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Day: September 3, 2019

Financial Skills – How to Budget & Balance Accounts

I was surprised when I asked parents to tell me the life skills they wish their kids knew, and there was a resounding request for a few topics:

  • How to open a bank account
  • How to budget & balance accounts
  • How to write checks and pay bills
  • And how to start saving for retirement

It seems some of the things we take for granted are, as a result, missing from what we teach kids.

In the last article, we focused on opening a bank account. This article is the second article in the four-part series and will look at how to teach kids to budget and balance their accounts.

Budgeting

It’s not shock that budgeting can be boring and tedious. I’ve personally never been excited to sit down and create my budgets, but it’s something that creates wealth and pays off down the road.

So how do you get kids excited about it? How can you add a little glamour to something so dull and boring? Easy – make it a game with payoffs.

Firstly, it’s important to know how to create a budget, then to adhere to the budget.

Creating a Budget

You may have your own way to create a budget, and that’s fine. In my experience, the easiest way to make a budget is as follows:

On a piece of paper, draw a line down the middle:

  1. Spending BudgetCalculate your average monthly gross income and put that at the top of the page, then multiply it by.80 (for example, if you earned $1,000, you would end up with $800)
  2. Fixed ExpensesWrite down all of your FIXED expense categories (i.e. phone bill, insurance, mortgage etc… ) and put them in one column on the left side of the page
  3. Variable ExpensesNext write in the variable expense categories (i.e. food, gas, leisure, etc… ) and put them in another column on the right side of the page
  4. Fill in all of your expenses
  5. Net Budget after Fixed Expenses – Subtract fixed expenses from your spending budget

    If it’s a positive number, you don’t need to change anything
    If it’s zero or a negative number, you should look for expenses that you can cut or lower

  6. Budget variable expenses – Using your Net Budget after fixed expenses, determine what you can spend on variable expenses without overspending each month
  7. Set a budget for each variable expense so you know what you can spend on each category in a given month

Making it Fun

OK, now that you have a budget outline, it’s time to get the kids excited.

I know what you’re thinking: “My kids will never be excited for this.”

They will if you give them some prizes or payoffs. Here’s how:

First, tell them what a budget is and show them the paper. Next, tell them that you’re going to do a contest (if you have more than one kid, this works even better).

Contest 1: Anticipating Spending

The first contest is to see how …

Sharing Successful Content in Your Small Business

You definitely have a way with words. If you didn’t, you would not have gotten nearly as far as you have up to this point. However, it is one thing to write great, effective content but it is another thing entirely to share that content so that it successfully converts your target audience.

You must work toward your ultimate goal

The truth is that your challenges may be different if you have a small business than if you have a mid-size or a large business. You need to understand how to “speak” to your target audience members and how to eventually get them to buy what you are selling. You are a great writer and your content touches people in all sorts of emotional ways. However, someone who owns (or another key player) a large business may not be able to take what you are saying and adapt it to their particular situation.

As you read the content that other businesses post, you are not necessarily comparing apples to apples. If those businesses are not small, their approach and how they present the content will probably be very different from the way that you will do it. However, one thing that all businesses have in common is the necessity to share top-quality content with other people.

At this point, you are a great writer and your content touches people in all sorts of emotional ways. However, someone who owns (or another key player) a large business may not be able to take what you are saying and convert it to their particular situation.

Engagement is key, of course. If you can’t captivate your target audience and hold their interest over a prolonged period of time, you won’t get very far at all. Of course, before you even get to that point, you need to make sure that you have identified the most appropriate target audience for your business.

One of the big differences between a large- (or medium-) size business and a small business is that the larger businesses have a much larger budget from which to draw. Your business strategy much be extremely solid and your content must speak to people who can relate to who you are and to what you are offering.

Always make sure that your content is relevant

Not only does your content have to be relevant to your target audience but it also has to be relevant to your particular business. In some respects, that is more important than any amount of money that you either have or don’t have.

Your success as a small-business owner may have nothing to do with money. However, that is not to say that there is no price to pay. The cost is in time and effort on your part. If you want to become successful, you will have to work at it and to make sure that you share with your target audience members everything that they want and need. If you speak their language, they will …