Category Archives: Parenthood

Enjoying Financial Independence and Parenthood

Can parents pursue financial independence with kids at home? Today we’ll go over the five biggest myths and show how you can enjoy parenthood and FI!

Are CoastFI and Parenthood Compatible?

Even before we were familiar with the term financial independence, we were intrigued about this idea of gaining flexibility and freedom.

When we were first married, we had two immediate financial goals – getting rid of the car loan and building our emergency fund.

Our car payment wasn’t a huge burden, but seeing that money going out month after month..ugh..

Not having that weighing our budget down was one benefit, but then there was also this potential in the future.

What if we used that money for things we actually enjoyed and really wanted – travel, a house, or starting a business?

So I started digging into personal finance blogs and found books like Total Money Makeover, Automatic Millionaire, and The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke.

Taking what I learned, we came up with a plan to pay off our debts and grow our financial cushion.

Don’t get me wrong, seeing our net worth go from negative $30,000 to the positive side felt great. The real pull for us, though, was not how much money we can stash away or how fast we can hit.

We loved being in a position of having options. Like leaving a bad job. Becoming an entrepreneur.

During this time, we discovered financial independence, with that classic book – Your Money or Your Life.

There are some wonderful benefits with discovering the FI community. Many in the space love swapping ideas about what’s worked for them.

Hopefully like you’re doing now, we listened to stories and picked a few ideas to try out.

Some worked really well, some needed to be adjusted for our circumstances, and some didn’t work. Either our situation was too different or honestly, we didn’t enjoy it.

The ones that didn’t resonate with us usually came from this segment in the community who had very specific ideas about financial independence.

Both with what it was and what it wasn’t. One complaint I kept seeing was how hard or in some cases impossible for parents to hit FI.

I believe that belief is not just discouraging to parents, but really misses the actual resource financial independence is about – time.

Finances can be a tool, not the goal. We're more focused on quality of life and having options.

So today I want to wrap up this series of episodes before our summer break and discuss how you as a parent can work towards your FI goals while enjoying the journey with your kids.

In this episode, we’ll get into the five biggest myths around financial independence and parenthood.

Are you ready?

Let’s get started!

Resources for Parents Interested in Financial Independence

If you're looking to get ahead with your finances as a family, here are some resources to check out!

Thank You to Our Sponsor Coastal!

Support for this podcast comes from Coastal Credit Union! If you’re living in the Raleigh Durham area and looking to bank better, come check out Coastal today.

Slash Your Phone Bill with Republic Wireless!

Special thanks also to our new sponsor this season -Republic Wireless.

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Same thing happened to me years ago. Wanting to become debt free faster, I switched to Republic Wireless and saved big time. 

Nationwide coverage, fantastic phone options like the Samsung Galaxy and Moto g, plus seriously affordable prices (plans start at $15/month!) make it a smart choice for families looking to save without sacrificing value. 

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5 Biggest Myths About Financial Independence and Parenthood

Although I believe that all families can benefit from including key FI principles into their finances, it’s not a one size fits all approach.

These myths that I see and hear can be discouraging and stop people from even trying to pursue their dreams.

In some cases, it’s debunking, but it also clarifying some concepts.

I’ve seen how this focus on making things short and catchy for social media distorts or confuses people about financial independence and making it their own.

Myth #1: You Have Live Like Paupers to Retire Early

I think this is a huge turn off for many families.

You have to cut things down to the bone to be able to retire early. And that's not the case. The truth is however with financial independence it is a mindset shift. You absolutely have to be more mindful of your finances, schedule, and goals.

That means you're going to make decisions that are different from other people.

You do need to be conscious of your spending.

  • Your Essential Expenses: How much money do you typically spend each year? What are your usual monthly expenses?
  • Your Savings Rate: How much are you saving and investing each month?

When you're aware of both numbers you can then start on a plan to build up your savings rate and get you to FI faster.

Myth #2: Raising Kids Will Make It Impossible to Pursue FI

USDA estimates that it takes $233,640 to raise one child to an adult.

Not counting college.

Breaking it down annually, that means according to the USDA you’re spending around an additional $13,743.

Years ago, I wrote an article that challenged some of those assumptions. You can read my take here, but here are a few key points.

  • Assumptions about food, housing, and
  • The biggest chunk of money for most parents I spoke to is daycare.

Parenthood and financial independence aren’t mutually exclusive. It does take mindful prioritization and budgeting.

