May 21st, 2013 - Category: Financial Literacy
According to surveys, there has been no increase in the financial savy of kids between the years 2006 and 2012.
Why would you think that a kids idea of money should have changed between those years?
According to Bill Handle, #1 drive time host in Los Angeles, because those were the years when our country had a financial meltdown. Millions lost their jobs. Homes were foreclosed. 401K plans were decimated. People were out of work and when they did come back to work, it was for half the pay.
You would think that parents would have learned, and in turn taught their kids different strategies about money.
Gregg’s clever idea to change the paradigm: Have your kids go in the backyard, scoop dog poop for two weeks, save up their money, go to the store and buy a toy.
Then 1 week later, when the toy breaks and they have nothing to show for their hard work, they have learned a financial fundamental, a life lesson. They have a personal experience with money and how it works and hopefully they will make a better choice next time.
May 21st, 2013 - Category: Financial Literacy
Ray Lucia’s intelligent input and charismatic nature add to his ability to make the fiscal world of financial, tax, and retirement planning not only easy for the average investor to understand, but interesting as well. Through his books, radio show, seminars, and individual consultations, Ray Lucia, CFP® has made it his life’s work to help thousands invest for retirement utilizing his widely recognized Bucket Strategy method for retirement. His dynamic public speaking skills enable him to cover an array of monetary topics including asset allocation, social security, pensions, investments, annuities, insurance, and taxes.
Ray is largely recognized for his nationally syndicated radio show, The Ray Lucia Show, aired daily from noon until 3:00 p.m. eastern time which also streams live on his website. On his show, Ray and the Brain Trust field questions from live callers with real money issues. Ray has also been featured nationally on television shows and networks such as NBC’s The Today Show, FOX News Channel, FOX Business, CNBC, and Bloomberg TV.
May 8th, 2013 - Category: Financial Literacy
Money as you grow is an initiative from President Barack Obama’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability. It points out 20 essential, age-appropriate, financial lessons and even includes corresponding activities that kids can do to learn about money as they grow.
From talking to your child about your job and money, to learning where you can get a free annual credit report, this site has some great ideas. It’s purpose is to inspire families and others to become more financially literate.
Milestones for 3-5 year olds
1 YOU NEED MONEY to buy things.
2 You earn money by WORKING.
3 You may have to WAIT BEFORE YOU CAN BUY something you want.
4 There’s a difference between THINGS YOU WANT and things you need.
Milestones for 6-10 year olds
5 You need to MAKE CHOICES about how to spend your money.
6 It’s good to shop around and COMPARE PRICES before you buy.
7 It can be costly and DANGEROUS TO SHARE INFORMATION online.
8 Putting your money in a savings account will PROTECT it and pay you interest.
Milestones for 11-13 year olds
9 You should SAVE AT LEAST A DIME for every dollar you receive.
10 Entering personal information, like a bank or credit card number, online is risky because SOMEONE COULD STEAL IT.
11 The sooner you save, the FASTER YOUR MONEY CAN GROW from compound interest.
12 USING A CREDIT CARD IS LIKE TAKING OUT A LOAN; if you don’t pay your bill in full every month, you’ll be charged interest and owe more than you originally spent.
Milestones for 14-18 year olds
13 When COMPARING COLLEGES, be sure to consider how much each school would cost you.
14 You should AVOID USING CREDIT CARDS to buy things you can’t afford to pay for with cash.
15 Your first paycheck may seem smaller than expected since MONEY IS TAKEN OUT FOR TAXES.
16 A great place to SAVE AND INVEST MONEY you earn is in a Roth IRA.
Milestones for 18+ years old
17 You should use a credit card only if you can PAY OFF THE MONEY OWED IN FULL each month.
18 You need HEALTH INSURANCE.
19 It’s important to save at least three months’ worth of living expenses IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.
20 When investing, consider THE RISKS AND THE ANNUAL EXPENSES.
You can visit their site for more information at http://moneyasyougrow.org/#
April 19th, 2012 - Category: Financial Literacy
Research shows that most Americans have poor financial literacy and fail to plan ahead for major life events such as retirement and paying for children’s education. Parents who are actively teaching their children about finances and money management are bound to learn a few lessons themselves—and maybe practice what they preach more religiously.
“To teach is to learn twice,” wrote French essayist Joseph Joubert, and that sentiment rings true for parents teaching financial literacy to their kids, says Stephen Rhodes, CFP, managing principal of Strategic Partners Wealth Management in Creve Coeur, Mo. “When you are responsible for teaching your kids about money, it forces you to understand the material in a different way,” Rhodes says. “The myriad of questions you will get from your kids requires you to spend time thinking about the topics, and in turn, helps you to gain a level of understanding not possible otherwise. I have found that not knowing the answers has been the best thing for me long-term, as it causes me to conduct my own research. The lessons I have personally learned seem to stick longer than those I heard about secondhand.”
