“Can I get a new Gameboy?” “Can I have $10?” “Can I have the shoes that light up?” Whether it’s a new toy, a new game, a new outfit, or a new adventure, it seems kids never stop asking their parents for more. And who can blame them? Some studies have shown that children… [Read the entire Money Couple Minute]
According to the National Retail Federation, the average American family will spend more than $600 on clothes, shoes, supplies, and electronics during the 2010 back-to-school season, making this the second biggest consumer “event” of the year (you can probably guess what the first is!).
But unlike Christmas, this time of year often catches people unaware – how many of us plan for back-to-school spending in our annual budgets? Not us! Even if you haven’t been saving your pennies for the annual trip to the school-supply aisle, you’ve still got time to plan for these expenses and make sure you don’t end up with a battered budget. These tips can help:
1. Decide who will do the school shopping.
2. Involve your kids.
3. Start early.
4. Talk about it.
Get the full details of each of the 4 tips by reading this week’s Money Couple Minute on 4 ways to survive back-to-school spending.
Also, be sure to watch our new segment on ABC News called the Money Couple Minute – This weeks video is on Managing a Blended Family.
Figuring out how to pay for your child’s college education can be a major financial headache. Add the complex dynamics of a blended family to that situation and the stress level can go through the roof!
But it doesn’t have to be that way. With some honest conversation, a clear plan, and a solid sense of reality, you can find your way through the sometimes-choppy process of making financial decisions with your child’s other parents without creating new problems.
Get the 5 keys to a successful arrangement HERE.
View all the Money Couple Minutes HERE.
With clear expectations and solid financial communication, couples can get to their big day without the added stress of money battles. Here’s how to make sure the road to the wedding is as wonderful as the wedding itself.
1. Get on the same page. View complete details HERE.
2. Be sure about what strings are attached. View complete details HERE.
3. Make sure all the parents are happy. View complete details HERE.
4. Assume you’re on your own. View complete details HERE.
5. Be gracious. View complete details HERE.
View this Money Couple Minute and all the others HERE.
Close to 14 million adult children are still living at home. These kids are called “The Boomerang Generation” and for good reason. Just when you think they’re gone, they come flying back.
As much as you love your kids, there comes a time when you’re ready for them to move into adulthood. When they aren’t quite ready—emotionally, socially, and financially—it’s hard to know what to do with them. Do you let them move in? Should they pay you? What about chores? The boundaries are beyond fuzzy and will be defined differently from family-to-family and from child-to-child.
Life with a boomerang child can be a valuable experience for you and your child if you follow a few basic guidelines…Read the entire Money Couple Minute “4 Tips to Help You with the Not-So-Empty Nest” HERE.
Every parent knows that our care and concern for our children doesn’t stop when they hit adulthood. But most of us are a little unclear on how that care should play out financially. Trying to figure out when and how to help adult children with money problems can lead parents into all kinds of financial miscommunication and conflict.
It doesn’t have to be that way. While the best approach for you will, of course, depends on the situation, there are 6 guidelines you need to keep in mind as you make financial decisions about your adult children.
1. Know your child’s Money Personality – Read more here
2. It’s ok not to play fair – Read more here
3. Respect each other – Read more here
4. Don’t hurt yourselves to take care of your kids – Read more here
5. Decide if there will be strings – Read more here
6. If there are strings, get them in writing – Read more here
Read this week’s entire Money Couple Minute – HERE.
Here was an idea we received from one of our readers that we couldn’t resist passing along…
“Just yesterday our kids took some money they had been saving for a few months and used it to each buy their own assortment of hats, gloves and socks. My husband and I bought our own pile too. We handed out over 40 pairs of gloves, 40 hats and 40 socks to the homeless people standing outside. The kids had their own bags and got to individually hand them out. The worst part was that there were still more people we didn’t get to bless because we ran out, so we are thinking of doing it again.”
Let us know if you have any other ideas to communicate good giving habits to your kids by emailing us at [email protected]
Every parent wants to raise compassionate, generous children. Giving to others should and can be fun, it doesn’t have to be the financial equivalent of eating your vegetables. With the right approach, practicing generosity can build family unity, develop a deep sense of compassion in your kids, and teach them invaluable financial communication skills that will carry over into their everyday lives.
Take a look at this weeks Money Couple Minute on “Getting Your Kids Excited About Giving.” In it you’ll find some practical and fun ways to get your kids involved in a positive way this holiday season. While you’re there, be sure to check out the other Money Couple Minutes for the holidays.
Many of the ideas we talk about in First Comes Love, Then Comes Money can be applied to conversations with your children as well. Honesty, respect, compromise—they are all essential as you talk to your kids about the changing economy and what it means to your family.
Kids are pretty perceptive and they will notice when the stress of these financial times starts to creep into your family. So don’t try to hide the truth from them. Instead, talk to them about what’s happening in calm, honest ways. Let them know what kind of changes they might notice—going out to eat less frequently, shopping less often, a more modest birthday party, etc.
So do your best to stay positive. One of the fringe benefits of having strong financial communication is that you can honestly tell your children that you are making plans and working hard to protect your family. Use simple terms and avoid creating drama or stirring up fear. Even if you’re facing serious financial challenges, let your children know that they will be cared for, no matter what.
Let your children see you talking about money in healthy ways. This is a chance for you to model good financial communication to your children—something that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.
It also helps to know your children’s money personalities. While they are not fully formed in when children are young, you can probably see hints of how your children think about money—one keeps all her pennies safe in her piggy bank, another can’t wait to spend her birthday money.
Finally, invite your children to help you set family financial goals. If you need to cut your spending, ask for their ideas on how you can do that. Show them how their ideas are helping your family stay on track financially.