Browse Tag: YNAB

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.

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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.

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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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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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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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