Strengthen Your Family Through Biblical Homeschooling

Tag: finance

To build kids’ money-handling habits — better Start Young.

Every parent who has passed the toddler-wrangling stage knows that kids learn by watching, and then doing—why else would we buy a lock for a toilet seat? So, when it comes to practical life skills, we’re always looking for safe ways to give our kids some hands-on experience.

For example, to raise a talented baseball player, we start young by instilling basic skills through a game like T-ball (cue parent, lurching backward to avoid getting kneecapped by a miniature bat). In the same way, to develop our kids into financially savvy adults, we also start young, teaching them basic stewardship skills like saving and responsible spending.

Or at least we try.

 

It’s time to send the pig packing.

In the past, we’ve all used similar financial tactics:  encourage our kids to stuff a piggy bank with cash until there’s some unexpected need to emaciate the poor porker, and then we start the process all over again. Or, if you’re one of those organized parents, you may have three separate pigs for spending, saving and giving.

While those are useful (and possibly Pinterest-worthy) tools, let’s take this kid-focused financial training one step further by introducing some real banking tools made just for kids.

 

It’s amazing what happens when you Start Young.

NewStart Young Savings and Spending Accounts give kids hands-on experience in handling money, with you by their side. Developed by Evangelical Christian Credit Union (ECCU) with 50+ years of banking experience behind them, Start Young Accounts help you and your children work together—discovering the rewards of saving and spending responsibly, while using practical money skills based on biblical values. 

For kids 7-days to 17-years old, Start Young Accounts offer age-appropriate digital banking tools, but with safeguards, limits, and options and that you control. And it costs you nothing—no monthly maintenance fees, no minimum balances.

Each account also comes with its own Start Young Visa® Debit Card—allowing you to teach your children the basics of using money in a digital world, safely and at your own pace. Again, no maintenance or overdraft fees.

The card can help you teach your kids to make their own responsible purchases online or in a store; all while you control the spending limits and digitally monitor their account from anywhere. Just imagine helping your teens build healthy spending habits years before they get tempted with those first credit card offers.

 Learn more about the Start Young Visa® Debit Card

 

Start Young, finish strong.

It’s never too early to understand money, so Start Young Accounts offer your kids grown-up banking features that grow with them. It’s the best way to help your child discover the rewards of saving and spending responsibly—together!

Click here to learn how your kids can Start Young!

Who is ECCU? Since 1964, ECCU has provided excellent banking products and services to members located all over the world. But that’s what you might expect from any credit union. It’s what’s going on behind the scenes that really sets us apart. Click here to learn more about how ECCU helps you

Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is.

 

 

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In our modern world, it’s all too easy to fall into debt and then further into debt.

We’re bombarded daily by advertising that makes us want more of whatever it is they’re selling. The world tells us to “go for the gusto” regardless of affordability, because, well, we’re entitled to it.

The lure of debt is an ages-old problem.  William Shakespeare and Benjamin Franklin had some acute observations about it:

“Neither a borrower, nor a lender be; for loan oft loses both itself and friend. And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry,” says the king’s loquacious but perceptive chief counselor, Polonius, in “Hamlet.”

Benjamin Franklin reminds those tempted to go into debt that, “Creditors have better memories than debtors.”

The Bible is full of warnings about living beyond one’s means. Proverbs 22:7 informs us that “the borrower is slave to the lender.”

In Romans 13:8, Paul admonishes, “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.”

Living Beyond Our Means

If we do find it necessary to borrow, we need a plan to pay it back sooner than the period of the loan.  Otherwise, we wind up paying far more than the original price.  The most striking example of this is the National Debt of the United States.

The USDebtclock.org, which tracks our rising debt at dizzying speed, was introduced on Feb. 20, 1989 by New York real estate magnate Seymour Durst.  The clock began by reporting a national debt of “only” $2.7 trillion.

By 1991, it was ticking up at $13,000 per second. In fact, it “began accumulating so fast that the last seven digits became totally illegible,” Time magazine reported.

The clock actually broke down in 1998 because its computers couldn’t handle the total of $5.5 trillion.  In 2008, a digit was added because the debt had grown to $10 trillion.  Over the next eight years, the nation’s debt grew to more than $20 trillion and today it is past $21.6 trillion.

