Giving Your Child an Allowance

Should You Give Kids an Allowance?Giving Your Child an Allowance

Is anything in the world of finance and parenting more debated than this – should you give your kid an allowance? Will it turn them into lifelong moochers or teach them valuable budgeting skills. In the Rich Mama’s humble opinion an allowance is a good tool for younger kids, when used as a way to regulate the “I want that’s…” Since children this small really do have a hard time doing jobs to earn money, an allowance can be a great way for them to learn to save up for that pack of gum or special toy.

According to some financial experts, giving your child an allowance is one of the best ways to instill solid financial skills in their young brains. Compared with a “pay as you go” policy, where you pay for what your child wants when he or she wants it, a weekly allowance can help your child better understand that money must be earned before it can be spent. This is a lesson your child certainly needs as an adult.

In addition, older kids are more influenced by their peers, especially where spending habits are concerned. Don’t forget you also have to contend with television commercials, radio ads, and other forms of media selling, selling, and selling. Managing an allowance at a young age will help your child more quickly grow accustomed to spending limits and restrictions.

What’s important if you’re going to give an allowance is to discuss what’s covered by the allowance. In other words you might not expect your kids to pay for their whole back to school wardrobe with their allowance, but if they want to go to the movies with friends, this might be an allowance item. Just make sure you and your partner sit down and discuss what you think you should be paying for versus what your kids should pay for with their allowance.  And then when you and your spouse are on the same page, then go start to negotiate with your kids.

Chores, Smores

With older kids, there are some families who have them do chores in exchange for an allowance. On the one hand this teaches the principle of now worky…no pay-ey…On the other hand moms and dads do a lot of crap around the house without any expectation of allowance, and if you’re teaching your kids that if they make their bed and get a dollar, then what happens when they’re on their own – and no one is giving them a dollar.

With older kids I favor the approach of chores that need to get done no matter what, plus a base allowance, plus an opportunity for kids to earn money doing extra jobs around the house. For instance if there is a job you would outsource, then consider paying your child for it. It could even be cooking a meal a week if it stops you from ordering takeout.

 

How Much is Too Much

So, how much allowance should you give your child? You can determine the amount in a variety of ways. Some parents and financial experts suggest one dollar for every year of age. Others say to set the amount based on how you expect your child to use the allowance, providing enough money to put in a savings account, give to charity, and to spend. Still others suggest giving your child an amount based on what other kids receive around the same age.

Whatever you choose, give it some thought, talk to your spouse and your child about a realistic amount, and start low rather than high. It’s always easier to increase a child’s allowance than to give him less because you started out giving too much.

As your child grows and matures, an allowance will help teach money management skills and develop responsible spending habits. Simply buying what your child needs and wants doesn’t allow the same learning opportunity. Giving an allowance may be a trial and error process for your family, but it’s one that is well worth the effort and learning curve. It will teach lifelong skills that your child will need—and thank you for—when your child becomes an adult.

10 Reasons Money Isn’t Everything – Or Is it

10 Reasons Why Money Isn’t Everything

 

Money Can't Buy HappinessIs money what it’s all about?  Have you ever wondered after your or your partner – or both of you spend at least eight hours a day working, striving to earn a decent income to support your family, provide for your needs, and (hopefully!) have something left over to fulfill a few desires,  – if this is it? Are we just meant to be money making machines? Well a Rich Mama knows there has to be more to life than just money, so here are 10 reasons why money isn’t everything. Read them, take a deep breath and chill.

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1. Family

 

While money can help your family to have the things they need and want, money can’t give you a family, grow your family, make your family healthy, or even give your family lasting happiness. Family togetherness and love depends on time spent, not money spent. So figure out ways to spend time with your family without spending money together – play a board game, go for a picnic lunch, watch a movie together – at home, play charades.

 

2. Health

 

Sure, money can pay for doctor’s visits and prescriptions, but even the wealthiest folks in the world know that money can’t buy you health. And money can’t replace or remove poor health or disease. Choose nutritious food and go out for a daily walk for exercise. Those two things don’t cost a lot and go a long way to “buying” you health.

