Helping Kids Earn Money

With Christmas looming, my 7-year-old daughter’s gift wish list seems to grow by the day. She’s been combing through toy catalogs since October and has dog-eared so many pages I’m afraid that Santa won’t be able to deliver all the goods. In fact, I know Santa won’t be bringing half of the things on her mile-long list. Without blowing her belief in the big guy, I have been gently reminding her that if (more like, when) Santa doesn’t grant all of her wishes, she still has the opportunity to get them by paying for them herself. Currently, she earns a … Continue reading

Smashing Your Piggy Bank

Whenever you watch a show that focuses on kids earning money, it usually ends with the child reaching their goal and getting out a hammer to smash their piggy bank. This image has always bothered me. I think that it is because I cringe at the idea of breaking something that way. Whenever I wanted to get my money out, I would fish the money out slowly or shake it out of the bank. Similarly as adults how do we react when we reach a savings goal? The savings goal could be enough money for a down payment on a … Continue reading

4 Ways to Encourage Your Children to Save

Saving should be an integral part of what you teach your children about money. It goes along with the importance of teaching your children to give. It may seem silly to teach your three-year-old to begin saving money, but if you teach her when she is young, the habit will go with her. Here are four different ways to teach your children to save. 1) When your children are young, have them save money towards a specific goal. It might be fun to do this in a big glass jar. You could save for something as a family. When they … Continue reading

Budgeting Unexpected School Expenses

School expenses can add very quickly. It is important to budget carefully and decide at the beginning of the year just how much you are willing to spend on each of your children throughout the year. In addition to little items such as school lunch, school supplies and field trips. Here are four school-related expenses that you may not have considered. 1) School field trips and overnight trips are becoming more expensive every year. Your child does not necessarily need to attend all the overnight trips, especially if you cannot afford them. You may offer to pay fifty percent, and … Continue reading

Meeting Needs Doesn’t Mean Giving In to Every Want

We live in a confusing time—with so much commercialism and competition and sheer “stuff”—in can get confusing in a family just exactly what we parents are obligated to provide and what is extra. It doesn’t help that we’re getting pressure and influences from all sides (not just from our kids) and it can be a little challenging to differentiate between what are the basic needs that we must provide for our children and what are those extra “wants.” Some things are really obvious, as in we are not obligated to provide i-pods and vacations to Disneyland. But some can be … Continue reading

The Gimmes

It’s often hard for young kids to separate a need from a want. As parents, it’s our responsibility to help them learn to decipher on their own this difference. Tyler has developed a case of the gimmes. As we plan for our return to New Orleans, part of this planning involves having to totally restock our home including his bedroom, of course. As such, he has come up with a list of items that he wants. Notice I said “want” not “need”. Some of these items include a candy machine, a file cabinet, a 40-inch plasma TV and a paper … Continue reading

Parent Bank

Once your kids are old enough to write, you may want to consider the idea of opening up a local parent bank. What is a parent bank you say? Well, it is a fun and informative way to teach kids about money and the banking process, as well as curbing the “impulse buy.” Often kids feel money just burns a hole in their pockets. When the day comes they finally get some, they can’t wait to get out and spend. It doesn’t really even matter what they are buying, they just want to spend. Sound familiar? This is a common … Continue reading

Should You Make Kids Save for College?

When my kids were younger, we had a rule that a percentage of their money needed to go into savings–this went for earned money, birthday and gift money and other money that came their way. Over the years, with two households and two separate sets of rules, that “savings plan” has come under attack and while saving is still stressed at Mom’s house–it isn’t necessarily the rule of the family any longer. I always admired families who had a “college fund” that the kids contributed to, and I’m definitely on board with teaching kids how to tithe and save. As … Continue reading

Should Teens Receive An Allowance If They Are Working?

Should a teen’s allowance end once they start working? I was surprised to find that 45% of respondents in a recent poll by the Family Education Network felt that teens should continue to receive an allowance once they start working. 47% voted “no” and just 8% had “no opinion”. I found this kind of odd. I’ve never known a teen that worked and received an allowance. That seems to defeat the purpose of working. When teens work, it’s a step toward independence. It’s also a good way for them to learn the value of money and how to budget. If … Continue reading

My Two Year Old Asked for Money!

Today my two-year-old turned to me and asked for money. He knows what it is–the green paper and the coins that he wants to carry around. I am sure that he does not quite know what to do with the money yet. He did learn recently that if you put it in a machine that candy comes out, but other than that he really does not have the concept down yet. One reason that he is so aware of money is that he wants to do everything that big sister does. She has an allowance, chores, and the desire to … Continue reading