7 Ways Parents Can Be Good Money Role Models

Putting_money_into_a_piggybankEveryone views smart financial practices differently, and what’s an effective strategy for one parent doesn’t necessarily work for another. While there’s no official rulebook, consider these five ways parents can become better financial role models.

1.  Live on a Written Budget. Take the time to write out your family budget and get the family involved on how the finances are spent.

2.   Be open about your financial situation. Although children like sweets, you don’t have to sugarcoat the truth about your family’s financial standing. “Teach your kids about money from objective reality,” says Steve Siebold, author of “How Rich People Think.” “It’s a nice thought to say everyone – regardless of financial status – has access to all the good things in life. It’s also naïve and untrue.”


Instead of trying to shield your kids from your household budget, include them in the decision-making process on when to save and when to spend money.

3. Take a hands-on approach. The earlier you can teach children about money, the better.  We have encouraged our preschool-aged children to touch money, identify different denominations of money, play with and count money.  By opening up the conversation early and keeping it going as kids grow, we hope to raise financially-savvy kids.

From counting pennies in a piggy bank to teaching your teen how to balance a checking account, letting your children take control of their finances in some capacity – no matter how small – can heighten their confidence about using money appropriately.

4.   Emphasize the importance of earning money.  Make them work for things. Make them want and desire things. Many parents strive to teach their children they have to put in effort to earn money. Some default to the common arrangement of doing household chores for an allowance, but doing so runs the risk of teaching kids they only should clean their room in exchange for money.


The kids do not receive allowance for daily chores but can earn money by special projects, pitching their skills to neighbors, babysitting, grass cutting and even holding the traditional lemonade stand.

5.  Have a healthy relationship with money. Children – especially young ones – pick up on behavioral cues and attitudes faster than you may think. If you grimace every time you receive your monthly credit card bill or moan when taking out your wallet to pay for something, they may start associating money as painful and problematic.   When parents talk about money like there’s never enough or a ‘necessary evil,’ my experience has shown that those children grow up hating money and struggle with it throughout their lives.

Do your best  to avoid phrases like, ‘We can’t afford it’ or ‘We don’t have enough,’ and instead use more truthful phrases, such as ‘It’s not a priority right now,’ ‘I don’t think it’s worth the price’ or ask questions like, ‘What can we do to find or earn the money to get that?’

6.  Don’t do it on your own. Teaching kids good financial habits can be challenging, as it often requires a lot of time and effort. In addition to being a good financial role model yourself, connecting your kids to other people who have a positive relationship with money can strengthen how your children will handle money in adulthood.

7.  Don’t Be Afraid to Say No

Top 12 Kid Money Wasters

toysWe all know that kids can be very expensive. There are many reasons that we end up spending more on our kids than necessary. Sometimes we’re worn down. Sometimes we think that we want them to have more than we did, so we spoil them! As I look at the financial picture for thousands and thousands of people over time, I see recurring areas of over-spending on kids. We narrowed them down to the Top 12 Kid Money Wasters.


12.  Sports -

Club Teams, Camps and lessons for things they aren’t passionate about. Sports can be great for kids, so our point isn’t that kids shouldn’t be allowed to participate in activities. However, too often the parent projects what they think they missed onto their kids. The kid gets pushed into activities their enthusiasm is only moderate.       Parents dish out a small fortune for club teams to make sure the kid has the best chance of success. Then the kid suffers from burnout and loses interest.

11.  Extravagant Vacations -

Parents that work too much want to make it up to their kids, so they plan an over-the-top trip. Parents have to work so hard so they can pay for the trips. Frequently they could work less, and live on less. Taking a three year old to Disney isn’t really for the kid, because they certainly won’t remember it! There are many affordable options to vacation with your family on a budget.

10.  Entertainment/Movies/Memberships-

Let’s first talk about movies. Taking two adults and three kids to a regular movie starts out with ticket prices over $40. Then your concession bill will be another $30 (or more), and this doesn’t even include dinner. The strategy here really becomes about delayed gratification. At some point the movie will go to the dollar theater. Shortly after you can get it on DVD or Netflix. If you can wait, you will save an immense amount of money. As an example, we take our youngest five kids to the dollar theater regularly. For two adults and three kids we spend $7. They have bottomless popcorn and soda for another $13. This means for $20 we were able to take the entire family out for a fun night. This would cost over $100 at a normal theater. A typical movie isn’t worth five times the price. Not to mention that taking young kids to a movie can be a nightmare for others.