 

3. Happiness

 

Money may provide things that can make you happy for awhile, but real, lasting happiness can’t be bought. It’s something that comes from contentment within.  Knowledge and confidence in who we are and a purpose in life is true happiness. Money can’t buy that.  I’ve always felt that money in the bank (not in the new pillows on the couch) is a much better way to provide happiness. Instead of focusing on what you have, imagine the money in the bank, just sitting there – bet that’s a stress buster.

 

4. Faith

 

You hear people talk about their faith in many different ways, and we do have faith in different things, but have you ever heard anyone claim to have faith in money? Probably not. While money may give us a sense of security, it can also fail us, and often does. Money let’s us down. Faith in something greater than ourselves, however, won’t.

 

5. Peace

 

It’s a well known truism that money can buy you a bed, but it can’t help you sleep. While money can provide things you need and want, it can’t alter your state of mind enough that you have lasting peace. That’s something that comes from within and money will never provide it.

 

6. Purpose

 

Regardless of what some may think, money – or acquiring it – isn’t the purpose of life. We are taught early on that the love of money is the root of all evil. It’s important to read that very carefully; the LOVE of money is the root of all evil, not money itself. Money is just a tool with which to build a life. Making money your purpose for living is dangerous. Find a purpose in your life that fulfills you and gives your life meaning.

 

7. Joy

 

While some equate joy with happiness, they are really two different things. Happiness is the bouncy feeling that comes along when something pleasant happens in our lives. Happiness can be as simple as an ice cream cone or a good book. Joy, on the other hand, is a deep-seated contentment that nothing can take away. And money certainly can’t bring joy into our lives. Money is superficial. Joy goes deep.

 

8. Personal Growth

 

Life is a process of personal growth and learning, and while money may provide the opportunity for that growth, it will never be able to provide the growth itself. Learning and growing come from a change within us not from the cash in our bank accounts, or the limit on our credit cards. Constantly learning new things opens our life up to new possibilities, new horizons. Money cannot open up our mind.

 

9. Love

 

Love is truly the greatest gift of life; the love of a child, a parent, a spouse, a sibling, or a friend. Love is what drives the world, and that drive should never be the love of money, but rather love for people. That’s what will bring real, lasting joy. Isn’t that what we’re all seeking? Money can’t buy love. Simply said and very true, indeed.

 

10. Money Can’t Buy Everything

 

While you can buy material things, pay for health care, even “buy” some people, there are things money can’t buy. Money can’t buy family, health, happiness, faith, peace, purpose, joy, personal growth, or love. Look at the hundreds of lottery stories; people who’s dream has come true, they are instant millionaires. Look at what happens to 99.9% of these people and I dare you to tell me that money is the answer to all your problems.

 

Money is a great tool and one that we all need to provide a good life for our families. But money is not the be all and end of life. Money is simply a tool. One that will help fashion life, but not create it. Next time you get caught in the money trap, take a few minutes to remember what in life is REALLY important. Your loved ones will be glad you did, and so will you.

Does Eat Less Move More Really Help You Lose Weight?

The basic formula for gaining and losing weight is well known: a pound of fat equals 3,500 calories. When you consider that an hour of moderate exercise like walking only burns 350 calories you realize that one has to walk (run, swim, bike) a lot of miles to lose a pound.  As a busy mama, do you really have 10 hours a week to dedicate to losing weight? Do you want to?  Perhaps you should be working on your finances, growing a side business or spending quality time with your family.  Which is why this article from the NY Times caught my eye, “Debunking the Hunter-Gatherer Workout”

In this article, the author studies the Hadza tribe who live in East Africa, in hilly dry terrain.  The woman of the tribe gather, looking tubers, berries and other wild plant foods, while carrying heavy stuff like firewood, water and sometimes babies.  The men go out hunting for small game with arrows.

So does the Hadza tribe, who do not show signs of obesity and move way more than the average sedentary American, expend much more energy?  Is that why they’re ‘skinny’ and we’re (for the most part) not?  Many experts would have you believe that it’s the change in our acitvity levels in the past 100 years or so that accounts for America’s expanding waistline.

