The Dad Tax Ep 2 The Side Hustle FB

The Side Hustles Episode

Inflation is at its highest level ever. Gas prices are also higher than ever before. The cost of food and other items needed in your home has gotten expensive.  Our dollar doesn’t go as far as it used to today.

What’s a dad to do?

In Episode 2 we talk about side hustles. How can you make a few extra dollars every week with minimal impact on your family time and home life?

I talk about a few of my side hustles as well as some other popular options like Uber Eats.

I do some affiliate marketing, domain flipping, and purchase dividend-paying stocks.

What other side hustles would you add?

Here is the microphone I mentioned in the podcast – ATR2100x Microphone Kit

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When I was about 10 years old, I had a paper route. Now, you can’t do that these days, there’s not allowed anymore. But when I was 10, it was actually encouraged for my age group to have a paper. So I’d get on my bike, I’d go to the neighboring apartment community. And I delivered papers to I don’t know how many people’s, how many people but it was a significant number of few dozen. And I would also have to go and collect the payment for those papers every week in some paid some didn’t. Although, I guess I had a collections job at the tender age of 10. And then the Sunday papers, the Sunday papers used to be massive and heavy, and you’d have to put them together, they would just drop off a pile, you’d put them together and you deliver. It was a tough job for a 10 year old, but I did it and then did this job for months until somebody smashed out the windows and one of the buildings that I delivered to, and they blamed a 10 year old paperboy the paper fired me. I couldn’t clicked on employment because I was only 10. And I didn’t work again until I was 16. I had to find other ways to make money. In the meantime, my family didn’t have a lot of money. I did things like sell baseball cards, run errands for people, and so forth until I was 16 and got my first real job where I paid taxes and worked for 30 to 40 hours a week while I was in high school. Can’t do that these days, you got to find different ways to make money as a kid, if at all allowance maybe. But it’s an interesting conundrum. How do you make extra money at a time when single income just isn’t cutting it? Welcome to the dad tax podcast, a podcast for dads by dads a podcast for all things, dads, including mental health, fatherhood, challenges, relationships, sports, business, grilling, and more. So put on your white new balances, sit back in your reclining chair. And let’s talk dads. All right. All right. All right. It’s episode two of the debt tax podcast. I know you didn’t think we’d make it to episode two. But here we are, we’re recording it. And last week was pretty heavy podcasts talked a lot about men’s mental health and the things going on in the United States. And in some cases around the world. And how men are dealing with it, dads are dealing with it. You know, the focus here is dads. So we’re going to talk about something a little bit later sort of today. And it’s because we have high inflation, gas prices are through the roof and cost of just about everything has gone up tremendously. The topic of today’s podcast is the side hustle, what do we do to make a few extra dollars to try to survive in this economy? I know not everybody needs to do that. But most of us do. Most of us want to find extra streams of income. And they say if you want to become an you know, I’m gonna probably butcher this. But if you want to become a billion a millionaire, sorry, you need to have seven sources of income. And so obviously, we can have seven jobs, that would be insane. So I know people that do two or three jobs. And that’s a lot to manage, especially when you have young kids at home. And I know there are dads that were two jobs while the wife stays at home or there are stay at home dads, and we’ll do a podcast about stay at home dads. In the future. I’m kind of a stay at home dad. And then I’ll explain all that in that podcast in the future. I own a business, but I also have some other sources of income. So the question then is what could be a successful side hustle? What type of thing can I do to possibly earn a few extra dollars during the week to support my family better to put extra gas in a car, you know, maybe take your kids in the family out somewhere someday, or go on a vacation or have a better Christmas or whatever holidays you celebrate.

So all of these things come up throughout the year birthdays, birthdays, anniversaries, all of that comes up throughout the year. What can we do to earn a few dollars so that I’m able to provide better life we’ll say, again, I don’t want I don’t want the sentiment to be that you have to have all this money to have a great life. That’s not true. But things are a little easier when you have a little extra income coming in. And then the second part of the question is how do I have that second or third income without killing myself without having to physically you know, a lot of times those part time jobs are a little more physically meaning in the past, I worked at a FedEx warehouse FedEx facility, not aware also hub part time. And my shift was I think it was two to 7am. And that was after work in a second a full time second shift job. And that job, I hated that job. It was the single worst job I’ve ever had. And I’ve had some pretty tough jobs. I’ve worked in fast food for a while. I’ve worked retail before. I’ve worked other warehouse jobs, that I could not stand that FedEx job, and I quit within three or four months, it was just too much couldn’t couldn’t do it wasn’t sleeping much in the job, but just was miserable the whole time I was there and I probably had one of the easier jobs on the in the facility. I was quality control. So if I saw damaged packages, I put them to the side, fix them, if I could relabeled them whatever I had to do. But I hated it so much, I would actually get on the trucks and help them unload the trucks just so I could get out of there earlier. And I don’t know, maybe it was because it was a second job, I don’t really know. However, after that I got a second job, part time job in computer repair. The pay was less, but I liked the job. It was also in the morning, before I went to my second shift job. I liked that job. I did not stay there long, either. For various reasons. I moved on, and started my own business eventually. But those jobs were to supplement my income. That’s why they were there. I was on a probationary period at my full time job. And so those jobs were there to supplement my income. I’ve worked retail I worked at Old Navy for a few months and did not like that job. I was the only I think the only male there. What made it worse is I was probably late 20s, early 30s At the time, and it was all college age girls. And I know what your dad’s thinking, No, I did not enjoy it. It’s not fun. It was extremely boring. Still, FedEx is still my least favorite job of all time. So I didn’t last there alone either. And so the common thread there is those jobs, while maybe mentally are not that exhausting, physically, they’re exhausting. And usually that’s what happens when you have a second job, it’s usually not something you’d like to do, some of us get lucky and we can I get a job that we’d like to do part time job that we’d like to do. So in the case of the computer system. To computer job, computer, it was mostly computer repair job. And I was mostly fixing Apple, which was great, because I wasn’t that familiar with apple at the time. Now my company, we do support Apple computers, because I am familiar with it. So to that, in that respect, it was helpful. But all these jobs, the common thread, again, they were physically demanding. And you know, after working eight plus hours every day at another job, didn’t didn’t want to do it. The other job was a call center job, not physically demanding, except that you are sitting all day that can be that can be very bad for your health. But it was mentally exhausting. And so maybe combine the two and you have a problem. So so how can you make money without killing yourself? How can you do that? What is the what are side hustles that will work. So I know some people do some network marketing, or you might hear it referred to as pyramid schemes. Some companies are a little more respectful than others. And I did do Beachbody before so that was Shakeology, you may be familiar with it, and p90x and things like that. They didn’t really have much success with it. Not much of a salesperson, I guess. So that’s another thing. Do you know, some of us are not good at sales. So we don’t want to do that. But network marketing could work if you’re good at sales. If you really work if you’re good at sales. I know someone who does network marketing for a wine clean wine company, I forget the name of the company now.

They do quite well. I know people that do it for Send Out Cards. And I actually did sign up for Send Out Cards for a little while. And they do quite well. I didn’t do well with it. And again, it’s probably because I didn’t have my heart in it. So I found a few things that I’ve that I have interested in and have relative some success with. The first one is affiliate marketing. So how does that work? You create links. You sign up for programs. Let’s start with that you sign up for a program so I’m going to use Google Adsense as the one I one of the ones that I use. And I use AdSense because I don’t have to pay can choose what I want to put on the on the website or what I want to send. And it’s mostly on websites, I don’t have to pick and choose, I just put the code in the website and it automatically generates the ads. And that’s what affiliate marketing is that you’re putting links on a website, or depending on what the program is, you might be sending links to people. Amazon has a common one doesn’t pay as well as others, but it is an easier one to manage. And I do do Amazon affiliate marketing. So I’ll get to that in a moment. So the AdSense is really as you go, you sign up, if you have a website that you have out there. You sign up, you and you create, they approve you based on your website. content, so you can’t have like a spammy website, it’s got to be a real website. So it could be a blog, you could be writing about something. And some blogging could be another source of income. If your blog and your social media becomes popular, then you become a, an influencer, you may actually get paid to advertise certain products on you know, lately, it’s Tik Tok, or Instagram reels and things like that. That’s a way to make some income. You have to have some time to do that blogging is not an easy job. You could potentially do tick tock and take off depending on your content. I know there’s there’s a tick tock I follow. It’s just him and his his his dog Doberman Pinscher dog, and he’s doing quite well, he’s doing great with it. You have to raise the dog, though you have to home train the dog, you have to train the dog to do the things that he does. And you have to have the time to do it. So yes, it still can be exhausting. But if you enjoy doing it, as this person obviously does, then you can make some money with it. So the back to the affiliate marketing, or the in this case to AdSense for now. So he put the code on your website in key spots. So you know, you read 1000 1000 word blog, you put it in a couple spots during the blog, somebody clicks on it. And I’ve had some success with that, you know, a few $100 a year. I probably make from that. And the other one, the other two things I’m doing. I mentioned already Amazon affiliate marketing that I’ve had more success with. And the reason I’m more successful that is I do reviews of certain products, put the links back to those products for Amazon, you have to sign up for the affiliate program, you put the links in, and people come to your blog and click on those links. But even better than that is if somebody I always get asked, you know, what’s a good computer or what’s a good microphone I use, I have this microphone. This microphone. I love this microphone, I actually went and I’ll put a link to it in the podcast notes. But it’s a an ATR 2100, I broke the first one I had somebody gave it to me as a gift. I went and bought another one, even though there’s newer mics out there now for about the same price. I bought another ATR 220 100 Because I’m sorry, ATR 2100. Because I enjoy that microphone. I think it sounds good. And I like using it. I’ve had other microphones and they sound like garbage. So I’ll put a link, of course, it’ll be my Amazon affiliate link. So you know, go click on it and help me earn a few more dollars. But people ask me for recommendations, so I’ll send them to Amazon links and networks, that works great. I’ve made more money in Amazon in one month than I’ve done in ants, AdSense all year. So that’s another way to go. And Amazon almost always has what people are looking for. So somebody says, hey, I need a laptop. I do work with distributors, I go to the distributor, and there’s a wait for laptops. So I’ll go to Amazon and say, Well, here’s the laptop and you can get, you know, in a couple days. Here’s the link. I made more money in Amazon in the month of April, I think than I did on AdSense or last year. So that’s another good way to make money. Now the third way this is a little bit just some might say controversial, I don’t think it is, but some might think it is.