Myth #3: Only Rich People Can Become FI

First off if anyone tells you that income isn’t a factor, that’s a lie. Having more income can certainly help. However there are plenty of people who:

Make some good money, but still live paycheck to paycheck
Have more modest income, but have done a fantastic job stashing away

While income is a factor, it's not the main one when it comes to financial independence. It goes back to your savings rate and that gap between your income and expenses.

Myth #4: College Savings Will Kill your Retirement Savings

Two things to consider:

You don’t have to pay for your kids’ college.

Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

Seriously though. I’m not that old, but the price of some universities has gotten ridiculous. And for what?

One study found that 43% of college graduates are underemployed in their first job.

The second thing to think about is how college may not look the same or be the path your kid takes.

Certifications can give them the skills and training they need. They may also want to pursue trade school, which can be both fulfilling and financially rewarding.

If you do decide to help your kids with educational expenses, it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your retirement or financial well-being.

It does mean guiding your kids towards being more mindful and intention with their education. Which I think serves them better in the long run.

Myth #5: FI is About Never Working Again

There is a big subset of financial independence called FIRE which is financial independence, retire early but financial independence iis a much larger space that group.

There are some who do want work after they hit their FI number. However they want freedom of choice in deciding what kind of work that is. It could be a profitable business, volunteer work, or something seasonal.

I did an episode on the different paths within financial independence, which I’ll link to in the show notes.

For us, CoastFI made the most sense. So the kernel behind it is that you’ve saved enough so you could retire at a traditional age even if you never add another cent again.

That’s money tucked away in tax advantaged accounts like 401(ks) and IRAs. With that milestone out of the way we have a bit of stress taken off our shoulders.

We have more flexibility with work and other choices. It was especially helpful last year as our girls did remote learning. With both of us working from home, we’re grateful we could make it work.

Not going to lie, there were days and weeks when we were trying to find our footing, but it was worth it to us.

So yes, you could retire early – if you want. There are plenty of options you can choose. Make sure that it's based on your family and priorities.

There you have it – the five biggest myths people have about financial independence and parenthood.

Key Takeaways for Parents Pursuing Financial Independence

Before we wrap up, I want to focus on a few key takeaways I got from preparing this episode. 

  • Define what financial independence means to you. 
  • Know your numbers. 
  • Develop your plan in stages and on the season of life you’re in. 

Ask questions, swap ideas, and talk about your progress for the year– don’t forget to join us in the Thriving Families group on Facebook.

We’re all about helping one another out with our family and financial goals. 

Hope to see you there!

Kids and Money: Helping Your Teen Prepare for the Real World

Before they leave the house, how can you prepare your teen to be money savvy? Today we go over the five essential skills they need to know!

Teaching Your Teen About Money and the Real World

Last week, Kristia shared how she’s helping her girls become more savvy and thoughtful with money.

We also go into how to start the conversations so your kid can begin to pick up crucial money habits and learn how to spend, save, and give wisely. 

Because even though money is not the most important thing, understanding how it works can empower your kid to use it as a tool to build a life that they love. 

But to help them prepare takes time. Which can be a challenge in itself. 

Many of us are living full lives. I mean in our case, this week the new school year has started – virtually for us- and now both of our girls are enrolled. 

They have their school schedules, we have our work schedules, and so these next few weeks we’re going to have to test things out and find that rhythm.

And if you have teens in the house, you may feel like time is even further compressed. How do you pass on these lessons while handling your own regular routine and whatever add layers of complexity 2020 has thrown at you?

So today we want to reduce some stress for you. 

We’re going to be looking at how you can help your teen prepare for the real-world, specifically finances. 

In this episode, we’ll go over:

  • Five key money skills they need to know
  • Creating their post-graduation budget
  • Whether or not they should pay bills while living at home

It’s a lot to cover, but I’m excited. Are you ready? Let’s get started! 

Resources to Help Your Kid Become Savvy with Their Money

Here are some of my favorite tools, apps, and resources to get your family working as a team with money! 

Thank You to Our Partner Coastal

Support for this podcast comes from Coastal Credit Union! If you’re living in the Raleigh Durham area and looking to bank better, come check out Coastal today!

5 Key Money Lessons and Skills to Pass on To Your Teen

First off let’s get this out of the way – this is not a comprehensive list of every money skill and habit teens could learn about. 

As much as we want to do our best to prepare them, I don’t think any parent could predict what’s gone on so far in 2020. 

And that’s fine. 

When I worked on this list and was trying to narrow it down, I had a few things in mind. 