Next let’s talk about memberships. This can mean season passes to Six Flags, membership at the Zoo or Science Center. I’m going to make this one simple. If the membership doesn’t pay for itself in the first visit…don’t buy it! At the time you are sure that you’ll be back there very soon. Then life takes over and the year membership is up without returning. Those that get the true value from it are a small minority.

9.  Birthday Parties and Holidays-

My kids get invited to parties all the time where parents spend $300+ to host the event. Speaking from experience, my advice is to set the bar LOW. It is okay to just have a family event where you get a cake and sing happy birthday. Have a party on the major milestones, and find ways to do it on a budget. You are training them what to expect.

Overspending on gifts fits into the same category. Kids don’t need us to give them everything they want. We’ll talk more about this when we get to #6 on our list.

8.  New Items for Newborns and Toddlers-

This is the most common with the first born in families. Buying all new items for newborns is a waste of money. Kids will grow out of them very quickly, and I can promise that they don’t know the difference. Those items really aren’t for the kids…they are for the parents. Someone that wants to save money can get most of the items free and many used for a low price. When pregnant, post on Facebook, broadcast email to friends, ask around for friends getting rid of items. Go to second hand stores to get cribs and other items for a fraction of the price.

7.  Monthly Fees-

This refers to any expenses for our kids that are recurring. It includes cell phones, Xbox Live, sports, and many other regular charges. You must guard your budget to minimize these charges. Make the kid do something to earn the money. At least make them pay a portion. There are many cost cutting measures that can prevent the buildup of monthly fees. For instance, my phones have hand-me-down I-phone’s, but they don’t have cell coverage. I’ll pay for minutes in Text-Free so they can call when they have wi-fi. This is a fraction of paying regular charges for a phone.

6.  Toys-

I’m going to make a confession here. My house is full of toys that don’t get played with very often.   Between all the kids mountains of stuffed animals, nerf guns, dolls and toy soldiers they just seem the thing to buy every birthday or holiday . While they do appreciate every toy when they open it, only a few are actually played with more than once or twice. Over the years, I learned to be more savvy with my choices through experiences with toys that prove to be a good value for the money. Here are a few suggestions to help you spend your toy dollars wisely.   Look for versatility, toys that can be bought at second hand stores, garage sales, trade with friends. One child’s trash is another child’s treasure.

5.  Electronics-

How often do you buy a new cell phone, laptop, or TV? In these gadget-driven days, you probably upgrade your electronics fairly often. Most people don’t think twice about buying the “latest and greatest” technology. After all, companies and their marketing teams spend a great deal of money to make sure that we’re hungry for the next iPad, Xbox 360 Kinect, or LED TV. Instead of always having to have the latest and greatest, go secondhand shopping for electronics.

4.  Name Brand Clothing-

A well-made piece of clothing is worth the money, but when there are so many consignment shops out there with tons of well-made used clothing, why would you head to the new clothes store first?

3.  Lifestyle – Starbucks, Jamba Juice, Hair Salon, Nails-

I’m all about increasing income, but you don’t always have to take on a second job, side hustle, or get promoted to increase your income. Saving money through cutting expenses can help increase your cash flow much in the same way that increasing income will. Take a look at all your habits.

2.  Food-


  • School Lunches

Have the kids make their lunches, figure out the school lunch program to figure out their daily budget.

  •  Eating Out

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t eat out, but try to mix things up by making food at home occasionally and eating out when you can afford it. “Making your own food is much cheaper and, often, much healthier

  •  Name brand food at home, soda, snacks

Next time you go shopping, instead of buying your favorite brand of something, switch it up and buy the store brand. If you find it’s just as good, you’ll naturally go for that choice every time from then on because we naturally want quality for less. Do this every time you shop and soon you’ll be surprised at how many store brand items you’ll come to know and love!

1.  Education-

College costs have exploded in recent years. Tuition, room and board at a four-year institution averaged $21,189 per year for the 2009-2010 school year, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics.


In addition, only 40.1 percent of students graduated within four years of starting college in 2004, according to U.S. News & World Report. So college costs may grow from what parents expect to pay at the start of college.


Kids often pick out high-end colleges as their “dream schools” with little regard for cost, expecting parents to pay. How to say ‘no’: Look at what you can do financially and communicate that number in clear terms from the get-go.


For example, you could offer to pay tuition for any in-state public university. If the child wants to go to a pricier school, make it clear he or she will have to come up with the difference by applying for scholarships or taking out student loans.

