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.

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!