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.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Buying Teacher Gifts? Why Not Teach Your Child about Budgeting at the Same Time?

From The Daring Librarian on Flickr.com

Many kids love to give their teachers a present for the holiday season. When my daughter was in elementary school, she wanted to give presents to practically every teacher and adult in her school. It was very sweet, but not the most budget friendly attitude to have!

At the beginning of December, I would ask Brittany to make a list of all the teachers that she wanted to give a gift to. Then we would talk about the total amount of money we were willing to spend on teacher presents and do the math to determine how much she could spend on each present. I honestly did not realize it at the time, but this process was modeling budgeting skills for her. It was age appropriate and was relevant to her, both of which are key to making the concept of budgeting less abstract to kids.

When Brittany wanted to hand out 15 – 20 presents, we had to come up with gifts that would still fit our budget. Here are some of our more creative, frugal ideas:

Monday, December 3, 2012

Pam's Picks: Teens & Credit Cards

Teens and credit cards?  That thought could strike fear in the heart of even the bravest parent!  However, it doesn't have to be a bad experience.  The difference between a useful financial tool and a dangerous debt builder boils down to educating your teen about credit cards and debt.  

Here are some useful resources for you:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

It's Chore Time! Where are the Kids?

I am looking around my house right now and see that the floor needs to be swept, the laundry needs to be folded and the dishwasher needs to be unloaded.  Where is my housekeeper?  Oh yeah...I don't have one!  Alrighty then...time to gather the kiddos and get this house in order.  Do your kids help you maintain a clean house?  Do you pay them for those chores?
Girl Cleaning Up With Broom and Trash Bags
From D Sharon Pruitt's photos on Flickr

Many people are opposed to paying for tasks that help run the family household. Other folks use money to encourage kids to complete the tasks and compare it to getting a paycheck as an adult. I personally don’t think there is a right or wrong answer to this age-old dilemma. I think each family has to find the method and theory that works best for them.

Our Approach:  The Best of Both Worlds

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

It's Time for a Laugh!

Don't let the holiday stress get to you!  Share a laugh with your family and friends with these wacky Thanksgiving pictures...

Funny Al
From Daniel Morris's photos on Flickr

Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade
From editrixie's photos on Flickr
from Chris.corwin's photos on Flickr

Happy Thanksgiving from our house to yours!!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

No Presents on Thanksgiving??

Photo by Brittany Whitlock
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. There isn't the pressure to find the perfect gift or throw the biggest backyard barbecue. It is a time to enjoy being with family and to take a moment to be thankful for the good things in your life. I have read many articles recently about the sense of entitlement and what a parent should to do to make sure their kids avoid this “affluenza” (term borrowed from Clark Howard!). I think that one of the best ways to teach and model gratefulness is to create family traditions that honor this quality.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Pam's Picks of the Week

My favorites from around the web recently...

Suzanne at Growing Rich Kids has written a wonderful blog post this week about the items kids should pay for with their allowance.  She was kind enough to email me and ask how we handle this with our kids.  Her advice and hints cover all the ages, from childhood through those crazy teen years.

Speaking of teen years...do you have to buy your teen a car?  Does it need to be a brand new, top of the line, sports car?  Squirrelers has recently tackled this topic in their post, Cars for Teens:  Don't Spoil Them with Expensive Vehicles.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Free Books for Kids and Teens

Mr. Potato Head Has His Nose in a Book
Image from Flickr.com
Everyone who knows me knows that I love books for kids!  And...I love a good bargain.  So when I can find free books for kids and teens, it makes me want to do a happy dance.  Here are 12 books for kids and teens that are completely free!

Important:  The books were free when I published this blog post.  The prices may have changed.  Please double check the cost before you download!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Pam's Picks: Habits, Grades & Character

My favorites from around the web recently...

Your Teen’s Habits with Money Have Everything to Do with How They Think about Money by Jill Suskind on YourTeensMoneySkills.com

You had the "money talk" with our child.  You pay them for jobs so they can learn the value of a dollar.  That should be enough, right?  Not so fast!  Jill points out a wide range of financial misconceptions that she developed from childhood.  These misconceptions were gradually built from observing lifestyles and actions of those around her. It's not what you say; it's what you do!  Jill shares an honest examination of her journey with money and finances.  All parents should read this article. 

