Teaching kids money and investing fundamentals


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In the Wall Street Journal, I came across an article about Judith Ward, a financial adviser, who shared her experience teaching her children to save and invest money.

The steps in this article were very familiar to me. My mom did much of the same for me that Judith did with her kids. My mom isn’t a financial adviser, and you don’t need to be, either. Just remember: KISS, Keep It Simple, Sweetie. Don’t overwhelm your kids with the details, or scarcity stories.

Judith opened savings accounts for her kids when they were in elementary school. She’d take her kids to the bank to make their deposits and review their monthly statements with her.

As a child, I’d often gone to the bank with my mom and seen her deposit money into her account. She’d give short lessons, without me knowing announcing, “This is a lesson.” She’d say things like, “I put money in so we can buy food/clothing/Girl Scout uniform when we need it.” When I was thirteen, my mom took me to the bank and I opened my own savings account. I’d save money from the jobs I had—ironing and babysitting, and we’d make trips to the bank together to deposit our money. When I got a bank statement, mom showed me how to read it. I loved the reward of seeing the amounts go up!

As Judith’s children grew older, she’d show them her paychecks, and her monthly bank statements with them as a learning tool. She’d also share her investment statements with them.

My mom didn’t show me that information, but she did tell me things like, “Every little bit of savings makes a difference for now, and the future.”

Judith shared how she explained to her son, now 23, how to invest when he opened up a retirement account. If he invested every month—whatever the market was doing, he’d get fewer shared if the market was up, and but more shares if it was down. That’s known as dollar-cost averaging, but she, didn’t use fancy financial adviser terms on her son. She used what he could understand, and because it made sense, he’ll probably stick to saving money.

How do you talk to your kids about money? Are you trying to teach someone how to budget, or invest? Or, are you in process of learning yourself? KISS. KISS. KISS. Keep It Simple, Sweetie.

 

Celebrating Good


Here’s a video that’ll make you smile. It’s a tribute to Art Linkletter for his birthday in 1995. Bill Cosby is the host.

I never saw the show—I was a kid. I still waver on the idea of asking a child questions, and having a huge audience laugh at their answer. Not stellar for building confidence or compassion. But, this video has helped me change my mind a bit, be more open to the idea of this show. The end to this video wowed Art Linkletter, and me, too! What a great way to have honored this man. Obviously, these people felt no harm done for their past experience on the show.

The human spirit loves to celebrate good. Do you remember this show? Did you like watching the T.V. show?

What Are You Thinking, Right Now?


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Do you know your current thoughts are creating your future experiences?

To the extent we put energy or conviction into our thought, we get a mirrored experience of it. Don’t believe it? Look at your life. What’s working, and what isn’t. Are you bad mouthing money? Are you involved in gossip, or angry about what someone did—even if it was years ago? Maybe you’re not angry, but still wounded by their tone, their actions, or lack of actions.

The best thing you can to do to help yourself is to let it go. Move on. Forgive. Oh no! The “F” word! —It may as well be! No body likes to hear it, and few talk about it. When we forgive, we’re not doing it for the person who upset us. We must forgive because it frees us. As long as we’re the jailer, we  have to stand watch over those we’ve imprisoned. Let them go! If their consciousness is truly not a match for your consciousness, the issue will end. If their behaviors continue, it won’t bother you this time around, because you’ve shifted your energy via your consciousness. Or, they’ll just find someone else to be around. That person will either be the new target for upset, or a new teacher, perhaps in a way that is better understood by them than what you provided. Your trouble—or let’s call them a sacred messenger, will find a replacement.

What are you thinking right now? You are planning your future with those thoughts. If they’re not supportive of the good you want to experience, change your thinking now. Ernest Holmes, founder of Religious Science (not to be confused with Scientology or Christian Science) would say, “Change your thinking, change your life.” Over the years, other teachers have used the same meaning to spread positive thinking. “Thoughts become things” and “Energy flows where attention goes” are more recent versions of the same idea.

Be honest with yourself. If you really don’t like someone, don’t pretend there isn’t a problem. That just makes it fester within, and ultimately you’ll have a big blow out, or an eruption—and they may not even be around for it! The first step to move on is acknowledging what’s going on. Okay, you don’t like this person. Say you have to interact with them at work. Keep it professional. That doesn’t mean act fake, or not be true to who you are. It does mean you have the opportunity to look at your beliefs. What does this person trigger within you? What are they a mirror to? If they’re out of integrity, how are you out of integrity? Maybe they blab too much. What’s your communication like? Do you talk about them after work? At work? Do you feel you work hard, and they have fun? What’s the trigger for you?

