Auditors are not required
to tell you the truth, or certainly not all of the
truth. That means, they’ll default to Option #1,
above, and they’ll never even bring up #2
unless you do.

IRS Regulations, Section 1.183(b) and
Treasury Regulations, Section 1.183-2(b)

As to Option 1, if your business did not
report a profit, we can’t change that;
HOWEVER, as to Option 2, we have
something to work with here.

You are probably wondering, “How can
Someone PROVE an INTENTION to do
something like making a PROFIT in your
business? As it turns out, there IS a way–
an IRS-acceptable way! What is that way?

THAT’S what I will described IN DETAIL
during the web-briefing this coming FRIDAY.

REGISTER NOW for web briefing called:
  “Are YOU Sitting on a
   Tax-Audit TIME-BOMB?”
DATE: FRIDAY, Dec. 6th
TIME: 12-noon Pac; 1pm Mtn; 2pm Central; 3pm East

YOU should attend IF:
▪ Your business has NEVER made a Profit
▪ Your business has had a LOSS for 2+ years
▪ Sometimes report a Loss 2-3 years in a row
▪ You have teammates, downline, colleagues
whose business fit the circumstances above
▪ You are a “business survivalist” who is self-
disciplined to always be prepared “just in case”

If you are a “tax smart’ small-business owner
whose business is financially healthy, and if you
do not have people in your life who are struggling
to attain business success, you may not need to
watch the replay. attend. But for the rest of us

● Bootstrappers who are just trying to make it,
but need the deductions to help while they
work their way to profitability,
● Leaders who are committed to empowering
their followers to achieve the success they
are striving for and deserve.

If what I have written above has intrigued you,
worried you, inspired you or challenged you,

Even if you and your business are sitting on
this Tax Audit “Time Bomb,” there ARE things
you CAN DO that actually WILL WORK, and
I reveal every detail this coming Friday, 12/6.

REGISTER NOW for web briefing called:
 “Are YOU Sitting on a
    Tax-Audit TIME-BOMB?”
DATE: FRIDAY, Dec. 6th
TIME: 12-noon Pac; 1pm Mtn; 2pm Central; 3pm East

Hope to see you and help you on Friday.

        Dr. Ron Mueller, MBA, Ph.D.
Author, Speaker & Small-Biz Tax-Savings Coach

If your business is not yet, or not currently,
reporting a business profit, you want to take
this audit-threat very seriously. The IRS will
launch their “focused enforcement effort” just
a few weeks from now. You can bank on that

If a leader doesn’t convey passion and intensity then there will be no passion and intensity within the organization and they’ll start to fall down and get depressed. Get Your Free Position Now