Money Smart Activities for Kids

By Steven Harp, Northwestern Mutual

Day-to-Day Insights Add Up

With more free time can come plenty of temptation to spend, spend, spend. With a little planning and creativity, you can find many affordable, day-to-day opportunities for teaching children valuable financial lessons. Consider these low-cost ways to help instill good financial sense:

Bank on Savings – When children ask for money or a new toy, use it as a teachable moment, and suggest they begin saving to pay for things they may want in the future. Reinforce this message to help kids understand their options with money, including saving, spending, investing and giving. Set a realistic goal, and when they reach it, take them to the bank or credit union to open a savings account, another opportunity to educate them on how banks work.

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Protecting Your Most Valuable Asset

By Steven W. Harp, CLTC

Is Your Future Protected?

Your most valuable asset is your ability to earn an income. It provides for your day-to-day expenses, funds your long-term goals and often packs a larger financial punch than other assets combined. Property and casualty insurance can minimize costs from property or vehicle damage, but what if you lost your job and couldn’t find work for a period of time?

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Nine Habits For Financial Security

Artistotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act, but a habit.” Athletes and leaders preach the importance of discipline and consistency. And it turns out that people who are financially successful have some powerful habits in common, too.


Like any successful endeavor, accomplishing financial goals involves time, attention and focus. Our research and experience with financially successful people, including our clients, points to several key behaviors that they tend to display on a regular basis. Here are some tips for following their paths to financial freedom:

  • Establish and Follow a Budget
    Financially successful people tend to manage their money carefully and conservatively. They recognize that early planning can help establish strong financial boundaries that guide life decisions and pay off long-term. In our 2011 Stick with It Study, individuals with higher incomes were associated with higher levels of budget discipline and tended to rank themselves high in that area.

Read more: Nine Habits to Financial Security | Northwestern Mutual

By Steven W. Harp, Northwestern Mutual Financial Network. Steve is a member of CS Business Builders leads group.