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SNL meets Teen Finance: Weekly Family Finance Picks (#41)

We’re constantly scouring the Internet looking for articles related to family finances and teaching kids good personal finance habits. You can visit the FamZoo delicious page to see our ever growing list of family finance bookmarks. We’re up to 1239 now! Each week, we pick our favorite articles from the previous week and post them here.

OK, I have to admit: I was pretty uninspired by the family/kid finance articles over the past week. I had three candidates:

When I wandered down to the bottom of Dan’s post though, something in the comments caught my eye: M@d About TV. What is M@d About TV? Tween and teen targeted sketch comedy bits that seek to drive home one educational point at a time. Points about things like fitness, nutrition, money, and life skills.

What better way to describe M@d About than a quick video? The cast and producers describe the project in this Making of M@d About video.

Sounds intriguing.

So, in lieu of my three family finance article picks this week, I surfed the M@d About Channel on YouTube (beats workin’!) and produced this handy digest of the money related sketches (along with some square-old-Dad perspective from yours truly).

Frag Your Finances

FICAGRRL insists that CAPTAINBETTERTHANYOU74 earn compound interest on their “bootyloons”. “Geek” is a compliment where I come from, so I don’t know what all the incineration is about. By the way, MEGAINCINERATOR babysits just like my teens do.

Credit Card Protection

OK, this gives me a chuckle. I like the the blow dart in the neck. Welcome to credit card interest rates.

“Risky Love” — Spend vs Save

Yikes, 70s flashback. Is that John Travolta? Saturday Night Fever meets Twilight. Saving would look a heck of a lot more attractive with a shirt on; no wonder she goes for spending.

Priorities of the Panhandler

Dunno whether the wants/needs/priorities message sticks here, but I really love the the flip-card delivery - super clever!

Lord of the Taxes

Taxes are disturbing, and so is this video — especially the fishnet front on that dude(ette)! The message I’m getting: Taxes are about as appealing as a Lady Gaga male “in-hers-inator.”

Louise and Clark

Feels a bit like a bad SNL skit. You know, the ones in the second half hour. A loooooooong setup for the punch line (a wants vs needs message in this case). That said, I used to watch SNL every Saturday night as a teen (including the lame second half), so this might be completely on target for the teen demographic.

The Bottom Line

All in all, a big thumbs up from this old Dad. I applaud the quality effort and the mission. Still being quite juvenile at heart, I enjoyed the humor too.


Now I Get Allowance! Annie B's FamZoo Story

Earlier this month, I was on the phone with Diane B., a new FamZoo Mom from Washington state, helping her set up her family’s allowance and chore system in FamZoo.

By the way, if you need a hand with your setup, just contact us any time. We’re always happy to help, and we really pride ourselves on our personal, responsive service.

On the call, she mentioned that her 12 year old daughter, Annie, was the one who had found FamZoo, registered the family, and delivered the initial demo & sales pitch. Nice. FamZoo’s Marketing & Sales Department — err umm, that would be yours truly — could really use Annie on the “team”!

12 Year Old Annie B. Shares Her FamZoo StoryNaturally, I loved that story and asked if Annie would be willing to share it with us in her own words. Well, here it is (with some light typo editing — see image at right for the real deal):

Subject: my mom said you wanted to hear my fam zoo story

Hello, this is Annie, and my Mom told me to email you my story so here it goes:

So I have always wanted an allowance because I would do all my jobs and get nothing! I had always tried to earn one, but I couldn’t find one that would keep the perfect system (I like the idea of earning my money even if I don’t like my jobs) until I saw FamZoo!

I was just relaxing and watching my brother’s and sister’s show called BizKids ??? (I think) but it showed a family that used FamZoo. A perfect system. So right after the show, I ran downsairs, and I started to sign my family up. I showed my Mom. and she helped me create the accounts, and now I get allowance!

Thank you FamZoo!

Annie B.

Thank you Annie!

P.S. For those who haven’t seen it, the FamZoo segment in the BizKids show that Annie saw is here.


