Learn From Lance, Family Finance TMI, Gum Balls for Deposits: Weekly Picks (#35)

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 1029 now! Each week, we pick our favorite articles from the previous week and post them here.

The picks for this week are:

The Sooner Kids Learn About Finance, The Better

Personal Finance 101

This Q&A with Lance Suzuki, 2005 National Economics Teacher of the Year, caught my eye this week. I particularly loved his thumbnail sketch of the “Economics of Personal Finance” course he teaches to Juniors and Seniors at the Maryknoll school. Here’s the excerpt:

I definitely wanted to make the class an experience rather than just a lecture series, though. So, for instance, students have to write a resume, find a hypothetical job, then use their hypothetical salary to budget for some real-life financial goals: marriage, children, mortgages and retirement — they even have to fill out actual tax forms. Students also have to research stocks and make presentations to the class. Based on these presentations, students then have to make recommendations on which stock to purchase using a small fund of actual money set aside by Maryknoll for this course.

Wow. Awesome. Love the hands-on approach. I wish every kid could attend Lance’s class. Read the rest of this excellent Q&A here.

On a related note, Dan Kadlec over at Bank of Dad is a big proponent of mandatory personal finance courses for US students. He points out that, that, as of 2009, only 13 states require a personal finance course to graduate from high school.

Let’s hope that Lance’s curriculum catches on elsewhere.

My Money Is Your Money? — How To Talk About Your Finances With Your Kids

Do you talk to your kids about your own finances? How much information is too much information? Are you anxious about your child sharing that info with others or drawing drawing comparisons with your neighbors?


This is always a pretty charged topic with parents. Suzanne provides thoughtful commentary and advice in her article here.

Seems like step 1 is for the parents to get comfortable with their own situation and feelings around money. That makes subsequent conversations with the kids much easier.

I’ve always felt that how you handle your money should be an expression of your values, not just a function of how much money you have. Ideally, your values stay pretty constant, while your wealth may fluctuate quite a bit. So, I like to frame money conversations with my kids around values. One of my favorite role models in this area is the late Randy Pausch who talks about how what really matters is people, not things in his famous “Last Lecture”. The video is insanely inspirational. It really puts money and possessions into perspective. Watch it with your kids.

You can find an archive of Randy’s videos here.

Edmond Children’s Bank Gets Rave Reviews From Young Savers

by Tricia Pemberton on NewsOK.com

This local bank in Oklahoma is doing good stuff for kids. I like the special “Kids Counter” — the tiaras, cowboy hats, and gum-balls for deposits are pretty sweet too.

Bonus video: Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture.

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