Once you can find the trigger, see what good is in the situation. Maybe you have a great view out a window at work. Maybe you work Sunday through Thursday and love your schedule. Find what you do like, and focus on that. If you plan to leave your job, focus on the good, knowing that good comes with you to your new employment, and say, “This or something better” for the other stuff. For the stuff you hate—focus on the good you’ll accept. Don’t gripe about the bad performers, that will only put energy on them, and bring that type with you.

Change is cumulative. You have to be part of it. You can’t be conscious for a week, and coast for three. Decide what you want, and claim it. Then stay focused. If you drift, don’t get mad at yourself, just acknowledge you drifted, then get back on track, focusing in the direction you intend to go.

Onward!

How Do You K.I.S.S.? (Simplicity)


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Image credit: Good Search

One hand, everyone talks about simplicity. Slow down, more is less and be present. On the other hand, life is full of “To-Do” Lists. Even before we get into the items on the list that can instill guilt (things like eat healthy, exercise, stay within a budget) we face US and THEM items. How do you rank in taking care of you as well as taking care of others?

How do you k.i.s.s.? (keep it simple, sweetie.)

I don’t mind vacuuming, ironing, washing windows, or painting walls. I remember sharing in exasperation one evening, “I hate drying and putting away silverware!” After laughter died down, I was asked, “What do you want to do?” I’ll wash dishes. I’ll unload the dishwasher—except the silverware.” It was one of the easiest deals I’ve ever made, and it made both of us happy.

If you make your kids’ lunch every day, and hate doing it, ask yourself, “Is there someone else who can do this?” How old are your kids? Is your partner/spouse willing to do it? Have you asked them to help, or to swap a chore?

Are you making their lunch, then buying yours? Are you okay with doing that from a budget, health, and calorie standpoint? If not, plan ahead. Make enough dinner to have leftovers for lunch, and as you clean-up after dinner, pack your lunch into your lunch box container.

Find a way that makes you happy. If you’re not happy, and you’re making a meal, some-body is ingesting that energy of hating making it. Eeek! Good reason to bless your food! Same goes for restaurants. You don’t know what sort of energy is in the kitchen. If you’re keeping it simple by eating out, take a moment before eating it to bless your food.

Are you one of the growing households that cook your dog a fresh chicken or beef dinner? I know someone who does this—and the food the people eat may as well be—dog food! Food expiration dates, to-go meals, eating standing up rather than sitting at the table. If the dog out lives them, I hope he keeps the maid! Keep is simple, sweetie. Both you and Fido deserve to be healthy, and get your run-around at the park, not doing chores.

Have you just vacuumed? Quick! Invite some friends over! Or, first invite someone over so it’s motivation to vacuum. It’s a two-for-one that way. You don’t have to re-arrange the furniture to vacuum, just zip here and there, and it’ll add some wow appeal to the room. It’s not a full-on clean, it’s a simple way to keep things looking nice.

Have you started your holiday gift giving list? Maybe this is the year you really do say, “I’m having a party, and that’s my gift to everyone.” Or, in honor the names of your friends/family, you donate to Toys for Tots, Heifer International, or some other organization. Maybe you decide to make a list of 25, 50, 100 “reasons why I love you.” It doesn’t cost a penny, but I’ve been told, “That was one of the best gifts anyone has ever given me.”

Whatever you do—from making lunch to gift giving, do it consciously. If you don’t enjoy doing it, find another way. If it’s overwhelming, take a step back. Breathe.

 K.I.S.S.. Keep It Simple, Sweetie.

Good Vibrations


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Confidence is more than attitude, it’s a vibration of energy.  Fear is also a vibration of energy. When you vibrate at a positive level, you become a walking magnet for good people and things to come your way. If you drop some money, someone will call out to let you know. Or, you won’t drop money. You may even find money.

When you vibrate at a negative level, you still become a walking magnet—but for people to kick you when you’re down, take advantage of you, or for things to break down, delays, or just not work in flow.

On either side of the coin, you’ll attract the matching reality to your vibration. If you make a habit of feeling excited, joyful, and satisfied, those energies will tip the scale in your vibration, and results cannot but match those vibrations. If you’re not at the vibration you’d like right now, sit for ten minutes with this. Shift your vibration. Your vibration will not shift after something good happens. Good things will happen when you shift your vibration.

If you do consciously shift your vibration then say, “It worked for half a day, but then it didn’t” check your vibration. It’s easy to fall back into habit. You may start out being very aware of holding exciting thoughts and next time you check, you learn you’ve been worrying about something, or having an argument in your mind with someone who upset you months back.

