What Do Kids Think of Redistributing Halloween Candy?

Kids are fearless about fairness. Nothing emboldens a child more than the opportunity to point out, “That’s not fair.” Take a moment to listen to these kids react when an adult starts redistributing Halloween candy.

When kids get Halloween candy they “own” it and want to make their own decisions. Tough choices such as, “Eat the candy corn or the lollipop?” are important for a kid. Being able to make choices helps a kid develop confidence in their ability to do so.

After eating all the candy corn, the child may decide that a lollipop might have hit the spot instead.

When a kid is told to eat candy corn, they may obey but they weren’t part of the decision-making process. The same is true for sharing or giving to others. If someone takes their candy they don’t like it. If someone tells them they have to give their candy away, they don’t like that either. However, if the child comes up with the idea, they have ownership and pride in the result.

How does this apply to kids and money?

So it is with money. Kids like to “own” their money just like they enjoy owing their candy.

Ownership Children want to have the power to control money just like they see adults doing. “This is my money.”

Responsibility Children can accept responsibility for some of their own expenses. “I have to pay my phone bill this week and remember that my school activity fees are due next week.”

Decision-making Children can make choices when they can see the end result. “If I don’t buy that CD today I will have enough next week to buy that jacket I want.”

Parents can help children understand that each money decision affects their total money resource. Kids need to see that there is a bottom line. By setting up a system as explained in my book, The No-Cash Allowance, your kids will learn that managing money is all about making decisions. This is one of the best lessons that your children can learn before they leave home and outgrow trick-or-treat fun.

What Does National Debt Mean for Our Kids?

Our national debt is out there, hiding in the shadows.  As long as we don’t look at it we keep it at bay. But what does our national debt mean for our children and grandchildren?

Let’s start by looking at some of today’s numbers, some very scary numbers.

As I’m write this blog our national debt is more than $16,204,611,000,000. I can’t even type fast enough to get the whole number at one time! Check it out and see for yourself.

$141,000 The share of national debt for each American taxpayer.
This is almost three times the $50,054 median salary in 2011 when the national debt at the beginning of the year was under $14 billion.

This income downturn continues a trend that started in 2007 when the median salary was $54,489. Meanwhile the national debt has increased from $9 trillion in 2007 to over $16 trillion today.

$7,600  The amount your household owes to China.
Forget cheap Chinese imports. What happens when they send us the bill?

$51,501 Amount of national debt owned by today’s newborn baby.
That’s about the price of two years of college!

$1.5 million  Lifetime share of national debt for a baby born in 2012.
Now, wouldn’t that be a nice nest egg for that baby’s retirement?

Fortunately, the taxman is not at the door demanding payment today, but future effects can put the squeeze on everyone, especially your children and their children.

Long term effects of our national debt

As that red number grows so do the possibilities of frightening financial outcomes..

Less available tax revenue
Because more tax revenue has to be paid as interest on the national debt less is available for the services for our government to provide.  Over time, this shift in expenditures will cause people to experience a lower standard of living.

Rising prices of products and services
Eventually, companies will raise prices, causing people to pay more for goods and services. Inflation results with your dollar worth less while prices go up

Increased cost of borrowing money
Higher borrowing costs will also increase the cost of borrowing money to purchase a home. With more downward pressure on the value of homes, the net worth of home owners will be reduced.

Loss of our country’s social, economic and political power
This in turn makes the national debt level a national security issue.

What can you do?

1. Vote
Voting makes your opinion heard and counted

2. Contact elected officials
Let your local, state, and federal government officials know what you think. Show up at local government and school board budget hearings to show your interest.

3. Show your opinion
Organize like-minded people and politely write or visit your elected representatives to voice your support, suggestions, or criticism of spending decisions

4. Evaluate your saving and spending
When the amount of American savings and investing goes up, it helps in the long run. Involve your kids in your spending decisions and explain your rationale.

5. Eliminate personal debt
Household debt leads to poor financial status and increases financial costs for you. Be aware of your personal debt and makes choices to reduce it

6. Teach your kids to manage money starting today.
With my book, The No-Cash Allowance, parents can set up an easy to use money management system to help kids learn how to manage money. With this approach kids are responsible for keeping a written or digital record of all transactions. This teaches them how the manage money as number.

As we can see with the national debt, numbers can get big and scary if we don’t pay attention. Children who learn to manage money early will be better prepared to survive in an uncertain financial future. Parents who help their children learn money management through hands-on practice at home provide kids an essential life skill.

Helping parents teach their kids how to manage money as a number.