Ever forget your child's allowance?

MoneyTrail automatically keeps track of allowances and keeps you organized.

Every Dollar Counts!

Teach your child to keep track of their money. It reduces impulse spending.

Finances shouldn't cause headaches!

Practicing money skills when young can lead to stress-free, responsible finances as an adult.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

How to Get Teens to Save Money

Real Items Teens are Saving For
Many teens that are using MoneyTrail are saving for specific items or goals.   Getting teens to save money can sometimes be a challenge.  However, it is a skill that can be learned with patience and practice. 

Four Key Points to Get Teens to Save:
  1. Help them set a specific goal.  Whether it is a short term savings goal (cell phone, iPod) or a long term savings goal (car, college), having a specific goal will keep the teen focused and can reduce impulse purchases.
  2.  Help them figure out how to achieve the goal.  Talk to your teen about how he is going to get the money.  Is he saving allowance for a long time or is he going to get a job?  What kind of job?
  3. Give them an organized system for keeping track of their progress.  Details, ideas and amounts can be easily forgotten or pushed aside after time goes by.  MoneyTrail provides this organized, consistent system for teens and parents.  Customized accounts can help your teen meet his savings goal.

Friday, April 22, 2011

And...Still More Tips & Activities for Financial Literacy Month

This is it.  The final group of tips to take your through the rest of the month.  I hope you have found a few activities to do with your kids.  Teaching children and teens to be financially responsible and ready to tackle the real world is not a quick fix. It is a way of thinking and interacting with your kids on a daily basis.
April 22nd - April 30th

April 22:  Talk with your child about the difference between needs and wants, using examples that she can relate to.  Stress that a want does not become a need just because she wants it really badly!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Footballs & Helicopters: How to Avoid Shopping Meltdowns with your Kids

It has happened to most parents at one time or another.  You are in a department store with your kids and one of them sees “the toy” and simply must have it.

     “Can I get it?”
     “But Mama….I really want it.” 
     “I won’t ask for anything else.”
     “I promise I will do my chores.” 
     “Please, ple-e-e-e-e-e-ease.” 
      “I’ve wanted this my whole life.” 

For such a little person, they sure can have a loud voice, especially when you are in a store and feel  the eyes of all the other shoppers nearby glaring at you!  At this point, you have three options: 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Still More Tips & Activities for Financial Literacy Month

Financial Literacy Month is officially half way over! Here are more tips and activities for you and your kids.

Week of April 15th - April 21st

  • April 15:    Participate in age appropriate volunteer activities.  Teens could help in a food pantry or start a clothing drive.  All kids can participate in fund raisers and donate money to charities that you support.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Books to Help Teens Learn about Money

I recently read two books for young adults that deal with money issues.  The first book was “Money Hungry” by Sharon G. Flake and the second book was “Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins.  Both of these stories have teens as the main characters and deal with the effects of lack of money on their personal survival. 

Money Hungry by Sharon G. Flake.  2002 Coretta Scott King Honor Book

Raspberry Hill is a 13 year old girl who lives in the projects with her mother.  Her memories of being homeless and eating handouts drive her to think about money constantly.  She is in survival mode and will do anything legally possible to prevent living on the streets again.  She sells pencils and candy at school and washes cars or cleans apartments after school to make money.  Raspberry hoards her money in her room and counts it quite often.  Her friends and mother think she is just “money hungry” but Raspberry’s drive and ambition come from the nightmarish possibility of becoming homeless again. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

More Tips and Activities for Financial Literacy Month

The first week of April has flown by!  It is already time for the second set of Financial Literacy Tips and Activities for your family.  Hope you enjoy...

Week #2:  April 8 - 14

  • April 8th:  Take a trip to a local bank, a US Mint or a Federal Reserve.  Open a savings account at the local bank with your child.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Search for the Teen Summer Job

My two teens both want to get summer jobs this year.  They each have an opportunity to participate in a school trip to New York City next spring and they have to earn and save the money for the trip themselves.  I don’t know the exact price of the trip yet but the estimated figure is $1000.  My son is considering giving private trombone lessons and/or working at a grocery store.  My daughter is more interested in working in a restaurant or book store.  As a parent, I am excited about watching this adventure unfold.  For the first time, they will be entering the world of job applications, interview skills, working with the public and of course, managing a paycheck while saving for a long-term goal.  The first step, however, is getting the job.  Here are a few tips to help your teen (hopefully) land a great summer job!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Daily Activities and Tips for Financial Literacy Month

April is Financial Literacy month in the United States.  Children and teens can definitely develop money skills that will help them become responsible, financially literate adults.  To celebrate and promote Financial Literacy month, each Friday in April I will post daily financial activities or tips for the upcoming week for you and your family.  Hope you enjoy…

Calendar created by Pam using Microsoft Publisher
Week One:   April 1 - 7
  • April 1st:  Take your child grocery shopping with you.  Let them pick out an item and look at the price per unit.  Compare the price of the name brand item to that of the generic item.  Decide if the name brand is worth the extra money.