Friday Four: Baby Sitter Money Tips

 

One of my  daughters is a private baby sitter.  She is CPR certified and has taken many continued education classes so she may remain in high demand. She’s a natural! As a big sister to five younger siblings, she’s able to baby sit for moms groups, business meetings, private parties, and now she now assistant other doulas while at the hospital serving laboring mothers.

tbsHaving a quality, trusted, babysitter is very rare. The process of finding one is a headache alone. But when you find one, many wonder, how will they pay for her.

And guess what? It’s only getting higher! While I don’t agree with that, I do believe that a great baby sitter is worth a good penny.

It costs to learn new skills,training, certifications, transportation to and from service locations and it’s also a symbol of  proper expectation.

My daughter charges up to  $12.00.per hour.  Her clients LOVE her. She brings toys, books, loads of energy , experience in autistic, multiples, and newborns. She also hires other teens like her to help as needed. Most people like her prices, everyone don’t. It’s usually the ones that want her, but can’t afford the rate. The comfort and well being of your child will always be your number one priority, but quality childcare doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Follow these tips and find an option that works for your family.

  1. Share Your Sitter- If you are planing on hanging out with your friends, why not share the baby sitting cost. It does a couple of things. It gives the kids an instant play date, and saves each parent money.
  2. Barter- My daughter loves getting her nails done, nice shoes, and great food. If you have any of these things, ask to trade instead of using money. Teens like my daughter will accept. Just ask  first to verify it’s acceptable. With both the teen sitter  and her parents.

According to UrbanSitter’s 2014 Childcare Rate Survey of nine large metro areas, the average babysitter wage paid in New York City is$15.34 per hour while in Denver it’s $10.84 per hour

3. Join a progressive mom group. – Queen City Stay At Home Moms offers discount child

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care rates to their premium members.

4.Take The Credit.     If you use registered child care or pay a babysitter to care for your children, you can deduct at least a portion of your expenses for income tax purposes.

    • Expenses are deductible for the care of dependent children, under the age of 16.
    • Babysitters may be related to you (but not a parent to your child) and must be over 17 years of age.
    • The child care deduction is limited to two-thirds of earned income, or $4,000 a year per child aged seven to 16; $7,000 a year per child under seven years; and up to $10,000 a year for each disabled child.
    • For details of child care options in your area, contact your province’s child care licensing agency.

Bonus- Sign up for a Flexible Spending Account
If your employer offers this option, use your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to set aside money for child care. You can include up to $5,000 before taxes

caredotcom-babysitter-infographic-2015.jpg
In closing , be strategic! At The Big Sister, most families look for care during the summer. The more affordable and experienced caregivers get grabbed early and day care slots fill up quickly. Start your search soon and don’t wait until the last minute.Well, there you have it! You have no reason to avoid date night away from the house, a business meeting at home ,or a fun Moms Night Out! You can afford it!

PLEASE READ- From Care.Com- Great Area- Fee based Information! 

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Friday Four: Gratitude For All! From Tots to Teens

Everyone likes to be appreciated. EVERYONE! One of the many jobs of parenting, is to teach your children about gratitude. The world doesn’t owe them a thing. And it really isn’t that hard to do. But if it’s not programmed in them … it isn’t gonna come out of them. (Ya’ll have seen those type of children)  Even the smallest child can learn and show gratitude. Take a peek at a few ideas below.Be grateful

  1. STOP GIVING THEM SO MUCH!  Keeping thing in perspective, more and more Good Books For Kids on gratefulnesschildren are living a lie. How is it that we are in a recession, but so many of our children are carrying smart phones and Heavily branded shoes. I tell my children all of the time, “You are entitled to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” I also tell them “I refuse to dress up an empty box.”  When you reward your child(ren) for earning “Perks” (which includes volunteering, grades, character) you are teaching them more than just gratitude.I roll my eyes  at some of the things my husband do to save money, but in hind sight the end justify his actions. (Did you see the grill on the featured image. We are still using that same grill. Sure our food takes longer to cook, but when my son get’s his own home and family, his wife is gonna thank us for the raising a grateful guy!)
  2. BE A MODEL!   You already know how kids mimic EVERYTHING we do. Make an
     Seniors & team captains Reggie Johnson & Jervon Pressley went to Magruder Elementary school to speak to students about academics, pursuing goals, and being respectful to their parents and others.