Before going to bed, you can program your subconscious mind to vibrate at a positive level. Think happy, joyful, exciting thoughts. Feel how you’ll be relieved when the outcome of your problem is solved. Wonderful! Smile your way to sleep. The subconscious mind doesn’t argue. It only says, “Yes!” When you imprint a happy vibrational energy just before going to bed, it’s handed to your subconscious mind for the night. Because your conscious mind isn’t involved, you have a head start on shifting your energy.

God is a Verb. Life is a Verb. You Are a Verb.


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Quantum physics will back up the claim, “There is no time or space.” The power of now is constantly unfolding, expressing. Life is a process, unfolding now, and always.

Even when we’re thinking in the past or future tense, we’re in the present moment—thinking about another time. That’s why it’s important to say affirmations in the present tense. The message to the subconscious is “This is happening now. I am successful now. I am healthy now.” If you frame your affirmations in the future, “I will be successful” or “My success is just around the corner” your success (or health, or relationship, etc) will always be “out there” “just around the corner.”

God is a verb. Life is a verb. We are verbs. We’re doing, being, believing, having. What’s your name? Add “ing” to it. Are you Daving? Cathying? Yes! At all times, you’re experiencing and expressing. God and Life are experiencing and expressing through you. There’s no separation between you, Life and God. To give, there must be a receiver. To receive, there must be a giver, and the consciousness to receive. Allow Life to express in, around, through and for you.

Live life as a verb. Do. Be. Have.

What are you good at?


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What are you good at? Do you cook delicious meals? Do you dress well? Are you a good driver? Maybe you’re a good teacher (even if you’re not a “teacher” by official title.) Think back to your childhood. Where you good at guessing how many candies where in a jar? Did you lighten up a serious atmosphere with a joke, or let someone know you were there for them when they felt no one was listening?

Get out a piece of paper, or set up a page on your computer to make a list of accomplishments you’ve made in your lifetime. It’s not about money, or status. It’s about what you’ve done while taking in some oxygen here on earth. It’s time you acknowledge it and celebrate!

Here are a few from my list, just to give you an idea of what made me proud at the time:

  • Won Cat-in-the-Hat pillow from Sears! (I was six, and I still remember my mom handing me the phone to let me hear the lady say, “Congratulations! Do you like soft or hard pillows?” and my turning back to my mom, “Mom, do I like soft or hard pillows?” and then parroting, “Soft, please.”)
  • Winning hula hoop contests at “x” and “x”.
  • 25 boy push-ups, done correctly.
  • Making “x” amount of dollars a year.

You get the idea.

The list is for you. If you are proud of the achievement, if it made/makes you happy—put it on the list. I once went to the dollar store. I bought a photo album. When I got to my car, I noticed there was an unused lotto scratcher ticket tucked inside the photo album. I  scratched it and won a dollar! It made me laugh. Who else would go to the dollar store and get a dollar! On my list, I also have my education, money related specifics, and progress I’ve made in areas I’d struggled. What are you proud of? What makes you smile when you look back? Anything goes!

When you have a rough day, pull this list out. If your list is three, four or five pages long, there is no way you’ll stay in the dumps for long!

Is Debt a Deal-Breaker?


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You found The One! Perfect in every way. —Except they have debt. Is that a deal breaker for love?

According to Match. com, three out of four single Americans say they are turned off by excessive credit card debt. 46% of the women surveyed said they didn’t care how much their date spent on an evening out. (Match.com) My translation: It’s the quality of the relationship, not the quantity of money spent on a date.

Their in debt; you’re not. Does that mean the relationship is over?

It depends. Maybe your partner will never be as money savvy as you. Does that mean you walk? If they’re not willing to have a budget, clear the stars from your eyes. Their unwillingness to learn about deficits and surplus that will effect them—and you, are a red flag saying that they’re not willing to change at all. If you’re an excellent saver and are hard line, expecting miracles from someone who’s never had a budget, you may want to loosen up a bit on your ideal partner, or their ability to budget to your standards.

Are you both willing to sit down and talk about money, budgets and expectations you have of each other when it comes to money? (If they expect you to manage the household finances, are they willing to stick their budget so you can manage the money?) The money in many military homes is managed by women. Often, one spouse earns money, sends it home, and hopes when they get home the money has been spent/saved wisely.