And that is domain flipping. I take domains, I look for domains. So I’m going to talk about the most recent one I sold. I had a rival dad’s dot com. And then I don’t remember where if I found that and I did initially plan on using it. And I changed my mind and decided I wasn’t going to use it. Because I just don’t have the time I have I don’t know of my own sites is probably half a dozen up that I have to manage. Including the dad tax I have to manage it. It takes time it takes you know, just the maintenance of the website takes time. So factor all of that in if you’re going to do website if you’re going to do any affiliate marketing, you need to have time to manage the website content. Not all of my websites do affiliate marketing, the dad tax does and there’s another affiliate A review site that I use. Anyway, so you buy a domain, like I said, I bought rival dad’s dot com, I initially was going to use it, I changed my mind you, here’s the trick, you have to find something that you think could be high value. Like rival, I said, Well, that’s pretty cool domain name is two words. And it’s got its, you know, you see posts all the time, if you’re in dad forums, that dad, Facebook groups, or whatever, you see people talking about rival dads all the time. So, so cool, I’ll buy that domain. And initially, I had planned on doing something around, you know, Yankees versus Red Sox, or Green Bay versus Chicago or stuff like that. And I was that was going, that was a podcast idea. And I was going to do that. And I changed my mind, just don’t have the time. And so I sold. So I bought the domain originally for $12 Sold it for 600. And this is domain flipping. So I probably have about a dozen or so domains right now, all valued at around somewhere between 750 and 2000, I think the highest one is 2000. That’s the value that the appraisal that was put on it. So I still I’m working on selling all of them. So you have to the trick is to find a domain that you think could be a value. And then flipping it. So you buy it for $12, which is about average price for I usually only stick But you could go through dozens and dozens of domain extensions. Now top level domains are called so dotnet is is the most popular, those were some of the more some of the original ones. Now there are dozens and dozens and dozens of them that are out there. And so you find when it’s high value, usually high value means either either one or two words, you know, real words. Or if you could get like a three or four letter domain, those are considered high value as well. So I have some domains out there for sale. And rival dads is the one that most recently sold $600. From a $12 investment, it’s pretty good return. Now, sometimes you’ll go and you’ll search for domains, and they’ll say that, that it’s a premium domain, and they’ll say they want you know, 1000s of dollars for it, then it’s not worth it. Because you’re probably not going to get that money back. Not like you would a $12 a year investment not a big deal. You know, $10,000 initial investment could be a big deal for you. And unless you plan to use it for something that you know will make you more than $10,000. It’s not really worth it. So I say stay away from now that $10,000 or whatever it is, that’s an initial investment. After that, they charge you the normal yearly domain rate, which is somewhere between usually between 12 and $15, depending on the top level domain extension. So dot coms, I think around 18 year now, depending on where you buy them from. So those are the things I do now for a little bit extra income. Among other things, I occasionally do build websites. That was a primary business model a few years ago, not anymore. My primary business model is it. I call it proactive it we try to do everything before anything happens. Which is essentially a managed service provider. That’s the primary business model. I still occasionally build a website here and there if I have the time, because it is time consuming for me. And so what are some other things that you could do? Well, you know, if you listen to Gary Vaynerchuk, Gary Vee, you could buy and sell sports memorabilia, baseball cards is the big thing for him. But sports memorabilia. You know if you happen to catch, you know, the guy that caught Todd Brady Tom Brady’s what they thought was going to be his last touchdown ever because he said he was going to retire and then sold it. I don’t remember what it was. I think it was half a million dollars.

Unfortunately, Tom Brady then said he wasn’t he was going to come back. And I think that forfeited the sale or he had to give the money. I don’t remember what it was. But anyway, sports memorabilia could be worth something you don’t have out there GT rookie card here. I could flip it. I paid almost nothing for it. I could probably sell it for one or $200. Now I think I used to do that a lot more. I don’t anymore. I had 10s of 1000s of cards and I had some very high value cards. But they disappeared in a move many years ago. And I just never got back into it after that. But that’s another avenue. In sports memorabilia seems to be growing, not just the cards, but all types of sports memorabilia people collect when they knocked down Yankee Stadium the Oakland stadium would put up the new one people collected stuff from the from Yankee Stadium. Could that sell today probably. The Aaron judge bobblehead that I got a Jedi Knight Judge bobblehead from I think it was pre COVID. So I’ve seen them on there was a giveaway for the first so many 1000s of people in Yankee Stadium one night. And I see them on eBay, eBay now going anywhere between 60 and $100. You know, no investment, initial investment other than going to Yankee game, you’re probably gonna go to anyway. And you could turn it around and make $100 on it. sports memorabilia. I see people that will do auto detailing on the side, there’s a gentleman down the street from me that does auto detailing on the side. And he picks charges, I think 100 and something dollars per car, depending on what how bad it is, and what kind of car it is. And he does this on his spare time after hours after work or on the weekends. And you always see more cars up there all the time. So he’s making some money with that. Here’s the side hustle that I sometimes partaken. And it’s easier than you might think. So, stocks. The key here is don’t become a stock investor unless it’s really something you want to delve into deeply. Because it takes a lot of research a lot of time, a lot of energy. And you have to know how financial markets work. And I really don’t have the time or energy to or desire to want to do that. What I do know is that dividend stocks are great investment vehicles. So I’m going to use one that I that I have purchased some of in the past. And Microsoft, Microsoft is reasonably priced when you compare it to other stocks like Apple, Amazon, Google, things like that. Tesla, dividend stocks simply mean, they pay a dividend and usually quarterly for you to own that stock. So if you purchase, you know, 100 shares of Microsoft, you then get paid quarterly to just to hold that stock, and then the value of that stock goes up. You don’t have to pay. By the way, seek a tax professional, don’t take tax advice from me, but you don’t have to pay taxes until you sell those stocks. And that so that, you know, there’s the benefit in doing that. Now, let’s say you say you don’t want to buy Microsoft, I don’t know what Microsoft stock is today. But let’s say you don’t want to buy Microsoft, you don’t like Microsoft. So it’s actually up to almost 245. Almost today, I didn’t pay that much for Microsoft ticket paid one something when I bought it. You want Amazon. And so let’s say Amazon stock is see Amazon was actually trading at 140 did do a split strike Google, one of them is still really high, I don’t remember who it was. So you you you want to buy this expensive stock. So Google is 2148 92. Right now $2,140.92 a share. But you don’t have $2,000 to invest in Google stock in one stock. That is well, you can get an app called stash and purchase. So on it always went to Google stock. So then you don’t own a full share your own on it, I was worth and you still make. If it goes up 1%, you make 1% If it goes down 1%, you lose 1%. If they pay a dividend, you still get whatever percentage of one share you own in dividends. So if they pay $1 dividend you would get and you purchase 10% of a share, you would get 10 cents. Doesn’t sound like a lot. But as you purchase over time, you will make some money and don’t have to do anything is passive income dividends. Another way to take or to make some money is to take online surveys.

haven’t really tried doing this, I think I may have done one or two in the past you but you could get paid you can earn up to you can earn a few dollars per survey, I don’t know what the the actual dollar amount. So you’d have to do a lot of surveys in order to make some money. And the problem that I found with this is that sometimes those surveys include ads, and it gets to be annoying. And you know, trying to control the amount of ads. It’s really difficult to manage sometimes. So if you could find a good service site that will pay, that’s great. Do that. No other way to earn some income on the side. Some people do UberEATS DoorDash. And what is the other one called? I don’t remember what it’s called right now. But there’s a few of them. So Uber Eats DoorDash probably two of the more well known ones. And this is a great service. So there’s been a lot of talk about how unsafe Uber and Lyft can be because you don’t you don’t know who you’re letting in your car. And I get that. So if you do Uber Eats, you’re not letting anybody in your car. Your car’s gonna smell like food at the end of the day. But you could clean that out and make a few dollars delivering Uber Eats or DoorDash now where that becomes a problem only it could become a problem is, you know, you got to try to stay in your geographical area. So if you’re not in an area with a higher population with a lot of restaurants, you’re probably not going to do that well. But you also got to consider the wear and tear on your car gas is, you know, in some areas now is over $5 a gallon. So these are all the things you have to consider when you’re doing Uber Eats. So try to stay geographically close to where you are, if you can, or pick an area and just stay in that area for the night, or the day doing some deliveries and make some money. Some people do quite well with UberEATS and DoorDash. And other services, others do not. So it really depends on the timing of the day. And the location. If you’re not in a more popular more populated area, with a lot of restaurants, you’re probably not going to do too well. So you know, take that for what it’s worth, it’s not hard to sign up, you just have to show that you have a reliable car, I think insurance, obviously and a valid driver’s license. So those are some ways some other ways to make money. Another way you could be a co an umpire. So for my, my son plays baseball, and the umpires make anywhere between 50 and $75. A game a lot of games are doubleheader. So now that you’re making now you’re making anywhere between 100 and $150, just to a baseball game, or two, depending on the day. So you’re out there for four hours make $150 You know, that’s a little less than $40 an hour, that’s not bad at all, if you find the right League, do that, you know, do three, four games a week, you’re making a couple $100 That it’s cash, almost always cash in your pocket. So go up in game got to know the game, obviously. And I’m sure you know soccer and hockey and football are probably similar in nature, you get paid to up or ref a game. Basketball was another one. So you go do that and make a few extra bucks. And you get to enjoy the game day at a game to got to wear a lot of gear and it could get hot. But still, it’s fun, get to maybe do a little coaching on the side. Now here’s one I’m considering and sort of started the process. And I’ll tell you, you have to have a you have to have energy, I guess it really depends. So writing an ebook, on I have a few ebooks out there. But I only have one on Amazon in the one and Amazon was put there just to see how the self publishing process works because I am planning to write some legitimate books. So the one on Amazon is not really a book, it’s something I put together to try to generate an email list. Many years ago, I took it made it a PDF, put it on Amazon created an ebook, and actually sold one. And I don’t even know how that happened. But I sold one. I got it. I have it on Amazon for $1. So I get 35 cents every time it’s sold. So you know if I can get a couple million of my closest friends to go there and buy it. That’d be spectacular. Just look for me on Amazon, Scott Gombar. But I’ve been asked to author a book on on dads haven’t gotten around to that really, I’d write a lot of blogs, but not so much on on the book end for that. And I am also started writing a book on social engineering, I guess, just the short story. It’s not exactly that, but it’s sort of that. And it’s really a book about how to protect yourself against social engineering scams and all the different ones that are out there and so forth. And so that’s my goal is to put that on Amazon, I wanted to get it done by the end of the year, but I had just have not worked on it in a few months. But this is another way you can make money. You don’t have to write a big book, that’s this book I’m planning on being pretty large book.

You could write a smaller book and put it on Amazon and make a little bit of money. There are people that I know I know someone who wrote a LinkedIn book a look a book about LinkedIn. And she’s done okay with it. She put it on Amazon as an e book. And I think you can also set up Amazon to have physical books delivered. And she does okay with that. The problem with doing a book on LinkedIn, you’re gonna have to rewrite it every time there’s an update to LinkedIn. It’s a lot of work, but it is something that can be done I guess in a sense, the book I am reading could also be the same issue. So there may be a dad or two book a book or two about dads in the future. I don’t know yet. I’ve thought about writing some fictional books. Probably not really that creative when it comes to that so I don’t know that I could do that. But it’s crossed my mind. This is another way you know sell online workshop. If you are good at something I know people that do workshops on cooking, on SEO, which I could also do. The, by the way, the book on the eBook on Amazon is about SEO, it’s the five things your SEO forgot, and what it’s called, and how it’s costing your business, something like that. I don’t even remember the title see. But you could sell online workshops. If you’re good at a topic, create an online classroom for it, and sell it. So what a lot of people do is they do the initial one live recorded and then put it on Udemy. You can use teachable you can get, you can actually have a free account on teachable. But this is, you know, you could do this at home when the kids are asleep. Spend an hour or two at night recording or writing or whatever. You could do virtual assistant. Somebody’s looking to post stuff to their social media, all the social media platforms, now it’s possible to schedule the posts out, you’re charged to schedule the posts and make a few dollars. Now this is not same as social media manager, a social media manager comes up with content creates the content schedule, the content plans everything out ahead of time. You’re just taking the posts and scheduling them. That’s it. You’re not creating them. You’re not doing anything creative with it, you’re just scheduling that’s what a virtual assistant might do as a virtual system, I take phone calls, they’ll do anything like an office assistant would do really. The other thing I would add probably one more thing for for the dads out there, you could cut grass. So I will tell you in my area of the world Central Connecticut, it took me years to find a reliable landscaper to just cut my grass for the most part, they do mulch every now and again are seeding. But for the most part, they’re just cutting grass and into cleanups fall and spring cleanups. All of which don’t take a lot of knowledge of landscaping, the landscaping stuff, you know, that’s complicated, but cutting grass is not super complicated. And in the years we’ve been in this house, we’ve been here now for 10 years. For probably four or five years, I tried to find a landscaper to do it, to cut the grass clean up in the fall in the spring and put down mulch as needed and seed. And if they didn’t show up, they did a horrible job, I wouldn’t come out and do it a horrible, horrible job of doing it. Or I had another guy told me he he’s not going to do it because he couldn’t get a stand up mower through my gate. The gate wasn’t wide enough. It took me until last year to find someone to do this. And that turned out to be a friend of mine who started a landscaping company. So find a few neighbors who don’t want to take the time to cut their grass, cut the grass for them and make a few dollars. You know, if you find five or six neighbors that winter grass cut every one to two weeks, depending on where you are and how much rain you get. You can make a few $100 every week.