One, I wanted to focus on skills that they need as an adult and they could practice and learn at home many times. 

Two, I tried to keep these lessons align with skills they’d need to get on and be on the path of financial freedom. 

Finally, as we talked about last week on the podcast, parenting is more than teaching skills. We have to lead by example, including being open about mistakes we’ve made and showing our kids and teens they can turn things around. 

I think 4 out of 5 you’d nod your head along and agree, but there’s one that may throw you off, but hear me out on it. 

Let’s talk about five essential skills teens should know and become comfortable doing before they leave the house.

  1. Creating (and Sticking with) a Budget
  2. Learning to Save for Short and Long Term Goals
  3. Understand How Credit Cards, Credit Scores, and Debt Works
  4. Have an Affordable Plan for their Education
  5. Have Them Work for Pay

Some of these topics are not going to be covered in a short span, so starting early is really vital. 

Creating (And Sticking with) a Budget

If they're like most people, you might have to first change their perception of budgets.

Many teens and let's be honest adults see budgets as a restriction. But at its core, a budget is simply a plan to move your money towards what you need and what matters most to you.

The three targets that a successful and sustainable budget should hit are:

  • covering your essential bills,
  • making sure you have enough set aside for emergencies and future goals. And then, yes,
  • having some money that you can enjoy now,

Having your teen understand and be able to create a budget that hits those goals not only puts their finances in a good position, but it also opens up more options for them down the line for whatever goals they may pick up through their journey of life.

Saving for Short and Long Term Goals

Now, the second skill or lesson is helping them learn to save both for short and long term goals. This is something you want to instill in them early.

Saving is a habit that will serve them well, not just with the numbers, but because you're passing on a lesson and plenty of practice time with delayed gratification.

There have been a few studies that followed kids into adulthood and found that those that were able to practice delayed gratification were more successful beyond just the finances.

Depending on what path they take, their income may change based on the career that they choose. But if you teach them how to save, that's a skill that they can use for whatever personal or professional goals that they have.

Understand How Credit Cards, Credit Scores, and Debt Works

Believe it or not, having this lesson about delayed gratification ties into this third money lesson that they need to know understanding how debt works.

It may not seem like it makes sense for a podcast that focuses on helping families achieve financial freedom to talk about debt, but there are plenty of money woes and stresses that are tied up into jumping into debt or paying more to get what we want now.

So if you're teaching your child about savings, you should also teach them about how debt works.

You may have very strong feelings about this. You may feel like all debt is bad debt or you may feel like there's good and bad debt, like a mortgage is fine, but having credit cards is bad. And you may have very good reasons for why you feel the way you do.

To really help your team be responsible with finances, sit down with them, talk with them. Why this is so important to you? Why you feel this way about debt?

It could be from your own personal experience. You saw how it hindered your options, added unnecessary stress, or forced you to stick with the job that was not good for you, but you needed it to simply pay the bills and the debts.

The truth is, they're going to be getting pressure to buy now and pay later. And from personal experience and talking with others over the past 10 years about their money mistakes, not understanding how things such as credit scores work really put them at a disadvantage.

In some cases, they made poor financial decisions because they thought it was going to raise their credit score. So you can fight against those myths and misconceptions and arm them with more information so that they can make wiser decisions with their finances.

Have an Affordable Plan for Their Education

We did an episode on just college expenses last year. Where Drew Snider, a financial planner and father shared his thoughts about smart ways parents can save for college expenses. 

And look, we can have a real deep conversation on whether it’s worth it or not.  I’m actually planning on covering that for the next season, so please send those questions in!

For today, though, I want to highlight, whatever path your child chooses to gain the skills they need for their career, they need to understand the time and financial costs of that path. 

When I was in high school my mom and I had plenty of discussions about my options and also how much she was able to help out. 

Don’t wait until your kid is a senior to discuss the numbers. Start earlier and make these conversations a part of your routine. 

Things to discuss and be open about: 

  • What are you able and willing to kick in for college?
  • What’s the cost of the trade school, certification, or school they’re considering?
  • What are the job prospects? Expected Salary? 
  • Is there a way for them to shadow someone in the field? 

Having your kid come in with eyes wide open will hopefully help them choose the right path for them. 

Have Them Work for Pay

Do you remember your first job? My first job was being a data entry assistant for a real estate appraiser over the summer. 

It was work – I got hired during the busy season, but I enjoyed it and learned some skills. 

