July 18th, 2014 | Add a Comment »
She’s adorable. She’s having a birthday and all she wants is an Elsa costume from Disney’s wildly popular movie Frozen, the highest grossing animated film in box-office history. To be clear, she wants Elsa, not Anna. Anna is easier to get. But Elsa, not so much. Elsa’s signature attire is selling for roughly $150 retail in Disney stores–if you can find one. Big IF.
Try as they might, Disney cannot keep this item on the shelves. So, faced with a child’s “heart’s desire” for a highly sought after product, what is a parent to do next?
Read the rest of this entry »
June 18th, 2014 | Add a Comment »
It’s 8 a.m. and both of my girls are at work. Allison, my oldest, just graduated from college and is employed full-time at a company that is what I consider “old school”. “Old school” benefits that include health, dental, vision and a 4% match on 401(k) contributions and a defined benefit pension on top of that. My youngest, a rising junior in college, is at her first job of the day, teaching special education three-year-olds at a summer camp and then will come home and turn around to get to her second job of the day, a hostess at a restaurant where she has worked for the past 4 years.
If you ask them why they work so hard, they will tell you it is because they have to. And they would be right. We told them in high school that they would need to cover their wants and needs when they started college. Read the rest of this entry »
May 29th, 2014 | Add a Comment »
I just finished my morning ritual – well, obsession. Coffee, toast, email, FB and Twitter. There is so much information that I did not know when I went to bed last night.
Ticks. It’s the season. Did you know how many ticks there are and that they are on the rise? I may not go out much this summer.
Schools. Turns out my kids are in or have just graduated from what they call “party schools” - something that we did not hear about during freshman orientation. But not to worry, ‘cause the ROI (return on investment) is big. Read the rest of this entry »
May 27th, 2014 | Add a Comment »
Here is the last (but not the least) in my series of key money phrases you should teach your children:
4. I’m sorry
Finances are the most likely point of contention in marriages. When my husband and I got married, we established a money rule: Each of us would have independent authority over transactions up to $100; after that we had to discuss the proposed transaction. That was 26 years ago. Today, the total for independent expenditures is $1,000. This rule tended to keep a lot of the potential resentment over money at bay.
But, everybody makes mistakes, and so did we. Read the rest of this entry »
May 15th, 2014 | 4 Comments »
Here’s the third of four key money phrases your children need know – and should feel comfortable using - when faced with making financial decisions:
3. I made a mistake
Mistakes are tough to admit and even harder to live with. Money mistakes that get buried become compounded disasters. Teach your child that it is only human to make a mistake and that by admitting to the mistake, you can fix it and learn from it.
Often our kids hide money mistakes. In college, they are eager to prove they are worthy of the independence. Chances are that will translate into them living beyond their means via credit.
Before they leave for college, tell them that while you believe in them, you anticipate they will make some money mistakes and that you understand that managing money on their own is a learning process – one that will include mistakes. Read the rest of this entry »
May 9th, 2014 | Add a Comment »
Last month I shared some thoughts about the important role grandparents can play in helping kids learn good money habits with readers of The Skinnie. Here’s a link to the article: TheSkinnie-TeachYourGrandkids AboutMoney-2014_04_18
May 6th, 2014 | 2 Comments »
In my last post, I discussed the first of the four key money phrases your children need know – and should feel comfortable using - when faced with making financial decisions: “I don’t know.” Here’s a link to that post to read more: 4 Key Money Phrases to Teach Your Kids – #1: I Don’t Know. Now for Phrase #2:
2. I need help.
Today, people are getting more comfortable asking for start-up help from social media sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo and RocketHub to name a few. Crowdsourcing is a concept most of our older kids get and use to their advantage. (I just contributed $25 to a request for funding from a classmate of my oldest daughter’s so she could produce a short film for school.)
Leverage this trend with a lesson of your own on the importance of asking for help when it comes to money. Read the rest of this entry »
April 29th, 2014 | 1 Comment »
When you think about money phrases your children need know, what comes to mind? Adjustable rate mortgage? Compound interest? Minimum payment? Certainly, all of those are things your kids will need to understand at some point. But first they need to learn some others:
1. I don’t know.
2. I need help.
3. I made a mistake.
4. I’m sorry.
And they need to do more than just learn those phrases. They need to become so comfortable using them that they become instinctive responses when they are faced with financial decisions, such as whether to choose an adjustable rate mortgage. I’ll take them one at a time and show you what I mean:
1. I don’t know. Read the rest of this entry »
April 25th, 2014 | Add a Comment »
To celebrate Financial Literacy Month, I am launching the Money Savvy Kids Book Club. To get started, the first book to read is A Chair For My Mother, by Vera Williams. So visit your local library and read about saving for something very important. Then, let me know what you or your child are saving for by adding a comment with a photo to our Facebook post announcing the Money Savvy Kids Book Club. Once you do, you will automatically be entered in a giveaway to win your own Money Savvy Pig bank! Winners will be announced each month, with the first winner announced on May 22nd.
Here’s the link to our Facebook page to post your comments and photos for a chance to win: Money Savvy Generation FB-MSKBC launched.
Happy reading! I look forward to seeing what you are saving for this spring!
February 24th, 2014 | 4 Comments »
That is a classic question I get all of the time. Most recently, it came from a teacher at Libby Elementary in Chicago, Illinois. She teaches our Money Savvy Kids curriculum to the low-income elementary students in her class. Here is her question:
“This is the third year I have taught the program and always struggle w/explaining the purpose of investing to children whose parents are on welfare. Often the role of short-term vs. long-term goals is hard for them to comprehend, so investing is incomprehensible. Has this ever been addressed?”
I answered her–as I answer everyone who asks this question–with my life story. It’s why I do the work I do today.
Here’s what I told her: Read the rest of this entry »