Teaching Kids about Money – A Comprehensive Guide

School teaches kids many of the skills they’ll need to be successful as adults. But one area where formal education woefully fails children is in matters of money and finance. Sadly, the educational system isn’t equipped for teaching kids about money. Therefore, it’s up to parents or other guardians to educate children on how to be responsible financially.

The good news is that the techniques that can set kids on the road to financial independence and good practices are only a few. Using these methods, you can show children the right way to think about and handle money. These lessons will be something that will help them in both the short and long terms.

boy with round eye glasses studying a booklet in bedroom

How to Teach Kids about Money

The most important thing to consider when teaching kids about money is making the lesson something that they can understand. On top of that, they should be familiar with the presented concepts. Getting overly complicated or teaching a lesson that doesn’t immediately apply to their situation is only going to confuse them.

These financial lessons need to be things that connect with them as kids, while still teaching a lesson that applies to money and finance in the adult world. The perfect type of lesson finds a way to bridge that gap as something that is relevant in both the world of a child and the world of an adult.

Most of the time, the best person to teach these lessons will be a parent or a guardian who is interacting with the child on an everyday basis face to face or even via the Internet. That’s ideal because it allows the teacher to follow up with the child frequently and confirm that the lesson is setting in.

Finally, it’s practically never too early to start teaching kids about money. While we may not want to acknowledge it all the time, money is the primary means of interaction with most of our worlds. A child should be familiar with money and comfortable with good financial practices from a young age.

The Top 5 Ways for Teaching Kids About Money

1) Save Money

golden piggy bank

This one may seem simple, but it’s tremendously important as kids are familiar with only short-term concepts. They want ice cream, and they want it now, not later.  Make sure your child sees you saving money and understands that having savings is a desirable thing. This one can be implemented at a very young age.

Especially for younger children, a great visual technique is to use a glass jar to save bills and coins. The child can actually see the money accumulate. Often times that’s a good way to imprint the idea of long term benefits in a young child.

2) State the Prices of Things

Another tip that can be used with young children is to state the prices of the things you’re buying. When you’re out shopping at a store if you’re going to buy something, tell your child what it costs. This familiarizes a young child with the concept that things cost money, and gives them a scale of what certain things cost in relation to other items.

By instilling the idea that goods and services cost money at a young age, you give your child a head start in understanding financial matters.

3) Avoid Offering an Allowance

transparent money bowl next to paper with financial situation

Avoid the idea of giving your kid a certain amount of money each week simply for existing. Instead, pay your kid explicitly for completing certain chores. Mow the lawn? $5. Vacuum the house? $7. And so on.

From a young age, your child should understand the concept that money comes from work and not as a default. While your child may complain at the time if other of their friends receive an allowance without having to do any chores, your child will be in a better position as a teenager and adult.

4) Establish a Bank Account

One of the most important things you can teach your child is how to manage money in the banking world. As an adult, he or she will have to deal with money management in more complicated ways. However, a bank account is a foundation that should come as second nature.

You can start early with a simple savings account. Show your child how to open such an account and how to deposit and withdraw. Teach him or her how to check the balance of the account and monitor the balance over time. This is going to give a solid body of knowledge in the financial domain to your child that will make money management easier in the future.

5) Help Your Kid Get a Job

office furniture with office chairs, apple computers

This one should be a no-brainer, but a surprisingly large number of teenagers avoid getting any job at all. A part-time job as a teenager is a critical way to instill good financial mindset at a young age. If a kid works, he or she gets a picture of what the world is like for most adults on a smaller level.

And having a job gives a child access to money that they earn on their own. This is a very different story than the money they get for birthdays or is given to them. Gaining the sense of what earned money is like and what they choose to do with it gives them a taste of adulthood.

To Sum It Up

These techniques and lessons will prepare children to use money responsibly and be comfortable with sound financial practices. Teaching kids about money in these ways will set them up to be successful with their finances as adults which is a tremendous advantage.

