Question of the Day – How Much Should Kids Know About the Family Finances?

Here is today’s question of the day:

How much should kids know about the family finances?

This question has been on my mind for a couple of years now. Our boys are (nearly) 15 and 13.5-years old (our daughter’s still too young to be interested in this stuff) and I want them to have a better understanding of how family finances work. I want them to see how eating out more often means that there is less money for other things. Although I know they don’t really think this way, it’s like they see the family income as just pouring in and that there’s enough to do anything we want to do.


I think I want to take steps to educate our boys on the basics of family budgeting. What I’m struggling with is just how much information I want to give them regarding our finances. I don’t see a problem with the budget. I’m just not sure beyond that. I don’t see that it’s necessary for them to know 401(k) balances or details like that.

What do you guys think?

I’ll detail my “plan” in another post. I have some ideas that I want to share with you on teaching kids personal finance.

Graduating From College WITHOUT Debt! (It Can Be Done!)

Donna Freedman has written a great piece over on MSN Money titled Finish College with Zero Debt, in which she profiled three students that will graduate from college with zero debt. That’s pretty amazing this day and age. It should also be inspiration for those who have college in their future.

The main points from her piece:

• Early graduation is a big money-saver. Test out of classes if you can.

• Pick a solid school that’s also affordable.

• Tuition is a bill, so pay it — but not all at once. Pay as you go.

• You can work while in school.

10 Most Dangerous Jobs in America

My wife was telling me about this list. I found it on Yahoo. Here are the 10 Most Dangerous Jobs in America:

10. Construction Laborers – 18.3 fatalities per 100,000 workers

9. Truckers Drivers/Sales Workers – 25.2 fatalities per 100,000 workers

8. Industrial Machinists – 30.3 fatalities per 100,000 workers

7. Sanitation Workers – 34.7 fatalities per 100,000 workers

6. Ironworkers – 35.8 fatalities per 100,000 workers

5. Roofers – 61.8 fatalities per 100,000 workers

4. Farmers and Ranchers – 61.8 fatalities per 100,000 workers

3. Airplane Pilot – 57.1 fatalities per 100,000 workers

2. Logger – 61.8 fatalities per 100,000 workers

and the most dangerous job in America…

1. Fisherman – 200 fatalities per 100,000 workers

Here is a link to the BLS News Release: Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries News Release

Do any AFM readers work in any of these occupations?

Question of the Day – What’s the Economy Like in Your Part of the Country?

I live in Southeast Texas (east of Houston). The economy seems to be fairly decent in this area. Housing is a little slow right now though. There seems to be a pretty sizeable inventory of unsold homes, which isn’t good for home prices. But, I do see some encouraging signs—especially at the mall.

I was walking through the mall the other day and noticed that several retailers are remodeling their stores or are relocating to larger spaces inside the mall. This may be to take advantage of lower rental rates, I don’t know. All I know is the mall has seen some pretty significant changes over the last six months to a year.

There’s not a lot of construction going on outside of the mall though.

We are fortunate to have a large chemical and refining base. Neither of these have been harmed too badly by the economic downturn (so far). I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

So, what about you?

What’s the Economy Like in Your Part of the Country? If you would like to leave a comment, please indicate the geographic area that you are from (or the city if you choose) and give us a report on your local economy.

Amazon Links Are Causing IE Certificate Warnings

Last night I started noticing that everytime my blog loaded, the following Internet Explorer warning would appear across the top of the blog:

“To help protect your security, Internet Explorer has blocked this website from displaying content with security certificate errors. Click here for options…”

Through trial and error I narrowed the error down to the content in my right sidebar. What I don’t know is WHY it’s causing the error message. All I know is AFM is not the only website experiencing these issues:

Anyway, I just thought I’d let you know what’s going on.

GIVEAWAY: The Road Out of Debt

I received a preview copy of Joan Feeney and Theordore Connolly’s excellent book, The Road Out of Debt: Bankruptcy and Other Solutions to Your Financial Problems. I like this book so well that I’m going to give a copy away at my expense.

If you would like to be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment below. Please remember my two rules:

1. You must be a resident of the U.S. or Canada.

2. You can only enter one time.

I’ll announce the winner on Monday.