I’m not sure what it is that my 6 year old nephew has discovered about money that my other nieces and nephews haven’t. He made the decision to buy his own pair of sneakers. In a previous blog I mentioned how he wanted that new shiny toy. His mom refused to buy it for him so he decided to wait for Christmas to get it. Of course there is more to the story which is in the blog

.Money Savvy Kid

I was perplexed and surprised why he didn’t just ask for them. It wasn’t as though he didn’t need them. He sometimes receives hand-me-down clothes and shoes. As any child he can be rough on his clothes but he does appreciate all that he receives.  

I had his mom ask him why didn’t ask for new sneakers. His response was very simple. “I hadn’t been good so I thought you would say no.” From there he made the decision to buy his own shoes and plan to earn the money buy them.

  1. Sharing of Information – My nephew and one of his classmates were discussing sneakers. His classmate said sneakers only cost $15. This seemed like a reasonable financial savings goal for my nephew.
  2. Savings Habit – My nephew already had money saved but not $15. He calculated how much more money he needed to EARN in order to reach his $15 goal.
  3. Set Goals – My nephew discussed his decision to buy sneakers on his own with his mom. She explained to him the sneakers were more than $15. His mom negotiated that he would need to earn and save $20. Then she would pay the other half.
  4. Developing A Plan – My nephew’s plan was to earn money to buy his sneakers. He told his mom he would do extra chores at home and at his aunt’s house for money. This is some of the chore pricing:

Dusting – $1 per room

Washing dishes – $2

Folding clothes – $1 

  1. Reflection – My nephew realized he doesn’t get the things he wants if he is misbehaving. However, he knew if he earned the money himself, he would probably get what he wanted and needed. Lastly, he didn’t decide to CHANGE his behavior from bad to good and ask for the shoes. LOL This decision I really have to talk to him about…kids!

What will you modify in your life to have more money to buy the things you want and need?

4 Reasons Tax Season Is Debt Season

Many people look forward to receiving a large tax return from the US federal government. Many times this time of year leads to more debt. Many people who receive tax refunds don’t use the money in their best interest.

Someone sitting in bed with iPad w/ headphones
One Night Stand with Your Money
  1. People use the money to buy more accessories to go with gifts received during Christmas. You received a new smart technology device and decide you want to get apps or devices to do more with the new device.

Solution: Don’t buy anything. Instead do research on hacks to find other ways to get the information or results you desired from buying he accessories. If there isn’t a hack, budget and save for the accessories.

  1. Use the refund to purchase a vehicle. This isn’t always a bad financial decision. However, if the costs of maintenance, fuel, insurance and property taxes aren’t factored in, this vehicle can become more of a financial burden. Just because you can afford the amount of the car payment doesn’t mean you can afford the vehicle.

Solution: Determine how much money you have available in your budget for car payment, maintenance, taxes, insurance, etc. Once you have this information, research vehicles which meet your budget.

  1. Not saving the money for emergencies. Most people don’t have any savings. Tax refund is an easy and painless way to create an emergency fund. Having at least $500 or up to $1000 is a great basic emergency fund amount. Grow this amount to 6 to 12 months of expenses. Don’t confuse this amount with 6 to 12 months of income. If you are living below your means your expenses will be less than your income.

Solution: Save from $500 to $1000 of your tax refund for emergencies. If your tax refund is less than $500, then save all of it.

  1. Immediately after Merry Christmas comes Unhappy Broke! Many people approach friends and family members for “loans” which will be repaid once they receive their tax refund. This generally doesn’t occur. Not repaying personal loans to friends and family members is one of the worst ways to damage or destroy a relationship

Solution: Don’t ask to borrow money and don’t lend money. If you have the money to gift, then do so. Just remember, people will beg for what they need and buy what they want many times.

This is why I say tax season is really debt season. Let’s make this WEALTH season. Use your tax refund to pay off or down debt. Resolve to make this tax season a prosperous season.

3 Reasons To Do A Financial Fast

One of my personal goals is to continue to improve my finances. This is the second year I began the new year with a 31 day financial fast. What is a financial fast? It is where you don’t do any frivolous spending like dining out, shopping for clothes, purchasing entertainment (movies, concert, zoo, plays, sporting events, etc.) outside of your home. You don’t use any debit or credit cards and must only use cash. Yes you can pay bills electronically.  You budget for the month. You can create a meal plan for the month as well. You are able to buy food but only in the grocery store or farmers market. No restaurant food.

Why would I ever participate for a second time in such a RESTRICTIVE activity? I moved from a 3 bedroom house into a 2 bedroom apartment. I have so much STUFF! I gave away, donated and trashed so much stuff prior to my move. Yet I still have so much STUFF!

This is why should you do a financial fast too.

  1. Abundance – when you stop shopping and are forced to use the items in your home. You will notice the ABUNDANCE of items you own. You will notice how many pairs of black pants you have, bottles of ketchup or even tubes of toothpaste. Once you realize how much you have but not used you will be surprised. Now you can shop only to replenish.


  1. Emotional Spending – Many times you don’t realize how your emotions are tied to your money. When times are good, you celebrate by going out to eat, shopping or take a trip. When you are sad or upset you will go out for a drink or shopping to feel better. Spending money is your therapy. It shouldn’t be your therapy. Granted you should reward yourself and shop from time to time. During the fast you will begin to note when you feel the “need” to shop. Now you can develop non-financial methods to feed that “need.”


  1. Planning –“ if you plan to fail, you plan to fail” The fast makes you truly look at your finances by using a BUDGET. I know you hate that word. But here is the key word “YOUR” budget. You can make it work for you. You can also plan your meals by creating a menu. Simply create a list of foods in your house and review your local grocery store sale ads, then you can pair foods together to create meals. Remember leftovers are great for lunch!

Participating in a financial fast is very introspective. It makes you think, evaluate and modify your behavior. You will grow in your financial views.OceanLandscape