Should You Pay for an 'A'? by Beth Kobliner on MintLife.com

Paying for grades is one of the most debated topics relating to kids and money.  Beth presents all sides of this issue in her three part series.
Character Counts by Brian Page on FinEdChat.blogspot.com

Brian Page is an award winning teacher from Reading, Ohio.  He teaches economics, creates Financial Literacy curricula and is a proud dad to three beautiful children.  In Character Counts, Brian connects financial literacy goals with strong character traits and discusses how they go hand-in-hand.

And...thanks to the following sites for including MoneyTrail in recent articles...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Accidental Savings Plan

I have accidentally discovered a brand new way to get my 12 year old to save his money. Pay him in BIG bills! Sounds crazy but it has worked. He has a $50 bill that he refuses to part with. It all started with a visit to his grandparent’s house.

Fifty $50 Dollar Bill 7337x3107
from Flickr.com
One of the highlights of summer time for my kids is getting to spend time with their grandparents. They play Scrabble, build marvelous things with my Dad and generally get wonderfully spoiled for a week. In the midst of all the fun, my parents have discovered that my kids will also do plenty of summer chores for them. Things that my parents can’t (or don’t) want to do, such as detailing cars, washing windows and painting benches have become specialties for my kids! Grandparents tend to pay pretty darn well too.

This past summer, my 12 year old accomplished several of the big tasks for my parents. They paid him $50 and gave him a brand new, crisp $50 bill. He still has it and is determined to keep it for a very long time. There have been two instances where he has thought about buying a toy or game but has opted to save his money because he does not want to part his cash!

The desire to hang on to that $50 bill has caused him to analyze and critique his spending habits.  He really thinks about whether an item is "worth it or not".  

Monday, October 1, 2012

Need to Save a Few Dollars? An App can Help!


Everyone is trying to save a few bucks these days. If you are a parent, especially the parent of a teen, you know as well as I do that the cash can just fly right out the window. There is a brand new website, Saving Money Apps, which showcases apps that, just as the title says, will save you some money. I was recently asked to write an article for them about MoneyTrail. In the article I list several ways that MoneyTrail saves money for parents and I also discuss how MoneyTrail teaches kids & teens about money management, saving them money in the long run.

Visit Saving Money Apps to view the entire article,
MoneyTrail App: Saving Money for Parents & Teaching Kids about Money

Friday, September 21, 2012

It's Friday...Do You have Allowance Money for your Kids?

Empty Wallet
From NoHoDamon's photos on Flickr.com
Yippee...it's Friday!  There's no homework for the kids.  Maybe it's pizza night at your house or the Friday night football game at the local high school.  Many of us parents will also hear, "Mom, it's Friday.  Can I have my allowance?"  Or, "I need some money for the game.  I babysat last weekend and you forgot to pay me."  If you are like me, you make a mad dash for your purse to see what change is lurking at the bottom among the gum wrappers and lip balm.  If that doesn't solve the problem, then you hunt down Dad's wallet to see if maybe, just maybe, there's a five dollar bill in there.  Sound familiar?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Using Budgets to Teach Kids about Money

The following is an excerpt of a guest article that I wrote for Our Mom Spot. Our Mom Spot's Mission "is to provide a safe & free place for moms to connect for friendship, discussion, and advice; to provide encouragement, support, information, and networking options for moms with their own businesses or blogs; and to support moms in all that they do." I highly recommend popping over to their website to read the entire article and to get involved in their wonderful discussions.

Parents: You can use a budget to teach your kids how to handle money

We all want our kids to grow into financially responsible adults. No parent wants their adult child to have $50,000 in debt from credit cards or poor decision making. Quite simply, our kids need to learn to budget. The sooner we start teaching them, the more time they will have to practice this important financial skill.

