Play, Imagine, Save, Succeed!

Tag Archives: Saving

Happy Holidays!!


child-pocket-money_2525347b(photo courtesy of The Daily Telegraph)

Teaching kids about money doesn’t have to be a chore. Using everyday teachable moments may cost you a little time but, you will definitely thank yourself later.

1.)    Cards in the mail = money. Why did Grandma send me this? It doesn’t take long for kids to understand that the green paper inside the card equals goodies. Let your child hand the money to the cashier to exchanging the paper for the fun purchase. Money=candy, that’s easy to understand.

2.)    Helping Mom = Money. Give kids money for helping you. Have them bring their money to the store. Read them the price sticker ,so they actually see how much an item costs, and help them figure out if they have enough money by counting it out. If they don’t, tell them how much more they would need. This probably will be a tear-filled moment. At this point I would buy the item and use an I.O.U. system promising future help-this is a hard concept!


3.)    Play cash register. Pick up one of those low cost cash registers or make your own using a small box, paper money, and different size tokens. Playing store and giving money to purchase an item they want, helps children learn that when the money runs out that’s it! Found this site to print out money, coins & checks-US, Euros & UK.



The time spent now means fewer fights with teenagers later!


College Highlight:

McHenry County College

McHenry College jpeg(photo courtesy of McHenry College)

Link to Daily Telegraph article on pocket money:

DOB Logo
I was honored to interview Leilani Lim-Villegas who is the Financial Education Coordinator for the Texas Department of Banking ( Leilani gives talks and meets with people, especially young girls, to empower them to take control of their financial futures. I have followed Leilani on Linkedin and thought that what she had to say needed to be heard by a global audience. And now without further ado…

Leilani pic

My name is: Leilani Lim-Villegas

My company is: Texas Department of Banking, a state government agency that watches Texas banks to make sure that they are operating safely and soundly.

My career is: Financial Education Coordinator 

What I do everyday is: Help bankers and members of the community learn about making good choices about money like:  credit cards, buying a home or car and saving for college and retirement.

Where I went to school:University of Nevada, Reno; University of Texas at Austin; and University of Texas at Arlington.

Why I decided to become a: I enjoy working and teaching financial education because kids and adults can learn how to better manage their money by becoming savvy spenders and big savers for a better future.

Little girls should do what I do because: By helping and educating families about money, people are more knowledgeable about how to spend their hard-earned dollars.  Financial literacy creates better communities, a smarter state and a more successful nation as a whole.

Now down to the important questions-

As a little girl I wanted to be: Dancing Choreographer or a Food Critic on Book Tour 

My favorite color is: Red

My favorite food is: Filipino Cuisine, like Pancit (noodles) and Lumpia (eggrolls).        

I have the most fun when: I play the piano, traveling and exploring new places and cooking different dishes and desserts from around the world for my family.

What languages do you speak: English, Spanish, Sign Language and Tagalog (Filipino)

Favorite Exercise: Salsa Dance, Zumba, Kickboxing, Yoga, Pilates, Cycling, Free Weights

Favorite Season: Autumn

Best advice for girls:

“No matter what your dreams are when you grow up, it’s not about how much money you make, but about how much money you save. You will be successful if you focus and stay in school. Remember, always think about your community and pay it forward every single chance you get.”

College Highlight:

University of Texas

   univ. of texas

University of Nevada

univ. of nevada

all sunny

Come along with Sunny Squirrel and Daisy Deer as they earn their first allowances and learn the value of short-term and long-term savings!

Will Sidney the Snake tempt them into frivolous spending or will they successfully save toward their long-term rewards?

Financial literacy has always been an exciting topic for author Darrah Brustein. At a young age, her parents were savvy enough to institute financial education into the home through allowance and chore systems, savings programs, investments, and giving back. It wasn’t until Darrah graduated from Emory University and accepted her first full time job that she realized how few of her peers were equipped with the tools to navigate their newfound independent finances.

Watching many of them live paycheck-to-paycheck, even with well-paying jobs, Darrah realized that this was not unique; but rather, the norm. Unsure as to how to make a difference, it dawned on Darrah that trying to retrain adults out of their lifelong habits and ideas around money would be tough. However, sharing valuable financial lessons with children, when their minds were open and malleable, would be a great place to start (it had worked with her, after all)!

Darrah spoke with many parents who shared concerns about teaching their children about money. Many felt unequipped—like the topic was a burden or taboo, or that they themselves were not well-educated on personal finance.

So she created Finance Whiz Kids, to engage children directly about money through stories. By setting an early foundation about savings, spending, and the value of a dollar, we can help future generations find themselves in the sound financial environment than we know today.

Order the book at:


College Highlight: (Darrah’s Alma Mater)



This is the 2nd in series of things my Dad taught me:  Coupons!

My Dad always said, “You always pick up money on the street, right? Well, if you don’t what are ya thinking.” Using a coupon is the same as picking up money. Why pay more for an item then you have too? Coupons = FREE $$$!!

I can’t tell you how many times I have saved money on an item. Let me tell you everything goes on sale! And I do mean everything, I actually found a outdoor garbage can on sale when the $3 off was a /HUGE deal to a young money strapped couple starting out. A garbage can is not your usual shower gift! (*Note to self*-you know on one else will give a garbage can filled with supplies).

Make this easy:

-Grab the circular at favorite store when you enter, that is the least painless time item. After all, you are already there-they usually come out Wed. or Thurs. for you to review.

-Coupons already on the store card (always get store cards)

-Coupons in the Sunday newspaper (Sunday paper is free if you use a few coupons from their flyers!)

-Download on-line coupons (fast, you don’t have to leave your desk!)

The last tip is not the easiest to start but, will really help you in the savings department. I have not gotten this far yet but, I have it in the back of my mind to start when I can. My Dad would take the money he saved each grocery trip using coupons and put the money saved in an envelope.

Do you use coupons? What is your best find?

College Highlight:

Western Michigan (

If you have ever shopped on your Florida vacation you know about the Florida based Publix grocery store. I used to shop here with my Grandma and loved their welcoming atmosphere. It is the dominant grocery store in the Deep South. Publix grocery stores just expanded from Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina to here in Charlotte, NC next year.

Why am I writing about a grocery store on a pro-education blog? I’ll tell ya why, along with many other programs they are rolling out, this new favorite hits home. It is called Publix Preschool Pals, . You get newsletters, access to information their web site, prizes, cards on kid’s birthdays, and access to educational tools for children. Even though I am a non-member I could still join the club.

Publix also participates in the Upromise college savings program, If you are unfamiliar with Upromise, let me tell you it is a painless way to save for college. They have basically two ways to save:

  • Register your gas cards, grocery cards, etc. (shop as usual)
  • Shop thru their links on-line.

They have so many participating stores, like the one’s you already shop. You’ll get some discounts for using their links, and they contribute money for your child’s education. It does add up!

Obviously, Publix is into the promotion of education of young children. Well, I for one would make an effort to reward them for there positive role modeling and I would definitely send a letter thanking them.

Any other early childhood educational programs you’d like to share?


College Highlight:

University of Florida

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