Financial Skills – Writing Checks & Paying Bills

I was surprised when I asked parents to tell me the life skills they wish their kids knew, and there was a resounding request for a few topics:

How to open a bank account
How to budget & balance accounts
How to write checks and pay bills
And how to start saving for retirement

It seems some of the things we take for granted are, as a result, missing from what we teach kids.

In the last article, we focused on budgeting & balancing accounts. We even looked at games and contests you could set up for your kids. This article is the third article in the four-part series and will look at how to teach kids to write checks and pay bills.

Paying Bills

I was a bit surprised when several parents recently reported they had teens that were going to pay a bill by sending cash. I guess the obvious isn’t so obvious.

Paying bills is often done online, so it’s important to teach kids how to protect their identity online and store their login information where it can’t be stolen or accessed.

However, there are still quite a few companies that don’t offer online payments, and the only way to pay their bills is via check in the mail.

All kids should know why you NEVER send cash, and how to write a check specifically for paying a bill. For example: putting your account number and any other required details in the memo.

This brings us to the next topic: writing checks.

Writing Checks

When I was 12 years old, I went to outdoor ed. Oddly enough, part of the experience was that we could only write checks to buy goodies there, and our parents put a certain amount in our accounts so that we would also have to budget and balance our register.

Most of the kids were nervous! They weren’t sure how to fill out a check, and it was a great learning experience. I remember being nervous because we were required to fill out the amount in cursive, and I had trouble fitting it into the space.

These days, many kids never even think about writing checks because there are so many other means of transacting much more common; however, I’ve still found myself in need of checks for bills, paying contractors, and even helping me out of a pinch when I’ve forgotten my wallet.

Additionally, in my previous articles, I’ve expressed the dangers of using and relying on a debit card.

So how do you get your kids to learn how to write checks, and why would they care?

Getting Kids Involved

The best and most interactive way to teach kids to work a checkbook is to come up with a reason for them to write checks.

Here’s how it’s done:

Give your kids an old checkbook, play checkbook, or make your own (complete with a register). Then tell them in order to get certain things around the house, they’ll need to write checks. For example, to use their electronic device, there’s a rental fee that requires them to write you a check.

In addition, you can also give them a budget for the month to help them balance and budget their spending. You should balance a separate register so you can compare at the end of the month for accuracy.

Kids absolutely love this game.

Here are a few things you can charge for:

Using electronic devices
Watching TV (by the hour)
Special snacks or treats
Bicycle rental fee
Getting out of a chore (limited usage)

At the end of the month, if your kids keep a positive balance they get a prize. If you have more than one kid, whoever is the most accurate in balancing their register can also get a prize.

A variation is to cut off the privileges if they run out of money. Some think this is harsh, but it does mimic the real world.

Writing checks is simple, and most kids love to learn because they feel more like an adult in the process.

In the next article, we’ll discuss how to start saving for retirement. It could make the difference of over $200,000!

Boho Is Back, Conscious, Holistic Fashion!

Funky and chill, free spirited Bohemian fashion, conscious design that is holistic and now more necessary than ever. Patchwork gypsy skirts and hippy yoga pants, embroidered caftans, colorful tribal, paisley prints and chunky bead jewelry are totally in style. With a resurgence of design styles and fashion icons ramping up its popularity, bohemian hippy chic fashion is known for its earthy wanderlust roots and relaxed vibe.

Travelers of the old world “Banjara” were gypsy wanderers, who wanted to be different and lived life on their choice set of rules, creating trends and not following a social dictum.The boho lifestyle and clothing is based on the diverse gamut of cultures and patterns with the archetype of mixing and layering clothes, prints and colors. Earthy conscious designs, upcycled vintage fabrics, traditional handloom prints and weaves, the choices are endless. Mix and match Indian chikankari tunics with cutout ragged jeans! Georgette tunic dresses as beach cover ups, or use the white shift dresses for yoga and meditation, adding on accessories like the earthing malabeads and copper bracelets, seeking nature and connecting to mother earth.

The boho style sees Priyanka Chopra donning a cute cutout midi dress in tie dye at the country festivals, the Boho vibe is casually chic and elegant. Mylie Cyrus wears the colorful bohemian sari mini skirt with a white blouse tucked in at the waist.
The newer side of this trend has moved onto a “hippie-luxury” style with fashion designers creating earthing luxury style collections overflowing with old style fabrics full of passion and tranquil colors. The dreamy bohemian fashionista plays with long maxi skirts, soft flirty tunic caftans, embroidered dresses and earthy stonewashed fabrics.

The ultra modern Bohemian grounds herself to Mother Earth, rejoicing in her love and radiates confidence through her choice of earthy colors. The style manifests in the romance of original tribal art with pure cotton and ethical fabrics. Upcycled saris made into skirts and dresses, the fun and playful look is easy to accessorize and you create a fashion statement like no other as these are so unique and one of a kind.

Street style bohemian can be funky or chic, the gauzy printed maxidress is good for all seasons. Sandals and a hat for the summer or add a light jacket and booties for cooler days. The authentic tribal patchwork design skirts and boho vintage pants contrasts with the bold black tank, mixing bohemian with city chic. Be a glamorous fashionista, create your own style – conscious, holistic, earth friendly and in tune with nature, using clothing artisan created and unique.