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The Best in Family Finance - August 2014

Bitcoin vs. VTSAX

If you hang out on our Facebook page, you already know we review boat loads of articles on family finance each month so you can concentrate on just reading the good ones! And if you just want to peruse the very best ones, you’ll always find them here.

The top family finance picks for August?

  • Don’t Just Pay for Chores. Pay for Performance. — Tired of paying for chores poorly done? Tired of suffering through lots of whining? Tired of having to nag to make it happen? Maybe this approach in Ron Lieber’s post will help: paying for performance meets chores.
  • The Changing Nature of Investing: How Should We Rethink Teaching Our Students? — A smart post by Tim Ranzetta on why we need to change the way we teach kids about investing. The bottom line: teaching kids to gamble on individual stocks is fun but dumb.
  • How to Teach Teens About Investing — This WSJ article raises an interesting quandary when teaching kids about stocks and investing: the most engaging approach (gambling on individual stock picks over a semester) is not the approach you really want your kids to take (buying a boring index for the long haul). Perhaps show and explain both?
  • Giving an allowance: are you raising a shoplifter or a CEO? — Hilarious allowance post from Mike Reynolds at Puzzling Posts: A father’s passage through parenting. Didn’t even know there was something called f@rt slime! I think Mike’s kids will turn out all right as long as he couples the allowance with some clever discussion...
  • Is Early Retirement a Good Example for Your Kids? — “Life isn’t about collecting as much crap as you can,” and instilling a work ethic in your child does not require a dad to hold a corporate day job. Thoughtful messages from Retire by 40
  • Rent a Toy, Learn a Lesson — Ron Lieber covers a new set of services that allow parents to rent and return toys (like expensive Lego sets) instead of own them. Very interesting idea with interesting implications on kids’ attitudes. Note that some parents are using rental points as a form of chore currency instead of cash.
  • A 12-Year-Old Girl Just Made $100,000 By Selling Her Grand Champion Steer — This 12 year old doesn’t need to bother with an allowance or selling lemonade; she just made 100 grand selling a steer. Now that’s impressive!
  • Back-to-School Shopping Teachable Money Moments — Excellent tips for turning the back-to-school shopping experience into a set of valuable money lessons for your kids. I like the idea of reviewing the items in your cart and sorting by level of need.
  • The Underchallenged ‘Lazy Teenager’ — Got teens (or tweens)? Here’s an excellent article from the Wall Street Journal. Read it together with your child. A key point: “motivation is closely linked to autonomy, which teens crave.” (Note that autonomy does NOT mean the freedom to do whatever the heck you want.) 4 good tips for parents: Stop telling him how smart he is, Stop doing the dishes for him, Don’t let him off easy, Don’t make him shine for you.
  • Age-Appropriate Chores for Kids Including Taking Care of Technology Gadgets — A clever idea in this post about handling chores: “I have my children make invoices. I tell them if they want to get paid, they have to write down what they did and how much they will get for the chore and put it somewhere we can all find it on pay day. I put that responsibility on them.”
  • The Case for Child Labor: Roth IRA For Kids — Bargain Babe makes the case for starting a Roth IRA for your kids as soon as they start making money from odd jobs — like babysitting. Note the documentation requirements on the earned income though!
  • Go Figure, Grandkids Want to Hear About Your Money Memories — Grandparents could play a big role in shaping your kids’ good money habits. A neat opportunity surfaces from this survey as described by TIME’s Dan Kadlec.
  • Summer Job? Time to Start a Roth I.R.A. — Ron Lieber lays out the compelling logic for using some of those summer earnings to open a Roth IRA account for your teen - and to do help out with some matching if possible. Good info on college financial aid implications too.

1 comment:

mki aka The Blog Post Author

Love it!! Thanks for doing all the "leg-work" collecting great articles!

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