We strongly encourage you to use some of these techniques for teaching kids about money with your own offspring and let us know how it’s working out. And if you have some other lessons or tips you’ve used with your children in the past, let us know in the comments.

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Top 7 Best Gifts for New Parents to Consider

A new baby in the family is a cause for celebration. Finding the right gift for new parents is a good way to help the new family get off to a good start. Understanding the needs of both the parents and the baby is a good way to find the ideal gift that will bring them joy and delight.

1. Practical Gifts

selection of perambulators displayed in a park

Babies need a lot of gear when they are born. Car seats, strollers, high chairs, and bassinets all make great gifts for new parents. Babies grow quickly in the first year of life, so parents will constantly replace their gear to get new things.

Therefore, when purchasing gear for a new baby, find gear that is convertible and can be used for both infants and toddlers. Bassinets are adorable, but most babies grow out of them within the first few months. A convertible crib, however, can last for several years.

You can buy car seats for infants, but when the baby is about a year old, parents will have to replace it with a larger seat. Consider buying a convertible car seat which the child can use until he or she is either about four years old or 40 pounds.

High chairs make great gifts for new parents. Babies need high chairs from the time they can sit up unassisted until they are about two-years-old. A high chair is a low-cost investment that will bring the parents years of dining enjoyment with their baby.

Portable play yards also make excellent gifts for new parents. These foldable cribs allow parents to take along a sleeping and playing surface for the baby, no matter where they go. They are easy to fold and carry, and you can find them at any baby supply retailer for less than $150. Also called “pack and plays,” these portable cribs can be left at relatives homes for sleepovers. Babies typically use these cribs until they are old enough to climb out of them, at around two years old.

2. Clothing Gifts

pink clothes for baby girl with pair of booties with cute owl design

It’s fun to shop for cute baby clothes, and new parents are often bombarded with them. If you want to give the parents clothing gifts, there are a few things to remember. Newborns often stay home most of the time, so fancy outfits are cute but often impractical. Onesies, hats, scratch mittens, and socks are great gifts for newborns.

If you want to buy outfits for the new baby, consider the season when the baby will be born. If the baby is born in July, for example, consider buying fall outfits in 3-6 month size. For winter babies, buy spring and summer outfits in larger sizes.

Don’t forget outerwear when shopping for baby clothes. Many new parents are thrilled to receive tiny little outfits and cute hats, but few receive much-needed coats, hats, and other cold-weather gear. If your new parents live in a cold climate, consider giving gifts of outerwear that they can use to keep the newborn warm.

3. Daily Care Gifts

The best gifts for new parents are those that they will repeatedly use for months or years. Diapers, bathing supplies, bottles, wipes, and bibs all make great gifts. Newborns go through about 10-12 diapers a day in the first few months, so the new parents will be buying plenty of diapers each week. A few boxes or a monthly shipment of diapers will go a long way in providing for the new parents.

Babies also use a lot of bottles. Even breastfed babies use bottles from time to time, so you can’t go wrong with bottles. You can buy them in a variety of sizes, from small bottles for newborns to larger bottles for toddlers. New parents often lose bottles, so helping them keep a steady stock is always welcome.

Other gifts like baby wash, bathtubs, towels, burp cloths, and bibs are great gifts for new parents.

4. Sentimental Gifts

baby professional photoshoot in a bird crib

If there is one thing that new parents like to do it’s preserve memories of their little one’s first years of life. Hand-print kits, picture frames, first tooth boxes, and custom knit blankets are excellent sentimental gifts for new parents. Consider giving the new parents an engraved photo frame with the baby’s name and date of birth. Bronzed baby shoes are a classic, vintage gift. Thus, if you’re willing to wait a year, offer to have their baby’s shoes encased in bronze.

Home decor gifts are excellent ways to treat new parents. Consider buying decorative letters for the baby’s nursery, curtains for the nursery windows or a comfy rug for the floor. A tiny lamp, decorative mobile or wall hanging will make a thoughtful gift.

