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Children Have No Money Sense

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The following is another guest post from My Canuck Buck.  Thank you so much for pitching in while life is nuts!  Please check out her site when you have a chance!  Recently, I babysat my 2 nieces (aged 9 and 10) for the weekend. We took them up to see their cousins (1 boy and 1 girl – ages 12 and 11) for a short visit. My nephew had a ball hockey game and afterwards we took the kids out for a snack and to the mall. I concluded after the “snack” part that I do not have any concept of how much fast food costs these days. For 4 kids, it cost me over 20 bucks!  And they would have eaten more if I’d let them!  Part of the issue was that I didn’t think ahead and tell them exactly what they could and couldn’t have. So, in order to not hold up the line, I just let them order what they wanted, and “Frosty shakes” for a drink cost a lot more than juice or pop.  If I did this again, I’d tell them ahead of time they can only have something from the value menu (maybe even limit … Read more

In Praise of Hand Me Down Toys

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The following is a guest post from My Canuck Buck – a lady paying closer attention to her bucks now.  Please check her out! I’ll admit it. I’m a cheap (but proud!) Aunt. I have a total of four nieces. They range in age from 4 to 11. I have helped the eldest one clean out the family basement a few times, and as such, been able to help her get rid of a lot of toys she has outgrown. The majority of these have gone to charity, but I have pulled some aside for my youngest niece. Since the children are from different sides of the family, this wouldn’t be a “natural” progression of toys, just something I’ve managed to arrange. My youngest niece adores the toys I got her. There’s a bunny in a tutu, an awesome castle that lights up, a dragon, and some other toys that go with the castle. She hasn’t even seemed to notice the large chunk of plastic that has come out of the castle – it doesn’t interfere with her playing with it in any way.  I supplemented with some yard sale toys, and now she’s got lots to play when she … Read more

What My Parents Taught Me About Finance

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The following is a guest post from a true friend, Suba at Wealth Informatics.  She is such an awesome blogger and a sincerely sweet person.  Please check out her site for yourself – believe me, you will want to sign up for her RSS feed if nothing else.  Her posts are so informative.  I have been begging her to write for me regularly for more than a year now, lol.  If you don’t know her in some way, I would highly suggest trying.  I am a better person for knowing her. February is National Parent Leadership Month, which highlights the role parents play in shaping the lives of their children. I personally feel that parents have the power and the responsibility to teach their kids to be good financial citizens. What did my parents directly teach me about finance? Nothing. Umm… What? First, a bit of a background about me. I came to the US less than 10 years ago. I grew up in India, in a middle class family (read monthly income : 200 USD). My parents, my grandparents, my sister, and I shared a one bedroom home. Both of us got an excellent education, new clothes when necessary, encouragement … Read more

Baby Formula Money Saving Tips

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The following is a guest post about saving money on baby formula by Mike Collins from SavingMoneyToday.net.  Check out his new site at BabyStuffGuide.com, which is dedicated to helping new parents make smart decisions.  Thanks Mike for the family post! New parents are usually shocked at how much their little one costs, and I’m not just talking about hospital bills.  Clothes, diapers, bedding, strollers, toys…the list goes on and on.  And if you don’t want to breastfeed (or are unable to), then you can expect to spend a small fortune on baby formula.  Pediatricians recommend that babies stay on formula until they are a year old and then they can switch over to whole milk.  That’s twelve months in which your new baby will be devouring baby formula at an alarming rate.   With that in mind, here are some tips for saving money on baby formula. Saving Money on Baby Formula Tips Stick with powder.  I know the pre-mixed, ready to drink formula is more convenient but you’ll pay big time for that.  If you use powdered formula which has to be mixed with water you can slash your baby formula bills by as much as 50%. Use generic formula.  … Read more

What Motivates You to be Financially Responsible?

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This is a guest post from Penny Saver of The Saved Quarter. Penny is a frugal mom, making the most of meager means, saving her quarters to save a quarter of her income. This post is part of the Yakezie blog swap. Feel free to check out my post at The Saved Quarter today too! For too many years, money ran through my fingers like water. Giving little thought to the long-term, I made unwise financial choices. When the economic downturn hit our family in 2009, it was a stern wake up call.  I desperately want to stop the cycle of overspending, overdrafts, and arguing about money that was the norm in my childhood home and was too quickly becoming the norm in my own home. Like most parents, my husband and I want our children to have a happy childhood and grow up to be financially responsible adults, but we were not positive role models of the right way to manage money. After a loud argument over another overdrawn bank statement, it became glaringly apparent that our choices had to change if we want them to grow up happy and with good money habits. Making Choices, Making Changes I … Read more

Keeping Kids Involved in Family Finances

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The following is a guest post from Shane- the Owner, Editor, and Writer at Beating Broke – a personal finance blog that chronicles the journey of beating the condition we call broke by breaking the habits that we’ve formed around our money and creating healthy money habits to replace them. My Childhood and Family Finances Growing up, I remember seeing my parents balancing their checkbooks.  I remember watching them write the checks for groceries, gas, and a number of other things.  One thing that I don’t really remember is ever being involved in the finances of the family.  I can understand why my parents did that.  They probably never really thought about it.  After all, I didn’t have a job, so I brought no income in.  I didn’t really have any direct expenses, so I sent no money out.  And my parents provided room and board.  Now that I have kids of my own, I understand even more why I wasn’t involved.  As a parent, it’s very easy to think of your children as your wards.  You provide for them.  As long as they are being provided for, what need do they have to know anything of the family finances? As … Read more

Helpful Financial Lessons for Children

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I was inspired by this article to give a proper shout out to my parents. Thank you Mom and Dad for everything you taught me from as far back as I can remember. You are the reason I love personal finance and have never had to deal with high interest debt. Okay, no more mushy stuff, I promise. The article above has a great 15 item list, but I really honed in on these points: Only spend what you earn. Only allow yourself to spend 50% of that. Guide and advise but don’t dictate your kids’ spending. At some point, cut your kids off. I’d also like to add these specific suggestions since they either helped me or people I know: Help your kids open a banking account…having my own account spurred me to save. Teach your kids how to balance a checkbook and what those numbers mean. Have fun going over compound interest…I loved learning what my money could do. Explain debt’s consequences…this works best if they already know about compound interest. Introduce investment ideas…my mom went over CDs with me when I was 10. They help teach patience too. Quickly highlight what credit scores are and what they’re … Read more