College is for Suckers

“There’s a sucker born every minute.” We’ve all heard the quote, originally targeted at circus-goers.  I think it applies to a large swatch of college-goers as well. Why do so many kids leave college deep in debt with bleak prospects at employment?  They’ve fallen for one or more of the following traps: They’ve paid way too much learned way too little gained the false impression that they “deserve” an easy, high-paying job Face it: young …

How Much Do Our Teens Know About Managing Money?

We talk a lot about teaching kids to manage their money on this site. In fact, most of the people we come in contact with know it’s important, but recently two pieces of media came to our attention. The first is a study that was done by Champlain College’s Center for Financial Literacy.  In it, eleven states scored an “F” on their efforts to produce financially literate high school graduates.  Sixty percent of states scored a “C” …

Summertime: What Are You Teaching Your Kids About Money?

Summer is a great time to start (or continue) teaching your kids about money management. This season brings new opportunities to earn money and spend money, and a lot of free time to focus on learning new skills, and having fun. At the start of the summer, our daughter picked up a few big babysitting gigs – and made some nice income as a result. She saved all of that income, rather than immediately spending …

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How Pay Jobs Teach Kids to Manage Money

We’ve long preached the wisdom of teaching kids to manage money by using the allowance as a teaching tool, not as tied to chores.  There comes a time, however, when it pays – to pay for kids’ work.  Summertime is prime time for pay jobs. Our kids have summer chores – we’re playing a zone defense on yardwork this summer.  Each kid has their own area of the yard they’re responsible for watering, weeding, fertilizing, and dressing …

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A Sneaky Savings Plan

I’ve written in the past about the importance of having a separate savings account for your kids – and also about how to provide guidance when your kids start to bring in income from odd jobs. We’ve started something new with our kids that utilizes both of these strategies to create a “stealth” savings plan for them. Starting at age 10-12, most kids will have the opportunity to do babysitting jobs, or yard work, or …

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When Kids Bring Home the Bacon – Kids Earning Income

One of these days, if they haven’t already, your kid is going to come home with more money than she left with.  Congratulations, there’s another income in the family!  This is great news, and is the start of a whole new financial education for both of you. There are a couple of key things to consider: What should kids do with their income? What new opportunities and obligations come with income? How does this impact …

Teaching Kids to Manage Income

  We have been working out the details of managing an allowance for our kids over the last six years, and have a few guiding principles that have helped us adapt when changes are necessary: An allowance isn’t their money, it’s ours; we’re just giving them freedom in managing it An allowance doesn’t cost us anything; it’s the same amount we would have spent on them anyway An allowance isn’t tied to jobs or chores; however, …

Managing Finances

Before we were able to plan our trip, we had to get a handle on our finances. Like many, the mid-2000s found us in more debt than we would have liked and 2009 included the bonus of Bret being laid off from his job. At that point we figured we’d never be able to realize our goal of taking the kids on an extended family trip. Our church was offering the Dave Ramsey course, Financial Peace University, and we quickly moved to an all cash system.