    Seniors & team captains Reggie Johnson & Jervon Pressley went to Magruder Elementary school to speak to students about academics, pursuing goals, and being respectful to their parents and others.

    effort to super grateful in-front of your kids. Growing up people would always say to me…. why do you have such a frown on your face?” I really didn’t intend to look that way because I was a happy child. At some point I changed it. Last year, one of my private tutoring students asked in the middle of a lesson, “why do you smile all of the time?” “I don’t know, I guess because I’m happy.Don’t your mom smile at home?” I replied. Her response to that blew me away….. She said she does, but only when she’s taking a picture!….  (Talk about too Much Information – right?)

  3. SAY Thank you!

    My mother In Law is amazed by the things technology can do. So for her birthday, we had the children make a video birthday card. To prepare, I had each of them write down 2 things they loved most about her. We then talked about their list collectively and the older ones all realized how thoughtful of a grandma she is. When we began to record, they were speaking more from their hearts and less from the list. Not only was their grandma over joyed, the kids gained more gratitude for good family members that care about them ,and they all felt warm inside by sharing goodwill.  Because of this family video below, I have learned a new appreciation for all dentist, big brothers floss.  

  4. Thank them with food.

    Nothing says thanks to me like food. I just associate so much pleasure to eating, that I automatically think good things about a person who gives me food – Guys, I know I am not alone on this     Find out what their favorite type of food is and attach a nice little note telling them why it is being given to them. I like to give vegan treats from Cassie’s Sweetz!

Cassie's Sweetz

Bonus: to really make this fun you can tell them thank you in 26 different languages.

One of my most memorable lessons in having a grateful perspective came from a salmon slicer at Zabar’s in New York City. I asked how he’d been, and his response stopped me in my tracks.

“Blessed,” he said. “I go home to a warm bed. There’s food on my table. I have running water and I can take a hot shower. I am blessed.”

How powerful is that?! Just imagine how different life would be if we all adopted this attitude and passed it on to our children as well.

Your Mom Coach, Kelle

Wednesday Wow! Hey WFHM, that babysitter is deductible!

“I’m a work from home mom and I hire a babysitter for meetings at home and away.I want to know if those expenses are deductible.”

QC Tracy and qcsm

Short ANSWER: YES! Keep your receipts and file them for ChildCare  at tax time. In fact, you may qualify for $3,000 in tax credits for one dependent, and a maximum of $6,000 for two dependents or more.

I have been asked this numerous times during tax season and by mothers that have decided to work from home. So I figured if I placed it here, moms could verify it against what the IRS says, save me time from repeating myself and I bring more traffic to my humble blog.  (Yes, who doesn’t love them THREE’fers)

Okay, so how to get the credit: 

The credit has a number of technical rules. For instance, in cases involving divorce, the custodial parent can take the credit, while noncustodial parents can’t, even if they would otherwise qualify to treat the child as a dependent.

Requirements 

In Charlotte and looking for a certified sitter? Contact The Big Sister! CLICK HERE!

In Charlotte and looking for a certified sitter? Contact The Big Sister! CLICK HERE!

 

To claim the child and dependent care credit, you must meet these requirements:

  • You and your spouse must usually file as married filing jointly. (See Filing Exceptions below.)
  • You must provide the care so you (and your spouse, if married) can work or look for work.
  • You must have some earned income. If you’re married and living together, both you and your spouse must have earned income. However, one spouse might be disabled or a full-time student at least five months of the year.

