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Entries in money (4)


Talking Money with Tween Girls: aka Shopping Priorities

Opening up their first bank account

First Bank Account

Recently the Twofer open up their own bank accounts. After saving up allowance for a year, one had more than the other to deposit. One is a bigger shopper for sure. I'll let you guess which one.

We had to explain to her that while we often let them use their own money to make purchases, they ultimately decide on the purchase and so if your purchase cost more, you will have less money in the bank.

That's how it works kids.

We briefly discussed making purchasing decisions in the future but you know how hard it is for kids to grasp the concept of saving for the future. Heck, it's difficult for many adults!

Enter the holidays and gift card season. Yay!

Shopping Priorities

I recently took the girls out shopping to use their gift cards and it became a lesson in shopping priorities.

Sure, that sparkly notebook with a big glittery "E" on it is pretty - but don't you already have a BAJILLION other notebooks, and an a GAZILLION other glittery things??

Now this blouse (I hold it up), is not only pretty, it's practical because you can USE it, you don't have one like it yet (and frankly it will save me a little when it's time for spring shopping).

Yes, the blouse costs more, but you are getting one, quality product that you will use over and over again... as opposed to tons of plastic crap that will fill up my house and break in a month only to end up in the trash.

ONLINE Shopping Priorities and Virtual Piggy

So, it's one thing to head to a store with a set amount of money (either in cash or on a gift card) and shop. We can hold up the merchandise, feel the quality, try it on, and pause to make the decision if we REALLY want or need the item.

Shopping online is a whole different story, and yet our kids are of the generation that is going to do the majority of their shopping online. This online, virtual shopping can be dangerous. Example: I have the Starbucks app that let's you pay with your phone and add $25 to your 'card' right from PayPal. "I didn't feel that $25 at all," I exclaimed the first time I did it.

Luckily there are sites like Virtual Piggy that offer a great way for parents to help their kids through budgeting, saving and making smart online purchasing decisions.

With Virtual Piggy you set up a parent account and a separate child profile where you set allowance, saving goals, and spending controls. There are budgeting tools and kids can make a wishlist then shop their favorite retailers right online at shop.virtualpiggy.coml! It's the perfect tool to keep discussions flowing between parents and kids about making smart shopping choices.

Virtual Piggy offers tons of parental controls that you can loosen up as your kids mature and as you see they are making responsible financial decisions. For example you have the option to require approval on every single purchase, or just some, and you can set a maximum level per transaction, per day, per week, or restrict them to only shopping at certain merchants.

How do you talk about money with your kids?

Do you help guide them in their shopping choices? Have you let them make mistakes and learn from them?  I'd love to know!


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post from Splash Creative Media on behalf of Virtual Piggy. All opinions are my own and this post was not reviewed nor approved prior to posting.


Dear Mix107.3 Are you Playing Me?

Well look at that! I was sitting here thinking,

"It's Wednesday! I need to blog about something!"

You see a while back I decided to give up on posting every day. I just can't. But I figure I can handle 3x a week (Mon, Wed, Fri is my goal) and if I have a few giveaways and reviews peppered in than great!

As I sat down to go through my long list of to-do review emails I got a call.

From Mix 107.3.

Or, really it was some young girl probably working at a call center that is outsourced.

Anyway she told me I can be entered to win $1000 if I'm the 17th caller after the song-of-the-day is played. Then she said all I have to do is give my first name.

And I'm like, "And then what?"

"I give you my name and then what?"

And she was stumped by my question.

Her, "I don't know and then what." 

Me, "Can't anyone call in and win?"

Her, "Only people who are registerd can win. Is your name Janine .....?"

Me, "Yes." (I think I registered on their site once to get a coupon.)

Her, "Ok so give me your first name and then call in when you hear the song and you'll be eligible to win."

Me, not wanting to sound rude since she just said my first name, told her my first name.

And now the radio is on Mix 107.3

And I'm listening for the song-of-the-day to be played so I can be the 17th caller.

And I really think I'm getting that $1000.

What do you think?


Grandma turns gifts into a lesson on money, shopping, and saving with a mini yard sale

I cannot take credit for this idea.

Only a pair of grandmas (listen up Sugar and Rachel) could come up with something as exciting, fun, and best of all inexpensive as this!

Gift From Grandma

Each year we head to the Jersey Shore early in the season. My mom and my aunt get there before us and usually they arrive the weekend of the city-wide yard sale. Each year we get there and they have purchased a collection of gifts (knick-knacks) for each child.

The kids are thrilled. They love gifts, they love surprises, and, as anyone who's ever brought home birthday party goody bags can attest, they love gobs of platic and paper crap.

Grandma's Yard Sale

This year the grandmas did something different.

They laid out each item along the porch steps of the beach house. Items were marked with a price that varied from 1 cent to 8 cents, and each child was given $.20 in pennies.



We explained to the kids they can only purchase 4 items so they need to budget wisely and take their time to look over all the items before making a decision.



The simple exercise of laying out the items, pricing them, and allowing the kids to shop made them really appreciate the 'gifts'. I liked it because the Twofer were learning something about the value of money. The grandmas loved watching the kids' reaction ("Oh this plastic rose is soooo beautiful Grammy!") and everyone had a good laugh at how exciting a pile of junk and some pennies can be.

Crap is still crap but some crap is worth keeping

By the end of the week everyone's purchases were still just crap to me, but the kids seemed to keep them organized. They had spent money on them afterall! So it all came home with us...until our next yard sale.


For more posts on the Jersey Shore and the Beach see:

Jersey Shore Cast on The View

Beach Cover-Ups

Fashionista Friday: the Family that Bumpits Together


Save your money or find an agent and put that drama to work!

How timely. Right on the heels of talking about responsibility, The Parent Bloggers Network has a contest for those who write about when to teach kids about money (prize: an iPhone).

In addition, Capital One has launched a new online Moneywise eLearning tool
to help families learn about managing money including ways to bring their kids into the discussion.

Well, we here in the Scary household recently did just that - we talked to the Twofer about money and we came up with a way to teach them about it....we put them to work!

OK, Ok really, we assigned chores to them and started tracking on a weekly basis. It is somewhat coincidental that around this time we made the decision to pay the Twofer a weekly allowance...but they are not actually getting paid to do the chores (that's my story and I'm sticking to it).

The Twofer turned 5 this Spring and after asking around, we decided to give them each $1 per week. We actually give them $2 a week and $1 of that goes into our "charity bowl" and they get to keep the other $1. The "charity bowl" will be opened closer to Christmas and together we'll decide how to donate that money (and hopefully teach the Twofer just how lucky they are to have what they have).

Why pay?
I really do believe that kids should help out around the house not for money, but as members of the family. We also wanted them to start learning the value of money. Not how many quarters are in a dollar, but what a dollar can get you...or these days, can't get you.

In short, we wanted them to understand why they don't get an ice cream every time we're at the pool.

Lessons learned.
Now when we're out at a store and they see something they want, we say, "How much money do you have?"
They are learning that the neighborhood ice cream truck is a ripoff ($3 for a bomb pop) compared to the snack bar at the pool ($.80 for an Italian ice). And that a Hannah Montana magazine provides hours more entertainment than a necklace that breaks within 5 minutes of wearing it.

Oh don't worry. I'm not that Scary. I treat them to an ice cream sandwich now and then and of course provide them with the necessities: shoes, clothes and riding lessons (I gave in to that because we are no longer paying for school).

The fact remains: learning about money, it's value, and the importance of saving is a lesson that can't be learned too early.
Check out the Capital One tool and fingers crossed that I get one of the 3 iPhones!

Saving it for later,