The Gerber Life Parenting Blog

What parents want to know

With work, family and finances, modern parenting can sometimes feel like a juggling act. The Gerber Life parenting blog gives parents advice and tips to help you take on today-and plan for tomorrow. Our parenting blog offers articles on saving money, college planning, family insurance, parenting tips, living green, and health and safety. Although we may not be able to manage your retirement account, drive your all-star athlete to practice, or cook your family's favorite three-cheese lasagna, our parenting blog can provide you with ideas, advice and tips so that you can focus on what matters most: raising healthy, happy kids. We invite you to join the conversation and enjoy our parenting blog.

  1. Compare College Savings Planning Option Features

    Compare College Savings OptionsWith consistently rising education costs, college savings planning is a necessity. But which plan is right for you? Consider your financial situation now and in the future, the age of your child when you start, and then set reasonable goals for yourself.

     

    Federal Government Plan

    Saving money for college can be accomplished courtesy of the US government. Your Congress sponsors the Coverdell ESA (education savings account) plan for those earning less than $110,000 (single tax filer) or $220,000 (joint tax filers) per year.

    Although it has a modest annual contribution limit–$2,000 per student per year—withdrawals are tax-free if used for qualified education expenses. Qualified expenses include tuition, room, board, fees, and supplies.

    You’ll also enjoy personal investment flexibility, as you can invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and cash equivalents. You have no restrictions on the number of trades (buy or sell) you want to make.

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    Categories: College Planning
  2. Make Saving Money Fun, Not a Hardship

    Money Saving TipsToo many people view saving money as a necessary hardship. However, saving money can be fun if you have the right attitude. Enthusiasm can help you overcome a multitude of financial difficulties. Adopt these two frames of mind to improve your money saving efforts.

    Who’s More Important Than—YOU?

    It’s alright to be a bit selfish. After every pay period, the first “bill” you pay should be a deposit to your savings account. Even if you can only afford $10 or $20 per pay period, pay yourself first before taking care of your other monthly obligations.

    This simple, habit-forming plan will generate a very healthy savings account over time. If you’re not familiar with the amazing effects of “compounding” (earning interest on interest), perform a little internet surfing. You’ll quickly understand how compounding can create large dollars that continue to increase forever.

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    Categories: Saving Money
  3. Your Personal Cupid This Valentine’s Day

    Valentine’s Day Quiz

    Love may be blind, but it can certainly see the joy of making that “someone special” feel extra special on Valentine’s Day.  With that in mind, this issue can become your personal Cupid, providing lots of information and ideas to help you have a fabulous February 14!

    Remember, too, that love is also patient. So, before you start reading this issue, take this short quiz to get your heart and your head ready for Valentine’s Day:

    1. According to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated one billion Valentine cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. For what holiday are the most cards sent?

  4. A Date at the Movies – How Not to Become the Main Attraction

    Valetine’s Day Movie Date IdeasSome parents spend Valentine’s Day at the movies – without the kids – as a rare treat that may happen only once a year or less. It’s a good idea to brush up on your movie theater etiquette:

    • Turn off the ringer on your cell phone before the movie starts. If you have kids at home, it may not be feasible to turn off your phone. However, since every cell phone has a vibrate option or can be set to “meeting mode,” there’s no reason for a blaring ring tone after the movie preview ends. If a call arrives during the movie and you must respond, leave the theater to call the person back. If you absolutely need to answer the phone inside the theater, be sure to answer “hold on a moment” and then go to the lobby to continue the conversation. If you answer “hello,” you’re going to start a conversation inside the theater, which of course would not be considerate or respectful of the other movie goers.

    • Arrive on time. Don’t risk arriving late and then stumbling in the dark as you try to find two seats next to each other, which isn’t fun for you or anyone else in the theater. Best bet: Arrive at the theater at least 30 minutes before the movie’s start time.

    • No chit-chatting, please. No need to annoy your seat neighbors. If you absolutely must say something (such as how much you love going to the movies with your spouse), keep it no louder than a whisper – and in only a few words.

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    Categories: General Interest
  5. Ever Had a Bad Valentine’s Day? Three Inexpensive Ways to Make Sure it Doesn’t Happen Again

    Inexpensive Ideas for Valentine’s Day

    A young woman woke up one Valentine’s Day and told her husband about a dream she’d just had. “I dreamed that you gave me a necklace for Valentine’s Day.” she said. “ What do you think it means?” “You’ll know tonight,” he said. That evening, the husband came home with a small package and gave it to his wife. Delighted, the woman opened it. Inside was a book entitled “The Meaning of Dreams.”

    If you’ve ever had a disappointing Valentine’s Day, try making sure it doesn’t happen again by taking to heart these three creative and inexpensive ideas:

    • Rent a movie

    Not just any movie, rent the first – or one of the first – movies you ever saw as a couple. Another romantic idea is to download a few episodes of a TV show you used to watch together when you were falling in love. Dim the lights, hold hands, and think about what life was like before the only movies you watched had a G rating and a talking animal.

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    Categories: Saving Money