Children

parenting“Do what I say and not what I do” is something too many kids can hear when growing up. And if not in those words, then in their parents’ actions.

Speeding, swearing, not exercising and poor money habits are bad examples that parents can set without realizing it.

Some parenting “fails” teach children about money — but in bad way. Here are some parenting “fails” that parents can turn around to teach their children about money:

Bad parenting impulse buys

Some impulse purchases can be fun. An ice cream treat after a tough week at school or a movie out as a way to break up the monotony of staying home too many nights can be  worthwhile motivators for kids to do better in school or at least be a fun break.

But if you can’t afford them, or spend too much on an expensive impulse buy — such as the latest technological gadget that you’ve coveted for months — then it can show a lack of restraint in how you shop.

Even small impulse buys, if made often, can show your child that it’s OK to buy something without giving it much thought and that you get what you want. But small purchases add up, and a better lesson would be to give up such purchases and put that money aside in a vacation fund for the whole family to enjoy the benefits of giving up short-term joys for long-term planning of a family vacation.

Every parent has probably had their child ask for a candy bar or something while waiting at the grocery checkout line. Telling them no can be difficult, but it beats raising a child who thinks they’re entitled to everything they see. ...continue reading

kids' summer vacationsIf you have, or plan to have, children, you’ve got to change up your financial roadmap. The sooner the better for this one, but even if you already have kids, it’s not too late to make some important changes that will benefit them in the long run.

There are several ways to organize finances for the benefit of your children. We’ll cover three main areas of focus:

  1. Preparing for the future.
  2. Preparing for emergencies.
  3. Creating a stable, nurturing life in the here and now.

Each of these need careful consideration and a fair amount of financial discipline. But if you make the right plan and stay the course, your kids will have a better financial life than you may even dream possible.

Preparing for the Future

Kids have a big future ahead of them. With many decades ahead of them in all likelihood, there are ample opportunities to build a good life...or a bad one...depending on the choices that are made.

In the early days of a child’s life, most of these decisions are up to you. One of the best ways to help your kids out in the long term is to model good financial behavior by saving, investing, and avoiding debt.

You may also wish to save or invest on behalf of your child, giving them the building blocks they need for a nest egg somewhere down the road. Finally, teach your kids basic money skills. This will help them make good choices when they are financially independent. ...continue reading

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schoolSummer seems to have passed by quickly, and now it seems like parents and their children are already preparing for a new school year.

While the average parent will spend $673.57 per child for items needed, it doesn’t have to be so expensive. There are lots of ways to prepare for back to school on a budget.

Check Your Inventory

First things first, check your inventory. You may find supplies, clothes that your kids can fit into now, and more. As you are going through the supplies you have, keep a running checklist of things you may need or that come to mind. If you have a list of items needed from your child’s school, you can just add on to this list.

Checking your inventory helps you prepare for back to school on a budget by helping you avoid buying extra things you may not even need. Why buy an extra pack of crayons if you already have three?

Set Your Budget

Once you’ve gone through your inventory, the next step is to actually set a budget for your back to school shopping. Every family’s financial situation is different, but you should at least aim to only spend what you have in cash to spend.

If that means only $100 for each child, that’s OK. With these tips, you should be able to prepare for back to school on a budget, even if your budget is smaller.

Shop Sales and Clearance Racks

Now that you have your list and your budget set, you can get to shopping. The easiest way for preparing back to school on a budget is to buy what you can on sale or clearance. Many stores have back to school sales, so make sure you read their flyers or online options before shopping at one place.

If you find deals at multiple stores, don’t be afraid to make a few stops. You are trying to get the best price and stay within budget. If there are items on your list that you can’t find on sale or clearance, there are other options to consider as well, like thrift stores and shopping online. ...continue reading