Stuffed Bear Now, No Fairy Wings Later: A Six-Year-Old Learns a Lifelong Personal Finance Lesson

“Those who never make mistakes lose a great many chances to learn something.”
— Unknown

It’s fascinating how seemingly trivial childhood interactions with parents can leave lifelong impressions and shape fundamental behavior long in adulthood. It’s a bit scary, actually: a seemingly innocuous parental intervention may set off a lifetime of unintended consequences. When you intervene to save your child from a little embarrassment, discomfort, or unhappiness now, are you robbing her of critical knowledge or skills she’ll need later? Maybe. As a parent, it’s easy — and sometimes just plain convenient — to go into rescue mode whenever your child makes a mistake. Sally’s story might make you reconsider. Keep it in mind the next time your child flashes that “melt your heart” smile — (or “make it stop” tantrum as the case may be)...

Sally Thibault WiseMothers.com and DavidsGift.comThis is a guest post for the FamZoo Blog by Sally Thibault. Sally is an author, speaker and regular blogger on raising children with ASD, and on Social media and teenagers.

My eldest daughter is 23 years old. She has lived away from home for two years, but recently she has relocated to a city about one hour away from where we live. A few weeks ago she asked me and my husband, Gerry, to accompany her to see a new car she wanted to purchase.

She had scoured the car sales websites, and found a car with very low mileage that was great on fuel consumption. We were actually very impressed with her ability to find a good deal, well within her budget, and after signing on the dotted line, we went out for dinner to celebrate.

Whilst at dinner I said to her “I am very impressed with how much you have saved and how you have managed your money.” She graduated from University two years ago, and in that time has had to relocate three times for her career. However, from the beginning of her working career she has always managed to save money — even if it was only $10 a week!

During our conversation, she reminded us of a story that we had long forgotten about.

Stuffed Bear with Red Polka Dot Bow Tie and Fairy Wings

When she was in the first grade, her primary school held a Fair. She was so excited to be going to this event and had been talking about it for months... as had all the children at the school.

My husband and I decided that our son and daughter could have $20 each to spend; enough to be able to go on a couple of rides (which were about $2 each), buy some food and buy something special. I was working on one of the stalls, and my husband was supervising my daughter. My son was a bit older and was very excited because he was able to walk around the fair with his friends... he thought he was so grown up!

When my husband and daughter arrived at the fair, the first thing my daughter saw was a stuffed, furry bear, with a big red polka dot bow tie — it was $15. She fell in love with the bear and decided she wanted to buy it. My husband suggested that she wait to see what the other stalls had, before deciding what to buy, but she was insistent that the bear was what she wanted. No matter what Gerry said, she was determined to have that bear, and consequently handed over the $15.

Five minutes later she came across another stall — a fairy stall. This time there were beautiful fairy wands, sparkling fairy wings and all sort of the prettiest little fairy dolls you can imagine. Immediately she realised what had happened — she only had $5 left and she hadn’t even been on a ride yet. So with the biggest brown eyes and turning on that “I am going to melt daddy’s heart” smile, she turned to Gerry and said “Daddy, I really want to buy some fairy wings.” He said “Well, honey, we agreed to $20 each for you and your brother, that’s all the money there is. The fairy wings are $10; you don’t have enough money left to buy them.”

While my daughter was retelling the story she said “All of a sudden I thought to myself — ‘I just spent $15 on this dumb bear and now I only have $5 left to spend — right then I just hated that stupid bear.’”

Gerry replied “I was really torn between giving you extra money and allowing you to learn the lesson, but we had decided on $20 for the both of you. If I had given you more money, I would have had to give your brother more money, so I decided that perhaps this was a good lesson for you to learn.”

“Well,” she said “Now every time I want to purchase something, I ask myself two questions ‘Do I really want/need this’ and ‘If I buy this, what will I have to forgo?’” She then said “Actually it was one of the greatest lessons I have ever learned.”

