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Mississippi Money: Extracurricular Financial Activities

By Ryder Taff

Your financial life has a curriculum that you follow. Your core classes include keeping up with your spending, staying on top of debt payments and setting aside money for retirement. Any financial planner or financial education program will cover the core classes. These are required to get ahead with your financial life. For those who like to learn for fun, or use their money for fun – look into extracurricular financial activities.

Save for travel. This is a classic short-term savings goal. You may not be able to have a huge vacation every year, but special trips do need to be paid for! Every month when you set aside money for your family trip, take the time to look into another aspect of it – research the best places to visit, what foods you’ll eat or what the weather will be like. Be perfectly prepared by being well informed and well funded!

Make charitable contributions. I’ve written about charitable giving before and I believe that it is an important part of anyone’s financial plan. To make it more of an activity, involve your whole family, and involve yourself more deeply than just writing a check. Volunteering for a weekend, or donating your talents through board or guiding committee membership is a way to really see how your money goes to work and makes a huge impact.

Teach your children to cook. Near and dear to my heart is food. Food is a staple expense of any household, and learning to cook creatively and cheaply is a great way to reduce expenses and spend quality time together. Make it a big activity, take a cooking class or hire a chef to teach your children some culinary skills that will last them a lifetime – and save you some stress!

Set up a “fun money” account. Use a physical savings jar, or a separate savings account that you can send money to quickly and easily (perhaps a separate paypal account). Add a little money every month, or use contributions to incentivize your children to do extra chores and stay on their best behavior. When your “fun money” account hits a certain balance, let your children cash it in with a splurge or activity of their choice!

Sticking to a budget, being disciplined with your retirement savings and sending in your mortgage payment every month are essential, yet uninspiring activities. Engage more deeply with your financial life, educate your children about money and strengthen your family with extracurricular financial activities that you can be excited about!

About The Author

Ryder Taff

Ryder Taff currently lives in Jackson not too far from the home he grew up in! After graduating from the University of Bristol (England) he came home and started working at New Perspectives, Inc, an investment advisory that he is now a shareholder in. With his passion for education, he focuses on getting everyone from young professionals to families to retirees into excellent financial habits. You can reach him at rtaff@newper.com

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