Is There a Right and Wrong Way To Give Your Child an Allowance?

How do you feel about giving allowance?

In 2017 KRC Research, a public opinion research consultancy, reported that 67% of U.S. parents give their children an allowance, and 49% give their children money for earning good grades in school.

Despite the survey results, there’s little consistency in the way allowance is issued among families nationwide.

Some families distribute allowance based on completion of chores or household tasks. Others issue a set rate so that young children can gain experience managing money. Some families use allowance to curb bad behavior at school or at home, issuing allowance for the demonstration of positive qualities and traits.

Ron Lieber, personal finance writer for The New York Times, posits that these are the three primary approaches families take:

(1) No chores necessary. Children are simply given money weekly or monthly,
(2) No allowance at all, or
(3) No free money. Allowance is linked to chores or other work.

Is there a right and a wrong way to give your children allowance?

Let’s start with the pros and cons, then move into the “when,”“how,” and “best practices” questions we consider when deciding whether or not to give allowance.

Continue reading “Is There a Right and Wrong Way To Give Your Child an Allowance?”

What I Wish I Knew Before I Went To College

Alumni Perspectives on the College Experience

A few weeks ago, I polled a few family and friends about their college experience. Let’s call them Erika and Yvonne.

What should new students know about saving money in college?

Erika: Numbers are black & white, but living is not. Part of the college experience is the social aspect, including parties, joining certain organizations, taking extra classes, traveling, studying abroad, etc.  These are the hidden costs of college that most people aren’t prepared for.

Yvonne: I think I’d just recommend balance and moderation. Stay in the moment, but do your best to set your future self up for success too.

Would you do it again? 

Erika: Yes, I would do it again. I enjoyed school and learning, but I would definitely change some things like securing an internship and studying abroad.

Yvonne: I’d definitely recommend living on campus the first two years if you’re able. Even though I hated college, living on campus was hands down the best experience I’ve had. 

Continue reading “What I Wish I Knew Before I Went To College”

Top 8 Reasons Why You’re Broke and Fat Like Me 

Why are you broke?

I was the fat kid in my house growing up, and later on into elementary and middle school. The picture that other people had of me didn’t match the picture I had of myself.

I think we do the world a disservice when we teach women and girls

  • that they will always be valued, first and foremost, by their bodies,
  • that it’s appropriate and socially acceptable to evaluate others’ bodies at all,
  • that being fat is worthy of chastisement and ridicule,
  • that weight and size actually reveal insights into a person’s true character.

For these reasons (and a host of others), I hate the word fat.

It’s triggering.

I’m appreciative and in awe of the growing body positivity movement. But for the sake of this post, I’m using the word intentionally to think through the ways that gaining unwanted weight and gaining unwanted debt are  the same. 

Continue reading “Top 8 Reasons Why You’re Broke and Fat Like Me ”

10 Ways Not To Go Broke This Holiday Season

A Single Person’s Guide To Surviving the Holidays (Guest Post) Playlist

Money, love, food, and family.

Four things we love dearly, but can all add stress during an already hectic holiday season.

I recently had the chance to contribute to a great playlist about managing stress this holiday season.

The playlist is a compilation piece by four bloggers as they share their perspectives on each of these four themes.

You’ll hear from Nora Nur, relationship blogger, in “How to Protect Your Happiness This Holiday Season,” and “Happiness Happens on a Tuesday: A Single Person’s Guide to Holiday Survival.”

From Julia Bushue, life and career coach, you’ll hear a “Holiday Stress Buster.”

Ryan Worlds, emotional eating coach and blogger, will share “How to Maintain Body Confidence and Self Love During the Holidays.”

And from me, you’ll hear “10 Ways Not to Go Broke This Holiday Season.”

Please head over to Love From the Other Side and download A Single Person’s Guide to Surviving the Holidays.

Happy holidays!  Continue reading “10 Ways Not To Go Broke This Holiday Season”

An Absolute Beginner’s Guide To Blogging For Money, Not For Fun

Beginner’s Guide Part 2 of 5.