Why is this important?  Because the government is living beyond its means, and we’re all paying interest on the debt, which compounds, creating more debt.  The debt for each individual taxpayer as of October 2018 now exceeds $216,000 and the total debt per family is upwards of $850,000.  Who will pay for all of this? Our children and grandchildren.

The Bible tells us that piling up debt on the next generations is a dereliction of duty.  In 2 Corinthians 12:14, the apostle Paul states: “For the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.”  This doesn’t mean that children cannot assist their elders, especially as people live longer than ever.  It means that parents should provide for their children and not saddle them with debt.

The Lure of the Card

Personal credit card debt is out of control for many people.

The average American has a credit card balance of $6,375, up nearly 3 percent from last year, according an annual Experian study on the state of credit and debt in America,[1] as reported by CNBC.  Total credit card debt surpassed $1 trillion in 2017, according to the Federal Reserve.

“About one-third of America’s 44 million student loan debtors say they were late paying that bill at least once last year,” CNBC states. “And years of aggressive auto lending, particularly targeting subprime buyers, have led to a dramatic increase in delinquencies and repossessions.”

God’s Economy v. the World’s

Problems with debt begin in the human heart, Scripture informs us.

“Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed,” Jesus told a crowd. “Life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” (Luke 12:15 NIV)

Author Randy Alcorn notes that wanting more material goods can mire us in a lifestyle that contrasts with a forward-looking, eternal outlook in which trusting God and giving back to Him is more important.  In God’s economy, giving is the coin of the realm, not getting.

Debt keeps us from giving our best to our Creator.

“How can we be fully free to serve God when we’re indebted to human creditors?” Timothy Plan founder Art Ally asks in his course “Stewardship: God’s Plan for Financial Success.”

Instead of striving for ever more worldly acquisitions, we benefit much more from following the advice of Jesus, who said, “But seek first His kingdom, and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33 NKJV)

It comes down to trusting God to provide rather than chasing the empty promises of the world.

Parents and grandparents need to take this to heart and teach children about the use and misuse of money – especially the temptations and dangers of indebtedness.

[1] Jessica Dickler, “Credit card debt hits a record high. It’s time to make a payoff plan,” CNBC, January 23, 2018, at: “https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/23/credit-card-debt-hits-record-high.html.

 

Robert Knight

 

Robert Knight is an author and Communications Advisor for Timothy Partners.  Some of this material was drawn from a curriculum from the Timothy Plan for family economics called “Stewardship:  God’s Plan for Financial Success.”

Written by Timothy Plan founder Art Ally, the 112-page workbook, which, along with brief video segments of a couple discussing their income and giving, offers a Gods-eye view of money, investing, giving and cultural impact.  Learn more at timothyplan.com.

 

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For more great articles about teaching your children how to manage their money and more homeschooling information be sure to check out the Teach Them Diligently Blog.

 

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The Key to Teaching Your Kids About Money… is to Start Young

If you’ve wondered whether it’s too early to start teaching your kids about money, consider this excerpt from Let’s learn about money! Teaching young children about money, an article published by Penn State Extension:

As children grow and start to make choices, they learn that people, things, and money have value. These concepts form the foundation for understanding the importance of spending, sharing, and saving.

In other words, it’s never to early to understand money.

Start Young Road Map

At Evangelical Christian Credit Union (ECCU), we couldn’t agree more. Our conviction is that earlier is better to begin developing not only an understanding of money, but also the biblical values of generosity and stewardship. It’s why we created Start Young Savings and Spending Accounts and the FREE Start Young Road Map: A Guide for Training Financially Responsible Kids to help you get started.

And because this is for you and your kids, the digital guide is designed to capture and keep their attention as they learn.

The fun, free and downloadable Start Young Road Map includes money management ideas for kids ages 0-7. The digital guide is packed with practical ideas that you can use in everyday life to introduce your kids to a foundation of concepts to earn, give, save and spend.

For example:

  • How they can earn money in small ways
  • Ideas for sharing to teach giving
  • How to build good savings habits
  • Using everyday events to teach financial foundations

And the Start Young Road Map is just the beginning, as it helps to get your creative juices flowing. For example, here’s another idea inspired from the guide.