Dating or married, have a written plan. If it’s not in writing, there’s nothing to go back to as a point of reference. If your relationship doesn’t have a strong foundation of mutual respect, don’t expect fibs and outright lies to bypass your finances. 30% of people admit lying to their partner about money. Ouch! (National Endowment for Financial Education)

If the divorce rate is around 50% why do only 3% of people with a spouse of fiancé have a prenuptial agreement? By talking about money ideals early in a relationship, there may be less push-back of a prenuptial being “unromantic”. Think of a marriage as part business deal, and the prenuptial holding promise of a future of love and commitment.

New Thought: What is Law of Mind?


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The Universal mind creates. It doesn’t judge. It doesn’t condemn or have favorites. It responds to our direction. Our astrological sign doesn’t matter, nor does our religion. What matters is how we direct the Law of Mind. This is the energy that knows all, and because we have free-will, It waits on our guidance.

Being impersonal, It doesn’t know what it creates—only that it does create. If It seems to create what we don’t want, or wishy-washy results, that’s a sign that we, not God (Universe, Law, Energy—call it whatever you’re comfortable with) need to make a change. We need to shift our thinking, or consciousness (which will eventually shift our thinking.) We need to get clear on what we want and to decide that our want is worth taking the time to pray, meditate or read. Is it worth noticing our passing thoughts, our off-the-cuff comments? We can’t think and say negative things and experience positive outcomes. We can’t tell our woeisme story and experience strength and success. Which side of the fence are you on? If you teeter, your results teeter.

Make a conscious choice about an experience you want. A better job, a loving relationship, moving to a place you love as much as where you live now—and some. To set it in motion, you must first set in mind. By setting it in your mind, you place it in the Mind of God—The Infinite Intelligence, The Law of Mind, The One.

Next, you must do your part by keeping negative away from what you claim to want. Negative comes in the form of worry, doubt, and thoughts as well as words and actions. If you know a friend of yours will laugh, make fun of, or disagree, it’s not the time to share this with them. You must get yourself on board first before you try to recruit others. Even when you get in the grove and life is humming along, I’d steer clear of what amounts to proselytizing to those who don’t want to be in your club. It’s a waste of your time and energy. If they show interest in how your life works, share it. If not, let them do their thing, and you do yours. otherwise, they’ll try to sell you their opinion in why your way doesn’t work, and that brings you back to doubt. The only way for someone to learn this stuff is buy doing. If “it” doesn’t work, perhaps the designer (you) made an error. Not specific enough. Too specific. Gave it to Universal Mind, then took it right back.

. . . What perfect timing! I just saw someone attempt to enter the laundry room. They punched in the code, and couldn’t get in—so they kicked the door. They went to get the manager. He came and put in the code, and the door opened. Ta-Daa! Next time something doesn’t go smoothly for you, stop. Step back. Take a breath and bring Universal Mind into the situation.

“A burned child scorns the flame.” —Swedish proverb

Yoga in School


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Yoga. It’s common now days, right? I mean, there aren’t many jokes anymore about it—getting blissed-out while connecting thumb and middle finger, saying “Om” or “Namaste” or bending bodies into pretzel shapes. There may not be jokes about it, but there are some who fear yoga—even in Southern California.

My mouth dropped when I heard the news for the first time. Not only in Southern California, but in a town next to mine, and at the same school district where I’ve taught some continuing adult education classes and workshops, and been a part-time teacher’s aide for special education in the middle school. The yoga classes are thirty minutes, twice a week.

Parents sued the district for having yoga classes? Wow. Why did they sue? Because the parents felt Ashtanga yoga infringed on their religious beliefs. “If you research yoga and Hinduism, most people would say Hinduism is yoga and yoga is Hinduism,” Dean Broyles, an attorney representing the family, told ABC News. “It’s a situation where the state is endorsing religious beliefs and practices, which is forbidden under California and federal law.” He goes on to say that the poses and positions are forms of worship and prayers to Hindu deities.

The school Superintendent, Timothy Baird, said the yoga classes are a “typical P.E. class” that have been a successful and positive component to the district’s health and wellness program without any religious implications. . . . Yoga is a physical activity that’s completely mainstream,” Baird told ABC News. “It’s done in universities and churches around the world. I understand it has a cultural heritage coming from India, and there are people that use yoga in their religious practices … We are creating lesson plans in kid-friendly language that is really redesigning the program. We are not using cultural references. We are not using Sanskrit. We’ve changed the names to gorilla pose, and mountain pose.”

The ruling came in last week, and The judge said that the opponents of the yoga class were relying on information culled from the Internet and other unreliable sources. The judge in this case said the school district stripped classes of all cultural references including the Sanskrit language. He noted that the lotus position was renamed the “crisscross applesauce” pose.

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