It’s manual labor, but doesn’t take a lot of a lot of brainpower. I used to enjoy cutting the grass and really, it’s about time really at this point. I just don’t have the time to do it. Because I have all these streams of income right. And I record these podcasts and hopefully these podcasts when he doesn’t know the way to make money, start a podcast, find some sponsors and make some money on the sponsorships. I don’t have any sponsors, counting on all the affiliate revenue that might come from the site and maybe one day I’ll get a sponsorship. But that’s another avenue podcast. I’ve got one last bonus for you. Again not a lot of brain power involved long as you have a GPS and a little bit of muscle I guess sign up for amazon flex you can deliver packages with Amazon flex for up to $18 an hour. If you go to a website actually says 18 to $25 an hour but it all depends on I suppose the area and a few of the variables but it isn’t you know somewhat easy way. Again considering wear and tear on your car and gas being what it is. It is a way to maybe make a few extra dollars to help with the bills around the house or plan an extra vacation or plan your your holiday and birthday giving your anniversary givings and things like that. So go out there I’ve listed I don’t know how many different possibilities for side hustles get out there make a few extra dollars because Lord knows we all need it right now. The economy is is inflation is through the roof and everything is just extra rent somewhere. It cost us an extra $460 a month now versus last year to live right now. That that’s insane. That it cost that much but you see it you see it in gas I buy a gallon of milk I can see it. I buy I buy water Poland spring gallons by the K In the price of that is the highest I’ve ever seen. Just to give you some examples, things that are in short demand, you know, baby formula was an issue. Now they’re saying Siracha sauce is a serratia, I think it’s Siracha is going to be short is going to be a supply chain issue with that now, because there’s not enough peppers. So all of these things prices go up. And we’ll make the same amount of money we did last year, the year before, probably still, because of the pandemic, most a lot of us did not get raises, I have not raise my rates in business. So that’s something you know, kind of on the back burner, I don’t want to really do that to my clients, but it may be necessary. So we have to find other ways to supplement our income. And so these are, I don’t know, I think I listed about a dozen or so side hustles I’ll count them up later. And we’ll we’ll include that in the list on the on the website. But these are some ways to make some extra money. So if that is where you’re at and you need to make a few extra dollars, then hopefully you find someone on this list to help you and if you have questions, happy to answer them for you. Go out there and be the dad you know, I know you could be this has been the dad tax podcast hosted at the dad We have blog posts and other cool dad stuff. Go check that out. Find us on social media, we are on Instagram. We have a Facebook group, go check out the Facebook group it’s Dad tax join the group if your dad dads only. We’re going to be starting tick tock and so lots of fun stuff going on. For the dad tax. Of course this podcast and eventually we’ll have guests. So it’s time for your dad joke of the week for people are heading to Hawaii on a plane, a pilot, a lawyer, a priest and a kid. Suddenly the plane starts shaking and begins to go down. Searching around the cabin they find only three parachutes. I have a family and a daughter who’s expecting since the pilot before anyone can stop him he grabs a parachute and jumps off the plane. The lawyer says well I’m the smartest man on earth, so I deserve to live. He also grabs a parachute and jumps off. Now there’s only one parachute left the priest notices this and tells the kid son go ahead and take the last one. I have lived my life. The boy looks around the plane. We can have we can both live. How the precess because the smartest man in the world just jumped out with my backpack. So until next week, enjoy

Transcribed by

STEM is for girls too! A side of confidence boost FB

STEM is for girls too! A side of confidence boost.

STEM is for girls too! A side of confidence boost FB

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link o these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

STEM is for girls too! A side of confidence boost to go along with it.

My youngest child and by most accounts the diva of the family is finishing up her second-grade year. Earlier in the year, she announced her love for art and science. The art we’ve known about for some time and have encouraged her to continue with it. She is very artistic in a lot of ways.

Until this year she has not shown a lot of interest in science. Since her announcement and because I know women have been pushed out of science for a long time, I have done everything I can to keep her interested in science.

She is determined to find out why the dinosaurs went extinct. She has learned the different theories but says she will find the truth. Who am I to argue? I am not one to tell a child not to pursue their dream no matter how difficult it might appear. Her dream is to find out how dinosaurs became extinct while becoming a world-class gymnast, famous dancer, singer and actress, and veterinarian.

Now if only I could get her to clean her rabbit’s cage.

We support every one of those dreams whenever we can.

One way we have kept her interested in science is through a subscription service called MEL STEM kits. Every month she receives a STEM project that she must read about, put together, and get it to work on. She’s probably completed 6 or 7 now.

mel stem project kits for girls who want to learn science

Initially, the plan was for us to work on them together, and we did for the first two. Now she doesn’t even wait for me and completes them as soon as they arrive.

The first kit she received was a hydraulic jack. It still sits on her nightstand in working condition many months later.

Since then, she has completed kits with 3D glasses, a cannon, and one involving lights and refraction, to list a few. She has learned a lot on her own and takes great pride in completing the projects. She has shared a few of them for show and tells at school.

The most important aspect of her being able to complete the stem kits (on her own) is she is building confidence. One day someone will tell her science is not for girls, and she will have the confidence and experience to tell that someone they are wrong.

MEL Science kits also include an app that allows kids to continue learning (for life) with augmented videos. What child doesn’t love watching videos?

MEL STEM project kits are great for younger children, but the fun and learning don’t have to end there. MEL also has:

MEL was named the BETT Innovator of the year and received the EdTech Cool Tool award as the best VR/AR tool of 2020. These science kits are fun, educational, challenging, and great for building confidence in your children’s ability to complete projects.

My daughter cannot wait until she receives the next one. They come once a month and she usually completes them within a few days of receiving them. She takes pictures and sends it to her teachers, shows us the completed project, and explains what it does and how it works.

To put this into perspective, she received a microscope and slides for Christmas (to encourage her in science). They remain in the box 6 months later. She is extra motivated by successfully completing a science project, and she is learning while doing them.

mel stem project kits for ages 5 and up

My daughter has always had issues with self-confidence. She often believes things are impossible until we finally convince her to just try. MEL STEM project kits have given her a boost of confidence not only in showing her she can solve complex problems but also in speaking intelligently about scientific topics.

Months after completing one of the kits she will still show it to other family members and explain it as if she just learned about it the day before.

MEL has done more than teaching my daughter about science. It has helped develop her confidence and piqued her interest even more in the world of science.

Now about that rabbit cage.

The Dad Tax Ep 1 Mens Mental Health Month FB

Men’s Mental Health Month

I was not aware until a few days ago that June is Men’s Mental Health Month. Of course, I know about Movember (I partake in it every year) but I had no idea that June was Men’s Mental Health Month.

It seemed like the right time to finally launch the Dad Tax Podcast. In the first episode, we talk about men’s mental health, why it has become so critical, and why it’s important to address in the wake of Uvalde, the pandemic, and other day-to-day struggles for men.

Did you know that men commit suicide at a rate 3.88x higher than women?

We also talk about ways to recognize depression and how to address it instead of burying it deep inside. It’s time to take men’s mental health seriously.

Suicide statistics

Men’s Mental Health Statistics

Signs of Depression

Psychology Today


When I was much younger, I didn’t know how to swim. And prior to my father, he pretty much completely disappeared from my life. I was in a lake in Connecticut, and I don’t recall the lake I don’t recall much about that day. But I do recall one thing, getting in over my head literally getting in over my head in the water. And I didn’t know how to swim. So it was learn to swim or die that day. I don’t even remember how old I was. But I had to be pretty young. And I did learn how to swim that day, underwater. And eventually, I learned how to swim, you know, like, above water and how most people know how to swim. But it was out of fear. In that moment I had to learn to either swim, or I was going to drown. There were no lifeguards, and I don’t think my father was paying any attention. Not that that’s a surprise. I’m not here to bash anyone. I’m here to tell you a story. And the story was all I learned how to swim. Because if I didn’t learn how to swim that day, it wouldn’t be here today. That was 40 some odd years ago. And it’s an interesting tale of the conquering of fear because you don’t have a choice. So begs the question, if we don’t have a choice, but to end something or conquer something. What do we do? Do we run? Do we accept defeat? And take our licks? Or do we face that fear head-on and conquer it Welcome to the dad tax podcast, a podcast for dads by dads a podcast for all things, dads, including mental health, fatherhood challenges, relationship sports, business, grilling, and more. So put on your white new balances, sit back in your reclining chair. And let’s talk dads. So welcome to the first episode of the dad tax podcast. And the intention of this podcast is to talk all things Dadon. Sometimes the conversation will be light-hearted and fun. Sometimes the conversations will be very serious, as I intend to do today with the first episode. It’s kind of ironic that we’re starting on men’s mental health month, I was not even aware that June was men’s mental health month until just a couple of days ago. And I’ve been meaning to launch this podcast for a while. And I saw that and then the events that unfolded at Uvalde at Robb elementary school just a couple of weeks ago, as I’m recording this. And it really got me to think in his time to start this podcast because there are some very difficult conversations that need to be had in our country, in as men and fathers, things that need to be talked about, and dealt with. I’m one of those being men’s mental health. But also, it’s time to look at the gun issue in this country, the fascination that we as a country have with guns, and mostly speaking about these automatic rifles. And I won’t say that I’m an expert, I am not an expert on on guns by any stretch but I just think that any gun that can be used to shoot and kill dozens of people within minutes is just unnecessary in a population. But we’ll get to that shortly. I don’t mean this to be a political podcast, that is not the goal here. I’m not going to argue whether or not the Second Amendment is still necessary. And really the focus of this is more about the mental health of men of all ages. Because it was age-wise it was a man that did the shooting. He was he had just turned 18. So legally, he’s he’s considered an adult male, a man in this country. But also the fathers that had to withstand the trauma of the shooting those that lost children a day and those that had children inside the school and they had to wait to find out if their children were okay. So I’m going to come from a sort of a personal angle on this. And I’m going to start with I heard a story and I don’t know if it’s true. I’ve been trying to verify it, but I but I have not been able to independently verify it. But I heard a story of a father who was asked why he was not crying. And his response was I can’t cry, this is the father of a Uvalde Victim.

