Browse Tag: balance

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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Backpack school

How to Give Your Middle-Schooler Additional Freedom in Making Money-Related Decisions

Last week, J and I had a conversation about what else he would like to learn about money. He’s going to middle school in the fall and I mentioned it would be a great opportunity to give him some extra responsibilities.

We talked about how additional responsibilities will actually give him more of a chance to make decisions on his own, better known as freedom. So he suggested I use the word freedom in the title because freedom sounds better than responsibility.

We brainstormed some possibilities and came up with the items below.

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An honest look at my finances; YNAB budget

An Honest Look at My Finances

Do you know how much your parents made (or make)? Or how they really spend their money? I don’t.

What about your friends? Even the close ones?

I can think of just one person whose salary I know (my signifiant other), and even then, I don’t know the details of how much he’s saving or spending in various categories or what his big picture looks like.

We tell our kids not to worry about what other people are doing, so why should we be concerned with what other people make, have or spend?

For MANY of reasons, but here are two.

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Budgeting for Christmas gifts

Budgeting for Christmas Gifts

In one of my very first posts, I shared a short-term savings plan for Christmas gifts. Kids can totally learn to save for Christmas gifts and purchase them by themselves. I’ve found that it makes J feel good to save the money, think of thoughtful gifts, make the purchase and wrap gifts on his own.

Because we’re using FamZoo cards now, we decided to utilize both the budget and additional account features for J’s yearly Christmas gifts list.

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Making the transition from cash to card - dollar bills and credit card

Making the Transition from Cash to Card

For two years now, J has been using cash, paper and pencil to manage his money. I’ve been paying monthly interest and bi-weekly allowance in cash. I’ve been calculating interest payments in Excel and emailing statements.

My goal was to help him understand cash (and math) by using hands-on, practical examples.

It’s been awesome. J started with $40 in his savings envelope in April 2016 and had over $500 by June 2018. (Pretty good for a kid with no job.)

Time to move on

When he turned 10 a few months ago, I knew it was time to learn something else. Cash is great, but how many of us really use cash and only cash every day? His financial education needed to include the responsible use of cards.

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