The One Important Gift You Forgot to Give Your Kids

Category: Basic Money Management
Published: Sunday, 04 January 2015
Written by Admin

Children learn financial responsibility, or irresponsibility, starting at a young age by watching their parents. If you are overspending, deep in credit card debt or constantly have overdraft fees -- that projects a message to your kids. Being a financial role model starts as early as preschool and continues at least until the time your kids leave for college. Here, tips to teach your kids the importance of fiscal responsibility at any age. 

For Preschoolers
Parents can implement a very basic money management system when their kids are as young as 3 years old.

R. Joseph Ritter, Jr. a certified financial planner at Zacchaeus Financial Counseling, a non-profit specializing in financial planning for low-income households, recommends dividing a piggy bank into three compartments. "One compartment is for giving, one for saving and one for spending," he says. "As the child deposits money into the piggy bank, it is divided three equal ways. As money accumulates, you can help them decide what charitable causes they want to support." Charities like Toys for Tots appeal to younger kids, or if your child is an animal lover, the Humane Society may be a good option.

Related: The Shocking New Cost of Childcare

Set goals for the spending and saving slots, such as a new bike or special toy. "Keep them involved and allow them to be part of the decision-making process. Let them physically handle the money when it comes time to give it away or pay for an item," encourages Ritter.

Another fun way kids can learn about the importance of managing money is by having them help clip coupons (using safety scissors) and then have them present the coupons at the supermarket, financial literacy expert Mary Johnson suggests. Kids will take pride and ownership in this project and it will teach them how to spend wisely.

Preschool kids also love to play pretend. You can play "store" and have kids buy things with real coins, says Marie Phillips a financial blogger and author of Choose Wealth: Be a Millionaire by Midlife. "Be cognizant of attention spans and mental capabilities and keep instruction light and fun. Cover basic things like knowing that money is used to buy things, that coins and currency are kinds of money and then teach them the different denominations." You can then put price tags on various items -- bikes, balls and stickers -- and explain why some things cost more than others.

For Kids of Elementary School Age
By this point, your child can have a little more latitude with the spending category, but she also needs more guidance from you. "Paying the child for extra chores teaches them the value of work and productivity, and they can learn how to responsibly handle the money they earn," says Ritter.

Related: Financial Lessons You Must Teach Your Kids

Kids around age 6 or older can learn to be responsible with money by being allowed to manage some of the spending parents are doing on their behalf. One great place to start is with school lunches. "Give a child a little less than they would need to pay for lunch every day and allow them to choose which days they will buy lunch at school and which days they will make and bring a lunch from home," says Tracie Shroyer, author of Investing in Your 401(k) Kid: From Zero to Little Financial Genius in Five Easy Steps.

At this age, it's also good to have kids open a savings account. "Set regular times for adding

to their savings, like when they receive cash presents or if they make a profit from a lemonade stand," says Phillips.

For Preteens
As your kids get older, you can help them distinguish between wants and needs. One good way to do this is to work together on a clothing budget. "It is amazing how quickly kids will stop 'needing' expensive designer clothing when their budget allows only one such purchase every few months," says Shroyer.

Related: How to Prep Kids for True Financial Independence

It's also important to have open conversations about money with your preteens. Pay bills with your kids nearby and ask them for ideas on how to save money on household expenses like electricity or heat. "Also encourage them to save for a major goal and track their progress," says Johnson.

Discuss the difference between a credit and debit card and encourage the use of the debit.

For High Schoolers
As your kids get older, increase their financial responsibility. A few good ways to do this, according to Johnson, include:

  • Have them do the weekly grocery shopping with a set budget.
  • Have them research options for financing a car and make sure they have a
    financial stake in the vehicle, either by paying for some of it in cash,
    co-signing a loan, or taking on insurance costs.
  • Have them consider a school's affordability in their college

Related: How Money Stands Between Parents and College Kids

At any age, it's important to teach kids to not buy things impulsively. "When considering a major purchase, dont hide the discussion from your kids. It is good for them to understand why, or why not, you decided to purchase the item and the thought process that went into it," says Shroyer. "Sharing the decision-making process of choosing whether to take a weeks vacation or buy a plasma television -- or foregoing both to pay the orthodontist -- can give kids a clearer picture for their future," adds consumer finance expert Andrew Housser.

Remember, modeling good financial behavior isn't necessarily about setting up complex scenarios in which you can teach your kids about money. Its about using the daily situations in which you find yourself to discuss money and financial choices with your kids. "They are watching you," says Shroyer. "Use the time you spend with them to make sure you are modeling good financial behaviors. It just might help you change a few of your own bad habits."

Top Reads from The Fiscal Times: 

  • 10 of the Most Inappropriate Toys for Kids
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  • 10 Worst States for Surviving a Financial Disaster


Parenting classes offered at Hope Restored

Category: Basic Money Management
Published: Sunday, 04 January 2015
Written by Admin

The program is Systemic Training for Effective Parenting and the three classes are on Sundays, Jan. 11, 18 and 25 from 2:30-3:30 pm Those who attend all three classes will receive a certificate of completion, which Power said is acceptable as proof of taking the course as ordered by the courts or through legal agreements. However, the classes are for anyone involved in the parenting of children.

There are many kinds of family situations where parenting is done by more than the traditional couples and Power has experience with them all.

Couples, moms living with grandparents, same sex partnerships, co-parenting, parents who were court-ordered post divorce are a few examples according to Power. The goal for all involved is the same, focusing on modeling, communication, respect and encouragement to better parent children.

Basically, what we want to do is build a strong, positive relationship with children. This material is applicable to parents with children of all ages, she said. This curriculum really identifies the objects in the childrens misbehavior and helps teach parents different ways to respond. In turn, that changes the overall interaction.

The rewards of parenting can far outweigh the challenges, she said, stressing her dedication to healthy parenting. Im willing to work with anyone who will work with me and I will work just as hard as they do.

Hope Restored director Jacqueline Robinson said the center offers several other classes and meetings which are also free. They include: Basic Money Management, 10-11:30 am first Saturday of the month; Narcotics Anonymous, 1-2 pm Sundays; and grief support group, 2:30-3:30 pm the first Sunday of the month.

Hope Restored opened in May 2013 across from the University of Louisiana at Monroe, at 3906 DeSiard St. The centers creation was spearheaded by Reveille United Methodist Church and the Rev. Marcelle Crow. It offers assistance and counseling with life issues such as addiction, homelessness, parenting and substance abuse.

What: Hope Restored Community Center

Where: 3906 DeSiard St.

Info: 737-7939

Letter: Consumers need to learn early about basic money management

Category: Basic Money Management
Published: Tuesday, 30 December 2014
Written by Admin

To the Times:

The CPA profession has been championing the cause of financial literacy for more than a decade. Through volunteer programs, the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants has partnered with libraries, schools, local media and legislators to provide guidance on basic personal financial planning principles. We have reached thousands of individuals through these efforts, but this is not enough. A more integrated education plan is needed to teach consumers, at a very early age, some basic money management principles.

The numbers tell a frightening tale. Consider the following:

#x2022; According to the Project on Student Loan Debt, the majority (69 percent) of students graduating from public and nonprofit colleges in Pennsylvania had student loan debt with an average of $28,400 per borrower in 2013.

Terrell Owens Broke? T.O. Explains How He Lost Most of the $80 Million He ...

Category: Basic Money Management
Published: Monday, 29 December 2014
Written by Admin conducted an interview with the 41-year-old former NFL star who recently appeared on TMZ to offer his services to interested NFL teams, namely the Chicago Bears.

TO lobbies for Chicago Bears roster spot after season-ending injury to Brandon Marshall

According to Forbes, Owens made more than $80 million during his NFL career, but most of that money is gone. In its place is a man trying to help future athletes avoid his fate.

I dont want anyone to go through what I did, he says.

Forbes outlined three skills Owens lacked that helped lead to his financial demise:

He had little basic money management skills. I came from an environment where the focus was making ends meet, he said. My mom worked three jobs to put food on the table. We never thought about protecting large assets and making them grow. That was a foreign concept to me when I came into the league.

He didnt research the people whom he let handle his finances. I didnt take the time to fully understand what was going on with my own financial affairs, he said. I know that sounds crazy. But I wanted to train, work hard and become the best football player I could be. I just assumed that my agent and financial advisor would take care of me and have my best interest in mind. Thats where I was wrong.

Owens didnt know how to say no to friends and family asking to borrow money. Many African-American athletes like myself come from disadvantage backgrounds and once they come into money, its hard to say no because we know what it is like to go without, Owens said. But you cant become an ATM for your friends and family. Some of his friend stole his credit card information to pay off personal bills, Forbes reported.

Forbes also pointed out that while Owens antics may have rubbed some fans the wrong way, he had a genuineness to him that made him sympathetic.

He may have been brash, but he was honest, Forbes Winnie Suh wrote. He could be loud, but he was never vulgar. And he was unusually open, while at the same time vulnerable. ... While we visited, I couldnt help but have empathy.

Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid, in an interview with ESPN, also came to TOs defense, somewhat, about his role as a wide receiver.

TO never complained about getting the ball, Reid said, according to Not once did he complain about not getting the ball. He got it quite a bit actually. There was never a time he complained about that.

But, Reid added, His (complaining) was other things.