I’m I don’t know, if I’m saying it right, you’ve all the victim. And he said he can’t cry and the person who asked him why he’s not crying, I said, Well, why can’t you cry? Of course, you could cry. He said, No, I cannot. He said, Look, everybody around me is crying, I have to be the strong one, I have to be the one that people count on and can lean on during this time. That sums up fatherhood. In just a couple of sentences. Again, I don’t know if that’s true. If that was really asked, I heard it somewhere, I don’t know where I heard it on the radio or something. And I have not been able to verify that. So I don’t know for sure if it’s true. So I’m going to tell you about an incident at my kids’ school. So I am a father. I have three children and a grandchild. So I have a 26-year-old daughter, who has a son who’s about to turn four. I have a 12-year-old son and an eight-year-old daughter as I’m recording this. So the two younger kids are, of course, in elementary school, sixth grade and second grade this year. And at least once a year, there is a threat of you know a bomb or something in the school. And of course, again, this year, there was a threat. There was a rash of threats around the country, I think around the same time. And I don’t recall what it was if it was gun violence, or if it was another bomb threat. Which just goes to show you how incensed we are to these things at this point. But I do recall that they evacuated the school and you know, they were either the kids could get on the bus, or we could go pick them up. Now I have the fortune, the good fortune of having some flexibility in my workday. So I went to pick them up. And when I arrived at the school, there were cop cars everywhere. There were cops at the entrance in and I think they were probably going through the school. And I gotta tell you, some emotion came over me it’s a scary scene to see cop cars lined up at your kids’ school. And they were actually checking cars as they came in, I think to see if there were bombs on them or something. I don’t really know what they were checking, but they were stopping cars and checking them including me. This is scary. And this is not something a child should have to endure. And it’s sad that my 12-year-old son, he pretty much gets it where as my daughter, not so much. She doesn’t really get it yet. She kind of does, but not exactly the emotion that comes over you. In this kind of scenario, it’s unbelievable that your children have to go through something like this. And there was you know, it turned out not to be credible. I think they kept armed police at the school for an extra couple of days. And they do have guards there in the school at all times. They, but the range of emotions that you feel you feel relieved that your kids are okay, but you also feel sad that they have to go through this. Now imagine how a father feels after something like Uvalde or Sandy Hook, which happened right here in my home state of Connecticut. I think it’s been 1213 years now. I’m not sure when No, I think it’s less than I think it’s been nine years. Yeah, I think it’s nine or 10 years now. So Sandy Hook, the same type of scenario. guy went in with a gun, automatic weapon to get more than one gun automatic weapon killed, I don’t know the numbers, but I believe it was 20 children and six adults or something like that. Why does it happen? Why does it only happen here in the US? Yes, I know these things happen in other places around the world, but not at the frequency it does here in the US which is supposed to be a world leader supposed to be a country that other countries look up to. And we’re afraid to send our kids to school. So now let’s wrap in men’s mental health. So here we have these school shootings, and really mass shootings constantly. Every few days there seems to be another mass shooting their shot up a prime, a predominant Lee black grocery store in Buffalo for no other reason. Except that it was mostly black people in the store in a black neighborhood. And most of the shoppers were black My children are half black. So something else I have to look out for. So they’re mixed.

They’re interracial children, black and white. And something else I have to worry about for my children. They’re black, and they’re also interracial, which some people don’t like. Yes, it’s a real problem, who says you might be listening to this podcast and say, That’s not a real problem. Those things are not here. They’re still here. And I’ve seen it firsthand myself. I’ve heard some of the comments. I’ve heard comments when my son plays baseball, I’ve heard some comments from other people, and I just choose to not address it at that point in time. It’s not the place at baseball game is not the place to do it. My son’s baseball game, but I hear the comments. I’ve my wife has been pulled over. Because she was black. She has been stopped at work bringing case files to her car, because she’s black. It does happen, and you don’t want to believe it. And I guess more power to you, but it does happen. And I consider myself an ally. I’ve used what I call white privilege to step in and intervene for, for not what I call white privilege. It’s white privilege. But I’ve used it to intervene in scenarios where there was some injustice. But my children are black, and they’re interracial. And also my grandson is also interracial. And so that could potentially be a problem, a bigger problem somewhere down the road. I don’t know. Um, but I hope it’s not. I hope, you know that generation changes. And I hope that they never have to confront those things. But I can tell you, my daughter already has Fortunately for her, my son was also there to intervene.

At eight years old, she was seven at the time, seven years old. Now, we’ll talk about that in another podcast. So that weighs on parents. The focus of this podcast, the dad tax is on dads.

men’s mental health. So what does it mean it’s not taken seriously enough, the highest rate of suicide in this country is men. Bottom line men by it’s not even close men, because we don’t have an outlet. I know that mental health is spoken about more now today than it ever was for for all walks of life. But there is a stigma with men. Men are supposed to be the strong ones. Men are supposed to be the tough ones. Men keep everything inside. And we do we keep a lot inside. And there’s various reasons we keep that inside. You know, some of us had rough upbringing some of us on, I don’t feel like we have anybody we could talk to. There’s just so many reasons why men feel like they cannot express themselves or go to see a therapist or mental health therapist. My wife is a mental health therapist, and I can’t go see her. She’s, you know, too close. But I know. I’m around people that are that are psychologists, mental health coaches I’ve in a BNI group I belong to there’s a mental health professional. A really good friend of mine is a mental health professional. Two of my clients are psychiatrists. So I’m around mental health professionals all the time. And they will tell you, Yes, you men should seek mental health services. It’s not quite that simple for the vast majority of men in this country still today, in the United States, men, actually I’m not sure if it’s the United States or if this is around the world, but men died by suicide at a rate 3.88 times more than women. The highest rate of suicide is middle-aged white men not talked about a lot. On average, there are 130 suicides per day, almost 70% of suicide deaths in 2020 were white men, and firearms accounted for 50 Almost 53% of all suicide deaths. Again, the gun problem, but you know, we’ll leave that out of the equation for the moment. 93% of adults surveyed in the US think suicide can be prevented but how? We got to take mental health a little more seriously. Let’s take it a step further the man and I’m using air quotes here that committed the mass murder is involved, he probably wouldn’t even be considered a suicide. It’s he was shot in, in the commission of a crime, so it probably won’t be considered suicide. So the rate is probably even higher, even though he probably went into that school knowing he wasn’t going to come up. And let’s talk about men’s mental health a little bit. Again, June is men’s mental health month. So this is important. According to a poll of 21,000 men, by researchers at the National Center for Health Statistics NCHS, nearly one in 10 men reported experiencing some form of depression or exam and anxiety. I think it’s higher than that. I think that men may not recognize the symptoms either and suppress it. Now, this also says that less than half of them sought treatment. Again, the rate of suicide for men versus women men is 3.8 times higher. Depression When left untreated, can in some cases reach a crisis point of suicidal contemplation. I think women, there’s a stigma for men, when it comes to mental health, we’re supposed to be the strong ones. And in some cases, women don’t help with that. They, further that stigma, I think less now than they used to, but I think it still occurs in relationships. Six in six and 10 men experienced at least one trauma in their lives. Again, that may be higher, I think men tend to suppress it. Some men don’t realize that a traumatic event happened in their childhood until later in life,, they suppress it to the point of not remembering it. Men are almost two times more likely to binge drink than women. And also have higher rates of alcohol-related deaths and hospitalizations. and are more likely to have used alcohol before dying by suicide. Alcohol is a depressant. So whatever you’re feeling is going to be magnified if you’re drinking 49% of men feel more depressed than they admit to the people in their life.

I again think that number might be higher. And more than 1000 Men revealed the truth that many assume men are much less likely to voice struggles with mental illness, and even thoughts of suicide. This was a survey on the Today show.. They surveyed more than 1000 Men reveal the truth revealed the truth that many assume men are much less likely to voice struggles with mental illness, and even thoughts of suicide. I would venture to guess the number of men who have thought about suicide at least once in their life is in the 90 percentile. I don’t have any statistics to prove that I don’t have any evidence of that. But I would venture to guess them. So we come we combine the fatherhood aspect of this. So our job is tough, right? There’s a there’s still that stigma of men don’t play an active role in their children’s lives. It still exists today. Even though it is so much more prevalent today than that men are active in their children’s lives. We you know, we participate. We in we play with our kids, we take them to their activities, we help them with schoolwork, we teach them that there’s so much we do with our kids so much we do it our kids and the father’s role in a child’s life is critical. And it has been proven time and time again, you can go do the research that I father’s place in a child’s life is critical to that child’s success in life and could prevent future generations of this exact problem. Mental Health. I don’t know the shooter’s story involved. I do know that he lived with his grandparents. He had some kind of disagreement with his grandmother supposedly and shot her in the face. I’m not sure if she had last I heard she was still alive. I don’t know if she has or not, but does not sound like his home life was the greatest. And I’m not suggesting that we coddle our children. I don’t believe in that fully, I think yes, discipline and structure are important, but also support in softness in those things are also important, you know, and I think having both parents play an active role in both supplementing and in the supporting of our children, building them up, you know, teaching them, that they can accomplish things, helping them, show them how to accomplish things, sometimes given them that a little bit of a nudge, a push, to help them accomplish things on their own, you know, to help them become better citizens in the future that’s important. Does not sound like the mother or father was in the Uvalde shooter’s life. And in the case of the Sandy Hook shooter, I believe he was living with his mother, not sure where the father was. He did have mental problems. And I don’t know why the mother was collecting so many guns either. I just don’t understand why people have to have so many weapons for what, what do you need it for? But that’s again, we’re not here for that. We’re not going to talk about that. We’re talking about men’s mental health. So we have this, I’m going to use myself, I’m going to be the guinea pig here. I have children that are interracial. They’re black, and they’re white. You know, my Well, my wife is Haitian, I am half polish half Italian. So they got a little bit of everything in them

has not been a big issue. Like I said, my daughter did have an incident on the school bus. Earlier in the school year, my son was there to intervene. So didn’t really go too far. We got involved right away and Zoltan got squashed. Shouldn’t have happened I live in what is considered a progressive area should not have happened. But it did. My wife’s had a few incidents, I’ve had some strange looks when we’ve been out. I can tell you about an incident in South Carolina, where we were in an Italian restaurant. And I had my nephew who was 100% Black with me and he had to go to the bathroom. So I took him to the bathroom, being the only adult male there. And I got some crazy looks in an Italian restaurant. It happens it is still it’s still a problem. So I have to worry about them. I have to worry about every time I go to school, could something happen. And I can’t. After that shooting and Uvalde My mind went off the deep end speaking of men’s mental health. And for days, I just could not stop thinking, what if my daughter, my youngest child was faced with that situation. And her final thoughts. That’s all I kept thinking about. That is not an easy thing to think about. She’s a tough kid, but she’s she just doesn’t comprehend something like that yet. And I don’t want her to she shouldn’t have to. But that’s something else. We have to worry about men’s mental health, our relationships, you know, our wives or girlfriends, our significant others, whatever they might be. You know, there’s relationship struggles, financial problems. These are all things that men take in. And they let it sit and sit and sit until until we one day erupt. And that eruption could be violent in nature. It could be suicidal in nature, it could be depression, it could be so many different things road rage. I hate to say it, but maybe another school shooting or grocery store shooting? I don’t know, you know, what? What is the breaking point for someone to get to to do something like that? Did they always have mental health issues? Supposedly the Uvalde shooter never had any reported mental health issues. So whether it was he just undiagnosed? Or did they suddenly happen? Was there a snapping point and breaking point for him? The if not addressed enough, you know, in Uvalde, again, the it is a primarily Spanish speaking part of Texas, and being men in Spanish speaking. I can tell you that south of the border in the US, you know in the Caribbean and South America. men’s mental health is not a thing. They don’t believe in it. So it’s possible that it was just overlooked. I don’t know if the shooter was was white or Hispanic, I’m not sure. But it could have been overlooked. It could be that the he did have problems. There were noticeable problems. But nobody addressed it because it’s that stigma again. men’s mental health. We’re supposed to be tough. We’re supposed to just suck it up and deal with it. But that’s not realistic anymore. We have a problem. We have reached that breaking point in this country. And maybe around the world I don’t really know It needs to be addressed, it needs to be taken seriously. And I don’t, I think, you know, it got a little bit of a shove, this June. And in October, I’m sorry, November, not October, October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which is another big month for me because I’m in it. But November is also known as Movember, or No Shave November. And it’s the goal of November is to raise awareness for men’s health issues, mental health being one of them. And then you have a couple of forms of cancer that they try to wait raise awareness for, but men’s mental health is a big one. So I was unaware of June being men’s mental health. Now I know. Now we have something to talk about every June, and every November now, but we’ll be talking about it all year round on this podcast. So I’m going to try to make this a weekly podcast, I’m going to be honest, I have another podcast that I was trying to do weekly as well. It’s called the human element.

