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Coaching Kids to be Clever Consumers

word_money.jpgBigg success is life on your own terms. The five elements of bigg success are money, time, growth, work and play. Today we want to focus on money.

Here’s a bigg challenge faced by a lot of people – you’re trying to save money. You’ve done everything you know to do. You may even have your spouse on board, but what about the kids?

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Smart savers

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georgeMy mom was a dedicated saver. She taught me about saving when I was young. I had this fun little coin machine where you could watch the money going down into the appropriate slot. I just loved to watch the coins pile up!

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marylynnMy mom took my sister and me to the bank so we could open our own savings accounts. I just loved watching the money accumulate in that account! And to earn interest – I thought that was the greatest thing in the world!

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Play money

If you have kids in grades K – 8, check out the money section of kids.gov. They have some fun games, virtual tours and all kinds of other ways to help your kids understand money better. We wish they would have had it when we were kids!

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Clever consumers

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marylynnWhen I was a teenager, I had my own job so I had my own money. The popular jeans at that time were Guess jeans. All the cool kids had them and I wanted a pair. My mom wasn’t too thrilled that I was buying designer jeans. They cost a lot more than the regular old jeans. I did buy one pair but Mom’s reaction made me think twice the next time.

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georgeI can remember the day when I learned the difference between real money and play money. I was in the fourth grade. My teacher was one of the best teachers I ever had. He was always talking about the Guinness Book of World Records. I was with my Mom … shopping. She told me that, if I was good, I could pick out a toy. I found this air-powered toy gun. When we got up to the check-out counter, I noticed they had the Guinness Book of World Records on sale. I wanted it too! Mom said I couldn’t have both; I had to choose. It was a hard decision, but I finally chose the book. I never regretted it!

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We both benefited from our parents forcing us into making spending choices early in life. With the right coaching, kids can learn to be clever consumers and smart savers. It’s one of the best gifts any child could ever receive.

What did your parents do to teach you about money? Or what have you done with your kids to teach them? Share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 888.455.BIGG (2444) or e-mailing us at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

Thanks for reading our post today.

Please join us next time when we’ll look at quirks that cost us time. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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The Natural Way to Save Money

You may especially enjoy listening to today’s show. We had some fun with sound effects throughout, most which can’t be translated to print!

"We recently saw a study that showed that nature-based recreation in the US has declined about 25% in the last 20 years, after increasing in the 50 years before that."

 

"So we did our show today in the middle of nature – we camped out! We recorded the show in front of a nice fire while we roasted marshmallows."

 

Nature comes with benefits

Studies have shown that being outdoors has some incredible health benefits. In fact, even just SEEING the outdoors is beneficial. A little while ago, we saw a study that showed that hospital patients with a window recover much faster from surgery than those without. Isn’t that amazing?

This same study cited numerous sources that showed that spending time outdoors can lower stress and decrease mental fatigue.

Born to be wild

We’ve been talking about the benefits of being outdoors. Now let’s look at what the outdoors can do for one specific group of people – kids.

This same study we mentioned earlier showed that kids who spend more time outside pay attention better and are less demanding. It’s even been shown to reduce symptoms of Attention Deficit – Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

But going back to where we started, Americans are spending less time outdoors. Miracle-Gro, the garden fertilizer company, just conducted a survey. Nearly 70 percent of the parents who responded said their kids spend less time outdoors than they did when they were kids.

"My parents wouldn’t let my sister and me inside until it was dark. They wanted us to run off all that energy!"

 

"Now I know why Mary-Lynn brought me out here!"

   

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Give Your Kids the Marshmallow Test

By Bigg Success Staff
07-10-08

Bigg Success with Money

marshmallows

It’s good to get the whole family involved in the family’s finances – especially when times are tough. Get everyone involved in finding ways to save a little money here and there.

To introduce the idea, have a little fun with your kids (depending on their age) by replicating a famous experiment … the Marshmallow Experiment, to be precise. Of course, if they’re old enough, you can just tell them about it – or even better, devise your own test with something they would value.

The test

The Marshmallow Experiment was conducted in the 1960s by Walther Mischel at Stanford University. His researchers gathered a group of four-year olds in a room. A researcher set a marshmallow in front of each kid. The kids were told that the researcher needed to run an errand. If the kid didn’t eat the marshmallow before the researcher got back, the kid would be given a second marshmallow. However, if the kid ate the marshmallow, he or she would not get another one.

