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How to Get Younger Kids Excited About Being Frugal

Your kids aren't too young to be educated about financial decision-making and saving money.

It is easy for parents to fall into the trap of keeping their kids far away from the financial realities of family life. Rather than teaching them the basics of finance, it's much easier to simply handle it yourself. This gives children the impression that things just "appear" at home and that their parents have an inexhaustible supply of money with which to buy these things (if they think about it at all).

The problem, of course, is that this approach never really teaches your children how to be careful with their money and cognizant of its value. It can lead to some difficult situations later on when older children start to demand name-brand products without understanding why someone would possibly choose a store brand.

Here's the truth: It pays to start teaching your kids the basics of frugality and smart shopping at a young age. Show them how to shop in a cost-effective way and let them see the direct benefits of being smart with money.

Here are five tactics you can start using right now to teach younger children about the value of money.

Show them the benefits. When you're shopping for a common item such as dish soap or laundry detergent, stop and actually look at the options, then talk those options over with your kids. Point out to them that this bottle of dish soap costs $5 while this same-sized bottle over here costs $3. That means that by buying the cheaper bottle, you have $2 left over for other purposes.

Use that same approach over and over again, every time they're shopping with you. Talk over your thought process aloud with them, whether they're fully engaged or not. Make it as clear as possible why you're buying the low-cost item and what that choice is saving you.

Make it into a game. Encourage your children to complete tasks such as spotting the lowest price among similar items. If they're a bit older, you can have them work out the cheapest price per use – the least expensive cost per roll of toilet paper, for example.

Make it fun and make sure you tell them that they've done a good job if they actually do find the lowest priced item quickly. Make the action of finding the discounted item seem like a positive accomplishment.

Set a big tangible goal. Frugality often makes the most sense when you take a big picture approach with it. Yes, you might be saving $1 on toilet paper and $2 on dish soap, but what does that really mean?

Put it in the context of a big goal. Explain two or three big things that you're working toward with that savings, and make sure that at least one of them is directly appealing to them. For example, you might mention that the savings from your frugal choices will help pay off your credit cards, but will also help pay for a big trip to Six Flags or to Disney World next summer.

One fun way to do this is to directly tie the savings on a shopping trip to progress toward those goals. Keep rough track of how much you're saving on this grocery store trip with each frugal decision, then total that up at the end. If you saved $40 by being frugal, tell them that $20 is going toward debt repayment, but the other $20 is going toward a Disney World ticket, and that your collective frugal efforts that day have paid for a quarter of a ticket.

Pay for purchases in cash. Quite often, the abstraction of paying for a purchase with a credit card obscures the idea that you're actually using money. Your children – and you – aren't really connected with the money in any direct way, and that can make it seem like you're not actually spending money.

One way around this is to do your shopping with cash whenever possible. Not only does this reinforce your own connection with the idea that you're paying cash, but it's a visual demonstration of that fact with your children. It makes the purchase seem more real and makes you more mindful of it, which helps to embed the idea of frugality in your mind and theirs.

Involve them in making choices. Frugality doesn't just happen at the store. It happens at home when you're doing ordinary tasks such as planning ahead for meals and doing household chores.

When you're trying to look at things through the lens of spending less money, don't be afraid to think out loud and invite suggestions from your kids. See what ideas they come up with. Not only does this encourage them to think in a frugal way, they often will come up with really good ideas you might not have considered. Plus, it makes them feel involved and empowered if they're helping with activities such as meal planning.

Children love to be involved with the adult world and love to feel useful. Take advantage of those feelings while teaching them about the value of frugality. Good luck.

Former FBI hostage negotiator: This surprising technique makes you look fearless in any negotiation 

Catherine Clifford


To give yourself the upper hand in any negotiation, go out of your way to show the opposition you understand how they feel.

Though it may seem counter-intuitive, showing empathy to your counterpart will help you get your way, former FBI negotiator Chris Voss tells CNBC Make It.

And in particular, understanding and acknowledging the concerns the other party may have about you is a sign of strength.

"A really good empathy statement actually includes you saying the other side's negative feelings about you. It actually makes you look fearless," says Voss, founder and CEO of strategy consultancy Black Swan Group and a former lead international kidnapping negotiator for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

By articulating your counterpart's doubt, you are saying, "I know how you feel about me, and I'm not afraid."

"I love empathy, because it helps me get my way." -Chris Voss, former FBI negotiator 

Voss, who was also lead crisis negotiator for the New York City Division of the FBI and a member of the New York City Joint Terrorist Task Force for 14 years, says it makes you seem courageous and self-aware.


"In your eyes, your respect for me increases because I'm not afraid of the negativity, and I'm very honest about it, which means as far as you're concerned, I'm also not delusional," he explains.

Examples of empathy statements that take into account common negative feelings include: "It seems like I'm not listening to you," or "It seems like I'm not taking your interests into account," says Voss, author of "Never Split The Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It."

Empathy does not require that you agree with the other person's perspective. It does not even mean that you like your counterpart.

"The FBI hostage negotiation definition of empathy doesn't have anything to do with like or agree or disagree. It just is. I can recognize how you actually feel," says Voss.

Additionally, in negotiation, empathy is not about making friends. It is simply a highly effective tool.

"I'm a mercenary. I love empathy not because I'm a missionary, not because I'm a nice guy. I love empathy because it helps me get my way," says Voss. Even sociopaths, those who have no conscience, use cognitive empathy because they know it will help them get what they want, notes Voss.

"Empathy makes you more effective; it saves time. The other side will come to agree with you sooner if they feel empathy from you," says Voss.

"For some reason, you care if I understand your pain. ... Empathy gets me what I want without paying for it for it. And that's the importance of empathy. I don't have to trade anything for it."

Einstein's handwritten theory of happiness sold at auction for $1.3 million—here's what it says

Jonathan Blumberg

20th century genius Albert Einstein had many theories beyond relativity, including one he scribbled down about happiness, which was sold at an auction in Jerusalem, Israel, on Tuesday for $1.3 million, the Associated Press reports.

It reads: "A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness."


The theoretical physicist reportedly wrote the note in 1922 while traveling in Tokyo, Japan, around the time he'd learned he was to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. He did not have cash to tip a bellboy and gave him the note instead, telling him that, because of his fame, it "will probably be worth more than a regular tip."

He wasn't wrong.


The bidding began at $2,000 and quickly escalated before reaching its final sum 25 minutes later, said 

Gal Weiner, the CEO of the auction house. He did not identify the buyer or the seller.

Einstein's note warns of the dangers of obsessing over success and suggests that a simple outlook on life can lead to a higher sense of fulfillment and satisfaction.

Emma Seppälä, Stanford psychologist and faculty director of the women's leadership program at the Yale School of Management, tells CNBC Make It that Einstein's career is a testament to this point.

When he was a child, she said, the future Nobel Prize winner was "so slow in learning to speak and write that his family thought he might be mentally handicapped." Later in life, he wasn't accepted to Zurich Polytechnic School, and, after he graduated from Swiss Federal Polytechnic, he struggled again, this time to land a teaching job.

He overcame adversity throughout his life, and he did so largely via hard work, because "he knew it was a question of time and effort," Seppälä says.

"Failure is success in progress," he was quoted as saying.




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