By: Gary M. DellaPosta, CPA
The best time to start instilling financial skills and values is when children are young. Start giving your kids an allowance once they reach school age. Let them participate in making the decision of how much their allowance should be.
Some parents may want to require kids to do household chores to earn the allowance. Or, parents might want to provide an allowance, but pay kids extra for the performance of tasks. This incentive plan is, of course, a matter of individual child-rearing philosophy, but it does get the message across that money does not grow on trees.
Give your kids control over their own money (their allowance and whatever monies you give them that are not earmarked for some particular purpose). You can make suggestions to them about what they should do with it-i.e., that they might spend half and save half-but allow them the final say on what happens to the money.
Let them see the consequences of both wise and foolish behavior with regard to money. A child who spends all of his money on the first day of the week is more likely to learn budgeting if he is not provided with extras to tide him over.
How much allowance to provide is a matter of parental discretion. Most parents provide about $7 per week to their elementary school children, and from $12 to $20 a week to kids in junior high.
Savings and Investment
Beyond the basics of budgeting and saving, you will want to get your child involved in saving and investing. The easiest way to do this is to have the child open his or her own passbook savings account.
If you want your child to get familiar with investing, there are various child-friendly mutual funds available. The mailings from the fund can be a source of education. Or you may want to get the child interested in individual stocks.
You may want to start a "matching" program with your kids to encourage saving. For instance, for every dollar that the child puts into a savings account or investment, you might match it with 50 cents.
If you want to get your kids involved with investing, it will usually have to be done through a custodial account. There are generally two types of widely used custodial accounts-one is set up under the Uniform Gifts to Minors Act, and the other under the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act. The type of custodial account available depends on which state you live in.
With a custodial account, the child is the owner, but the custodian (usually a parent) manages the property until the child reaches the age of majority under relevant state law-either 18 or 21. The custodian must follow certain rules concerning management of the property in the account. These rules are intended to ensure that the custodian does what is in the child's best interests.
IRAs for Kids
If your child has earned income-from a paper route or baby-sitting, for example, or from working in the family business he or she can contribute earnings to an IRA. The IRA can be an extremely effective investment for a child because of the IRA's tax-deferral feature and the length of time the money is left in the IRA. If $3,000 per year is contributed to the child's IRA for ten years and the money is left to grow until the child reaches age 65, the amount in the IRA could reach $600,000 or more, depending on the returns on the investment. In 2014, your child can contribute the lesser of his or her earned income for the year or $5,500, either to a traditional IRA or a tax-free Roth IRA. The contribution limits are the same for both types of accounts.
To replace the "lost" earnings, the parents can give $3,000 per year to the child (or the amount of earned income the child has, if less). The child may have to file tax returns.
The drawback of course is that, with some exceptions, the money cannot be withdrawn before age 59-1/2 without tax penalty.
Related Guide: For tax rules on IRA withdrawals for higher education, please see the Financial Guide: HIGHER EDUCATION COSTS: How To Get The Best Tax Treatment.
Taxes and Credit
Kids can learn to use automatic teller machine cards for their savings accounts. They can also start using credit cards at an early age-with parental counsel and involvement. They can learn the concepts of incurring and paying off debts both from credit card use and from small loans that parents make them.
It is important to familiarize kids with paying taxes as well. If children have to file tax returns-as they would with an IRA--allow them to participate in the process; this will get them used to the idea of yearly tax payments, and can also be an opportunity for learning about how governments are run with tax revenues.
Note: One side benefit of getting your kids involved in money management is that it may help to avoid the "math phobia" some kids experience in junior high school.
Tip: Professional guidance should be considered for a life event change as major as a marriage of divorce.
Source: Expenditures on Children By Families 2013, US Department of Agriculture Publication Number 1528-2013. Before-tax Income of $61,530 and $106,540 (Average = $82,790).
Gary DellaPosta is a CPA and founder of the firm: Gary M DellaPosta, CPA's & Business Advisors. A graduate of Bryant University, he is a member of the American Institute of CPA's as well as the Massachusetts Society of CPA's. In addition to providing accounting, tax and advisory services to individuals and businesses, he also provides litigation support to attorneys and has been recognized as an expert in numerous Massachusetts' courts. Mr. DellaPosta serves on the Board of the Barnstable County Mutual Insurance Co., where he serves on the audit, investment and employee benefit committees. He is a Director at The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod and is a former director of Eastern Bank and Plymouth Savings Bank. He also serves as the Treasurer of the Community Health Center of Cape Cod and is a trustee of Heritage Museum & Gardens.
