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Introducing Default Accounts: Perfect for First-Dibs Chore Charts

Suppose you’re setting up a checklist item that delivers a reward. (Think chore charts for the kids.) You need to specify where that reward should be delivered when the item is completed. Should it be credited to Johnny’s spending account? Should it be credited to Suzy’s spending, saving, and giving accounts using her spend/save/give split?

Choosing an explicit target account is fine when you know up front who should receive the reward. But what if the opportunity is first come, first serve? You want the kid who checks off the item first to earn the credit. Families often call this a “First Dibs” Chore Chart.

In the past, we had a clunky workaround for first dibs chore charts. The parent had to create separate items for each of the kids and then trust that only one kid — the deserving kid — would check off the right item. What could go wrong? 😬

Now we have a more elegant solution. We introduced a new target destination for rewards and penalties on checklist items. It’s called the Default Account. If you want a chore reward to go to the first child who completes it, set the target account to the Default Account entry. Later, when the first child checks off the item, we’ll look up that child’s default account setting and apply the reward to it.

Here’s how to set it up step-by-step.

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How To Track an Xbox Loan To Your Kid With Payments Every Fortnite

Game controller and IOU note.

John recently wrote in:

I told my kids I would float their repayment of a Xbox Live subscription since it came due before any of us realized they should have been saving for it. At any rate, they owe us $21 each, and I want them to pay $7 every other week. What’s the best way to track this, preferably in a way that they can see it — I guess it’s basically a loan.

Here’s my suggestion:

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Our Card Has Gone Minimalist

Embarrassing FamZoo Card

“Hey, did your mommy give you that card?”

Ouch. Not what a self conscious teen wants to hear.

OK, so I thought our original card design was clever at the time.

But with a big, blaring “FamZoo” and the quaint “Good Money Habits. Together.” beneath it, the razzing was inevitable.

And that, parents told us, is exactly what happened. Face palm.

So, we just ditched the original design.

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30 Top Money Parenting Tips For 30 Days Of Financial Literacy Month

30 top money parenting tips.

“A fool and his money are soon partying.” ~Steven Wright

That always cracks me up.

But, financial literacy is no joke. Even if National Financial Literacy Month does kick off on April Fool’s day every year.

We don’t want our kids to be money dunces. And we probably don’t want them partying with their money either.

To help you steer your kids clear of those money pratfalls, I’ve scanned the analytics over at my family finance tips blog and picked out the top 30 by all-time traffic.

Here they are grouped by 5 categories: earning, spending, saving, giving, and investing.

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How To Make Kiddie Microloans With Automatic Parent Payback - Plus Interest!

So your kid wants to buy something special in a moderate price range, but doesn’t have the funds to cover it yet.

The preferred parental response? Wait until you’ve saved enough! You know, delayed gratification and all that.

But occasionally, you’re OK with floating a small short term loan. That is, as long as it’s formally tracked and repaid.

In fact, you’ll even charge a little “Bank of Mom/Dad” loan interest on top. That drives the point home that borrowing money isn’t free. It also discourages a cavalier attitude toward loans in the future.

Good learning opportunity. Good plan.

Maybe.

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