I know some parents may worry that working can interfere with academics, but unless they’re working crazy hours, your teen can actually be better off having a job. 

  • Time management
  • Responsibility
  • Ownership of their money
  • Making Money instead of spending 

Now with the current situation going on, work at an office or at a store may not be the best option. 

If you have a family business, you may be able to create a position, but I know many families can’t do this. 

Another route could be exploring freelancing and entrepreneurship. Something that may fit your teen is online tutoring. 

They could have the technical skills, academic chops, and empathy as a student to be fantastic.

Another benefit to having them work is to give them some insight into skills that they already have and trying out different paths. Don’t wait for a college internship senior year to discover that they actually don’t want to do X YZ. 

As teens, they have the unique opportunity to explore some options while they are at home. It may take some creative thinking and effort, but it’s well worth it. 

Support the Podcast!

Thank you so much for listening to the podcast! If you enjoyed this episode and found it helpful, here are some ways to support it.

  • Spread the word! If you enjoyed this episode and think it can help a buddy get on the path to dumping debt and become financially free, please share.
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Music Credit

Like the music in this episode? It was provided by Lee Rosevere and artists from Audiio.

How to Teach Your Kids to Be Smart and Generous with Their Money

How can you help your kids to be thoughtful and master money? We'll go over key things they need to know about how to save, spend, and give! 

Teaching Your Kids About Money

Teaching Your Kids About Money

In a way, I feel like 2020 has kind of given everyone a sense of how time works with parents. On one hand, you look up at the calendar and are amazed at how quickly things have flown by. 

I mean it’s already August! 

And yet on a weekly level, there’s this rhythm that somehow makes you think things are barely moving along. 

Next week our kids are back in school and we will have a 4th grader and a kindergartener. 

With this extra time together at home, we’ve had more conversations with one another. And if you’re around kids, you know that are a big part of those conversations are questions. 

Some topics we expected, our kids are 9 and 5 and they are now more aware of what’s going on, but others threw us off or at least me. 

And one of those was money. 

As you probably guessed, as a personal finance writer I do talk to my girls about money. And as a family, we have our little system for allowances, chores, and savings. 

But with the pandemic and the fallout hitting so many families so hard, our girls have asked – are we okay? They’ve wondered about others too. 

So we’ve expanded our conversations and included them in the family finances more. 

Whether there’s a pandemic ort not, I think if you ask any parent we want our kids ot not only be savvy with money, but more thoughtful and generous. 

But there can be a gap between what we like to teach our kids and actually getting started. 

Which is why we’re tackling this in two parts. Today we’re going to focus on getting the ball rolling with money talks. 

I’m excited because I’ve invited another mom in the trenches to chat  – Kristia Ludwick.

She’s not only a mom of two girls but also a half-marathon runner and the creator behind Family Balance Sheet

In this episode we’re discussing:

  • How to open up the conversations with your kids about money
  • Adjusting for each of your kid’s specific needs
  • Why your example matters 

Ready? Let’s get started!

Resources to Help Your Kid Become Savvy with Their Money

Here are some of my favorite tools, apps, and resources to get your family working as a team with money! 

Thank You to Our Partner Coastal

Support for this podcast comes from Coastal Credit Union!

Opening Up Conversations with Your Kids About Money

Elle Martinez: I want to talk about the challenges of being a parent. I mean, we're dealing with the new day to day and figuring out, it seems like every season there's guidelines coming and going, and, and everything's in flux, but I wanted to talk to you about something that we.

[00:00:17] As parents want to help our kids with, which is finances, , not just telling them not to be spenders, but to really understand how finances can help them, you know, build a life that they love, hopefully, you know, help others and have that have more flexibility and you know, less stress, less stress with their lives.

And you have two, I wouldn't say little girls. I have little girls. You have young ladies.

Kristia Ludwick: I have two daughters. They're going into ninth and seventh grade.

Elle Martinez: Yeah. So, you know, they're still young.

Kristia Ludwick: They have a lot to learn and there, but we started talking to them about money when they were younger and they don't have it all together and we haven't done things perfectly, but they're, making their way and they're learning and, and coming up with some of their own habits and routines.

So it's, it's fun to watch them evolve.

Elle Martinez: Yeah. That's a great point that you bring that, you know, they're learning. I think sometimes as parents, we. And we mean, well, we want to protect them or, you know, bail them out or kind of take care of everything. but at some point they have to start, you know, learning, how can I be on my own two feet and finances are a big part of that.

