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Kids


  • Lessons From Your Summer Job: “Date the ice cream guy” (1 comment)

    Ah, summer employment. Those heady teenage years when you worked from June through August, doing what no adult in their right mind would do, for a wage no adult would agree to, all the while hoping to meet the boy of your dreams. Heaven, right? Well, not exactly. Even with the rosy glow of nostalgia attached, I still remember many of my summer jobs as just plain hard work. Babysitting from the age of 13:…

  • In Case Of Emergency: The College Credit Card (7 comments)

    My favorite scene in the 1985 movie “The Sure Thing” is when John Cusack and Daphne Zuniga are stranded in the middle of nowhere, cold and hungry, and it starts to torrentially pour. Seeking shelter in a locked trailer, John bangs incessantly on the padlock with a stone, while Daphne reaches into her bag looking for lock-picking tools and pulls out … a credit card. “I have a credit card. I have a credit card,”…

  • Our Kids’ Data Usage is Killing Us (20 comments)

      The first rule of Data Club is don’t go over your monthly data allotment. The second rule of Data Club is if you do go over, only go over a little. The third rule of Data Club is hope Dad doesn’t notice we’ve gone over our data allotment because he will be mad and will give us a talking-to. Ah, data. The modern-day parents’ nightmare. In my parents’ day, we had a phone bill,…

  • Lemonade’s Life Lessons (4 comments)

    I love this time of year. School’s out, the days are long, the sunshine is warm. And the kids need cash. These days, they have jobs. Real jobs. The 18-year-old works at a local coffee shop and babysits. She is accumulating cash for college. The 15-year-old is excited to start work at a local farmstand selling fresh veggies to mini-van-driving suburban moms. It is fun and exciting to see them start their working lives, searching…

  • Our Journey to College…and Debt (23 comments)

    It was all over the news last week that the college Class of 2016 will graduate with an average — an average — of $37,000 in debt, the most ever. This is a 6 percent increase over the Class of 2015 (those lucky dogs graduated with an average loan debt of $35K). Experts say that if these kids’ starting salaries are more than their total debt, they should be able to pay them off in…

  • 7 surprising results when you pay your kids for chores (30 comments)
    This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle.

    One of our parenting goals is to rear frugal kids. Take care of their stuff. Spend wisely. Save for a rainy day. Making the goal is easy, but implementing the goal? Definitely harder. How our (current) allowance system works Over the last couple of years, we’ve been experimenting with the best ways to teach our kids to manage money. What I’ve learned is that it’s best…

  • Your turn: Taming the ‘I wants’ when money is tight (16 comments)
    This article is by staff writer Katie O’Connor.

    It’s hard enough to say no to ourselves when it comes to unnecessary spending — getting that $4.35 latte just because, for example. So why is it always such a surprise when we lose battles against the everyday wants (not needs) of our very determined and savvy children? If this sounds familiar, you aren’t alone. Academics and mental health professionals agree that parental feelings about money…

  • 35 tips for packing a lunch your kid will eat (21 comments)
    This is an article from former GRS staff writer Donna Freedman.

    About four in 10 elementary school students bring lunch from home. But it’s not likely to be a good one, according to a 2014 study from Tufts University. Not one of the lunchboxes examined met all five National School Lunch Program standards, and only 27 percent of the meals met at least three NSLP recommendations (fruits, vegetables, low- or nonfat dairy, whole grains,…

  • Your teen’s summer jobs could be their first million (24 comments)
    This article is by staff writer William Cowie.

    Few things are as much a part of growing up in America as getting a summer job. And here’s why most agree a summer job is a good thing to have as part of your coming of age: You get a good introduction to the rest of your life, which more likely than not will involve a job — working for someone else. You learn about…

  • 11 ways to entertain your kids this summer for free (with stuff you already have!) (6 comments)
    This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle.

    Are you frantically trying to smother the “I’m bored”s at your house too? Most of the country is knee-deep in their kids’ summer vacation now, and our house is no exception. Keeping our children entertained and out of mischief is a full-time (and, if I’m honest, a little overwhelming too) job. When I start feeling frazzled by sibling fights and whining, I want to cope by…

  • How to develop your child’s full potential (8 comments)
    This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle.

