Helping Kids Get Smart About Money

O.M.G. Featured in Money Magazine & The Washington Post!

December 18th, 2014 | Add a Comment »

You can tell it’s the holiday season with the increased activity all around.  This time of year brings the holiday lists too with a plethora of ideas for parents of what to give their kids this season – gifts we all hope will last long into the New Year.  Our O.M.G. Official Money Guide book made a couple of those lists this season in Money Magazine and The Washington Post.  Here’s what they had to say:

OMG_FrontCover_with-pgs-fanned-2014-FINAL(sml)money-Mag_logo“The big challenge of our day, as it relates to the financial security of young people, is getting them thinking about their financial future now while they have 40 or 50 years to let their savings compound. Young people need to protect their identity and their credit score—two relatively recent considerations. Many of them are also committed to making a difference through giving, which is an uplifting trait of younger generations. Yet they are prone to scams and don’t know how to vet a charity.  In OMG: The Official Money Guide for Teenagers, authors Susan and Michael Beacham tackle these and other basics in a breezy, colorful, cleverly illustrated booklet meant to hold a teen’s attention.”  -  Trouble Talking with Your Kids? Try This Book – Money Magazine/TIME by Dan Kadlec. Read the rest of this entry »

Holiday Gifts That Last A Lifetime

November 21st, 2014 | Add a Comment »

Christmas GiftEach November, I sit down to write about gift-giving.  I try to allay your fears that you cannot afford to spend enough to make your loved ones feel really loved.  Or worse, that you will spend so much trying to fulfill their every wish that you will far exceed the amount your budget can bear.  So this year, rather than telling you that there is more to the holidays than being a smart shopper, I’d like to show you.

Over the years, I have received many holiday gifts from my family. But each one has given me one special gift that stands out.  Allison, my oldest, gave me five letters one year.  The envelopes read: “Open when you need…Some Lovin’, Some Happy, Some Inspiration, Some Wisdom.”  The letters within take my breath away each and every time I read them.

My youngest recently gave me a deck of cards hole-punched and kept together with two metal rings.  The cover card reads: “52 Reasons Why I Love You!”  I could barely get through the deck. Read the rest of this entry »

Money Savvy Banks Make Holiday Gift List for Kids & Teens on WGN

November 21st, 2014 | Add a Comment »

Woo hoo!  Last week I was thrilled when Terry Savage was on WGN News sharing her annual gift-giving ideas – and kicked off her list with our Money Savvy banks and O.M.G. Official Money Guide for Teenagers book!  I’m so grateful to Terry and her support through the years in our quest to help kids get smart about money.  Here’s the link to the video.  Enjoy!

WGN-TV-Terry Savage Shares Annual Gift Giving Ideas

Hot Topic 2014: 4 Key Money Phrases To Teach Your Kids

November 14th, 2014 | Add a Comment »

As I was looking through some of the topics covered this year on the blog, I thought that a recap of one of the most “active” discussions would be perfect to add as the holiday season approaches – Key Money Phrases to Teach Your Kids.  I am thrilled when the blog sparks a conversation for families and with our peers.   I hope they help you and your family through this holiday season.

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” - A tough one to say out loud.
2. “I need help.”  - Help your kids think outside the box when they need money.
3. “I made a mistake.” - Tough to admit, and even harder to live with!
4. “I’m sorry.” - Not easy to say, but saying it can be incredibly freeing.

Kids need to do more than just learn these 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. With your help, and some open discussions about your own money experiences (bad and good), your kids can – and will – learn how to manage their own finances with confidence as they grow.

How young is too young to talk about investing? (Yahoo!Finance Canada)

November 5th, 2014 | Add a Comment »

Yahoo! Finance Canada posted a great article Monday about kids and investing.  Journalist Gail Johnson asked for my thoughts on this topic.  Here are a few key ideas I shared with her (which were included in this piece):

•    First, teach kids to learn how to save.
•    Help kids learn to stop, think and reflect when considering what to do with their money.
•    Ask kids to think long term (10 years out) when setting goals.
•    Don’t underestimate kids’ savvy when it comes to money.

Here is the link to the full article:  How young is too young to teach kids about investing?  Yahoo! Finance Canada

What to say when kids ask, “Are we rich?” – Money.com

October 28th, 2014 | Add a Comment »

Money Magazine’s November issue features a great article with ideas to help parents respond to the question from our kids that many of us fear: “Are we rich?”  I was asked for some tips for this piece, so here are a couple ideas to help guide your response to younger children:

     • Being “rich” is about feeling grateful, healthy and happy, not just owning things.

     • Reaffirm that if your family is struggling financially, that it’s not their fault.

Here’s the full article: What to Say When Your Kid Asks, “Are We Rich, Mommy?” – Money Magazine

Have you already faced this question from your kids? If so, what worked? What did not?

 

Money lessons for kids of different ages – Credit Card Insider

October 21st, 2014 | Add a Comment »

Money Savvy Pig bank makes CCI’s list of great ways to teach money lessons to kids.

This month, Kimberly Rotter with CreditCardinsider.com asked me, along with several other financial literacy experts, to weigh in on various ways adults can approach money lessons with their kids at different ages. The final piece includes some stats we are all too familiar with:

     • Half of the U.S. wealth gap is connected to the vastly different financial knowledge levels of  the affluent and the poor.

     • Only 4 states currently require students to complete a personal finance course to graduate from high school.

     • Just 17 states include personal finance instruction in their curriculum requirements.

But, we know that starting young is the key to helping kids better understand their money options – and to manage them wisely!

Here’s the link to the final article: “If My Parents Taught Me This As A Child, I’d Be Retired By Now” - CreditCardInsider.com

Tips on how to introduce investing to your kids

September 5th, 2014 | Add a Comment »

Want to introduce investing to your kids?  Owning a share of stock is a good place to start as it will likely inspire them to track performance and allow them to experience risk and rewards through the real-time ups and downs of the market.

Why start with one share of stock vs. a mutual fund or other kind of investment?  Investing in a company you know, possibly one that you frequent and are a loyal user of their products, makes that investment personal and a lot more interesting.  A more provocative investment will capture and keep the younger investor’s attention and hopefully, inspire them to add to that initial investment and even invest in another company.

One way to get started is to buy shares direct from the company.  Read the rest of this entry »

Take time for ‘Frozen’ to thaw

July 18th, 2014 | Add a Comment »

Caryn_Alexander_Elizabeth-Frozen BlogPost2014_07_18 (AdjustClr)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 »

Maybe it did start with a Lemonade stand

June 18th, 2014 | Add a Comment »

Lemonade stand-Young Allison and AmandaIt’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 »