Even if you’re not married filing jointly, you and your spouse might be able to claim the credit. You must meet both of these requirements:

  • You paid more than half the cost of maintaining a household for the year. Both you and the qualifying person must have used the home as your main residence for more than half the tax year.
  • Your spouse wasn’t a member of the household during the last six months of the tax year.

You must provide the name, address and Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) of the person who provided the care. The taxpayer ID number is either a Social Security number (SSN) or an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Ask your care provider for the number.- KP Tax Service

Qualifying persons

To claim a credit for qualified expenses, you must provide care for one or more qualifying persons. (See Qualified Expenses below.) Qualifying persons include:

  • Dependent who’s a qualifying child and under age 13 when you provide the care. Usually, you must be able to claim the child as a dependent to receive a credit. However, an exception applies for children of divorced or separated parents. In those situations, the child is the qualifying child of the custodial parent for purposes of this credit. This applies even if the noncustodial parent claims the child as a dependent.
  • Spouse or dependent of any age who’s both of these:
    • Physically or mentally incapable of self-care
    • Has the same main home as you do when you provide the care

Qualified expenses Child-Care-Inforaphic

 Don’t forget those expenses that cover household services, such as housekeeping, while you work or search for work, also count toward the credit if the services were necessary in part for child care.-KP Tax Service

Qualified child- or dependent-care expenses are those you incur while you work or look for work. The main purpose of the expenses must be for the well-being and protection of a qualifying person.

Qualified expenses include:

  • Expenses for care provided outside the home. This applies if the qualifying person regularly spends at least eight hours each day in your home.

If the qualifying person receives the care in a dependent-care center, the center must comply with all relevant state and local laws. A dependent-care center is one that cares for more than six people for a fee.

  • Expenses for in-home care. This includes expenses for:
    • Cooking
    • Light housework related to the qualifying individual’s care
    • The care itself
  • Gross wages paid for qualified services, plus your portion of:
    • Social Security
    • Medicare
    • Federal unemployment taxes
    • Other payroll taxes paid on the wages
    • Meals and lodging for the employee providing the services

These expenses don’t qualify for the child and dependent care credit:

  • Transportation costs to and from the childcare facility
  • Overnight camp expenses
  • Expenses for the education of a child in kindergarten or higher
  • Expenses for chauffeur or gardening services

The cost of before- or after-school programs might qualify if the program is for the care of the child. Education costs below kindergarten qualify if you can’t separate those costs from the cost of care. This includes nursery school.

  child careCalculating the credit

The credit is equal to 20%-35% of qualified expenses. The percentage you can deduct depends on your adjusted gross income (AGI). The maximum amount of qualified expenses you’re allowed to calculate the credit is:

  • $3,000 for one qualifying person
  • $6,000 for two or more qualifying persons

Complete Form 2441: Child and Dependent Care Expenses and attach it to your Form 1040 to claim the credit. For more details,  check out KP Tax Service. It’s mom owned and ran. With over a decade of experience.

FOR BABYSITTER/NANNYS HOUSEKEEPERS I’ll share more details on how to file your taxes and keep your business legal next week. In the mean time, here’s HOW to file your taxes-> READ THIS- HERE

www.bankrate.com/finance/taxes/avoi…

www.4nannytaxes.com/faq/

Hope this helps!

Kelle, QC Supermom

Client List: Ms.Nila of Candy With A Twist

Candy With a Twist is an online sweets boutique that specializes in custom candy designs and one of a kind edible favors and gift items.

Not your ordinary Marshmallow. Candy With A Twist brings you an American classic with a twist! Shipping year round & Nationwide!

Not your ordinary Marshmallow. Candy With A Twist brings you an American classic with a twist! Shipping year round & Nationwide!

