Archive for the ‘Money Matters’ Category

7 Bad Money Spending Habits We Teach Our Kids

June 27, 2015

 

kids-money

Courtesy of abcnews:

 

1.

Shopping without a list.

This is an invitation to waste money — and groceries, and a lot of us don’t need an invitation. It also makes us especially vulnerable to impulse buying. After all, what’s one more item that’s not on the list? For children, especially, it blurs the line between planned purchases and impulse buys. (And lists in general help people stay organized. Teaching children to use lists can help in many areas of life.)

2.

Buying on impulse.

We don’t do well at teaching delayed gratification. Advertisers make it even harder. Ever seen an Internet “flash sale” that lasts only a few hours? Or notice the price changes on an item you HAVE been watching. It’s frustrating to see that deliberating a bit might mean paying more. Of course, long term, these “flash sales” will tempt you to buy things you probably don’t need and likely didn’t plan for because you couldn’t stand to miss the killer deal. The Internet and TV work hard to tempt us to buy on impulse. Show your child how advertisers try to manipulate us to make decisions that might not be in our best interests long-term. “Sleep on it” is a great habit to encourage.

3.

Teaching entitlement.

Why are we going out to dinner and letting you order anything you want? Because you are a great kid! You… told the truth, got a good grade or got a soccer-participation certificate. Or you didn’t, and now you’re disappointed. Either way, a treat is in order. (Treats are not wrong, by the way. You can explain to your child that treats are in your budget. But the people who are most experienced handling the money and who have the most knowledge of the family’s finances will make the major decisions. Translated, this means the adults pick the restaurant and tell the children which entrees they may choose from or what the price limit is.)

4.

Focusing exclusively on the now.

Even if you are putting away money for vacations, if that is invisible to kids, they are not learning about it. “Let’s eat at home and save the difference in what it would cost for vacation,” can help make your intentions clear. You can even save the money in a jar so they can see it. It’s easier to say “we can’t afford it,” because YOU know that you can’t afford both lots of dinners out and a trip to Disney, but your kid may understand only that you can’t afford to go through the drive-thru, rather than that you are consciously choosing to direct your money toward something else — that you are delaying gratification.

5.

Speaking in terms of dollars, not percentages.

Renick says it’s important for kids to learn that not only is a nickel worth more than four pennies, it’s worth 20 percent more. It’s easy not to care about a penny, but 20 percent seems worth worrying about. And it is. Would they prefer to earn $20 for a chore or just $16? It’s still 20 percent, and it’s worth saving. “The concept is if you get in the habit of taking care of small details (financial choices) the habit and behavior will carry through to larger financial choices,” Renick said. Go ahead and save where you can — and show your kids that little things add up. (And hopefully, when they are in the workforce, that 401(k) match offered by your kid’s employer will seem too big to pass up.)

6.

Giving them “spending money.”

The idea behind this can be smart — hoping they will learn to prioritize. That’s a good goal, certainly. But Renick would suggest giving them money to manage… and rewarding saving if they show some restraint. He gives as an example a child with $100 to spend (or save) at Disneyland. What if you told a child that he or she could KEEP any money not spent at the park? Do you think he or she would care more about getting the most value for the money and would check carefully to see what concessions cost before ordering?

Routinely giving them the money may be a problem as well. Kids can earn money. Renick said his father used to tell him that he could have anything he wanted — as long as he was willing to work for it. Having to work can also help teach the value of money, when you begin to think about whether thing you need or want is really worth the time you’ll spend earning the money to buy it.

7.

Indulging in spendy habits, like a daily Starbucks or cigarettes.

Despite what we say, we show them that the gratification today is more valuable to us than the sacrifice involved in putting some of that money in a 401(k) or saving it for a family vacation.

 

Click on the link to read Teachers Spend Their Own Money for Classroom Resources

Click on the link to read Cash-Strapped School Auctions Itself on eBay
Click on the link to read Schools Enlisting Debt Collectors to Make Parents Pay “Voluntary” Donations
Click on the link to read What’s More Important for Education – Smart Boards or Breakfast?
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Teachers Spend Their Own Money for Classroom Resources

August 24, 2012

I am always buying something for my classroom. My wife thinks I’m crazy, but if I feel it will help me teach then I think it’s worth the expense.

