Friday, October 3, 2014

How To Teach Kids About Money

When should you teach your child about money? How should you approach the topic of money with your teenagers? How financially secure are you raising your children to be? When should you start a savings account for your child? The answers to all these questions and more can be found here.

Read on...

Kids Need to Learn How to Save Now More than Ever

Proudly depositing money into their bank accounts.
As I look at my sweet young girls, ages 5 & 6, I want the best for them, as does any parent. I want them to be healthy, strong, independent, financially savvy, and smart young woman. But let’s face it; the economy they are growing up in is at best shakey and forever changing. Saving for their future is essential. They must learn about money. From the importance of saving and budgeting to making large purchases with plastic. 

Unfortunately parents cannot rely on the school system for this; it’s your job to ensure they understand the importance of money and how it works either for them or against them.

Now is the Time (ages 3-5)

Start by teaching your three, four, or five year old children about piggy banks. When those holiday cards arrive in the mail stuffed full of holiday cash, insist that they save half of their money in their piggy bank. A younger child won’t really understand what they are doing but it will instill a great habit of saving early on. Saving $10.00 out of the $20.00 grandma mailed to them for their birthday will be no big deal. As they age expect the fight to get worse – surely they can’t live without the latest and greatest toy at the local toy store.

Regardless of the fight insist that they save at least half. In doing so you are paving the way for a financially savvy and prepared teenager.

Everything costs money...

As your children age (6-10) it’s important to teach them that money makes the world ‘go round and in order to have money it must be earned. Still insist that half of their monies is saved, so be sure to pay accordingly.  This may also be the prime time to open a bank account for your child. Be sure to involve them in the whole process. From opening the bank account, to depositing their piggy bank earnings, use this as a stepping stone to teach them about the banking process.

Talk, Teach, Practice…repeat.
Talk about bills with your children. Bills are not just for adults. Explain that the water, the electric, the cable, food, clothes, etc. all cost money. Remind them of this semi-frequently, in doing so you are letting them know that electricity is not something that is just given to you because you need it. It’s a luxury that they are granted if they can pay for it. Let them help budget for groceries, let them help pay for groceries, insist if they want a special item from the grocery store they help pay for it. While it may sound cruel to have Jr. pony up the cash for an extra box of pop tarts it’s actually a very valuable lesson paving the way to financial stability and ensuring fore thought.

Some children will not be able to resist the urge to blow all their money in one trip. This is ok just be sure to remind them that they only have X amount of money until they earn more. When you child has spent all his or her money there will be no more frivolous purchases. Stick to it.

Believe it or not Jr. will learn to budget this way. 

Plan for a large purchase with them…
As your child reaches those tween and preteen years their wants become more extravagant. They no longer are satisfied with an extra box of pop tarts they now want a new Playstation, the coolest shoe’s, phones, etc. Help them create a plan to buy it with little or no help from you.

Think about the total price involved with the object of desire and make a plan. An item costing $80.00 is a much easier goal then an item costing $400.00. You don’t want to discourage your child away from saving for it. For instance, if he or she MUST HAVE a new Playstation insist they save for half of it themselves, once they have that amount saved you will help them with the rest of it. Smaller, frivolous purchases should be left completely up to your child to fund. Of course you can always offer extra chores, grade incentives, etc to help them reach their financial goals.

Either way make sure that Jr. ponies up something towards the purchase. Not only will he respect it and take better care of it he will also take pride in his purchase.

Debit cards, Oh me, Oh my… ages 14+
If you've managed to instill good money habits into your child it’s time to get them their own debit card tied to their own bank account. I know, the idea of your teenager running around with a piece of plastic is scary, but if you've done your work prior it should be a relatively painless transition with the added bonus of  an educational, and safer way for your teen to pay for their purchases.   

First things first.....
First you must decide what you will and will not pay for, going forward. Keep in mind that this time of life is VERY expensive, every activity for teenagers costs money. With their social lives blooming and their efforts to “keep up with the Jonses” the money tree can quickly become barren.  

What will you pay for? When will you pay for it? Will new clothes be purchased at the beginning of the school year and on an as needed basis? Gas money? Movie tickets? Do good grades call for extra spending cash?  Make a plan. Explain the plan to your teenager and stick to it. Teach your child that when it comes to money there is a ton of thought and planning involved in the spending process.