For instance, by making a conscious effort to teach your children about wise money management, you will learn:
For instance, with their own children, Palache and his wife have established what they call “the Money Inn,” a place where every member of the family drops coins each day. “The kids each have several full piggy banks that they have taken upon themselves to fill,” Palache says. “And as a result, my wife and I have become better savers too.”
“Are you saying no to eating out with the kids and then doing exactly that during the coming weekend?” Palache says. “Maybe there’s a lesson to be learned. Eat out less. Eat home more. Your kids will appreciate it and so will you.”
April 4th, 2012 - Category: Financial Literacy
April is also known as a time of fresh starts and renewals which makes it a perfect time to start teaching our kids about financial literacy, if we haven’t been doing so already.
It might be surprising how easily young children can grasp the principle of “financial literacy” when presented to them through stories and videos. Help them recognize the choices characters in TV shows or books make when it comes to managing their money. For example, when a character makes a purchase, discuss if it was a “need” or a “want” and if it was “planned spending” or “unplanned spending.” If a character spends his or her money on something unimportant and then miss out on something they really wanted, talk to your child about it.
In this digital age there are so many resources readily available to us, such as My Job Chart, that it’s relatively easy to put together some little age-appropriate “lessons” that might appeal to your child. Here’s a link to a cute PDF file for a story that can be printed off and colored about a squirrel that saves nuts in preparation for the winter. It is found at the FUNancial Literacy website.
Talk to your children about what kinds of things they might need to save for. Many young people contribute to their college fund and it’s never too early to start. Or maybe they want a guitar or drum set or rollerblades – encourage them to earn at least part of the money themselves. Planning ahead pays great dividends. Warren Buffet said, “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree long ago.”
For older kids, give them a certain amount of earmarked money to be in charge of, other than the money they earn at myjobchart.com. Look for opportunities where they can handle a certain amount of money – or have them research the cost of an upcoming family vacation and try to find the best deals. Give them the grocery list and food money for a week and let them try their hand at it. You can be creative in any number of ways that work for your family to give your children real-life experience in handling money. Teens will also find quite a few FaceBook pages on “Financial Literacy” if they do a search for it. “Liking” those pages will put good ideas in front of them often on their newsfeed.
Let your older kids save for summer camp or scout camp. Find ways to help your children learn to handle money wisely while they are still at home, under your watchful eye. Smaller errors made today and learned from can prevent larger financial mishaps when they reach adulthood.
It’s tax season. While you may prefer your children not to know the exact amount of your family’s income, let your children know the percentage that goes to taxes. Talk about what kinds of things are funded with our tax dollars. As you talk about the need to contribute to society in this fashion (no doubt there could be plenty of opportunity to explore the wasteful use of money as well), but you can also discuss the need and joy of contributing to the family. Let the kids help save for something everyone in the family is looking forward.
The nice thing about having a “National Financial Literacy Month” is that it gives us a chance to stop and reflect on things and to think about where we are at financially and where we want to be as well as reminding us to involve our children in thinking and learning about financial literacy. Encourage them to track every single penny they spend. Are you keeping a 30-day record as we suggested in our last post? It can be very revealing and it will help you set up budget areas when make out your spending plan.
Oh, and have a Happy Financial Literacy month!!
February 29th, 2012 - Category: Financial Literacy
We all want our kids to grow up and be able to make wise financial decisions. But research indicates that most young people leave home with very little practical knowledge and experience in this area. A 2010 Financial Literacy Survey of adults, conducted on behalf of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, Inc., revealed that 34%, or nearly 77 million people, gave themselves a grade of C, D or even F in their financial literacy skills.
When kids actually earn their own spending money they are generally more careful about how it is used. However, if mom and dad always dole out funds for a child’s various activities, wants and desires, the child rarely pays attention to how it is spent. Luckily, My Job Chart provides practical experience in money management while children are still living at home where they can experience the results of their financial choices, good or bad, in a safe environment.
According to the “2009 Young Adults & Money Survey” sponsored by Charles Schwab, many in this age group admit they don’t feel adequately prepared to make good financial choices when it comes to using debt wisely (28%), saving for the future (40%) or investing their money (43%). This is a statistic that needs to change and, we, as parents, can be the change agents in our children’s lives that will prepare them to succeed in handling their finances.