Why should I teach my child to budget?
A budget is simply a plan for our money. It covers income, expenses, savings and spending. It allows us to live within our means and keeps us goal-oriented. This can also apply to our kids, just on a smaller scale. A child’s income can be from allowance or extra jobs. Their expenses can range from bubble gum to lunch money. The critical thing is that they learn that once the money is gone, they can’t continue buying things.

Friday, August 24, 2012

What is Your Teen's Net Worth?

money and savings
From 401Kcaluculator.org
 As our kids have gotten older and are well into their teens, we have noticed that their money management needs have grown and changed also. They are earning larger amounts of money, saving for larger goals and juggling cash, credit with us and multiple gift cards. Throw in the occasional check from Grandma and the chances of items getting lost, forgotten or spent on impulse grow tremendously. Our teens have moved beyond the piggy bank or simple allowance systems.

As we watched this evolution of money management, we also noticed another very interesting technique. Our daughter would add together all of her resources to see how much total money she had for available for a savings goal. She was essentially finding her “net worth” by adding her cash, her IOUs, her gift cards and any checks that she had been given. We incorporated this system into MoneyTrail to create a dynamic system of money management for teens.

For example, let’s say Morgan is a teenage girl that is saving for an iPod. She might have several “types” of revenue that she is saving.

  • Credit with her parents: This would be the amount of money that Morgan’s parents owe her for odd jobs around the house and/or for allowance. She has been saving for a long time so she now has $80 in credit.
  • Cash: Morgan has $28 in her purse.
  • Checks: Morgan got a $20 birthday check from Grandma that is still lying on her desk. She hasn't cashed it yet, but she doesn’t want to forget about it.
  • Gift Cards: Teens get a lot of gift cards these days as presents. In this example, Morgan has a Visa gift card that has a $30 remaining balance that she will use for the iPod.
With a quick glance at her MoneyTrail account, Morgan can see the total amount of her assets ($158) or, in financial terms, she can view her “Net Worth”.  Keeping track of the total amount can keep teens focused on their big goals and reduce the damage of day to day impulse spending.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Online Allowance and Money Trackers

Online allowance trackers, or virtual family banks, are popular tools for organizing a child’s money and encouraging financial literacy skills.  We created our MoneyTrail website and app to fit a need that we have in our family.  We have four kids and keeping up with allowances, IOUs and cash was difficult.  I would continually forget the last time I paid allowance or I would lose the sticky note that reminded me to pay Brittany $10 for washing the car.  Since Frank was a computer programmer and I was a teacher, we put our heads together and created a solution that worked for us.  (Read our full story here.) 

MoneyTrail may have started with our family but it has rapidly grown to help thousands of families with their allowance and money management needs for kids.  Frank and I are proud to offer our free virtual family bank from our website and we have an app in all the major app stores.  

MoneyTrail features include:

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Did You Make Money Mistakes as a Teen?

I recently read an honest, wide-open account of how a young man blew through $100,000 before he turned 21 (iheartbudgets.com). His story has resonated with me and I have been thinking of mistakes that I made as a teen or a young adult.  I inherited a small sum of money ($1000) from my grandfather and just used it for lifestyle choices in college --- pizza, movies, clothes, etc.  I never even considered saving it or investing it.  The money disappeared within a year.  Everyone seems to make mistakes with their money at some point.

I want to write an upcoming post about common mistakes that teens and young adults make with their money and how we can most effectively prevent these mistakes from happening.  Would you take a few moments to share your experiences and thoughts with me by answering some questions?   

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Pam's Picks: The Athlete's Edition

My favorites from around the web this week...

The College Investor had a fabulous post about our perceptions (or misconceptions) of money and how to make it work for us into our Golden Years.  Money, What Does It Really Mean? is a worthwhile read for all ages.

The financial actions of professional athletes was the topic of Beth Kobliner's post this week on the Mintlife Blog.  Sports Heroes as Financial Models?  points out some lessons that our kids can learn from the mistakes of many of our professional athletes.  She does, however, compliment Shaquille O'Neal on his educational accomplishments while being an NBA star.

Friday, June 22, 2012

10 Movies that Can Teach Your Child or Teen about Money

popcorn and movie
Photo:  Scypaxpictures
Looking for a quiet activity on a hot summer day?  Nothing beats the heat like a movie day with a big ole' bowl of popcorn.  Why not throw in a little financial education while you are watching the movies with your kids.