Later when Gerry and I were talking about the exchange he said “It was the hardest thing I had ever done. She was looking at me with those big brown eyes and pleading with me to let her have more money. How easy it would have been for me to back down — but I am so glad I didn’t!”

It was a valuable lesson she learned from us when she was six years old. This lesson has stayed with her, and shaped the way in which she makes decisions about what she wants and what is important in her life. She never feels as if she goes without anything, because she makes pretty clear decisions about what is important to her. In fact, she phoned me on the weekend to say that she and a friend had booked an overseas trip for August — and she paid cash for the flights on the spot!

At some point, our children have to learn their own lessons. How many times do we as parents say something and then back down? How many times do we not allow our children to learn the experiences when they are young?

Our role as parents is not to rescue our children, but to guide them to develop their own inner knowledge and wisdom. In this particular instance, a “$20” lesson my daughter learned when she was six years old has became a sound financial habit that will stay with her for the rest of her life.

— Sally


WiseMothers.com.au (Coming Mid-2011)
Twitter @WiseMothers


Financial Fixie-ation, Dad Not Dude, Allowance Is Ruining Your Kidpreneur: Weekly Family Finance Picks (#40)

We’re constantly scouring the Internet looking for articles related to family finances and teaching kids good personal finance habits. You can visit the FamZoo delicious page to see our ever growing list of family finance bookmarks. We’re up to 1213 now! Each week, we pick our favorite articles from the previous week and post them here.

Here’s the round-up for the week:

Teaching Teens to Manage Money

Taylor on Fixed GearDavid uses his son’s “fixie fixation” to impart several sound financial lessons. My son’s been a fixed gear biking fanatic and competitor for many years (see picture and video), so I couldn’t pass this one up. Besides, it’s a solid article that covers a very effective financial education technique.

Does your child have his or her heart set on a big purchase or an expensive hobby? Don’t miss a golden opportunity to instill a little financial wisdom along the way.

See how David’s doing it here.

Want to Teach Your Kids About Money? Embrace These Three Roles

Matt lists three key roles to fill while mentoring your kids on money matters: gatekeeper, teacher, role model. Notice how “Best Buddy” isn’t on that list. I think it’s critical to be father (or mother) first, and friend second. That’s why when I hear "Oh dude" muttered under the breath in response to a piece of parental discipline, I typically reply: “I’m Dad, not Dude.” Someone’s gotta be the bad guy.

Read Matt’s breakdown on the three money mentor roles here.

Tossing Young Entrepreneurs in the Deep End

As a software guy, I’m a natural fan of simple yes/no logic. You know, with computers, it’s ultimately all about ones and zeros. Unfortunately, parenting is way messier than that — lots of shades of gray. Context is so crucial. I’ve found that the same tool can be applied in very different ways with dramatically different results.

That’s why I get a tad irked when I read narrow directives from experts like:

Stop paying your kids an allowance. You’re ruining them.

Maybe. Maybe not. I’d say it depends upon how you’re applying the tool. It also depends on the kid.

In his post, MBH wrestles thoughtfully with the topic of allowance. By giving his daughter an allowance, is he snuffing out her entrepreneurial impulses? He cites four experts who’d respond with a definitive and resounding “Yes!”

But he’s still not totally convinced. Why not? Read here.

Life just isn’t binary, no matter what the experts say.


3 Tips for Organizing a Financial Literacy Workshop that Engages Kids and Teens

So you’ve gone and volunteered to organize a financial literacy workshop for 80+ fidgety youngsters and jaded teens. Now it’s time to deliver. How hard could that be? Doh! Maybe Kristin Penner can help you. She pulled it off earlier this month. Read on to find out how...

Kristin PennerThis is a guest post for the FamZoo blog by Kristin Penner. Kristin is a member of the San Jose Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, an African-American organization of mothers who nurture future leaders by strengthening children ages 2-19 through chapter programming, community service, legislative advocacy and philanthropic giving.

