Profitable Ideas: Preparing for a Downturn, Giving Kids More Financial Freedom, and More

A weekly roundup of some of the more interesting and helpful personal finance articles I’ve read recently.

How to prepare for a possible economic recession (The Simple Dollar). No one can predict a recession or a bear market, but managing money well always involves playing a strong game of defense.

This is why more expensive wine tastes better (Moneyish). When it costs more, we think it’s better. Just part of this crazy experience called being human.

How to get the most out of your benefits in 2018 (MarketWatch). Open enrollment season is right around the corner. Here are some ideas for choosing wisely.

Lessons learned from intentionally letting go (Becoming Minimalist). I’m drawn to the idea of minimalism (but am far from putting it into practice!), and this is my favorite writer on the topic.

Top 4 reasons why people hate their jobs — and what to do about them (CNN). With Labor Day fast approaching, it’s an appropriate time to consider: How well do you like your job?

Allowing children financial freedom can pay off (Washington Post). I love this idea. Have you tried it with your kids? If so, how has it worked out?

Why am I never satisfied? (Ron Blue Institute). Helpful guidance for slaying the “More!” monster.

Amazon’s move signals end of line for many cashiers (NY Times). Shopping continues to evolve. Here’s where it may go next.

What are your thoughts on any of the above? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

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4 Responses to Profitable Ideas: Preparing for a Downturn, Giving Kids More Financial Freedom, and More

  1. Karen Howard August 26, 2017 at 11:14 AM #

    Regarding the article on allowing children financial freedom, we did that with our daughter. Other than a requirement that she tithe and also save a certain percentage, we allowed her to make as many of her own spending decisions as were appropriate for her age. In the early years (elementary and below) her allowance was fairly small and covered tithe, savings, and miscellaneous ‘fun’ spending (toys, books, etc.). Starting in junior high, each year on her birthday we added a category of budget spending (entertainment, clothing, etc.) to her allowance and transferred the responsibility for her share of those purchases to her. By the time she was a senior in high school (in 2010) her allowance was $300 per month but she was doing her own purchasing for everything except housing/groceries (including her share of eating out with us!). None of the typical teenager routine of asking for money to go to a movie with friends, or asking for trendy but expensive clothes. She learned so much about comparison shopping, avoiding impulse buying, how to split the bill when eating out with others, how to calculate a tip, making money last until the next month’s allowance, and so on. Now she is through college, worked for a few years, and has returned to graduate school, has no debt, and is still a wise spender. We highly recommend this approach to training kids to be financially responsible adults. I don’t understand why anyone would send their kids off to college or the work world to manage money on their own without any actual, real-world practice!

    As a side note, before she went off to college we also had her manage the family finances (with supervision, of course!) for a few months so she could see what it really costs to live as a family, how to pay real bills, and so on. This level of financial transparency as parents may not be comfortable for everyone, but knowing it was coming in our plan for her financial training helped us make a few better decisions than we otherwise might have made – a good accountability step for us as the adults!

    • Matt Bell August 27, 2017 at 3:57 PM #

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Karen. I’d like to try this idea with our kids and your note helps affirm how effective it can be.

  2. John Fuhler August 25, 2017 at 10:55 AM #

    I agree and resonate with what the Ron Blue Institute had to say. Not that I am good at it, but I want to move in that direction.

    • Matt Bell August 27, 2017 at 4:00 PM #

      Such a great challenge, isn’t it? To put money in things that make us treasure God more.

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