Now is the time to teach them to plan ahead for a future purchase; to earn the money and save up until they have enough to buy it. While they are young they can learn how to handle their finances, how to earn, save, spend and share.
According to a survey by PASS from American Express, teens say that talking with their parents about money is not easy, as nearly half of teens (49%) reveal that having to ask their parents for money is a “hassle.” The 2010 survey also suggests that teens and young adults primarily receive money through allowances, gifts, or unscheduled jobs such as chores around the house. Over half of parents (55%) give their teens an allowance. Parents give teens an average of $66 per month, including funds for a regular allowance, clothing or food, extra spending money, and/or payment for jobs around the house.
[PASS from Charles Schwab American Express, Many Parents Say Discussing Allowance with Teens is as Stressful as Negotiating Purchase of a Car, August 16, 2010, http://about.americanexpress.com/news/pr/2010/dat.aspx]
A survey done by in 2010 about “Families & Money” suggests that the road to financial independence for today’s youth stretches out farther than ever before. It reveals that 41% of the so-called “sandwich generation” parents continuing to provide at least some financial support to their young adult children. Ouch!
We need to raise up a generation of financially literate adults who can make wise money decisions. We need young people who can plan ahead, create and follow a budget and not be a burden on their families or the government. Our kids need to know what a blessing it is to be able to live within their means and plan for their future.
No worries, though. You’re at the right place because using My Job Chart can help in all of these areas. Watch for more on financial literacy and how you can help prepare your child to handle their own finances after they leave home in future posts. We hope you are able to discuss some of these things in an age-appropriate manner with your kids as they enjoy doing their chores and reaping the rewards while tracking their success online with My Job Chart .
January 28th, 2012 - Category: Financial Literacy
If you have been involved with My Job Chart for a while, then you have come to appreciate our three main areas of focus: “saving, sharing and spending.” I call it a 3-legged stool.
Just for a moment, try to picture a 3-legged stool in your mind. It generally has a flat round surface from which extend three legs, all the same length and all the same distance apart from each other. When properly built, a 3-legged stool works very well. It is stable, handy and dependable.
However, if one of the legs is missing or even broken, the stool is no longer able to support the weight of someone using it to sit on. The integrity and usefulness of the stool is compromised. It’s interesting to note that the stability of the stool is also diminished if the lengths of the legs vary. Depending on how uneven they are, the stool may cease to be functional even though all three legs exist. The same is true in helping our kids learn about money and chores. It is not only important to teach our kids how to earn points (which can be redeemed for money, privileges, time with a parent, etc.) but it is equally important that we teach them how to handle what they have earned in terms of balanced and reasonable use of “saving, sharing and spending.”
The 3 legs supporting the stool of financial literacy are also “saving, sharing and spending.” These three “S” words are the Super Heroes of prosperity. When they are all in place and balanced, the stool is stable and functional. They are the pillars needed for a child to understand and experience financial literacy first hand.
Now, imagine a properly balanced 3-legged stool that has 3 support pieces of equal size placed in between the legs of the stool. Adding these 3 supports ensures long and successful use of the stool. I’d like to suggest that the supports consist of parents, training and experience, the very results of utilizing the 3-legged stool of financial literacy.
If parents are able to teach their kids about the proper use of money, focusing on “saving, sharing and spending,” and then allow them to experience the positive results of their efforts first-hand, the parent and child will have built a stool of financial literacy that will serve each of them well all of the days of their lives.
You will find many of the tools needed to teach these things to your children as you participate in our free, user-friendly, online chore chart and reward system at My Job Chart. Join the thousands of other parent who are teaching and motivating their kids to Save, Share and Spend responsibly.
January 11th, 2012 - Category: Financial Literacy
We hope you all enjoyed the holiday season with your families. We certainly did. The holidays are perfect for enjoying family time together. They provide opportunities for giving service and teaching our children about faith, charity, patience and generosity. They can also be the source of stress, headaches, overspending, disappointment and unnecessary debt. Which was the case for you?
Now is the time to plan ahead for this year’s gift-giving season so that it can be enjoyed worry-free and debt-free. January is ideal for spending a little time with our children discussing the holidays and planning now to save enough throughout the year to be able to provide gifts for those on their gift-giving list. (We would do well to do the same). Doing so is part of a skill set to be found in “Financial Literacy.”
What exactly is “financial literacy?” It is a set of skills and knowledge that allows an individual to make informed and effective decisions through their understanding of money.The economic principles you and your child need to know to make informed fiscal decisions and the understanding of various banking and budgetary products and procedures that affect your financial well-being all are part of “financial literacy.”
