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Parenting

Young Money Mistakes – Investing with an Investment Club

In the early 2000’s, a friend of a friend started an investment club. If you’re not familiar with the term, the SEC says:

An investment club is generally a group of people who pool their money to invest together.

To participate in the club, you would send him money each month. The group would choose and buy stocks. And ideally you’d make a profit.

Nothing could go wrong there, right?

At the time, I was in my early 20s. I knew I should be doing something with investing or stocks or the stock market, but I didn’t know what. Here was someone who supposedly knew; he was someone I liked and trusted, so I started sending him money every month. (I didn’t participate in the group otherwise and didn’t help choose the stocks.)

At some point I stopped sending him money and lost track of how much I had sent.

A few years later I got an email inquiring how much I had invested. The leader of the club was in trouble for embezzlement.

Categories
Parenting

The Best Christmas Gift for Kids

It’s not Christmas yet, but we’re getting ready! Last time, we talked about budgeting for Christmas gifts and today I want to talk about our favorite present from Santa EVER. In fact, it’s so cool that we still use it (two years later!).

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Parenting Saving

The Great Allowance Debate

Allowances. To give or not to give. It’s a hot topic.

To put it simply, I think there are three main camps:

  • Don’t give it at all. I already feed, clothe and shelter you.
  • Give it unconditionally. Here is some money and it is yours.
  • Give it conditionally, based on desired actions. Here is money for completing X chores, getting Y grades, etc.

And we…

Categories
Parenting Saving

My Kid Is Not Motivated By Money

At the end of every school year, the teacher sends home a few summer learning packets. There is normally a packet for math and one for reading/language skills.

You’ve probably heard the statistics on summer learning loss — that kids lose at least one month of learning over the summer. I’m in favor of the idea of these packets, but in practice they’ve never worked for us.

We just don’t get around to it. Summer is busy and fun, we’re outdoors trying to soak up every last bit of warm weather and daylight that we can. We’re doing all of the things that we don’t get to do the rest of the year — swim, camp, picnic and hit the local amusement parks.

So this summer, I had a brilliant idea (or so I thought). I had the solution that would motivate J to want to do those worksheets.

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Parenting

Does Your Money Talk Match Your Money Walk?

If you’ve been around awhile, you know that my focus on National Bank of Mom is 1) teaching my son kick-ass money management skills and 2) fostering good communication between us.

I teach him how to balance his savings, spending and giving accounts, how to plan for a large purchase and how to save at least 10% of his income.

The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized that talk will only get me so far.

If I want to instill these skills in my son, I have to make sure I’m walking the talk. I have to look at my own actions and behavior and ask myself, “Is what I’m doing contradicting what I’m saying?”

Ralph Waldo Emerson said:

“What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.”

That couldn’t be more true. So much of what we learn is unspoken. We pick things up from our friends, family and society around us — what’s “normal” and expected. How life works.

To that end, ask yourself the following questions and examine your behavior: