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7 Ways To Teach Your Spoiled Child About Money Management

7 Ways To Teach Your Spoiled Child About Money Management

If you’re counting on the public school system to teach your children about money management, prepare to be disappointed. There is only one person with the power to turn your spoiled child into a fiscally responsible adult: you. Here are seven tips that might help.

1. Don’t tie allowance into every single chore—

Household chores should be done without expectation of payment. Tying your child’s allowance into the simple act of cleaning house is a sure-fire way to raise your child to become a messy adult with a home so disgusting that no one would ever want to visit. Instead, explain why a clean house is a nice thing to have. You could say something like:

“I know mopping floors and cleaning counters might not be exciting, but we need to clean up once a week, because it is easier to have fun and relax when there are less messes to worry about. Also, if we don’t take care of the kitchen, bugs could get to our food, and isn’t that gross? It would make me feel really good if you helped me take care of that.”

2. —but offer incentive for tackling challenging tasks.

While you shouldn’t bribe your kids to do chores (something they should do for no financial reward), you should offer incentive for tackling projects that require more time and initiative. You could set a flat-fee for more complicated tasks like mowing the yard, organizing the closet, and boxing up unneeded clothes and toys for a yard sale or charity drive. Feel free to take this a step farther by encouraging your child to open their own lemonade stand or yard-work business. You’d be smart to teach them how to market themselves at a young age, because a college degree doesn’t guarantee a good job in today’s economy.

3. Draw a diagram to illustrate your family’s priorities.

It’s difficult to explain fiscal responsibility to children in words that they will comprehend, so why not draw a diagram to illustrate fiscal responsibilities in a way they can understand? You don’t need to be a Michelangelo or Donatello; just draw an inverted triangle like this:

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inverted-triangle

    Then list your expenses in the order of their priority like so:

    • Shelter (rent/mortgage)
    • Food, clothes, and other groceries
    • Utilities (heat/air conditioning, electricity, water, phone, Internet)
    • Savings/Investments (emergency expenses like doctor visits, long-term investments like vacations to theme parks and beaches)
    • Charity/Giving (helping those who are less fortunate)
    • Wants (ice cream, toys, movie tickets, video games)

    While it’s okay to spend money on things your child would like to have, you need to make sure they understand the key difference between “needs” and “wants.” Using the inverted triangle as an illustration, explain that your family has an awful lot of needs that must be met before you’re able to consider your child’s individual wants. Repeat this lesson as often as necessary, because it’s vital for your child’s long-term financial success.

    4. Use three separate piggy banks: saving, giving, and spending.

    This tip is repeated often enough to be obvious, but it’s obvious because it works. Get three piggy banks (or anything else childlike that money can be stored in), label them as listed above, and set a percentage for each category like so:

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    • Saving = 50%
    • Giving = 20%
    • Spending = 30%

    I’m not suggesting you must use those percentage points listed above; see them as a general suggestion, not a strict guideline. Set them in your own way that fits your personal beliefs about how money should be spent, and/or what you feel would be most beneficial to your child.

    5. When appropriate, turn those piggy banks into interest-earning savings accounts.

    Children seem to learn better visually at a young age, so I’d recommend using the piggy bank approach until they are old enough to grasp the concept of “interest-earning savings accounts.” When you feel they’re ready, take them to the bank to open their first savings account. Make sure you explain why this is a good thing for them to do by saying something like:

    “I’m so happy and proud of you for saving (Insert Dollar Amount Here)! But now we’re going to put that money in a credit union, because they will pay you a little bit extra just for being smart enough to save your money.”

    Share a bank statement with them quarterly and make a big deal out of how well they are doing by pointing out how many dollars they made in dividend, and exclaim, “Wow! If you made that much with the x-dollars you put in there, I wonder how much you can make if you invested y-more-dollars every time you get paid your allowance?”

    6. A thoughtful gift is better than an expensive one.

    Have you ever really watched your child while they open presents during Christmas or their birthday? If they are ripping away wrapping so rapidly that they don’t even take a moment to react to each individual gift before moving on to the next one, you might have a spoiled child who doesn’t appreciate anything. If you don’t think thoughtful gifts are better than expensive ones, please recall a baby (yours or otherwise) who you’ve seen open an expensive toy, only to find the box it came in much more fun to play with than the toy itself. Materialistic stuff never made anybody happy, so stop buying your child every shiny, new thing under the sun, and start focusing on more frugal (but thoughtful) ways to express your love.

