Leave your footprint on the fight against childhood cancer

(NewsUSA) - Leave your footprint on the fight against childhood cancer.

Childhood cancer affects thousands of families across the United States, yet it remains largely underfunded. In fact, less than 4 percent of federal funding earmarked for cancer research goes to childhood cancer research. Aflac Duckprints makes it possible for anyone to join the fight against childhood cancer by purchasing gifts that give back or by making a donation.

To learn how you can make a difference, visit aflacduckprints.com.

Posted on July 24, 2017 .

The ABCs of back-to-school budgeting 

(BPT) - It’s natural to pack all you can into those few precious summer months, but inevitably they’re gone before you know it. As summer vacations, sleepovers and outdoor grilling come to a close, it's time to start thinking about going back to school.

You may be working to pay off summer vacation bills when you realize you need to budget and pay for your child’s school supplies, clothing and other related school expenses.

In a recent survey conducted by Coinstar, about half of U.S. parents with kids between ages five and 18 believe school expenses are increasing. Of those surveyed, 57 percent will create a back-to-school budget.

To ease rising school costs, here are five budgeting tips that will help you get more for your back-to-school dollar:

  1. Create a budget. One of the best ways to spend wisely is to create a budget. If you don’t already have one, open a new spreadsheet on your computer or get out a pen and paper. Consider all the potential back-to-school expenses and not just the obvious ones, such as school supplies and clothing. For example, you'll want to factor in extracurricular or after-school activities, tutoring, special school trips and even lunch costs.
  2. Collaborate with other parents. Consider joining parent groups, either through your school or community. These groups can offer a great support network to share ideas and information. They also serve as a fantastic resource for meeting parents who have items such as sports equipment their kids have outgrown or even musical instruments their children no longer play. This can lead to some serious money-saving deals.
  3. Tap your coin jar. With rising school costs, the old saying that every penny counts really is true. You can literally put this into practice by collecting all the loose change around your house or tucked away in your coin jar and bringing it to a Coinstar kiosk. At the kiosk, you can turn your coins into cash by paying a small fee or put your change toward a no-fee eGift card to use at retailers such as Amazon.com or Old Navy.
  4. Make a shopping list. Most schools provide a back-to-school list to help you plan and shop for your child. Use this as a starting point to make your own list and then stick to it! Retailers are set up to encourage impulse buys, but checking to see if something is or is not on your list is one of the most effective ways to avoid purchasing non-essential items and blowing your budget.
  5. Embrace the three Rs. Your kids will probably learn about the three Rs in school: reduce, reuse, recycle. This is a great principle to keep in mind when getting them ready for school, especially for back-to-school clothes. Choosing quality basics such as a jacket, skirt, sweater or jeans that can be combined with other clothing in your child’s closet will reduce the need for quantity purchases. In addition, consignment stores and online retailers are very popular and offer gently used items that check the “reuse” box. And finally, don’t forget to take advantage of hand-me-downs, whether from older siblings or friends.

Going back to school should be an exciting time for you and your kids. With these five budgeting tips, you can help cut the financial stress out of the process and kick the school year off to a great start.

Posted on July 23, 2017 .

How to help your young man succeed

Whatever your kids want to do when they grow up, there are steps you can take now to help them get there.

Whatever your kids want to do when they grow up, there are steps you can take now to help them get there.

Research shows that students tend to earn higher grades, have better attendance, are more motivated and less likely to drop out when their families are involved in their education.

If you’re the parent or relative of a young man about to become 18 years old, there’s one thing you can do that will help him throughout his life-make sure he registers with the Selective Service to remain eligible for student financial aid.

Why is registration so important?

Because it’s the key to a number of doors leading to a better future, and it’s one of the easiest things a man can do to keep control of his life.

But if a man misses the cut-off and doesn’t register before he reaches 26, the doors to receiving the valuable benefits linked to the registration requirement may be closed forever.

Did you know?

• Failure to register is a violation of the law and could carry hefty fines. The good news is that the Department of Justice is not prosecuting at this time, but the law remains on the books and could be punishable up to a felony.

• Registration is also a man’s civic and patriotic duty. When a male registers, he shows his national pride and commitment to stand in support of our country and the all-volunteer military.

• Registration helps ensure that any future draft is fair and equitable.

• Finally, registration is required to be eligible for a number of valuable benefits. They are:

− Eligibility for many college loans, grants, and scholarships

− Work-Study and Guaranteed Student PLUS Loans

− Federal job training programs

− Millions of jobs, including all federal jobs, Postal Service jobs, many state jobs, and an increasing number of contractor jobs

− In most states, you must register when you go to get a driver’s license

− If a male immigrant (documented or undocumented) fails to register, he may be denied citizenship until he is 31 years old.

Fortunately, registration with the Selective Service is super easy.

• Just go online to www.sss.gov and register.  

• See your high school counselor or principal.

• Pick up a form at any post office and mail it in.

• Check the “Register me” box when applying for financial aid on your FAFSA form.

Learn More:

For further information, visit www.sss.gov or, to speak to someone about registration, call (888) 655-1825.

Remember, 45 seconds online can save you 45 years of headaches and heartaches. - via NAPSI

Posted on July 18, 2017 .