Learn From My Mistake

Why as parents are we afraid of those 4 words? 

But in reality, they are among the most 4 POWERFUL words when strung together. 

I’ve certainly had my share of mistakes. 
Unless you just landed from Mars, so have you.

In truth, being as honest as we can be with our kids on typical “growing up mistakes” we’ve made can catch their attention.

And isn’t catching our teen’s attention half the battle?

Do any of these scenarios ring a bell?

  • “I cut class”.
  • “I didn’t prepare enough when going out for the . . . . team.”
  • “I didn’t save my money as I should have for . . . . “  (here's an article on how to make their saved money grow, no matter how small the amount:  How Teens Can Grow Their Money
  • “I didn’t study for my . . . . finals.”
  • “I talked behind my best friend’s back.”
  • “I went to . . . . and I knew I shouldn’t...
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Your Teen Can Put Their Christmas Money to Work!

 As it turns out, your teen can do amazing things with small amounts of money.

It’s probably already burning a hole in their pocket.
They’ve been swamped by ads targeting their age – everywhere.

We parents know the temptation.

So do our kids.

But what if you could help them launch the $100+ that grandma gave them into an amazing, long term, educational AND exciting adventure? 

YOU CAN. 

Small amounts of cash CAN deliver a powerful punch.

Here are 3 pieces of advice we’d give them if they had even just $100 available.  These are not listed in any particular order. 

1) Micro-investing 

Yes, there are companies that will accept small dollar amounts and invest them for your teen. Generally, these companies will ask online questions to determine the best place to invest these small amounts.  You will, of course, want to be at the computer while your teen answers them.

Just think of the learning both you and your teen...

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Does College Location Matter?

Short answer?  It might.   
Big City, USA or Small Town USA?

Are you planning campus visits soon?

There is so much coming at you and your nearly-gone teen that it can make anyone’s head swim.  It’s much better to swim instead of sink without enough information.  

There are, of course, many factors that go into which college to attend, from financial to “my best friend” is going there.  But allow us to introduce you to a twist in thinking that every parent/student should consider.

Flash Forward to College Graduation Day

Does your shiny new grad have options?  Did they have internships and were they able to network with those in their chosen industry while in college?  Is the local community of this college thriving?  How active and successful is this college’s College Placement Center? 

We know, this might seem strange.  You are dealing with just helping them get into college. But there's...

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Did your teen miss the Historic Presidential Moment? It isn't too late.

1st Historic Teachable Moment in 12 years

These moments don’t happen often, thank goodness.  Think back to 2006.  That’s the last presidential funeral we’ve had in the United States until now. (Reagan, 2004 and Nixon, 1994).

Do you remember when they would wheel in those carts with tv’s on them during school so we could see the moon landings, the rocket launches, and other historic moments?  We do. 

But perhaps your teen’s school didn’t or doesn't do this.  It isn't too late to capture the teachable moment for your teen.  

Did you know that . . . 

nearly every detail planned for a Presidential funeral is historical?

  • Who had the first 16 cannon salute?  President George Washington
  • The first president to die in office?  President Harrison, 1841

Want more interesting information?  Here’s a great link to explore with your teens:  Hat Tip:  www.theenchantedmanor.com

Presidential...

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The BOX

The BOX

Think back for a minute. 

Way back.

Way back to your High School Days.

With our adult-glasses it is so much easier to see that BOX, the BOX we mentally built for ourselves. “I’m shy”.  I’m not athletic.  I talk too much.   I’m not smart.” 

Ok, stay in the past a bit longer.

Not only did we build our mental BOX, others in our grade helped build our box, too.  “Don’t put her on the team, she’s awful.  Oh, man, not him.  He dresses weird.” 

That ridiculous BOX, that suffocating BOX still haunts, doesn’t it?  We bought into it.  

Now return to the present and your nearly grown child

Apply those same feelings we just discussed to your nearly-grown child. 

Their BOX, their mental BOX is just as teflon as ours and also has a little social media sprinkled on top.  You have one emotional powder keg on your hands.  