    7. Use grocery shopping to illustrate buying for value.

    Just in case you weren’t aware, there isn’t typically any difference between name-brand labels like Green Giant green beans and the generic variety offered by your grocery store. Use this opportunity to teach your children how to shop for value. Present them with two identical groceries—for example, an expensive name-brand jar of peanut butter and a more affordable generic variety—and ask them which one sounds like it would be a better deal. For bonus points, use this exercise while they are learning basic math, because they will find the subject more interesting (or at least less boring) when they understand how it applies to their life.

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    For a list of cheap and healthy foods, grocery savings tips, and a full-length shopping list you can print and take to the store or download to your phone, click here.

    It’s easy to end up with a spoiled child who doesn’t appreciate anything if you let them have everything they want. Follow these seven tips to raise your child in a positive way that helps them become a fiscally responsible adult.

    Are there any extra tips you would add to this list?

    Feel free to pass this article along to any parents you know who might be helped by it!

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    Daniel Wallen

    Freelance Writer

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    Last Updated on January 2, 2019

    How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

    How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

    Do you know what mental health experts point to as the biggest cause of stress in the United States today? If you said “money,” then ding, ding, we have a winner!

    Three out of four adults today report feeling stressed out about money at least part of the time. People are either worried about not having enough money or whether they’re putting the money they do have to use in the best possible way.

    Your money is either in charge of you or you’re in charge of it, there’s no middle ground. Using some type of personal finance software can help alleviate some of that money stress and better allow you to manage your money effectively. Without it, you may just be setting yourself up for constant financial worry. Life is already tough enough and there’s no need to make it more difficult by simply hoping your money issues will all work out in your favor. Hint: they won’t.

    This guide will help you to understand how personal finance software can better assist with both accomplishing long term financial goals and managing day-to-day aspects of life.

    Whether it’s tracking the savings plan for your child’s college fund or making sure you won’t be in the red with the month’s grocery budget, personal finance software keeps all this information in one convenient place.

    What Exactly is Personal Finance Software?

    Think of it like the dashboard in your car. You have a speedometer to tell you how fast you’re going, an odometer to tell you how far you’ve traveled, and then other gauges to tell you things like how much gas is in the tank and your engine temperature. Personal finance software is essentially the same thing for your money.

    When you install this software on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, it helps to track your money — how much is going in, how much is going out, and its growth. Most personal finance software programs will display your budget, spending, investments, bills, savings accounts, and even retirement plans, levels of debt, and credit score.

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    How It Leads to Financial Improvement

    It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but people who regularly monitor their finances end up wealthier than those who don’t. When you were a kid, keeping track of all of your money in a porcelain piggy bank was pretty easy. As we get older, though, our money becomes spread out across things like car payments, mortgages, retirement funds, taxes, and other investments and debts. All of these things make keeping track of our money a lot more complicated.

    Some types of personal finance software can help make things a little less complicated, setting you up to meet financial goals and taking away some of the stress associated with money.

    Even if you already have a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) some type of personal finance software can be of great benefit. Whereas CFPs focus on the big picture of your money, they don’t handle the day-to-day aspects that determine your overall financial health.

    It’s also not nearly as complicated as you might think and can take out a lot of the tedium that comes with doing everything on an Excel spreadsheet or with a pad and pencil.

    Types of Personal Finance Software

    When it comes to personal finance software, it generally fits into two categories: tax preparation and money management.

    Tax preparation software such as Turbo Tax and H&R Block’s software can help with everything from filing income taxes to IRS rules and regulations and even estate plans. Plus, there’s the benefit of filing online and getting your refund check a lot faster than if you were to mail off your forms after waiting in line at the post office.

    For the purpose of this article, however, will be focusing more on the personal finance software that aids with money management.

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    Money management personal finance software will help you to see the health of your cash flow, pay down debt, forecast for expenses and savings, track investments, pay bills, and do a host of other things that 30 years ago would have practically required a team of accountants.

