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Category: Earning

Adopt a Class or School – Change a Life Campaign

Adopt a Class or School – Change a Life Campaign

We’re working with Sammy Rabbit on his “Adopt a Class or School – Change a Life” campaign. If you’d like to participate, email me. Details are below.

“Adopt a Class Change a Life” Campaign Special

Teach Children SMART Money Habits!

Book + Music + Activity

Strategic Multi media, Multi intelligence approach teaches smart money habits; builds reading and listening skills!

Special (limited time only)

3 Items for price of 1

Get a FREE Story Book: It’s a Habit, Sammy Rabbit!

and a FREE Coloring Book with Stickers Inside

with Purchase of “Dream Big – Set Goals” Audio Song and Story CD (8 Tracks):

Minimum Qty – 50 Units

CDs: 50 x $4.99 = $249.50

Storybooks: 50 FREE

Coloring Books with Stickers Inside: 50 FREE

Add shipping, handling, and tax (if applicable)

Offer valid while supplies last

For more information about the books and CDs visit:

Order or Questions? Email me at:

Great Holiday Gifts: Board Games that Teach Money Concepts to Kids

Great Holiday Gifts: Board Games that Teach Money Concepts to Kids

Board games are always great gifts for the holidays.  And board games that teach kids money skills are doubly great!  The key is to sneak in the “money conversation” as you play.

For example, the popular Game of Life oozes opportunities to discuss buying a house, paying insurance, being prepared for unexpected expenses, playing the stock market…

And the lesser known Allowance Game is perfect for discussing wise spending choices, earning interest on savings, and jobs that your kids can do to earn extra money.   Gently tie in your real life experiences with these important money topics as they come up during the game.

We sometimes assume that, through osmosis, kids will make the connections between the money lessons in the game and what happens in the real world.  That is not always true, so it’s up to us to be on the lookout for these priceless opportunities!

Here is a list of additional fun games that help teach kids about money:

Presto Change-o (ages 4 and up)  Making change

Monopoly Junior (ages 5 to 8)  Adding/subtracting money

Pit (ages 7 and up)  Investing, understanding the stock market

Cashflow for Kids (ages 7 and up)  Investing, general financial education

Payday (ages 8 and up)  Household finances, bill paying

Monopoly (ages 8 and up)  Adding/subtracting money, real estate

How to Prepare Your Teen for Their First Interview

How to Prepare Your Teen for Their First Interview

This is Ryan right before he left to go on his first interview for a busboy position at the local sandwich shop.  He was nervous.  Very nervous.  I knew he would be, so a few days before the interview we began role-playing.  I wanted him to feel comfortable and confident that he was qualified for the job.

Although it’s always hard to know exactly what questions are going to be asked during an interview, there tend to be some standard ones.  So we started with those:

  • Why are you interested in this job?
  • What makes you qualified for the job?
  • What is your greatest strength/weakness?
  • When can you start?

Then I tried to get creative.  It’s been awhile since I’ve been on an interview.

  • How would you handle these scenarios?  A customer is upset because they feel their order was not handled properly.  Or Your shift is over but your replacement hasn’t shown up.  What do you do?
  • How do you describe good customer service?
  • What are your expectations for this job?

To build his confidence I reminded him of all the work experience he had.  It’s hard to toot our own horn but sometimes we simply need to do it.  Besides, unlike a lot of kids his age, he’s been working since he was eleven years old.  First it was his once-a-week paper route which he kept for five years.  When he was 13, he began reffing soccer in the fall.  And then there was all the in-between stuff like doing yard work for our neighbor or cat-sitting for weeks at a time.  All of that shows initiative, responsibility, and commitment.  Employers like that.  So mention it.

I also told him that if he was asked to describe what sets him apart from the others, he should talk about the times he went above-and-beyond in his responsibilities.  Like when he decided to run the newspapers up to the doorstep of his subscribers.  Or when he stayed to ref the next soccer game when the scheduled ref didn’t show.  This shows you’re willing to put in the work…and then some.

But, I told him, they’re going to learn a lot about you even before you answer that first question.  Did you arrive on time?  How are you dressed?  How did you introduce yourself? Did you offer a nice, firm handshake?  How was your eye contact?  All of these are clues to who you are as a person.  And how you relate to everyone you meet is an indication of your inter-personal skills.  Those are very important to an employer.

We role-played until he felt like he was ready.  And although he was still nervous, he was less so knowing that he had prepared.

As he drove off that afternoon to learn more about how the world works, I was hoping that his biggest lesson that day was learning that 5 minutes before you leave for the interview is not a good time to discover that you’ve misplaced your dress pants and that your shirt needs to be ironed.

Easy Money

Easy Money

As I sit here writing this, my youngest son is out pounding the pavement. Money motivates him. Not in an unhealthy, consuming kind of way. But in an I-can’t-turn-down-this-opportunity kind of way. And I’m okay with that as long as his ethics and priorities are in the right place.

And they are. This is not the first time this opportunity has presented itself.

