Categories
Spending

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.

Categories
Saving

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.

Categories
Saving

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.

Categories
Saving

How National Bank of Mom Rewards Savings

By this time, you already know that we subscribe to a three-envelope system (complete with registers) for savings, spending and giving. At times, we also use an additional envelope for short-term savings — when J is saving for a larger purchase a few months in advance.

The first stop in our banking process (and the reason for the name of this blog) centers around the savings envelope.

Every month on the 9th, I pay interest on the total in J’s savings envelope. To make it enough that he can see a tangible result (and earn more than the few cents he would at a bank), I pay 3% monthly.

I create a bank statement, give him a printout and also email him a copy. He writes the interest amount in his savings register to balance the account.

I developed a spreadsheet to calculate the amount and format a nice-looking statement for him. (Download a copy of the spreadsheet.) Fill in the sections in blue on the first sheet. Each month, enter the deposits made in the appropriate section, and the interest and totals will recalculate. Print a copy or save as a PDF and email away.

What is interest?

When borrowing money, interest is the money that you pay on top of what you borrow. Borrow money, pay it back AND extra.

When saving money, interest is the money that you earn. The bank “borrows” money from you and gives you a percentage of that money (for the privilege of using it). Put money in and get that amount back PLUS more.