I have not been able to do that weekly. So I may not be able to do this weekly too, I will give it my best go. It is something I’ve wanted to do. For some time. I been asked to write a book, actually a couple of books one about fatherhood. And another one about cybersecurity. So, the cybersecurity book is started. It’s an I’ve been off of it for a couple of months now. Because I have been so busy in business. Speaking of men’s mental health, though, so I’m burnin had, I have a business now, the business in it and cybersecurity. And the business is about three and a half years old. The third years really when start things started taking off for me, which is great. But it also means writing work and a lot. So I will tell you, if you get into business, your own business, because you think you’re going to work less Guess again, you’re going to work more, you are going to work far more than you would in a nine to five. And that could affect men’s mental health too. And I know that more and more people are starting their own business. It’s great because I have flexibility. So if you know kids need me to pick them up at school, I can go do that. If when they have when my son has baseball games, and my daughter has gymnastics or dance, I can bring them I have that flexibility. Both my wife and I and I both have that flexibility where we can schedule around our children’s stuff, which is great, but we both work a lot. And mental health will take a toll if you’re not getting enough sleep. It will definitely take a toll sleep is important. Extremely important. And I don’t think enough people you know, some people will say well, if you’re if you’re sleeping more than four hours or five hours a night, you’re sleeping too much. That is a crock of you know what I’m trying to keep it PG for the for the Apple podcasts people out there, I don’t want them to flag my podcast. So this is what I will tell you. All right, I’m gonna start wrapping this up now. I will tell you, as a man, find a mental health professional and talk to them. Most insurance coverage, most insurances will cover it. Find a mental health professional psychologist and talk to them about anything and everything, you may uncover some things. So, you know, my story is my father wasn’t really around for most of my child. My years of growing up, my years of influence was not around. I’m not getting into the rest of the story for for this podcast for this episode. But someday you’ll hear the rest of the story for my upbringing. i By most accounts, wasn’t the greatest upbringing wasn’t the worst either, was somewhere in the middle, I would say in the bottom 30% or so. Had a lot to overcome, for sure. And I did seek the help of a professional for a little while. And it still was hard for me to talk. It’s not something that I think men in general are not able to express themselves, like they should be able to express themselves. But I would challenge you to do that. I challenge men, especially fathers so that you can end that cycle. Find a mental health professional, it’s really easy to do. I think there’s a website called Psychology Today. I mean, just verify that that’s right for you where you can go and you can find someone in your area that takes your insurance in go talk to them, schedule an appointment. I will tell you that, that mental health therapists are also overwhelmed right now there have been lots and lots of clients. As you can imagine, speaking mental health to COVID pandemic has also created a huge mental health problem with children. So don’t tell your children to suck it up, they need to talk to so many of you if you see signs of depression, anger, frustration, anxiety. And you can’t help them didn’t find someone who can. And it is Psychology Today, there’s a link at the top that says find a therapist you put in your zip code. Find a therapist in your area that takes your insurance. Go talk to them. You know, even if you only go a few times that the psychologists will tell you, the therapist will tell you if you should continue or not. In my case, she she didn’t feel like we needed to continue. So we stopped. But there are times when I feel like I need to talk to someone. So you need to talk to someone you need to find someone don’t, you know, if you don’t want to talk to your family about it, maybe it’s easier to talk to someone else, I

don’t know, maybe you find a friend to just talk to the friend. You know, I have a lifelong friend that I occasionally talk to about some things, we mostly just rag on each other. But you know if something serious is coming around, then we’ll talk about it. But either way, talk now, you also need to be able to recognize the signs that you need to talk to signs of let’s say, let’s say the signs of depression. Okay. So some of the signs of depression. And again, I am not a mental health professional, but I’m around people all the time. And the only real experience I have a psychology one on one in my own life and that of my friends and things like that. But showing you know you have a feeling of lost interest you you’re not interested in the things that you used to be interested in. Here’s the big one increased fatigue, you’re always feeling tired, but you also have trouble sleeping. You’re restless at night. Feeling anxious. So, nervousness restlessness, always feeling panicked, rapid heart rate, rapid breathing, more sweating, muscle twitching. Those are all signs of anxiety, irritability, if you’re easily irritable, irritated, which is not a good thing to be if you have children really is not good. You need a lot of patience that when you have children, and trust me, you need a lot of patience, changes in appetite and weight. And I will go so far as to say either no eating at all, you completely stop eating, or you binge eat, like you’ve suddenly eating donuts all day long. These are these are, these are problems that should indicate depression, or could indicate depression, uncontrollable anger or crying. These are signs of depression. So you suddenly find yourself in a fit of rage. And you have no control over it. Or you find yourself crying, and you have no control over it. You don’t know why you’re doing it. And it just just jumps on you it just comes out of nowhere. You know, why is that happening? This is a sign of depression. Thinking about suicide. If you’re thinking about suicide, you need to seek help now. But if you see any of these symptoms in your life, or in somebody’s you know, in their life, they need to seek help. It’s enough enough with the with the stigma is right it’s time to stop, stop burying everything stop keeping everything in stop assuming you need to be tough all the time. Go get that help you need Do you know what the real hero is the real heroes the one that goal goes out there and find someone to talk to to help figure out what is going on and how to stop it. And and that curse in your in your family in your cycle. And the cycle you know I I ended the cycle of the father not being around in my family. And that cycle in your family and the depression and the stigma of men not being able to talk about their problems. If your wife for or significant other isn’t able to talk it out with you then find someone who can. Alright there’s people out there to do this professionally. Allow them to do it. They’re good at it. You know, look for someone with a reputation of being good at it. Especially those that have a history of working with other men and let them help. It is men’s mental health month and it’s time to take a seriously we have a lot to deal with. Okay, coming out of a pandemic, these mass shootings, especially the ones in the schools. Raising children is tough by itself. Marriage, dating, relationship, life, all of these things are tough to deal with. So I hope that this podcast reaches someone and help someone today. Go to Psychology Today and look for a Find yourself a psychologist or therapist, it’s pretty much one in the same so get the help you need, and stop living with that stigma. It’s not helping anybody, especially you, or your children is now helping you children. If you have children again, this is a father podcast. So I’m assuming that the majority of the people listening to this are fathers. So that is it for the first episode of the dad tax. I will try to have a lighter episode next week. But again, I we will talk about men’s mental health a lot on this podcast and I will try to have some experts come on and discuss it with us. I think it’ll be helpful. And I think, you know, if

we can just help one father, then that’s all that matters to me. So until the next time this has been a dad tax podcast this will be hosted at the dad where they’re also blog posts and other father related stuff dad related stuff, including dad jokes, and you know, just a lot of dad related things. So go check that out. And let me know what you think the dad And here’s your sort of your dad joke for the for the week. I asked my son how to spell way. He said w a y. I said, Well what about the F? He said there’s no effing way. As he’s saying that it can hit a groan there is no effing way. I said okay, cool. You’re grounded. That’s your dad joke for the week. Till next week, everyone

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Dad Hack 4 Protect Your Kids Online fb

Dad Hack 4 – Protect Your Kids Online

Dad Hack 4 – Protect Your Kids Online

Cyberbullying and Child Predators are Lurking Just Behind Your Cable Modem

How do you protect your kids online?

At this point, it’s probably no secret that I am a fan of technology. I work in IT and have tons of gadgets.

Then it should come as no surprise that my kids are all about tech as well, primarily gaming.

YouTube is a favorite in the house. For me, it’s a tool to educate and promote. For the kids, they watch some YouTubers all the time.

All these things require the internet. Gaming on a PlayStation or Xbox. Playing on the iPad or Nintendo switch. The internet is needed for most of them to work correctly.

Games like Roblox, Among Us, Minecraft, and Fortnite are super popular with lots of kids, and yes adults, playing them.

All the games I just mentioned have a feature that parents should be wary of. They all have the capability to chat with other users of the game.

This blog post is a cautionary tale based on a real event and my acute knowledge of the technology world’s dark side.

My son is very social. He loves to talk to people and won’t miss an opportunity to make a friend. He no longer plays Among Us but did for a while. He would also chat with people on Among Us. (Hold your judgment until you finish reading this blog).

He began chatting with a young girl around his age on Among Us. Within a very short period (less than a day) they took this conversation to text messaging. My son has an iPhone SE because of an incident at school a few years earlier. That’s another blog post entirely. Let’s just say it’s sad what our kids must endure in school these days.

My kids know I will check up on their activities on all devices. My son’s phone and daughter’s iPad are also monitored for what apps they use, where they are, and how long they use them. We do not let our kids use their devices whenever they want. There are rules and restrictions.

There are so many reasons to do this. Child predators and cyberbullying are two of the biggest.

among us predators lurking

The day after he started this new friendship with a girl from Among Us, I spot-checked his text messages. Sure, enough I saw the out-of-area code text message with no name attached to it. I scan the text messages and see that the girl had sent him a picture. She was a very pretty young girl. First red flag. I’ll get to that in a minute, but it immediately raised all kinds of alarms.

The second red flag was the text that immediately followed her picture that said, “Get a makeover and send me a picture”. Does that sound like something an 11-year-old girl would say to a boy? I didn’t think so either.

I asked my son about the conversation and innocently enough he thought there was nothing wrong with it. I explained to him that this person was not who they claimed to be. I put her picture into Google Image Search and sure enough, this picture was a stock image used all over the internet. How would a preteen boy know this, right?

I explained what was more likely happening. This was probably a child predator looking for new victims to groom. We had a long conversation about some of the dangers that lurk on the internet.

Parents be Vigilant

Predators and cyberbullies are also having fun on Among Us, Minecraft, Fortnite, and Roblox. They have different motivations than my kids have. The internet is a great resource for games, information, work, school, and a lot more. It’s also a very dangerous place. The aforementioned games are not the only games with chat features and not the only places on the internet where very evil people seek out victims.

Cyberbullying and social media are big problems on social media as well. It’s also harder to monitor on TikTok or Snapchat. Games like Madden, Grand Theft Auto, and many more allow online chatting and communication.

Some parents will argue that I am violating my kid’s privacy. They’re not adults and my job is to protect them. I will do whatever it takes to make sure they’re OK. Your job as a parent is to create a safe space for your children, to raise them to be productive citizens, and to provide a better life than the one you have.

You cannot create a safe space if you have no idea what is going on in their digital world.

how to protect your kids online

Dad Hack Number 4 – Keep Your Kids Safe Online

I get asked a lot about how to protect your kids online. Here are a few pointers.

Beyond the monitoring, tracking, and restrictions we have in place for our children’s screen time I also routinely check their activities. I check messages on all apps. I check browsing history. I check pictures and videos taken and downloaded. And I pay attention to their behavior. Changes in behavior are a sign something is off.

Here’s the important part. I am honest with my kids. I tell them I am going to do this and why. The internet is a dangerous place and I just want to make sure they’re safe.

I am not naïve. I know kids are tech-savvy and can hide things which is why I also monitor and approve app installs with the profiles I set up on their devices. So many parents set up devices and never put any parental controls on them.

We limit screen time, especially on school days. It is unhealthy for anyone to stare at a screen for an unlimited amount of time. Devices are locked/blocked at bedtime to prevent any temptation or activity that could be damaging. You could take this a step further and remove the devices from their rooms.

Gaming systems are in public areas of the house, not in their bedrooms. They don’t have TVs in their rooms either.

