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The Money Minute - September 2011

Go the Head of the Class : Important Money Skills for You and Your Children

Nothing is scarier for a parent than to send their child off into the world to navigate life’s ups and downs.  This is especially true when it comes with dealing with finances.  That is why it is so important to teach your children how to manage their money long before they get ready to leave.  Parents need to start giving their children money lessons from an early age, from showing young children the importance of savings to a teen’s financial responsibility.

In this month’s Money Minute, we will present you with tips to prepare your children to be money savvy regardless of their age.

Pre-school

Young children love to put things into other things. Get them a piggybank and let them handle different types of coins. At first, identify each coin by name before putting it in the bank, and as they get older, you can teach them, for example, how five pennies equal one nickel.

Elementary School

Once children enter school they have a general understanding that things cost money and sometimes there isn’t enough money for everything they want.  Have discussions about setting goals and saving for them.  Open a savings account and let your children go to the bank and make their own deposits.  When the statement comes, review it together and talk about how their money is growing by earning interest.  Another idea is to allow children to make choices with the money that they have to spend.  For example, when you go to the grocery store, give children five dollars that they can spend how they please. By giving your child control, you are not always telling them “no”, and they can choose what they want with their money. One of two things will happen. They will have fun knowing that they can pick out what they want, or they will realize that this is their money and they don’t want to spend it.

Teens

Continue giving your children the opportunities to make decisions about how to spend their money.  Clothes, school supplies, and personal care items are a few things that you would normally purchase for them. Giving your teens a budget for these items, and allowing them to make choices on what they will buy, will help prioritize their purchases.  This is also a time to develop their entrepreneurial skills, allowing them to earn extra income.  The adventure of starting a small business is a great financial lesson for kids.  They will learn how to set and achieve goals, understand profit and loss, and get rewarded for hard work.  Make sure you, as the parent, are there to support them, but allow them the opportunity to experience the good and the bad of their financial decisions.

Go to the head of the class, for more tips on teaching you and your kids important money skills visit Back-To-School 101 on our website.


Saving Money during Summer Heat and Winter Cold

In our poll, last month, Apprisen Financial Advocates asked, “How do you save money on your energy bill?” Thirty-two percent of people responded that they use fans to cool their rooms. But did you know that using ceiling fans in the winter can save you money also?  Heat rises. If you reverse the airflow on your fan so your blades are running clockwise, running your fan on low speed will force the heat accumulated at the ceiling down along walls where it will rise again.  This circulation of air provides a more evenly heated room, shortening the time it takes the heater to work.

Another twenty-seven percent of respondents said that setting the thermostat at 78 degrees or above was the way they saved.  In the winter, to save on your energy bill, lowering your thermostat by five degrees can save you 15%. Twenty-five percent of respondents keep their window coverings closed to conserve energy.  The reverse is true during the winter, letting the sun shine in will help warm the rooms. 

Finally, twelve percent of people cut cost in other areas while four percent don’t use appliances at peak hours. 

With the summer heat finally fading and fall approaching, there will be some relief in your energy bill. Turn off your air conditioning and open your windows to enjoy the cooler temperatures because, before you know it, it will be time to start using the money saving tips shared here to save on your heating bill.

Visit our website, www.apprisen.com to take this month’s poll “How much allowance should a child receive?”

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