Join us for the Children's Place Annual Family Potluck in North Eastham on Thursday, June 4 from 5:30-7pm! There will be food, fun and of course Lucy Gilmore leading one of her amazing story walks! See you there!
Giraffe's eat 100 lbs of plants and twigs a day and has a tongue that is 18-20 inches long!
#giraffe #zoo #wildlife #loveanimals #wildlifephotography #nature #naturephotography #animalkingdom #vacation #familymemories
Memorial Day Weekend certainly snuck right up on us. On Friday, we even grudgingly battled both bridges as we struggled to get Friday errands done. The traffic was insane on the Bourne Bridge especially as both the locals and tourists poured on to our tiny peninsula! In honor of the summer beginning on such a beautiful weekend, a weekend which we pause to spend time with family and friends and give thanks for the amazing freedoms we enjoy in this country, we want to offer a special deal. We are eternally grateful for those that have protected our freedoms enabling us to raise our children in a safe place, free to play, free to go to school (especially women), free to write blogs like this, and free to follow our dreams.
Starting today and continuing through the weekend until Monday at 9:00pm EST, we will offer a discount on our local ShopLocal membership! For only $20, you will receive local discounts at 20 local Cape Cod Businesses (some of which make your money back many times over the 1st time you use the discount!), regional deals, free or discounted admission to our events, priority registration, local swag, member only give aways, opportunities to try out free products or experience local businesses which Cape Cod Moms receives and shares, and more!
Have a wonderful weekend and we hope you enjoy every second making beautiful memories with your family!
Disclaimer: Cape Cod Moms was sent tickets to attend this event in order to facilitate tan honest review. Cape Cod Moms decided to host a giveaway to our readers and share the free tickets to a lucky winner. All thoughts & opinions are the blogger's own.
The Tiny One is currently obsessed with all things Lego, so we were thrilled when we were offered an opportunity to attend the Brickfest Live event in Marlborough this year. Although the drive was long, it was totally worth every second to be able to see the excitement on the Tiny One’s face at all the Legos.
When we walked in, right away we noticed the castle display and the giant Toy Story Woody all created with Legos. There were several areas that we focused on right away. Our first stop after pictures was the “Contribute to Our City” station. The three of us quickly got to work trying to create something that would help enhance the city. We made a small plane, a yellow submarine and a futuristic white house.
We also spent some time at mini golf course. Personally, I would have liked to have seen a little more effort on this area. The outside of the golf boxes were framed with Legos, but I really felt they could have gone a step farther and made actual Lego obstacles within each section.
For the tiniest brick fans, there was a Duplo area as well as a giant red brick pit filled with only red bricks! We were amazed by the creativity and engineering taking place! There was also a gaming area for the older kids with several Lego video games. And, they even had a quiet area for reading and resting, complete with books including “how-to” building books.
We checked out the wall mosaic area which consisted of tiny one-piece bricks that participants placed on a small square. There were some pretty amazing pieces done by prior participants. We added ours (a green Cape Cod “arm” surrounded by blue “ocean”) to the mix and the Tiny One could not have been more excited. After that we immediately had to check out the awesome glow-in-the-dark Lego display, which the Tiny One found extremely interesting!
We saved perusing the vendor tables for last, which was a great way to help manage a 4-year-old’s behavior. The vendors had everything from brick bows to wear in your hair or on your shirt to a “build your own” Lego figure station. They had “build a clone” stations, figurines, complete sets (definitely cheaper than in the store), and seriously, we actually saw a “Star Wars Slave I” ship (Boba Fett’s Starship)!
Cape Cod Moms TIPS FOR YOUR VISIT
◦ You can find a Brick Fest Live event near you on their website. They run all summer!
◦ This event has some things for younger Lego fans (3 and under) but preschoolers, as well as kiddos in middle school and above would have the most fun (we adults had a blast!)
◦ They do have one food station but it is limited. We suggest packing snacks and drinks and then planning to eat on the way home.
◦ Use your imagination and have fun!
With the warmer weather finally here it is hard to contain our excitement over the upcoming berry season! With berries ready for tasting and picking starting in June for the duration of the summer, it is important to plan where you will be getting those delicious fresh berries!