    Have you ever had the nagging sense that you were just floating through life? Stuck in a dead-end job, perhaps? Wasting your abilities, but unsure what to do about it? Almost everyone I know has felt that way at least once. But let me ask you another question: Has that dissatisfaction caused you to spend too much money, as sort of a band-aid on a stagnant…

  • How to homeschool on one income (9 comments)
    This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle.

    When I wrote about the pros and cons of homeschooling recently, I left one major piece of the puzzle untouched: How does a family handle the loss of income if a stay-at-home parent is required? It’s not just the loss of monthly income. The parent who stays at home doing the bulk of the educating is also missing out on some other benefits of employment (employer…

  • How much to save for maternity leave (45 comments)
    This article is by staff writer Holly Johnson.

    The United States policy on maternity leave can be a touchy subject among families, and especially women. Unlike all other wealthy countries, many of which mandate weeks and months of paid leave for natural and adoptive mothers and fathers, the U.S. mandates no such thing. In fact, the last movement toward maternity fairness in the U.S., the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), included…

  • How to budget for summer camp (7 comments)
    This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle.

    Summer break is quickly approaching. Last year, I was worried about how I would keep the kids entertained; this year, I vacillate between two ends of the emotional spectrum — being excited and feeling a little overwhelmed. Excited, because I say “adios” to the early morning bus routine and the backpack-and-lunchbox ritual for a few glorious weeks. And socks. They quit wearing socks in the summer….

  • Pros and cons of homeschooling (74 comments)
    This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle.

    What if the average cost to educate a child was over $5,000 but you could drop it to just over $500 per child? According to a really old (1997) report on homeschooling, you could do just that by taking your child out of public school and schooling them at home. Last winter, after several days off school with bitter-cold temperatures, coupled with a few serious cases…

  • How to save money on family vacations (28 comments)
    This article is by staff writer Holly Johnson.

    Earlier this month, my little family of four embarked on a much-needed spring getaway to the Caribbean. I’m sure that doesn’t sound frugal at all, but rest assured that it was. After a year of planning and a whole lot of strategizing, we were able to book that particular trip for what amounted to a boatload of hotel loyalty points, a bunch of airline miles, and…

  • Ask the readers: How are you saving on spring break? (29 comments)
    This article is by staff writer Holly Johnson.

    How are you saving on spring break? A few weeks ago, I attended a daytime get-together comprised mostly of mothers of school-aged children. With spring break approaching, the topic inevitably came up, to which everyone in the room simultaneously let out a grunt of frustration. Unlike some parts of the country, our school system works on a modified year-round schedule. So instead of one week of…

  • Ask the Readers: How do you teach your children about net worth? (20 comments)
    This article is by editor Linda Vergon.

    Back in 2008, Holly P left a comment on J.D. Roth’s article about teaching kids to invest saying: “I’d love to know how your sibling got your nephew to think about actually saving. Despite repeated efforts to get them to save, my kids want to spend every cent as soon as it hits their palms.” It’s a common problem for parents. They see the need to teach…

  • How to raise a frugal child (39 comments)
    This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle.

    Sometimes you find clues of your kids’ financial education progress in the strangest places. “Dear Santa” – began my seven-year-old daughter’s letter, published in our local newspaper – “May I have more money? I will save it to buy a house or car.” (I know. I still can’t believe she wrote it, either.) “I want for my brother a horse that is real…” and “For my baby brother; he…

  • How to Get Out of Debt on a Low Income (38 comments)
    You’ve seen the get-out-of-debt advice: Quit buying lattes. Sell your stuff. It’s good advice, but it doesn’t apply to you. Because of your low income, a latte hasn’t touched your lips in years. And your stuff? You’ve been limping along for months now. No one wants what you have.

    You know Dave Ramsey says you need a bigger shovel to dig yourself out of this hole; but right now, all you have is a…

  • How the new healthcare law changes maternity care (27 comments)
    This article is by staff writer Holly Johnson.