So you said you started talking about finances and working with them. Was there something like a moment where you and your husband said, you know, we need to talk about this with them or was it more organic?

Kristia Ludwick: I think it was more organic. I mean, I would try to think back if there was one thing that, made us start the conversation. I just think we started the conversation.

I mean, I, for a long time about family finances and I manage the finances for our family and our business. So it was just natural for me and for my husband too, to talk about money with the kids.

We've done a variety of different things when it came to earning money and what to do with money. And I think what the past several years, we kind of had this hybrid of how we've been teaching them about money management, and how they earn it and how they give and how they spend,

But, you know, honestly, with our kids, we, there was a point where I was all gung ho about tea, about money, and, you know, they have, their brains are not totally ready for the math behind it, you know?

So I think as they get older and older elementary and they, they get into higher math concepts at school, it's gonna click a little easier. you know, how to or what percent to give and what percent to see then what percent to sit spend. And I think I might've started too strong, too young and then backed off.

And then as, like I said, they got older into older elementary. I think. we came up with a routine that, that has worked fairly well for them and for us.

Creating an Allowance System for Your Family

Elle Martinez: Gotcha. So do you guys do an allowance? Cause I know like every parent's different.

Kristia Ludwick: We do, we kind of do a hybrid. I think. I mean, everybody in my family does help around the house and they don't get paid for that.

You know, they make their bed, they do the dishwasher, set the table, things that to run the home, but I do pay them to clean the house.

My kids are a little older. They're 12 and 14. And my 14-year-old is actually really good at cleaning the house. She's very good at that. and she's eager to earn money.

I know there's some debate about this subject, but, we do pay the kids to do work around the house and I, and it's not like they're making Buku bucks.

They are, they are earning 10 or $20 a week. It's not gonna make them spoiled. It's not going to make them entitle. I think it's a great opportunity to teach them what to do with this little bit of money that they have, you know, and it's a good math lesson. and it's a good. money management lesson.

So I'm very big in my kids understanding math and I think that'll, it's, it is a great math lesson for, for kids money management.

Elle Martinez: Yeah, we're kind of in the same boat. So, I mean, ours are younger, eight, almost nine and a five-year-old and we kind of like you there's certain chores or responsibility or. That you just do because you're part of the family and this is what we need to do the pitch in.

And then, you know, we have like chores around the house, extra yard work stuff that we would love to have done, , that we will pay them, you know?

And like you, it's not, it's not a lot of money, but you know, for them it's like, Oh, I –

Kristia Ludwick: –for them. It's a lot of money. Yeah.

Elle Martinez: You kind of mentioned a couple things that you can teach with finances. Like what do you do with money? You can save it, you can spend it and you give, or you can give or share it for you.

How are you guys like helping your girls learn to become, you know, really smart with money and how to use it?

Kristia Ludwick: We have always, always when they earn money, not necessarily birthday money or gifts, maybe when they earn money, we've always. Taught them, 10% giving 20% savings, 70% spending. And that, that's just an easy way to think of it. People could disagree with those percent, it's it? You know, they're they're kids.

So, you know, but that, I don't want to say I drilled it into them, but I guess I kind of did, because I'll have to tell you a story that made me realize I killed it into them. But, that I didn't realize until we had this conversation, but, no, they got like $10 and okay. So 10% we give.

We put in our giving folder and I have a bank book for my kids, 20% we give, we put in our savings folder and then 70% you can spend and it's easy to break down.

They start to learn percents in school and you walk them through it. Okay. 10% of $10. So it's a learning lesson and I, it's just easy to kind of come up with whatever percent you want. This is what we do. And honestly, it's very close to what my husband and I do. You know, we give her present and we save a percent we spend.

And as far as teaching them to be givers, you know, it's important for me and my husband or for my husband and I to give. And, we, we just kind of show that we show the kids how we give. We personally, we give to our church, we give to, we, Have a child through compassion international and we give to the food bank and we, you know, so there's things that are important to us.

But one thing we haven't done is we haven't told our kids where they need to give. And I think if your kids have that choice, like, okay, here's the, am I giving money? I, I want to give to the school or they give to, one of them saw a story about. A national disaster a few years ago that, that a school and they wanted to get to that, you know, so we went through the red cross, but I think if you help kids, or if you have let kids give to things that are important to them, they're going to be givers.

