Weekly Round-Up: School’s Out Edition

Third grade and first grade wrapped up for my two boys this week. We’ve got ten weeks of summer ahead of us. The child in me still wriggles with delight at the thought of all those long summer days to enjoy. The mom in me is slightly terrified at the juggling now required to keep the kids gainfully occupied.

Last night T and M sang this all the way through to me – sounds like an amazing summer vacation to me!

But I foresee lots of opportunities to teach money skills ahead! There’s definitely a lemonade stand in our near future. And I’ve been sent a copy of Earn It, Learn It: Teach Your Child the Value of Money, Work, and Time Well Spent by Alisa Weinstein to review so I plan to test it on the boys and share our experiences. We’ll also use our upcoming big trip to Europe to practice some good money management skills.

Meanwhile, the big question in our family is whether M will make his goal of saving enough money to buy a Nintendo DS before we leave for Europe. He’s getting close but it’s going to be tight. Frankly, Z and I are the ones feeling most nervous as it will really help us if he has this for the long flights and car rides ahead of us.

Over on Twitter (follow me here), I shared a number of articles this week:

  • My favorite post was How I Failed My Daughter & A Simple Plan to Wealth by Jim over at JLCOLLINSNH.  He wrote this in response to his college student daughter saying about money: “I just don’t want to have to think about it and manage it.”  There’s the short version of nine basics of the simple path to wealth and then the detailed version.  The first point is excellent: Avoid fiscally irresponsible people. Never marry one or otherwise give him access to your money. I think this is true not only of spouses but also of friends. From your teens through your twenties, your peer group makes up the most influential people in your life. If you’re with people who are careless about money, you’ll be more likely to take the same approach.
  • Step Up Parents: Children Need Money Managers by Gary Williams covers some familiar points but what stood out was his inclusion of good resources. He recommends regular Family Finance Nights which is a new concept for me and one I want to explore.
  • Sarah Cook over at Raising CEO Kids takes this concept even further with Have You Ever Had a Family Council on Finance? In Sarah’s house, Family Councils are not just for finance and Sarah talks about how you can use it to discuss a number of family topics and issues as well as gives guidance on how to make these meetings as successful and enjoyable as possible. We talk a lot as a family round the dinner table but it will be interesting to see what would happen with a more formal structure to this.
  • I’m on the hunt for advice on teaching investing to our children. FamilyMint’s blog provides some suggestions in Teaching Kids to Invest in Their Futures by Jayne Berkaw. I’ll be sharing this with my Mom who is going to be my key partner in this.

How are you coping with the summer vacation juggle?


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