Browse Category: Spending

Teaching Kids to Spend - Generic vs. Regular - notebook with pencils

Teaching Kids to Spend: Part 1 – Generic vs. Name-Brand Products

The wheels have been turning since I wrote my last post, If I Could Teach My Child Just One Financial Lesson, It Wouldn’t Be To Save (spoiler: it would be to spend wisely). And I really enjoyed doing a five part series on saving, so I thought, why not do another series on spending?

J and I have been going to various stores and doing some comparison shopping, so the first three posts will be the results of our research, including practical advice and lessons about spending. Specific topics will include buying generic vs. name-brand products, looking at price differences between stores and buying in bulk.

Post four will include other ideas for teaching your kids about spending, and the last post will be more philosophical in nature — do I really need to buy this?

Generic vs. Regular

When I first thought of this idea, I mentioned it to J and he said, “What does generic mean?”

Wait, what?

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If I could teach my child just one financial lesson, it wouldn't be to save

If I Could Teach My Child Just One Financial Lesson, It Wouldn’t Be To Save

Last week I saw a tweet from Adam at Money Savvy Daddy that said, “If you could teach your child just one money/financial lesson… what would it be?”

I love to learn what people are teaching their kids so I was eager to read the responses. Not surprisingly, many people said, “Save!” Saving is definitely important, but saving without context… how can that be successful? What are you saving for?

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Header image for update on saving for a big lego set

We Did It! An Update on Saving for A BIG Lego Set

A few months ago, I had a parenting win. J received a gift that he couldn’t use, and instead of exchanging it for something right away, he returned the item and put the money aside for something he really wanted — The Temple of the Ultimate Ultimate Weapon Lego set.

This BIG set cost $99.99, and with 6% tax, he needed a total of $105.99.

He started on August 26, 2017 with $25.17 in a Target gift card.

By saving $8.00 every two weeks (of his $9.00 allowance), he calculated that he would reach his goal on or before January 19, 2018.

The Power of a Goal

Not only did he save part of his allowance, but J was inspired to do chores for extra money and also added in some gifts from relatives. Both accelerated his progress towards the goal.

On November 10 (2.5 months in), he had $90.67.

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how-much-does-your-vacation-really-cost

How Much Does Your Vacation Really Cost?

Back in March, we went on a road trip and J calculated how much we spent. I thought it was great for him to be able to see exactly how much a vacation really costs.

So when we went to Virginia Beach a few weeks ago, I wanted to have him calculate the cost again, with a few tweaks.

During the trip, we collected all receipts in a folder. We didn’t attempt to do any worksheets or calculating while we were away! A few days after we got home, we sat down and filled out our new and improved trip log (once all of the EZ Pass transactions posted).

This time, we divided all of our receipts into categories. We ended up with seven groups: gas, tolls, groceries, eating out/snacks, household items and lodging.

He labeled each green box with the category. Then he used a running total approach with the register. This involves:

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