Our blogs can become profitable if we successfully execute 5 steps.

In the last post, I outlined 5 essential factors for creating a profitable blog. I started from the very beginning to provide recommendations for absolute blogging beginners—like I was just a few short years ago.

First, create a solid, self-hosted, problem-solving blog with consistent, quality content in a profitable niche that solves your readers’ pain points.

Second, be intentional about learning how to generate income.

Treat your blog like a business. This may include purchasing courses, completing hours of research, learning the ways most successful bloggers make money, etc.

In general, you’ll be more successful in a shorter amount of time if you treat your blog like an actual business—which it is. Determine when, where, and how you’ll secure the knowledge or team members to meet your goals most efficiently and effectively.

How much time and how much money can you afford to invest?

Third, master search engine optimization (SEO), keyword research, marketing, and advertising.

Fourth, build a consistent, engaged follower base through networking, social media interaction, guest posting, regularly adding value, etc.

Fifth, convert your follower base into paid customers by consistently solving your readers’ “pain points” or most pressing issues and concerns (or by generating so many pageviews that your advertising supports you).

Here’s an excellent post about how bloggers make money.

In the last post, we talked exclusively about point number one. Continue reading “An Absolute Beginner’s Guide To Blogging For Money, Not For Fun”

What I Wish I Knew Before Going To College (Money Management Included)

Graduates’ Perspectives on Their College Experience & College Spending

I actually started this blog because of my student loan debt. Living with so much debt impacts your life—where you can live, how much you can save, whether or not your ends will get to meet one day.

If and when I generate any income from it, I’ll give all of it to Navient. Every last cent.

If I never make money from it, I’ll be content with the personal finance knowledge I’ve gained since I first started.

I’d really prefer to make money though.

Recently, I asked a few friends to share their perspectives on college. Given what they know now, would they do everything the same?

Here’s what they said.

Let’s call them Mike and Natalie.

What was your major, and did you stay in-state for school?

Mike: I double majored in History and Japanese Studies. I stayed in-state.

Natalie: I double majored in Biochemistry and Spanish. Yes, I stayed in-state, but I didn’t want to.

Why did you choose the school you did?  

Mike: I liked that they had a language program on campus since I wanted to learn Japanese and possibly study abroad for a long time.

Natalie: It was the best option for me at the time.

Given what you know now, would you approach college the same?

Mike: Yes, I would approach it the same because I had the privilege of attending a college prep school that assisted me with the process.

They made sure to motivate and encourage us to always have college as the end goal after high school. However, one thing I would change would be to apply to more scholarships. I applied to a few but felt that I could’ve had less loans if I buckled down and applied to more.

Natalie: No, I would not approach college the same. I would have done a more practical major through another university.  Continue reading “What I Wish I Knew Before Going To College (Money Management Included)”

An Absolute Beginner’s Guide To Blogging For Money, Not For Fun

Basics Part 1 of 5.

Blogging is incredibly worthwhile because it allows you to create your own brand. You can learn and perfect highly marketable skills and begin to see yourself as an entrepreneur.

Over time, you will find yourself supporting and being supported by a unique community of writers and other artists, like you.

In the past four years since I started, blogging has also helped me clarify my personal and professional goals. It’s challenged me to intentionally learn something new every day. I’ve become more intentional about finding ways to generate passive income.

But these aren’t things that I knew—or even things that I cared about—before I started blogging.

Blogger Amy Lynn Andrews has estimated that bloggers can make around 1% of their pageviews per month. Hypothetically, if you reach 30,000 monthly pageviews, this would translate into about $300 per month. Other bloggers estimate that 1-3% of monthly pageviews is a more accurate number.

If you’re just getting started and you’d like to create an income-generating blog, you’ll need to accomplish these five tasks—and master them.