    My husband and I got married in December of 2005 and spent the first few years of our marriage enjoying each other without the responsibility of children. Then, after a few years, I found myself longing for a child of our own. Unfortunately, a giant roadblock stood in our way — our health insurance plan did not cover maternity. Those were the days before the new…

  • Ask the Readers: How much does a creative costume cost to make? (32 comments)

    This article is by editor Linda Vergon. Whenever I’ve purchased a pre-packaged Halloween costume, I’ve usually been disappointed. They rarely fit and the material and accessories are chintzy. But I take my hat off for the clever people that make their own costumes. Extra points if it’s hilarious. Year after year, these people seem to out-do themselves. I don’t know how they do it! In 2011, April Dykman looked at Halloween spending for us. “According…

  • Bad advice about having a baby I’m glad I followed (55 comments)
    This article is by staff writer Holly Johnson.

    Last week I was out walking with a friend when she admitted she was scared she would never have kids. “We’ll never be able to afford them,” she said as we made our way around the block and up the next street. She and her husband are about our age (and not getting any younger), and I could tell she was worried. “Oh, I’m sure you’ll…

  • The high cost of infertility (42 comments)

    When we asked you how to improve Get Rich Slowly, you told us you’d like an article on “The horrible, terrible, no good, very bad reality of paying for fertility treatments.” We can’t fit all of that into one post, but we did ask Joanna Lahey, who gave us a series on health insurance, to give a broad overview of the issue in this guest post. Joanna Lahey is an associate economics professor at the George H….

  • Preventing failure before it is an option (29 comments)

    This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle. When I wrote an article about poverty, I wasn’t sure where Brandon and Leah, the two people I shared about, would be in the next few months. I needn’t have wondered. Turns out, nothing has changed. Despite receiving money from various people for rent, access to free babysitting, and bags of groceries, the last few months have been peppered with evictions, arrests, jail, and now prison. Unfortunately, I…

  • The daycare debate: A double-edged sword (120 comments)

    This article is by staff writer Holly Johnson. As many of you know, my husband had a career crisis that left him unemployed for several months last summer. It was scary, but we learned a lot from the experience — including the fact that the grass isn’t always greener and that we really needed to learn to be happy with what we had. And, beyond that, we now feel blessed that he found a new job…

  • Teaching life skills to your children (22 comments)

    This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle. While I’ve tackled many kid-centered topics, like how to save on kids’ clothes, should you buy your kid a car, or pay for your child’s college, you know what is really important to me? Helping them learn to be responsible and self-sufficient, so they don’t need me (except for moral support, of course). So while I often hear that I am a mean mom, and no other kids have to…

  • Deals on wheels: Should you buy your child a car? (98 comments)

    This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle. As far as I know, only one reader of Get Rich Slowly knows me personally. And last week, I was having lunch with my one-person fan club. (Actually, I am not sure she’s even a fan, but she did buy my lunch. Thanks, Lisa!) “You really stirred up some controversy with one of your recent posts,” Lisa said, a forkful of salad in hand. “You must mean…

  • Spending less than you earn so the Joneses don’t keep up with you (69 comments)

    This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle. Why spend less than you earn? There are the obvious reasons. Spending more than you earn isn’t sustainable, of course. You can’t build your net worth unless you spend less than you earn. And spending less than you earn decreases your stress level. But is there another reason to spend less than you earn … something that doesn’t benefit you at all? Keeping up with the Joneses is…

  • Why we aren’t saving for our children’s college educations (143 comments)

    This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle. For a few years, I got to skip Dave Ramsey’s Baby Step 5. Save for our children’s college education? That was an easy one…since we didn’t have children, that answer was NO! But now we have two kids (soon to be three), which means our days of delaying that decision are over. And since our oldest child is ten, we’ve already missed out on a decade of compounding….

  • Things that babies just don’t need (158 comments)

    Just the other day, I was grocery shopping with my husband and kids when we made an interesting discovery. We were in the baby aisle picking up some diapers for our youngest when my four-year-old picked up a small package and asked me what it was. “What’s this, Mommy?” I picked it up and looked. And looked. And got really confused. “Ummmm…..pacifier wipes?” According to the packaging, they were food-grade pacifier wipes. “What do you do with…

  • The Opposite of Spoiled: The Right Way to Teach Kids About Money (61 comments)

