7 Tips for Planning Family Reunions on a Budget

Written by Role Mommy Contributor, Charli Radke

Planning a family reunion can be a lot of fun, but it can also be quite expensive. From accommodations and venues to food and entertainment, a successful reunion can cost much more than the average person is prepared to shell out. These tips will help you plan a memorable family reunion without spending a fortune.
1. Split Up The Costs:
The best way to make family reunions more affordable for everyone is to share the costs among everyone in attendance. There are several ways to do this. Selling tickets may be the best choice for large gatherings, while smaller extended families may divide planning responsibilities along with the costs.
2. Go Digital:
Rather than spending hours making phone calls and mailing invitations, create a Facebook page or website for your reunion. Send your relatives an email invitation, along with a link to the site for additional details. Consider setting up a donation option to help cover the costs of the reunion if you’re not charging an admission fee.
3. Raise The Money:
Bake sales, car washes, and fish fries are excellent ways to generate funds to cover the costs of a family reunion and can also be a lot of fun. If several family members live in the same area, invite everyone to participate. Cookbooks with secret family recipes make terrific fundraisers as well. Holding an auction or a raffle at the reunion can also recover some of the costs.
4. Research Your Options:
The destination, as well as the time of year you’re planning the reunion, will both play a big role in the costs. Choose a location that is central to most family members, but avoid holidays and peak travel seasons if possible. It’s usually cheaper to avoid big tourist areas, although an area with plenty of attractions may minimize the need for entertainment.
reunion5.jpg 5. Choose Budget Friendly Accommodations:
Many family reunions are held at resorts because there’s plenty of room with a variety of activities to keep everyone entertained. Search for packages that offer discounts for blocks of rooms. Group rates may also be available at many campgrounds and are usually much cheaper than hotel rooms or rental homes. Campfire stories and s’mores create wonderful reunion memories!
6 Take Out a Short Term Loan:
Even with the most carefully planned budget, it isn’t always possible to foresee every little expense that you may encounter when you’re planning a family reunion. Short term loans are a convenient way to cover any unexpected costs and can be a lifesaver if you run into difficulties along the way.
7. Cut The Costs Of Catering:
Food and drink typically account for one of the biggest chunks of your reunion budget, but they don’t have to. Shop around for caterers with the best value, or consider enlisting the help of a few family members to grill burgers and hotdogs. If no one has to travel too far, a potluck is the most budget friendly option. Be sure to plan a menu beforehand to avoid duplicate dishes.
Whether you’re planning a family reunion for 50 or 500, it isn’t always easy to pull it off when you’re on a tight budget. The best way to cut costs is to get several people involved in planning and organizing the event. When you work together, you can save money and have more fun.
Here are some additional links with ideas to help you save and plan…




Charli Radke is a freelance fashion, lifestyle, and technology writer exploring all things that are beautiful. Whether it’s about fashion, photography, family life, or whats new and cool in technology. Charlie is exploring it all. She is single and currently living in sunny Florida. When she’s not out exploring and blogging the newest trends she’s out writing for established companies like http://www.copyforbylines.com/.

Top 5 Mis-Understood Finance Words

Top 5 Mis-Understood Finance Words
People often hear words in the finance world and because they hear them so frequently, they don’t truly understand their meaning. Below are the five most common misunderstood and misused words in finance world.
1. “Hedge”
You hear it most often when talking about hedge funds in the news. Hedging is a fancy way to say insurance. If you hedge a bet, you make sure something is there to back it up if it fails. If you are a hedge fund, you do the same thing but buying in bigger quantities at higher risk (and reward).
2. “Short”
You hear it when talking about the market, in the popular book “The Big Short.” It just means that you think something is going to fail or go down. So if you “short” a stock you think it’s going in the crapper. If you “short” America, you think it’s going to fail.
3. “Equity”
A stock is an equity. Period. It’s a fancy word to talk about stock or portion of a company you own. You are hearing it a lot in the media lately with regards to “private equity” — that’s just a way to own parts of company that isn’t available in public stock or equity exchanges.
4. “Bond”
You also hear it as “fixed income” or “paper.” It’s buying a portion of debt in turn for a percentage of profit. You can buy “paper” from the government, known as Treasury bonds, or “paper” from companies known as corporate bonds. The riskier the company or country you are buying from, the more income you will get in return. It’s fixed, unlike the profits in the stock market because you know what you are getting and it’s typically less risky that investing in public companies.
5. “AAA”
You get a credit score, so does a country. We are hearing a lot about countries losing the AAA rating. That’s a way to tell the risk of that particular country. So when you buy a “bond” that’s not AAA, which is the highest, it has more likelihood of failing. So AA+ is below AAA and then AA, AA-, A+, A, A-, then down to BBB…Greece, for example, which is bankrupt has CC. It’s a grade for anything we can invest in, just like the cleanliness grades at restaurants.
Written by, Nicole Lapin whose everyday financial insight is followed by millions through appearances on CNN, Morning Joe, NPR and more. Nicole is also the owner of website Recessionista.com which has lots of great female-friendly content. Nicole’s message is to “Remind women — rich or poor — that you don’t need to break the bank to be fabulous.”