You just have to model the behavior and they're going to let them know those choices. So that's what we've done with giving and they're both pretty generous. You know, they, they follow the 10, 20, 70, and they're both pretty generous and eager to give, what's important to them, so,

Elle Martinez: Yeah. I agree with you. We've done the same thing, like, well, to say a percentage has to be, you know, saved

Kristia Ludwick: right,

Elle Martinez: You know, a given and we kind of hands-off like what they decided to give. And I was surprised because, my oldest is really into animals, so I've, I was almost certain, that's what she would give too.

And she loves to give gifts to neighbors, to friends like that is for her is more one-on-one, which I was surprised, but I. I think you're right. Letting them have that freedom, that autonomy to make that like motivates them to give more.

Kristia Ludwick: And I, yeah, that's, that's a great point. Yep.

[00:08:34] Elle Martinez: [00:08:34] Okay. I kind of want to talk to you because you like me, you have two girls and they're different personalities, even though same household. How, how do you work with that? any advice like teaching money? Are there some cases where you might have to pull one back in, in a certain area

[00:08:54] Kristia Ludwick: [00:08:54] Yeah. I mean, you really have to go work with their personality. I mean, My oldest is going into ninth grade. So she's on a little, she's much more mature than the daughter that's going into seventh. And, and, and, my kids, their money was kept in a binder and that was, we called it our bank book. And so there was a folder for what they earned.

[00:09:18] There was a folder for their saving. There's a folder for their spending and probably around seventh grade. My oldest daughter said, can I. Take the money out of my bank book and keep it in my room. And I kept it in the book and the kitchen. Cause I, I didn't want money like all over their rooms and like just a mess.

[00:09:36] And then we would never find it. It was a good way to keep them organized. And I, but my oldest was like, can I, She loves Pinterest. So she saw some money like jars on Pinterest. So she went and got these like blue ball jars and, you know, and she made these jars. And so we let her take control of her money.

[00:09:53], she is very organized. She has. And all of this came out this week. I'll have, you know, I was talking to my family, these questions and I known about the jar, this, I didn't know. And she, she has a list of things that she's saving core and how much it costs. And these are things that could range from like makeup that she wants to a car that, you know, she's almost 15.

[00:10:15] So she's starting to think about that, you know, so, I mean, she has all like planned out and my younger one. I feel like she will always have the book. We will always keep everything in just, and she's a great kid, very good student, but like just doesn't have, this is not as organized as her older sister.

[00:10:33] So those are just personality traits and you have to work with your kids and help them based on their personality. You know, now there's an age difference and you wouldn't think it ninth and seventh, but there definitely is an age difference. You know, a daughter that's, you know, Just a few months shy of 15 and thinking about turning 16 and my 12 year old that he's out plan, you know, ball and hide and seek with the neighbor kids, you know, so you have to there's age differences and there's personality differences.

[00:11:06] And, and my younger one will, she'll be fine. We'll help her along, but I think I'm going to probably be help her. I don't wanna use the word control, but maybe just help her manage the money a little

[00:11:16] Elle Martinez: [00:11:16] A little more hands on.

[00:11:17] Kristia Ludwick: [00:11:17] yeah. Be a little more hands on.

[00:11:19] Elle Martinez: [00:11:19] Gotcha. Wow. I mean, that's true. I think. In our minds, we were like, okay, at this stage, no, should be here, should be here. you know, whether we acknowledge it or not, but then also letting our kids, you know, their personality, how they manage money. I think the goal is to help them become comfortable.

[00:11:39] You know, and find that system that works for them that can, you know, of course take care of the essentials and the other goals. but that's fantastic. So, I mean, they still have years, but with your oldest, like how are you kind of transitioning her to like prepare for, you mentioned, like, he's thinking about buying a car,

[00:11:57] Kristia Ludwick: [00:11:57] yeah.

[00:11:58] Elle Martinez: [00:11:58] how does that work?

[00:11:59]Kristia Ludwick: [00:11:59] It's funny that you are bringing this up and that we're having this conversation because, , there's a lot of free time this summer, so she's like, I want to get a job. Well, not a lot of places hire 14 year olds. And, even though she's a responsible kid, they're just have rules. You have to be 16 most places.

[00:12:17] So she is trying to find some babysitting jobs. She's helping me around the house. but she's eager to work and we want to try and help her find a job. And. And find some work cause she wants to buy a car. When she turns 16. Now in her mind, she's buying a $20,000 white Jeep, you know, that is her goal.

[00:12:36] And I, you know, you don't want to see your kids goes down, but you know, she's only 14 and, but that's what she wants in her head. That's what she is expecting. So we're going to help her find some, find a job. I don't know. We have some, I don't know if you saw on Facebook, you know, she wants to babysit.