Financial Literacy: a Healthy Lifestyle Cornerstone

Our organization, Jack and Jill of America, recently instituted a nationwide financial literacy program which aims to have our kids complete a comprehensive financial literacy curriculum by the time they graduate from high school. In planning for a multi-chapter children’s event titled “Aiming for a Healthy Lifestyle,” our San Jose chapter felt that financial literacy was an important cornerstone topic that should be addressed along with workshops on nutrition/cooking, gardening/sustainability, and exercise/recreation.

FamZoo on the Screen at Jack & Jill Financial Literacy Workshop

My challenge was to develop fun, interactive workshops to engage kids in financial literacy for this event, which brought together Jack & Jill kids from three SF Bay Area chapters. We had one workshop for ages 3-8 and another for ages 9-13, each with around 40 kids participating. The younger kids worked with Moonjar’s Spend/Save/Share banks and chore charts, while the older kids talked about savings goals and budgeting with the help of FamZoo’s savings planner and budgeting tools.

The Game Plan

Here is an outline of of the high level game plan we used for each session:

Session 1 for Ages 3-8: Earning, Spending, Saving, Sharing

After a quick intro:

  1. Talk about where money usually comes from and the idea of “earning.” Hand out individual chore charts and FamZoo sticker books. Kids can put their names on these and parents/volunteers can help them add any responsibilities they want to track.
  2. Brief talk with input from the kids about Saving, Spending, Sharing and the Moonjar banks.
  3. Hand out Moonjar banks and stickers to put their names on their banks.
  4. Help kids assemble their banks, put their names on the stickers, hand out activity sheet packets.
  5. Kids can do activity sheets from Moonjar curriculum, if time is remaining, or take them to do at home.

Session 2 for Ages 9-13: Savings Goals and Budgets

After a quick intro:

  1. Savings and Goals — introduce some concepts, illustrated with FamZoo website.
    1. Kids work in small groups (table groups) to complete goal-setting worksheet and come up with a savings goal to report back to the big group.
    2. Groups report in and we run their numbers in the FamZoo Savings Planner tool to see how long it will take them to reach their goals.
    3. Talk about strategies to get to their goals faster (earning extra money, buying smarter, saving more each week, earning interest).
  2. Budgeting — introduce some basic concepts.
    1. Whole group agrees on what is a reasonable clothing allowance per month.
    2. Kids work in their small groups to come up with a clothing budget to fit within that agreed allowance using catalogs provided and adults in room to help out with prices.
    3. Groups report in and enter their paper budgets in the FamZoo budgeting tool to see just how much it would cost per month.

With the help of some great volunteers and a lot of support from FamZoo and Moonjar, both workshops were quite successful. The kids were engaged with the topics and had fun working together.

3 Keys to Engagement

Are you planning a financial literacy workshop for kids? Here are a few tips I can pass on:

  1. Keep it relevant. The kids responded best to big concepts when they could see the application to their own lives. For example, having catalogs from stores they liked made a clothing budget seem much more immediate and compelling.
  2. Get them talking to you and to each other. Small group work really kept the kids engaged and on task. They especially liked coming up with shared savings goals like a trip to the go-cart track.
  3. Have multiple back-up plans. I was grateful to have physical banks, chore charts and activity sheets for the younger kids when the power went out citywide just before the workshops began. I also had printed worksheets and at least one printed copy of my PowerPoint presentation for the second workshop, though (thankfully) the power returned for that session with just five minutes to spare.

Good luck with your workshop!

— Kristin

If you’re interested in this type of workshop and you’d like to contact Kristin for more information, please click here to get to FamZoo’s contact form. Mention that you’d like to get in touch with Kristin Penner, and we’ll connect you.


Virtual Stock Exchange, Driver's Ed for Credit Cards, Boom Bands: Weekly Family Finance Picks (#39)

We’re constantly scouring the Internet looking for articles related to family finances and teaching kids good personal finance habits. You can visit the FamZoo delicious page to see our ever growing list of family finance bookmarks. We’re up to 1169 now! Each week, we pick our favorite articles from the previous week and post them here.