Below are some of our favorite Cape Cod Berry Picking Spots! Please check them out and comment below if you know of any others! What will you be making with your FRESH berries this year?
By: Katie D
I used A+ interactive math for my second grade daughter. I tried it with my kindergartner too but she didn't even make it through the initial evaluation before she was frustrated. This program is great for a child who wants to work independently, and who can read well enough to do so. I like the evaluation it did in the beginning to figure out what concepts your child needs to work on. There are videos that teach the lesson and then online worksheets to do. The child can even check their own answers. It's easy to keep track of progress because it saves all the worksheets and provides a summary report of how the student is doing. My second grader learns better actually writing problems out and solving them so don't know if we will exclusively use A+ math. I definitely recommend it if independent online learning is what you're looking for.
So you’ve got a collection agency chasing after you. Some guy calls you four times a day and threatens to sue you and tell your employer that you are a deadbeat for a 57.00 bill from two years ago for something or some service you might have bought but you are not even sure you bought it much less paid for it. Sound familiar? Your circumstances may be better or worse. But there are rules that the collector has to follow which you should know about.
There is a federal statute called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or FDCPA for short. There is a very similar Ma. Regulation called the Code of Massachusetts Regulation or CMR for short. The CMR has regulations for many things and the debt collection part is in 940 CMR 7.00. These statues and regulations put several burdens on the debt collector which you should know about to protect your rights whether you owe the debt or not.
There are pages of regulations that the collectors must follow and by not following these rules leave them open to a claim by you against them. We don’t have the space here to go over ever one but I will highlight a few common violations.
Let us look at the example I started with. The collector called you 4 times in a day. He is not allowed to call more than twice in a seven day period. He threatens to sue you for $57.00 debt. He can’t threaten to sue you unless they normally sue people for $57.00. It would not be cost effective to do that so he probably never does and therefore can’t threaten you with that claim. He threatens to tell your employer about the debt. He cannot communicate with any third party about your debt and in particular your employer. You are not sure whether you do remember or do not remember the debt. If you ask the creditor to verify the debt he must stop any collection activity and within 30 days provide you with verification of the debt.
Robert Osol, Esq
536 Main Street
Falmouth, MA 02540
Attorney Osol is a partner at Melia & Osol. He practices law focusing on creditor law, commercial claims, bankruptcy, real estate law, small business law and estates.
Child has major temper tantrum over being told screen time is up. Parent…
Screens: Are your children safe?
By Tracy Lamperti, LMHC, BCETS
Lamperti Counseling & Consultation
Dr. John Rosemond said, “Child misbehavior is often preceded by parental mismanagement.” Such is the case in the above scenario and I hope that many of you chose “d” as the correct answer.
Read this and then close your eyes and visualize it.
You have asked your child to “finish up on the computer.”
You then say, “Five more minutes, finish up.”
Next, you say, “Time to turn it off.”
And then, “I said, time to turn it off!”
You then have to move closer and say even more firmly, “I said it’s time to turn it off!!”
Finally, you physically take the controller, device, etc. A power struggle ensues and a tug-of-war over the device. Maybe there is crying, screaming, yelling, shouting angry words, storming off, slamming doors and any number of other responses.
And this scenario; you absolutely must get a shower and one important phone call done. You set your child up with your tablet (or her own). Inevitably, between heading to the shower, you come across 2 or three more “essential” things that need to be done, “real quick!” You glance over and the young one is perfectly content. You get the shower done, all dressed and hair dried, then the phone call, which goes at least twice as long as expected. Maybe an hour and a half later you are ready to end the electronic session. Your child is fine with it because actually they are kind of “done” anyway. All is well. Your thought bubble reads, “I love this kid! He is so awesome. Kept nice and quiet while I took much longer than planned and then gave it up nicely when I asked.”
If you are reading this (Monday 5/4/15) you either didn’t know it was Screen Free Week 2015, didn’t prioritize it, didn’t think it was important, or maybe told yourself it wasn’t possible or was too difficult to participate. That’s OK. No judgment here. I tried it with my family 2 years ago for a total FAIL and last year we didn’t have a huge amount of success either. This year is our year. I hope you’ll get something out of this post and add your comments. I’ll look at everything on May 11th unless I get a quick peek this week during my 1 hour time allotted to conduct my necessary computer work for my business.
I want to highlight a few issues here, briefly:
· Emotional intelligence and electronic time.
· Electronic time and family dynamics.
· Safety from dangerous social media and destructive behavior on social media.
