Elementary: Make two columns on a sheet of paper. Title the left column ‘Income’ and write down how much money comes into your household each month. Title the left side ‘Expenses’ and list the following expenses with the corresponding amount:

Home, Car, Groceries, Electricity (you can do more if you’d like)

Have them figure out how much money is left.

Fun factor: Have them guess at the numbers before you write them down. Closest guess gets a treat of your choosing (Mike & Ike’s? Grapes?)

Ask these questions:

What would it mean if the expenses total was bigger than the income total? How would they feel?

What would it mean if the income total is bigger than the expenses total? How would they feel?

Middle School / Teen: Show them the full family budget. If you don’t keep one, you really, really need to start. But, in the meantime, you can create it with your kids. Make two columns on a piece of paper and have your kids help figure out the expenses. This exercise will help with having an appreciation of what has to be “paid for” each month that they may take for granted.

Ask these questions:

What would it mean if expenses exceeded income? How would that make you feel?

What would it mean if income exceeds expenses? How would that make you feel?

Parents: Help them talk through the emotions involved with the answers to the above questions. How they feel speaks to quality of life. This concept and the connection we want them to make will be made clear as we move forward.

Random Fun: Okay, try to play Monopoly in the next week! But for now, start a stand-up comedy tournament. Each player gets 2 minutes – biggest laugh wins!

In Gary Keller’s book The Millionaire Real Estate Investor, he mentions what he calls Nina’s Rule. Nina was a personal trainer, hired by Gary, who always sought to correct a client’s posture before venturing into assigning certain exercises to meet the client’s desired end-state. Gary tells us that Nina believed a good (or bad) posture shared a high correlation with overall physical health. She correctly reasoned that the best of us work on our muscles one or two hours a few days a week, but for ALL of us, our posture is at work about 16-18 hours every single day.

Gary made the analogy that our fiscal posture is similarly at work every single day through the almost subconscious, seemingly innocuous decisions we make with our money. While the big muscle movements of car and home buying are certainly important, the value of making smart decisions when handling money through small transactions in our everyday life can be immeasurable.

You and I have a great opportunity and responsibility to address our child’s financial posture that will prove over time to have a profound impact on the health of their financial relationships.

Subsequently, the intent of these posts is to equip you as the parent and identify the base concepts (posture) that will aid you in raising a more money-savvy child. Here are the 5 takeaways from the previous posts:


All subsequent posts will be focused on one of these concepts and provide a practical lesson you can apply at home.  I hope you’ll continue to follow us and allow us to partner with you in teaching your child or children about personal finances!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Mark Howard, Executive Editor
7/20/17 mhoward@floridatrend.com

LAKELAND (July 20, 2017) – Allen & Company of Florida, Inc. was recently named one of Florida’s Best Companies To Work For.

The annual Best Companies list is featured in the August issue of Florida Trend magazine. One hundred companies are ranked in small, medium and large employer categories.

To participate, companies or government entities had to employ at least 15 workers in Florida and have been in operation at least one year. Companies that chose to participate underwent an evaluation of their workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems and demographics. The process also included a survey to measure employee satisfaction. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking.

“What’s clear from our list is that amenities like free lunch or a game room at the workplace are not the things that make a great workplace. Those amenities are just part of the way companies reflect their cultures — it’s the culture of the company and the company’s ability to hire people who understand and embody the culture that create a great workplace,” says Executive Editor Mark Howard.

“The best companies obviously provide strong pay and benefits to their employees, but they also offer fun diversions such as ice cream socials, holiday parties and field days,” says Florida Trend Publisher Andy Corty, “And these top companies encourage employees to participate in the organization’s overall success with training and open communications.”

The Best Companies To Work For In Florida program was created by Florida Trend and Best Companies Group and is endorsed by the HR Florida State Council. Best Companies Group managed the registration, survey and analysis and determined the final rankings. For a list of the 100 Best Companies To Work For In Florida, go to www.FloridaTrend.com/BestCompanies.

About Florida Trend
Florida Trend business magazine is read by 250,000 influential business executives, civic leaders and government officials each month. Its award-winning reporting covers business news, executives, key industry sectors, regional news and lifestyle. E-newsletters cover breaking news, movers and influencers, health care, education and small business. Floridatrend.com attracts over 100,000 unique viewers monthly.

About Best Companies Group
Best Companies Group works with partners worldwide to establish and manage “Best Places to Work,” “Best Companies” and “Best Employers” programs. Through its thorough workplace assessment, utilizing employer questionnaires and employee-satisfaction surveys, BCG identifies and recognizes companies that have been successful in creating and maintaining workplace excellence. For more information, visit www.BestCompaniesGroup.com.