Are You On The Path2Buy?


Today’s guest is Tom Ward, the founder of Path2Buy Homeownership Coaching Program.  After doing extensive research on Renters, Tom was able to break down the 7 1/2 reasons why they don’t buy sooner.

It’s OK to Rent…for awhile Read More »

Top 6 Reasons Real Estate Transactions Fall Through

Tree through roofReal Estate transactions fall through for many reasons, and the same ones seem to happen frequently.  We’ve identified the top 6 reasons that home sales get killed.  To avoid making these mistakes, make sure you are using a true professional mortgage lender and/or Realtor.  If you want personal advice on this topic, setup a consultation with my team by emailing DougHaldeman@gmail.com or you can text/call (314) 472-DOUG (3684).

1. Buyer Financing Falls Through Read More »

Meet the Young Guns of Real Estate: Mike Galbally & Bonni Luckett

stlouisfinesthomesSt. Louis Finest Homes Realty Group is quickly rising to the top of the St. Louis real estate market.  Our exclusive interview with Mike Galbally and Bonni Luckett gives an inside look at their success formula!

To contact them for real estate advice:

Mike Galbally  314-479-8583 or Mike@StLFinestHomes.com

Bonnie Luckett  314-599-5143  Bonni@StLFinestHomes.com

St. Louis Finest Homes:  Part One

St. Louis Finest Homes:  Part Two

Throwback With Doug & Tammie

To Contact Doug and his team:

314-472-DOUG (3684)   or DougHaldeman@gmail.com

Audio from Segment:


doug in vest




tam in satin jacket

Good Renters Deserve Better Credit Scores

Rent Credit ScoreIn the past, rent was not reported to the three main credit bureaus.  Now, thanks to Experian and Trans Union, rent can be reported.  This will help someone with limited credit build a credit history.  It will also help someone recovering from an economic hardship by establishing new, positive credit.

Below is an article from Experian that gives more information on how to get rent on your credit report:

Why Building Your Credit History Is Important

Credit plays an important role in your life — affecting the purchases you make and much more. A credit history is vital in today’s economy and enables you to obtain valuable credit services such as credit cards, mortgages and auto loans. Lenders use credit reports and credit scores to gauge the likelihood that you will pay back a loan. We understand the importance of building credit history and believe that responsible renters should get credit for managing their rental payments.

How Paying Rent On Time Helps Build Your Credit History

Experian incorporates on-time rental payment data reported to Experian RentBureau into Experian credit reports. Your rental payment information will be included as part of your standard credit report and may be incorporated into certain credit scores. The inclusion of positive rental payment history within Experian credit reports allows you to establish or build credit history through timely rental payments.

For FAQs about rental payments on your credit report click here.

Read More »

Are You Ready to Buy?

buyvsrentTop 10 Questions to Know if You’re Ready to Buy:

1. What is your credit score right now?

2. Do you know how much home you can afford?

3. Have you researched markets and neighborhoods?

4. Do you plan to get a home inspected before you buy it?

5. Are you getting Pre-Qualified or Pre-Approved?

6. How do you plan to find an agent?

7. How much do you plan to save for a down payment?

8. How much will you pay for closing costs?

9. Are you planning to attend any open houses?

10. Do you have a move-in strategy?

In the end it is best to align yourself with a professional that can help walk you through these questions and others that you may not have considered.  For a free consultation, reach out to Doug Haldeman at (314)472-DOUG (3684) or by email at doughaldeman@gmail.com

Are You Ready to Buy?  Part 1

Are You Ready to Buy?  Part 2

Carmen Gassert and Carla Borgard: Success is Real Estate

carmen gassertCarmen Gassert~ 314-623-7790


Carla Borgard ~ 314-580-2744


Coldwell Banker Gundaker

1100 Town and Country Crossing

Town and Country,MO 63017

Office: 636-394-9300

Fax: 636-394-4098

Carmen Gassert and Carla Borgard Audio:

Your Credit Matters: Waiting Too Long To Work On Your Credit

Doug Show Card web revised 2013Doug Haldeman covers the steps you can take on your credit recovery.  Most people don’t want to have to deal with credit on a regular basis.  there is detail work that just seems like too much work.  Doug has narrowed down to some steps you can take to begin the process he is also there to assist you in  whatever stage of the game you are in.

Below is a link to the PDF page for Doug’s Steps to Credit Recovery:

Steps to Credit Recovery

You can also contact Doug direct:

Doug Haldeman

314.472.DOUG (3684)

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