Haley's Weekly Family Finance Picks (#2)

This is entry #2 in a weekly summer series by "guest blogger" and FamZoo summer intern Haley Dwight.

Here are my top 3 family finance article picks for this week:

Teaching Children the Financial Facts of Life from Forbes by Pari Hashemi

Mobile Recording Studio ProjectPari has four suggestions for parents teaching their children to be financially responsible: be a role model, encourage your child to save, help your child develop a sense of financial empowerment, and show your child how to be philanthropic. I especially like the emphasis that Pari places on parents as role models and philanthropy. Both of my parents have been very active in my financial education (no surprise there with FamZoo!). They’ve also set a consistent example as far as giving back to the community. My Mom puts in tons of volunteer hours for all of the sports teams my four brothers and I have been on, and my Dad has worked with each of us on philanthropic projects. Here’s a picture of my Dad working with two of my brothers on a project to bring mobile recording studios to underprivileged kids in tough neighborhoods of San Francisco. Watching my Dad take time away from his busy work day to be involved with philanthropy motivates me to do the same.

Teaching Children Good Money Habits from Penniless Parenting by Ronnie Carleson

Ronnie, a script writer for the Frugality Game, gives five easy ways to teach your child about money management: set spending goals, give your child a clothing budget, lend your child money (making them pay it back as they would a loan), give an allowance for charitable giving, and discuss bills with your child. When reading this article, I related to one suggestion in particular — giving your child a clothing budget. I LOVE to shop. When I was in high school, my Dad and I sat down and worked out a clothing budget. He decided to give me an annual clothing allowance based on our budget. I was so excited when I got all that money up front. Foolishly, I spent nearly all of it within the first month on designer jeans and shirts that I wore only once. For the rest of the year, I couldn’t afford items I actually needed, such as sweaters for when winter rolled around. I have to admit that I’m still a bit impulsive about my spending on clothes, but I’m getting better with practice.

“I’ll Do It Later!” 6 Ways to Get Kids to Do Chores Now from EmpoweringParents.com by James Lehman

Chores are one of the more common reasons children and parents argue. No kid wants to be bothered to make their bed or do the dishes when they could be going to the pool with friends or playing their favorite video game. James Lehman gives six ways to get children to do chores when asked: stop the show, time your child’s performance, tie chores to an allowance, use structure, don’t use chores as a punishment, and use a rewards system. With 5 kids in the house, my parents didn’t want the hassle of checking off chore charts every day. They deliver our allowance automatically each week in our FamZoo accounts. That said, my parents wanted to hold us accountable whenever we blew off our chores. So, they created a “Chore Fail Chart” that automatically hits the slacker kid’s account with a penalty when an item is checked off. That way, they only have to check off items when we’re naughty. The system seems to work for both parents (less hassle) and kids (less nagging).

(Note: sadly, James Lehman passed away this year. His wonderful advice lives on in his numerous parenting articles available on EmpoweringParents.com.)

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