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The Economy Issue. Yes we can – feel better about our finances.

The media never saw the recession coming, eh? Well, not to be obnoxious, but Babble did. Back in March, we ran Melissa Rayworth’s “New Economics of Parenthood,” which warned that our generation was living on credit and that there would be hell to pay.

And here we are. Unemployment, foreclosures, loss of health care: it’s a bleak time financially speaking. So let’s talk about it.

Babble went to the playground and got financial advice from kids. (Big surprise: they think we should buy less coffee.) We visited three families: a well-off Connecticut family, a working-class Nebraska clan, and a middle-class Georgia household, to photograph them and see how the economy is affecting them in little ways (no more shopping at Whole Foods) to big (moving in with the folks).

We also have some fun, original tips for saving money and for handling college funds (if you’re lucky enough to have one of those). And we have great essays by Nan Mooney, who’s raising her toddler in an austere, toy-free environment, and by Shelley Abreu, who did everything right financially but now finds herself broke and supporting three generations of her family.

AND be sure to check out our upcoming Gift Guide, which has a million cheap gift suggestions, plus a few hilarious selections in the “What recession?” category. Because nobody may be buying Bugaboo rims these days, but we can all enjoy gawking at them.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Financial Advice from Kids

By Brett Berk

No more candy, coffee or child labor laws.

Babble Best: Piggy Banks

Jeanne Sager

Beat the recession with our five favorite kid ATMs.

Bad Parent: The Minimalist

By Nan Mooney

Is my anti-materialism hurting my child?

Scenes from a Recession

By Brett Berk

Three families, three classes, one financial crisis.

3 Most Common Mistakes: Saving for College

By The Babble Editors

Expert advice for panic-free saving.

Stuck in the Middle

By Shelley Abreu

There are three generations in my house – and I’m supporting them all.

15 Money-Saving Tips

By Babble Staff

How to replace your expensive habits with cheap ones.

FROM OUR ARCHIVES

The New Economics of Parenting

By Melissa Rayworth

We’re saving less and spending more – much more.

Baby vs. Career

By Meg Wolitzer

The Ten-Year Nap‘s author on whether to work or stay home.

You Can Buy Love (and Should)

By Logan Hill

Why I’m happy to pay for help.

Seven Simple Family Meals

By Gillian Clark

The single-mom chef’s best recipes for busy families.

10 Tax Tips

By Heather Cassell

What your family needs to know about the new credits.

Milk Money

By Kate Tuttle

Is breastfeeding really cheaper than formula? Not always.

Health Care

By Kim Mance

Which candidate’s plan is better for our kids?

Let’s Make a Deal

By Keri Fisher

I bribe my kids to do everything.

Film Review: Millions

By Gwynne Watkins

A gorgeous family film full of inarguable child’s logic.

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