Teaching Your Children About Money Lesson #2: The Power of Money

Many of us were raised in  hostile environments where money was concerned. We saw our parents running after money to pay for groceries, spending many a fortnight calculating budget numbers, by hand  at the kitchen table to make ends meet all the while cursing money as it was the root of all evil.

I guess this is why we have such a complex love-hate relationship with money. While we love it when we have much, we deeply hate it when it is scarce. We have been told that you are better off  healthy than wealthy, that those who make a lot of money must have done something wrong to come by it, that money doesn’t bring happiness, that it only brings more problems.

Teaching Your Children About Money Lesson #1: Money is not Free

During the summer of 2009, my son William  turned 4 years old. I remember that at that age, I didn’t know much about money. You basically only care about what gear you will play with for the next 20 minutes. As both my wife and I love to spend time outside during summer, we use to take a lot of walks outside with our two kids. While Amy was still in a stroller, William was able to get on his bike and go much faster. One day when we were about to leave the house, my son turned at me and said:

Tracking every expense


On my personal finance journey, I have come to understand that knowledge is power. Nothing demonstrated to me the wastefulness of our spending habits until I started keeping track of our finances and could read it in plain black and white. I cannot say that I have continued this habit to this day – Mrs. Stew and I have a different approach to budgeting nowadays and it works for us. However, I thought I would share two anecdotes that could help you to reinforce this principle in your children.

More discussion on the homeschool issue


There were so many questions from yesterday’s post on Homeschool Finance, that I decided to do a follow-up post today and explain a few things:

Mike asked: Have you calculated the option cost of having your spouse at home teaching your children instead of working full time or part time?

Homeschool Finance


When my wife and I started to have children, we never thought that we would end up as homeschoolers. This year we are just that. We have a first grader and a kindergartener and we are educating them at home. I do not want to get into a long discussion about the pros and cons of homeschool v private school v government school. The bottom line is that we believe this is best for our children at this point in time and in the future, circumstances might change that will cause us to reconcider and possibly even choose one of the other options. Today, I just want to talk about the financial aspect of this decision.

Vacations are expensive, should we go or stay?


As many people during these tough times, we are cutting out extra’s in order to make ends meet financially. We are doing everything possible to not add debt, to make our current income go farther and to try to increase and diversify our revenue streams. One of the items at which we are looking critically is vacations.

How does your financial upbringing affect your stewardship today?


All of us come from different family financial backgrounds and those experiences shape who we are today. I was brought up in a household where money was in scarce supply, but even more scarce was any discussion of money. My parents almost never discussed finances. Even though they were successful at handling this important tool, they did not do the greatest job in teaching their children about money.

Build a fort with your kids


We’re almost half way through summer break and I don’t know about you but our kids are getting bored to death already. We’re constantly on the lookout for frugal or fairly frugal things we can do with our kids. We’ve been hiking, visited the library, visited historical areas and a number of other things. My wife had a great idea a few weeks ago: build the kids a fort.

Best Free Events to Enjoy Almost Anywhere

Best Free Events for Kids this summer

Kids are famous for complaining to their parents that they are bored or that there’s nothing to do. A lot of adults who have recently switched over to a frugal lifestyle are starting to sound just like those kids. They simply don’t know what to do to entertain themselves if it doesn’t involve spending any money. Well, just like your parents told you when you were a bored kid, there’s plenty to do if you get creative.

Here are some of the best free events for kids that you can enjoy in almost any place that you might live:

How much do your kids know about money?


I know that many of us are still recovering from the long weekend, so my post is on the lighter side today. I spent a lot of time outside over the past few days, believe it or not, my day job required me to work Friday night, all day on Saturday, all day on Sunday and most of the day on Monday . . . Fortunately, my services on Monday were not needed at the last minute, so I was able to enjoy some time with my family yesterday.

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