How Much Allowance Should I Give My 12-Year-Old?

So you’ve been following the one-dollar-per-week-per-age-of-your-child allowance system for a while. However, now you have a tween, and you feel that the time has come for her allowance to mature …

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3 Easy Tips for Setting an Allowance for Kids that Works

“Everything we tried never seemed to work…As they got older, we tried to really tie it to more chores. But then what would happen was they would do some of …

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Why Your Kids Do Need an Allowance and Why Most Allowance Programs Don’t Work

Viktor Frankl was able to survive the unimaginable horrors of the Holocaust, enduring stays at multiple concentration camps while also losing his wife and unborn child as the Nazis committed …

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Allowance for Chores? Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Tie an Allowance to Chores as You Try to Raise Money-Smart, Money-Empowered Kids

Lots of kids got spanked when I was younger because this method of discipline appeared to work. The base reasoning made intuitive sense: My kid is being a total jerk …

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The Breakthrough Allowance: Starting a More Substantial Allowance to Help you Raise Money-Smart Tweens and Teens

I remember thinking to myself, “How could you not know this?” I was a sophomore Teacher’s Assistant (TA) in the Bates College Freshman Biology lab. One of the students had …

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Literary Inspiration Behind My Money-Smart Movement Writing: 3 Important Books I Read in 2017

I recently came across Bill Gates’ list of 5 amazing books he read last year. As I reviewed it, I recalled that Gates inspired me years ago to venture cross-country …

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Raising Money-Smart Kids: Teaching Them Stuff Is Impermanent

“Let all your efforts be directed to something, let it keep that end in view. It’s not activity that disturbs people, but false conceptions of things that drive them mad.” …

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Sample Chapter

Click here to download a sample chapter from The Art of Allowance. More blog items coming soon!

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Generation X — The Credit Card Kids

If you went to college in the early 90s, then you’ll likely remember getting an offer from MBNA in the mail. MBNA merged with Bank of America over a decade …

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3 Things I Learned Raising Money Smart Kids

There are three important things that I learned while teaching my kids money smarts. Money Smart Lesson #1: There Is Very Little That We Truly Need My kids chide me …

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Financial Education for Kids – Intensity Not Required

I was chatting with a friend today. She said, “I know you’re intense about your allowance, but…” I stopped her. “We’re actually not all that intense.” (Cue my kids rolling …

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Financial Education for Kids: 3 FAQ’s that Might Pique Your Interest

I gave a talk last night to a terrific group of parents at an area school. I really liked a few of the questions they raised as they illuminated some interesting points, …

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Financial Education for Kids Thought for the Day: Starting Financial Education for Kids Early May Help Them Learn Self-Control

Getting kids started on the financial education path early is strongly suggested by research.   Inhibition is “the ability to stay focused on a task in the face of internal and external …

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Financial Education for Kids Thought for the Day: Start as Early as Possible

  I am reviewing some of the incredibly useful youth financial literacy research as I prepare my Foundation FOCUS Summit talk next week.   Take a gander at this poignant passage from “The Effectiveness …

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Financial Education for Kids Thought for the Day: Why You Don’t Need to Tie Chores to Your Kids’ Allowance

“Why shouldn’t I tie chores to allowance?” This is a question I am commonly asked.   Chores are an important part of growing up. They will help your kids learn …

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3 Important Dates for 2016 for Credit Union Marketers

As the Marketing Mammal, I’m tasked with managing the annual marketing calendar of conferences, special events and other important communication-worthy dates that affect our Kids Club partners and our overall …

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Allowance 3.0: A 3-Step Plan to Increase Money Responsibility for Your Tween

  The endless holiday parties are finally over, and by now you’re probably trying to shed your holiday handles, still trying to figure out how to connect your latest gadget …

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6 Very Effective Ways to Start to Teach Your Kids About Money

  The holidays will be over before we know it. We’ll collectively transition into making resolutions and planning for the New Year. If you’re a reader of this blog, I imagine …

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How a Live Show for Kids Can Impact Your Credit Union Marketing Plan

