Categories
Saving

Money advice for kids that fits on an index card

There’s a great personal finance book by Helaine Olen and Harold Pollack — The Index Card: Why Personal Finance Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated. The idea is that “everything you need to know about managing your money could fit on an index card.”

Olen and Pollack aren’t the only ones who have created an index card full of money advice. Bill from FamZoo has one — The 5 Things I Want To Teach My Kids About Money Fit on a 4×6 Index Card. I also love these slide shows from the New York Times — one and another.

Reading all of the different ideas and loving the simplicity of the project, I decided that it was time to create my own.

Categories
Saving

How I streamline my son’s allowance, interest and recurring payments

It’s been a few years that I’ve been working with my son on personal finance. Like with other aspects of life, things have gotten a bit complicated.

  • He gets an allowance — a percentage goes to his FamZoo card and the rest to his savings (it sounds simple, but the latter has an extra step)
  • He earns interest on his savings
  • He’s now paying ME for recurring expenses including his cell phone and Duolingo Plus

Maybe you’ve experienced this with your own finances — you put different processes in place and over time, you can’t remember how the whole process works and are afraid to touch any one thing.

Categories
Saving

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.

Categories
Parenting

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.

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.