5 Tips for Talking to Your Kids About the Family Finances

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The “Friday Five” features five items to help you in your journey to financial freedom. They might be 5 tips, 5 tricks, or just 5 ideas. In any case it’s Friday, so here we go!

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My parents never talked to my me or my Sister about our finances. To be fair, my Dad really didn’t talk to us about much of anything at all other than how terrible the Seahawks were (this was the early to mid 80s, and they were stupidly awful), his fleet of semi trucks, or the chores we still hadn’t done.

I’ll retract that statement almost immediately, because my Dad did talk to us about money. Here’s how it went:

“Hang on to that Sports Illustrated with Michael Jordan on the cover. That sucker is going to be worth money one day.”

“Hang on to that Bo Jackson rookie football card. That sucker is going to be worth money one day.”

“Hold on to that Coke bottle telephone. That sucker is going to be worth money one day.”

You know what my Dad never held on to?

Money.

I’m not bagging on my Dad at all. My Dad started a business at the age of 18, built it up and sold it in his 40s, then parlayed that into a business that grew in value in the millions before losing it all due to circumstances FAR beyond his control.

Now in his late 60s, my Dad owns several small businesses in my hometown and is a staple of his community.

That doesn’t mean he was necessarily good with money.

As a kid I never knew how we were doing financially. I saw my parents buying lots of things; spots cars, satellite dishes, pools, ATVs, etc., but I never really knew if we had money in savings, or if all of that junk was purchased on credit and we were teetering on the brink of financial collapse.

It’s understandable why they didn’t share any of this information with their kids. Their parents survived The Great Depression, and was a generation that tried to forget about finances in general, not discuss them openly. They sure as hell didn’t share with their kids during that generation, and so my parents never felt the need to be super open with us.

When our finances took a dump on our collective heads in January, my wife and I decided that we would start talking to our kids about finances. We did this not to freak them out or add stress to their lives, but because we wanted to start teaching them to be financially responsible so that they can hopefully avoid our mistakes and live a financially independent life of their own one day.

We’ve learned some valuable lessons about how to approach kids when it comes to discussing finances, especially if you’re in a bad way. Here are some of our favorites:Read More »

Tuesday Tip Jar: Get Your Kids Excited About Investing

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Welcome to another “Tuesday Tip Jar” where I will share awesome savings and financial tips as I find them. I might not have something for you every Tuesday, but when I do, you’ll find it here!

If you’ve got a financial tip you think others would benefit from, please send it to me via my contact page at the top of the blog!

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My Dad spent every penny he earned.  If he earned 10 bucks, he spent 10 bucks. If he earned 1,000, he spent 1,000. If he earned 10,000…

You get the idea.

My in-laws are similar. They didn’t put any money into savings for most of their adult life, and struggled to make ends meet for many years.

So my wife and I were raised with that mindset, and thus spent many years ignoring savings, living for the moment, and in general being pretty silly with our income. The result is a mountain of debt, this blog, and a promise to ourselves that we will break this cycle with our kids.

My kids don’t get allowance. We’ve always been of the mindset that their allowance comes in the form of friends staying over and eating our food, them going to movies, us renting movies at home, vacations, and all of that sort of stuff. They do chores, but we explain to them that it’s all just part of being in this family, and working alongside mom and dad to keep things in order.

What we have done extensively however is helped them to hustle. They sell things in yard sales, on Facebook, or via side ventures, and they make a fair amount of money that way. My son just recently self-funded the purchase of a iPhone (a generation or two old), and some AirPods. Hell even I don’t have AirPods!

The agreement we have made with them however is when it comes to saving and investing. Our formula for them works like this:Read More »