We recently returned from the second leg of our Money Mammals “Ticket to Save” tour with Service Credit Union. Take a look at the local write-up of our super-fun shows for …

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Credit Union Marketing Plan Ideas You Can Can Use to Make a Difference

Are you putting together your credit union marketing plan for the year? You hash and rehash, trying to work out the best possible mix for the coming year. Maybe your …

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4 Easy Ways the Money Mammals Financial Literacy Apps and More Can Teach Your Kids – Or Even Your Students – About Money Smarts and Make Financial Literacy for Kids Fun

  My goal from the start of this journey has been to help parents raise a generation of money-smart kids. We’ve strived to make money-smart learning as fun as possible …

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Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness: Reflecting on What Is Meaningful to Your Family When It Comes to Money

  I am in the middle of reading Ramit Sethi’s book, I Will Teach You To Be Rich. He has a lot of excellent practical advice, but one of his recommended …

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Lucky To Be a Dad: Father’s Day Thoughts About Teaching to Your Kids’ Money Personalities

    It’s wonderful being a dad to two wonderful girls. And I’m very fortunate that I’ve found my calling largely because of them. Having a real-life incubator for your …

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4 Very Effective Banking Activities for Kids to Help Build Money-Smart Habits

    I am prepping for our Ticket to Save Tour of New Hampshire public schools with our Money Mammals troupe. It’s sponsored by Service Credit Union, one of our terrific partners. Our …

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3 Concepts Even a Pre-K Money Mammal Can Understand: Simple, Practical Banking Activities Parents Can Do with Their Kids

  Happy Financial Literacy Month!   This is a great time to focus on a few core financial literacy concepts. These main ideas should be at least introduced to our kids …

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The Pot of Gold: 3 Money-Smart Tips for New Parents

    On St. Patrick’s Day, who isn’t looking for a pot of gold? I hope this post helps you find it. “529 contributions are unlimited but can only be …

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My Interview with Mint about Financial Education for Kids

  I love and use Mint, so when they contacted me about doing an interview to talk about financial education for kids, I was very excited. I’m so glad that they chose to …

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6 Banking Activities for Kids: Making Financial Literacy Fun

  From games to $mart Quests to printables, we are constantly creating Money Mammal-themed banking activities for kids.  These entertain and engage children early (elementary school or before) with topics aimed to …

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The Importance of Spending Smart: A Sneak Peek at My New Book

      ​I thought you might enjoy seeing a few sketches from my third picture book, which is designed to help bring financial education to kids. It had always been a dream …

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3 Mistakes You Might Be Making in Teaching Your Child Money Smarts

    I love New Year’s resolutions. One of mine was to read two books per month. I’m happy to say that I’m on track with it, largely because I eliminated one of …

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4 Blog Posts to Start the New Year Right

  Happy New Year!   I touched on a number of key topics last year related to financial education for kids. I thought it might be helpful to point out a …

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The Secret to Stopping In-Store Temper Tantrums

  The tears well up. Her fists clench. Your fists clench. Here it comes. The scream. The rapid-fire toe tapping. The fist pounding.   The embarrassment. You’re a better parent …

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3 Easy Ways to Teach Your Child to Share

  The Share jar. There it stands. Alone. In The Money Mammals’ three-jar system, which goes along with our “We’ll Share & Save & Spend Smart” mantra, the Share jar …

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Giving Thanks for Great Youth Money-Smart Resources (And Pie)

  Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday: time with family, a license to eat endlessly, football (Go Seahawks!) and pumpkin pie. I always feel good this week, and I wanted to spread that …

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3 Easy Ways to Teach Your Kids to Spend Smart

    The Money Mammals like to sing, “We’ll Share & Save & Spend Smart Too!” Here are three easy ways that you can teach your kids the last part of that …

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3 Reasons Why Games Matter

  Jane McGonigal wants your kids to experience an EPIC FAIL! If you haven’t heard of this wunderkind game designer and researcher, you should check her out. From her best-selling …

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3 Quick Tips to Start Raising Money-Smart Kids

  Here are three practical, simple tips you can use to get your kids started on the road to money-smart learning.