Here are 10 movies for kids & teens that can be great financial conversation starters.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Debt Collection: An Overlooked Area of Financial Education

Credit Card
From 401Kcalculator.org
 As a mom of four and a teacher, I promote financial education for kids and teens all the time.  It is the purpose of this blog and a dominate reason behind our MoneyTrail App.  I can talk about it until I am "blue in the face."  Kids and teens need to learn to be responsible with their money, making thoughtful decisions and learning from their mistakes.  I commonly say that it is better for them to make mistakes while they are young as opposed to when they leave home and get their first credit card.  However, as all parents know, sometimes teens don't listen.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

I originally wrote this post last year and it is one of my favorites because of the sweet memories it brings back to me.  Hope you enjoy!

One of my Dad’s hobbies/talents is making jewelry and working with rocks. He taught classes in Lapidary (the art of transforming stones, minerals and gemstones into decorative art). I was definitely a Daddy’s girl and would hang out with him at class or in the basement when he was working. I learned how to cut, polish and facet stones at an early age.

On the weekends, we would often set up booths at local craft shows. My mom would sell her crafts and my dad would sell his jewelry. I was too young to roam around the shows on my own so my dad came up with the idea of letting me have my own table to sell individual polished stones.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Pam's Picks: Student Loans, Credit Cards and Wisdom from Grandpa

Here are some of my favorite articles that I ran across recently.  You will see that there is a wide range of topics, from student loans to credit cards to wisdom from a Grandfather.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Boredom Busters for the Summer

Ahhhh...the lazy days of summer!  No alarm clock, no lunches to pack, no homework to finish.  No complaints from the kids, right?  Wrong!  How long did it take before you heard those dreaded words, "Mom, I'm bored!"?  I think we had about three days of summer vacation before one of my kids decided there was nothing to do.  Although I can't guarantee you a boredom-free summer, I can share with you some of our favorite (cheap) summer activities.
from flickr.com
  1. Water, water, water!  Nothing beats the heat like jumping in a pool.  We also take picnics to a local lake that has a swimming beach, play in our sprinkler and find creeks to stomp in.  Several places in the Atlanta area also have fountain areas for the kids.  We did this a lot when our kids were younger.  Toddlers are just fascinated by water shooting up out of the ground! 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

My 12 Year Old Really Hates Debt

 Alan Cleaver's photos on flickr
A few months ago, my twelve year old son borrowed $300 from us.  It wasn't for a new cell phone or a new iPod.  It was for a field trip to Orlando.  Yup...quite possibly the world's greatest field trip!  His sixth grade class went to Epcot and Sea World and he really, really, really wanted to go.  As much as I wanted to just hand over the money and make him happy, the reality is that with four kids (one of whom is starting college this fall), our family budget doesn't have room for optional, $300 field trips.  So...we told him that he could borrow the money from us as long as he agreed to pay it back.  You can read about his loan plan here.

This is not the first time we have loaned money to our kids.  Our older son went on this same field trip when he was in sixth grade and he repaid the money.  Our daughter borrowed money for some of her school trips and paid her loans back over time as well.  However, this is the first time I have blogged about it and publicly discussed it.  The blogging comments were all positive, but I did get some questions and raised eyebrows from friends and family.  I even got the question, "Are you really going to make him pay you back?  He's just 12."  Ummm....yes.  We worked out a plan and he agreed to it.

The results of our loan arrangement:

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Mama...I Can Do It Myself

We have had our MoneyTrail website and app for several years now.  It is definitely a family business and our four kids have been our biggest quality control testers.   Our three oldest children use their accounts independently, either with a computer, tablet or iPod Touch. Our youngest child (nine years old) has been able to log in and check his balances independently for awhile now.   However, Frank and I usually help him enter transactions.  

Doing it himself!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Definitely Worth It...

The end of the school year brings with it lots of activities, concerts, award ceremonies and parties.  This year, our school year ended on a great note for all of our kids, but especially our daughter, who graduated from high school on Sunday, May 20th.  My focus during the month has predominantly been on the Mom side of life and I have been pulled away from the blog.  I apologize for the absence but I know in my heart, it was definitely worth it...