Emotional Intelligence and Electronic Time
This article is well worth the read! In short, researchers took two groups of 6th graders. One had no access to electronic devices for 5 days and the other had usual access. Students who had no access could read facial emotions or other nonverbal cues better than the other group. This was after just FIVE days!
And this article has lots of facts about screen time rates and socioeconomic status, screen time and obesity, screen time and sleep, screen time undermining learning, and others.
Let’s not try to fool ourselves. While screen time has some benefits, even the “best and most educational” electronic activities have negative impacts that far outweigh the positive.
Electronic Time and Family Dynamics
A study from Boston Medical Center outlined the findings and impacts of 55 parent/child groupings and saw that too many parents are absorbed in their gadgets and these parents have more negative interactions with their children, including kicking their child under the table when the child is trying to get their attention.
As never seen until this year, I have young clients, on occasion come into my office for a session and barely lift their eyes from their device when I begin talking to them and the parent says nothing, at least not until I say something.
As I mentioned in my Family Movie Night post, if the parents sit down with their device, whether the children consciously know it or not, they are aware that their parent has things they think are more important then watching the movie with them.
Safety From Dangerous Social Media and Destructive Behavior on Social Media
This link will take you to a review of Parental Monitoring software.
Parents are usually thoroughly overwhelmed with their own devices and figuring them out and keeping them all organized, never mind their child’s. A lot of people are challenged even to try to figure out where all of their photos are being stored and how not to lose them.
Parents typically answer yes to the question of whether their child’s device/devices have parental controls, they say they check the history, or they honestly say they don’t know anything about these things.
Things like bullying, seeing images that may questionable never leave their mind, sharing too much information, to wasting too much time, getting too little sleep, living socially in a digital way rather than in person…These are all concerns that many parents seem to skim over.
I challenge you to do the following:
· When your child goes to bed, get their device/devices and type in something basic, like “Florida” or “swingset.”
· Find the “history” and see if you can see it and delete it. (PRIOR TO DOING THIS, CHECK THE HISTORY ON THE DEVICE SO THAT WHEN YOU DELETE IT ALL, TO MAKE SURE YOU AREN’T DELETING THINGS YOU NEED TO SEE.
· Once you know you can delete the history, type in some relatively benign words, like “naked” or “having a baby.” See what comes up. Click the button “images.” See what comes up. You will know right then and there what the enemy is and what you need to protect your child from.
· Now, delete the history.
Do not assume that your child can’t do what you just did. Do not assume that your child (or a friend or sibling) will not knowingly search for something forbidden or be encouraged by someone else to search something inappropriate or accidentally come across something inappropriate.
1. I searched for our local bike shop online, owned by former chief of police. Much to my shock what I saw! I called the owner and he apologised, and explained that his site had been hijacked by a XXX porn site. Thankfully, my son was not looking over my shoulder.
2. A very long time ago, can’t remember why, I searched “foot fungus.” Why did a XXX site come up?
3. I clicked on a “bad” link and pressed the button, “fix now” and was immediately flashed with an FBI message that my computer was now under servailance by the FBI, along with an image of two YOUNG children having sex. It said I had been involved in illegal activity. The image was very clear. Luckily, no children looking over my shoulder.
I talk to many parents about checking their child’s device when they have already told me they are protected. Those who trust me have come back and said, “I figured out how to check history and it was loaded with porn!” I’m talking about children 7, 8, 9 years old. Children who had just made out their Christmas list filled with wishes for dolls and other toys.
Keep in mind, a child who comes across these things, either looking for them or by accident, is usually going to be scared they did something wrong and not want to tell anyone. They will then walk around with that guilt and those images for a long time until they are able to (1) stuff it, or (2) tell someone.
I am 46 years old. Anything I saw at that young age was in a magazine and may have even frontal nudity, but NOT anything like what is displayed online in still and video images. Torture, Anal, Lesbian, Teenage, Group…..the list goes on.
IT IS THE ADULT’S JOB TO PROTECT THEIR CHILD, TO THE BEST OF THEIR ABILITY, FROM SEEING THESE IMAGES.
On that note, please, perk up about what your child is doing and seeing on social media! They are way too important to not pay attention. Parents are far too busy trying to make ends meet these days. But I feel sure that most of you can do better when it comes to modeling good ownership of your devices and monitoring your child’s time on social media.
Tracy Lamperti, LMHC, BCETS
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