I’m glad I’m not alone:

Many teachers routinely spend money out of their own pockets on necessity items for their students, according to a nationwide survey conducted by AdoptAClassroom.org.

The organization surveyed 1,188 K-12 teachers from public, private and charter schools throughout the country, and found that the vast majority of teachers — 91 percent — reported purchasing things for their students that ranged from food and snacks, to personal care items like toothbrushes and soap.

“This survey of our teachers makes one thing abundantly clear: teachers are not only educating students, but through their out-of-pocket purchases, teachers are tackling major social issues such as homelessness, poverty, hunger and teaching students basic life skills,” said James Rosenberg, founder of AdoptAClassroom.org. “Again and again, we see it happen — when society lets kids down, it’s teachers who step in to fill the gap.”

Click on the link to read Cash-Strapped School Auctions Itself on eBay
Click on the link to read Schools Enlisting Debt Collectors to Make Parents Pay “Voluntary” Donations
Click on the link to read What’s More Important for Education – Smart Boards or Breakfast?

Turning School Children into ‘State Spies’

July 26, 2012

We used to preach to children to love one’s neighbour – now it’s turn-in your neighbour to the authorities!

School children are being encouraged by HM Revenue and Customs to tell their teachers if they know of anyone “in their local area” who is not paying their fair share of tax.

Critics said it was “un-British” of the HMRC to try to turn “children into state spies”.

HMRC has set up teaching modules to guide children through the hazards of pay as you earn and National Insurance contributions.

Some of the modules – which can be downloaded from HMRC’s website – teach school children as young as 11 about paying their fair share of tax.

The revenue uses video, games, facts and quizzes to “help make teaching financial capability and citizenship issues relevant and engaging”, according to its website.

Isn’t it great that we are teaching our children to be underhanded and sneaky instead of kind and supportive? It seems love goes out the window when money and greed is involved.

Click on the link to read Cash-Strapped School Auctions Itself on eBay
Click on the link to read Schools Enlisting Debt Collectors to Make Parents Pay “Voluntary” Donations
Click on the link to read What’s More Important for Education – Smart Boards or Breakfast?

How Wealthy Will Your Children Become?

July 23, 2012

It seems that parents have high expectations of how much money their children will earn:

A QUARTER of Australians expect their children to become high-income earners when they grow up, while two-thirds of parents think their kids will be middle-income earners, a new study shows.

According to the survey by Fidelity Worldwide Investment, parents say the key to their children’s future wealth is a good education, financial skills and a hard work ethic.

The researchers surveyed Australia and other Asian and Pacific countries about income expectations for their children. The survey has found 8 per cent of Australian parents say they expect their children to have a low income as adults.

The biggest factors for expecting a low income are a lack of economic opportunities and no “financial benefits” from the family, Fidelity Australian managing director Gerard Doherty says.

Click on the link to read Schools Enlisting Debt Collectors to Make Parents Pay “Voluntary” Donations

Click on the link to read Cash-Strapped School Auctions Itself on eBay

Click on the link to read Never Too Young To Learn the Value of a Buck

Schools Enlisting Debt Collectors to Make Parents Pay “Voluntary” Donations

July 10, 2012

It seems that I need to go back and consult a dictionary for the definition of the word ‘voluntary’:

Schools have enlisted debt collectors to make parents pay “voluntary” donations, with one school attempting to ban a teenager from the ball until the optional fee was paid.

Documents obtained under the Official Information Act reveal cases brought to the attention of the education minister, including a furious parent who received a debt notice from a debt-collecting agency in the name of his son.

Schools have been sent warnings for fudging the fact that some fees are optional, while others have been caught trying to withhold privileges unless the “voluntary” fees were paid.

By law, every child has the right to a free education from age 5 to 19. But state schools say they cannot survive on government funding so ask parents for an annual donation – on top of compulsory fees. In the year to December 2010, schools collected $101m in donations.

Cash-Strapped School Auctions Itself on eBay

July 3, 2012

Interesting idea. Hope it works:

A CASH-strapped US high school hopes to raise money from a wealthy benefactor by auctioning itself on eBay.

Officials at The Learning Center in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, are seeking bids starting around $US600,000 ($548,000) to offset steep budget cuts.

The eBay listing describes the public alternative school for at-risk teens as “pre-owned” and “slightly used.”

