I have read a number of books written by Jean Chatzky and was excited to see she has written a book about money for teenagers, “Not Your Parents’ Money Book”. Jean is the financial editor for the Today show and frequent contributor to other talk shows and media sourcres.

As part of the research for the book, she met with groups of kids at middle schools across the country and them questions about what they know about money and things they want to know about money. The book is peppered with questions from kids and her answers to their questions. Also included in the book are fun facts and quizzes about money.

There are chapters about earning money, spending money and saving money. She gives ideas of ways to earn money besides the regular babysitting and cutting lawns and discusses the different vehicles for saving the money you earn.

She also discusses and explains investing and ways to invest. Many of the money related words are highlighted in the book and defined in the glossary at the end of the book. So if there are words that you do not understand you can jump to the glossary and look it up. She also discusses the economy and recession, which may be words that kids hear about and may not know what they mean.

Also included in the end of the book are sections on the history of money and how money is made.

The book is concluded by a list of web resources for more information. The websites include informational websites as well as websites that have games and puzzles pertaining to money and finances.

As with other topics it may be easier for kids to learn if they do not think they are actually learning anything, making it fun to learn.

This is a great resource to teach kids about the important subject of dealing with money and finances. It is about 150 pages and a quick and easy read.

Nancy Kvamme


LearnVest is a website to empower women to take control of their personal finances. It includes information, tools and support they need to earn well, save well and spend well.

The website is updated daily with expert advice, lifestyle tips, news and more. The LearnVest Daily e-newsletter is delivered to your inbox, with lifestyle and money tips. You can also sign up for the bootcamp which sends you steps to get your financial life under control.

You can also enter information on all of your accounts and monitor activity, create a personalized budget and track progress against your spending goals. It is protected by bank level security and encryption so your accounts are always 100% safe and secure.

I have not personally entered information on my accounts, but I do receive the daily emails and bootcamp emails. I have been getting them for a couple of weeks.

This is another of the many resources for personal finance information available online.

Nancy Kvamme

Just because something is on sale or you have a coupon to use does not always make it a good deal. I know because I used to shop like this. I used to buy a lot of things mainly because they were on sale and seemed like a great deal.

I hear people say they needed to buy something because they had a coupon for a certain percentage off or that it was on sale. It may be a deal if it is something you have been looking for or something you need, but if you are buying something just because you have a coupon that is why the companies send out coupons and run sales. And in some cases, people may think since they saved money on their purchase, that means they have more money to spend on other items.

The same thing is true with shopping at dollar stores and thrift stores, things are inexpensive but those dollar items can add up quick. I am not saying shopping at these kinds or stores is a bad thing. I shop at them regularly, but like at other stores you need to think about what you are buying and if it something you really need or if you are just buying it because it seems like a good deal.

Years ago, the daughter of my boss at the time was looking at a sale ad and said she could save a certain percentage off. Her daughter, who was in grade school at the time told her “If you don’t go shopping, you can save 100%”.

Literally moments after I saved the draft of this post last night to run this morning, I ran across this post by Jean Chatzky about The Psychology of Bargains.

Posted in Budgeting, Saving
Nancy Kvamme

Looking for deals to help others. I have posted previously about how using coupons and looking for deals I can help others more than I normally would be able to. The past couple of weeks the Dakota Boys Ranch stores have been having their end of season bag sales, a paper bag of clothes for $4. I was able to get a bag the last two weekends and am able to donate over 50 pieces of baby and kids summer clothes to the YWCA shelter for $8. Just figuring the thrift store prices, that is almost $100 of value. Here is a current list of items needed by the YWCA Cass Clay Womens Shelter in Fargo.

Another way to help out is the United Way Cass Clay School Supply Drive. Donations of new backpacks and school supplies can be dropped off between Tuesday, July 12 and Friday, August 12 at the following locations: West Acres , Gate City Bank (all locations), Moorhead Center Mall, Wal-Mart (All locations), First International Bank and Trust (all locations), Elite Therapeutic Massage, United Way of Cass Clay, Starion Financial (all locations) and the FARGODOME.

Monetary donations can be mailed to UWCC, PO Box 1609, Fargo, ND 58107 or dropped off at United Way of Cass-Clay at 219 7th St S, Fargo or you can give online. Volunteers are needed weekdays August 1-18.