    Note: This article is from J.D. Roth, who founded Get Rich Slowly in 2006. After a year off, J.D. is once again writing here at GRS. His non-financial writing can still be found at More Than Money. What’s the best way to teach kids about money? That question has haunted folks for decades — maybe centuries. There are dozens of financial literacy programs in the United States right now, but none of them seems to…

  • ‘Gen Z’ is financially-savvy, with one big exception (50 comments)

    If someone handed you $500, what would you do with it? A whopping 70 percent of those in Generation Z say they’d save at least part of it, and among them, 34 percent would save it for college. That’s just one of the findings in TD Ameritrade’s 2nd Annual Generation Z Survey that shows that teens and early 20-somethings* are refreshingly money-savvy. Although they haven’t got it all figured out just yet. Affording higher education Almost half…

  • My teens spent $400 on fast food last month (and how I learned to deal with it) (104 comments)

    This guest post is from Naomi Mannino. Naomi is a freelance consumer personal finance and health journalist who reports on health, medical and personal finance news and how it will affect your life today. You can follow Naomi on Twitter @naomimannino. My 19-year-old daughter came to me sobbing and wanting to borrow $20 for a concert because she didn’t have any money. I simply said, “Nope.” That made the sobbing worse. Now, before you accuse…

  • Time-management strategies for working parents (46 comments)

    This post is from staff writer Holly Johnson. I am sure you’ve heard the saying, “A mother’s work is never done.” This is especially true for parents who continue working after they’ve had kids. Even after putting in a full day on the job, working parents still have a variety of things that have to be done. In fact, finishing up your day job usually means beginning work on a second wave of responsibilities. If you’re…

  • Financial literacy: What’s my motivation? (36 comments)

    This post is from staff writer April Dykman. Were you required to take a personal finance class in high school? I wasn’t. And I’m not in the minority. In fact, only 13 states require a personal finance class for graduation, and just five states require testing student knowledge in personal finance, according to the Council for Economic Education’s 2011 Survey of the States: Economics and Personal Finance Education in Our Nation’s Schools. And even if…

  • Ask the Readers: Would you give a child a credit card? (126 comments)

    I’m personally a proponent of making teenagers authorized users on credit cards. My thinking is that it gives the parent the opportunity to teach their kids about managing credit while they’re at home and how to read a credit card statement (explain what the different interest rates mean, how fees are applied, etc.) while starting to build a credit file for their children. Of course, I don’t have kids, so I have never had to…

  • Minimalist parenting: The frugal choice (77 comments)

    This post is by staff writer Sarah Gilbert. The woman on the radio sounded panicked. She lived in Los Angeles, and because of her neighborhood (weird homeless guy on the corner; busy streets all around) she didn’t trust her kids to play outside. So she spent her time driving them to activities where they would get… physical activity. It sounded a little awful, and it sounded expensive. I had been interviewed for this piece (my…

  • A scholarship for small-business folks (12 comments)

    With student debt now topping credit card debt (see page 3 of the PDF), every penny that you can find to put toward education is wanted. We hear a lot about student loans, but not so much about scholarships as a way to pay for education. There are all kinds of scholarships, often sponsored by special-interest groups. Here are a few that Mark Kantrowitz of Finaid.org lists on his site: Scholarship for Left-Handed Students, Little…

  • Reader Story: Costs and savings of having a stay-at-home parent (82 comments)

    This post comes from Lynn Svenson, who blogs at The Photographer’s Wife. Some reader stories contain general advice; others are examples of how a GRS reader achieved financial success or failure. These stories feature folks with all levels of financial maturity and income. Want to submit your own reader story? Here’s how. One of the biggest impacts to my wallet (and heart) this past year was having a baby. Of course, there are plenty of…

  • Romanticizing poverty and learning financial independence (103 comments)

    In high school, I babysat a kid whose parents were pretty well off. And by “well off,” I mean they were crazy rich. One day I decided to take the kid out for ice cream — my treat. When we got to the ice cream shop, I only had enough money to buy him the small, and he wanted the large. What then followed wasn’t exactly a temper tantrum; it’s probably better described as a…

  • New life for old DVD movies: The answers to scratches and breaks (17 comments)