Again, the key to the success of this is transparency. Be open and honest as to why you are doing these things. Help them understand the dangers that lurk on the other side of your cable modem or 5g connection so they can also recognize and protect themselves. Help them understand too much screen time is extremely unhealthy. They need physical activity. Teach them to talk to you about what they’re doing when they are online. Spend time watching or playing with them when they are online. But be transparent about your motivations.

Summary of How to Protect Your Kids Safe Online:

  • Be Transparent with Your Kids
  • Monitor Everything
  • Spot Check Activity, Especially Messaging and Browsing
  • Content Filtering Wherever Possible
  • Create Parent/Child Accounts
  • Limit Screen Time
  • Gaming Systems & Computers Should be in Public Areas of the Home
  • Don’t Assume

Our kids deserve to be safe at home, at school, and online. Do your part!

Read Dad Tax 3


the weight loss journey again

The Weight Loss Journey…Again

The Weight Loss Journey, 2022 Version

Some of the links on this site are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link to these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

It has been an ongoing struggle for years. That’s the truth.

And there were times that I just didn’t give a damn. And it shows.

I love my pasta, pizza, and burgers but they are probably killing me, at least at the rate I am eating them. I knew it was time to make a change but I have been down this road before. I even succeeded once or twice in reaching my goal weight.

I haven’t been happy with how I looked or felt for years. While this might sound like a corny New Year’s Resolution, it’s not. I needed to make a change for my health, and for my kids. I started about 2.5 weeks ago with a change to my diet.

Before I get into this blog post I should tell you I am far from a nutritionist or health expert. I just knew I had to make changes to feel better, so I did.

I should also point out I have been declined life insurance coverage because my A1C was high. I was able to find alternative coverage but couldn’t afford the benefits I wanted because of my type 2 diabetes. I am now on a mission to beat it and not let it control me.

I have also come to realize that I eat horribly when I am stressed out. A lot of sweets, carbs, and fried foods. Recognizing why you eat and what contributes to bad habits is the first step in making a change.

What Changes Did I Make?

The first thing I did was quit sugary goods cold turkey. No more cookies, cakes, cupcakes, or cannolis. I stopped eating ice cream and candy. This was one of the hardest things to do. I often stopped at a convenience store and grabbed water, 5-hour energy, and some kind of sugary product.

The irony was the 5-hour energy was because I was tired, sometimes exhausted. The sugary product was because I was stressed, and caused me to feel tired to a point where I felt I needed a nap. The struggle was real.

I started taking multivitamins late last year to help build up my immunity during the pandemic. Also ironic is two weeks after I started taking them I caught COVID-19. I am still taking them and they have definitely helped me feel healthier. It’s an affordable way to build up immunity and increase your energy naturally.

I take GNC Mega Men every morning.GNC Mega Men One Daily

I used to eat a bowl of oatmeal every morning, with a tablespoon of peanut butter. I love peanut butter. Peanut butter is loaded with sugar though so I cut this out in the morning and now drink a smoothie with fruits and vegetables. When I can find a peanut butter not loaded with sugar that still tastes good I will probably go back to oatmeal in the morning.

I eat a healthy-sized lunch loaded with veggies and usually chicken or fish. I have cut out red meat for now. And dinner is usually a protein shake or meal replacement shake.

Most importantly the sugary snacks have been eliminated. If I feel the need for something sweet I will eat a granola bar or something along those lines.

I have been on a water-only diet for years and drink at least a gallon almost daily. This is not a challenge for me. I did not have to cut soda or juices because I was not drinking them anyway. I can tell you when I first stopped drinking soda I lost a lot of weight very quickly.

I also eat very few carbs now. I haven’t been eating pasta at all which is very difficult for me. I don’t eat bread or rice. I substitute it with Quinoa. This is the brand my wife usually makes. It’s good and I don’t miss eating rice at all because of it.


There are days that there is not enough time between the kid’s school and their activities to make dinner so I will treat them to fast food. I used to eat it too but have completely cut that out as well. This is something I am working to eliminate from their diet too. I will blog about that at some point down the road but I do notice a difference in attitude when they eat it.

How Is It Going?

It was hard to get started but it is getting easier now. I don’t have as many cravings as I did when I started. I am learning to drink more water when I feel the urge to eat a snack and to handle stress a different way, one of them is getting back to this website.

The worst part of the day tends to be the end of the day. I typically go from 5:30 am to 11 pm every day between the businesses and the kid’s activities I don’t have a lot of time so snacks always seemed necessary. I am so busy until after the kids go to bed that I don’t usually pay attention to snacks until then. Then I realize I am hungry and want a snack but I don’t eat after 6 pm now.

I definitely lost weight but I don’t know how much. My scale is broken but I went down a belt size. I also have more energy and cut down on the amount of 5-hour energy I take.  For instance, I have not had any today. There were some days I was drinking one every 5 hours.

There are days that there is not enough time between the kid’s school and their activities to make dinner so I will treat them to fast food. I used to eat it too but have completely cut that out as well. This is something I am working to eliminate from their diet too. I will blog about that at some point down the road but I do notice a difference in attitude when they eat it.

What Are The Results?

As I mentioned already I have not been keeping track of my weight. I do feel better with fewer aches and pains already. I definitely have more energy. My shirts are starting to fit better and I went down a belt size so there are some measurable differences.

The increase in energy leads me to believe my A1C is also lower but I do not have a way to measure that at home. I am planning to get a physical soon.

I have a long way to go and just today I started doing some exercise. I did a few push-ups. If you read this blog then you know I was running for a while, until I got injured. I want to get back to running at some point but the gym is too crowded in the COVID world, it’s winter so outside is not ideal, and my treadmill broke. But soon hopefully. I will continue to increase what I can at home.

In short, eating better foods, less food, taking in more vitamins, fruits, and vegetables has improved my overall mood, energy and has helped me to lose weight.

I have some weights at home that I can start lifting with again. I will also be purchasing this adjustable dumbbell soon (look for a review).


FLYBIRD Adjustable Dumbbell,25/55lb Single Dumbbell

They say a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. I have taken a few steps in the right direction now so hopefully, I can reach that destination.

One thing I will tell the younger generations (I am Gen-X) is to take care of their body at a young age. Avoid junk and fast food. Don’t drink soda, etc… It is so much harder to lose weight and get healthier as you get older.  I have successfully completed this journey before only to get off the treadmill and start eating horribly again. It gets harder every time.


The Dad Tax Years in the Making

It’s Been Years in the Making so 2022 it Is

It’s Been Years in the Making so 2022 it Is

If you’ve visited this blog over the years you’re probably keenly aware that I have not been keeping it up to date. Life has a way of interrupting the best-laid plans.

My kids are 3 years older now and a lot has changed in my professional life. I kept this site up because I did/do intend to get back to it. While I still believe the most important title I hold is daddy sometimes I can only do that job in the privacy of my own home.

What Have I Been Up To?

Professionally speaking a lot has changed while some things remained the same. I still consult on SEO projects but have decided I no longer wanted to handle other businesses’ social media marketing, digital advertising, or website development. I only consult on and train SEO. I do not actually handle it for other businesses anymore. If you need SEO Consultation click here.

The Search Ninja - Scott Gombar SEO Expert

I resurrected my IT Business (Nwaj Tech). It is a managed services provider (I call it Proactive IT). I have been getting busier and busier with that.

I also run a mastermind/networking group called Main Street Networking. I have been working on growing that. In fact, one of the hashtags is #LetsGROW

I still do some affiliate marketing, obviously. Clearly not enough to make a living off of but I work on it in my spare time.

I have been asked to write a book on being a dad a couple of times now but have not had enough time to sit down and complete it. I am still very seriously considering it but need to carve out time to write it.

I have also been asked to help put together a virtual dad convention. I am meeting with the person who asked me soon. This will be an international virtual dad convention date to be determined.

And finally, I am considering starting a podcast involving dads but with a twist that involves sports too. I don’t want to give more away just yet but I already own the domain so it’s coming.

2022 will be the first year that I do not coach baseball but my son is still playing. More on that in a bit.

What About the Kids?

isaiah on the mound - the dad tax

Isaiah is still playing baseball, at a much higher level than the last time I wrote. He is on a travel team and has been on a few over the last 4 years. He has made the local all-star team 4 years running now but will no longer be playing for that team anymore.

This past summer he had the walk-off hit to win the district championship for his team. He also closed every game of the tournament. He has aspirations of attending Vanderbilt University, obviously to play baseball.

Isaiah wants to visit every MLB stadium. So far we’ve visited Yankee Stadium and Citifield.

the daddy and hannah famous pic the dad tax

Hannah is still doing gymnastics and dance. She continues to get better at both. She is also very creative and has a lot of interest in all things science.

They’re both doing very well in school. They’re both playing the piano. Isaiah also plays the violin.

We are all just navigating our way through the post-COVID world (can we call it that yet). Yes, it did make the rounds in my house once late last year. Isaiah and Hannah spent exactly a year distance learning. It started to wear on Isaiah so we made the tough decision to send them back almost exactly a year after the pandemic started. He is flourishing now and we do not regret that decision.

I know every parent says this about their children but mine are super talented, super smart, and super energetic. They’re going places.

I am also proud to say that I am a grandfather now. My oldest daughter had her first child about 3.5 years ago. His name is Avery. He is full of energy and doing really well.

What About My Health?

If you know me you know I am a big supporter of addressing men’s mental health issues. I still support Movember every year as should you!

I gained some weight (not a lot) over the 3 years but I am working on losing it now, and beating Type 2 Diabetes. There will be logs about that too.

Oh, my beard is just a little bit longer now..just a little bit.

What’s Next for the Dad Tax?

I will continue to grow this brand and all that goes with it. I have other affiliate sites and my business sites that I also need to write for but will continue to create content for the Dad Tax. Of course, I will keep you all up to date on the virtual dad’s convention and hope to see all of you there.

When I am ready to run with the podcast idea I will share it here. It will be on a different website. I am still considering hosting a podcast on this site as well.

If I do write that book you know I will share that here as well.

Make sure you follow all of the social platforms to stay up to date.

its been a while the dad tax

It’s Been a While, but I Didn’t Leave (or Give Up)

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link o these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

It’s Been a While, but I Didn’t Leave (or Give Up)

Izzy the dad tax

Life is Funny

I have not blogged on this site in a couple of months and it’s been gnawing at me.  I feel as though I am shirking my responsibilities.

Truth is I have just been very busy.  I started a new business, sort of.  It’s something I have always done for a select few but decided I am going to push forward with it.

I still run the SEO business, with carefully selected clients.



Home Life

And other life challenges have all gotten in the way of me sitting down to write a blog for The Dad Tax.

These are all excuses though.  I can write a thousand-word blog in a very short time.  I have been known to put a blog post together in under 30 minutes.

It takes me longer to do all the other stuff that goes along with a blog post (images, SEO, sharing).

Truth is I was just tired.

I am the primary parent after school so that means my afternoons are tied up with a 4 and an 8-year-old, and sometimes an infant (my grandson).

My 4-year-old daughter has been a challenge at bedtime lately.  After 8 pm is usually my time to write blog posts and plan the next days’ social media posts.  She’s been eating at a significant portion of that time.

I have also been setting up how the new business is going to work.  I will talk about that another time but if you’re so inclined checkout

Most days I am up no later than 6 am but sometimes as early as 4 am.

As you can see my schedule is complicated.

But I am not offering any excuses.  Just clarifying. 

What’s New?

My wife and I did visit Guatemala in October.  I will share that trip and pictures in another blog post.

Isaiah is taking winter baseball training at Ultimate Sports.  Gotta keep him warm.