Monday, May 14, 2012

Are We Talking with our Kids about Money?

Mint.com recently posted an excellent infographic about parents, kids and money.  The information is based on a study by T. Rowe Price and is definitely worth sharing.  Take a look...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

What My Mom Taught Me about Business

I originally wrote this post last year for Mother's Day.  I just love the memories in this story so I thought I would share it with my new readers this year.  I hope you enjoy...

Mother’s Day is just a few days away and it has me thinking, of course, about my mother. Take a look at the lovely photo to the left. Yup…that’s my mother and me at the grand opening of her craft store. (I’m the one in the “Little House on the Prairie” dress!) I believe I was about four years old at the time.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Hidden Cost of Graduation

Brittany, Class of 2012
My oldest child will be graduating from high school in just a few weeks.  There are certain costs that I expected during the Senior year and many that surprised me.  I thought you might find it interesting to see what we have spent to get our little girl to walk across the stage.  Keep in mind two things:  1) This is only graduation costs...not prom or college visits; and 2)  Some of these expenses are optional.  Time will tell whether I improve our graduation budget for our younger three children.  It's very hard for me to say "No" during moments like this with our kids!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

High School Students Work to End Human Trafficking

Hope for Slaves
Last week, I wrote about Raising Charitable Kids and Teens.  The response to that particular post has been wonderful.  This week I want to tell you about a group of high school students who are working to end human trafficking.  The group is from Reading High School in Reading, Ohio.  They, in conjunction with Westwood schools from Camilla, Georgia, are working to raise awareness of modern slavery and are raising money to support individuals and families who have been rescued from slavery.  Here is the press release that they sent me:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Wrapping Up Financial Literacy Month

money and savings
from 401Kcalculator.org
April is Financial Literacy Month in the United States.  The Jumpstart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy  describes this month as a time to "draw attention to the importance of financial literacy and the need for more and better financial education through a variety of activities and initiatives.

To celebrate Financial Literacy month, I have gathered 30 activities, one for each day of the month, that you can do with your child or teen to help start them on a path of financial responsibility.  Here is the final installment.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Family Earth Day Activities

Earth Day is almost here!  The official date is April 22, 2012.  Reducing waste, recycling and reusing items can save you money, teach your kids to save some money and help out old Mother Earth in the process.  Take a moment out of your busy weekend and try one of these activities to celebrate Earth Day.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Raising Charitable Kids & Teens

The April Edition of Teaching Your Kids about Money

Teaching your Kids about Money is a comprehensive guide for teaching your child or teen about money management and financial literacy. At the beginning of each month in 2012, I will give you more information and tips about introducing these topics in your family and will share some practical ideas for implementing these concepts into your everyday life. For previous months' topics, click here.

Part of learning to handle money in a responsible manner is also learning how to be charitable and giving in nature.  I would venture a guess that no parent wants their child to become a miser and act like Ebenezer Scrooge, but parents may worry that if they focus too much on financial concepts their child might become overly fanatic about money.  Striking a balance between managing their own money and helping others is yet another skill that takes practice. 

As with many money management concepts, there are differing opinions and methods.  The key is to find the approach or combination of approaches that works in your family and that matches your family’s values.  I have seen two fundamental approaches to getting kids involved in charitable giving.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Financial Literacy Month: Week #3, Daily Tips & Activities

from 401kcalculator.org
April is Financial Literacy Month in the United States.  The Jumpstart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy  describes this month as a time to "draw attention to the importance of financial literacy and the need for more and better financial education through a variety of activities and initiatives."  

To celebrate Financial Literacy month, I have gathered 30 activities, one for each day of the month, that you can do with your child or teen to help start them on a path of financial responsibility.  Here is the third installment.

Week of April 16th - 22nd

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday Funnies #9 - Wacky Hair Edition

Let's take a look at some interesting hairstyles this week!  Take a peek at these...