To get your kids excited about vacation and make saving fun, create a “Vacation Fun Fund” jar that everyone in the family can add to during the year and cash in at vacation time. You can also work money concepts into your kids’ imaginary games, like playing pretend restaurant or store. The ideas are endless.

And, if you have kids of various ages you want to train to handle money more wisely, there’s a portion of Start Young Road Map dedicated to pre-teens and a section for teens as well.

To get started teaching your kids about money, follow this link for free access to Start Young Road Map: A Guide for Training Financially Responsible Kids

About the Author:

 

In 28 years of marriage, Rachel Soto and her husband David have welcomed six sons into their family. Those boys gave her 15 years of homeschool experience; she taught them through high school. With the boys off to college or on their own now, she returned to work at Evangelical Christian Credit Union (ECCU). When she’s not working, she enjoys cooking, reading, coffee dates with friends and even an occasional nap.

 

 

 

 

Looking for more great articles about teaching your children how to manage and steward their money? Check out Pizza Prepares Kids To Make Sense Of Money, To Build Kid’s Money Handling Habits, Start Young, and Common Sense Savings Skills That Aren’t So Common on the Teach Them Diligently Blog.

 

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Tweens and Saving Money

There’s never really been a good word for kids between the ages of 8–12. There was a time in the early fifties when they were called “subteens.” Flattering, right? Some folks started calling them “‘tween-agers,” and eventually we just settled on “tweens.”

Our struggle to come up with an acceptable term for this group reinforces the idea that 8–12 is kind of a lost age. They don’t require the same kind of constant supervision as young kids, but they don’t have the independence of teenagers.

But this is a pivotal time where kids feel trapped in an awkward transition. They’re learning to relate to peers, adjust to social rules, and develop the skills they’ll need in their teen years. And these skills include money management.

 

Here are some hands-on tips for giving them a financial jump start.

 

Start talking to them about banking.

If you don’t have a savings and spending account for your pre-teens, it’s probably time. Learning to manage a bank account is a must. In fact, putting money into a savings account is one of the best habits a tween can pick up. For every $10 they earn, try encouraging them to put $1 into savings.

If you’re curious about savings and spending accounts for your tween, take a look at these new options.

 

Get them a debit card.

Our world is a lot less reliant on bills and coins. And a debit card prepares your child for money handling in a largely digital world. Think about it this way; when you can control the spending limits and access, a card becomes safer than giving your kids cash—especially when you can set limits on the card.

Debit cards for kids? Yep! You can learn more here.

 

Help them make online purchases.

Making an online purchase is a fairly common activity. Kids should be as comfortable buying something on Amazon as they are making brick-and-mortar store purchases. Guiding them through this process demystifies this ordinary task.

 

Teach them how to monitor their account with an app.

Monthly paper bank statements are so 2006. It’s easier than ever to track your account activity. The ability to check in on your account from a mobile app adds a whole new level of security to banking. Your child should be able to monitor their account and their spending habits—and you should, too.

Learn more about mobile banking apps for you and your tween.

 

Help them make money outside the home.

At this age, they’re ready to start experimenting with work. Why not talk to family, neighbors, and church members about opportunities for doing yard work, babysitting, or helping others with chores? This not only helps them make money to deposit in their account, but it also instills a strong work ethic.

 

Give your tween a jump start.

You can’t teach the most important lessons in a day; they require consistent involvement and reinforcement. That’s why it’s critical to teach your child smart money managing principles and techniques early.

 

You want your tween to jump into their teens with boldness. The Start Young Savings and Spending Accounts from Evangelical Christian Credit Union (ECCU) will equip your child with the tools they need to manage their money effectively while offering you the right amount of visibility into every area. It’s confidence for them—and you!

 

Check out the Start Young Accounts today, and start preparing your child for their teen years.

 

Looking for more great articles about teaching your children how to manage and steward their money? Check out Pizza Prepares Kids To Make Sense Of Money, To Build Kid’s Money Handling Habits, Start Young, and Common Sense Savings Skills That Aren’t So Common on the Teach Them Diligently Blog.

