These days, parents spend a lot to raise their kids. All those $400 Nintendo Wiis and $200 iPod Nanos fly off the shelves, and a "princess" birthday party can cost up to $10,000. Then there are $900 strollers and cell phone bills and even credit cards for kids. But when does it get to be too much?
This kind of overspending is not good for kids or their parents - because, unless you're in the top income bracket, the only way to give your children everything they want (or everything marketers tell you they should have) is to neglect your own retirement saving. And the message you're sending, meanwhile, is that money grows on trees. Or at least on Mommy and Daddy.
"Spending too much" is a value judgment, of course, not a specific number. On average, couples with two kids and a household income in the middle range ($43,200 to $72,600) spend $7,493 a year on each child, from birth to age 17, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. (The per-child total rises to $11,234 if you
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These days, parents spend a lot to raise their kids. All those $400 Nintendo Wiis and $200 iPod Nanos fly off the shelves, and a "princess" birthday party can cost up to $10,000. Then there are $900 strollers and cell phone bills and even credit cards for kids. But when does it get to be too much?Read More »from Are You Spending Too Much on Your Kids?
These research-proven pick-me-ups will get you going and keep you charged, even if you've had too little sleep. Still having trouble? Take this quiz to find the best fixes to increase your energy. Also, check out more ways to boost your energy at home or at work.Read More »from Lack of Sleep? What to Eat and Drink for Energy
Have a Protein-Powered Breakfast Toast alone or even a granola bar won't do it. You need protein to feel full and satisfied and to avoid the blood sugar roller coaster an all-carb meal triggers, which leaves you feeling tired and cranky. "You can make and eat a fatigue-beating breakfast in five minutes, which is probably all the time you'll have on a morning when you're tired and have slept in as late as possible," says registered dietitian Elizabeth Somer. But protein doesn't mean bacon, eggs, and sausage (as if you'd have time for these, anyway). Somer's suggestions: whole-grain toast with peanut butter and a banana; whole-grain cereal with low- or non-fat milk and fruit; low-fat plain yogurt with berries, granola, and a
When I first heard about it, I thought it was revolutionary: Dry shampoo? A way to clean your hair without getting it wet? So ingenious! So convenient! So I thought - until I found out it's been around since the '70s. But everything old is new again, right?
THE 5 BEST HAIRCUTS OF ALL TIME
In any case, dry shampoo is making a comeback. What the heck is it, you ask? Basically, it's a powder, usually starch- or talc-based, that absorbs excess oil from your locks to eliminate that greasy look. You can find it in the drugstore for about $5 or splurge on a luxury bland like Oscar Blandi for $30 at the salon.
While older formulas made hair look chalky, the new formulations are either clear or hair-colored so they virtually disappear. They also now come in easy-to-apply-evenly aerosol sprays. Tresemme, an affordable drugstore brand, even offers a mousse specifically tailored for curly hair that can't be combed through.Read More »from 5 Reasons to Love Dry (Yes, Dry!) Shampoo
Bed bugs have been staging a comeback. Thanks in part to the ban on DDT, the use of less toxic (but less effective) pesticides, and the rise in international travel, these relentless, resilient, reddish-brown pests are quickly becoming a part of modern life.Read More »from Prevent Bed Bugs
This is important for a few reasons. First, bed bugs are surprisingly easy to pick up. Many victims unknowingly carry them home in their suitcases after traveling and staying in hotels. Second, they're as tough to remove as a months-old red wine stain. These buggers can live many months without eating. Eradicating them is no DIY job, either. A call to a pest control professional is recommended if you spot them. Third, since they shun daylight, bed bugs typically wait until nightfall to make an appearance, often nibbling on you or your pet while you sleep.
And finally, these critters don't discriminate. Anyone is fair game-whether you live in a spotless two-story home in the suburbs or a rundown studio apartment in the middle of a
Decorating on the cheap doesn't have to be boring. We've discoved more brilliant ways to refinish old items once destined for the trash and transform them into creative new accessories.Read More »from Cheap DIY Projects to Perk Up Your Home
Old cabinet door destined for the landfill? Don't be so closed-minded! With paint and a pair of drawer pulls, a salvaged cabinet door makes a great tray for entertaining. Fill any holes in the board with wood filler from a hardware store; let dry at least two hours. Sand and paint the surface; pre-drill holes and screw in handles of about four inches, as shown.