But wait – get this. As it turns out the Hadza tribe members didn’t burn that many more calories than the average American desk jockey, even though they are much more active. So in other words they don’t burn thousands of calories a day doing what they need to do to get their jobs done.  So why are they skinnier?

Well the author, who helped head up this study speculates it’s not their exercise level…It’s their diet.  Yup, the fact that the tribe eats moderate portions of animal protein,  fruits, honey and vegetables – no cultivated grains or processed sugar makes them skinnier.

So what can we get from this…Guess what – you don’t need to exercise constantly to lose weight.  You have to change the way you eat – you can’t go on a diet…you have to stop eating like an American and start eating like a hunter-gatherer — lots of veggies and some protein.  Grans for the most part are absent, as is sugar in all its forms (except fruit).

Sure perhaps getting up at 5 am in the morning to do a p90x workout sounds like fun to you, but I could really do something amazing with an extra 6 hours a week.

In truth, it seems that we need to get serious – we’re not getting fat because we don’t do aerobics.  We’re getting fat because we eat too much junk.  And it takes a whole lot of exercise to overcome the bad effects of a box of cookies or a bag of chips…So ask yourself – what you rather do – eat better…or exercise a lot…

I’d rather eat better.

 

About Rich Mama Secrets

About RichMamaSecrets.com

Hey, I’m Andrea and I started www.richmamasecrets.com because I liked the name…No really because I wanted to blog about something important to me – how we, as moms, as women can live full and rich lives.  I used to hear this a lot – you can everything you want, just not all at once.  And while I get it, on some level I wanted to reject it.

Hey

How to Be a Rich Mama

Attention Hard Working Moms

 

Dear Mom,

Do You Struggle With Handling Your Family’s Money?

Are your finances a nightmare? It’s time to wake up from that bad dream and create a better reality…Are you worried that you don’t understand money…and how you spend it?

On the 30th of the month, do you find yourself scrambling to pay the bills? Or maybe you just make it, but find that you have nothing Do You Struggle to Understand Money?left for savings?

Do you look around and wonder why other families have it all, yet you never seem to be gaining any ground? Are you worried that you’ll have to work for the rest of your life… That there’s no cushy retirement waiting for you down the road… That you’ll never be able to live the life you deserve.

Does this sound familiar: You work hard, but you never seem to have enough. You can’t get a handle on your expenses. Your credit cards are maxed out all the time.

And now with the economy the way it is, you’re not just worried. You’re Terrified.

Do You… fight with your partner about money all the time… have to say NO to your kids when they ask for almost anything…Constantly wonder if you’ll be able to buy groceries, a new car, or if you can afford date night?

And You’ve Tried to Make it Work…

You’ve tried living frugally. And it worked for a while. You were able to pay off some debts. Maybe put away a little something in the bank.

But you were utterly miserable. You missed the little treats that make life more fun and enjoyable. And like a spending junkie, you went into a buying binge to dull the pain. All your good intentions went flying out the door, and you never looked back.

You’re running out of control, and you’re scared. Scared for yourself. Scared for your spouse. And especially scared for your kids.

Listen, there’s a way out of this money hell hole.

What you need is a simple plan that will help you achieve big results through small steps.

Read that again:

YOU CAN CHANGE THIS VICIOUS CYCLE…You Can Create the Foundation of a Wealthy Family

Here’s Where I Come From…

I was once like you. I wasn’t always the RichMama – I was the SpenditAllMama – it seemed like as soon as we made dollar we spent it – and it wasn’t on big things like trips or eating out – it seemed like the little things were killing us – money slipped through our fingers like the finest sand.

And then we got a wake up call – kids. Once I started having kids I wanted to have more for them – so my husband and I worked harder, thinking that if only we could just make that little extra bit of money – we’d finally feel secure. Protected.

And then it hit me like a ton of bricks – I was working so hard to make a better life for my family – I was barely seeing them. I was robbing them of my time and attention – I wanted to quit…or work part time – maybe even freelance – anything that would give me more flexibility.