[00:12:53] So I'm trying

[00:12:53] Elle Martinez: [00:12:53] I saw that. Yeah.

[00:12:55] Kristia Ludwick: [00:12:55] post on Facebook. You know, my here's my 14 year old for, especially now, like with parents working from home, she rate parents helper. So we're trying to help her through that. But, she sent me a text this week and she goes, mom, everyone has a debit card. Why can't I get one? So. She doesn't know what it is, you know?

[00:13:16] So this is a great, this is a lesson. This is the next level and stage that we're at with her. so we are going to the bank tomorrow and we're going to open up a checking account and, a debit card and she has a savings account, but, you know, So that's the next we're at that, that level now. So, and she was just asking me earlier, cause I told her that we were going to do this tomorrow and she was like, mom, I don't understand what happens when a debit card.

[00:13:44] And I know, I see you hand the card over, you know, what, what happens and I had, you have to explain to them, well, No, it comes right out of your checking account. So, you know, it'll be a learning process. I'll keep my eye on it, for sure. She's very independent, so she'll want to do it herself, but, you know, we'll have to help her manage it, until she understands what a checking account is and what a debit card does though.

[00:14:12] It's interesting. but that's the level we're at. That's the next step,

[00:14:17] Elle Martinez: [00:14:17] Yeah. Yeah. And I mean, even before like the pandemic and everything, I think a lot of parents are moving away from cash. Just like you might do the allowance and everything, but

[00:14:27] Kristia Ludwick: [00:14:27] Well, you get, they get to an age where she's going to have a paycheck and we're going to have to put it somewhere, but I will tell you one thing, cause she asked me, how am I going to manage my. How will I know how much money I have. So I told my husband, I feel pretty strongly about this. You know, there's all sorts of apps.

[00:14:44] She's very ad driven. That's kids these days, they have an app for everything. but I'm gonna make her, write it out with, in the check, the check register.

[00:14:54]And I haven't used one in years cause we have, you know, on software, but I'm going to make her use that.

[00:15:00] Cause I feel like. After just to make it so easy and then you don't understand the math behind it. And, and so we're going to sit down and do it with a pencil and eraser and a calculator,

[00:15:13]or I've seen the math,

[00:15:14] audio_only_16778242_Elle_Martinez: [00:15:14] Yeah.

[00:15:15] Kristia Ludwick: [00:15:15] and then you can move onto an app, but you're not ready for that when she doesn't understand cashflow yet, you know?

[00:15:22] And

[00:15:22] Elle Martinez: [00:15:22] That's important. And then also, I mean, it's gotten faster with withdrawals and transfers, but there's still always a delay. And I think when you're really young or, you know, you're just getting the hang of it, you can forget like, Oh, I just spent 20 bucks and it hasn't cleared. So it's like one of the things where you have to get them in the habit of

[00:15:42] Kristia Ludwick: [00:15:42] It'll be a learning lesson, but we all went through it. I mean, I, so we're going old school and whether or not we're going old school and then I'm sure she'll be fine. It'll take. You know, she doesn't have a job yet. So the money that's going into the checking account is just money that she has right now.

[00:15:59] But, know, she'll figure it out. It's kind of fun to watch them learn new skills and find their way she's. Yeah, she's excited. So.

[00:16:07] Elle Martinez: [00:16:07] Yeah. And, and good. I mean, I love how you guys are approaching those. I mean, you have enough flexibility. Let them. Kind of in a sense like experiment and yes, like everybody, at some point feels with finances, but it's much better at home when it's a smaller amount than like, say they're in college and they've just accrued all this credit card debt or signed up for the student loans.

[00:16:29] It's better to, you know, do it at home where at least they got that safety net. So my last question Christina is, you know, for parents that are kind of at the stage where they. They know, they need to start talking about their kids about finances, but they haven't yet. Do you have any suggestions on maybe like first conversations or ideas?

[00:16:51]Kristia Ludwick: [00:16:51] when I think back to when my kids were much younger, like for instance, the grocery store we'll use as an example, it's very easy to drop your kids off. At least our grocery store has like the, they used to before the pandemic.

[00:17:05]but I think when they get to an age where they can help, it's really helpful for their development, from them to help with that, things like that. You know, maybe when they hit young elementary, this is our grocery list. Let's go like groceries and then help you with things like that. You just, it's just modeling good behavior.