Instilling good, fundamental financial skills in our children will have a profound impact on their future lives. Kids need to understand that the money we spend and the money they are allowed to spend is money that is earned; it is income. Too many children see mom or dad swipe a card and walk out of the store with goods without realizing that money was withdrawn from the account in the case of a debit or, that money is owed in the case of a credit card purchase. It is important that they understand one works in order to earn money and then that income is to be managed well in order to provide for the needs of the family.
Teaching children basic money management skills, including saving, sharing and spending should be part of a financial literacy legacy we give to them. Simple lessons in investing (even by means of a savings account) and credit can help them understand at an early age that money can either serve you or hold you hostage. Such knowledge prepares them to make critical financial decisions. Find ways to teach them about compound interest; time is on their side. (Future blogs will provide examples and website links you may want to use with your children).
Albert Einstein said, “The eighth wonder of the world is compound interest.” Here’s a video clip that might surprise you. Would you rather have a million dollars right now or would like to take the end result of doubling a penny each day for 31 days?
As parents, it pays to always be on the lookout for a “teachable moment.” When our kids are with us when we use the ATM or are in line at the grocery store, explain that the money you’re getting or spending is money you earned. Try inventing little systems and games that help them to understand money and its uses. The beauty of www.myjobchart.com/ is not only how it teaches kids of any age the value of work, it also provides actual experience in “earning” something that they can save, share and spend.
We hope this new year is the beginning of many wonderful and happy times for you and your family and that, together, we can raise up a generation of money savvy consumers; young people who know the value of work and the value of saving for their futures.
May 9th, 2011 - Category: Financial Literacy
During a recent conversation, one woman was heard to say, “I didn’t know what I was doing when I got married. I had no credit. I didn’t have a car. And I didn’t have a job. Neither did my husband. We made a lot of financial mistakes that we’re still paying for.”
The woman’s father, another participant in the conversation, replied, “Well, they just don’t teach those kinds of things in school anymore.”
Hold on a minute? Isn’t it up to parents to teach their children financial responsibility? Why should schools pick up the slack when parents fail to teach even basic money matters to their kids? Math taught in schools – great! How to acquire great credit – not realistic.
But in all fairness, finding the time to teach these principles to your children can be difficult. And you probably wouldn’t want your children to:
Most parents are not going to reveal their own financial situations to their children. Understandable. Nor are they going to sit down and spend an hour reviewing financial responsibility. But there are many things you can do to help your children learn to manage their money even at a young age:
Give Them a Goal – once upon a time it was difficult to buy a home or car. Adults saved their money for years to make significant down payments. When that changed, so did the economy. And not for the better.
Saving for something you want is a great way to learn financial responsibility. So, even if you can afford it, don’t buy your children everything they want. Help them save their cash until they can make their own purchase.
The benefits of working toward a goal include: learning patience, evaluating needs versus wants versus momentary desires, and developing self-control.
Restrict Their Purchases – give a young child $5 and they are likely to spend the entire thing on candy. Although you may feel like an ogre telling them they can have one candy bar (instead of 10), it’s a lesson that needs to be learned.
But don’t just stop them. Take a minute to talk about it. Let them know that 10 candy bars today might mean they don’t have the money to go to the local swimming pool tomorrow.
Let Them Pay Their Own Bills – when your child wants private lessons or a 16-year-old wants to borrow the car, you have a chance to teach them the realities of life. Have them pay for their own lessons or car insurance. A monthly payment made to you will teach them about the recurring nature of bills.
Sure, it’s okay to help them out with their payments once in a while, but make sure they understand that they should always have money ready to pay their bills the following month.
Add Some Interest – how often do your kids ask if they can “borrow” some money? Your first reaction might be to say no. But maybe next time you can teach them a valuable lesson. Instead of just giving them the money, let them know they will be charged interest for any amount they borrow from you now.
If they borrow $10, let them know you expect to be repaid $11. They will holler about how unfair you are but what better way is there to teach children about loans and interest rates?
Be More Open – as your children grow, consider being perfectly honest with them. Let them know how much you’re paying for your car each month. Tell them about the time you purchased a new computer and then didn’t have the money to pay your power bill.
So many economic challenges could have been avoided if people (as a whole) were more financially savvy. Being reserved about your own financial matters will not help your children learn. They need to know what to expect once they step out on their own.
At MyJobChart.com, children learn how to manage their chores and manage their money. The online system gives them the chance to save, spend, and donate based on criteria you and they determine together. If you’re not using it already, we encourage you to sign up for a free account today.