So we started to crunch the numbers. And I cried. We had multiple credit cards, all maxed out, no emergency savings, car payments, student loans a huge mortgage. Even our retirement funds were in disarray spread out here and there. While we’d been working our tails off, we’d been neglecting our most important boss — our families.

So we (mostly me) got serious – I switched into Rich Mama mode. I vowed that within 18 months I would be able to quit my full time job and spend more time with my kids – but only if we paid off all consumer debt – like our credit cards, learned to live on one income, and saved for our emergency fund.

And I became a savings and personal finance junkie, reading and learning everything I could about paying down debt, budgeting, spending, saving, reducing interest rates, investing – you name it.

At first I was paralyzed…and then I started taking action, focusing each day on one small step. Making check lists and worksheets and knocking down debt, figuring out spending and coming up with methods to put more cash in our pockets.

And it worked…..In less than a year, I quit my full time job, launched a part time consulting business and was able to stay home with the kids – with no credit card debt, a working spending plan for each month that allowed for vacations, new clothes and yes the occasional latte.

Not to mention our total financial life was better organized. We were saving, maxing out on our retirement accounts and were able to save for major purchases – like a new car, without going back into debt.

But it took me lots of trial and error to get it right – and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone…so I took all I learned and created a simple program that takes what took me months to figure out and gives it you in a step by step weekly program

Our Schools Have Failed Us…

Most of us learn nothing about money in school. Sure, perhaps you learned how to balance a checkbook in home economics…but or perhaps you took a macro economics class and learned about the markets…But since most of us barely use checks anymore, and you’re probably not in the business of shorting emerging markets….all of that school stuff was pretty much useless…

Until Now…What you were missing was the right kind of FINANCIAL EDUCATION – one that teaches you how to thing in terms of dreams and goals, dollars and sense – and how to manage the multiple and often conflicting needs, wants and desires of a family…where every new video game in the short term can undermine the family vacation in the long term…OR worse – send you into a whole heap of credit card debt…for things you can barely remember needing.

You can’t make big changes all at once. Your mind and heart will eventually reject them and you’ll only feel like a failure.

SO HOW DO YOU MAKE THE CHANGE – HOW DO YOU TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR FINANCIAL FUTURE?

Get a Financial Education

By getting education – the right kind. The kind that will guide you step by step, week by week to creating a workable, livable, scalable plan for building real wealth for you and your family…You need to learn how to become a RICH MAMA…

When you’re a Rich Mama, you can have it all. Sound sleep knowing you have enough money to pay your bills and then some. A healthy retirement account so you don’t have to work forever (or work at all). Money set aside for your kids’ education. Money in the bank for new school clothes? Wouldn’t you like to know your family had a real GET RICH SLOWLY PLAN?

So What Can You Do….

How Do You Stop Fighting to Keep Up With the Joneses….And Build the Foundation of the a Wealthy Family…

Introducing the Rich Mama Academy….

A complete, step by step 12 Week Program to Help You Develop a Solid Family Financial Plan and Create the Foundation for Real, Lasting Wealth…

This is not a get rich quick scheme…I’d rather think of it of a Get Rich Slowly Scheme…But You Will See Immediate Effects…From the Very Moment You Take Action…

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“The Rich Mama Academy: A Complete Step by Step Plan to Building Lasting Wealth” is a comprehensive program that will show you, step by step, how to:

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Module 10: Should You Refinance Your Mortgage?

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Module 12: Why a High Credit Score is Important

Bonus Modules

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Imagine…

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… it’s all possible, when you take charge of your finances right now.

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100% Guaranteed

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Money problems cause a lot of stress. You don’t have to keep living with it. Face your financial problems straight on, and finally enjoy a financially stress-free life.

To true wealth and prosperity,

Andrea Stein – aka the RichMama

P.S.: If you’re having any money problems at all, you need to take action before it’s too late.

P.P.S.: When it comes to finances, the sooner you earn more and save more, the sooner you’ll get ahead. Get started today, risk-free, for 90 days.

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