Duck with a hairdo
from cookipediachef's pictures on flickr.com

Friday, April 13, 2012

SheWill, Inc. Provides Financial Literacy for Girls, Ages 8 - 17

I would like to introduce you to one of my new financial literacy friends, Sheena Williams.  Sheena is the young woman behind SheWill, Inc., an organization dedicated to preparing young girls for "successful, career oriented futures free from debt and irresponsible financial decisions."  I originally met Sheena on Twitter, but since she is in the Atlanta area, we have met for breakfast several times and have become good friends.  Sheena is truly passionate about teaching financial literacy to young girls and this passion shines through in her work.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Financial Literacy Month: Tips and Activities, Round 2

photo from taxcredits.net on flickr
April is Financial Literacy Month in the United States.  The Jumpstart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy  describes this month as a time to "draw attention to the importance of financial literacy and the need for more and better financial education through a variety of activities and initiatives."  

To celebrate Financial Literacy month, I have gathered 30 activities, one for each day of the month, that you can do with your child or teen to help start them on a path of financial responsibility.  Here is the second installment.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sunday Funnies #8

Happy Easter everyone!  Take a little break from hunting the eggs and have a laugh...

Easter Pug
from geraldbrazell's photos on flickr.com

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Pam's Picks: April 7, 2012

Should you let your child make money mistakes?  Alisa Weinstein says you should.  She gives some great pointers on the Nightly Business Report blog.

What do your kids know about credit cards?  Danny Kofke shares a recent credit card lesson for his daughter on One Money Design.

I am always looking for articles that tell me the right things to do with my kids so they will grow up to be financially responsible.  It was fun to see a humorous, sarcastic spin on this topic in 8 Tips for Raising Money Dumb Kids on FiveCentNickel.com.

Geoff Williams thought his daughter was learning all about business and finances when she participated in the school's Entrepreneur Day.  He later discovered that the school left out one little aspect of  business finances that cost him some dough.  He shared his story in "Teaching your kids financial literacy without going broke yourself on FiveCentNickel.com.

Can you learn a lifelong savings lesson at the age of 7?  Thad did...and he shared his story in Learning to Save on ThadThoughts.com.

Ever wondered how much of your financial situation you should share with your children?  Family Money Values takes a close look at this and gives us some advice for the different stages of life.

Other great reads from around the blogosphere...
Advice for new bloggers on Passive Income to Retire
Adventures in Lottery Playing by DQYDJ.net
6 Free Financial Resources by Master the Art of Saving
When the Student Loan Bubble Bursts on Faith and Finance
Why Credit Cards are Dangerous for Students by My University Money

Thanks to the following for including MoneyTrail:
Saturday Evening Post(s) #8 by ThadThoughts.com
The DQYDJ Weekender Week of 3/25/12
Carnival of Financial Camaraderie #26 hosted by My University Money
Yakezie Carnival:  the Early Spring Jump edition hosted by Money Reasons
Carnival of Financial Planning 229 hosted by Married with Debt.

I love to give credit when another blog mentions MoneyTrail.  If I have missed putting you on my "thank you" list, please let me know!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Five Last Minute Easter Activities

This week has been Spring break for my four kids.  We had grand visions of doing several of the stay-cation ideas from last week’s blog.  Our plan was to have a cook out, take a hike, hang out with friends and end the week with an Easter trip to see visit my kids’ grandparents.  But…life intervened.  More sicky germs have invaded our home…cough, fever, vomiting…BLAH!

The healthy people in my house have done a few things.  We roasted marshmallows one night and the kids have, at various times, been able to hang out with their buddies.  The trip to visit the grandparents, however, has been cancelled.  Now I find myself approaching Easter weekend with nothing planned!  I am “scrambling” to find “eggscellent”, easy activities to do with my little chickies! (Ok…I’ll stop with the Easter humor.)

Here are five of my favorite, last minute Easter activities:

Monday, April 2, 2012

Financial Literacy Month: Tips & Activities for Kids & Teens

Images_of_Money on flickr.com
April is Financial Literacy Month in the United States.  The Jumpstart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy  describes this month as a time to "draw attention to the importance of financial literacy and the need for more and better financial education through a variety of activities and initiatives."  
To celebrate Financial Literacy month, I have gathered 30 activities, one for each day of the month, that you can do with your child or teen to help start them on a path of financial responsibility.  Here is the first installment.

