Friday, January 10, 2014

Take Five Short Minutes to Set Up an Allowance System

I always liked the idea of KISS (you know, Keep It Simple Stupid), but I never liked what the last S stood for. Referring to yourself or anyone else as stupid never felt like it was in the ethos of the general idea - stop complicating things and move forward on whatever you're doing by taking the simplest path. Don't knock yourself down. Build yourself up.

Anyway, it got me thinking about my passionate belief in the importance of allowance, doing it right and how I might be able to provide the most KISS-friendly solution to parents. So here it goes...a way to get your child started learning how to handle money and make smart money choices in three easy steps and just five minutes...

1. Setup a THREE JAR SYSTEM - Share, Save, Spend Smart. That's it. Find some jars, write down these words and paste them on those jars. Simple.



2. Start an ALLOWANCE. Provide your child with $5 and have her put $3 in Spend Smart, $1 in Save and $1 in Share. Simply explain that the Spend Smart jar is for immediate expenses - mechanical pencils are a favorite right now, for example. Save is the jar for longer term items. Want a scooter? Set a goal (see below) and start saving. Want to get it faster? Put your Spend Smart money into Save. Once they've accumulated some money in their Share jar, have him bring it to your religious institution or have her bring it into school (schools usually have some type of cash drive going).

3. Have him SET A GOAL. This is HUGE. Find a goal in the $15-$30 range and have her start saving. Keep the goal small so it's something he can achieve in 2-3 months. Maybe even split the cost with her to help out.

So there you have it, the KISS method for starting your kids on the path to financial literacy. This is all about building habits (your providing allowance and guidance and your child making choices every week). Once you get started, you'll likely want more detail. Check out my video on Effective Allowance from my last post for clarity on how and why to do more.


I have much more on The Money Mammals Vimeo channel - interviews and other short videos to help you along in the process. I hope this helps. Please let me know if there's anything we or I can do better.

And, remember, Keep It Simple, Smarty!

p.s. Taking a page from Chris Brogan, I want to give you a little warning that this postscript includes a little "Selly, Sell Sell." If you want jars that look as smart as those pictured above, we sell them as part of our Family Kit online. Click here to take a look in The Money Mammals online store.


Friday, October 04, 2013

Effective Allowance

I created this video to help parents setup and run a simple, effective allowance that will teach their kids about the value of money. Please comment, forward or do anything else to help me spread the message of the importance of allowance and how simple it is to get started. Thanks!


Effective Allowance Webinar from The Money Mammals on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Virtual Finance

Interesting infographic. More relevant to me now that my 10-year-old is trying out FamZoo and learning about the importance of understanding virtual as well as real money...


Real Money, Virtual Wallets
Image compliments of Master of Finance Degrees

Friday, June 21, 2013

Money Mammals TV Spreecast with Joline Godfrey



For my first Money Mammals TV Spreecast, I had the honor of chatting with Joline Godfrey, author of the newly revised "Raising Financially Fit Kids," and founder of Independent Means.

You can find out more about the Camp Startup for kids 14-18-years-old by clicking this link.

Enjoy and let me know if there any other topics you'd like us to cover.