Montessori Elementary Homeschool Blog - with documentation of our infant Montessori, toddler Montessori, and primary Montessori experiences; as well as preparation for the upcoming adolescent Montessori homeschool years.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Financial Learning

Legoboy is now 13 - he has started investing !!!! And I have been fielding many questions about what led to such an occurrence with a 13 year old.

Well, it certainly wasn't planned! It just happened.

Meaning - I laid a foundation, knowing the results should be good, but not knowing the details.

I wrote about some of our history here:
April 2014: Personal Finances and Montessori - Go read this one for our history! So I can just build on it here!

and here:
April 2014 - School Days - this really just notes that we continued playing the Act Your Wage game ;)

We are about to dive into the Middle School edition of Foundations in Personal Finance and with all the investing questions, I thought it is time for some updates!

Your Business Math
- and Day to Day Operations at Home
Legoboy finished up the Your Business Math, using the Pet Store option. LOVED it. Then he went through and did it all again, running different numbers and different mock orders. We honestly could probably do it again and I could add some cards to make it more complex, but we have the FPU course coming up, he is helping with more of our real business operations at home (Garden of Francis and Keys of the Universe) and taking on more involvement in the daily home finances, that I think we're probably good!

Day to Day Operations at Home
I recently pulled out the Dave Ramsey baby steps again. We had been working on them, but got distracted by the fact that when we were finally debt-free, I shifted into savings mode. It came time to teach all the older children in my care some financial skills, and slow down my own spending on them.

I pulled out the Dave Ramsey baby steps and talked through them with the older children.
Each older child (ages 11, 12, 14 at the time) received a prepaid Bluebird card through American Express. They were each given a base allowance of $150. Of this money, a certain amount could go into a savings account I set up for each of them, a certain amount was spending money on whatever, and a certain amount was intended to cover their own toiletries and clothing. Activities we would discuss on a case-by-case basis. This didn't mean I wasn't ever going to provide any clothing or treats or the like, but they were no longer to ask me for money. They had their own; if I so chose to offer a treat, it was on me. The "certain amount" was discussed individually with each child after budgeting for their "needs" and their "wants" and their future needs/wants.

We had a variety of experiences with this, from awesome savings after frivolous spending, to "let's go steal someone else's card and claim it was lost at the Reds game, thus someone else must have spent all that money at all the places I typically spend money at." Um. Yeah. Good learning experiences there too! All the children set some aside each month into savings.

Shortly thereafter, the children were removed from my home, due to lies and DCS covering their own past mistakes and putting them on me - but that is another story. Please pray for the children, their families, for DCS, the judge, the court system, the local prosecuting attorneys and all those who I met during the worst 5 days of my life in May.

Just before the children left, I received our tax return for the year and finally got started on retirement. The program we are using allowed me to set up separate accounts - not necessarily belonging to the children (they can't have investments accounts of their own), but labeled with their name and only using their money. This is what got Legoboy started. He was looking at it, looking at the differences between Aggressive, Conservative, Moderate - what are stocks, what are bonds - no guarantee of higher earnings, but wow the typical difference between that and his regular savings account!!! Yeah, he was interested! The 14-turned-15 year old chose to split her savings money between regular savings and investment savings, but following whatever plan Legoboy chose. The 11-turned-12 year old chose to keep her money in her regular savings.

Act Your Wage
We played this game with our older bonus children. It was frustrating and beneficial all at once. Afterward, the oldest (who complained about it the loudest) wanted to play again. Sadly, that time hasn't yet come, but it did get her thinking about finances in a more healthy manner.

Foundations in Personal Finance
Dave Ramsey now has a middle school edition of his FPU resources and we are about to give a try!

We'll update more soon! 

Update: 7/7/2017 - Lesson 1 talks about teens having $500 in an emergency fund. Legoboy's response: Um. No. If I am being financially wise, I would set myself up as if I have some adult responsibilities so that I can be better prepared when I am 18 and an actual adult. What am I supposed to do? Turn 18 and have to put another $500 in the emergency fund immediately? What about the fully funded? This is my time right now to build that up, while I have no debt already.
(they may cover all this later)

7/8/2017 - BORING! I know all this.
(he does indeed answer all the questions in the workbook before watching the DVD lesson; he talks back to each person with more information. Perhaps he is too well trained ;) We are only on the second unit, so more material to cover yet!)