This is the first in a new series of weekly “guest” posts by FamZoo’s first summer intern - Haley Dwight. If you recognize that last name, it’s because Haley’s my daughter. She’s home from college for the summer, and we’re putting her right to work here at FamZoo headquarters. She’ll be helping us out with our Internet marketing and social media efforts. (I knew all that time in Facebook had to be good for something!) One of Haley’s regular responsibilities involves locating and cataloging the wide variety of family finance articles that appear on the Internet each day. We’re building quite a collection in our FamZoo bookmark list on Delicious. At the end of each week, she’ll be picking her favorites and posting them (along with a little elder-teen perspective commentary) here on the FamZoo blog. Enjoy! Bill
Here are my top 3 family finance article picks for the week:
This article quickly covers the When, What, and How Much of introducing an allowance. On the How Much question, I particularly liked the advice: “the ideal allowance enables a child to buy some items but not others, thereby teaching selectivity and a basic form of budgeting”. This goes for a child of any age. For example, my 8-year-old brother can either spend his money now on a his favorite honey candy, or save for a few weeks to buy that set of Yu-Gi-Oh cards he’s been dying to have. Likewise, I can either spend money on a dinner with friends right now or save to buy those True Religion jean shorts I’ve been eyeing. Having a coveted item in mind makes saving worth passing up smaller opportunities along the way.
5 Creative Ways to Teach Kids About Money from The Huffington Post by Alexa von Tobel
Each of Alexa’s ways to teach kids about money is helpful and easy to do: making a game of saving money at the grocery store, using games and puzzles to teach basic money concepts, using allowance as a learning opportunity, turning charitable giving into a family routine, and discussing relevant articles around the dinner table. We’ve used FamZoo in our family as an online version of her three jars allowance suggestion — one each for spending, savings, and charity. We’ve also created a family tradition of writing letters to the troops each Thanksgiving.
Financial Training for Children from LIVESTRONG.com by Melinda Hawkins
Melinda suggests 5 ways to teach your child how to handle and save money: shopping together, using a regular allowance, setting goals for larger purchases, letting your child learn firsthand from spending mistakes, and training your child to understand interest. I think learning from your own spending mistakes is particularly important. I’ll never forget the time I blew half my clothing budget on a wear-it-once prom dress. I couldn’t afford any new clothing for the rest of the year - oopsie!