As I write this, we are 5 days away from Christmas.  In our house, it’s a pretty big deal.  Then we hit the road to Virginia to visit my brother-n-law.

A disappointing Jets season is winding down and the hot stove is yet to get hot for the Yankees.

As far as the business side of The Dad Tax I did get my first payout from Google AdSense in October.  I don’t use AdSense on this site, but I have a couple of other sites that I use it on. is a completely automated blog featuring curated IT Security blogs. is my learning/teaching site that I have also not updated in a few months.

My AdSense earnings came from these two sites.

I have been very active in the dad groups on Facebook.  I hope that I have been able to help other dads.

Worth Mentioning

Isaiah has always been a quick learner.  He was reading before he started Kindergarten (now in 3rd grade).

Izzy has been more of a challenge but as she is approaching 5 she is starting to catch on.  What a relief that is because she starts Kindergarten in about 9 months.

She loves to draw and color too.  She is quite the artist already.  I am planning to get her a new artist set for Christmas (yes, I have not finished shopping yet, I am typically a Christmas Eve shopper kind of person).

Isaiah has been writing some short stories.  He shows a lot of promise and creativity with his stories.  He wants to write comics.

I am still a member of Sprezzabox and have yet to be disappointed.  The socks that I have received to date have held up quite nicely.

Another box should be arriving any day now.  I plan to review that one.  My last box included a watch that my son took, socks, and a few other items.  No box has had less than 6 items so far.

I will be reviewing the Roku Sticks and Kindle HD soon as well.  I have a Roku TV and a couple of older Roku boxes, but this will be the first time I use a Roku Stick.  Since we cut the cord and now use YouTube TV for live TV it was time to add this option to more TVs in the house.

And there will be lots more to come.  Now that Nwaj Tech is off the ground I have a little more time to write blog posts.

Now I am going to test some baseline alerting and contact rules.  If I don’t write again I truly hope everyone who reads this blog enjoys the holidays with their family and friends.

its ben a while the dad tax

Kiwico Atlas Crate Review

KiwiCo Atlas Crate Review – Holding the World In His Hands

KiwiCo Atlas Crate Review – Holding the World In His Hands

Disclosure: I received this product for free in return for providing my honest and unbiased review.  I received no other compensation. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

I was really excited about this opportunity.  Maybe more excited than my son, Isaiah.

First a Little Background on KiwiCo

KiwiCo provides age-appropriate subscription crates (boxes) for children with projects and other educational items.

kiwico atlas crate subscription box kiwico atlas crate

All the boxes are STEAM oriented.

STEAM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math.

Each month your child receives a project and related learning material to help them better understand a topic.

The crates are all age-appropriate.  You tell KiwiCo what age group your child falls into.  Depending on the age group you can also choose to focus on certain topics.

Here’s a list of the different crate types:

  • Cricket 0-36 months – Explore and Discover
  • Koala 3-4 Years – Play and Learn
  • Kiwi 5-8 Years – Science, Art & More
  • Atlas 6-11 Years – Geography & Culture
  • Doodle 6-16+ — Art & Design
  • Tinker 9-16+ — Science & Engineering

Isaiah received an Atlas box on Wednesday but because of his schedule, we didn’t get to it until Friday night.

That’s right, our Friday nights involve learning and quality family time.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The box included pieces to put a globe together, pieces to a related book (I will get to that shortly), a world map and an Atlas pin.

The Globe:

It was in two halves, conveniently divided along the equator.  It came with felt stickers that represented each of the continents, a stand, and instructions.  The equator has to line up with 0 degrees on the stand at the end of the instructions.

kiwico atlas crate globe project

Isaiah was able to follow along with the instructions and put it together in about 45 minutes.  He needed minimal help from me.  He mostly needed help with some of the steps that required a little more finesse.

The great thing about this part of the crate was he learned about the different continents and where they are in the world in relation to where we live.

There was a tiny felt heart that Isaiah was instructed to place where we live on the globe.  He needed a little guidance with this.  Most 8-year-olds would.

Sign Up for KiwiCo Hands-On Learning Crates>>>>

The Book:

The book came with a few pages and rings that act as a binder.  This also had to be put together.

Isaiah loves to read and already finished reading the few pages that were included in the crate.

kiwico atlas crate book

He was amazed at some of the facts that were included in the book.

  • The smallest country in Europe (The Vatican) is .2 square miles.
  • The longest staircase in Europe is 2 miles long (somewhere in Spain).
  • There is a bird in South America that can mimic 20 other birds and a chainsaw.

He really loves stuff like that.  He is already talking about telling his friends at school.  Sure, send them to this page!

The Map:

kiwico atlas crate world map

For a while now, we have been talking about getting Isaiah a map of the world to put in his room.  Well, thanks to KiwiCo now he has one.

Now I must get some red pins, so he can mark the places he has been in the world.  That’s only Haiti, Jamaica and the East Coast of the US at this point but there will be more.

He has been fascinated with New Zealand for some time now.  While most kids want to go to Disney or someplace like that Isaiah wants to go to New Zealand. He finally understands where it is in relation to where we live.

It’s not close at all.  It really can’t be much further away in case you’re wondering.

The map is now hanging up in his room along with his favorite Yankee players and a few other baseball related posters.  Did I mention he loves to watch and play baseball?

The Results:

It’s not a state secret that kids learn from doing and interacting.  It’s also not a secret that kids develop confidence in the topic when they learn this way.

Isaiah is a very smart young man.  I know you’re probably thinking that every dad says that about their children, but I am not just saying that.

He’s in 3rd grade and reading 6-8th-grade books.  He is very inquisitive, and most school subjects come very easy to him.  Even this crazy new way of making math more complicated than it is.

I could tell immediately that Isaiah received a confidence boost from completing this project on his own.  He took pride in his accomplishment.

Isaiah truly enjoyed the project.  I enjoyed watching him completing this project.

The globe now sits on his dresser next to all his game balls, trophies, favorite books, travel souvenirs, and baseball memorabilia.  These are all the items he takes great pride in.  The things he does not want anyone else to touch (except me).

globe kiwico atlas crate completed

That’s how I know the KiwiCo Atlas Crate is a winner in Isaiah’s eyes.  That’s good enough for me.

My children don’t believe in sleeping in.  The next morning sometime before 7 am Isaiah was in my bed reading me facts from the book and trying to identify places on the globe.  An 8-year-old reading interesting facts to his dad, while he tries to get 5 more minutes of sleep is what raising children, is all about.

Sign Up for KiwiCo Hands-On Learning Crates>>>>

Kiwico Atlas Crate Review

teaching children financial literacy the dad tax

Dad Hack Number 3 Your Kids Financial Future Hangs in the Balance

How Dads Can Better Prepare Their Children Financially

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link o these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

Let me start by saying I am not a financial guru.  I don’t have any degrees or certification in anything related to finance.  I never learned anything higher than Accounting 102.  This advice is purely my own experience in life and in raising my children.


A Better Future

We have the obvious things in place.  A Life insurance policy that will ensure that our kids don’t financially struggle if anything were to happen to us.

We have a good agent who looks out for our best interests.

We have a college plan that goes beyond hoping our children are the best ballers in the state.

This post isn’t about making sure the kids are set in the unfortunate event that we pass away early in their lives.  I don’t want that to happen, but we are prepared.

This isn’t about college planning or anything like that either.  We are planning financially and if the kids continue to excel the way they are then college expenses will not be a concern.

This is About Financial Literacy

The schools don’t teach it.  Most parents don’t teach it.  I was not taught financial literacy.

The lack of financial education dooms most children to a lifetime of struggling financially even if they receive a lot of money from life insurance or inheritance.

I took it upon myself to learn, and I am still learning, as we all should.  The financial world evolves just as rapidly as any other world.

Dads should pass financially literacy on to their children.  Because it is extremely important and is not taught anywhere else.

When I was done with college I was in a lot of debt but I did not understand the impact it would have on me.  I did not know how it makes it harder to get credit and if you do you will have higher interest rates that can cripple you financially.

Financial Literacy written on a notepad sheet.

I didn’t know that bad debt stays with you for many years.

I didn’t know there are ways to take care of the bad debt.

I didn’t know how important it was to have money saved up somewhere.

I had no clue about the stock market or other ways of investing.  If I did I would be much better off now.

If I knew in my teens what I know now I would be so much better off financially.  Instead of blowing my entire paycheck on nothing during a time in my life when I had very little responsibilities financially I could have been saving and investing.

I did not receive this education.

My Children Will

Dad Hack Three – Use Stash Investment App For Your Children’s Financial Future

We have already started investing for both of my younger children.  To do this I use an app called Stash.

There are a number of apps today that can accomplish your goals but I had been using Stash for a little while for my own investing.

To be clear this is not the only means of me investing but something that makes it easier to pick what sector/fund and in some cases stocks you want to invest in.

The cost to you is minimal.

If your account balance is under $5000 then it costs $1 per month.  If it is over $5000 then it cost .25% per month.

Trades do not cost anything.

Seems reasonable to me.

What Can You Invest In?

Stash allows you to invest as little as $5 initially.

You can invest in one of the numerous funds.  Funds are industry focused so there’s tech options, healthcare, defense, and green initiative funds.

There are also funds that you can select based on risk.  Higher risk usually means higher reward (or higher loss).

Stash recently added the ability to invest in some individual stocks.  For example, I invested in Microsoft.

You don’t have to invest in any stock on a per share basis as you do with traditional methods of investing.  If you wanted to invest just $5 into Microsoft you could even though a share of Microsoft is currently about $113.

If Microsoft pays dividends (which they do every quarter) you get a little piece of it based on your investment.

Stash Learning

Stash also has an educational component for anyone who wants to learn about investing.  This comes mostly in the way of blog posts but is very helpful for anyone who wants to learn more.

And it’s free!

I would strongly encourage anyone who needs to save money for whatever reason to consider Stash. I would more strongly suggest that you open a custodial account for your children.

Even if you put $5 a month into a trade it will help them get started in life once they become adults.

Savings accounts earn maybe 1% if anything.  Certificate of Deposits are not much better.  I am currently up around 5% on my Stash account.

Results do vary based on what you invest in and the risk factor as well as stock market performance.

I can sell and withdraw at any time without much of a hassle.  (I am not going to go into tax implications here, speak to a tax professional first).

Stash is also planning to add debit cards soon.

Financial Literacy 101

The one thing that we have struggled with concerning our kids and their financial literacy is getting them to understand the value of a dollar.

Isaiah (8) seems to be turning a corner so progress is being made.  I just told him recently about his account on Stash.  He immediately gave me $5 of the $9 he had to invest.  He’s showing promise.

Both of my younger kids always want to spend money.  I am sure all parents know the routine.

At home: Not Hungry

In the Car: Hungry – they want to go out to eat.

Every commercial that comes on TV: Daddy can I have that for Christmas?

We do give our children a few dollars every month to do with as they please.  The minute that money hits their hand they want to go to the store.

To be fair Isaiah does talk about giving some to help someone in need.  This is also very important.  I cannot stress enough the importance of teaching your children to give.

It really is hard to teach a 4 and 8-year-old why they should be smart with their money.  They cannot possibly fathom what’s ahead for them in life.

For now, we let them spend their monthly stipend as they see fit while maybe nudging them in a certain direction.


What’s the Lesson?

When they run out of money on day 3 of the month they no longer have money to do anything else.  We caution Isaiah of this before he spends it and he sometimes changes his mind.

And as I said earlier, he did give me more than half of what he had left to invest.  Progress.

Play Monopoly or Cashflow for Kids

We occasionally play monopoly.  Believe it or not, this is a great teaching opportunity as well.  Just as in real life you cannot purchase a property in Monopoly if you don’t have enough money.  And there are bills to be paid.

