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Even Elmo is doing it!

This morning I turned on Good Morning America. It was actually on in the background as I buzzed around getting ready for our schoolwork today. As I stood in the kitchen pouring a second cup of coffee I heard my oldest son call out “Hey Mom! Even Elmo is doing it!” I joined him in the living room to find out what exactly Elmo was doing that had him hanging out with the Good Morning America folks. Turns out Elmo has jumped on the bandwagon for learning how to use money wisely! Very cool!  He talked about his Save, Spend and Share plan and the jars for each. I had to laugh. This is great stuff! We recently invested in the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Jr. Super Pack collection-on sale of course- (for ages 3-12) as part of his first grade curriculum which teaches how to Save, Spend and Give (so pretty much the same kind of thing). When the set arrived in the mail he was over the moon (which of course thrilled me because I wasn’t sure how he’d like it). In less than two weeks we’ve gone from him thinking that money is just given out at the bank to him starting to get a good, rounded understanding of money as a tool and a responsibility. We’d been trying for a long time to help him understand but somehow Dave Ramsey’s character Junior connected better with him. And now we can add Elmo to the mix. My oldest is five and a half. He’s at that age where Elmo is still enjoyable but not really his thing anymore. Dave Ramsey’s set is geared more toward older children so it’s a good fit for us. In the last two weeks we’ve seen an amazing growth in his understanding and character building with being a good steward of money. And it helps him understand Mom and Dad’s goals for our family and why we feel it is so important to get out of and stay out of debt. I’m thrilled to see Elmo putting this out there too.  Elmo’s program is officially called The Sesame Street For Me, For You, For Later Kit and it’s FREE . (And we all know FREE is budget friendly!) Teaching kids about money is smart way to help your kiddos embrace a Rice and Beans Mentality and these programs make it so much easier to teach great financial principles and make it fun! (And just for full disclosure-I’m not benefitting from either of these companies-I just find their programs to be fantastic and helpful!).

Checking out Elmo's program online.

Dave Ramsey's cool Give, Save, Spend banks and my kiddo's cool wallet.

FREE Books!!!

Well. For a little while anyway. Usually three whole weeks. And with amazing modern technology you can usually renew your items at the end of your three weeks for more time. Where can you get amazing FREE books? Are you ready for this?? Your LOCAL LIBRARY. If you haven’t stepped into your local library since card catalogs were the kind you pull out of drawers and were actually on CARDS then you might just be in for a treat. Libraries, even the ones in the smallest of counties, have a surprising number of free resources. Most libraries now let you browse their catalog online from home, some let you reserve books from home and some pull the books for you in advance to pick up at the front desk. If you get close to the due date and you haven’t quite finished your selection (or started on one as sometimes is the case with me!) you can log in from home and re-check your items. Libraries these days have a ton of great books, DVD’s, CD’s that can be checked out.  Most also have free Wi-Fi. I live in a very rural area and even our quaint, small public library has some fantastic resources and plenty of current movies (including some great foreign selections if you like!). When I lived in a more metropolitan area I could “order” the books I wanted and pick them up at the desk without having to wander the stacks (unless you want to and I often do just to lose myself for a while). If you have children there are often great programs and story times and the librarians are usually wonderful resources for where to find out what is going on in the community. The last time I walked out of my library (last week) I had more than twenty books (many for my children, but at least six for myself). If I’d walked out of a bookstore with this many books I cringe to think of the money I’d have spent. While I do buy plenty of books, I usually only buy the ones I want on my bookshelves for years to come. The rest I find at my wonderful local library.  Free entertainment  fits in very nicely into anyones budget! Free is budget friendly.

I’d love to hear your thoughts: Do you have a library card? Why not??

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