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Back to School Tips: How to ensure your child will have the right mindset and tools to start the new school year off right and have their best year yet.

Summer is always a blast but heading back to school can be too! Here are some tips and suggestions to help your child have the best start to the new school year!

Mental Preparations: Are your kids’ thinking caps on? Sometimes it seems like kids turn their brains off during summer vacation. Find fun books and TV shows that also require some thinking for them to read and watch. Keep your kids engaged and at least open to possibility of learning. That way it won’t be such a shock when they head back this fall.

Emotional Preparations: Some kids unfortunately hate school and will resist returning as much as possible. Keeping summer relaxed may be a cure for that. If your kid is moving too fast and doing too many activities they may be missing out on much needed relaxation. A relaxed student is a better student. Summer should be about recharging for next year, not building stress and exhaustion. If your kids move too fast they won’t get that chance to recharge and will not want to go back to school to do work.

Physical Preparations: Schools are germ factories, so make sure your child is as healthy as possible before sending them back into battle against the world of sneezing, coughing, and fevers. Make sure your kid is getting a good amount of sleep, especially high school students, who might not get the opportunity to sleep this much during the year. For older kids, try to have them implement an exercise regiment or routine before school starts because once it does it will be harder to put one in place.

The best student is mentally, emotionally, and physically prepared for school. The year will be long and arduous but the right preparation can help make it easier.


When to Say ‘No’ to a Job Promotion

Over lunch with her boss, Kathy Uhl was given everything that she’d been working toward career-wise at her Orlando-based cable company. She got a bigger staff, more responsibility and a generous increase in salary and bonuses. But she wasn’t sure she wanted to become vice president of human resources for the entire state of Florida.

"It was a great job and I liked the company and people. The thing is that my life felt out of balance at the time. I’d been focused on my career for a while and missed my family back in Denver," says Ms. Uhl, who then consulted with a career coach who helped her decide what was most important to her.

Continue Raeding:  WSJ.


Despite the valiant efforts of its burgeoning startup community, Detroit just became the largest city to ever file for bankruptcy in the U.S.

Fast Company contributor Matt Haber asked earlier this year whether creative companies would be able to rescue Detroit. We must wonder how this setback will effect the hardworking citizens of Detroit who are trying to rebuild Detroit by hand

Detroit: The rest of the story

  • Between 2000 and 2010, the population plummeted 25%. It will soon drop below 700,000 for the first time in nearly a century. 
  • Detroit has more than 100,000 vacant lots in its 139 square miles. A fourth of the housing units—45,000—are abandoned. 
  • Unemployment is 18%—more than twice the national rate. Including people no longer looking for work, the rate soars to more than 50%. 
  • Household income is $27,862, barely half the national level. Nearly a third live in poverty, more than double the national rate. 
  • In 2011, Detroit ranked first in murder rate, first in violent-crime rate, and fifth in property-crime rate. 
  • The police force is down by more than half from 12 years ago. The fire department was cut by a third in the past decade. 

Here is some of our other coverage of Detroit:

The Truth about The Wizard of Oz—it’s all about the money

With the latest rendition of America’s classic and beloved story coming once again to film, this time starring James Franco, it’s time to revisit the true meaning of The Wizard of Oz. Originally written by Frank L. Baum and published in 1900 with a goal to comment on the social and economic turmoil of the time period. A huge debate of the time was about our nation’s currency and how it should be supported. Some believed these “greenback” paper bills should be backed by gold, which is why Baum gave it the name The Wizard of Oz. The two letters O an Z is an abbreviation for ounce the unit of measure for gold. The yellow brick road also led to emerald city. Gold leading to green. While we mainly remember the Judy Garland version, the original story has much more secret meaning behind it.