Week of April 1 - 8:

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sunday Funnies #7

It's April Fools Day!  The fun and festivities have already started at my house.  One of my son's left wild onions on his sister's pillow a few days ago.  She retaliated last night my putting vasoline on their door knobs and toilet papering one of their bedrooms.  It could be a really interesting day around here!  Here's a few more photos from previous pranks that my darling children have pulled on us.

Friday, March 30, 2012

12 Favorite Books to Start the Money Conversation with your Child

Welcome to the March Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival: Discovering through Books

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival hosted by The Positive Parenting Connection and Authentic Parenting. This month our participants have investigated what role books have played in their lives. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

Practicing reading out loud
From Marc's photos on flickr.com
Have you ever tried to talk with your child about saving their money or working hard to earn their money?  And…did they tune you out or roll their eyeballs back into their head?  Instead of launching into a lecture about important financial concepts, try introducing the topics through a book that you and your child have both read.  There are many great literature classics that have money and business concepts embedded within the story.  You and your child or teen can begin with the shared experience of the story and you can lead the conversation into a financial discussion based upon the character or the situation.

Here are a few of my favorite books that you can use as conversation starters to talk about money, jobs and entrepreneurship.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spring Break Activities that Won't Break Your Budget

Spring break is just around the corner.  While some families may be heading off for a week at the beach or a few days at an amusement park, many families are choosing to do a "stay-cation", staying at home and finding relaxing things to do.  While my favorite thing about spring break is throwing the alarm clock into the closet, my kids seem to want to do more exciting things.

Here are a few fun family activities that won't break the family budget.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

MoneyTrail is in the Top 25 Android Apps for Moms

We were recently notified that our MoneyTrail app was #14 on the list of the Top 25 Android Apps for Mom from the editors at Babble.com, an online parenting magazine.  A big thank you goes out to the editors and the Mom's!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Pam's Picks: Save, Spend, Share

Many parents like to teach money management to their kids with a Save, Spend, Share approach.  Here are three articles I ran across this week that illustrate using those concepts with children and teens.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday Funnies #6

Take a break from the To Do list and stay out of the pollen!  Here's a few laughs for your afternoon...

Darth Vader's alternate transportation
Image:  anomalous4's photos on flickr.com

Friday, March 23, 2012

What Can "The Hunger Games" Teach your Teen about Money?

Last year I did a book review of "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins and shared my thoughts about the money thoughts that are embedded in this thrilling story.  Now that the movie is taking the box office by storm, I thought I would share the book review again.  There are some basic money lessons within the story, such as determining your basic needs and utilizing your skills to create an income.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Getting Your Kids Involved in Spring Cleaning

20110130 - Spring Cleaning
From edmundwee's photos on flickr.com
The birds are singing, flowers are blooming and your entire yard is covered in a yellow blanket of pollen.  It must be Spring and with it comes spring cleaning!  Just what you were wanting to do, right?  This Spring, when you decide to crank up the cleaning, make it a family affair and get the kids involved.  I'm not promising that it will be "grumble-free", but the kids can help you check items off your To Do list.

Monday, March 19, 2012

How Mickey and Shamu are Teaching My Child about Loans and Debt Repayment

My 11 year old is learning about loans and debt repayment from Mickey Mouse and Shamu the Whale.  Not your standard financial literacy experts, are they? 

Photo by Brittany Whitlock

Here’s how the situation came about.  The sixth grade class at my son’s school has an optional two night field trip to Orlando, where they will be visiting Epcot and SeaWorld.  The field trip comes with a price tag of $300.  With a family of six, one of whom will be starting college this fall, an optional activity with that kind of cost is not in our family budget.  So…we told our son that he could go on the trip…if he pays for it himself.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sunday Funnies #5

I hope everyone had a wonderful St. Patrick's Day weekend.  Here are a few photos to give you a chuckle before you start your busy work week.

st patricks day -crochet patterns-funny dog photos
from LisaAuch's photos on flickr.com