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Be Consistent! Schedule Allowance Meetings Today!

School days, school days  Dear old Golden Rule days ‘Reading and ‘writing and ‘arithmetic Taught to the tune of a hick’ry stick… My mom delighted in singing that song to us on the first day of school. Top of her lungs, completely out of key. It INFURIATED us. We’d bury our heads under the covers and pretend it wasn’t true. She did it every year. About some things, she was extremely consistent. Regardless of whether …

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Saying No Doesn’t Make You a Monster

One of our kids was recently invited to take a trip with a couple of buddies. After endless discussion and planning, dates were approved and the plan was set. The friends and their parents know that our kids are on a budget. They may not understand why we’re doing it, but they respect our plan for which I am grateful. At least they appear to, who knows what they really think! 🙂 That’s why it …

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Get Your Teen Off the Couch!

“Joe’s just not interested in anything!” a parent moaned. “Nothing motivates him, all he wants to do is sit in front of the computer and play video games! Money means nothing to him!” BINGO! It’s Time to Teach Teens About Money It’s the time of year when one of the most common questions we get from parents is how to get kids to care about money. Often the parents want the kid to get a …

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The (Real) High Cost of Youth Sports

I travel a lot for business. This brings me into contact with a lot of different people, coming from a lot of different circumstances in life. Last week, I was flying back home from Denver, and took a break when I arrived at the gate. A well-dressed 40-something mom was sitting near me, having an animated phone conversation. I wasn’t planning on eavesdropping, but frankly, it was hard not to: “… I mean, she is …

Introduce Your Kids to a Vacation Budget

I remember when I was senior in high school, my parents took me and my two sisters on a vacation to Marco Island. It was the perfect vacation for three teenage girls. Not only was there ample sun (I don’t think we wore anything besides swimsuits before 4pm once during the week) but there were also a lot of water activities. The activities were not included in the hotel stay, so my dad told us we …

Judging Our Success Based on Our Kids’ Happiness

Is it possible that in our misguided attempt as parents to ensure our kids’ happiness, we are missing out on what actually makes them happy in the first place? In a flukey turn of events last Christmas, my two young nephews wound up getting just one toy apiece on Christmas Eve. As they are the youngest children in either of their parent’s families, the Christmas norm is for them to have piles of brightly colored …

The Perfect Last-Minute Christmas Gift?

I’m going to share with you an idea for the perfect last-minute Christmas gift for your teen.  It’s a little bit… unusual, but I guarantee, everyone will love this one. Give your teen an allowance, starting January 1 2015.  Not just small change, spending money, no.  A real allowance. Tell your teen that 2015 is the year that they’re going to start taking care of their own finances, and that you’ll be setting them up …

Just Start: Teaching Teens About Money

We’re in the middle of a webinar-based program for parents right now, and had a Q&A session last week. One of the parents had some great questions: How do I get started teaching my kids about money? If I’m going to an allowance, which categories should I start with? How much should the allowance be? These are great questions, all centered around the question of “How do I start teaching teens about money?” The simple …

Teens Behaving Badly: Allowance Disasters

If your teen is on an allowance, you need to be prepared for impending disaster. They will make allowance mistakes. It’s coming, trust me. It’s just a matter of how big, and when. If your teen isn’t on an allowance yet, you’ll want to go a back a few weeks and start at the beginning of our teens and money series. The good news is, any mistakes your teen makes with an allowance should be …

What Happens After Share, Save, Spend?

So, you thought the hard work you did to teach your kids about money was working perfectly, until suddenly it wasn’t any more. The piggy bank was great.  Share, Save, Spend jars worked just fine… for a while. But now you have a teenager. And everything is falling apart. We know how you feel.  In one 24-hour period this past week one of our kids ran out of gas in the pouring rain, left his lights …