5. Service Gifts

ceramic figurine representing baby sitter holding baby and games

New parents are often exhausted and overwhelmed with parenting duties. Offer to give them a night off and sit with the baby while they go out for a nice dinner. You can also pay for a private photography session for the new family so that they can have a lifetime of memories.

You can also treat them to a gift card for dinner and a movie, or offer them a couple of massage sessions. Bringing food to their home right after the baby is born is another great service gift that you can give to the new parents.

6. Financial Gifts

Some of the longest lasting gifts for new parents are stocks, bonds, and investment accounts. These gifts can become valuable over the years, giving the parents a gift that will continue to support the child through his teen and adult years.

You can buy some shares of stock and have it presented to the parents in a custom made frame, complete with the baby’s name. Other family members buy life insurance policies or enroll the new baby in a college savings plan.

7. Toys

baby hand reaching for toy

What childhood is complete without toys and books? Infants like soft toys like stuffed animals, while toddlers prefer toys that they can manipulate like blocks, colorful balls, and toy keys. Books are always a thoughtful gift and are a great way to start baby’s first library.

Conclusion

When it comes to finding the best gifts for new parents, there are many great options. Find the right one today.

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4 Successful Mom Entrepreneurs Who Inspire Us

Mompreneurs is more than just a cool word; it is symbolic of the greatness that women can achieve as mom entrepreneurs. It is no secret that motherhood is the most demanding role that a human can undertake, but it requires a special kind of woman to take care of a home and build a successful business at the same time.

Here is a list of successful mom entrepreneurs who give new meaning to the title “Super Mom.”

1: Sarah Davis/Fashionphile.com

Sarah Davis, the founder of Fashionphile in her storage room

Many times, it is a necessity that brings about success. Such was the case for wife and mother of four, Sarah Davis. In 1999, she was attending law school, and her husband was a med school student. Though they both had bright futures, Sarah admits that they “had no money coming in but a lot of money going out.” It was at this stage in her life that a routine trip to the mall proved itself to be fateful.

Sarah witnessed a woman buying a stack of blankets that were on clearance for $17 apiece, and she planned to sell them on eBay for $40 each. Sarah was so inspired by this stranger’s prowess and knack for buying products at clearance prices to resell at retail prices that she went home and began “selling everything…that wasn’t nailed down, and that was easy to ship.”

Soon, she turned her love for fashion into a business when she came up with Fashionphile.com and began selling high-end handbags from her own collection. Eventually, this evolved into her selling luxury bags for other women who wanted to turn their gently used high-fashion bags into cash.

Today, Sarah Davis is the head of a fashion reselling empire with two boutiques, one in San Francisco and another in Beverly Hills, and a headquarters in Carlsbad, Ca. Most importantly, she uses her business as a way to work with her kids and spend time with them as well, which seems to be a hallmark of mom entrepreneurs.

2: Julie Aigner-Clark/Baby Einstein

Julie Aigner-Clark, the founder of Baby Einstein

On the off chance that you have never heard the name Julie Aigner-Clark, the odds are even slimmer that you have not heard of Baby Einstein, which she founded. Inspired by her desire to incorporate a fun way to teach her daughters what Barney and Big Bird couldn’t, Julie gave birth to Baby Einstein, a series of books, cd’s, and DVD’s that teach children about music, poetry, and art.

Five years later, she had generated $25 million in revenue with only five employees, and then she sold Baby Einstein to Disney for a cool $20 million.

To date, Julie has co-created Safe Side with the patron saint of children’s safety, John Walsh, and inspired by her own bouts with breast cancer, she founded Cancer Assassins. Julie Aigner-Clark is arguably the golden standard for mom entrepreneurs everywhere.

