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Family Money

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You work hard for the money, but it always seems there is never enough cash left over at the end of the month once all the bills are paid. Having a budget is key to your financial success. Once you know how much your bills are and how much you take home, you can set aside money for savings and weekly treats. Do what I do and build luxuries into your budget that allow you to pamper yourself throughout the month.

Make budgeting a game. See who can save more – save your loose change in a jar for an extra special treat or put aside $5 bills in a vacation fund. Clip coupons and take advantage of BOGO and kids eat free meal deals.

Know what you can afford. Give yourself a weekly cash slush fund and know when you've spent your allowance it's gone. My husband and I set aside $80 a week for coffees, lunches out, donations and other random stuff that comes up during the week.

It's not all or nothing. Instead of buying a latte everyday, treat yourself on Monday morning to jump start your week or on Friday to celebrate making it through another week! Go for shellac nails once a month instead of weekly manicures. If Friday night is pizza night, grab a few frozen pizzas and heat them up instead of ordering delivery. You'll be saving yourself all those tips, too!

A little change in your routine will "keep the change" in your wallet.

Nikki Ducas is a Fredericksburg mom teaching her 4 year-old son how to make financially savvy money decisions.

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Pouches' Community Corner

This month Pouches learned about a very important resource for families who have lost loved ones to sudden tragedy, an organization called LLOST.

keepsake box

The foundation has helped 44 hospitals in 22 states through their Treasured Memories program. The program sends nurses to bereavement training, and provides or supplements the $55 memory boxes that include clothes, booties, handknot blankets, pictures, foot prints, hand prints, clipped hair and other mementos.

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