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Marketing to Help Kids Get Money-Smart

    Financial education for kids continues to pick up steam. With so much attention directed to the subject, you’d think more folks in the B2B space, where we also operate, …

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MoneyBuddy’s 2014 Award Winner

I’m very excited to announce that we are the MoneyBuddy 2014 “Best Money Saving Blog For Kids” award winner!

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Longer-Term Savings and the Save Jar

  I just had a nice conversation with a friend who is implementing the Share, Save & Spend Smart Money Mammals allowance system for his six- and eight-year-old kids. You …

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Take Five Short Minutes to Set Up an Allowance System

  I always liked the idea of KISS (You know, Keep It Simple, Stupid.), but I never liked what the last “S” stood for. Referring to yourself or anyone else …

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Of Marshmallows and Money

  By now we’ve all heard of the Marshmallow Study by Walter Mischel. You know, the one in which kids who could resist a marshmallow for a period of time would …

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Mini iPads and Money Mistakes

  One of the key tenets of our approach to helping kids get money-smart is that allowing them to make small purchasing mistakes is just a part of the process. …

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John Lanza to NBC4 LA

  Watch the full interview, where The Money Mammals’ Chief Mammal, John Lanza, talks about financial education for kids.  

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Holiday Thoughts

  I put together some quick thoughts on the holidays in our latest Money Mammals TV video. Let me know if you have any good ideas to share in order …

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Youth Financial Literacy Essential Reads

  Here is a weekly roundup that includes some short essential reads and lessons for any parent looking to raise money-smart and money-comfortable kids.   Motivation Theory Applied to the …

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Joe’s Money Jar Label Maker

    Joe’s Money Jar Label Maker   from   John Lanza   on   Vimeo   You can sit down with your kids and help them set a goal …

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Joe’s Birthday Bananza!

  I was so fortunate last week to work with Kelly Lanza of   StudioDIY   (who also happens to be my sister) as we threw a Birthday Bananza for …

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My Favorite Books

  The First National Bank of Dad by David Owen – Hilarious and incredibly well-written, this book will put a smile on your face while giving you invaluable real-world advice on …

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Money Moments: Youth Financial Literacy Weekly Roundup

  Here’s our first roundup of some happenings in youth financial literacy this week. You might notice a trend in this Money Moments Weekly Roundup. Allowance for Amazon   Raising …

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Working Hard for the Money

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Parents, Stay Strong at the Store (Allowance Tips)

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The Benefits of an Allowance

  There are some HUGE benefits to setting up an allowance. Doing so (and giving your kids control of their money) is very empowering and engenders positive associations with money. …

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I Discuss Youth Financial Literacy on “The Intentional Parent”

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Build Good Habits Early: Why to Start Now!

  It’s gratifying that more of my friends are asking me about starting their kids on an allowance program at the ages of five or six. I think those are …

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First Video Podcast: Saving for a Goal!

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Around the World

  I recently had lunch with a friend just before she was about to take off on an around-the-world journey. I was envious. We had talked previously about goals, something …

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Visualize: What Superbowl MVP Drew Brees Can Teach Us About Goals

  Everyone now knows Drew Brees. Being inches shorter than your average Joe NFL QB, performing for a once moribund franchise, and playing for a city that was almost completely …

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Share Jar: Your Kids Can Help Haiti

  If you’ve been following this blog and my advice about having three jars for your kids (Share, Save and Spend Smart), you’re likely to have a kid with a …

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My American Girl

“Can we just stop in the American Girl Doll Store?” These are ten words that really, truly scare me.     Now before you get all “What do you have …

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A $10 Gift Card: A Coupon Teaching Moment

  “Dad, look, here’s a $10 gift card to Toys R Us. Can we go?”“Well, honey, that’s not really a $10 coupon. It’s $10 off if we spend $75. We …

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5 Great Youth Financial Literacy Links

  These are some of the top resources that I’ve found that can help you teach your kids about the value of money:   Allowance Magic – A short, simple and …

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Don’t Forget the Family

  Times may be tough, but whatever you do, please don’t lose your focus on the family. I know I posted on this recently, but it bears repeating because I’ve …

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The Thrift Shift?

