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?”

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?”

50 Personal Finance Books Recommended For Adults & Elementary Aged Children

What are your favorite personal finance resources?

I was inspired by a new podcast this weekend, “So Money with Farnoosh Torabi,” and it led me down a rabbit hole of Tim Ferriss’s YouTube videos, blog posts, and podcast episodes. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that, before yesterday, I hadn’t actually heard of him.

This post will be brief because I’m just gathering resources for now, but I’ll take a much, much deeper dive later on once I’ve made time to really read and evaluate them.

If, like me, you’re just getting started on your personal finance journey, these recommendations may or may not be new.

If you know of others that have changed your mind on spending, saving, and investing, I’d love to hear them.

More to come!

Continue reading “50 Personal Finance Books Recommended For Adults & Elementary Aged Children”

11 Money Management Keys That May Matter More Than Your Partner’s Income

How much does money matter in a relationship?

Relationship blogger Nora Nur is an educator, entrepreneur, and personal friend. A few months ago, she published a piece titled, “Money, How Much Does It Matter in a Relationship?”

In her post, men and women of different ages and backgrounds shared their perspectives on love, money, and relationships. They talked about the ways money impacted their dating preferences—and, later, their marriages.

Stop for a second and read it, and then come right back. You have to come right back though!

Okay, did you read it?

Great. Let’s chat for a few minutes.

We all have different values and different expectations about how much money we need to survive, thrive, and live our best life.

There’s no doubt that money matters in a relationship, even if you don’t actually care about money. The question is how much does it matter?

Does money matter more in domestic partnerships than in non-domestic unions? Does money matter more for couples who have children than for those who don’t?

It’s an important question, but it doesn’t give the full picture. (Sorry Nora!).

Here are 11 money management keys that (potentially) matter more than how much your partner makes for a living.

Continue reading “11 Money Management Keys That May Matter More Than Your Partner’s Income”

What Tips Would You Recommend For Brand New Investors?

Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know.

I’ve always been interested in investing, but I haven’t always had the bandwidth to learn.

In May 2017 when I was finally able to get my head above water,  I wrote down a list of questions that other brand new investors, like me, might ask.

First I made a list of all the terms I needed to research:

  • asset classes
  • dollar cost averaging
  • Class C and Class A stocks
  • P-ratios
  • short/shorting
  • short sell
  • gross margin
  • penny stocks
  • blue chip stock
  • SEC filings

Then I created a list of questions:

If you own shares of a company that offers dividends, but then you sell your shares of that stock, will you still receive dividends for the period when you owned the stock?

Where can you find a company’s income statements and balance sheets?

What’s the best strategy for selling your shares of a stock, i.e. when is it most advantageous?

Do you need special knowledge to become a day trader? Can you day trade on Robinhood, or is it best to go through a brokerage firm?

Best case scenario, what’s a realistic amount that an inexperienced investor can potentially earn in their first year of investing? Continue reading “What Tips Would You Recommend For Brand New Investors?”

What Do You Know About Trading and Investing?

What do you want to know?

What resources do you use to learn more about trading and investing?

I first wrote this post on April 12, 2017, more than a year and a half ago. I had just discovered Robinhood, had about $50 of disposable income, and was itching to get started!

I share this post again now to show my first misconceptions and early questions about stocks, trading, and investing. And, hopefully, to track my learning curve in the days to come.

In a follow up post, I hope to adequately answer my own questions.

What do you already know about trading and investing?

What do you want to learn? 

Continue reading “What Do You Know About Trading and Investing?”

What does the future hold for student loan debt?

We need to have a conversation about student loan debt.

What does the future hold for student loan debt?

In October my niece will turn 8 years old.

In February my nephew will turn 4.

Like most great aunts, I’ve been researching pros and cons of custodial accounts, investment accounts, and 529 college savings plans for them.

In 2028 when my niece is 18, it will cost $31,747 per year to attend a 4-year public (in-state) university. In four years, this will total $134,812 dollars.

In 2033 when my nephew is 18, it will cost $38,625 per year to attend a 4-year public (in-state) university. In four years, this will total $164,019 dollars.

According to Debt.org the cost of tuition at public universities has risen more than 344% since 1980. Tuition at private colleges has increased by 241% since that time.

For comparison, the costs of food and electricity have risen about 150% and gas prices have increased by 200% in the same time period.

On average, 70% of students graduating in 2017 finish college with approximately $38,000 in student loan debt.  

Continue reading “What does the future hold for student loan debt?”

Money Milestones For Children And Young Adults

How soon is too soon to learn about managing money?

A few months ago I learned some alarming facts about debt and money management.

According to NerdWallet’s 2017 American Household Credit Card Debt Study, the average American household with credit card debt has a balance of approximately $15,432.

Indebted households pay hundreds in interest each year, and many Americans use credit cards to cover medical expenses.

Nearly 1 in 10 of those earning more than six figures annually said they struggled to make ends meet.

We need to have a conversation about moneyContinue reading “Money Milestones For Children And Young Adults”

8 Free Investing Apps You Should Try If You’re New To Investing & Broke Like Me

Stash. Robinhood. Betterment. Acorns. Fidelity Go. Wealthfront. Stockpile. WiseBanyan.

What apps should you try if you’re new to investing?

A few months ago, I stumbled upon a YouTube video about the ins and outs of investing, for beginners. In the video, the speaker was excited to report that he’d become an investor.

He’d invested just $25 dollars so far!

Wait, what?!

It hadn’t occurred to me until then how little I knew about investing. I didn’t realize you could start with so little.

How did you start?
Where did you need to go?
Did you have to physically “go” anywhere?
Did you need to have a financial planner first?

Everything I know about investing can fit easily onto a 3 X 5 index card. Which is to say, I don’t know very much.

I know that when you invest you should be mindful of all the associated fees. If you invest through a brokerage firm or through an app online, at the absolute least, you should make sure you can answer these questions:  Continue reading “8 Free Investing Apps You Should Try If You’re New To Investing & Broke Like Me”

5 Essential Money Management Tips for Small Business Owners

A business owner is only as good as the people he or she surrounds him or herself with.

Today’s expertise comes from Connecticut’s own Arciuolo’s Shoes.

When you start your own small business, there are a million different worries that always seem to be at the forefront of your mind. Staffing, building a consumer base, and establishing a brand are all essential elements to creating an effective business, but there’s one element that towers above the rest: money management.

Whether you’re an emerging entrepreneur or a longtime small business owner, properly managing your finances is arguably the most important factor in determining how successful you will  be.

Poor money management can capsize even the most established organizations. As a small business owner, I’ve spent years building my company and learning from my financial successes and, perhaps more importantly, my failures.  Continue reading “5 Essential Money Management Tips for Small Business Owners”