3: Julia Hartz/Eventbrite

Julia Hartz and her husband Kevin, the founders of Eventbrite

Julia Hartz is one of the most successful mom entrepreneurs in the world, today. In 2006, when Julia founded Eventbrite; her goal was to “democratize ticket sales.”

She wanted to make it easier for individuals who want to buy or sell tickets to be able to connect with each other, and she, along with her husband Kevin, did just that. Julia calls Eventbrite her “second baby,” and the revenue that her second baby has been able to generate has all of the top business publications cooing about her.

In 2015, Julia made Fortune’s 40 under 40 list, in 2014 she made Inc’s 35 under 35 list, and in 2013 Fortune named her on their list of Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs. Not only does she know how to generate cash flow, Eventbrite has brought in over $5 billion in earnings to date, but she also knows how to create the kind of workplace environment that employees love.

She has made San Francisco’s list of best places to work for seven years and still running. Fortune Magazine, who just can’t get enough of Eventbrite’s leading “Briteling,” put her company on their list of 100 Best Workplaces in the U.S., and Eventbrite also made Glassdoor’s Employees Choice Best Places to Work list. Julia Hartz is one of the most influential and successful mompreneurs and a heroine that all mom entrepreneurs can look up to.

4: Angela Benton/NewMe

Angela Benton, CEO and founder of NewMe

At the tender age of 16, Angela Benton became a single mother, but she didn’t let the deck being stacked against her at such a young age stymie her success. Today, a single mother of three, Angela has made the success of others her business.

She makes the list of inspiring mom entrepreneurs, being the founder of NewMe; this is a startup accelerator that seeks to give minorities in the industry of technology the guidance and funding to have a fighting chance in the ultra-ambitious Silicon Valley.

However, NewMe isn’t Angela’s first foray into the field of entrepreneurship. She founded Black Web 2.0, an online publication, in 2007 for African Americans interested in technology and news media. She was spurned by her agitation with the lack of representation of blacks in the fields of technology.

Therefore, she launched Black Web 2.0, which is now called B20 and is a subsidiary of her NewMe brand, she highlighted African American culture and technological developments by African Americans, and the marriage of the two.

Today, NewMe has helped launch and accelerate hundreds of startups. Most importantly, some of the entrepreneurs that she has aided have been able to raise $25 million in funding since she launched NewMe in 2011.

Now a single mother of three, Angela’s determination and tenacity in the face of odds that many would consider overwhelming have made her a hero not only to other mom entrepreneurs but also to the many hopeful entrepreneurs that she has helped to realize their dreams and potential. She is living proof to single mom entrepreneurs everywhere that obstacles are only rungs in the ladder to success.

Summing It Up

Every day, mom entrepreneurs are proving that women don’t have to choose between having a career and being a mother. These ambitious women are truly role models for all and not just other women. Special thanks to all of these inspirational women for showing us all how far a dream and determination can take you.

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DIY Baby Mobile – How to Make a Baby Mobile by Yourself

When you have a baby, it is just natural to want to give the tiny one everything they could possibly need. Even though they are not considered to be essential items, toys and ornaments are definitely a great way to show the baby love while teaching them basic abilities such as recognizing shapes and colors. Among the most popular of such items are baby mobiles for cribs. In this article, you will learn the steps of a DIY baby mobile.

However, the kind of mobiles that are sold in stores can be expensive and impersonal. For that reason, the present guide will show you how to build a DIY baby mobile from scratch. A fun and interesting baby mobile will captivate your little one and it makes a great nursery decor item.

a simple round-shaped baby mobile with the globe in its center

Step 1. Gathering Supplies

Apart from being simple to make, this type of DIY baby mobile uses very few materials. In order to create it, you will only need colored paper or card stock of five different colors, yarn or thread, an embroidery hoop and hot glue. If you are looking for extra security, you may use a sewing machine instead of glue to attach the parts of the baby crib mobile.