Check Out More Inexpensive DIY Home Projects from Designers
Give your dining table a cheery face-lift by making these custom, easy-care place mats. To start, gather fabric (heavier, "home decorating" weight, like the Amy Butler design shown here works best), pinking shears, and iron-on vinyl topping, which is available at most fabric stores. Cut fabric into 12"-by-17" rectangles; iron. For each mat, cut two rectangles
- Good Housekeeping | Shine Food – Mon, May 10, 2010 8:31 PM EDT
I scream, you scream... and that could be just what you do after reading our report on ice cream serving sizes. To see if the portion and calorie info listed on an ice cream parlor's menu board or Website could be trusted, our GHRI team visited five shops in New York City on two separate occasions, buying a total of 50 scoops. Then we brought the samples back to the lab for weighing. The chilling results: At four of the five stores, scoops were 11 to 48 percent larger, on average, than the posted serving size. The fifth store came in under, averaging 7 percent less ice cream than promised. Here, the cold facts.Read More »from How Much Ice Cream Are You Really Getting in That Scoop?
We tested the mocha ice cream, and found that these scoops came the closest to the posted size the most often.
Official Serving Size: 5 oz. (320 calories)
Average Scoop Size: 5.53 oz.
Biggest Deviation in Size: 6.70 oz. (429 calories)
Biggest Calorie Deviation: +109
This summer, try making your own ice cream.
Servings of coffee ice cream were
If you're sending Mom flowers this Mother's Day, make sure you give her a beautiful arrangement that lasts. The Good Housekeeping Research Institute evaluated bouquets from "direct from grower" flower delivery services, which claim to offer fresher and longer-lasting blooms than those ordered from the local flower shop. Here are the results.Read More »from The Best Flower Delivery Service
We tested each service by ordering a dozen mixed flowers and then asking volunteers and a professional florist to inspect them. The blooms then went to the Institute's climatology chamber, where they were kept at a temperature of 70 degrees F with 55 percent humidity, to simulate an average late spring day. (Flowers lasted about a week.)
Find Out How to Make Flower Arrangements Last Longer
The winning service was Flowerbud.com. Its bouquet was both the favorite upon arrival and once it fully bloomed. Plus, the company's phone reps answered our customer questions more thoroughly and efficiently than some of the other services
- Good Housekeeping | Mother's Day – Mon, May 3, 2010 9:26 PM EDT
This year, give Mom a classic gift. These beauty staples have stood the test of time, and are still just as useful (and pretty) as when your mother (or her mother) first discovered them. And at less than $30 or less each, you can afford to get her a whole basket of her beauty favorites.Read More »from Six Classic Gifts for Mom, Under $35
Glam I Am, circa 1953
Spicy floral Estée Lauder Youth Dew Eau de Parfum Spray comes in a vintage-style bottle ($28, department stores).
After spoiling Mom, spoil yourself on Mother's Day
Fresh Powder, circa 1935
A dusting of Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder hides skin flaws ($7.19, drugstores).
What's the best advice Mom ever gave?
Bar None, circa 1770
Suds away stress with Yardley London English Lavender Naturally Moisturizing Bar ($1.49, drugstores).
Remember these favorite (fictional) moms?
Handy Work, circa 1752
Dr. Hunter's Original Remedies Rosewater & Glycerine Hand Creme by Caswell-Massey softens rough hands ($12, caswellmassey.com).
25 things all moms should know
Bathing Beauty, circa 1849
On May 5,1862, an outnumbered and poorly armed Mexican militia whupped some major French tush near the city of Puebla. The soldiers ultimately failed to keep the French-backed Emperor Maximilian from the throne, but their victory on Cinco de Mayo is still reason to celebrate. Here are some ideas to get your fiesta on.Read More »from Host a Fabulous Cinco de Mayo Fiesta
Notify guests of the impending festivities by fashioning uniquely Mexicano invites. Buy a set of Loteria Bingo cards, cut them up, and paste their fanciful symbols onto an invitation made by folding a piece of card stock in half. Or snap a quick shot of Junior or Fido wearing a sombrero, order or make your own prints, and let your progeny or pooch become your cover subject. Kids and canines camera shy? The Prints and Photographs Online Catalog at the Library of Congress's Website offers extraordinary, downloadable free images that should fit the bill. Enter keywords such as sombrero, fiesta, and cactus in the search field, and check the "bibliographical
It's nearly time for summer vacation, and if you're considering a portable DVD player for your family road trip, make sure you snag a good one. We tested a number of models to find the best options for your money. Check out our full test results here.Read More »from Don't Buy a Dud: The Best Portable DVD Players
Sony DVP-FX820 ($180)
This Sony has an 8-inch swiveling screen that's hinged like a laptop but then can be turned and folded flat for better viewing. That, coupled with its conveniently located controls, helped it to earn its second-place title. To boot, the Sony also had one of the longest-lasting batteries, clocking in at over 5 hours, and our consumer testers found it a cinch to use, making it ideal for those non-tech-savvy travelers. It also has two headphone jacks, a car power adapter, AC adapter, and remote control, and Dolby Digital sound. Find It at Amazon.com
Travel Tip: How You Can Save More on Your Family Vacation
GPX PD708B ($80)
The GPX is durable, portable, and affordable - a fine choice for anyone on a budget. It