The results

Some ate their marshmallow before the researcher even got out of the room! Others had no problem resisting the temptation. Some turned their backs on their marshmallows. Others sang a song or distracted themselves in other ways. One kid reportedly even licked the table around the marshmallow!

The reward for waiting was pretty good – a 100 percent increase in marshmallows! Interestingly enough, ALL the kids expected a second marshmallow – even the kids who ate theirs!

The follow-up

The researchers tracked these kids in the subsequent years. They surveyed their parents and their teachers. They found that, in general, the kids who had been able to resist the marshmallows were better adjusted and more dependable.

They were more competent socially and more self-assertive. They were able to cope with frustration and stress much better. They embraced challenges rather than seeing them as a huge obstacle. They also scored 210 points higher on their SAT exams.

Application

So consider giving your kids your own experiment. Help them understand that sometimes it’s good to resist temptation now so you can have even more tasty treats in the future!

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

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A Story about 1 Father and His 2 Sons with 3 Lessons for All of Us

By Bigg Success Staff
06-11-08

Life Skills

1-2-3 

There’s an old story about two boys who had a father who was an alcoholic. They grew into young men.

One son became an alcoholic. “What choice do I have?” he said. “My father is an alcoholic.”

The other son never touched a drop of alcohol. “How could I?” he said. “Look what it did to my father.”

From this simple story, we see three lessons:

We are all role models.

Like it or not, other people look at how we behave and model their lives after us. John Wooden, the great basketball coach, wrote a wonderful poem that goes like this:

A careful man I want to be,
A little fellow follows me;
I do not dare to go astray,
For fear he’ll go the self-same way.

It’s something that we need to keep in mind for all the people we care about and influence.

We can learn from others.
It’s much better to learn a lesson from someone else’s experience than to have to experience it ourselves. And that even applies to our parents. They aren’t perfect either. We can look to them for an example – in some cases it may be a positive one; in others it won’t be. Either way, we can take away direction in how to live our lives.

We all have the power to choose.
We don’t always get to choose what happens to us or around us, but we can choose how we respond.  We can’t control the circumstances, but we have total and complete control over our reaction.

These two sons started in the same place, with the same circumstances. However, they chose completely different paths as a result of their situation.

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

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5 Tough Questions to Ask if You Plan to Pass Your Business on to Your Child

By Bigg Success Staff
06-09-08

Bigg Success in Business

sanford and son 

We don’t see it as often as we used to, but do you remember when business names included “and son”? As in Sanford & Son?

Or daughter.

Businesses are illiquid assets. Before you get into a business, you should know how you’re getting out of it.

You need an exit plan.

One strategy is to pass it on to your children. You may want to keep the business “in the family.” To have the legacy carried on. There are five questions you should ask yourself if this is your plan:

Is one (or more) of your children interested?

This seems so obvious, but it’s amazing how many times a parent has a dream which isn’t shared by any of his or her children. You want the best for your kids. That means letting them live the life of their dreams, not the life of yours. This isn’t easy, but an open and honest conversation is called for to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Is your child qualified?

It’s hard to be objective about your own children. Okay, it’s impossible. You may want to elicit an outsider’s opinion. There are few things more frustrating to both a parent and a child than taking on a task that shouldn’t be taken on. There may be some deficiencies (that’s the reason for the next question), but you need to make sure the basic talents are there.

How will you train your child?
In answering the previous question, you likely uncovered some shortcomings. If these are things that can be taught, develop a program to get your heir up to speed. How did you learn the business? Chances are that’s the best way for your child to learn it as well. It probably means working from the ground up.

How will you determine a price?
This may or may not be an issue. However, if one of your children is going to be involved in the business and the others aren’t, it surely will be. You’ll want to discuss this with your CPA. You should also consider having the business valued by a certified valuation specialist. Here are two links you may find useful for this:

Find a certified valuation analyst

Find a certified business appraiser   

How will your child pay for it?
Assuming that you don’t want to give your child your business, you’ll have to figure out how you will cash out. This may be your most significant retirement asset. Can the business be financed with traditional capital sources, like a bank? Or will you need to offer financing? If that’s the case, there’s another list of questions you’ll want to think about, but that’s beyond the scope of this article.

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

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(Image from Sanford and Son Wikipedia page)