Today’s post comes to you from my son, J! He’s here to talk to you parents about kids who spend all their money.
Does your kid like to spend his or her money once they get it? If so, here is a tip for you.
Calculating the tip is a great way to practice percentages. These days, I don’t think many people do much math with a pencil and paper. We rely on technology for almost everything — even things as simple as calculating the tip at a restaurant are now done with a tablet on the table or an app on your phone.
I think it’s important, however, to put the technology aside for a bit and work through a problem by yourself. That’s what we’ve been doing here for awhile — by keeping account registers, learning how to calculate percentages, practicing those calculations, and even tracking our spending on vacation. All with pencil and paper. Old school.
My favorite lessons are those that he can practice himself (hands-on!), that make sense in the real-world (are meaningful, relatable and useful), appropriate for his age and are interesting and even fun. (I realize I may be stretching the definition of fun.)
In that vein, I taught J how to calculate a 20% tip at a restaurant.
Last month we started talking about percentages in the 10-10-80 savings plan with our focus on the 10% that goes to savings. I want J to save at least 10% of all money he receives, so we’re working on how to calculate 10% of any amount.
I showed him two ways to calculate 10% last time:
J got a calculator for Christmas, so we integrated it into our practice. I showed him how to find the decimal equivalent of a percentage by moving the decimal point two places to the left (10% becomes .10). Continue Reading
Have you ever heard the following sage financial advice?
Pay yourself first
Live below your means
Save 10% of your income and live off the rest
Don’t spend more than you make
When I was younger, my dad had me take half of any gift money I received and put it towards a savings bond. We would go to the bank and fill out the paperwork, and I still have a stack of bonds to this day.
My aunt would also tell me to make sure I saved 10% of anything I was given (with instructions to also give 10% to the church).
We’ve been using the envelopes for six months now, and so far I haven’t said much on how J should distribute any new money between them (although I might gently push towards making sure some money goes to savings). He hasn’t learned about percentages yet in school (he’s still on multiplication and division). A quick Google search says he might not learn them until 6th grade!? That’s not going to work. I’m going to have to start sooner.