    When to Use Personal Finance Software

    So far we’ve gone over what exactly personal finance software is and how it can be a benefit to your money. The next logical step in this whole equation is determining when it should be used and how is the best way to go about getting started using it.

    Below are four of the most common and practical ways to use personal finance software. If all or any of these apply to you and your money, then downloading some type of personal finance software is going to be a smart move.

    1. You Have Multiple Accounts

    There’s a good chance that when it comes to your money, it’s in more than one place. Sure, you probably have a checking account, but you may also have a savings account, money market account, and retirement accounts such as an IRA or 401k.

    If you’re like the average American, you probably have two to three credit cards as well. Fifty percent of Americans also don’t have loyalty to just one bank and spread their money across multiple banks.

    Rather than spending hours typing in every detail of every account you have into a spreadsheet, many programs allow you to easily import your account information. This will help to eliminate any mistakes and give you a bird’s eye view of everything at once.

    2. You Want to Automate Some or All of Your Payments

    Please don’t say that you’re still writing out paper checks and dropping each bill in the mailbox. While it’s noble that you’re doing your part to keep postal workers employed, we’re 18 years into the 21st century and you can literally pay every bill online now.

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    There’s no need to log into every account you have and type in your routing number either.

    With personal finance software you can schedule automatic payments and transfers between all of your imported accounts. Automatic transfers will help to make sure you have the necessary funds in the right account to ensure all bills are paid on the appropriate date. Late fees are annoying and do nothing but cost you money. It’s time that you said goodbye to them once and for all.

    3. You Need to Streamline Your Budget

    Perhaps the best feature of personal finance software is that it allows you track everything going in and out of your virtual wallet.

    Nearly every brand of personal finance software out there has easy-to-read graphs and charts that allow you track every cent you spend or earn, should you choose. You might be pretty amazed when you see just how much you spent on eating out last month or if you splurged a little more than you should have on Christmas gifts last year.

    Every successful business on the planet has a budget and using personal finance software can help you trim the fat on your spending in ways that affect your everyday life.

    4. You Have Specific Goals to Meet

    Maybe it’s paying off debt or saving for up something like a European vacation. Whatever your financial goal is, whether it’s long-term or short-term, personal finance software programs are one of the savviest ways to go about reaching those goals.

    You can do everything from set spending alerts to notify you when you’re over budget to automating what percentage of your paycheck goes to things like retirement investments. The personal finance software that you choose should show you exactly how close you are to hitting those goals at any given time.

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    How to Get Started

    From AceMoney to Mint and Quicken, there ’s no shortage of personal finance software apps out there. Many of these programs are free to download and will allow you to pay bills, invest, monitor your net worth and credit profile, and even get a loan with the swipe of a finger.

    Other programs may only offer you limited services and will require a one-time fee or subscription to unlock all that they offer. These fees can often vary from as little as two dollars to 50 bucks a month.

    It’s best to start off with the free version and then gauge whether you’re able to accomplish everything you’d like or if it’s worth exploring one of the paid options. Often times the subscription programs come with assistance from financial planning and investment experts — so that can be a real benefit.

    When deciding which personal finance software program to use, it’s also important to look at how many accounts you wish to monitor. Certain programs limit the number of accounts you can add. Be sure that if you have checking, credit card, and investment accounts to monitor, that you choose a service that can monitor them all.

    Finally, when looking around for the right personal finance software that meets your needs, make sure that you’re comfortable with the program’s interface. It shouldn’t be expected that you recognize every single feature instantly, but if the features don’t seem readable and manageable to you, then you’re not as likely to use it and get the full benefits.

    Final Thoughts

    Personal finance software can go a long way in helping you to take control of your money and meeting your financial goals. It’s important to note, however, that some focus more on budgeting and expense tracking while others prioritize investing portfolios and income taxes. Explore several different programs and read reviews to find the one that’s right for you.

    In this day and age, managing one’s personal finances in a secure manner that allows the user to have a real-time visual representation of their money is easier than ever before. With the numerous applications that are out there — both free and subscription-based — there’s no reason that every person can’t take control of their money and ensure they’re making smart money moves.

    Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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