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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Smart Money Smart Kids Chapter 6 Highlight

Chapter 6 in Smart Money Smart Kids is all about budgeting... woohooooooo!

Spoken like a true Nerd, right?

I love that this chapter emphasizes the connection between parents who tell their money where to go and kids who grow up incrementally practicing the same so that they can transition into handling their money wisely as adults. We can tell them all we want about the importance of planning everything on paper, on purpose, but if we don't do it ourselves... it's just empty words.

I also love this:

"No" is not a popular word. Some parents feel mean when they say it, others don't like it when their kids get upset by being denied, and still others are reluctant to use the word because they want their children to have everything they didn't as a child. But saying no when appropriate--both to ourselves and to our children--is healthy. It keeps us from being indulged and feeling entitled.

Our kids know what a budget is and why we have one. Just last week, we sat down with the older two and explained that since sales have been down for the last few weeks, there are things we aren't going to be able to do for a while. Since we don't want them to worry or feel insecure, we reassured them that we have enough to cover the basics, but we felt that it was good for them to know where we stand and why we would be saying "no" to a lot of things. We've found that when kids are included in an age-appropriate way in the budget discussion, they have the opportunity to respect spending decisions and are less likely to complain or badger about the fun extras disappearing for a time.

And it helps train them how to set financial boundaries in the future, which may be the best side effect of all.

Don't forget! There are only 7 days left to pre-order Smart Money Smart Kids and receive over $50 in extras.

Come back Wednesday for a glimpse into chapter 7!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Smart Money Smart Kids Chapter 5 Highlight

Chapter 5 in Smart Money Smart Kids is Give: It's Not Yours Anyway. (I love that tagline.)

After beating myself up a bit the last two chapters, I felt a little more encouraged after reading this one. This is one area where we have been pretty intentional and have spent a lot of time talking to our kids about Who really owns what we have, modeling, and communicating an expectation that we will be a family that gives.

Now, this doesn't mean we're all natural givers. Three of us are, three of us aren't. But that is a character trait that can be nurtured, as described by my favorite quote from the chapter:

Just like spending can be contagious when you hang around shopaholics, giving can be contagious when we create that kind of culture in our families. Even when my husband and I haven't had a lot of extra to give, we have tried to live with open hands. (And wallets!) And just as I remember my mom faithfully tithing even when money was tight, our children know that it is always the first priority for our income.

Can I tell you a secret? We have never regretted it, and it has never once kept us from paying bills, buying groceries, putting gas in the car, or meeting any other need of our family. Not once. And our kids have witnessed that.

We also include them in opportunities to give to others in need. We could just go ahead and do it ourselves, but we want to involve them so that they experience it firsthand it and it (hopefully) becomes a part of who they are.

I really love the story Rachel shares about the giving situation her mom orchestrated for her and her sister, and it got me thinking about creative ways to do something similar. You'll just have to read the book to find out what it was!

Don't forget! There are only a few days left to pre-order Smart Money Smart Kids and receive over $50 in extras.

See you soon for a peek into chapter 6!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Smart Money Smart Kids Chapter 4 Highlight

Chapter 4 in Smart Money Smart Kids is entitled Save: Wait for It.

I have to confess, we have really fallen short in this area when it comes to teaching our kids the value of--and requiring--long-term savings. We save, but I think we've allowed it to be translated to a "parent thing" that's tied to a higher income. So our kids don't really have a vision for saving for something big.

A few days ago, I broached the subject with our 13-year-old and 11-year-old about saving for a car. Now, we're starting this discussion later than it should have been initiated. At first they thought I was crazy. I pointed out that they could decide that and end up walking or riding their bikes to the jobs they get after age 16, or they could decide to start now, make better choices that would require even saving some of their "spend" money, and save enough to buy a used car in a few years. They were listening.

I'm pretty sure we won't be able to implement the "401Dave Plan" where we match what they save toward a car dollar for dollar. But I mentioned that we might be able to match a smaller percentage of what they save. Then they were really listening.

You can bet we'll be starting to talk about this much sooner with our younger two who are seven and five!

Here's my favorite quote from chapter four. I think it's safe to say this is good for all of us.

Don't forget! There are only a few days left to pre-order Smart Money Smart Kids and receive over $50 in extras.

See you next time for a peek into chapter 5!

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