Weekly Family Finance Picks (#22)

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. Each week, we pick our favorite articles from the previous week and post them here.

This week, it’s boomerang kids, collaborative savings, and personal finance books for kids (plus a couple of bonus items):

Guiding a Child to Financial Independence

by Beth Kobliner on The New York Times

IMG_4045Considering that FamZoo is all about preparing kids for the “wild” — i.e., equipping kids with the skills they need to make it on their own in the real world — this New York Times article really got my attention last week. It opens with a Mom explaining how delighted she was that her daughter moved back home after college — along with her boyfriend no less (whom the daughter apparently graciously “invited”).


We love our kids dearly, but I shudder at the thought of all five of them boomeranging back to our doorstep after college. And with boyfriends and girlfriends in tow? Um, no. What ever happened to freshly minted graduates banding together as roommates after school and eating Top Ramen to keep rent and food expenses low?

According to Beth, we should “expect children to move home” after college. In fact, she cites a survey that found 85% of college graduates last spring plan to do so just that. Uh oh! Maybe I’m too harsh, but that is not an expectation I have any intention of setting, no matter what the statistics say.

When it comes to adult children, my love is unconditional, but my financing is not — don’t confuse the two!

Read the article here and see what you think.

Teaching Kids About Saving Money with SmartyPig

Many FamZoo families like to periodically roll their child’s virtual savings account balances over to a real world savings account. This article introduces another interesting option — SmartyPig. It’s an online savings account that makes it easy for family and friends to contribute toward your child’s savings goal.

Read the post and check out this intro video:

Best Books on Personal Finance for Your Kids

Want to throw a couple of books with personal finance messages into the reading mix for your kids? I know, sounds hideously dull, but it doesn’t have to be. Aaron has just compiled a list of recommendations for you here.

I like the one that explains what would happen if money really did grow on trees.

And, last but not least, a couple honorable mentions this week for those who like to watch quick videos or listen to short streaming audio:

First, the video: a nice little summary of allowance and chore approaches. It’s a local news segment that features an interview with Angela Ardolino, founder of Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine.

On the audio front, here’s an amusing, brief interview with Robert Wilder, the author of Daddy Needs a Drink. The title of the segment is “Parenting on the Edge: What is the right amount of allowance?”. Listen to it here.

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