            Our favorite main characters have much to say about America in the late 1800s and early 1900s. While the scarecrow, a typical image seen on farms, wanted a brain, the struggling farmers of America wanted reform in their favor. The scarecrow was made to represent the agricultural industry and its struggle with inflation. Farmers generally backed the Populist Party which wanted to back the US Dollar with not only gold, but silver as well. This was because the U.S. had just come out of a period of recession in which deflation and debt crippled U.S. farmers. With a silver and gold backed currency, price levels would have been increased and the farmers’ debt decreased. The infamous U.S. politician William Jennings Bryan made a famous speech during his run for the presidency in the 1900 election became known as the “cross of gold” speech. It entailed that the U.S. would become burdened (like carrying a cross) by a gold backed currency. While Bryan was a successful politician he was seen as weak and cowardly (having lost multiple presidential elections) and is represented by none other than the Lion in the story. The Tin Woodman, known in the original film as the Tin Man, represents the industrial workers of America who’s plight was similar to the farmers. Dorothy also originally had silver shoes to help retie the allegory to the currency debate. While her true meaning is unclear many speculate she is simply meant to represent the common man, the everyday citizen of America. Finally, while little evidence is out there to prove it, but it is suggested that the Wicked Witch of the West was meant to represent Mark Hanna, President McKinley’s vastly corrupt campaign manager.

            While these socio-economic issues have been resolved and are a thing of the past, the story and its meaning are timeless. Even though Frank L. Baum never admitted to his intent, he was still able to create a timeless snapshot of our nation’s history, one that not too many are familiar with. Next time you see an adaptation, even the original film, or actually read the book, look out for more clues and symbols with double meanings of our nation’s past political turmoil over currency.

Summer Spending Tips

My kids are headed to camp this summer.  To aid them, and, admittedly, to monitor their spending, I’m giving them a “cool” prepaid card.  It’ll be a great learning tool for all of us.

Prepaid cards are great hands on tools for teaching teens good financial habits by allowing them financial independence while at the same time letting parents track their teens spending. With help from parents, teens learn about budgeting and smart spending and are on their way to financial independence. By making choices and watching their spending habits over time, teens begin to see the impact that each financial decision makes.

Before I set them loose with their prepaid card, I’ll give them a few guidelines.

Create a Budget

Knowing how to create and stick to a budget is a skill that will help your teen throughout life. Helping teens set up a budget for the money they will make during the summer and teach them to set aside a certain amount of money each pay check savings and other monetary obligations.


A little advance thought can save money.  Before an event, I’ll encourage my child to list how much he thinks it’ll cost.  For example, if going to the movies, he needs to include the price of admission, popcorn and a drink.  Can he save money by foregoing the large drink for a smaller one? Or splitting a bucket of popcorn?  Thinking it through in advance will help him to anticipate and avoid extra costs.

Avoiding the “Daily Habit”

Rather than buying an ice cream at the kiosk every day at camp, could he buy it every other day, or even once a week?  If he does spend $2.00 each day, will the money last the entire week? Or will it allow him enough to buy something special that he sees? Avoiding a daily habit will allow teens to save, which could amount to a nice sum after a week or two.

Needs vs. Wants

I’ll also encourage my kids not to spend all of their money.  They’re saving for some big-ticket items, and I will remind them that what they don’t spend can go towards their long term savings goals. What they think they need isn’t necessarily so, and they have to really think about the impact of a spontaneous decision.

And if they don’t follow my advice and they spend all of their money within days? Well, I’ll still get points for the “cool” factor of the prepaid card; and incidentally, we’ll have a spending trail to follow together to engage in a teachable moment;-)

Hello All,

DoughMain needs your help! We are continually striving to grow as a company and foundation and we need your feedback to do so. We would love it if our favorite DoughMain families would send to our questions and even involve the kids! Type out your answer and post it as a comment, or record a quick video and send it to us at The questions can be found below and any answer at all is extremely appreciated. Thanks everyone for your time!

  1. What’s your name?

  2. Where do you live?

  3. How did you hear about DoughMain?

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  5. If you are a parent, how many kids do you have/how old are they?

  6. What is your or your kids’ favorite aspect of DoughMain (Family Calendar, Chore Tracker, Financial Literacy Games)?

  7. How has DoughMain improved your relationship with your family?

  8. What effect has DoughMain had on your or your children’s understanding of finances?

  9. Are you or your children more motivated to use their money responsibly since using DoughMain?

  10. Are you or your children saving and spending more responsibly?

  11. How has your or your children’s financial life improved since using DoughMain?

  12. Would you recommend DoughMain to a friend?

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