  • First, you need to create a solid, self-hosted, problem-solving blog with consistent, quality content in a profitable niche that solves your readers’ pain points. Whew! That was a mouthful.
  • Second, you need to be intentional about generating income. This may include purchasing courses, completing hours of research, learning the ways most successful bloggers make money, etc. In general, you’ll be more successful in a shorter amount of time if you treat your blog like an actual business—which it is.
  • Third, you’ll need to master search engine optimization (SEO), keyword research, marketing, and advertising. (You knew this though, right?)
  • Fourth, you’ll need to build a consistent, engaged follower base through networking, social media interaction, guest posting, regularly adding value, etc.
  • Fifth, you’ll need to convert your follower base into paid customers by consistently solving your readers’ “pain points” or most pressing issues and concerns (or by generating so many pageviews that your advertising supports you). Here’s an excellent post about how bloggers make money.
    Continue reading “An Absolute Beginner’s Guide To Blogging For Money, Not For Fun”

8 Ways To Make Sure Your College Degree Is Valuable

What advice would you give to entering college freshman?

A few years ago, my brother came to me for advice. He was a few credits short of earning his college degree, and he felt a little cheated.

Most of us know the statistics about the economic benefits of college. As a general rule, we understand that your level of education correlates with your wealth and annual income—at least that’s what we’re told.

Statistical data links wealth, health, and happiness to post-secondary education completion.

With a college degree the world is our oyster! Right? Am I right?

If I could relive the conversation with my brother all over again, here’s what I might have told him instead. Here’s what I think you should know about making sure your college experience is valuable.  Continue reading “8 Ways To Make Sure Your College Degree Is Valuable”

Are Timeshares Worth the Investment?

If you consider it an investment = No. If you consider it simply a vacation home = Maybe/Yes.

According to The Timeshare Consumer Guide, at least 20 million households around the world own at least one timeshare. Approximately 60% of timeshare owners have a four-year college degree or higher. Their median household income is slightly more than $81,000 annually.

Data from The American Resort Development Association  and The Timeshare Authority confirm that approximately 53% of timeshare owners spend more than $10,000 on their timeshare purchase each year.

Last week, I had the esteemed pleasure of celebrating a friend’s birthday—on Halloween, mind you!—in New Orleans, Louisiana.

While on the trip, we were offered discounted tickets to attend two or more local tours if we were willing to sit through a presentation at a nearby hotel. Advertised at more than $125 per person, per tour—we could pay a mere $25 each if we were willing to exchange less than 90 minutes of our time.

A few signatures later, we were escorted to a luxury hotel with superhuman air conditioning where we waited curiously for the conference room to open up for us.

When it did, we found ourselves chaperoned and held captive in a—wait for it—timeshare sales pitch! Noooooooo! Nooooo!!!

(In hindsight, the discounted tours afterwards were the best tours of my life. If you’re visiting New Orleans, check out the Ghost Tour with Todd from Gray Line and the Swamp Tour with a very spirited fellow whose name has escaped me!).

Although I knew little about timeshare ownership prior to the presentation, I wanted to do a little more investigation now, now that I’ve gotten the hard sell.

(Full disclosure: This isn’t something I can afford right now, even if it’s worth it. For the record though, I don’t think it’s worth it.)

If you’re still on the fence about it, please don’t take my word for it. Do your own investigation, of course. Here’s a good post to start that was shared on Out of Your Rut. Make sure you check out the comments at the end of the article!

If you’re short on time, just read the infographic. 🙂

Continue reading “Are Timeshares Worth the Investment?”

How To Teach Preschoolers and Kindergartners About Money

Vocabulary. Reinforcing themes. Crafts. Math. Teachable moments.

Most money management experts and professionals recommend that we embed personal finance lessons into the imaginary games that children instinctively already play.

Throughout our day-to-day activities, we should provide opportunities for children to better understand exactly what money is and how it is used.

In “15 Ways To Teach Kids About Money,” Dave Ramsey organizes his philosophy into three primary categories.

First, he presents ways we can teach preschoolers and kindergartners about money.

Second, he outlines steps we can take to teach elementary and middle-schoolers about money.

Finally, he provides money management recommendations for teenagers.  Continue reading “How To Teach Preschoolers and Kindergartners About Money”