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.



There is a cost and a duty to everything we own. Rachel Maddow


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.


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.


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


"Watch the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves." - Ben Franklin This works with money and with other areas: Be faithful in the little things and the bigger things will take care of themselves. For example, if you don't get comfortable with telling little lies then you'll never tell big lies.

9, 13, 19

Beware that when you’re first exposed to a new thing: a car, a college tour, house, etc. you will feel AMAZING and totally seduced by the shiny newness. Be cool. Remember that glitters is not gold. Things don’t need to be perfect and even if the house is it doesn’t mean life will be.

15, 18, 21

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


Don’t have a clue? (Relationships / career / character, etc.) The solutions can be found in books. READ! Novels, biographies, history, religion, humor, politics, finance, sports, and whatever sparks your interests at the moment!) You’ll learn about the world, and you’ll learn about yourself. READ!!!! (or listen!)

12, 15, 18, 20

Let’s talk about how we can bless people - with what we have and by how we act.


Enjoy your success but don’t flaunt it.


Have them practice making trade offs based on their financial priorities. For example: Pedicure or movie?


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


IMPORTANT: If you borrow money from someone pay it back as soon as possible. In full. If you borrow an item, return it in excellent condition. I’d say if you borrow a car, return it with a full tank of gas but hopefully by the time you’re driving there won’t be any combustible engines. So return it fully charged!

12, 14, 16, 21

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

I once asked my mom if my grandmother (her mother in law) was rich. Her reply: “No, but she likes to think she is.” I think she meant my grandmother spent money like she had plenty of it when she really did not. Can relate. I hope you do better!

14, 21

Get at least 2, preferably 3 estimates on any major expenses for home or car.


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.


“You don’t get what you deserve. You get what you negotiate.” - name escapes me

15, 19, 21

open your own business


May you make yourself proud every day. That’s my wish for you. (I will always be proud of you.) xoxo

9, 14, 21

Sponsor a child in a developing country. Write letters, learn about their country and their life.


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


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

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

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.