when did the School of Hard Knocks become first prize?

The straight up skinny on spoiling children versus breaking the poverty cycle.

“Growing up, my mother used to frequently say, “Money is the source of all evil.”

Not only was money evil but it was a personality killer, a relationship ruiner, and a poison to all things good and decent and fluffy in the world. Because of this, there was quite a shortage of things in my house: running water, reliable electricity, food…”

The Pride of Poverty and Spoiling Your Kids – Damn, Girl. Get Your Shit Together.

$147 a minute makes for pretty expensive bathroom breaks

Weddings.  The hardcore breakdown.

“Uh oh, DGGYST has been reading again.  Nothing good can come of that.  I get new information and then I pass it on to you like some kind of horrible virus…

So when I read an article that the average cost of a wedding climbed to a record high of $35,329 last year, I was a bit stupefied and immediately felt the need to discuss it with you.

Now let me assure you, I think you are a big sexy adult who is entirely capable of spending her money the way she sees fit.  There are a bunch of ridiculous articles out there telling you that weddings are a waste and stupid, and that you look fat and shouldn’t go to the beach (maybe my magazine pages got stuck together).  I’m not going to do any of that.

I only want you to have a firm understanding of what you are getting for your money.”

Your Wedding, Your Money – Damn, Girl. Get Your Shit Together.

We’re not playing Monopoly here.

BrightSide and I work hard to help the kids make sense of money and its place in the world. You’d think everyone would be striving for this understanding, but we’re finding it surprisingly difficult given the mixed messages they get from their friends and the culture in general.

  • “James” doesn’t do chores, and when he wants something he simply asks his parents for the cash.  T-man and Bear are expected to do daily chores because our house is their house.  They receive a monthly allowance to teach them finance management, only a portion of which is considered spending money.
  • “Brooke” gets paid for every A on her report card.  T-man and Bear have to be satisfied with a heartfelt well done and the Honor Roll.
  • “Ava” begs for a new iPod for Christmas.  She’s ecstatic when it’s under the tree but promptly loses it on a trip.  Her parents buy her another.  When something similar happened to T-man, it was a very long time before we even considered the possibility of replacing it.
  • “Michael” walks through the store with his mother, begging for items on every aisle: pencils, a new lunch box, Pop Tarts, cookies, his favorite cereal, ice cream, potato chips, and gum in the checkout line.  It all gets dropped into their cart.  T-man and Bear also ask for goodies while shopping.  1% of the time they’re pleasantly surprised; the other 99% of the time they’re told we’re sticking to the list.  It works for me.

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$ money makes the world go ’round $

Kids.  And money.  Never the twain shall meet.

Ha ha ha ha ha.  Just kidding.

BrightSide works in finances, so he’s super serious about people appreciating all aspects of their fiscal circumstances.  This would include understanding assets, expenses, and making responsible spending decisions.  The kids’ ages do not exempt them from this condition; rather, it’s because of their ages that we want them to start learning about money now.

With kids and money came a bevy of decisions to make:  How much is reasonable for their ages? How often should they get it?  Should the money be tied to their chores or should it be separate, used solely for teaching money skills?

All good questions, these.

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