Supplies are available for students residing in and attending K-12 schools in Cass or Clay counties. Distribution is Saturday, August 13 from 8 am – 12 pm at the FARGODOME and Thursday, August 18 from 4-8 pm at Concordia College Memorial Auditorium and West Fargo Veterans Arena.
Students and families in need can complete the registration form and bring it to one of the sites. Registration forms will also be available on the site the day of distribution.

So if you have extra school supplies or can pick up extra when you are shopping, this would be a great cause to support.

Also, the Valley News Coats for Kids is collecting new or gently used kids winter coats and items from July 18-August 12. Drop off sites are listed on the website.

Tagged ,
Posted in Uncategorized
Nancy Kvamme

Thrive by 5

Thrive By 5 is a resource sponsored by the Credit Union National Association with information on teaching your preschooler about spending and saving.

Children learn about money from many sources. They observe adults using money and buying things. What children witness affects their attitudes about what money is for. Some of those beliefs will help them as adults and some will not.

The website includes activities and other resources to give you ideas for teaching how money works and what it can do, talking about how your family uses money and modeling good money management.

The earlier you start talking to children about money the better. It is a part of our daily lives and they will need to learn how to handle it in the future.

Nancy Kvamme

One way grocery stores and other stores market to consumers are 5/$5 or other variety of sales. You should check with your store, but in many cases you can still get the sale price with only buying 1 or 2 of the items. However, some consumers think they are getting a better deal when they buy more. But if you are not going to be able to use them up before they spoil, it is not a deal.

Here is an article about this marketing concept.

Nancy Kvamme

Another website with information and budgeting forms is Choose to Save. Choose to save was created by the non-profit Employee Benefit Research Institue (EBRI) and the American Savings Education Council (ASEC) to educate people about the importance of planning and saving for the future.

On the website are materials to educate about the need to save, assist individuals in setting their savings goals, answer frequently asked questions and links to other sources of information.

One of the tools is the Ballpark E$timate® a worksheet to help people see how much savings they will need to live comfortably in retirement. There are also over 100 online financial calculators and educational brochures.

Posted in Saving
Nancy Kvamme

I feel part of the reason some people are in tough financial situations is because of many thinking instant gratification is the norm. Some of them feel that if they get some extra money or have money left over they must spend it.

Today, I went to the dentist to get a temporary crown put on one of my teeth. The last time I was in for a checkup, the assistant thought I would need to have the tooth built up before putting the crown on. Today they found out it didn’t need to be built up, so I saved about $250. The assistant told me that and said now I could go spend it at the fair or street fair or something.

When I got done and asking about the bill, the receptionist said I could save $50 if I paid it today. I am fortunate to have the money available and was able to write a check for the full amount today and was able to save $50. She also made a comment about being able to have more to spend at the street fair or something.

A few weeks ago we had a family reunion. One day I took my 10 year old nephew to the store to pick up some things for my mom. She gave me some cash and he thought we had to spend the entire amount, but we didn’t.

You may think you need something now, but consider if you really do want it or if you could do or buy something else in the future if you saved the money.

Nancy Kvamme

Recently, there was an article about reasons to give up your credit cards. There are various thoughts on both having credit cards and not having credit cards.

Studies have shown that in a lot of cases you may spend more if you are using credit cards than if you are using cash. When you use cash you feel the pain of spending the money more and you need to know that you have enough cash with you. Some say that you need an active credit card to have a credit history and good credit rating.

It may be helpful to have a credit card, but it is important to try to be able to pay it off monthly to save on interest and finance charges. If you use a credit card to purchase things on sale and are unable to pay it off at the end of the month, then it was not such a great deal.

Nancy Kvamme

In a previous post I talked about Cash Course. Cash Course is a free online program to help college students learn how to handle their finances. They can register online and have access to resources, such as articles, quizzes, calculators and budgeting tools. It was created by NEFE, The National Endowment for Financial Education. Once a school is enrolled, CashCourse is available to students to access directly 24/7.

It is offered by over 550 colleges and universities throughout the country. Locally it is offered at NDSU, UND, Minnesota State University Moorhead, and NDSCS Wahpeton.

There are webinars scheduled for Tuesday, July 19 and Friday, July 22 from 11am – 12pm, EDT. The webinar will provide an overview of the new CashCourse Promotion Plan: Your Guide to Making CashCourse a Success at your School. It will give you ideas and techniques that will help you use CashCourse and promote financial education on your campus.

Posted in Saving
Nancy Kvamme