There is so much we...

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What Teens Don't See

You:   [gathering your parent-courage]
 “Honey, have you applied for that part-time job yet?” 
 
Teen:  [with rolled eyes]
“Oh, (insert your name). I don’t have any experience they’d be interested in and I can’t think of what to talk about during an interview anyway.”
 
You:  [with amazement] 
“ Yes you do!  Don’t you manage your spending money?  I’ve seen how you save toward that iphone you’ve been wanting.  Those are skills ANY employer wants needs.  There is NO job out there that doesn’t require managing assets from money to supplies.”

Recognizing Skills

  • Teens everywhere don’t recognize the talents they are learning in the seemingly “every day” part of their life. They sell themselves short constantly. 
  • Each time your child completes a project, help them identify skills they’ve used beyond the obvious.
  • From...
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Gifts Worth 10x Their Price

You know what's coming up, of course.  But perhaps you haven't thought about shopping yet.   Allow us to remind you (sorry!):

Online.  Offline.  Lists.    Gifts.     Shipping.     Traffic.     Malls.     Return policies.      Receipts.    WHAT DO THEY WANT?

But that's the WRONG question.

What does your Almost Grown Child NEED?

You might also be thinking that, wow, aren't we just a few weeks early talking about this?  If you are looking for something meaningful, that "pay it forward" type of gift, then no, we aren't too early.  

So, before Cyber Monday, Black Friday, Gray Thursday and all those crazy monikers happen?  Don't get lost in that shuffle.  Give gifts that have meaning beyond price.  Whether you are a grandparent or parent with a teen in your life,  you can answer this age old question:

...

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Barter to gold to cash to checks to . . . Venmo ???

"Can I pay you using Venmo?"

Odds are high you've heard that question from:

  • your lunch friends
  • your adult kids
  • and everyone else in your circle

Maybe you've taken the plunge and you now "Venmo".  

But perhaps you are thinking about it and need to know more.  Is it right for you?  We will explore this topic more in the coming weeks, but here's some food for thought to get you started.

What and Why is Venmo?  

This basically answers the need to carry around a checkbook when you need to pay friends, relatives, and acquaintances that don't have a more business-like method in which to pay them.  

In business jargon, this is a P2P or "Peer to Peer" payment method.  It's an app that you download to your smart phone and you pay your friends money you owe, and in turn, they can pay you as well.  The need to carry around a checkbook is reduced with this type of system, if both transaction parties are participating.  

Are there other companies...

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Lions, Tigers and Personal Identity Protection, Oh My!

Online information on our teens?  and Us?  Scary. Hackers, lurkers, information sells and more really exist.   But so often we overlook the small things that WE can do to reduce this concern.   

Let's kick up protection up a notch. 

Here are 3 ways you can up your protection game for your teen - and YOU.

  1. Social Security Numbers are gold.

    Sadly, the “bad guys” know that too.  It’s time to check your child’s social security number for earnings.  Someone might have used it to seek employment – and that someone might not be your “nearly-grown” child. 

 Register it for notification.  There’s a link in the above article as well for how to  report fraud if you find it.  Here’s hoping you go on this “hunting” trip and find NOTHING unexpected.

  1. But what about we parents?

    ...

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How does a credit bureau get information on you?

Inquiring minds want to know.  Right?

How do these bureaus get our purchasing history?  If you were to write down every single thing we buy, borrow, lease, etc. on pages, you'd call it a financial diary.  So who is writing those pages?  Of course, we are, but someone else is writing all of this down, too - credit bureaus and entries to our credit report.

How do "they" compile our financial diary?

Almost every time you buy something, or create any kind of financial transaction, it is likely being reported to one, two, or all three credit bureau agencies:  Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.  In other words, from retailers to landlords, this information is sent to them for free.  

These credit bureaus compile this information and create credit scores on us using an algorithm.  Generally, the methodology used to create the number score is "Fico".  That's why you hear the phrase:  "I have high Fico Scores" or "my fico scores...

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