Here they are for this week:

Children and Money: Turning Childish Greed into Grown-up Capitalism

Kind of a slow week for kids & money articles, so I’m gonna lead off with an article that was originally published back in April of 1998, but was just put up on a web archive. The author, David Owen, wrote the book The First National Bank of Dad — my all-time favorite for parents tackling the money mentoring issue. The article provides a nice capsule summary of the virtual bank concept.

Avoid the Crash, Be Prepared!I also like the commentary on creating a virtual stock exchange — the “Stock Exchange of Dad” — as a way to teach kids about the stock market, risk, and reward in a tangible way. It’s actually something I hope to build into FamZoo someday. I’d let the parents choose the denomination and even tweak the volatility with a multiplier to drive home the messages about risk more rapidly and memorably.

Even though the article is over 10 years old, it’s no less relevant today. Read it here.

Teaching Your Kids to Use Credit Cards Correctly

(Before I jump into this pick, I gotta say I love the name of this site — Nerd Wallet. I wonder what proportion of his readers are unabashed geeks like myself...Anyway, back to the article.)

When I think of credit cards, this (revised) line from folk singer Ani DiFranco comes to mind “Every tool is a weapon - if you hold it right wrong.” The credit card can be a great tool when used properly. Use it incorrectly, and you’re wielding a weapon that can inflict some serious damage. Kinda like a car.

Many experts advise parents to keep their teens away from credit cards entirely. To me, that just feels like an abdication of a parental responsibility. Why not educate them about a financial tool they’ll undoubtedly use someday? Better for teens to learn (and make some mistakes) under a parent’s watchful eye now rather than learn on their own the hard way later as an adult.

Want to teach your teen how to use a credit card properly? Consider Steven’s tips here.

8 Money Lessons from Dr. Seuss

Are you a Dr. Seuss fan? Silly question, I know.

My brother helped me learn to read with One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. I’ve read countless Seuss books countless times to our 5 kids over the years. Like a bajillion other young (almost) adults, I received Oh, The Places You’ll Go! from my Mom and Dad — a book I still periodically re-read when I feel like I'm slumping in “The Waiting Place.” Every Christmas Eve, the Dwight clan crams into the family room to watch The Grinch — each competing with the other to prove who can recite the most lines out loud (with “Stuffed the tree up!” always in perfect chorus).

So, I couldn’t pass up 8 Money Lessons from Dr. Seuss when I stumbled upon it last week. OK, the article is a little bit of a stretch, but you can’t go wrong reading a little Dr. Seuss. Do yourself a favor: go (re)read Oh, The Places You’ll Go! right now. I just re-read the copy I received in May 1990 — just 4 months after the initial publish date. The inscription reads:

Dear Bill, We hope the places you go will always have Boom Bands playing. Love, Mom & Dad

I feel better already!


Voluncations, Brat Repellant, Allowance Confessions: Weekly Family Finance Picks (#38)

We’re constantly scouring the Internet looking for articles related to family finances and teaching kids good personal finance habits. You can visit the FamZoo delicious page to see our ever growing list of family finance bookmarks. We’re up to 1130 now! Each week, we pick our favorite articles from the previous week and post them here.

The picks for this week are:

Money-Smart Kids / Try a “Purpose Vacation” to Teach Altruism

by Tom Henske on Westport News
Take Your Kids on a Voluncation

Over the past decade, I’ve developed a deep passion for introducing kids to philanthropy. (Did you know that’s the not-so-hidden “ulterior motive” behind FamZoo?) The problem is, if you want to engage your kids in a really significant experience, it can be very hard to carve out the time amongst all the other job and family responsibilities.

Last week, I stumbled upon Tom’s article which offers a very clever solution: take your kids on a “voluncation”. (I thought I cleverly made that up, but Google proved otherwise!) Combine your family vacation with volunteer work. Tom cites a program in Granada as an example.

