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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!

    More by this author

    Daniel Wallen

    Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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    Last Updated on March 4, 2019

    How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

    How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

    Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

    I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

    Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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    Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

    Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

    Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

    I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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    I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

    If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

    Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

    The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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    Using Credit Cards with Rewards

    Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

    You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

    I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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    So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

    What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

    Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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