At Candy With a Twist we are passionate about all things SWEET! We are innovative in our design process as we are the company that started the personalized marshmallow trend! Whether you are looking for a hostess gift or really unique favors for your child’s birthday celebration we are your one stop shop for creative ideas! nila

We worked on 3 HUGE projects together including the DNC in Charlotte, A  cake pop project for a big time NYC perfume and a  yummy 12,00  piece marshmallow order. And now, I’m so proud to call her a friend now after her big move up North.

Nila continues to create amazing works of art and enjoy the life of being a mom.

This dress was made this ensemble entirely out of Candy! YUM!

This dress was made this ensemble entirely out of Candy! YUM!

Today she has the sweetest thang’ money could never buy…….  Lil Miss Milan! Milan- Candy With A TwistI’m so ready to plow her in kisses on that tiny neck of hers. More on Nila, The Candy Artist here,

and here.

xmasHands down, Nila has been the sweetest person to work with! Should you find yourself needing to show off a new product, birthday, celebration or just a fun event, contact Candy With A Twist!

Candy With a Twist is online. Contact her today:

FAQ here!

Contact information here!

Special event services here!

Product info here!

Something else sweet to savor! (It’s not Nilas, but it was to creative not to share!)

Goodbye Homeschool; Hello Charter School

I hope no one dares try to put me in a box. Although I support homeschooling 100%; I do what’s best for my family. As you should do for yours.

HoooRay! The girls are leaving homeschool!!!! Yup, you heard it hear! Their home schooled days are officially behind them. Hoooray!!!!  (yes, I’m  excited, can you tell?)

School days coming

After researching their perspective schools and visiting the campuses, made me want to attend high school all over again.

She said that her phone will be her best friend.

She said that her phone will be her best friend.

I remember when we took them out of public school like it was yesterday. It was horrible and no one was on our child’s side.

One daughter was bullied and bored. Every day she would weep. the children teased her because she wanted to learn, and the teachers ignored her because she kept asking for more work.

Even after numerous trips to the

Entrepreneur High School -DR Potts

Entrepreneur High School -DR Potts

school to discuss my concerns with the teacher, principal and even guidance counselor, nothing worked long term and it started to get old really quick. My other daughter was just restless. She got to a point where she felt like an insignificant number. We felt that the teachers were on the same level as her classmates. Things got way too unruly for us and yes, it was right up her alley.  We had to make changes before they became a habit. So I went to the placement center and it seemed like they gave me very little options. I had no options but to keep them with me at home. Who better right? I could help them prepare for life. FAST FORWARDING—the girls have their own business ( Cassie Sweetz  and The Big Sister ) and both are well involved in the community.

Culinary teacher  and uniformSo, I think it’s fair to say home school worked from them. Now they need something more. Something, that I can’t give them. More social skills with their peers, a more consistent study into college (should they choose to go), prom*, a break from each other; I’m not sure, but this decision feels right.

I’m sending them to  Entrepreneur High School and Kennedy Charter (on the campus of Johnson C.Smith University) both excellent choices for my girls. I have weighed the pros and cons and decided that they would benefit est at the perspective charter schools. 

If you need help navigating this big decision start some where. Ask yourself what’s best for your child. Can you give it to them? The answer will come. What I don’t want you to do is get lost in the education shuffle. I feel sorry for this mom. She should not be punished for wanting better for her son! Free Tonya McDowell!

I think both daughters will do just fine!

Ten Things to Look for In a School

10 Things Colleges Look for in a High-School Student

Read more on FamilyEducation: http://school.familyeducation.com/college-prep/high-school/56210.html#ixzz3AqJZWfVs

Operation Mom; from Nurturer to Coach

mamaI am a blessed woman. I have 9 children, From 15 months to 20 years old. For each of them I’m a different mom. Based on where they are in development, I meet their needs differently.

Dr feelGoodNurturer- My 15 month old   I’m very attentive, nurturing and act as a human bottle and jumping gym to him. I still wipe his nose and change his diaper. This age they are the cutest.I can dress him in whatever I want to with out any back talk. This part is indescribably beautiful and awful all at the same time.