Just Use Your Card – the Response

This one is a little harder for them to understand at this point.  They think that little piece of plastic means there is an unlimited supply of money.

We all know that is not true.

We are considering getting Isaiah a prepaid card and putting his monthly stipend on it to help him understand.

Great Books to Help Teach Your Kids Financial Literacy

Thankfully Isaiah loves to read.  His Uncle purchased:

Get Wall Kids (and Adults Too) Should Know About Savings and Investing on Amazon>>>

I purchased:

Get Escape the Rat Race on Amazon>>>

Get Rich Dad Poor Dad for Teens on Amazon>>>

A Penny for Your Thoughts

My wife and I are in agreement that education starts at home.  Isaiah and Izzy both learn at home first and then at school.

When it comes to financial literacy (and a few other topics) the only place they are going to learn is at home.  The public school system does not teach kids how to invest, save, or balance an account.

They don’t teach the consequences of bad credit or debt.

The system is not designed to keep people out of debt.  Just look at student loans.  Once a child is done with college they can be more than $100,000 in debt.

How can you start your adult life that way?

Teach Your Children.  If you don’t know it then learn it and teach your children.  End the Cycle.

financial lieteracy for children





A Dad’s Perspective on Boscov’s – How Boscov’s Thrives

How Boscov’s Thrives When Other Retailers Struggle.   Tour the New Boscov’s in Connecticut (A Dad’s Perspective)

Disclosure:  I was invited to a bloggers event at the Post Mall in Milford CT.  The event was for the opening of a new Boscov’s in the mall.  The opinions and thoughts are mine and not influenced by anyone. 

On Saturday, October 6th, 2018 a new Boscov’s celebrates their opening in Milford CT with a ribbon cutting & grand opening celebration.

On Friday I got to meet Jim Boscov (CEO of Boscov’s) along with some of the other executives and employees of Boscov’s and the Post Mall in Milford Connecticut.


We also toured the new Boscov’s and learned how they can open new stores when it seems other retailers are struggling to stay open.

As I was preparing to write this I read that Mattress Firm is preparing to close 700 stores. We all know of the struggles of Sears, Kmart and Toys R Us.  It seems like retailers not named Walmart or Target are struggling.

If you watch or read the news you have probably also heard that malls are struggling, and some are.  We will get to that later.

Why Did I Choose This Event?

I was the only dad blogger in attendance.  There was only one other male attending. He was there for a fashion blog.  I chose to do this because I think it’s important to understand that men do shop.  It’s important to get a dad’s perspective on what is perceived as a women’s world.

Men prefer to get in and out when they shop.  We almost always know what we want, where to get it, and the fastest way to accomplish this.

We don’t want to spend hours browsing the racks because we have other things to do, like take naps, play with the kids and procrastinate.  These things are very important.

There were approximately 20 women in attendance.  I presume most but not all are moms.  In the blog world, we get the moms perspective far more often than we do the dads.

I chose to do this knowing that I would be one of maybe a few men there.  I chose to do this understanding that this is usually a female dominated area.  I chose to do this to give a dad’s perspective.

How Is Boscov’s Able to Open New Stores?

Boscov’s is the largest family-owned department store chain in the United States.  They have been operating for over one hundred years.

With the addition of the Milford store they now have 47 stores in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Ohio, and Connecticut.

They provide a wide array of merchandise but do this with very competitive pricing and excellent customer service.

Boscov’s also understands there are some areas it’s best not to try to compete in some areas like consumer electronics and sports equipment.

Boscovs Grand Opening Event in Milford CT

Here’s Where Boscov’s Differs from the Pack

They Only Open One New Store Per Year

Boscov’s is very intentional with their growth plan, choosing to only open one store per year.

Of course, they research and review the demographics of any potential location to see if it’s a viable location.

By opening only one new store per year they can focus on building and becoming a part of the community.  This sets them apart from competitors because they’re not oversaturating the area but instead taking the time to get to know the community and understanding the location.

Boscov’s Buyers are Good at What They Do

The buyers at Boscov’s know what they’re doing.  They know how to get the best deals on merchandise that the community wants.  They have the research and the contacts to be able to provide the best deals possible.

Boscov’s prides themselves on the relationships they have built with vendors.  These relationships help them get great deals on purchases that they are ready to pass on to their customers.

We met one of the buyers who has been with Boscov’s for over 30 years and has been the buyer for three different departments.  She knew exactly what would sell in Milford Connecticut and how to get the best deal possible on it.

30 years of experience will do that.

Boscov’s Would Rather Focus on Volume Than Profit Margin

Jim Boscov told us that Boscov’s would rather focus on giving its customers better pricing because they will buy more and more often from Boscov’s.  This means lower profit margins, but it also means customers are buying more from Boscov’s.

It seems to be working in everyone’s favor.

Mens Pants at Boscovs in Milford CT

Boscov’s Cares

They say that a company’s culture starts at the top.  Jim Boscov spent time telling us about the company including stories of how they helped people out during the great depression by giving them credit to purchase from Boscov’s when there was no guarantee that they would ever pay them back.

Everyone paid them back!

As we walked around other employees greeted us, not to make commissions but just to say hi.  We toured with someone from marketing who also greeted customers in the store as she walked through.

Jim was walking around talking to customers as we toured the store.  You could tell this was not a show but something that was practiced often.

Boscov’s hired 300 people at the new store.  They brought in another 150 people from other stores to train the 300 new employees.  Not for a few days but for 3 weeks prior to opening.

I have never worked retail, but I have heard horror stories about training. I also have a training background.  Three weeks of training in retail is impressive.

As you can see they do things a little differently.

Me being me did a little research outside of the tour.  Here’s something that was not shared with us during the event.

Jim Boscov, the CEO and obviously part of the Boscov family, has worked other positions for Boscov’s including Assistant Store Manager, Store Manager, Buyer and numerous other positions over a 40-year career at Boscov’s.

I’d say It’s safe to say he worked his way up.  You can rest assured he knows the business inside and out.

The New Boscov’s in Milford Connecticut.

OK, enough about the company.  Let’s talk about the new store….from a Dad’s perspective.

They have women’s clothes, makeup and so on.  I know that dads probably don’t care much about that unless you need a gift.

Let’s talk about what we want!

Children’s Clothing

First, there is a nice assortment of children’s clothes.  I don’t shop for the kid’s clothes often but when I do I prefer it be as painless as possible.

Boscov’s does just that.  There are clothes for children from infant to young adults (teens).  There are clothes for just about any reason.

It’s easy to figure out where the clothes you’re looking for are.

And there are some great deals to be had on children’s clothes because their buyers know what they’re doing.

They do have a small department with toys from Melissa and Doug.  

Did You Say Fudge?

I had no idea…really, none.  Boscov’s has a candy bar.  They also make their own fudge.

I was fortunate enough to not only be able to try some, but I also received a box to take home.

I tried pumpkin flavored fudge.  I know what you’re thinking.  Don’t judge me.

It was amazing.

I have a problem though.  I love chocolate and peanut butter together.  I took home a box of chocolate & peanut butter fudge.  Also, unbelievable.

My wife swiped it the next morning and I have not seen it since.

They have won awards for their fudge.  If you don’t go to Boscov’s for any other reason, then go for the fudge.

Award Winning Fudge at Boscovs in Milford CT

Men’s Clothes

Yes, they have men’s clothes.  In the Milford store, it’s a little more than half of the first floor.  They have casual and suits, ties, and socks (I will get back to the socks in a few sentences).

They have outerwear and underwear.

I know what you’re thinking, so does Walmart and Target.

I loathe Walmart for so many reasons.  Target is cool but sometimes a little pricey.

Boscov’s gets it.  They’re not trying to be either store.  They are family owned and believe that their whole team is part of the Boscov’s family.

That means they do treat their employees right (Walmart does not) and are not overpriced (Target is on some things).

OK, now…I am a short and t-shirt kind of guy who can dress up, and does like to dress up, sometimes.

What I don’t like is the hassle of buying a suit and then having it altered to meet my size.

Boscov’s simplifies the suit buying process.

They have a large selection of suits and can take care of everything in the store.  They also have all the accessories you might need including ties, socks, and shoes.

I saw a large selection of ties but didn’t have a lot of time to go through them as I toured the store.  There was a large color and style selection easily visible as we walked around.

For you bow tie fans they have those too.  I am personally not a fan of bow ties.

You’re reading this so there’s a good chance you’ve read my Sprezzabox blog post where I talk about my sock addiction.  I have several resources to get my sock fix but here’s something I did not know.

Boscov’s has a wide selection of $.99 socks.  I don’t know if this is something they have in other stores, but the Milford store does.

I live 5 minutes from the Meriden Connecticut store, so I will report back to you on the availability there.

I can say with confidence that dads will have no problem filling their clothing needs here.  Sock addicts go check it out.

Socks for 99 cents at Boscovs in Milford CT

As Seen on TV

You know those commercials you see late at night with the cool air fryer or other gadgets?  Well. Boscov’s has a large As Seen on TV section where they carry all those items.

It’s really cool for us dads because there are things we would like in this section.  I saw a George Foreman grill that I will be getting.  They have lots of other household gadgets that intrigue me as well.

Free Gift Wrapping

I am not a fan of wrapping gifts.  I have become an expert at buying gift bags with tissue paper.  To make matters worse my wife also does not like wrapping gifts.

Christmas Eve is painful for us.  We procrastinate every year and complain all night about wrapping the gifts.

Boscov’s has free gift wrapping.  See you soon gift wrappers.

Jim Boscov started talking about curtains and drapes but I suddenly went deaf.  I cannot explain it.

I Am Sold

As we were touring the store I had a short conversation with Jim Boscov.  During the conversation, it came up that I live 5 minutes from the Meriden store.

He asked me what they can do better.  I didn’t have an answer for him.  My wife does most of the shopping.  I was tempted to call her, but I knew she was with clients.

He said you can be honest with me.  The only thing I could think of is I would like to see more children’s clothing though Milford seems to have quite a bit.

He genuinely cares what his customers think.  I have never spoken to the CEO of a retail chain before, but I know that most CEOs are not open to talking to customers like this.

I saw him later talking to another customer at the candy bar.  I can tell he really cares what customers have to say.

I mentioned earlier in this blog that a company’s culture starts at the top.  It’s evident to me that the biggest reason that Boscov’s continues to grow at a time when other retail chains close doors and trim the fat is the customer first culture that starts at the top.

Jim Boscov CEO of Boscovs in Milford CT

The (Connecticut) Post Mall

We also had the opportunity to meet some of the team at the Post (Formerly the Connecticut Post Mall).

The Post’s marketing and management have the mall undergoing a transformation not only physically but philosophically.

The team at the Post understands that how people shop has changed.

Yes, Amazon plays a big part in this but both Boscov’s and the Post understand that people still want to be able to shop and take home items the same day.

The Post also understands that consumers want a centralized place to do things.  The Post is becoming that place.

Shopping, dining, and entertainment are already available at the Post but they will continue to evolve to meet today’s consumer demand.

Coming soon is Muse Paintbar, Kidz Klub and Dave & Busters (conveniently they will be next to each other).

Dave & Busters is set to open in November so look for that grand opening soon.

There’s already a movie theater and plenty of places to eat.  The movie theater features some of the most comfortable seating in the state.

They also have lots of events.  During the grand opening celebration week of Boscov’s, Debby Boone will be performing a couple of times per day.

I was not aware that the Post is the largest mall in Connecticut in square space.  I do know it is a very large mall with lots to do already.

Boscov’s and the Post are proving that traditional brick and mortar can survive with a little creativity and understanding what the consumer wants.

If you’re not innovating, you’re dying.  

boscovs a dads perspective pin