Sesame Street has great resources on teaching finances to little ones.


It’s fine, great, to be thrifty. But please don’t be cheap. Hard-earned money should neither be squandered or hoarded. Enjoy your success! But save more than you’re comfortable with. It’s like my running coach used to say: Keep going until you feel like you’re gonna poop your pants, then push yourself to do another mile. Point is, it should hurt a little.

16, 21

Practice “going without.” Talk about how nobody gets what they want all the time. We should learn how to just choose to go without something we want. Get them in on the discussion and pick something every day to do without.


Make a separate piggie bank together for money to donate. Talk about how we manage what we have thoughtfully: Save some, spend some, donate some.


The bull-sh*t never ends. Dealing with the bull-sh*t IS your job. If you think you’ll ever reach a “post-bullsh*t stage in your life, you’re wrong.

12, 15, 19, 21

Save where you can. Spend when you have to. Splurge every once in a while.

15, 21

Set up a 529 plan. Virginia has a great plan if you don't want to do too much research

birth-age 3

Misquoting someone here: “It’s not about getting everything you want, it’s about giving everything you have.” Stuff will never satisfy. Pouring yourself into something heart and soul will.

16, 21

Make a pound of ground beef go further by adding chopped cabbage or mushrooms.


If you can’t afford to tip the server, you can’t afford to be there.


Open a Bank Account


Begin planning trip for 10th bday. Maybe to Atlantis in Bahamas or someplace he’d be excited about._____Get him involved in planning and saving.


Buy life insurance when you're young.


Grandpa used to keep a hundred dollar bill stashed discreetly in his wallet “for emergencies.”


Take the family on periodic “spending fasts.” As an exercise, go a day, a weekend or a week without spending any money. Make due with what you have. Encourage participation. Tie in spending fasts with holidays, lent or in support of a cause.


There’s always a temptation to throw money at your problem. But remember there’s nothing you can buy that will make up for what is really needed. And the stuff that accumulates while you try to fix the problem just ends up being a problem on its own.

14, 19

Check out from the library or Amazon: “My First Money Book: A Guide for Parents and Children to Saving, Spending, Sharing, and Investing Your Money” by Reggie Nelson


Enjoy your success but don’t flaunt it.


Check out the website Brightly for timely and age-appropriate book recommendations. All sorts of subjects and themes.


Start saving money early. Save as much as you can. There are plenty of things worth spending your money on, but be mindful about your money - Don’t p*ss it away.

15, 20

Paying extra for organic isn’t always worth it but I ALWAYS buy organic apples. They taste better and don’t have the pesticides, etc.


Have a charity lemonade stand. Pediatric cancer research, immigrant children, etc. Lots of problems...Let them be involved in part of the solution.


Have a yearly “review” right before school year. Raise allowance as appropriate. If they want more money, they’ll have to take on more responsibilities.



Read "You Can’t buy a Dinosaur with a Dime" by Harriet Ziefert. Teaches kids about earning money through work, making choices, even paying taxes!


Start saving for retirement with your very first paycheck. Put away the MAX, you’ll never miss it. If the company doesn’t offer 401k then we’ll open a Roth IRA.


Set up automatic payments so they are initiated on your end, so that you send out money to the bill/ company you’re paying instead of giving them access to take money out of your account.