 

 Instructor -My 3, 4, and 6 year old

I’m teaching and reinforcing the rules and introducing new ones. My main job is to start building their self confidence and other essential character traits.For instance the Fruit Of The Spirits, is a great source to use as a model. Right now is important because they still soak up anything and everything.I’m not wiping their nose as regularly,cleaning up all their mess or changing their diaper, But I’m directing them and offering just a little less help.DIGITAL CAMERA

The coach – the 13,14,and 15 year old

An exciting time for all!

These are the girls in the family. Luckily, boys aren’t the main thing on their mind right now! They are still learning about their body, eating to live, what it means to be a girl today, the hierarchy of our family ( I make sure they understand that they have a voice,but because I’m NOT their friend – they must remain in control of their emotions) exploring their God given gifts as sufficiency options and how to do their chores better, To me, this is the most expensive time as they are more into their looks. As they move toward more independence, I still support and protect them. At this point, heck no, I’m not clean up their mess!

The girls with their cousin, Rissa Roo during a night on the town.

The girls with their cousin, Rissa Roo during a night on the town.

The consultant- My 20 year old

This can be an overwhelming time! But if I’ve done pretty well in previous stages, this should be less stressful. My son is in his 2nd year of college,new relationships emerge between us. He still needs me. Just less.

He still makes messes. Just different types. I instruct less and just listen more.Yes, it’s very hard when he gets supper excited about his “Girl flavor of the month” or other possible,weekend choices. But with a GPA of 3.5, I gotta kick him some slack.

My 1st and last born on the campus of Hampton University.

My 1st and last born on the campus of Hampton University.

You’ll find that the phases of parenthood aren’t entirely measurable or scientific. The phases overlap each other; one phase begins long before the previous phase passes completely. And different children will demand differing degrees of flexibility in moving from one phase to the next.

At the end of the day, always do your best!

Wednesday Wow! It’s Easy To Be A Fool!

It is SO Easy to be a FOOL!

Tuesday morning, my daughters and I were talking about foolishness. I was trying to explain to them that it’s easy to be a fool and that being wise and productive requires more effort. Like many moms, one of my biggest fears for my children is that they will fall in mainstream society and fail to recover.

fool

My daughters are 13 and 14, so they pretty much know right from wrong, but they are entering that ring pass not “pushing stage.” So, as we rode down the lovely streets of Charlotte, one of them asked why their dad is so hard on them….and Boy did I let them have the answer.

The first thing out my mouth was, “Being a Fool is Easy!” If your dad didn’t love you, he would not be here, or correcting you. His delivery maybe off, but he is valid in what he’s telling you. If you listen, you might learn something. Why be sugar coated? That’s unrealistic. In the real world when you are given watered down responses it weakens you. I want you to be mentally prepared for any challenge, may it be physically, mentally, socially, nutritionally, educationally, environmentally, or spiritually.”

a fool.

Man, I was on a roll.”The point of it all was to get them to see that anything worth having deserves both mental and physical effort. I went on to say chanting,  “It’s -Too- EASY- to – be- a -Fool!  You can literally wake up, and not do a thing to achieve it. I don’t want ya’ll to be a fool so let your skin thicken up and keep it moving.”

I was on a roll. I think I talked the entire way to our destination and back. But it paid off. As soon as we got home, they apologized to their dad and we haven’t had any problems yet. It just goes to show you that a teaching moment an happen at any time. For our children to know, we must take time, over and over again to teach and remind them. It’s not always easy, and you’ll want to quit but don’t sell yourself or them short. Why? It’s Too Easy To Be A  Fool.

The EOG test scores came in

NC gives students end-of-grade test.It allows them to measure their educational growth for the current school year. Only my daughters took them this year. With my kids, the results are always the same! One does well, and the other one well…..long story short- it t’aint what it should be!

Soooooooo- today post will be  short and sweet. Pray for my child that I don’t hurt her tonight. The end, good night!