Step 2. Cutting Out Paper Shapes

Simple cut out between 15 and 20 shapes out of the colored papers. Of course, you can cut any shape you want your DIY baby mobile to have. However, it’s advisable to go for the most basic shapes (circles, squares, triangles and so on). This serves two functions.

On one side, simple shapes are easier for babies to understand and enjoy. On the other, basic geometric shapes are easier to cut out, making the job simpler for you. Cut the shapes as follows:

  • Color #1: 22 shapes of (approximately) 2 inches.
  • Color #2: 7 shapes of (approximately) 2 inches. 11 shapes of (approximately) 1.6 inches.
  • Color #3: 19 shapes of (approximately) 1.6 inches.
  • Color #4: 11 shapes of (approximately) 1.6 inches. 9 shapes of (approximately) 1.4 inches.
  • Color #5: 22 shapes of (approximately) 1.3 inches.

Step 3. Positioning the Shapes

After laying them on a table, spread the shapes around spaciously. Once that is done, use the shapes to form the 11 columns that will comprise the DIY baby mobile. Make sure there is at least one inch of space between shapes (both vertically and horizontally).

Keep in mind that the shapes do not have to be horizontally aligned with each other. Do not worry about the columns not have an even length as that makes for a more dynamic and fun design.

Have fun placing the shapes of different colors to make an aesthetically appealing, fun and warm design. Even though it may be tempting to organize the position of the shapes by color or size, try to distribute them in a seemingly random way.

a beautiful handmade air balloons baby mobile colored in blue and pink

Step 4. Attaching Yarn or Thread to the Circles

Once you are happy with the distribution of the shapes, it’s time to continue constructing your DIY baby mobile by attaching the yarn to the shapes. Often, people that want to know how to make a baby mobile complicate themselves by trying to poke holes in the shapes.

However, the simplest way is to draw a vertical line through the middle of each shape. Immediately after, place the yarn over all the shapes in one column. Finally, cut the yarn leaving 2 inches on one end and nothing on the other. Repeat that process for all the remaining 10 columns.

Step 5. Painting the Embroidery Hoop

Before going any further, it’s important to point out that the embroidery hoop should be made of a material that is resistant and capable of holding the paint. With that in mind, getting a wooden embroidery hoop is always a good idea.

Even though you can use any color you want to paint it, try to use one that is similar to any of the colors of the shapes to create uniformity. Before moving on to the next step making your DIY baby mobile, let the hoop dry for a good 15 minutes.

a beautiful clouds, moon, and stars baby mobile

Step 6. Attaching the Yarn to the Hoop

Once the embroidery hoop has dried completely, it’s time to attach the yarn or thread to it. Before tying any knots, make sure to measure and mark the distance that there will be between the threads, making sure it’s somewhat uniform. However, do not complicate yourself by trying to be too precise as small differences will not be noticeable at all.

In order to guarantee that your DIY baby mobile won’t fall apart at any point, make sure all the threads are tied securely and firmly. You can use any type of knot as long as it’s tight and doesn’t stand out too much.

Step 7. Hanging the mobile

The final step in your quest to make your own baby mobile is hanging it over your baby’s crib. In order to create something to hang it from, take two pieces of thread and cut them to about three feet long. Tie the end of one thread to the hoop. Then, take the other end of the same thread and tie it to the exact opposite side across the hoop.

After that, tie the second piece of thread to the hoop, precisely between the two ends of the thread you already tied. Finally, tie the free end of the second thread to the opposite side of the hoop. Again, make sure it’s tied precisely across the first end. As a result, you will have an x-shaped hanger that’s perfect for your DIY baby mobile.

Summing It Up

Having read through this entire piece, you are probably glad to realize it’s easy and fun to make your own DIY baby mobile. Besides the pride and satisfaction, making it will save you money and bring you closer to your little one.

By simply following these seven steps, you will create a unique object that will be stared at by your baby for hours at a time. Do you have your own technique to make a DIY baby mobile? If so, let us know in the comments!

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