Parenting

When Parental Money Lessons Backfire

As I’ve mentioned before, we give our children a small allowance each week. Our daughter, who is only two, puts all of her money into a single-slot piggy bank and is allowed to fully spend it as she chooses. Our son gets more money for his allowance (for now), but has a Money Savvy Pig, …

Categories: Parenting

Parental Responsibility and Retirement Savings

As I discussed yesterday in a pair of articles (this one and this one), I dream of a future where my children and I are completely financially independent from one another. I’m not dependent on them, nor are they dependent on me. The real question that both articles strive to answer, though, is where should …

Keeping Kids from Being Crass Consumers

I’m a goal-oriented person. With almost everything I do in life, I set a clear goal for what I want to accomplish, then I do the research needed to figure out how to get there, then I work at it tenaciously. The same is true for parenting. I know quite well it is impossible for …

Categories: Parenting

Is Preschool Worth It?

Marjorie writes in with a very interesting question: I’m a single mom with a four year old daughter. Each weekday, I take my daughter to stay with one of my aunts so that I can work to earn a living and keep food on the table. After Christmas, my mom sat down with my aunt …

Categories: Parenting

Is Your Money Distinguishable from Your Parents?

A few years ago, an old friend of mine bought a fantastically expensive home, far larger and with higher quality furnishings than the home I live in now. I went to college with him and noted that after college, he worked at a minimum wage job for a year and had only been working at …

The Costs of Preparing for Additional Children

Megan writes in: Congratulations on your third child! My husband and I are expecting our second child in February. I hope you’ll write an article about how to save money when another child comes along. Your wish is my command, Megan. Here are some of the ways we’re preparing for our third child. Diapers As …

Categories: Frugality, Parenting

Teenagers and Expensive Clothes

Monica writes in: I used to buy my daughter several new outfits before the start of the school year and then a few more items for Christmas. This worked well when she was less picky about her clothes. The last few years, though, she’s wanted nothing but a few specific brands of clothing – and …

Categories: Parenting

Starting a Lifetime Savings Journey

Recently, my son Joe had his fourth birthday. Sarah and I had made the decision that we were going to introduce the idea of an allowance to him after his fourth birthday, along with the idea of saving for specific goals. In order to accomplish this goal, we decided to get him a Money Savvy …

Categories: Parenting

Teaching Money Management Through Self-Responsibility

In the past, I’ve strongly advocated for families to introduce their teenagers to financial reality as early as possible. I know that in my own case, I went off to college with almost no idea of how to manage my money and it really showed in the spending decisions I made over the next ten …

Categories: Parenting

Extracting the Child Who Stayed in the Nest Too Long

Margaret writes in: I have a twenty four year old daughter who is still living at home. She went away to college, but moved back in after college while looking for a job. She’s had a good job now for two years, but has made no move at all to move out. She does give …

Categories: Parenting

“Eighteen and Out”

A young reader writes in: I’m a high school senior and I’m going to college next fall. When I go to college, I want to be completely independent, paying my own bills. My parents insist that this is financial suicide and that they should support me through college. What do you think is the right …

The Beginning of the Allowance

Over the last week or so, my wife and I have been discussing when to start giving an allowance to our oldest child, Joe, who is almost four years old (long-time readers may recall that Joe was still a baby when The Simple Dollar started… where does the time go?). This conversation was spurred on …

Categories: Parenting

Review: Raising Financially Fit Kids

Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book. It should come as no surprise to long-time readers of The Simple Dollar that I’m deeply passionate about raising my children with a strong sense of independence, self-motivation, and a strong ability to manage their own money in a sensible way. In fact, I’ve …

The Short Term and the Long Term Choice

For many people, junk food is a serious temptation. It helps them feel a sense of comfort. It provides a quick burst of flavor. It helps them de-stress. It provides an energy boost at an opportune moment. In the short term, it’s a big gain. In the long term, though, it’s a different story. It …

Review: The Wall Street Journal Financial Guidebook for New Parents

Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book. In 2005, my son was born. To say we were unprepared for it is an understatement. We bungled through the entire thing, not saving appropriately for expenses and not really understanding how much this little child would change our lives, financially or otherwise. With …

Review: The New Global Student

Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal development, personal productivity, or other book of interest. The New Global Student by Maya Frost is one of those books that takes what you think you know about a subject and flips it on its ear. This time around, it’s the standard route that most high …

Ten Great Ways to Make Powerful Visual Reminders of Your Personal Finance (and Other) Goals

A long time ago, I wrote a brief article about creating a visual debt reminder, something that will help motivate you towards getting rid of debt. Since then, I’ve found myself using such reminders all the time for keeping my finances in order. The Psychology of the Reminder A reminder? If a goal is really …

Categories: Parenting, Psychology

When the Things You Want Become Destructive – And How to Avoid History Repeating

As I’ve mentioned before on here, my family did not have a lot of money growing up. My parents were always able to make ends meet and keep dinner on the table, but there was never really a sense of getting ahead. Instead, there was always a sense of just barely enough. That’s not to …

Categories: Parenting, Psychology

When Is a Child Ready for an Allowance?

This question has been on our minds quite a bit recently, as our three and a half year old son continues to grow and mature. We’ve long planned on giving our children small allowances that are not tied to household chores, and now we’re actually faced with a child that’s nearing the maturity level to …

Categories: Parenting