I like the balanced approach — not too hard core with plenty of real vacation mixed in. Anyone gone on one of these? I’d love to hear from you.

Read the article to find out more.

How NOT to Raise Spoiled Brats

“A bank that’s all about values, not money.” That’s how I like to characterize FamZoo. Money and values are so intricately intertwined. That’s why I really enjoyed Dr. Jim Taylor’s very thoughtful essay on raising respectful, responsible, caring, compassionate kids in “moneyed families”. I’d say the advice holds across all socioeconomic levels. It’s all about values.

Read Dr. Jim’s commentary here.

Allowances: Teaching Teens How to Manage Their Money

I love reading about the allowance experiences of real parents — as opposed to the so-called experts — some of whom don’t even have kids! Not naming names or anything...

Here’s a great example from Robin Dance with loads of practical tips in both the post and the numerous comments. Enjoy.

Two bonus videos this week.

First up: marshmallows and delayed gratification. If you spend much time reading about kids and money, you’re bound to stumble upon references to the famous marshmallow experiment (like here and here). Well, thanks to a tweet exchange between @DanKadlec and @Awesome_Island, I found an entertaining TED video on the experiment. The clips of the kids agonizing over whether or not to eat the marshmallow are priceless.

I thought this local news segment was a nice summary of the allowance decision.

on | 11 COMMENTS

Teaching Kids Good Money Habits: 3 Tips for Parents

They Sure Grow Up Fast!

I gaze at these 5 cute little faces peering down from my bookshelf every day. Where does the time go? Already 2 in college. Yikes! I can remember taking those pictures like it was yesterday. Now it seems like it’s only tomorrow that they’ll be off on their own. Will they have the basic life skills they’ll need to thrive in the real world? I sure hope so. It can be harsh out there.

Those critical life skills include personal finance skills. Are you mentoring your youngsters in that department? Perhaps I can help a bit. Based on my experience with our 5 kids, here are my top three tips for teaching kids solid money habits:

Tip 1: Set up a simple family banking system.

Give your youngsters an account at the “Bank of Mom and/or Dad” where they can make deposits or withdrawals and keep an eye on their balances while they save for their own purchases.

My favorite resource for this approach is the book The First National Bank of Dad by David Owen (works for Mom’s too!). You don’t really have to read a whole book though. The idea is really simple. You run the bank and you keep track of your kid’s deposits, withdrawals, and account balances. The current balance represents an IOU from the parent (the bank) to the child (the customer) — just like a real bank. You can even offer interest on deposits to encourage good saving habits.

You can keep track of your bank in a simple paper ledger, in a spreadsheet, or in one of the growing number of online virtual family bank offerings built for this purpose. Review a “bank statement”, savings goals, and budgets with your child regularly as a way to maintain an ongoing, practical dialog about personal finance.

Tip 2: Start early, start simple.

I like the idea of starting your family banking system the moment your child asks you to buy something — that first discretionary purchase request. It’s the perfect teachable moment to start discussing wants vs. needs, what a bank is, how to save, and how to make purchasing decisions.

The longer you wait, the more you encourage the “gimmies” and a growing sense of entitlement. Do yourself and your child a favor: nip that at the bud. We opened our youngest child’s first account at the “Bank of Mom & Dad” when he was 4. Initially. it was just a safer place to keep his money. When you have four older siblings, an unsecured piggy bank is a very risky repository!

He deposited loose change he found under car seats, the occasional quarter from Mom for helping out with an odd job around the house, and his very first “paycheck” — a gargantuan $20 windfall from a photo shoot he did for a local parenting magazine. His very first purchase was a Hot Wheels Car for $1 followed by the classic video game Frogger for $19.92. His first donation was to the Polar Bears via the World Wildlife Fund after saving up for 8 months in his charitable account. These were very proud, self-reliant moments.

