4 Ways to Deal with the High Cost of Kids Sports and Activities

Today, it is not surprising to hear that parents are spending anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000 a year per child on sports, dance or other activities. In some cases, that amount can be even higher, when there are several children in the family and each are taking several activities at a time. According to financial guru Dave Ramsey, “some parents can spend up to $10,000 a year funding their child’s athletic pursuits.” Why is the cost so high these days? First of all there is equipment that parents much purchase, everything from figure skates or hockey skates, to baseball equipment … Continue reading

Encouraging Kids to Make Their Own Cash

In most homes, “encouraging” is easily interchanged with “threatening.” After all, how many parents relish seeing their fully capable teens sleeping in until noon and then lounging on the couch watching TV or texting when they could be gainfully employed at a decent summer job? Aside from the freedom to purchase expensive jeans, apps, music, and other teen-related must-haves, there are a slew of additional benefits that your child can gain from a summer job, including: learning responsibility, managing time well, honing math and reading skills, communicating, prioritizing, budgeting money and working on interpersonal relationships. However, before your child can … Continue reading

Cash for Kids

How much would you pay your kid to sweep up spilled Cheerios from the kitchen floor? With summer just around the corner, many kids are looking for ways to make money to fund summer fun. In most cases, younger children look to their parents for spare change or cash in exchange for hard labor. Okay, maybe that’s just my house. Older children may look for outside work to pad their wallets; though securing a summer job is not always easy. It pays to start the search for summer employment early. Many businesses start posting seasonal positions as early as March. … Continue reading

Kids and Money – What and When

One of the most valuable things that a parent can do is teach their children about money. If children are raised to understand how money works, they are likely to grow into financially aware adults who are able to make good financial decisions for themselves and their families. Of course, the big question is when to begin teaching them and what to teach them at each age and stage of their development. The earliest form of financial education for children happens without you even necessarily realizing that you are doing it. Children are very observant, and they see and hear … Continue reading

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

Fun Financial Education for Kids

Allowance is a hot topic in my daughter’s second grade class. Last week, her school hosted a gigantic book fair and kids were given the opportunity to shop during recess. Of course, that meant administrators had to modify their “no money on school property” rule. For the fair’s three-day run, students were allowed to bring up to $40 in cash and keep it in their backpacks until it was time to shop. Naturally, my daughter begged to bring 40 bucks to school. “Do you have 40 dollars?” I asked. “No, but you can give me it,” she responded without hesitation. … Continue reading

Toddlers and Financial Literacy

I am certainly a believer in teaching your kids about money. I am learning more than a few financial lessons the hard way, and I am not about to blame it on my parents but I am going to do everything that I can to ensure that my children do not repeat my mistakes. While it seems as though I have quite a bit of time before I have to start worrying about it, I wonder how much time I actually do have before I have to worry about it if you know what I mean. My son is twenty … Continue reading

Making Sure Your Kids Understand Debit and Credit Cards

Money is a difficult concept to understand, especially when it comes in so many different forms—checks, currency, coins. Add to that the concept of debit cards and credit cards, it really gets confusing, and kids don’t always grasp all the nuances. They see their parents swipe a card in a machine, the cashier lets them keep the stuff they chose, and it’s all pretty cool. When we use plastic instead of paper money, it can lead our children to have a disconnect between the reality that in order to spend money at the store, we need to make it and … Continue reading

Money Lessons For Older Kids

A few days ago I wrote about starting to teach children about money when they’re very small. The important lesson is to delay satisfaction. By not getting everything the child wants when the child wants it, the child learns the value of savings and eventually earning combined with saving. The lesson should carry over later in life and increase the child’s financial good health. Elmo helps to give the lesson a visual so children will better understand. Elmo may be able to help toddlers and preschoolers understand how to save a dollar for something special instead of spending it on … Continue reading

Teach Children Delayed Gratification

Not long ago I was listening to Dr Laura on Sirius satellite radio and she was talking about a study involving small children and self control. She explained that four-year-olds were given a marshmallow and told that they had a choice: They could eat the marshmallow now when the adults left the room or wait and get a second marshmallow when they returned. The children who waited for the second marshmallow ultimately did better in life. The children who were not able to control their desire to eat the marshmallow immediately did not fare as well later in life. That … Continue reading