[00:17:29] Cause your kids. I don't, I don't know. That would be my first piece of advice is just model the behavior. If you have, if you're organized with your finances, you're going to teach your kids to be organized with their finances. And that is like the greatest gift I think you can give your kids is to learn really strong money management, habits and routines.

[00:17:50] So, just model the behavior that you want them to. To have and include them and things like go to the grocery store and our other decisions that, you know, coupons or be an example, you know, we're going to go to Kohl's. We need something. We have this coupon, you just kind of model good behavior.

[00:18:09] That would be my biggest piece of advice. Just start modeling, good behavior, and slowly start giving them a little bit of money for doing some chores. and you can call it whatever you want. We call it chores and allowance. you can call it something else, but you're not entitling your kids. You're not, you're, you're teaching them money management skills and math skills, which I think is really important.

[00:18:33] Elle Martinez: [00:18:33] yeah. I love that. One, I love that idea of modeling the behavior you want to teach your kids and then to the transparency and the conversations you're having with your girls. I think sometimes money is taboo, even like, you know, with friends, but especially, you know, talk with a family, let your kids ask those questions.

[00:18:53]you know, share your own money, mistakes you made. those are absolutely key. Let them, you know, learn from you as best they can, so they can get ready for the real world. Well, thank you, Christie. I know we've just scratched the surface

[00:19:07] I feel like there's so much more.

[00:19:10] there going to be like a ton of stories, but if anyone, you know, watching listening is catching this where they can get more from you and you know what you're doing with family and finances.

[00:19:22] Kristia Ludwick: [00:19:22] Well, I have the blog family balance sheet.org, and I write about family finances and Hill management. I share recipes and I really, hopefully I encourage families to thrive on a budget. and I've been doing it for many years and I just really enjoy talking about. Family finances. And you can find me@familybalancesheet.org.

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Music Credit

 Music in this episode is by artists from Audiio.

How to Productively Work from Home When the Kids are There Too

I’ve lost count of how many days we’ve been home lol.

I want to say we’re starting our third week all together at home today.

To be honest working from home with kids around is both a joy and a challenge. We absolutely love the extra time with the girls and being there as they tackle some projects.

Like right now, they are making these short films and animations.

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The tough part – getting work done by the deadline when you have a five and eight-year-old.

Thankfully, I’ve been able to maneuver things a bit, but I still have client projects I need done every week and month.

It took a bit of time, but I think we found a rhythm that works for now.

Last week Andy Hill and talked about what we’re doing to balance kids and work on Thriving Families over on Facebook (come join us – it’s free!)

I also did a podcast episode years ago about it too.

Here are a few of my tips for those looking at running a business from home with little ones.

Create a Schedule

You don’t need to (or really want to) have things planned out minute by minute, but having a routine is a lifesaver for running a business.

With a podcast, I have to set aside time to do interviews and record shows.

After testing things out, I have a fairly set schedule where I can handle these tasks while the kids are napping or my husband is at home.

Shift Your Work Schedule

With remote work become a reality for many parents, you may find that shifting your schedule can allow you to remain productive with minimal disruption on your employer's side.

It's not an available option for all work places (I heard some employers are checking in login times to make sure schedule is kept), but it can be a handy option if okay with emp

Create (and Enforce) Boundaries

Many entrepreneurs who work from home say it can be hard to separate things. They’re checking email on the weekend in the middle or family.

My advice is to be clear with your clients about your availability. You also want to sit down with your spouse and your kids if they’re old enough and explain the situation.

My oldest knows that if I’m recording it’s a quiet time for her while she plays in her room until I come and get her. On the other hand, I respect that she’s a kid and I keep my recording session short – no more than 30 minutes.

Getting what I need to be done at that time means I have to be prepared and have already done my research for the guest, but it’s been worth it for me.

Communicate Regularly

To be able to stick to our schedule and keep those boundaries, Rob and I talk daily about what we have on our agendas.

We also loop in the girls, telling them which points at the day they need to be quiet.

As a reward, once we've finished that task, we'll take time to go outside with the girl, play a game, or give them one of their favorite snacks.

Connect with Me

Speaking of we've covered the topic of shifting schedules I’m doing some new stuff here.

While the podcast takes time to produce, I’ll be using Instagram and YouTube to create shorter, but more ‘in the now’ videos.

They may not so polished (I’m not a videographer ?), but I’d love to help you out any way I can.

Don’t forget to join us in our free Thriving Families Facebook group. We’re focused on helping one another our with our family and money goals!