The winner won’t own the school, which is located near Philadelphia. But he or she will get a naming opportunity, a free large pizza and the satisfaction of “delivering an education to a group of kids who could really use it”.

If a bidder is found it will be the first time someone buys a school in return for a free pizza.

Never Too Young To Learn the Value of a Buck

March 2, 2011

The importance of teaching kids from a young age about the importance of spending money wisely cannot be underestimated:

It’s not easy for us as individuals to do much about financial problems in Washington, but we do have a lot to say about the money that goes through our own bank accounts.

Times of financial stress throw the spotlight on weaknesses in our money management, as many of us are finding out. There’s no time like the present to make the tough decisions that will put us in a better fiscal position in the future.

If we want our children to avoid some of the pitfalls we’ve experienced, we had better start early.

According to a survey by TD Ameritrade, about 45 percent of the people between the ages of 21 and 45 who responded to a survey said they learned about managing money before they were 12.

Only about a third of the older adults who responded to the survey said they learned about money that young.

A TD Ameritrade spokesman speculated that parents may be learning from their financial mistakes, and trying to give their kids a stronger financial foundation.

If that’s the truth, then some good will come from the current tough times.

Kids tend to be very materialistic and cavalier with their money.  In my day, we had very little money at our disposal until we were old enough to earn it ourselves.  Nowadays it’s a different story.  Kids tend to be given a lot of money, without enough interest taken to ensure that it’s used wisely.

I commend any program that teaches kids the value of a dollar and how to  save and spend wisely.

Sometimes Reports Into Education = Good Toilet Paper

December 5, 2010

I am sick of these “doom and gloom” reports into education that pretend to represent children from disadvantaged backgrounds, but instead put them down with cold disregard.

There is no better recent example of this than a  report, entitled “The Foundation Years: Preventing Poor Children Becoming Poor Adults,” by Labour MP and new “Poverty Czar” Frank Field.  According to the report, success in life is determined by the age of 5.  Beyond the age of 5, kids don’t have much say in whether or not they will make a success out of life.

By the age of five, a huge gulf already exists between the abilities of pupils from comfortable and disadvantaged backgrounds.

Research shows “we can predict at three and at five who will be unemployed, who will struggle to get a low paid job,” Mr Field said to the BBC.

Sally Copley, UK head of policy for Save the Children, said it should not have to be a choice between improving services and boosting the income of the worst-off families.  “By the time many children walk through the school gates for the first time, it’s too late for them.”

I don’t know where to start.  Perhaps by making some points on the term “success”.

1.  Mr Field defines success by how much a person earns (as well as whether or not they have employments at all).  In my view, a persons earnings, whilst not irrelevant, is not a complete reflection of a persons success.  Are they good people?  Do they follow the laws of society?  Are they good parents?  Do they treat others fairly?  Do they have integrity?  Using this criteria, lowly paid people can be far more ‘successful” than wealthy people.

2.  This leads me to an important gripe I have with the messages society seems to proliferate.  What job we do has no bearing on a persons success.  A taxi cab driver might not sound like a successful profession on face value.  But that same taxi driver has a crucial role to play.  They help the disabled and the aged, are crucial in keeping intoxicated people off the roads and protect vulnerable people from walking the streets and taking the trains late at night.  A house painter may seem like an ordinary profession, but have you ever looked at the difference a bright, well-painted room makes to a persons mood and outlook?  All jobs have a critical role to play in making life more enjoyable regardless of the pay involved.

3.  As a teacher, I don’t spend any time looking into the socio-economic background of my students.  I also don’t tend to get obsessed over rating the parents.  I feel very confident in my ability to assist all types of students from all types of backgrounds in becoming successful citizens and productive members of society.  I feel that my students have the potential to become every bit as successful as Mr. Field himself!  Mr. Field should not confuse, as he seems to be doing, the quality of a childs academic achievements with the quality of parenting that child is receiving.  There are many parents who aren’t able to spend sufficient time helping their kids with their schoolwork because they are working long hours to simply put food on the table.  In today’s world, we have to appreciate that all too many parents sacrifice what others take for granted for nothing more than to provide for their families.

What Mr. Field has done, for all his good intentions, is needlessly narrow the definition of success, outrage taxpayers for funding students when “it’s too late for them” anyway and provide an extraordinarily negative message to people from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Mr. Field, thank you.  This world can never have enough toilet paper!


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