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Bill Dwight

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Family Finance Favs
money, parenting
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Palo Alto, California, United States
Life stage:
DIK (Dual Income, Kids)
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Latest Blog Posts

Parental controls are all the rage when it comes to prepaid card apps built for kids and teens. Get an activity alert every time Junior spends. Require approval before Junior makes a purchase. Lock the card if Junior needs a financial time-out. Sounds like a helicopter parent’s dream.Back in the day, my mom had no clue about half the things I bought with untraceable cash as a kid. ...
Posted: Dec 08 2017 @ 8:47 PM
For many kids, money can be a bit too easy come, easy go — especially in today’s digital world. But tracking and categorizing money thoughtfully will always be a key life skill. Dollars deserve a purpose whether digital or not. So how do we get our kids to be more mindful of money as it ebbs and flows' Build a Money In ’N Out Spreadsheet with your child. ...
Posted: Nov 11 2017 @ 2:27 PM
My longest market losing streak since high school is pretty epic. If I had invested $5,000 in the S&P 500 on January 1, 2000, it would have been worth less than that for 12 years in a row. Ouch. But, as Tom Petty said, “Even the losers get lucky sometimes.” Especially if they wait long enough in the market. By October 2017, that original $5,000 investment would have turned ...
Posted: Nov 02 2017 @ 9:45 PM
The stock market can be a mighty dry topic for teens. That’s a shame, because jumping in early is a huge advantage. So, you’ll need a compelling hook to capture attention and make your key points stick. Points like: don’t miss out by trying to time the market. Try this clever teaching prop. It’s a picture of the history of the “top” of the market. It’s a classic I ...
Posted: Oct 20 2017 @ 2:17 PM
Tired of reading the same old puff pieces on kids and money in the mainstream media? Instead of boring platitudes from “experts” (some of whom haven’t even raised kids!), how about some real insights from real parents in the new media trenches? Start with these five Family Finance finalists for this year’s Plutus Awards for independent financial publishers. I’ve picked a representative post or podcast from each to help ...
Posted: Oct 12 2017 @ 7:23 PM
You’ve already heard me harp on the virtues of aggressive parent-paid interest. (If not, see here.) It’s my favorite technique for getting kids fired up about saving and thinking twice about spending: “Look at that sweet interest deposit I just got on my card! I’m going to build up my balance so I can earn even more.” Music to my ears. I decided to run some numbers on our ...
Posted: Oct 06 2017 @ 3:19 PM
I remember the time my oldest son thrashed an expensive laptop shortly after I bought it for him. Man, did that grind my gears. I made him pay for the replacement by garnishing his allowance for 18 months. The lesson stuck. That replacement lasted a very long time. That was an effective, yet reactive measure to teach my son to take care of his possessions. A proactive measure would ...
Posted: Sep 27 2017 @ 7:47 PM
“I worry these automated apps and debit cards will cause me to have fewer thoughtful money conversations with my kids.” I hear that a lot. And it drives me nuts. (It almost makes me as crazy as: “Don’t give your kid a debit card, use cash instead.” Nonsense. See my counterarguments here and here.) The automation fear is frustrating because the effect of a well-designed family finance ...
Posted: Sep 21 2017 @ 9:00 PM
My buddy Keith sent me a message this week about an odd $46 Taco Bell transaction on his daughter’s prepaid card: Definitely stolen. [Her card was lifted from her backpack.] I’ll have her fill out the form. On the plus side, had we not had text alerts on the purchases, it would have been A LOT worse. Seeing the alert, they locked the card. We can only hope all ...
Posted: Sep 14 2017 @ 11:01 PM
3,000 miles away from home. Zero friends. Intimidated. Vulnerable. That sums up my first day at college. Picture your kid in a similar situation. Then throw this little wrinkle on top: "I'm sorry, your card has been declined." Great. Add broke to your kid’s list. The card’s app says: “The incorrect PIN has been entered 3 times. A security block has been applied. Please contact the card processor via the ...
Posted: Sep 08 2017 @ 3:16 PM


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