Thursday, January 11, 2007

Kids & Money

My biggest GOAL of 2007 is to start & keep going with the financial education of my kiddos. So I've been doing a bit of surfing looking for little tidbits to help in their financal education.

I can't say I didn't get a good head start, I did. DH, there's another story. He was the baby of the family (by 11 years) & I think they just assumed he'd figure it out on his own??? Or they really did intend to give him money for the rest of their lives...

My Dad taught me a lot about stocks & investing & I was forced to save, which netted me a very large tax bill when I was 15 (had to get $ so wouldn't show up on financial aid apps) and a very little money to start college with (I think I spent it on 1 semester's worth of tuition, books & fees...) SO I had a decent chunk, that didn't go very far even with aid & I went state college not private, oh my...I digress.

I won the $50 Stock contest our Senior year of Highschool (eek, that was a while back!). I think I turned $10,000 into $15,000??? It's been a while, but I think I was the only one in the class still active after the first 2 weeks (you'd think I was a total loser right?, just weird). SO the $50 was mine even if I lost all of it. So I had an idea on how to pick stocks, when to trade, when to hold. I can even read the WSJ & understand it most of the time! Which when you think about it is pretty impressive with all those silly numbers & weird letters!

So, how did I end up here, in debt, living dh's pay check to pay check...well lets just say my education ended there. As long as I had a job I had money, my needs were met, my Mom had a new job so there was extra cash in the household (she had been a stay at home Mom, even through layoffs & unemployment)so I guess I just expected things to not change so drastically when I went to college. HA (~ not blaming anyone but myself here, maybe just whining a little!)

Back then the credit card companies were so eager to give cards away they. I had a summer internship at a major CO & they paid well, I ended up with 2 credit cards my first summer (My intentions were great, one was a gas CO card so I was earning cash back + when I filled up with their gas, the other was a low interest acct, I wanted them for emergencies & book buying, I was traveling over an hour a day in an older car, in another state, but they gave me soooooo much credit, like $2500 to start & when I made regular payments it just kept going up & up before I knew it it was $5000) SO leading us down the path of financial destruction, I was married before I turned 21 (by choice, not necessity) & 6 months after the I Dos Dh was into his first bought of unemployment which was funded by my credit, not Unemployment....

So, needless to say I am like a sponge, open to just about anything to educate my kids so this doesn't happen to them.

I know DS is going to be President someday, he can talk a line of BS like you wouldn't believe. He even has his teacher fooled into thinking she runs the class!!! Kind of like sometimes he lets me be in charge around the house! This means he will need to go to a "Good" college, which means big bucks for us in only 11 years. We are hoping for a football scholarship, but it is highly unlikely!!! We are ok now, at the moment he wants to drive a bulldozer, we tried explaining that he wants to own the Construction Co so he can drive all the equipment, but he insists that we are full of it!

DD is a constant entertainer, I just don't see a lab coat in her future...But, I'm not into labeling them just yet & funding her move to Hollywood could cost as much as DSs ivy league schooling....

SO I surf, I soak it all in, & I pray that I understand it myself!!!

I have found a few sites to share dealing with kids & money, for us (the parent) & for them (GAMES, does anything else work these days???) Why can't Nintendo create an algebra based game??? Spelling anyone???

Money Central by the US Treasury has age appropriate activities (5-8 & 9-13). It has some fun games (at least in the 5-8 activities where I was)

ING's Orange Kids

Pay JR. has great links to some other kids & money sites in their Education Center

The Simple Dollar posted a link & review about a money savvy pig, loved it, how cute!

Rich Dad - Richard K has developed the Cash Flow Game (either adult of kid version)

I still think that the best starter for money education & realestate was Monopoly! Pass Go collect $200!!! Obviously teaches strategy, how sometimes buying pricier properties can pay off, sometimes it doesn't...Monopoly Jr. is great fun for the kids. I have played it numerous times with the Prince. Atleast until the Princess stole all the money...

All in all I figure the more I know, the better off they are. And they will never know if I don't teach them.

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