    This is a guest post from freelance writer Jessica Ward. DVD games and movies For several years, we’ve fought the occasional skip, fingerprint or ding in our DVD movies, and have typically been able to resolve the damage with our Skip Doctor repair kit, however, sometimes bad (very bad) things happen to good movies. Last month, my 7-year-old daughter got careless with some of her favorites and in the end, two had cracks all the…

  • Adopting strategies to pay for big expenses (84 comments)

    I like the idea of financial independence, and if I’d had my way, we would have started our family once we had college fully funded for each child. Plus, a healthy emergency fund, a do-I-want-to-be-a-working-mom-or-not fund, and a minivan fund. But I didn’t want to be 80 years old at my children’s high school graduations either. Ironically, as it turns out, we decided to build our family through international adoption, a notoriously expensive way to…

  • Ask the Readers: If parents are paying for college, are any majors off limits? (257 comments)

    This is a guest post from Jacqueline Whiton, who self-financed her undergraduate education and MBA. She is interested in personal finance and is saving to fund her three teenagers’ anticipated college expenses. After saving since your child was in preschool, you celebrate euphorically when your son or daughter is accepted to the college of his or her choice. You’d always imagined that your math whiz would become a chief financial officer (CFO), but are surprised…

  • 15 Things You Need to Know About Financial Aid (74 comments)

    Timothy M. Hayes, MBA, CFP®, is the founder and President of Landmark Financial Advisory Services, a member of the Garrett Planning Network of fee-only advisors, and an expert in navigating the financial-aid application process. Every January, students and their parents face the daunting prospect of preparing the various financial-aid applications that are required to be submitted in order to determine their eligibility for federal and/or institutional financial aid. Most families find the process, at best,…

  • What Matters in Matters of Love and Finance (166 comments)

    “You need to keep your skills fresh,” said a commenter in a recent post about the finances of parenting, referring to the concept of a mother staying at home with the kids. “In case of death or divorce. I didn’t argue, but I shook my head and rolled my eyes. (I do this to avoid leaving snappy replies to people’s comments. Work with me.) I’ve long felt that combining one’s finances with a potential, or…

  • Back-to-School: The Hidden Financial Bonus for Parents (143 comments)

    I’m headed toward one of those parental milestones to which many of you with multiple children either remember fondly or look forward to with something like desperation: all of my boys will be in public school as of next Monday. September 10th is my independence day. I’m of mixed feelings about this coming date. I, rare among work-from-home moms, love summer and having my kids around all the time, but it is true that managing…

  • Reader Story: My Son Manages My Finances (111 comments)

    This guest post from Rita is part of the “reader stories” feature at Get Rich Slowly. Some stories contain general advice; others are examples of how a GRS reader achieved financial success or failure. These stories feature folks with all levels of financial maturity and income. Want submit your own reader story? Here’s how. My son Danny has been doing all my finances since he was eleven. This includes my mortgage, credit cards, taxes, and…

  • Financial Education for Fifth Graders (81 comments)

    I’ve finally overcome my fear of speaking in public (though speaking in front of 1000 people at next month’s World Domination Summit may bring that fear back) and have actually found that I enjoy talking to various groups about money. I think the key is not to over-prepare. In early May, for instance, I made a presentation for Adelante Mujeres, a group working to strengthen the local latina community. I spoke to about 25 immigrant…

  • 5 Unusual Ways to Raise Successful Children (105 comments)

    This is a guest post from Natalie Peace of PeaceAndProfit.com. She is the author of 30 Keys to Building a Multi-Million Dollar Business: What They Didn’t Teach Me in Business School. Natalie is an entrepreneur, business coach, and she’s currently writing a book on how to start a wildly successful business. Looking at the businesses I’ve built, managed, and sold (worth $2 million) by the age of 30, I’ve been reflecting lately on what set…

  • Ask the Readers: How Much Money Do You Need Before You Have Kids? (268 comments)

    For the most part, this site reflects my values and my experiences. That’s natural. One of the first rules of writing is to “write what you know”. This is one of the main reasons I’ve brought staff writers aboard here at Get Rich Slowly — their experiences are different than mine, and they bring different perspectives into play. Sometimes I have big blind spots in my life (financial and otherwise). One rather large blind spot…

  • Think Different: Teaching Kids to Be Entrepreneurs (62 comments)

