how to practice gratitude

Have you ever had the “more” mindset? You know, where it doesn’t matter what you’re doing or what you have — you always want more? Maybe you want to earn more money, have a nicer house, or buy a better car.

I used to be the same way.

I’d set financial goals, hit them, and then immediately set other, bigger goals. I was never satisfied. I felt like I deserved better. I wanted more.

After a year of struggling to keep my head above water, I had a mental shift. Things were tough for my two kids and me; we were on our own, living on a poverty wage. But I avoided debt, built up some savings, and made it work.

It was a year full of hard work and sacrifices. And during that year, I started practicing gratitude. It was the only way I could stay positive.

Being thankful for what I have started to become a daily routine, one which has stuck with me. And since then, my entire relationship with money has changed.

Here’s how being grateful has made me a better manager of money: [ continue reading… ]

summer jobs

Summer is a great time to get intentional about teaching your kids the value of a dollar. A good summer job can help fend off some of the laziness that June, July, and August tends to bring.

Not only do small summer jobs keep kids busy during the summer months, but they provide them with some of their own pocket cash. There’s no better way to learn about personal finance than to experience making money firsthand.

Alas, there are many jobs available to kids that don’t involve a lemonade stand. Here are 20 of our favorites:

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art of negotiation

Skillful negotiation is a great way to save money — if you do it right.

Unfortunately, I’m not very good at it. Confrontation and conflict make me uncomfortable, so my goal is usually to complete the deal as soon as possible. But that didn’t stop me from trying to at least teach the basics of negotiation to my son.

Having completely made the move to PC gaming, my son no longer wants his Xbox. Together, we assembled the console, accessories, and games for a photo to put on Craigslist. Based upon what other Xbox systems were selling for, we priced his package at $200.

We had our first potential buyer less than 24 hours later. [ continue reading… ]

creative kids

It’s not enough to teach your children the basics of personal finance. Nobody will deny that it’s crucial that young people be taught how to manage their money and resources, however it’s also important to nurture their creativity and emotional intelligence to help them grow up to be creative, resilient adults who can weather any storm.

Exposure to the fine and performing arts is important for all children, not just those who show signs of being artistically gifted. All of these experiences will add to your child’s bank of inner resources and help them grow emotionally and intellectually.

The good news is that even parents on a tight budget can provide a childhood full of the arts with a bit of planning. Here are a ten suggestions:
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With all things having to do with your financial future, it makes sense to start saving as early as possible. This is true of college as well.

If you plan to send your child to college, now is the time to start saving up. College tuition keeps rising, and by the time your child is ready to attend school, there’s a good chance your child will be drowning in debt if he or she is solely relying on student loans to make ends meet. You’ll have to help your child pay for college some other way.
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meditate to save money

You’ve always purchased whatever you wanted, whenever you wanted. It’s part of your mentality: you “deserve” to have the things you want because you work so hard.

Adding another $100 to your credit card bill thinking you’ll “pay it off” with your next check is perfectly normal. Um, what about the other $10,987 you said that about?

Nothing’s changed, and you’re feeling increasingly worse the deeper you fall into debt. The problem is, the worse you feel, the more you want to spend to make it better.

Trust me. It never works that way.

Instead of making yourself feel better, you’ve bought more guilt, and that’s always expensive.

$12,764 later, you don’t know what else to do with yourself, and it hurts. You can’t stop spending.

Here’s the thing, though. You can, starting the second you change your mind.

You’ve heard the saying, “Change your mind, change your results.” It’s true. When you truly believe you’re above your spending habits, you can control them. They no longer dictate when your money leaves your wallet, since that’s left to your common sense.

Meditation can help you change your mind and facilitate better decisions. [ continue reading… ]