Back to debit cards…

This is an important milestone for teens of all ages. It teaches them how to balance, budget, and plan their money according to their individual needs. While still sticking to the save plan, change it up a bit. Allow your child the ability to save more or less as needed. Your child should at this time have 2 accounts, a savings account and a checking account. Place overdraft protection on the checking account to ensure your child is unable to go over the allotted amount in his or her account and monitor their debit card use regularly.

Credit Cards...18+
Once your child has had the ability to control his or her own debit card, and does so with ease, they should be fully aware that plastic cards come with conditions.  Now that you have paved the way for your child he or she should understand the importance of saving, spending, and budgeting. A quick lesson on interest rates should scare your financially responsible child away from enorm
ous credit card debt for years to come.  You've done a great job. Sit back and relax as your child enters the world of financial freedom. 


Cheat Sheet: How To Teach Kids About Money

  1. Start teaching about saving money simply and early on.
  2. Open a savings account together.
  3. Talk about money regularly. 
  4. Instill that money is earned 
  5. Make and discuss plans with children as to what you will or will not pay for - STICK TO IT. 
  6. Be creative in helping your child reach their financial goals.
  7. Work together to create budget plan for purchases.
  8. Get your child a debit card.
  9. Monitor, teach, and talk about debit card and purchases together. 
  10. Sit back and relax knowing you've done all you can do to teach your kids about money. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Teaching Your Child To Apologize

From infant to toddler, your children, have been studying the world around them and have learned the many emotions and actions associated with them. For instance, your child should understand that tears mean sadness, smiles mean happy, laughs mean funny etc. While this may seem like an easy feat for you remember your child is new to the world of empathy and emotions. They live in the moment with a me, me, me attitude. Which is all normal at this developmental stage of life.

Read more about:  Teaching Your Child to Apologize 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Am I Crazy?

I think the first thing we should focus on is why you typed that into a search engine and how you wound up here. From there we can focus on the answers to the question; Am I crazy?

Feeling blue?
Did something major in your life just change? Death of a loved one? Mourning a relationship status? Missing a loved one? When it comes to being sad, sadness is a healthy emotion and doesn't necessarily mean your crazy. It means you have the ability to feel, which is a far from crazy. Feeling blue with nothing to attribute it too? Can you ask yourself, "why am I feeling blue?" Did you come up with a pretty sound answer? Would other's feel blue over a similar situation. If the answer is yes, it's pretty safe to assume your blue mood will lift with time.

Feeling hyper?
Did something amazing just happen? Are you high on life? Are you high on cocaine or another mind altering substance? Did you just skydive? Eat a ton of sugar followed by a Red Bull? Chances are your mania is attributed to something listed above or similar. Again, ask yourself are these emotions acceptable for the situation at hand?

Are you quirky? We all are. We all have little things that we do to put ourselves at ease. Doesn't mean were obsessed with it. Does your quirk interfere with your daily lifestyle? Must you turn the light off and on 14 times before entering a room? Do you rearrange things by color, number, shape, etc. from food to clothing? Or is it something much less daunting like experiencing an intense need to wash your hands before every meal? Do these tasks take up large amounts of your day or do you feel anxiety if you don't complete these tasks?

How severe is it? Are you confined to your house because of the recent outbreak of SARS, bird flu, Ebola, or (insert recent CDC scare here)? Are you extra cautious because your convinced your neighbor is an FBI spy who has tapped into your phone for information? Or are you just plain concerned with the well being of yourself and/or family, friends, etc. for a likely, legitimate reason? For instance, the neighbors dog is aggressive and you fear for your safety when walking passed their home?

Hearing Voices, experiencing hallucinations, or delusions? 
We all talk to ourselves. This is hardly the same thing as hearing voices.
 Hearing voices, experiencing hallucinations or delusions is cause for concern. This means that signals in your brain are crossing and your brains inner interpreter is a bit off target. Even symptoms as rare as this can be a sign of other things. It does not necessarily mean your domed to a life of insanity. It means you need to bring up these concerns to your Dr. So he or she can run the appropriate testing and help get your brain back on the right track.

Truth be told since you Googled this and arrived at this page your most likely not as crazy as you think you are. Everyone's a little bit crazy, now and then. We all have triggers that set us off, bother us, or send us into a tale spin of emotions and that's normal. To an extent. We are human beings, social creatures, with the ability to think, feel, and perceive things as our brain sees fit. When our emotions are abnormal for a given situation it can be cause for concern and is something that should be discussed with your Dr.

If you or a loved one is feeling suicidal please do not wait and seek help immediately. Call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1800-273-8255. Suicide is a very permanent solution to a temporary problem. Suicide Prevention Lifeline