– END –

Last month we shared a game dealing with a SWEEPSTAKES scenario to help you understand the importance of communication when you want to make the best decision for all involved.  This concept applies to teaching kids how to work with others when it comes to money – a hard lesson usually learned as adults.  Here’s a way to share this lesson at home:

First, we want to pair or team up kids who are pretty close in age to each other, if possible (doesn’t work so well if you pair a 7 year old with a 14 year old).

BASIC RULES: The shared budget (for 2 kids) starts with a minimum of $10 every month. Each kid can spend up to half of the monthly budget in any given month. Any unspent portion of the monthly budget is doubled.

HOW IT WORKS: You can quickly see that if each kid spends their half ($5) for the month, the residual is $0, so the pot resets at $10. If each kid spends only $2 each, the residual will be $6. By our stated rules, the $6 doubles to $12 starting the next month.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN: First, the kids will realize that if one saves their $5 and the other spends their $5, the residual doubles to $10, meaning the kid who tried to save missed out on spending $5 that past month and doesn’t get ahead the next. Remember our game theory example with the sweepstakes? Here’s what this scenario looks like in the game format:

1) If Child A SPENDS and Child B SAVES, Child A gets to spend $5 this month and next month; Child B spends $0 this month and only has access to $5 next month.

2) If Child A SAVES and Child B SPENDS, Child A spends $0 this month and only has access to $5 next month, while Child B gets to spend $5 this month and next month.

3) If Child A SPENDS and Child B SPENDS, each child will only have $5 each month to spend. [Nash Equilibrium]

4) If Child A SAVES and Child B SAVES, each child will not have any money to spend this month. However, they’ll each have access to $10 next month. [global optimal solution]

WHAT THEY LEARN: If they communicate and work together, they can both choose to SAVE for 2 months straight. That would create a pot of $40 giving them each up to $20 spending cash. That’s a 25% increase over the amount they’d have to spend if they just spent their $5 each month. This scenario teaches communication and consideration of others (teamwork) AND delayed gratification through discipline. The parent can, of course, cap the doubling rule once the pot hits $40. Any of these numbers can be massaged to fit your situation. For example, if 3 kids are “sharing the budget” you can change the minimum to something like $12 or $15 (easily divisible by three).

This is only one example of teaching Relational Budgeting.  The point is to come up with some way to have your kids understand how important it is to hone the skill of communication when it comes to money as most will end up with spouses and families of their own.

With relational budgeting, our goal is to have our child or children develop the skill of working with another person relationally in order to make efficient and effective decisions with money.  The main concept is to help them understand the need to communicate and how that communication can lead to decisions that are optimal for all involved.

Why is this important? Simply put, before we partner up with someone as adults, almost all of our training and experience with money involves one person: ourselves. All decisions are easily greenlit and rationalized when there’s no one to offer resistance. The implied assumption is that it is all for our personal consumption. By the way, that is a pretty good definition of greed.

But what if we could address the issue in the child-rearing years? What if we found a way to have our kids consider and communicate with others when it comes to money?

This need for communication is actually pretty simple to illustrate…


Put two kids in separate rooms where they can’t see or hear each other.

Go to the first kid and tell them the following:

You are in a “Free Money” giveaway sweepstakes with a partner you cannot see or hear. You have the following options…choose TAKE or GIVE. Your unknown/unseen/unheard partner has the same options.

1) If you choose TAKE and your partner chooses GIVE, you get $1 million (partner gets $0).

2) If you choose GIVE and your partner chooses TAKE, you get $0 (partner gets $1 million).

3) If you choose TAKE and your partner chooses TAKE, you each get $500,000.

4) If you choose GIVE and your partner chooses GIVE, you each get $2 million.

So…what do you choose? TAKE or GIVE?

To make things a little easier, get a poster board and markers to illustrate the 4 scenarios listed above.

It should be immediately obvious that the best outcome for both participants is that they both GIVE. This is called the globally optimal solution. However, you have to remember that they can’t communicate and therefore do not know what the other will do. Each participant will naturally apply game theory. “If the other TAKES and I GIVE, I get nothing!” It is evident that both will independently come to the same conclusion to TAKE. This is called the Nash Equilibrium – the stable-state solution where a participant cannot be negatively impacted by the other’s unilateral move.

Layman’s terms? If you don’t communicate, you can’t make the best decision for all.


Make sure you check out next month’s post as we continue to look at Relational Budgeting.