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  • Writer's picturePhil Kennedy

Goo Jit Zus, Wallets, and the Ice Cream Man

The ice cream truck pulled into our cul de sac while my six-year-old boy streaked toward the house screaming, "This is an emergency! I gotta get my wallet!" Moments later, both of my boys were sprinting out of the garage and toward the sidewalk. It's an action-packed moment of intensity that has now become a springtime ritual in our household.

We've been trying to teach our boys how to save, so my wife bought them little wallets to store their weekly allowance. As a result, these kids now carry more cash than Tony Soprano, and they are ready to spend it at a moment's notice. My older boy recently raised his iPod touch to my face to report, "Dad, we gotta get this." He now fixates on buying action figures called Goo Jit Zu's. They are a modern, more expensive version of Stretch Armstrong, and there is a bottomless pit of styles, colors, and models.

After a lengthy negotiation that also involved his younger brother, we decided to purchase a two-pack on Amazon for $20 (as of this writing, it's supposed to arrive tomorrow, yet my sons keep looking out the window for the deliveryman). After we clicked the order button, I asked my boy, "How much did you give this week?" The puzzled expression on his face made me realize that I have dropped the ball when it comes to parental money coaching. I took advantage of the teachable moment, and we are now going to

become more charitable in the Kennedy household.

To become successful with this, one must devise a strategy. One technique parents can use to teach their kids how to give is the 1-2-2 method. Let's say your child has a weekly allowance of $5. Parents provide children with three envelopes: one for giving, one for saving, and a third for spending. A dollar is placed in the giving envelope, and $2 is placed in the saving and spending envelopes, respectively. With all of their money going straight into their wallets, my boys have come to believe their allowance is strictly for the ice cream man and Amazon toys. By creating a third option for charity, my sons now realize they will use their money to help someone else.

Only the strong can help the weak, and that's what my clients are learning during their coaching sessions. If you missed my recent offer, I am doing FREE coaching for a limited time. This offer became so popular, and I only have one more available session. If you have not taken me up on this before, and you would like to discuss your situation, then schedule your session now. If now isn't the right time, I'd still be glad to hear from you.

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