Is dressing well worth the cost?

With the arrival of the first-ever Global Kids Fashion Week a few months ago, high-end designer clothing has found a new limelight. Now, fashion industry titans like Marc Jacobs, Paul Smith, Stella McCartney, Burberry, and Tommy Hilfiger are making miniature versions of their stylish high-end pieces for little fashionistas to wear everywhere from special events to high street, and celeb kids like Suri Cruise, Romeo Beckham, Zahara Jolie-Pitt, and Jayden and Willow Smith are doing just that.

But luxury designer clothing comes at an expensive price, which begs the question: is dressing smart worth the cost—especially for kids? After all, trends are updated each season, and kids tend to outgrow their clothes even before new looks hit the runways. While it’s true that dressing the entire family in designer threads on a regular basis is far from financially practical, there are some special occasions that just may warrant dressing up in those high-end pieces.

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The Most Popular Ways to Stash Money

For years and years, people have stashed money just about everywhere.  Every now and then, you hear about someone who picked up an item at a garage sale and found cash inside, or even people who found buried treasure from centuries ago.  Each family and generation has had a different way to stash money, Editions TV with Terry Bradshaw has looked at the variety of ways that people have done it over time, from keeping the money at home in a safe place, to stashing it overseas to avoid the prying eyes of the IRS.  

Keeping it at Home

Believe it or not, but almost 40% of Americans still keep money hidden in their homes.  There are a lot of reasons why (usually convenience), but there still is a prevalent distrust of banks and government, especially after the financial crisis of 2007.  The Editions TV Show looks at why people still keep money at home for a variety of reasons, like the people who are unable to get a bank account, especially in border towns across the United States.  Other people are unable to get a simple checking account because they have poor credit or a history of bouncing checks. 

At home, many people still keep money under their mattresses, hidden in the closet, or even in the cookie jar.  There are entire websites devoted to ways to hide money in various household objects.  Many people also use safes to store money in their home. 

In the Bank with Editions TV

One of the most common ways that people stash money is in the bank.  Even though many Americans do hide money at home, many also have bank accounts.  An easy way to stash money at the bank is to put it in a checking or savings account.  With a checking account, you can easily access the money any time.  With a savings account, you can earn interest on your money, so it can grow over time even though it is stashed away from you. 

The great thing about saving money in a bank is that banks are FDIC insured.  Even though some people do distrust the government, nobody has ever lost FDIC insured funds since the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was setup during the Great Depression.  The whole premise of the FDIC is to give consumers confidence that their money will be safe, since the Great Depression saw many banks close and people lose their life savings. 

Invested in the Stock Market

Many people keep their cash invested in what is called Money Market funds.  These funds are very similar to a bank savings account, except that they are not FDIC insured and they are offered by investment companies.  The funds trade on the stock market just like stocks or mutual funds, except their primary assets are bonds and they attempt to keep the fund worth exactly $1.  That is how they work like a savings account.  However, these funds typically pay higher interest rates than bank savings accounts, and that is why investors sometimes prefer them.  Plus, if the investor is over the FDIC limit for insurance, some companies will take out private insurance on their money market funds just to make sure that they don’t lose value. 

The Editions Television series has looked at places to stash cash, like money market funds, and you may find it interesting to see how they work and why investors choose them. 

Overseas

Finally, very wealthy investors have opted to stash their cash overseas for years.  In fact, many big companies, like Apple and Google, still do the same thing, mainly because they don’t want to pay taxes on the money.  When investors bring their cash from overseas into the United States, they are no subject to US Tax laws.  That is why many rich individuals tend to stash their cash in tax friendly places like the Caribbean and Switzerland.  Many of these places are known for their banking secrecy, as well as their ability to cater to US clients who wish to avoid US tax law.

Child Identity Theft

It’s been nearly twenty years since Sandra Bullock starred in a little movie called The Net that foreshadowed the threats of identity theft on society.  Ok, perhaps that movie took it to the extreme, but it can cause a lot of agony regardless.  As of last year, the average victim of ID theft is spending over 40 hours to resolve the situation.  That is a full week or work!  The worst part is that an individual can take all of the necessary precautions, but due to corporate negligance their information is still out there for the taking.  Companies like American Express, various national retailers, and banks are laxed in corporate internet security, allowing their customers information to be tapped like a keg at a frat party.  The worst part is that nearly 50% of all victims are unaware that their indentity has been stolen.  How often do you check your credit card statements? Your bank statements? Credit reports?  Chances are that you don’t do it often enough.

What’s even more unfortunate is that our children aren’t even safe from identity theft.  In 2003 alone, over 6,000 reports were filed for indentity theft of a minor.  Last year, that number more than tripled to over 19,000 cases.  Essentially, the person stealing the identity takes the childs social security number and uses it to apply for loans, credit cards, or even government assistance.  Often times the cases go unnoticed until the child is much older and begin receiving collection calls, or possibly not until they reach adulthood.  This can and had led to issues with applying for first time credit cards, car insurance, student or car loans.  A recent third party study  on child identity theft initiated by Equifax found that over 80% of parents are unaware that this type of identity theft even exists.  For the study, a sample scan was performed on 40,000 minors, and 10% of those sampled were found to have been victims of some form of identity theft involving the illegal use of their social security numbers.  To further illustrate the issue, 84% of the parents surveyed indicated that they are either only somewhat familiar, or totally unfamiliar with these issues.

Simple tips for protecting yourself against identity theft are as simple as committing passwords to memory, using caution when shopping online, and shredding important documents before discarding them.  However, the problem with identity theft protection for children still persists.  The number one prevention against child identity theft is awareness.  Several states like California, Connecticut, and Colorado have mandated credit checks on foster children prior to adoption.  Unfortunately, because their information is often pass on through adoption records they are easy targets for identity theft.  The state of Maryland has taken further precautions to protect all children.  The Maryland Child Identity Lock bill will allow parents to freeze the credit of all minors under their supervision.  Unfortunately the major credit agencies don’t generate routine credit reports for minors under the age of eighteen, making visibility more difficult.  Though they are offering voluntary premium services for parents to enroll that will allow them to track things like the usage of their childs social security numbers.