We hold the future......

Friday, August 5, 2011

Upcycling 101:

Board and Card Game Storage

What you will need:
plastic zipppered or snapped bag (the ones that come with sheets or curtins in them)
cardboard (the one that comes with the bag with the picture on it)
colored permanent markers
board games and/of playing cards

1. Take out the cardboard picture out of the plastic bag.

2. Use permanent colored markers to write a label for what is going into the bag on the back side of the cardboard label that came in the bag.

3. Put your newly made label back inside the plastic bag.
4. Put your cards into the bag with the appropriate label.

For games with boxes:
1. Cut the picture from the front cover of the box to fit inside the plastic bag.
2. Place newly cut picture inside plastic bag.
3. Put all game pieces inside appropriate bag.

This will give you great organization with the kids games and all their tiny pieces. My kids almost instantly destroy the boxes beyond repair, so these zippered and snapped bags came in handy, plus they were free!
Note: If you don't have the original box, Just have the kids draw a picture of the game and title on a pre-cut piece of cardboard.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Money Making for kids

I know my kids are always asking for money so I did some research and found many ways for kids, even young kids, to earn their own money.

1. babysitting- if your child likes younger kids and shows enough responsibility, then they can babysit neighborhood kids or cousins or even brothers and sisters. This can become a service offered to friends and family.

2. parents helper- if your child is not old enough to be on their own then this is a great option. They can help you with taking care of someones child, including helping with feeding, playing, and household chores. This is a great way for them to get the experience and references for babysitting when they are older.

3. household chores- uncommon household chores such as, sweeping the driveway or patio, washing windows, raking the leaves, watering plants, dusting.

4. lemonade stand/ craft stand- everyone has had a lemonade stand as a kid, its like a right of passage. They can also have snacks, donuts, or for cold weather, coffee or apple cider (carefully and with parent supervision with hot liquids). If your child is good at crafts, they can make little trinkets and sell them to neighbors, friends and family. Also, if you are able to, get a stand/ booth at a community fair.

5. car washing- have your child get together with some friends and offer this service and also have some of the above items with the lemonade/ craft stand available while the customers wait for their cars.

6. animal caretaker- this could involve dog walking, grooming, or washing. You could go even further with this and take care of someones pet while they go for a weekend trip. This needs the help, and approval of parents.

7. snow/ leaf removal- winter- snow removal, fall- leaf removal. remove snow/ leaves from sidewalks and driveways or yards to neighbors.

8. yard sales- my kids do this alot. I offer them all the money for the toys, books, and stuffed animals they sell as long as they are helping with the sale. They even came up with the idea of doing sign twirling to attract more customers, and it actually works!

9. mow the lawn- they can mow their lawn and the neighbors lawns as long as they know how to use the lawn mower (supervision may be required). they can also offer trimming trees and bushes as a whole yard package.

10. fund raising- there are a few companies that do fund raising for individuals and home school families. Equal Opportunity is one that I love and you get a great product no matter what you order and it helps people also.

Tips for running a business:
Print out flyers or order free business cards from http://www.vistaprint.com/
rewards for referrals- ex: 50% off a bracelet when your referral buys a bracelet.
free samples
coupons for new customers

Parents should help they're kids come up with pricing for any of these and figuring out a business plan and how much, if any, start up costs will be. Again, some of these do require parent supervision and you should always know where your kids are at all times. I do not recommend door to door sales at all!

Good luck and remember, HAVE FUN!

Money Management for kids

In the process of teaching my kids more about money management, I have done alot of research online for tips, tricks, educational material, and info. I had come across a few sites that talked about teaching kids how to save, spend, invest, and donate their earned money.

So according to those sites, and many people I've spoken with, these are the rules for kids to follow when it comes to their earned money:

Save 30% - High yield savings account
Spend 30% - Day to day 'wants'
Invest 30% - College Fund
Donate 10% - Charity of child's choice

For example, if your child earns $8 this week, he/she should save $2.40 (30%), spend $2.40 (30%), invest $2.40 (30%), and donate $.80 (10%).

This teaches many lessons: budgeting, planning for the future, wants vs. needs, giving to a good cause, supporting your community, etc.

There are some sites that offer for purchase a 4 chamber piggy bank for this purpose, but it's not necessary to have one. I gave my daughters each a play check book to keep track of their spending and showed them how to use them. So far they have kept track of everything. 'A' even asked to put all her cash from birthdays and xmas into her savings. I was proud of her.

For the Investing, I found that a 529 savings account, which is a college fund, is the best option.

According to www.howstuffworks.com:

-You pay no taxes on the accounts earnings
-Your child does not have access to or control of the account - you do
-If the child does not want to go to college, you can roll the account over to another family member
-Anyone can contribute to the account
-No income limitations that would prevent you from opening one
-Most states have no age limit for when the money has to be used (check your states laws)
-If the child gets a scholarship, any unused money can be withdrawn without paying any penalties (just taxes)

There are also ways for your child to earn money besides doing chores. I will be doing another post on this subject, so stay tunned.

Teaching your kids early the skills they will need in life, and most of the time the ones that aren't taught in schools, will really give your kids a head start in life. Most teens and young adults leaving home or leaving for college for the first time have a hard time managing money and life skills because their parents or teachers didn't show them how the real world works. Giving your child chores and responcibilities at a young age will teach them that they can be an active part of their household and community.

Creating a Kid's Savings Plan

I have been trying to save money regularly for my kid's savings accounts I had opened last year. It has been difficult the past few months since my husband lost his job, but I am getting back at it now.

I have heard that kid's allowances should be $1 per age per week. For example, my daughter 'A' is 8, so she gets $8 per week, and so on. I think this works good. This is seperate from chore money. My 2 daughters have 4 daily chores they are in charge of getting done. If they do anything more than those chores, then they earn 1 chore dollar per chore which equals .50 each.

So the chart below is for their savings accounts. It totals at the end. I have done 21 years of contributions but you can stop at any age.

Age~Yearly Total
1 ~$52
2 ~$104
3 ~$156
4 ~$208
5 ~$260
6 ~$312
7 ~$364
8 ~$416
9 ~$468
10 ~$520
11 ~$572
12 ~$624
13 ~$676
14 ~$728
15 ~$780
16 ~$832
17 ~$884
18 ~$936
19 ~$980
20 ~$1040
21 ~$1092

Total: $12,012

This is a good amount of money for someone just starting out to have. I want to be able to send my kids out into the world with a safety net and support system. I didn't have any money when I moved out at 17, I had to eat alot of ramen (2 months straight, 3 meals a day!). Even after working for 6 months I had nothing to show for it. I want to teach my kids more about money than I ever knew as a kid. I am still learning from my money mistakes and I don't want my kids to follow in my path.

Hopefully this, and some more education on money, will show my kids how to keep money set aside for the future.