Money Integrity: Teach Your Children Well

October 13, 2008 · Filed Under Frugal Parenting · Comments Off on Money Integrity: Teach Your Children Well 

© 2004-2005 Darlene Arechederra

‘Live so that when your children think of fairness and
integrity, they think of you.’

— H. Jackson Brown, Jr.–

We think of integrity as doing the right thing when no one is looking. Does this hold true for money, too? Share with your children the money values you’d like them to carry into adulthood. We have opportunities to teach our children, even in unexpected ways!

Consider a few quick scenarios.

1. You find a $100 bill as you enter a local grocery store. Would you ask Customer Service if anyone has reported losing any money recently, and what amount it was?

2. You arrive home and discover a puppy sitting on your front doorstep. He has no tags on him. You bring him in out of the cold and keep him for the night. The next day, you discover his particular breed is worth $1800. Would you attempt to locate his owners as you might if he were a mutt?

3. You place a health & beauty order through a coworker, and she mistakenly thinks you’ve already paid her for it. Would you give her the money you owe anyway, or would you keep quiet?

4. You and your family have just eaten a meal out. Due to several factors, it was not as enjoyable as you had hoped. The bill arrives, and you notice some items were left off the bill. Would you pay it without saying anything?

5. You’re living a frugal lifestyle. You agree to join family members for a meal out to celebrate mom’s birthday. Do you order frugally, yet chip in a fair share for mom’s meal? Or do you skip contributing to mom’s meal and have others cover the entire portion?

6. Your last paycheck was $600 more than it should have been. While deciding whether to notify Payroll at work, your spouse spends the entire $600. Do you call Payroll anyway, knowing they’ll probably deduct the money from each of your next few paychecks? It will leave you no money for several weeks.

7. You’re selling your old clunker. Do you disclose any problems you’re having with it? Does your answer remain the same regardless of whether your buyer is male or female?

8. You discover that someone you dislike at work received a much bigger raise than you. Do you share the amount of his/her raise with your friends and family?

9. You purchase an ebook online — it was exactly what you were looking for. A week later, you’re feeling a money pinch. Do you ask for your money back on the ebook, even though it more than met your needs?

Children notice the decisions we make on a daily basis. Why not teach them how to develop money integrity — through your own interactions and decisions!

Do you have a scenario you’d like to share? Please email it to me. I’d love to hear from you.

Author and ezine editor Darlene Arechederra inspires busy women to put the fun back into saving their money. Her complimentary newsletter serves up heaps of motivation with a unique, down-home style of writing.

Frugal Books by Darlene Arechederra

How to Grow Your Very Own Money Tree

October 10, 2008 · Filed Under Being Frugal · Comments Off on How to Grow Your Very Own Money Tree 

©2004-2005 Darlene Arechederra

Okay. So money doesn’t really grow on trees. Unless you plant your own Mighty Money Tree, that is!

Imagine that only a few moments ago you planted a young sapling in your back yard. You gave it just enough water to ensure a good start. Not too much, not too little. You even propped it up with a stake. You’ll continue to nurture it, feed it, water it.

And with each passing year, your tender young sapling will grow stronger. Taller. Healthy. As it ages, your tree can better defend itself from natural predators. Even harsh weather.

Growing your savings account is similar to growing your new sapling. Given lots of tender care, your savings account will become your Mighty Money Tree. Use the following tips to ensure a great start. So, grab your shovel and let’s get planting!

Prop Up Your New Savings Account

To build an account you can enjoy for a lifetime, prop it up with nutrients to help it grow.

a) Feed your account with bonuses. Deposit money saved through cancelled subscriptions. Don’t forget those unexpected windfalls, either.

How about money owed and paid back to you? Be sure to include these amounts, even if they’re small. Small is great — and very do-able.

b) Nurture your savings weekly with money saved from using coupons.

Do you buy items on sale? Take that money you saved and use it to grow your account. Tuck small amounts into an envelope. Deposit weekly.

c) Shower your fund with birthday, anniversary or holiday gifts of money. Refunds, too! This is money you normally wouldn’t have had (or already spent.)

Remember, out of sight, out of mind!

Fiercely Protect From Natural Enemies

Just as you might spray your tree to ward off insects or disease, you must protect your fledgling savings account. It’s precious — and a result of your patience.

a) Avoid spending too much time with others who make it seem *natural* to go through money. They may not give it much thought because spending is a comfortable habit for them.

But you actually have a plan. And you have the big picture of how and when you’ll spend. You will decide the where and why of spending your money. Make your spending thoughtful.

b) Pace yourself as you spend your weekly allotment of money. If you run on $35 per week (for example), that gives you five dollars per day.

Stay just under that five, and you’ll always be a few dollars ahead. You’ll also be less tempted to tap your savings.

c) Practice *tough love* with chronic spenders who repeatedly borrow your money. Give yourself permission to state firmly that borrowing your money is *not* an option. Remove the stakes that prop up others’ spending.

Say yes to protecting and taking care of your money. It will be there to support you, your family, and your true needs.

Promote and Maintain Healthy Growth

Small amounts add up big time, so keep money coming into your account on a regular basis. Keep it growing!

a) Remember *why* you set up your account. Know your balance at all times. Keep your eye on the bigger picture.

Will it help you pay for a gently used car, eliminating future car payments year after year? Is it your *freedom from working for others* fund?

b) Begin with one great strategy, and use it to create a steady stream of money to feed your account. Will it be a direct deposit through payroll?

Will you fund it by using only dollar bills, and setting aside all change at the end of each day? If so, scoop up your change and deposit weekly.

c) Each month, find a new, creative way to put more money in your account. Then find another method and repeat for a month. Keep the top three or four methods which seem to work best for you. Toss the rest, because you want methods that work for you consistently.

Need a starting point? Why not begin with spending ten dollars less at the store each week? Tuck your ten bucks into your savings account. It’s simple, and it won’t leave you feeling deprived.

Lastly, feel the wonder of knowing that your money tree will continue to grow. Like a faithful friend, it will remain at your side. Your champion in good times, a comfort in the rough patches of life.

It has the power to draw your dream out of the darkness and into the light. How long have you had that private, special dream? Only you can know.

Now, what would *you* do with your own Mighty Money Tree? Plant one today! Prop it up. Protect it. Watch it grow.

Author and ezine editor Darlene Arechederra inspires busy women to put the fun back into saving their money. Her complimentary newsletter serves up heaps of motivation with a unique, down-home style of writing.

Join her today at Rat Race Remedies

Frugal Books by Darlene Arechederra

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