Friday, December 30, 2011

What are Your Financial Goals for 2012?

Think about how you want to SAVE, INVEST, DONATE and SPEND money in the coming year.  Viewing the videos on this blog will get you started and there are a lot of tools at American Financial Network too.  Happy New Year!

Friday, December 16, 2011

A free gift - Kindness

One easy way to not break your budget this holiday season is to give one of the best gifts of all (and it's free) ... kindness.  A smile, a "hello", helping a neighbor carry in groceries, or opening a door for someone can simply make their day - and your's.  It feels great.  Let's all Turn Kindness On.  Happy Holidays.  Coach Brett

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What's on your wish list?

Creating a wish list is a great way to define Needs and Wants.  Use this holiday time as an opportunity for you and your children to define what you need and what you want for yourselves and for others.  Create columns on a piece of paper and post it right on the refrigerator.  Revisit the list and allow changes.  Sometimes just thinking about an item overnight may have you change it from one column to another.  Involve the whole family.  It's fun and provides great insight into how everyone is thinking about themselves and others.  May all of your wishes come true!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

'Tis the Season

The spooky holiday is behind us (hope you all had a great Halloween) and there is much to look forward to as we participate in community, family and friend gatherings through the New Year.  The relationships we have with one another and the relationship we have with money are both important.  It's a good time to start thinking about money - saving, investing, donating and spending it.  Watch the video's on this blog and visit for great insights!

Monday, October 3, 2011

What does AGI stand for anyway?

From Ajusted Gross Income to Zero-Coupon Bond.  We've got a robust glossary of financial terms just one click away.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Curiosity is Cool. What if ... ? 5 Questions for Kids

Kids love to ask questions.  And so do parents.  Here are five questions that will give you great insight into what your kids are thinking and curious about.  Take their responses a bit futher by asking them to describe ways of how they could save, invest, donate or spend money to do the things they want.

1.  If you had a million dollars in your pocket, what would you do with it and why?
2.  If you were to do something nice for someone, who would it be for and what would you do?
3.  What kind of job do you think would be fun to have and why?
4.  What is your favorite thing to do and why?
5.  If you could buy something for someone else, what would you buy?  Who would it be for and why?

Be sure to scroll down and over to the right to watch Kids Finance Coach Kids Keanu and Tristen's videos about how to Save, Invest, Donate, Spend money.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Covering Your Bases - A Game Winning Strategy

As a financially savvy kid, it’s important to set short, medium and long-term goals. Then create a budget and a financial plan to illustrate how you can meet all of your goals. Consider how much money you will put into the following 4 categories:

Before you spend, you must save. You must spend on your budgeted items before you donate. With excess money, you can then invest for the future. Then it’s time to save some more!

Friday, August 26, 2011

College Bound

What Can You Do To Start Planning For College?

Most likely, your parents have already started saving for your college education. But how have you gotten involved in preparing for college? Working together with your parents to be part of the planning process can be very educational. Although you may not have the same amount of money as your parents do to save for college, there are other ways you can help your family plan for college.

Maintain good study habits which can help you achieve good grades. Academic scholarships are an excellent source of money to help pay for college.

Take college preparatory classes in high school and start thinking about possible career choices. What you want to be when you grow up may strongly influence your choice of college. Most colleges prefer to accept students who have taken more than the basic requires for high school graduation.

Set aside money from part-time jobs to save for college expenses. Tuition is just a part of the cost of going to college. You have to buy books, pay for room and board if you go away to school, travel costs and general living expenses, as well.

Parents: Start talking to your kids about college planning and get them involved with the process. This will help them take ownership of their educational goals. Read “How Can I Save for My Child’s College Education?” to learn more about financial tactics for college planning.

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Friday, June 17, 2011

How Can I Earn That?

So you’ve either earned or been given some money, but what do you intend to do with it? The age-old lesson of need versus want it too often lost in today’s vast world of consumerism. The newest, greatest version of everything is coming at us faster than ever, making it easy for us to get confused about what we really need to spend our money on and what is just too cool to pass up. As soon as my children were old enough to point and ask for a toy or candy bar in the check-out line, I taught them to say “how can I earn that?” rather than “I want that”. This simple little step can completely change how you view all the stuff around you. If it isn’t worth doing an extra chore to get it, then maybe it really isn’t that important to have, after all. And if you choose to put a little skin in the game (earn the money to pay for the purchase) it makes you appreciate the item all the more.

How to knock your parents socks off!  Stop asking your parents to buy you things and starting asking them "How can I earn the things I want?"!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Make a New Years Resolution to Start Saving Now

We’ve talked a lot about savings, but you may not realize how important it is to start saving as soon as you can. One of the first things that you can do is to open a savings account that pays interest. Set aside a little bit from your monthly allowance or money you receive for doing a job. It may not seem like you have very much to save in the beginning, but you’ll be amazed how even a little bit can add up over time. (Review my post about the Rule of 72.)

Say a boy deposits $50 per month into a savings account. At a basic compound interest of 5% in five years he could have $481.15 more than if he had just kept the money in his piggy bank.* If he increases the amount that he saves per month each of those five years, he’ll have even more.

Parents: Read about the advantages of saving early in Save Now or Save Later.

*This hypothetical example of mathematical compounding is used for illustrative purposes only and does not represent the performance of any specific investment. Rates of return will vary over time, particularly for long-term investments. Investments offering the potential for higher rates of return involve a higher degree of investment risk. Taxes, inflation, and fees were not considered. Actual results will vary.

The information in this article is not intended to be tax or legal advice, and it may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. You are encouraged to seek tax or legal advice from an independent professional advisor.