 

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Of the many thoughts racing through a student’s mind as he approaches high school graduation, two of his preoccupations are likely, “What do I want to do for a career?” and “How do I pay for this?”

The affordability of a college education is a determining factor in whether a student goes to college at all. ‘Financial Aid’ is a broad term used by colleges to encapsulate all financial options – from scholarships to grants to loans. Knowing how to combine financial aid options with responsibility and hard work will provide students with an answer to the question, “How do I pay for this?”

Here are some tips:

1. Federal Grants and Loans

Most colleges and universities will ask your family for the FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is a federal form based on your taxes from the previous year which allows the government to determine a students’ Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). Based on the EFC, the government will designate an eligible amount of aid to that student. Some of this aid will be grants (do not need to be paid back) and some of it may be loans (must be paid back starting six months after graduation).

Students should read the fine print on the awards they accept to determine whether the amount is indeed a grant or if it is a loan. If taking out loans, students should pay close attention to the Loan Entrance Counseling required by the government, and would be wise to seek financial counsel on how much to borrow. It is better to keep loans as a last resort when other options (discussed below) have been exhausted.

2. State/Organizational Grants and Scholarships

Some states, like Florida, give out ‘Promise Scholarships’ to high achieving students. These scholarships may have limitations (GPA, location, or attending a specific university/college) but are worth looking into! Organizational scholarships are awards specific to certain corporations and businesses. Walmart, General Electric, Associated Press have all been known to have scholarships available. Smaller groups such as the Rotary Club or local businesses are also willing to help out students who show ambition and creativity. Look for awards in your hometown or search out corporations you have connections with.

3. Work Study/Campus Jobs

Federal Work Study is a form of aid for which students qualify through the FAFSA. This aid caps at $4000 per year and is earned by working a campus job. The funds can be sent directly to your loans or student account, or they can be given to you like a regular paycheck. A student can also determine the percentage of his paycheck he wishes to send toward his student account: i.e., 60% to account, 40% via paycheck. Regardless of whether a student qualifies for work study, he can very likely acquire a job on campus to help pay for books and incidentals.

4. School Specific Scholarships

University aid is aid through the school itself. Academic scholarships specific to the university with their own GPA and test score qualifications, scholarships based on ethnicity, and association with certain extracurricular groups and societies (such as Phi Theta Kappa) are all opportunities for additional aid. Both state and private colleges will list a wide variety of scholarships for which students can apply. For instance – Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan offers an award of $500 per year to Polish-American students. That’s enough to cover books!

5. Spend Wisely

It is very easy to spend money in high school and college, especially when everyone around you seems to have a bottomless bank account. Starting financial responsibility in high school (or even earlier!) will create habits that will last through a student’s college years. Saving money, budgeting for fun expenditures (eating out, shopping, travel), and avoiding debt are great ways to both fund your college education and guarantee wise decisions when paying for school. Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University is one option for financial education that comes highly recommended for soon-to-be college students!

 

Working hard and making wise decisions when it comes to college will pay off in the long run. Students who work for and through college tend to value their education more because it was earned! Be sure to check out sites like Fastweb.com for additional scholarships from outside organizations.

 

Preparing Your Teens for College: Helping Them Face the Challenges: Faith, Finances, and Friendships - eBook - By: Alex Chediak

 

 

For more on financial assistance and preparing for college, you may want to look at the eBook, “Preparing Your Teens for College: Helping Them Face the Challenges: Faith, Finances, and Friendships“, available in the Teach Them Diligently store.

 

 

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Article contribution by, Phylicia Duran, who is a 2008 home school graduate and alum of Liberty University, the world’s largest Christian university. Her educational background includes dual enrollment, CLEP testing, community college, online courses and residential study. She has filled the roles of Admissions Counselor, Social Media Coordinator and currently Coordinator of Group Visits at Liberty University and is passionate about spiritual and vocational discipleship, especially as related to home education.

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About David and Leslie Nunnery

Leslie Nunnery and her husband David founded Teach Them Diligently, the nation’s premier source for gospel-centered homeschool events. With seven years of homeschooling experience from preschool-high school and a passion to encourage and equip homeschool families, this mom of 4 shares her know-how and insights weekly through Teach Them Diligently media and on TeachThemDiligently365.com.

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