Financial Fitness for Kids

[amazon asin=1607744082&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Joline Godfrey, author of Raising Financially Fit Kids.
Topic:
A pioneer in increasing children’s financial literacy talks about thriving in a post-Madoff, post-subprime meltdown world.
Issues: Five financial development stages; essential skills children (of all ages) need to learn; observing your children’s money style and helping kids differentiate between wants and needs; connecting goals and savings; fostering an entrepreneurial spirit.

The Nearly Impossible Task of Making College Affordable

you need to put away more for your child's college education

Dear Mr. Dad: Our son just turned 8 and my husband and I have been talking about how we’re going to pay for his college education. We really don’t have a plan. I say that we should take the money out of our retirement accounts, but my husband says we shouldn’t. We’re both feeling completely overwhelmed by the whole college tuition thing. Who’s right?

A: Congratulations! It’s great that you’re having this discussion right now—too many parents put the whole thing off until it’s almost too late. And you’re not alone in feeling overwhelmed. In fact, a recent report called “How America Saves for College 2013” (produced by Sallie Mae, the country’s largest education financial services company) asked parents to describe their feelings about saving for college. The top answers were overwhelmed, annoyed, frustrated, and scared.

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Highs and Lows of Motherhood + Stealing Children’s Identity + Jobs for Teens + Young Millionaires

[amazon asin=B007PM0BNW&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Guest 1: Kristin van Ogtrop, author of Let Me Lie Down.
Topic: Necessary terms for the half-insane working mom.
Issues: Terms and concepts that illustrate the highs, and the lows of balancing work and family.


[amazon asin=1936984113&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Guest 2: Joe Mason, author of Bankrupt at Birth.
Topic: Why child ID theft is on the rise and how it’s happening right under our noses.
Issues: Who, exactly, is perpetrating child id theft and why they do it; the most common forms of ID theft and how you can tell if your child is a victim; how to proect your child’s social security number; the role of social media in ID theft.


[amazon asin=1936236451&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Guest 3: Beverly Slomka, author of Teens and the Job Game.
Topic: A guide to teens on how to win the job of their dreams.
Issues: Understanding what employers expect and how teens can meet those expectations; learning to set realistic goals; how to prepare for the first day of a new job; handing constructive criticism, and much more.


[amazon asin=0785221859&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Guest 4: Troy Dunn, author of Young Bucks.
Topic: How to raise a future millionaire.
Issues: The gift you absolutely must give your children so they can succeed in business as adults; the five-word sentence that parents should never say; step-by-step strategies to help; identify children’s talents and nurture financial self-confidence.

U.S. Department of Treasury: Who’d Have Thought They Could Have Fun?

We all know that Americans have  among the lowest savings rates of any industrialized country. Well, we’re about to get some help.

The U.S. Department of Treasury just launched a contest that’s designed to inspire kids in grades K-12 to set financial goals and save for them. The “Save Out Loud” contest invites kids to send in their savings stories for a chance to win prizes from the Department. The grand prize is a live video call with Rosie Rios, the Treasurer of the United States (a much cooler prize would be to let the winner sign some dollar bills, but that’s just not in the cards, so a chat with the Treasurer is the next best thing).

The contest runs from now through November 25, 2012. Entry info on the next page.

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Daddy, why can’t you just get money out of one of those machines?

When my first child, who’s now 22, was less than a year old, I took her to an FAO Schwartz store in New York, thinking that she’d have a ball with all the toys and stuffies. But no matter what I pulled off the shelf, she was always far more interested in playing with the price tags than with the toy itself. Ten or 12 years later, I found it endlessly entertaining that she still had her obsession with price tags, saving up her clothing allowance to buy herself jeans  at $150/pair (I get mine at Costco for $12/pair and have never seen the point of paying much more than that). And in all the years in between, I can’t even count the number of times when she, presented with a “No, bunny, I don’t want to buy that right now,” would come back with, “Daddy, can’t you just get money from one of those machines?”
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College tuition sticker shock

Dear Mr. Dad: My wife and I took our teenage son, a high-school senior, to visit a few of the colleges he’d like to apply to. For the most part they seemed great, everything a parent could want for his child—except affordable! How does anyone afford college these days?

A: I’m so glad you wrote—my daughter and I just came back from a similar trip and I was amazed that admissions directors could actually say the words, “$52,000 per year” with a straight face. Unfortunately, though, tuition sticker shock is no joke. According to the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, two-thirds of four-year students graduate with an average student loan debt of nearly $20,000. One-fourth of those students borrow $24,936 or more, while a tenth borrow $35,213 or more. Those figures are probably a little lower for state schools, a lot higher for private schools.

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