There was a flyer on top of his newspaper stack last week (he has a once-a-week paper route). It described a competition to see which carrier could get the most subscribers. Each new subscriber would earn the carrier $20 and the carrier with the most subscribers would win a grand prize. The prize was not indicated but it didn’t matter to Ryan. Whatever it was would be good enough to sell on ebay.

I know this because this is exactly what happened the last time there was a competition. Ryan was the winner and took home a brand new ipod. He immediately placed it on ebay and it sold within hours. He pocketed a bunch of cash.

And that’s why he’s out knocking on doors. He considers this easy money. A few hours of his spring break and he could make hundreds. He called me a few minutes ago and, so far, has signed up two new subscribers ($40) and received a $10 tip. I think he’s clocking in at $100/hour. Not bad for a 16-year old.

So, although I’m not a huge fan of dangling the almighty dollar in front of kids to motivate them, it’s a pretty safe bet that none of these kids will be taking on paper carrier as a career. So I understand why the newspaper needs to offer a little incentive.

But I also know that Ryan is self-motivated. He knows when he has to buckle down and get the job done even if he doesn’t want to do it and even when he’s not getting paid for it.

The sign that the paying-for-a-job-well-done has gone awry is when you find that your kids will only perform when they get paid. And that’s a no-no. We don’t pay kids to do things that they should simply do because it’s their responsibility. Like working hard at school. Or putting away the dishes.

But if shelling out cash to get your kids motivated hits a chord with you, may I suggest that you have them pay YOU for doing the laundry and making dinner. At which point, they’ll probably need to take on a paper route and hope for “easy money” competitions.

Preparing Our Children for Kindergarten: Using Everyday Opportunities to Teach Concepts in Money

Preparing Our Children for Kindergarten: Using Everyday Opportunities to Teach Concepts in Money

All parents want their children to succeed in school. And since Kindergarten is a child’s first exposure to “formal” schooling, preparing them for success is an important first step on the academic ladder. But “preparing” our kids for academic success does not mean completing reams of worksheets and stacks of flashcards. It’s actually a lot easier than that. It simply requires looking for opportunities to seamlessly tie “lessons” into daily life. And the good news is, because these lessons are done in the context of things that are meaningful and relevant to children’s lives, deeper learning takes place.

Money is a good example. Most kids are familiar with it. In fact, most two-year olds already know that this thing called money buys stuff. By the time they are four and five, they’ve had a lot of money experiences, from watching mom and dad pay for things at the store to receiving money as birthday gifts. We can use these opportunities to sneak in some lessons and begin to prepare them for what they will be learning once they head off to school.

The Kindergarten curriculum includes learning about coins: their names, values, and some simple equivalencies. The following activity covers each of these in the context of having kids set their first personal financial goal. Seem lofty? Believe it or not, given the opportunity, and with your guidance, 4- and 5-year olds are quite capable of learning how to use their own money to purchase something they want.

The “lesson” begins as soon as you hear your four-year old utter the words can I have? That’s because the question, Can I have, creates a teaching opportunity that is immediately relevant and meaningful. The answer, Sure, let’s create a goal that will help you save enough money to buy it, will help your child learn skills that will become useful in Kindergarten and beyond.

Since it’s important that kids experience success with their first financial goal, start with an item that has a relatively small price tag…under $5. Through an allowance or some Above-and-Beyond Jobs (extra things kids can do to earn money), help your child figure out about how long it will take her to achieve her goal. Print and fill in the My Savings Goal activity sheet. Then print out the paper coins (from the My Savings Goal activity sheet) and cut out and paste her target amount onto the activity sheet. Help her find a clear jar where she can begin to save her coins then have her tape on a picture of the item she is saving for. This will serve as a concrete reminder of her goal.

As she earns money towards her goal, have her color in the coins on the activity sheet. This is a good time to talk to her about the names of the coins and their values. This little one is called a dime. It’s worth 10 cents. Have her describe some of the unique characteristics of each coin: rough edge, smallest, silver, etc. You can even talk about equivalencies such as ten dimes equals one dollar. Just keep in mind that learning takes time. Right now it’s about exposing her to the coin names and values and introducing her to different equivalencies so that when she enters Kindergarten, she’ll bring with her a familiarity which will make classroom lessons on money a little easier.

As her jar slowly fills up, not only will she be learning about coins, but you’ll be reinforcing delayed gratification, not always an easy skill for a youngster to learn. She’ll need on-going words of encouragement from you and perhaps even little saving reminders. Soon, with your support, she’ll walk into that store with her money jar and walk out with her coveted item. There is nothing like the sense of personal satisfaction for having accomplished something you set out to do. We do not want to deny our kids this feeling. We also don’t want to deny ourselves the opportunity to watch our child hand over her hard-earned money with heavy anticipation and excitement, knowing that she has learned some very important life skills.

Kindergarten is a very exciting year. It’s a year of social, emotional, and physical growth. But it is also the beginning of their academic journey. Looking for everyday opportunities to prepare our youngsters for this incredible journey can turn out to be that extra nudge of confidence they need to help set them up for success.