    This article is from new staff writer Tim Sullivan. I remember when my parents gave me a raise in my allowance. I was seven and I went from $2 a week to $5 a week because I started doing my own laundry and washing my own dishes. I was so excited to be a model employee. I remember that day plotting out just how many extra GI Joes I could buy in a year and…

  • Reader Story: The High Cost of Kids’ Sports (92 comments)

    This guest post from Kay Lynn Akers is part of the “reader stories” feature at Get Rich Slowly. Some stories contain general advice; others are examples of how a GRS reader achieved financial success — or failure. Kay Lynn writes about money and life at Bucksome Boomer. More and more children are participating on travel or elite sport teams. Having your child invited to join a travel sports team is an honor but there are…

  • Frugal Back-to-School Shopping (115 comments)

    This post is from GRS staff writer Donna Freedman. Donna writes a personal finance column for MSN Money. She also writes about frugality, intentional living, and life in general at her own blog, Surviving And Thriving. According to the National Retail Federation, we’ll spend $68.8 billion outfitting our students for school this year. Yes, I said $68.8 billion. Sounds like a lot of money, right? But the NRF actually considers this “flat.” More than 80%…

  • College Is a Big, Fat, Hairy Rip-Off! (But Save for It Anyway) (109 comments)

    This is a guest post from Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the adviser for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. He also has a newly reinvigorated blog, and you can have your day interrupted once or twice by his Twittering. Robert contributes one new article to Get Rich Slowly every two weeks. A few weeks ago, the proprietor of this establishment (J.D. “The letters in ‘Get…

  • An 11-Year-Old’s First Budget (75 comments)

    This is a guest post from Andrea Deckard, who publishes Savings Lifestyle, a website that helps people save on what they need so they can spend on what they want. Growing up, my parents taught me very little about financial responsibility. It wasn’t until college, when my parents expected me to pay my own car insurance, that I was forced to learn the basics of budgeting. It was just one bill, but it was traumatic…

  • The Tiger Mother and You: Are We Preparing Our Kids for a Better Financial Future? (120 comments)

    This is a guest post from Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the adviser for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. He contributes one new article to Get Rich Slowly every two weeks. Those of you who are parents — and those of you who came from them — may have already read the Wall Street Journal article by Amy Chua (which is an excerpt from her…

  • Allowance: For Learning or Reward? (46 comments)

    This is a guest post from Gail Vaz-Oxlade, the host of the popular Til Debt Do U$ Part on CNBC (Saturday nights at 10 and 10:30). Gail is a columnist for Yahoo Canada, Chatelaine, and Zoomer Magazine and blogs daily at her website, where she also offers terrific tools people can use to dig themselves out of the hole. Gail’s latest book is Debt-Free Forever. Children receive mixed messages about money. At home they hear…

  • How to Save While Shopping for Children’s Clothes (35 comments)

    This is a guest post from Gina Lincicum, a long-time GRS reader who writes about frugality and family finance at MoneywiseMoms.com. Moving to the D.C. area after my twins were born, we transformed from a family of three living comfortably, to a family of five struggling to make ends meet on one income. I had to get creative with our family budget, and one of the biggest line items to tackle was clothing. Four years…

  • Where to Find Free Activities and Events in Your Area (65 comments)

    This is a guest post from Lynn, a long-time reader of personal-finance blogs. Lynn is a potential Staff Writer for Get Rich Slowly. She is the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) of her family, and is working hard to increase her financial health after years of many poor financial choices. Our family has been going through a transformation from a paycheck-to-paycheck family to a family that has money in the bank.  While I wouldn’t say we…

  • Mother Knows Best: 5 Ways to Teach Your Kids About Money (56 comments)

    For Mother’s Day, I invited blogger Amanda Steinberg of DailyWorth to write a guest post for moms. DailyWorth offers daily personal-finance tips for women. Recession talk is everywhere, even on Mother’s Day. At work, at home, at the supermarket, at the library, at soccer games, and on play dates. Everyone hates this recession, and most everyone is being affected by it. Especially mothers. Why? Because we are on the front line of the budget wars….

  • What Fourth-Graders “Know” About Money (50 comments)

    Financial Literacy Month begins today. What better way to kick things off than with a story from the trenches? This is a guest post from Chett Daniel, who writes about improving your life through personal fitness and personal finance at 5k5k.org. Every day when I go to work, I have a chance to influence the lives of children. I left a well-paying corporate job nearly two years ago, taking a 50% cut in pay to…

  • The High Cost of Having Children (161 comments)

    Because my wife I do not have children, I feel that it’s important to bring in outside voices to talk about money and kids. This is a guest post from Cathy, who writes about family finances, parenting, and cooking at Chief Family Officer. I would never in a million years want to give up my children just because they cost too much. But recently, the cost of having children hit home as I was reading…

  • Using an Allowance to Teach Kids About Money (40 comments)

    This is a guest post from Nickel, who writes about personal finance at Five Cent Nickel. Since that and his four kids don’t keep him busy enough, he’s launched another site more narrowly focused on credit card offers. Though small was your allowance, you saved a little store; and those who save a little shall get a plenty more. — William Makepeace Thackeray Just over three years ago, we decided to start paying our kids…

  • Saving with Albert: Teaching a Four-Year-Old the Value of Money (33 comments)

    My friend Albert — age four — loves electricity. Ever since he was young (ha!) he’s been fascinated by the stuff. His parents have carefully nurtured his hobby. Now that Albert’s older, they’ve decided this might be a good way to teach him about money. In this guest post from my friend Lisa, she describes how they’re helping Albert take the financial plunge. My son Albert loves his collection of colored light bulbs with all…

  • How to Inoculate Your Children Against Advertising (91 comments)

    This is a guest post from Lisa Tiffin, a freelance writer who covers food, lifestyle, business, and green living. I have a confession to make: I like commercials. Even though they can be boring, insulting, and just plain bothersome, on some level they intrigue me. I often wonder why certain ads fail miserably while others succeed in catapulting a brand to the forefront of store shelves. I like commercials because I enjoy guessing which will…

  • How to Prepare for a Baby (Without Going Broke) (92 comments)

    This is a guest post from Lynnae of beingfrugal.net, a blog about frugal living and getting out of debt. Preparing for a baby doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.  Magazines and TV ads will tell you that you need to spend a fortune in preparation for your little darling’s arrival, but it’s simply not true.  When my husband and I were expecting our first child, my husband was working at a small radio…

  • Growing Money: A Complete Investing Guide for Kids (13 comments)

    During my family’s Christmas celebration, I learned a little more about my oldest nephews. I don’t see them often, so it’s hard to know what interests them. This year, I learned that six-year-old Alex likes art. You can bet I’ll be encouraging this productive hobby — the only other two things I know he likes are dinosaurs and video games. I was also pleased to learn that his older brother, Michael, likes money. “I have…

  • Parents.com Stay-at-Home Calculator (44 comments)

    When a new baby arrives, young couples face a decision. If both parents work, who should stay home with the child? The mother? The person with the smallest salary? Or should both parents continue to work? Often this decision is about more than money — personal values may determine the best course of action. But sometimes both parents continue to work because they believe they need the income. In her book Miserly Moms [my review],…

  • The Problem with the Bank of Mom and Dad (39 comments)

    An anonymous poster at AskMetafilter wonders should parents finance grad school? Should parents help their children pay for grad school if they can afford it? My parents are divorced, but both are in households considered in the top 1% of the US in terms of income and net worth. After limited financial assistance from them during undergrad, I am getting no help at all for grad school. Am I out of line to expect that…

  • Financial Education: Are Schools Doing Enough? (63 comments)

    I read a lot about the lack of financial education in the United States. It’s a popular topic among personal finance bloggers and in media interviews. But I wonder how widespread the problem really is. At my high school during the mid-eighties, juniors were required to take a semester of personal finance. I thought the class was lame. It wasn’t challenging. I never did any of my homework, and so earned an F on every…

  • How Do You Teach Kids the Value of Money? (35 comments)

    At the grocery store yesterday, I passed a man and his daughter in the snack aisle. She was maybe ten or eleven, a little overweight, and begging for cookies. He was tall and muscular, a blue-collar type, clearly exasperated with her. “You have no conception of how hard your mother and I work to earn money, do you?” he said. There was desperation in his voice. This brief encounter has been in my mind ever…