I’d recommend starting simple with a single account (or just a piggy bank) and a single purchase goal. As your child matures, you can add sophistication to introduce increasingly advanced concepts. You might add multiple accounts to distinguish between spending, longer term savings (perhaps with compound interest), and charitable giving (we did that at age 6 with our youngest). As you approach the teen years (gasp!), you might consider making loans for big ticket items like a laptop computer and establishing a formal budget with matching allowance for a specific area of spending like clothing.

Tip 3: Match your system to your values.

There’s no shortage of definitive advice out there for parents when it comes to kids and money. (You can read over a thousand articles here.) Pay them an allowance. Don’t pay them an allowance. Pay for chores. Don’t pay for chores. Get a job. Don’t get a job. Never loan them money. Loan them money, but make sure they pay you back. Never give them a credit card. Give them a credit card, but teach them now to handle it. And so on.

I don’t think there’s one right answer to any of those questions. In fact, we’ve used a hybrid system with our kids over the years that includes regular allowance split between spending/saving/giving, expected chores (with penalties for blowing them off), paid extra jobs, compound interest on savings, loans for big ticket items like computers, clothing expense accounts with formal budgets, debit cards, and, in the end, credit cards. We’ve found that the right approach varies with situation, age, and even from kid to kid. Our 5 kids are very diverse.

In my opinion, the most important thing is to have a clear, explicit system that is consistent with your family’s values and your family’s situation. Then, let your kids practice and make mistakes while under your guidance. Better now than when they hit the unforgiving real world.

And, trust me, that day isn’t as far off as you think. Like the old insurance commercial used to say: “Life comes at you fast!”


Ten Financial Pearls, Pay for Studying Not Grades, and Chore Wheels: Weekly Family Finance Picks (#37)

We’re constantly scouring the Internet looking for articles related to family finances and teaching kids good personal finance habits. You can visit the FamZoo delicious page to see our ever growing list of family finance bookmarks. We’re up to 1088 now! Each week, we pick our favorite articles from the previous week and post them here.

The picks for this week are:

Ten Pearls of Financial Wisdom From Dad

10 Things I Want My Kids to Learn About Money Before They’re Adults

Sadly, Jason lost his mom and his grandfather last year. That’s got him thinking deeply about the legacy he’d like to leave for his kids. With that backdrop, he offers 10 heartfelt (and concise) pearls of financial wisdom for kids as they prepare for the real world. I love every one of them. How do they match up with what you’d like to pass along to your kids? See Jason’s list here.

Should We Pay Kids To Study?

by Baldur Hedinsson and Jacob Goldstein on NPR Planet Money

Here’s a topic that always gets folks riled up: paying kids for grades. Several past studies have shown that paying for the end result (a good grade), does not improve performance. But a recent study out of Harvard looked at a different angle on grades and incentives: paying kids to do the things that lead to the result - like reading, studying, and attending class - rather than paying for the result itself. This approach, it turns out, is effective.

Of course, there’s lots of howling in the comments. Paying kids for what should be considered a privilege and a golden opportunity just feels wrong in many ways. That said, I found it interesting that the student effectiveness persisted even after the paying stopped. The implication? Instilling the habit might be the key. Perhaps it’s worth it.

Check out the NPR recap of the study here, and see what you think.

Get Your Kids to Work! Chore Chart for Multiple Children

by Julie Meyer on How Does She?

I knew I was going to like Julie’s post as soon as I saw the lead in quote from Thomas A. Edison:

We often miss opportunity because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

I love that one.

Julie provides some great commentary on the big picture of why we as parents should train our kids to work. She follows up with some very practical tips for parents to make good on what can prove to be a daunting, thankless, and seemingly futile task. I love her practical tools, her infraction system, and her philosophy of balancing between structure and variety.

I think this post will help you keep up the good fight. And, despite the title, it’s helpful even if you have just one child. Read it here.

To cap things off this week, a little bonus video: I liked this two minute local news segment on the benefits of an allowance. It describes three different types of allowance: educational, entitlement, and earned. I hadn’t heard those handy labels before. What type of allowance do you give? Check it out: