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The Money Messenger -- Is It Spring Yet?
February 04, 2010
Welcome to Issue #027 of The Money Messenger!
The Money Messenger brings you the latest on your kids and money.
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With the first month of the year already behind us, it can seem like the year is off to a quick start. And then here comes February. In our area, this shortest month can feel like the longest. The excitement of winter snow is wearing off and wearing thin. Spring fever is getting ready to kick in - as soon as the weather cooperates!
When those spring fever feelings hit, it can be a great time to start planning for all the changes in store when spring rolls around. This month's articles focus on planning for spring now so you are ready to hit the ground running when March comes roaring in like a lion. By taking your time now to plan and think about what changes you can make, you and your family will be in great shape for spring.
A reader's question some keys to financial literacy as a family
Helpful links and resources
As I look back over the first month of 2010, I am surprised at how quickly it has gone. With that comes the realization that some of the goals I've set are progressing nicely and others are still sitting on the drawing board. I'm trying not to freak out or obsess over that last set.
Instead, I'm looking at February as the opportunity to really assess whether those are the best goals for me and my family right now. Maybe we can't get traction on them because they really aren't what we need at this time. Of course, maybe we just need to buckle down a little bit more, too.
It may seem like only giving some things a month is a short time frame. But, I find that if we haven't at least started within that first thirty days then we aren't likely to get moving on it anytime soon. That assumes that it's a goal that we should be starting on right away. Not all of our goals are like that - some are definitely summertime ones - but others are ones we should be working on now.
A good example of this is figuring out what our new allowance program is going to look like. We've tossed around several ideas but haven't reached any conclusions. Our current one isn't work very well for us so we need to move on. I'll give you an update on how we're doing with that in the next issue (or on the blog if we decide sooner!)
Kids and Teens: Spring Chores and Updating Those Lists
It can seem as if spring will never get here, and then suddenly it is here in full bloom. Literally. The grass is growing. The flower beds need to be made ready for planting. All kinds of spring cleaning needs to be as houses get opened up from winter. It all makes for great new chore lists.
Chores will likely not be on the top of the list for your kids and teens. In fact, spring chores may fall just behind semester exams or going to the dentist of many kids. Supervising those chores may fall into the same place for you. Even planning for spring chores can bring groans from everyone.
Doing that planning now can really payoff when it's time to get started though. Here are some suggestions on how to make the planning and changing the chore programs a little easier.
This last item is honestly where we are struggling with our kids. We believe that they should have some work tied to their allowances to help them understand that money comes from work. It's finding a balance of what we are paying for that presents the challenge.
Depending on the age of your kids or teens, you might also want to consider a chore contract. This can be a great tool for tweens and teens to get and feel more personal and household responsibility. You can do a full contract or just use the supplement for those extra spring chores. If you need even more help, check out the new Teen Chore Success ebook which comes with two bonuses including a 6-day e-course here.
Teen Summer Jobs: Getting A Head Start
Good grief...it's only February. That groundhog just saw his shadow, and it's already time to think about summer jobs?
At least it's time to start planning for a summer job even if it's not time to start looking or applying for a teen summer job just yet. Late winter and early spring are the best time to think about whether teens want to work for themselves or work for someone else. They can figure out how much money they want and need to earn over the summer to pay for their entertainment, school clothing or save for a car.
Try these tips for summer job planning to help your teen get on track.
It's hard to say what the summer job market in your area will be like. Planning now can help make sure that your teen is in the best shape to take advantage of any opportunities that they want.
Here's where I answer your questions. Gwen would like to know how to increase financial literacy for everyone in her family, but especially her 10 and 12 year old sons. Are there any ways to learn as a family that are fun?
I love to hear about families that are learning together. Financial education and literacy are ongoing learning processes that can last a lifetime. Setting a good foundation now can be the best gift you can give your kids and family. And it doesn't need to seem like schoolwork or be boring.
Here are some ideas on how to involve the whole family and make it fun.
These are just a few ways that learning about money as a family can be fun and still educational. If you have other ideas you'd like to share, post your story or tip here.
While money-and-kids.com strives to provide all the information you need to help educate your kids, teens and family on money matters, there are other great resources to help you. This new section of the newsletter highlights those that I've found that provide solid, understandable and usable information.
March is waiting to come in like a lion in a few short weeks. Next month's issue will focus on teaching kids of all ages about saving and investing. Whether they are just starting with their first savings account or playing the Stock Market Game at school, all kids can benefit from learning about saving and growing money in addition to earning and spending it.
If you have questions you'd like to see addressed for that issue, just use the Contact Form or email me at email@example.com.
Talk to you soon!
If you have any comments or suggestions for future newsletters, please let me know. I want to be sure that this newsletter meets your needs. Feel free to provide your comments using this contact form.
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