Yes, Your 11 Year Old Can Learn to Budget

For over a year, our family has been using FamZoo. Now that my kiddo is starting middle school, I felt it was a good time to introduce budgeting. (Okay, actually I was really excited!)

I started with a paper budget that had five categories. That lasted for all of a hot second before we ran out of space — even kids need more than five categories.

Enter YNAB. I’ve used it for years (you’ve heard me love on it before) — why not have J give it a shot? It also seemed like a good time because he could use the YNAB app on his new cell phone.

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Hot air balloons

4 Quick Ways to Be a Good Money Role Model for Your Kids

Being a parent can be tough. You want so much better for your kids than you had and want them to be so much more informed than you were.

But how can you be a good role model (especially when it comes to money), when you’ve made mistakes and aren’t 100% perfect on the topic?

Don’t worry — you still can be. Here are four quick ways you can be a good money role model RIGHT NOW.

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A recap of The Strangest Secret and how your kids can learn with audio

A recap of The Strangest Secret and how your kids can learn with audio

I just started reading EntreLeadership by financial guru, Dave Ramsey. Early on in the book, Dave talks a bit about his childhood.

My parents were in the real estate business and were bent on tutoring their children by listening to motivational tapes in the car… They said it would be good for us to learn to dream, to think big, and to know that we could be anything we wanted to be. At twelve years old, all I wanted to be was somewhere else other than stuck in the backseat of that hot car, listening to Earl Nightingale’s deep voice. He sounded like God himself, droning on about how “you become what you think about; this is the strangest secret.”

I also realize the gift my parents gave my sister and me, because I am convinced that a lot of my personal success in so many areas of my life can be traced back to being in the backseat of that Chevy Impala. As a captive audience, I learned that you have to dream and you have to do something about making those dreams happen.

Dave Ramsey, EntreLeadership

What a great idea — playing audiobooks in the car!

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How to save money to buy a car

How do I save enough money to buy a car?

A few weeks ago I was talking with a 15-year-old who had just started her first job. She mentioned she wanted to buy a car and opened a savings account to start saving. She had $100 in the account already and the car she was looking at was $3,000.

I started crunching the numbers in my head and coming up with a game plan (because that’s how I roll).

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The one thing I wish I had known about when I first started working

Letters from Mom: The one money trick I wish I had known about when I started working

Letters from Mom is an ongoing series where I share words of wisdom with my son. Read more letters from mom.

Dear J,

When I graduated from college, I was really fortunate to get a job immediately at a great company with an excellent starting salary.

I got paid monthly and took home $2,673.61 in my first full month of work. Curious to see the actual pay stub?

At the time, I knew enough to put some money aside into a savings account. I set up direct deposit to deposit $100 to my savings account per pay period and the rest to my checking account.

With each raise, the rest got bigger and bigger. The amount I was saving did not.

Guess what happened?

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