Five Questions to Ask Before Marriage

Fiancé and Finances

(Family Features) Marriage is a milestone in life; yet, many enter into the next phase without asking their spouse some vital questions about money. If you are among the soon-to-be wed, consider starting a conversation using the questions below. Couples who plan their expenses ahead of time are more likely to enjoy their earnings, and less likely to need credit repair intervention.
Men, women and weddings
Females are often portrayed as materialistic or over-the-top when it comes to their big day, but recent findings from an online Harris Poll tell a different story. Surprisingly, the study found that twice the number of men stated they would or did go into debt to pay for their dream wedding. Read more

The Eye-Opening Correlation Between Education, Health & Life Expectancy: What Every Parent Needs to Know

Education plays a major role in the long-term health and overall life expectancy of your children. When it comes to identifying the factors that could predict future health, education is surpassing race as the top indicator. Even by age 25, a high school dropout has a life expectancy 9 years shorter than a college graduate. That’s nearly a decade of difference – by the mid-twenties.

How could education possibly have such an impact long-term health and life expectancy? When you break it down, more education equals higher earnings. And higher earnings ultimately lead to better access to health care, nutritious food and safer communities. Over time, either having access to – or not having access to – these crucial components of a long and healthy lifestyle really start to add up. Read more

Score Big With Game Day Snacks

Honey Dijon Pretzel Chicken Tenders
Bacon Avocado Dip
Grab n’ Go Popcorn Balls
Blazin’ Buffalo Potato Skins

(Family Features) The game is on, and your home is filled with friends decked out in those familiar colors, ready to cheer their team to victory. Now there’s only one more thing you need to make this game day gathering great — a feast of delicious, easy to enjoy goodies.

Whether your team consists of spice fanatics or sweets enthusiasts, Blue Diamond offers a huge variety of delicious snack almonds perfect for every preference or craving. Complete your game day spread with delicious dips — and don’t forget the dippers. Add variety and color with sliced up carrots, bell peppers and broccoli to serve alongside tasty Blue Diamond Nut Thins, a perfect, crunchy dipper that’s also gluten-free.

Get in the game with these recipes and more by visiting www.bluediamond.com. Read more

3 Ways a Woman Can Give Herself & Her Children One of the Greatest Gifts

Financial Advisor: Account for Your Spending & Model the Behavior

When it comes to buying power, women are steadily overcoming men. Throughout the next decade, women will control two-thirds of consumer wealth in the United States and will be the beneficiaries of the largest transference of wealth in our country’s history, according to Fleishman-Hillard Inc.

“The stats on a woman’s earning and buying power are pretty extensive; females are doing better in school than men, we’re earning more money than ever before and the business world has known about this trend for years,” says Erica L. McCain, a veteran financial expert, LUTCF and founder of McCain & Associates, (www.mccainins.com).

“As women, we’re inundated by advertisements. The first thing many of us do in the morning is check our e-mail and social media. Before a wake-up shower we may be hit with appeals from Macy’s, Bath and Body Works, Groupon and assorted retailers to ‘click for 50 percent off.’ ”

Of course, these aren’t “deals” so much as advertising campaigns, she says. In fact, there are plenty of women who spend good money on things – whether on themselves or their children – that are relatively frivolous, “I know because I was one of them,” says McCain, author of “Ladies With Loot.” Read more

Why Emergency Preparedness Matters

Tips to Prevent Storm Damage

(Family Features) Preparing for an unexpected emergency, especially one brought on by severe weather, is one of the most important ways you can protect your home and family. Proactively addressing storm-related issues ranging from property damage to power outages can minimize a potentially disastrous situation.

Step 1: Verify Your Homeowners Insurance Covers Storm Damage

Nearly all homeowners carry some form of insurance on their home, as required by their mortgage lender. But policies can vary, and the aftermath of a powerful storm is no time to find out you’re underinsured.

To ensure your homeowners policy adequately covers your needs, take time to review the policy every year at renewal time, and any time you make any significant improvements to your home. Check that the coverage amount for your main residence accurately reflects the finished square footage of your home, including any upgrades or changes such as a newly renovated bathroom or expanded deck structure. Also confirm that the replacement cost your homeowners insurance agent has determined is consistent with what you would expect to pay to rebuild your home. Read more

Forget Fad Diets and Focus on Health

(Family Features) If you recently committed to managing your weight or dieting, it may be time to change your approach. For long-term results, ditch fad dieting and adopt a balanced approach to eating with a focus on healthy foods.

Being healthy isn’t just about fitting into skinny jeans. According to a recent national survey, there are many reasons why women consider dieting: 68 percent want to improve their health, 51 percent want to look their best, and 39 percent want to have more energy.

With these goals in mind, it may not come as a surprise that survey participants reported being on an average of nine diets in their lifetimes. In fact, 76 percent of American women who have dieted admit to having tried a fad diet. Read more

Your 2015 Parenting Checklist: 
17 Resolutions to Make This the Year of Conscious Parenting

As parents most of us have the right intentions, but in the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s difficult to parent positively. As a result, a lot of our interactions with our kids are reactive. According to Marianna S. Klebanov, JD, it’s important to become more aware of our parenting behaviors.

“Just like professional development and getting your finances in order, becoming a more conscious parent involves identifying areas in which you need to improve and keeping those goals at the front of your mind,” says Klebanov, coauthor along with Adam D. Travis of The Critical Role of Parenting in Human Development (Routledge, 2014, ISBN: 978-1-138-02513-4, $46.95, www.criticalroleofparenting.com). “As we enter into a new year, it’s the perfect time to become more intentional about how we do and don’t want to be when we’re with our children.”

Here, she shares a list of 17 things you can do to parent more consciously in 2015. (“Remember, no parent is perfect, and we all make mistakes,” she reminds. “These items are meant to be gentle reminders, not indictments! You might even find it helpful to print this list out and post it on the fridge or bathroom mirror as a daily tickler.”) Read more