October 19 Event: Ramp Up Your Financial Smarts

If you live in the tri-state area, you’re invited to a special program, “Especially for Women:  Take Charge of Your Financial Life”–at the White Plains Public Library, 100 Martine Avenue, White Plains, on Weds., Oct. 19, at 7 p.m. Get expert advice on setting personal financial goals, budgeting, investing, insurance, retirement planning, credit, and other important financial topics. The program is free, and refreshments will be served.
imgres-31.jpegOur keynote speaker and expert on investing is Susan Hirshman, author of “Does This Make My Assets Look Fat? A Women’s Guide to Finding Financial Empowerment and Success.” She worked for many years at JP Morgan and prior to that at KPMG. Susan has often been a speaker at Wealth Management Conferences throughout the country, has been quoted in numerous publications (Wall Street Journal, NY Times, Forbes, Kiplinger’s etc), and interviewed on various TV and radio- business news shows (CNBC, CNN, FOX, ABC etc.) Ms. Hirshman is president of the consulting firm SHE Ltd., which focuses on women’s financial literacy and client-financial advisor partnerships.
Deirdre Cosgrove .jpgOur expert on retirement planning and insurance will be Deirdre Cosgrove, an Allstate agent and owner of the Deirdre Cosgrove Agency, Inc., in White Plains, NY. As a successful businesswoman, she helps families prepare a strategy to achieve their financial goals and protect the things that are most important to them–family, home, and car. She is an expert in financial products including IRAs, mutual funds, variable life insurance, and variable annuity products.
solomonalgazi.gifOur panel will also feature Solomon Algazi, a nationally recognized credit education expert and the president and founder of Credit Servicez. He is often employed by the nation’s biggest banks and lenders to teach their customers how to understand and improve credit. His clients include lenders, auto dealerships, insurance brokers, and small business owners all seeking his expertise on their clients’ or their own personal credit problems.
Beth Feldman, founder of RoleMommy.com, an online community for parents, will moderate the panel discussion.
new logo 2008.jpgThe program is sponsored by the White Plains Library Foundation and supported by a grant from The Allstate Foundation to present women’s financial empowerment programs to the community. 
For information, please contact Libby Hollahan, Executive Director, White Plains Library Foundation, 914-422-1495.

Money Matters by Susan Hirshman

assets.jpgIt’s the start of a new year and practically every morning show is talking about diets and exercise – even CNBC. Yes, CNBC one of cable’s top rated investment shows featured Tony Horton, creator of Power 90X programs. On the show, he talked about his programs as well as mentioning that his 11 laws for healthy living.
As the author of Does This Make My Assets Look Fat?: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Financial Empowerment and Success, a book that educates women on investment management through the prism of healthy dieting, I just couldn’t resist. I ran to my computer, visited his web page and glimpsed at the laws to find out if they were analogous to successful investment management.
Lets have a look see…
Law #1Variety is the spice of fitness: His message is you should not only do one type of exercise. By doing the same thing over and over again you subject yourself to training injuries, plateaus, and boredom.
Analogous to successful investment management? Definitely. One of the key investment principles is to avoid concentrated positions ( ie. being invested in one stock, or one specific part of the market etc) Otherwise, you subject yourself to greater risk than if you had a well allocated and diversified portfolio.
Law #2 – Consistency. Tony believes that consistency will coalesce into results.
Analogous to successful investment management? Yes. Research shows that those investors who have a realistic plan and stick with the plan even in times of volatility have a better probability of success than those who are constantly trying to time the market and chase returns.
Law # 3- Intensity. The concept here is to control the things that you can control.
Analogous to successful investment management? Absolutely. You can’t control the markets, you can’t control the economy – but what you can control is your spending, your saving, your asset allocation and your emotions. Have those in check, and you are ahead in the game.
Law #4- Purpose. Your purpose is to have a better life. Your reasons why have everything to do with your level of success.
Analogous to successful investment management? Need I say anything more.
Law #5: Reality – Be realistic with what you want to achieve.
Analogous to successful investment management? Without a doubt. When people are unrealistic with their goals and their return expectations, that’s when we see them making bad and even harmful decisions.
Law #6 : Play – If you shift to a mind-set of playing and having fun, you won’t obsess as much about calories, inches, and weight loss.
Analogous to successful investment management? Yes indeed. Your mindset plays a huge role in your financial success. It is a constant battle between your long term needs and your short-term wants, and thus your focus needs to be on what you are getting vs what you are giving up today.
Law #7 – Success comes from planning ahead. You can’t have a fit, healthy lifestyle if you don’t have a long-term plan. Stop winging it, and make sure to schedule all of your workouts in advance.
Analogous to successful investment management? Sure. Just replace the word lifestyle with financial life and you have the number one rule of financial success.
Law #8 – Stress Less. Stress comes from our reaction to the stressor. You choose how you respond to stressful events. And this response profoundly affects your success.
Analogous to successful investment management? Undeniably. The way you react to market volatility has a huge impact on your success. A study from Dalbar tells us exactly that – it shows that over the past twenty years the typical equity mutual fund investor had a 1.8% return while the market had an 8% return. Why the vast difference – buying high and selling low – in other words letting your emotions dictate your investment decisions.
Law #9 – Love it:, then you’ll discover a fitness philosophy that you’ll stick with for a lifetime.
Analogous to successful investment management? Certainly. You don’t have to love investment management, but you have to feel very comfortable with your plan in terms of timing, dollar amounts and risk profile. That is the only way you will stick with your plan.
Law #10 – Maintain flexibility. Flexibility is the key component to becoming less vulnerable and more durable, no matter what your age.
Analogous to successful investment management? Undeniably, for two reasons. First, a financial plan is not a static document, it changes and adapts to your changing life and financial situation. In addition, the goal of planning is to give you flexibility or choice now and in the future so that you are less vulnerable and more durable no matter where you are in your wealth cycle.
Law #11 . The right fuel supplies proper energy and recovery through balanced brain chemistry.
picture.jpgSusan Hirshman is president of SHE LTD, a consulting firm focused on enhancing the financial literacy of women globally. She is the author of- Does this Make My Assets Look Fat? – a women’s guide to finding financial empowerment and success. Formerly, she was a Managing Director, Wealth Manager with one of the world’s top financial services organization.