Teaching children to balance value v cost

Frugal parents should be always looking for ways to communicate or illustrate the value of a dollar to their children. And unless you are a still perpetrating the Santa Claus myth on your children, the holidays are just such an opportunity.

A Ken doll and contentment

My oldest daughter recently turned eight years old and our church has started to have activities for young people her age. Elise loves to attend and enjoys the games and listen to the Bible teaching.

When I picked her up last Friday,¬† I asked, “So, what did you learn about tonight?”. Her answer: “We talked about contentment and how Paul and Silas were content, even though they were locked in prison for teaching about Jesus.” (You can read the story in Acts 16:22-30.)

Do you always give your kids what they want?

On a couple of occasions over the past year, I have mentioned or referred to anecdotes that we saw while reading through the Little House on the Prairie series with my kids. We are almost to the end of the stories and while a little simplistic and possibly over-romanticized, the books are a great way to develop a love of reading in young children. I have also been struck by the contrast between the 1800′s agrarian family life and modern lifestyles, especially in the United States. Children from that time period rarely went on vacation, typically received new clothes once a year and had extremely limited entertainment options.

Dad spends more

Okay, I will admit it, Mrs. Stew is more frugal than I.

She is poor at paying bills on time and keeping track of the amount of money available in our account. I take care of that stuff because, well, numbers do not really mean anything to her. But she definitely spends less than me. Mrs. Stew leaves on a trip tomorrow and I will be home with our three young ‘uns for four days. I think that this scenario provides the most apt demonstration of my point.

Sometimes a little child labor is good for kids

My father used to say that the only reason that he had “kids was so he could have slaves”. We believed him. Sometimes while working on a project with my dad, I would request payment and he would say “you should be paying me”. Until recently, I never really knew what he was talking about.

Thoughts on college finances: loans, grants, community college

I have worked in college education, pretty much since I graduated from college. At times I have been a full-time college employee, at other times I have been a part time employee. I have also been able to work a number of “real world” jobs along the way – construction, roofing, wood finishing, painting, teaching – so I am not a complete academic. Today, I thought I would share just a few thoughts about college, specifically about paying for college.

FamZoo: a great tool to teach your children how to handle money

Last week, I had the privilege of being given a personal tour of FamZoo by the creator of the site, Bill Dwight. Bill has been developing the software and concepts behind FamZoo for most of the decade, however the site just went live in January of 2010.

More Thoughts on Allowance and Kids

I have received several comments with regards to my previous posts about giving an allowance to my children. I presume this is a very touchy topic since it links to 2 major things in our lives: money and our children. While we want the best for our children, we also want to use our money wisely and teach them to do the same. What is the best way of teaching money management to your kids? I have no clue! However, I still have more thoughts on allowance for children:

How To Give Your Child An Allowance


Before I start with this morning’s article, I want to ask you to vote for me in the Free Money Finance March Madness contest. The best personal finance article will win the right to give $1,000 (generously provided by FMM) to a charity of your choice. I have selected a charity that helps children. Please comment on this post with the word “figures”. Thx a million!

Teaching Your Children About Money Lesson #3: The Meaning of Sacrifice

As you have, no doubt,¬†already read, I am trying to teach my 4 year old son lessons about money. It is hard to teach them everything about money at this age, but I can tell you that children can learn a lot more than we think! It’s only a matter of repeating clear and easy to understand concepts. In fact, most personal finance concepts are pretty easy to understand and this is why I am trying to teach them to my son at this tender age.

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