Categories
Parenting

Letters from Mom: Financial Health is Only One Piece of the Puzzle

Today I’m starting a new series called Letters from Mom. At 10, there are only so many money lessons I can teach and that J can practice. However, there are things he’ll need to know later, and that’s what I want to focus on today.

Dear J,

I’m hoping that by the time you’re older, you’ll be very financially healthy.

The markers of financial health and success (in my opinion) are:

  • Managing your money well – what comes in and what goes out
  • Figuring out what’s important to you and spending wisely there
  • Saving, in general and for specific future needs and wants
  • Giving and being generous
  • Having what you need, being able to provide for yourself (and your family if you choose to have one) and being responsible

But financial health alone won’t give you the happy, fulfilling life I wish for you. There are several other areas that are important.

Categories
Saving

How to Work Money Lessons Into Your Family Vacation

Does your family take a vacation every year (or every few years)? It doesn’t have to be a big trip or far away, but something special and out of the ordinary.

Last year I participated in a round table discussion on the Stacking Benjamins podcast about family vacations. (Listen here!) I had more to say on the topic and it’s a great time to start planning your next vacation, so let’s talk about how you can get your kids involved and work in some money lessons, too.

Categories
Parenting

Teaching Kids How to Earn Money with a Side Hustle

10 years old is a great age to teach kids how to earn extra money — they’re still young enough to listen to you, but old enough to do some actual work. Here’s the story of J’s first side hustle — selling Christmas cookies to family and friends.

Categories
Parenting

Why Your Kids Should Pitch In for Their Activities

In the spring, J will be eligible to test for his black belt!

The cost of this particular test is $430.

Hold the phone. What?!

Cost of Karate

J has been training for about four years now. There are lots of costs associated with karate including:

  • Tuition ($95 per month)
  • Testing fees ($60-$75 each time; initially four times per year, then later two times per year)
  • Tournaments ($50+ each; around twice per year)
  • Uniforms ($40+ when he needs a new one, about every two years)
  • Other incidentals like patches, bags, fundraisers, parties, etc.

I split the costs with J’s dad and so far we’ve footed the entire bill.

Benefits of karate

There’s no denying that karate is a great activity. J learns responsibility, leadership, personal protection, coordination, focus, how to get along with others, commitment, personal development — the list is endless.

Because karate is important to us and because J gets a lot out of it, we’re fine with the cost.

Pitching in towards the test

But because he’s getting older and I want to engage him, I told him that he was responsible for 10% of the testing fee.

Categories
Parenting

6 Small Habits That Will Yield Big Financial Results

I just finished reading The Slight Edge and wow, what a great book! I’d heard of this concept years ago from The Art of Exceptional Living by Jim Rohn.

The idea is:

Little things that seem insignificant in the doing, yet when compounded over time yield very big results… I call them simple daily disciplines. Simple productive actions, repeated consistently over time. That, in a nutshell, is the slight edge.

There are many small, positive actions you can take every day. They probably don’t look like much and in fact, they’re often super easy to do. Over time, these repeated actions will yield big results in your personal and financial life. Like with the rule of 72, the success curve is exponential.

So if it’s so easy, why doesn’t everyone do this? Because they’re also easy not to do. People underestimate their power.