As my son Skyler gets older (he is almost 6!) I often think about what I can do to best prepare him for his future. I came across this great list of financial milestones and want to make sure so do the best I can to him financially responsible as he grows up. I love the incorporation of saving and philanthropy. These have always been things that have been very important to me!
*Ages 3-5* Should know money is needed to buy things, and that money is
made by working; understand types of jobs and careers, practice waiting and
*Ages 6-10* Should be able to make choices on money (spend vs. save)
should know how to shop and compare and to make a basic budget, should have
bank account for gifts of cash. Should develop awareness of conversations
that remain in the family, confidentiality of financial information and
savings or cash flow. Begin allowance (some start savings here, charitable
donations with allowance). This is an ideal time to introduce children to
family philanthropy and have them participate in discussions on donations.
*Ages 11-13 *Should begin to save 10% of allowance and gifts (often much
higher on gifts). Should begin to have savings for “fun” purchases or
events. Understand social media risks and identity theft (giving credit
cards online). Should be included actively in philanthropy with
discussions and directing of donations.
*Ages 14-18 *Should understand college is expensive and need to choose
wisely. Should understand the scope of “life decisions” that will hinge on
actions taken here. Increase emphasis on social media risk as well as
criminal risk and academic records. Can take lead in family philanthropy
and use this as introduction to investments. Should have brokerage account
set up for introduction to investments with input in stock selection.
*College,* Should know to set budget and expenses, manage credit card and
payments and begin setting credit score. Trust distributions may begin
shortly and need to be prepared for these
Earth Day is a great time to evaluate what you are doing to make a difference with your environmental footprint.
Do you recycle?
Usually half of what we throw out each day can be recycled.
Plastic, cardboard, paper, books and magazines? Electronics too! Teaching children to recycle makes it fun. Allow them to be a part of the process. It makes environmentally responsible adults to
Have you gotten on trend with Composting? Composting is the recycling of organic (not necessarily certified organic) material. For a list of thing you could be composting click here. Bennett compost in Philadelphia makes it easy. You can find a company to work with in most major cities. Look at this list of things you could be composting. Live in the suburbs? You can do it yourself at home too!
Reuse, repurpose or pass on.
Use more efficient energy sources? Look into solar power. Check out your local energy companies for helpful ways to decrease your energy costs. Check out greener gadgets online from smart thermostats, to smart power strips, watt meters, and more!
1. You have the opportunity to expose your child to variety of activities – they might not think they like something but after exposure an enthusiastic counselors get kids to try new things. Kids build confidence!
2. Make sure the camp is accredited. The American Camping Association provides its member camps with ongoing education and a community of camp professionals to provide training and support. The standards provide a bench mark of rules and regulations that should be attained to provide campers the safe, caring and healthy summer camp experience we all want for our kids.
3. Make sure your child is ready. Choose an age appropriate camp and make sure your child is ready for the experience. Some camps such as Pine Forest Camp, have an explorer camp program when they can try camp out for a weekend.
4. Visit camps the year before and attend open houses. Meet the owners and directors. See what the staff is like and witness the camper experience. Ask and notice what makes the camp stand out.
5. Experience matters. Seek out a camp who has been in the business and has significant experience in the camp world.
6. Retention rates – How many of the campers return season after season?
7. Involve your children – after all this where they will be spending their summer. Let them be part of the process.