Gail’s teachings are focused simply around a balanced financial life and learning to spend according to what you make while saving for the future. Her preferred method of getting people on track financially is to use a jar & journal system; the money that you’ll need for the week is split up into jars ranging from transportation to gifts to food and you write down everything you spend. The purpose is two-fold: 1. By writing down every penny you spend, you can see where your money is going and 2. By writing down every penny you spend you become incredibly aware of how costly and ridiculous some of your habits are. I love the concept of this system, but we stray a bit because we currently have a credit card that allows us to accumulate travel points. Therefore, we are on a strictly credit card only diet – no cash allowed. It’s a little tricky because we have to make sure the balance is paid constantly so that no interest accrues – the only way to make the points worth it.
So, as with all things, we learn and move forward and it’s important to us now that a) we save appropriately for all of the things that our daughter will need now and in the future, b) that we save appropriately for all of the things that we want for our own future, and c) that our daughter has a really good grasp on how money works from a young age.
We started when she was born by opening an RESP for her. By starting with 18 years to save, we are able to contribute a minimal amount which will eventually bloom into ‘enough’. Oh, also with the help of generous donations from grandparents! We also decided that until she is old enough to receive allowance, we will save the amount for her. So, each year on her birthday we put aside $1/week for each year that she is old. So, 1st birthday = $52.00. Just sort of starting a ‘nest egg’, if you will. Once she’s old enough to get allowance, we will follow Gail’s advice, which once again includes jars. Gail recommends $1 per year that the child is old, per week. She recommends having three jars – saving, spending, and sharing which I really like.
You can see Gail’s website and blog here: http://www.gailvazoxlade.com
Now I’m not saying that we’re financially pristine by any means, but we’re figuring it out and have a really good handle on things, and that feels good.
Okay as an addendum – I was watching ‘Princess’ one day a year or so ago and I saw this guy that I went to highschool with! He is now married to this horrible girl who spends all his money with no regard or appreciation. He works two jobs just so she can spend her time tanning and shopping and it’s such a shame because he is such a nice person. In the end, she wasn’t given the ‘prize money’ that participants get when Gail feels that they’ve learned lessons and taken in the valuable information that she offers. She didn’t learn *anything*! I’m so curious to know if they’re still married...I propose Gail adds add a ‘where are they now?’ at the end of all of her shows because I’m incredibly nosey.