Archive for the ‘Guest Posts’ Category

Note from Wil:
This is a post from Maria Rainer, a self-described “blog junkie”. Maria seems to be writing right in my wheel-house with articles on online education, online degrees, and this latest effort of hers which is a great idea.

I like to include the writings and opinions of as many people as I can, regardless of whether or not I agree with someone’s opinion. If you want to contribute to Finance For Youth: The Blog, send me an email:

Money management—as one of the most recent posts has demonstrated, it’s a principle that is rather difficult for some children to grasp. And like already mentioned in the previous article, if money management skills are not taught at an early age, your child can suffer many consequences and hardships in their future—they can get into debt after college, be forced to barely survive pay check-to-pay check, or ruin their credit early on, preventing them from acquiring a house or car. While open communication and positive affirmation for saving are great techniques to teach your child about finances, another way is discreetly disguise money management lessons via games. The games listed below (which vary from board games, online games and iPhone apps) are designed to teach your children all about their finances, including money management, debt and even the consequences of bad credit—all in a fun and engaging way.

1. Pay Day.


This game may have been originally created in 1975, but the lessons that your child can secretly learn while having a blast with family and friends is still impactful today. Of course the game has had a huge facelift and is modern-looking, but it still teaches the traditional lessons as the original: children learn about employment, loans and interest, as well as the importance of paying bills and handling unexpected expenses. Price: $14.98 on Amazon.


2. The Debt-Free Game.

If the title didn’t blatantly explain the premise of the game as it is, the Debt-Free Game is a board game designed to teach both children and adults about all different aspects of finance, including creating emergency funds, saving for college, paying off credit card debt and car notes. It even teaches children how to differentiate the difference between “wants” and “needs.” The first person to complete their “money tree” using a set of dimes is dubbed the winner. This game is exclusively sold online. Price: $22

3. The Bad Credit Hotel.

The Bad Credit Hotel, which is a by-product of the U.S. Treasury Department, is designed to teach children about, well “bad credit.” Based in a haunted-like hotel, players must use smart-credit card practices and techniques to build up their credit and move on to the next stage. It has “clues” that tell players what they need to do while simultaneously educating players on the importance of credit. Once the player earns a total score of 850 (which is a real-life perfect credit score) he or she wins the game. Price: Free

4. Save! The Game.
iPhone Screenshot 1Lastly the interactive iPhone app Save! The Game is also a great game to teach your child about finance-smarts. As the name suggests, this game takes children into a fantasy world in order to teach children about the importance of saving money and avoiding impulse shopping: players who can dodge the evil “iwannas” successfully and make it to the bank wins the game. Price: Free






Author Bio:

Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education where she writes about education, online colleges, online degrees etc. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.

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Note from Wil: This is a post from Matthew Kuehlhorn, “America‘s Mentor for Teens”. Matthew has made several awesome contributions to the discussion here at F4Y, and I would like to share some of his work to help get your mind working.

I like to include the writings and opinions of as many people as I can. If you want to
contribute to
Finance For Youth: The Blog, send me an email:

  • “Money does not grow on trees.”
  • “Money is the root of evil.”
  • “Cold, hard cash.”
  • “Money is hard to come by.”

Are any of these sayings you hear or tell yourself? What do they really mean to you?

Understanding our beliefs about money affects the ways we spend money and the ways we earn money. We can choose to believe anything—so why would we make it difficult?

Think of it this way:. If I thought that money were the root of all evil, and then all of a sudden I had a windfall of money land in my lap, what would I think about myself? Might I be evil? And if I were evil, would I then keep the money around or would I get rid of it to ensure that I were not evil?

I would probably get rid of it.

Beliefs can cause us to form poor spending habits. For me, I have been an emotional spender, and I used to tell myself that it did not really matter because I would always make more money. While this is true–I do always make more money–I really do not want to have to make more. So my thoughts and habits must change.

I now tell myself everything matters. And it does! The tiniest actions make huge waves in our lives. Having adopted this belief I now do not spend money spontaneously, and this allows me to save more. When I earn money, I am very thankful and appreciative for it. No longer is the money simply passing by. It is very important, and because I have a respect for it, it comes back!

Here is a practice for you. Fill in the blanks:

Money is _________________

Money is _________________

Money is _________________

Wealth is _________________

Rich people are ___________________

Rich people are ___________________

Are your answers negative or positive? Will your beliefs support earning and managing money well, or do they push money and success away from you?

I guarantee if you think rich people are greedy, you will not allow yourself to become rich. It is a law. And you can change your beliefs to gain the success you want.

How will you think differently about money and finances?


Matthew Kuehlhorn is America’s Mentor for Teens. He teaches the “Rules of the Road: Business, Finance, Life” to teenagers who want to gain the “keys” to their life.

He has created the Relationship Building System for Teens which is delivered in a 144-page illustrated novel titled, Bully, and he invites you to take advantage of incredible pricing and additional offers at his site


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Note from Wil: This is a post from Emma Barnes. While I’ve never been stranded in another country, I enjoyed hearing how it worked out for her this time. Please enjoy, and think about her advice on one way you can help avoid the fear that she went through.

Also, if you have an idea for an article for Finance for Youth: The blog, send me an email:


Image courtesy of Nagyhajubanya

Ever been stranded in a foreign country with no money and no means of getting any? Didn’t compare travel insurance on the likes of and find yourself in a bit of a bind? Didn’t get round to buying travel insurance before you went? Me neither.

When I was a student, I actually got myself into a fair few financial scrapes on various vacations, and I certainly didn’t think I’d have to compare travel insurance on moneysupermarket or somewhere similar, no sir. Every time, I was able to blame some fluke event (or, occasionally, a person) for my situation and now, upon reflection, it was my fault for not giving myself a financial cushion or failing to take the necessary precautions to avoid situations like those.

While travelling around Europe in the summer between leaving high school and starting college, I wasn’t aware of how much a week in Copenhagen would cost me. I ran out of money two days before I was due to move on, and I wasn’t going to get any more money for another week.

Determined to go it alone and not tell my parents (I was a proud kid, to say the least), I bought myself a baguette and some cookies with my last few krone and decided to tough it out on the streets. Looking back, I can’t believe I did that and pretty much thought nothing of it.

Heading over to Christiania, which I had planned to do at the end of my time in Copenhagen anyway, I thought I might be able to get a decent-ish night’s sleep out in the open. I’d heard it was a bit of a free-for-all there, and that I had less chance of being hassled on the streets there than in Copenhagen proper.

I was right – and then some. I got there in the afternoon, baguette, cookies and backpack in toe, to scout the place out and find a quiet spot to put my head down.

I walked around and marvelled at, well, everything. The houses there were clearly hand-built and looked like they were plucked straight from a book of fairy tales; there were people openly selling huge bags of fresh, green marijuana on stalls near an all-female ironmonger’s workshop. These people were living some kind of Utopian dream.

Pretty charged with excitement, I was buzzing and ended up talking to a group of Christianians. We got on really well, and when they found out my predicament, they offered me a place to stay (a little house with little hearts cut out of the white wooden window shutters, no less), food and amazing company. In fact, I’m still in touch with two of them today and plan to go and see them this fall.

So the moral of this story is… Don’t plan ahead? Well, no, it isn’t – I’ve been in plenty of other situations without such a happy ending (holidays cancelled, theft etc.), and I would strongly advise that you have a little contingency pot and a good insurance plan. You don’t need to get into money trouble to find your own vacation adventures.

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