  I heard a very interesting story this Thursday on NPR’s Morning Edition. Linda Wertheimer chatted with The Wall Street Journal‘s David Wessell about the recent rebound in the savings …

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President’s Council Report

  “While there are many causes to the economic problems facing this country, it is undeniable that lack of financial literacy is a contributing factor.”   -Charles Schwab, Chairman of …

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40,000 Reasons You Can’t Ignore

  “Children are already a major target audience for advertisers. American companies currently spend $15 billion a year on marketing and advertising to children under the age of 12—twice the …

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President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy

  I am following up my post from December 11th to let you know that the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy will present its annual report on January 6th. …

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President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy

  Just in case you weren’t convinced of the importance of youth financial literacy, the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy (Yes, there is one.) is releasing a draft recommendation …

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Mistakes Is Good

  There may be no better teacher than a good, old-fashioned mistake. For a time, my five-year-old daughter had been sinking all of her money into her Save jar after …

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Turning the Corner

  I see one huge silver lining in the current economic crisis our world is facing: Financial literacy is already becoming a huge hot topic. I’ve seen a marked increase …

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Needs and Wants Redux

  Needs and wants: It’s incredibly important to distinguish between the two. I’ve talked about this before, but it bears repeating. Why? I heard a report on NPR this week …

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When Tough Times Affect the Kids

  Read Sue Schellenbarger’s article in The Wall Street Journal today. She has some terrific points about how we can talk to our kids about how the current financial crisis is affecting …

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Rethink It

  Do you and your family feel pressured to get gifts for relatives or friends? A sagging economy gives you an opportunity to address this pressure head-on: People are more …

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Stand Strong

On the path we are traveling to teach our children (this generation) to be smart with money, we must be relentless. When your friend tells you to “lighten up” and …

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Priceless

Today’s New York Times article titled “Given a Shovel, Americans Dig Deeper Into Debt” inspired this post. Click the title above to read the article. Or you can start with …

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Interesting: Compounding for Kids?

I came across an interesting post on frugaldad.com. He taught the concept of compounding to his eight-year-old. Good stuff. -John

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“Who Will Own Our Children?”

Ok, I’ll admit it. I stole this headline from the National Association of State Boards of Education’s report on financial and investor literacy. The title says it all. If you decide not …

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A Dollar a Day from a Money Mammal Mommy

I have a very special guest blogger today: my wife and The Money Mammals executive producer, Eileen Lanza. Eileen inspired me to really get my money act together after being something …

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“The Fourth ‘R’ – ‘The Real World'”

I recently took part in a conference call hosted by Robert Duvall and the National Council on Economic Education (NCEE) announcing their “Report Card – Survey of the States: Economic, …

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Young Kids and Money: Rich or Poor

My family is always sending me articles relevant to our business, and today’s mail proved to be no exception. My dad, a retired banker, sent me a piece from the …

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Lessons for Preschoolers

Numerous parents have asked me if there are any resources on the Web to help them teach their preschool kids about money. One of the best sets of resources I’ve …

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“This Doesn’t Fit into Our Budget”

My 3-year-old always asks to buy stuff when we go into a store. To anyone who has kids, this certainly isn’t a shocker. So how do we deal with it? …

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Teaching Kids to Share: A Simple Idea

I was talking to a good friend recently, and she mentioned a great, easy way to help teach your kids to share their money. If you happen to go to …

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Starting Early Is Very Important

Good morning. In the first newsletter for my DVD, The Money Mammals: Saving Money Is Fun, I included some valuable information from the National PTA that I think bears repeating …

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MINUS 18%?

A relatively recent article in The Wall Street Journal (8/7/06) noted that the savings rate for people under 42 in the US was NEGATIVE 18%. My eyes almost popped out of …

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MSU Study on Kids and Financial Habits

Montana State University has a fantastic article on why it’s so important to teach young children strong financial habits at an early age. We totally agree with the information presented. Read …

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