Monthly Archives: November 2011

Spreadsheet For Children’s Savings – Encourage Kids To Save

I recently created a spreadsheet to help my son track his savings.  He has moved beyond the simple three-jar setup that we used for his older sister – and I recently helped him open his very own Kids Savings Account from ING DIRECT.

He really digs updating the spreadsheet, which helps him visualize just how much money he has saved.  Kids are visual – and explaining the concept of an online savings account can be rather challenging.  The spreadsheet keeps him informed and motivated.

The spreadsheet – which is free to download below – tracks how much he has in his Totes Digital Football Coin Bank piggy bank, his wallet, and his savings account.  Screen shot –

The spreadsheet is designed to track savings for one 30-day calendar month.  Enter beginning balances at the top of the spreadsheet – and then track any deposits or withdrawals that are made throughout the month.  There’s also a cool chart at the bottom of the page, to show savings progress.  Screen shot –

Click here to download the spreadsheet (available in three formats) –

Kid’s Savings Spreadsheet for Microsoft Excel

Kid’s Savings Spreadsheet for Open Office Calc

Kid’s Savings Spreadsheet for Google Documents (No Chart)

Remember to include any interest earned.  I simply enter it on the last day of the month.  If a particular month has 31 days, simply combine withdrawals or deposits on day 30.  The goal is to keep the spreadsheet as simple-to-use as possible.

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No Credit Needed Weekend Roundup

Here are a few of my favorite posts from some of my favorite personal finance writers from this past week –

From my fellow Money Tips Network members –

Five Cent Nickel suggests four ways to save water and money at home.

Generation X Finance has ideas for lowering the cost of Thanksgiving Day.

Get Rich Slowly updates their 2011 garden project.

Squawk Fox has some ideas for negotiating lower credit card interest rates.

Money Talks News has five reasons for not signing up for department store credit cards.

The Simple Dollar has a detailed post about the cost of making your own coffee.

Wise Bread has shopping tips for what to buy and what to avoid during November.

Mighty Bargain Hunter has an awesome post about talking to kids about money.

From some of my favorite personal finance blog writers –

Bible Money Matters shares 100 frugal gifts for Christmas.

Christian PF asks if you should pull money from your retirement plan.

Clever Dude reminds us of just how important it is to have emergency fund.

My Two Dollars has 10 ways to stop wasting money.

No Debt Plan encourages readers to get out of debt – by focusing on next year.

Paycheck Chronicles has an ever-expanding list of discounts for Veteran’s Day.

Shaking The Money Tree is having a ‘use it up’ month.

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Make The Payment To Yourself

My wife and I have been saving up for a new-to-us automobile.

Instead of financing the purchase of a newer car, we have been making monthly payments to ourselves.

Each month I initiate a transfer from my local checking account to my online savings account.  (ING Direct makes these transfers super-simple to set up.)

The amount transferred is equal to the estimated cost of the vehicle, divided by the number of months until the purchase will be made.

This approach works for any major purchase – and helps to keep us out of consumer debt.

Obviously, we all know that we should save.  However, most folks never get to the point where they do save.  We look around and see all of the stuff that we want – and we borrow to get it.  We are then stuck with monthly payments and interest charges.

My own debt addiction left me miserable and broke.  I had a mailbox-full of bills and a life-full of stuff that I didn’t really need.

Thankfully, my eyes were opened.  I was able to see how dangerous my borrowing habits had become.  I broke the cycle – and I never want to go back to it.  Instead, I save for future purchases.  I focus on what I already own – and work hard to save for things that I actually want and need.

Today is not the day to bury our heads in the sand and ignore our financial situation.  Instead, today is the day to take charge – to look ourselves in the eye – and do something.

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