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Are you a saver, spender or an investor? A day of Family and Finance at Vanguard to Connect the Dots

I'd like to think I am all three, but in reality I am a spender, the grocery shopper, the gift shopper, the clothing shopper, the errand runner, and the appointment maker.  Have you ever tried to go a day or two without spending any money at all? Even if we don't leave home, we are spending money for our house, utilities, insurance, meals, pretty much everything we need.

Could I be a saver or an investor? To find the answer I went to a conference called Family and Finance, Connecting the Dots. It was held at Vanguard's Headquarters one beautiful late Summer day recently. They had me at Family and Finance. I'd love to learn more about that, and so I did. It was a power packed conference and Vanguard was most hospitable and friendly.

So, what did we learn? Start young. This is a terrific project to do with your kids: find four cylindrical containers with lids. Cut a slit in the top of each lid. Decorate the containers. Label each container with these four labels: Spend, Save, Share, Invest. Talk with your children about these three categories and how they will manage their money. Make a motivation board with photos of things to save for and goals you are working toward. Get the whole family involved with a motivation board and their own set of containers.
We were given these stickers and paper to decorate our containers:

If you are a teacher, know a teacher, or would like your child's classroom to take part in a learning program called My Classroom Economy then set sail for You can visit this site or inform your child's school about this site. This is a free financial literacy program for kindergarten through 12th grade.

The program simulates real life saving, budgeting, delayed gratification-not to  buy that something then and there. It helps students learn to save and invest. Students can earn a "paycheck" by doing classroom jobs, for rent and other expenses and savings.

My Classroom Economy integrates into any class or curriculum, and lets students learn financial concepts.

To get a free program guide and free supporting materials go to

The conference also covered areas of Principles For Investing, Juggling Multiple Financial Goals, College Saving Choices,  and Reaching Your Retirement Goals. Each topic was very interesting and the speakers made it easy to understand each topic. I hear the word investing and look at my husband to take over that area. Now that I have attended the conference it's opened a whole new thought process!

Here is another awesome idea from the conference:
Do you have a financial inventory? A place for documenting your family's important financial information? You can grab any binder and put all your account information from banks, properties, and investments, assets, liabilities,and as well as where the original documents are kept, your attorney and financial planners name and number, and funeral plans. I keep a copy of each statement in here so that the contact and account information is easy to find.

Did you know Vanguard has a blog? You can read it anytime, no log in or account needed. Find their blog here:

Did you know Vanguard has a facebook page and they often give away all kinds of free Vanguard swag? So, go visit them!
Disclosure: I was given a gift card for my travel and Vanguard materials. The comments and views are my own.

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