Financial Lessons for Your Horse Lover


Teaching children about money and the values that surround it is an important, but often neglected parental duty.  I’ve written several stories aimed at children that attempt to convey the money messages I’ve learned and want my grandchildren to assimilate.

I’ve labelled them Financial Fables.  My Granddaughter’s favorites are the ones about horses.  She is 7 and has been nuts for horses for 2 years already!

At her request, I’ve started writing the Whinny series stories (there are currently 3 and more in the works) to PDF style books and am offering all of them to you for a small charge.

The PDF versions of the stories are an easy gift idea for your little horse lover.  I’ve recently discovered that (if downloaded to your PC), the PDF software can read the story aloud for you!  I haven’t, however, found a way for that to happen when viewing a PDF online, so if you know a way to make that happen, please drop me a note!

Here are the Whinny stories now available – for only $1.79 each!  They are only available here.  Join me in helping the next generation learn great money values.

Just email using our contact form if you would like to purchase them and I will send you a printable pdf.  I will invoice you from Paypal for the payment.  You can pay with credit card or Paypal balance. Continue reading

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Review of: Benji Franklin – Kid Zillionaire

This book by Raymond Bean will be a great addition to my Grandma Rie’s Money Camp curriculum. It was written in 2014 by a best selling author (Raymond Bean) who also happens to teach the 4th grade and illustrated by Matthew Vimislik. It is perfect for the elementary school age group I am now targeting for camp.


Benji (named after Benjamin Franklin) thinks he is a child genius and backs it up with extraordinary achievements. He is 12 and as part of a school assignment in tech class (yes, every American school should have one of these) he has to write an app.

While trying to get out of music lessons at home, his Dad inadvertently triggers an app idea for Benji by asking him ‘What if you stopped trying to excuse yourself’?

Benji designs and codes the app, puts it up for sale on the app store and presents it in class. By the next day, it has already sold enough to generate over $300,000 in his bank account.

He gets famous and scientists ask him to help with a problem for which they might need an excuse …. escaped cloned dinosaurs. Benji solves the problem, helping them capture the dinosuars while keeping their existence a secret. For payment, he requests that he keep the chickens, cows and airport which helped in the capture. He then presents all three to his Mom to help her keep the food pantry she runs supplied with meat, milk and eggs.

He and his Dad track asteroids using a satellite his Dad invented, finding that one (not large enough to be tracked by the big guns) will hit the earth. He comes up with a solution to this and they get help from a Sir Richard Branson type character to implement it, getting a free ride in space as a result.

What I liked.

This book targets the age I’m trying to reach. The author and illustrator seem to understand kids that age. The world is presented in such a way that all seems possible, just as it typically does to kids that age. They aren’t yet aware of all of the things that adults think of just before they give up trying to do something! Therefore, the kids just go ahead and get it done.

The book shows that having a lot of money doesn’t make you change. It puts focus on accomplishment, intelligence, inventiveness and selflessness.

I liked that the author led the reader through the idea discovery process, explaining how Benji came up with his ideas.

All kinds of lessons will be possible by using this book – such as learning about passive income, electronic money movement, selling/marketing approaches, ordinary people who do extraordinary things, differentiating your product from the competition,and how one success can lead to others.

What I wished for.

I really don’t have any wishes for the author or illustrator for this book – it even is priced reasonably. It would be nice to have one or more sets of lesson plans based on the story. I’m currently making my own for money camp. Let me know if you want to see them when I finish!

Favorite quotes.

Chapter 2, page 13:

“Like other apps, Excuse Yourself gives you dozens of possible excuses, I explained. But, unlike the competition, my computer app helps you determine the likelihood the excuse will work! Someone give me an example of something you needed an excuse for today.”

Chapter 7, page 52:

“Sometimes when I’m solving a problem, my mind takes over and I can’t hear anything else around me. It happens when I solve puzzles and complex problems. My mind visualizes the solution one piece at a time. I see a bunch of different images in my head. The images swirl around in my mind, independent of one another. If I concentrate hard enough, I can always find a way they connect together to make a solution.”

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What Are the Advantages of a Family Business?

One of my favorite books on family and wealth is “Strategy for the Wealthy Family – Seven Principles to Assure Riches to Riches for Generations”.

Author, Mark Haynes Daniell has a section in it which lists the advantages of a family business.  How does a family demonstrate those?  I wrote about it in Advantages of a Family Business – Weyerhaeuser.

The Weyerhaeuser company was long owned and run by family and is a great example of some of the advantages.


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Review of: Stock Market Pie

I’m always on the look out for books to use in my Grandma Rie’s Money Camp and this one fits the bill.

When my first Grandson was 8, I gave him a share of stock – framed so he could hang it on his wall. My Granddaughter is approaching 8 this year, so for Christmas, she will be getting a share of stock as well.

Read about one of the few places you can still get real paper stock certificates in my post How to Teach Your Kid About the Stock Market.

Stock Market Pie….Grandma Helps Emily Make a Million by J.M. Seymour will be helpful in prepping her, and reminding him, to understand stocks.


Stock Market Pie is a picture book with big ideas and grown up concept teaching. It is a blend of factual information about the market and a story about Grandma and Emily making pies.

Grandma came to town for Emily’s 10th birthday. She brought Emily a share of stock as a gift – and a bag of apples to share in a pie.

As they peel apples and roll out dough for the pies, Grandma explains about stock to Emily. There are insets on each page to delve into details, such as ‘What is a stock’ or ‘What is a split’.

What I liked.

Seymour presents the information in such a way that it will be applicable and interesting to a span of ages. My 8 year old will enjoy the pictures and the story line, while the 11 year old will get more out of the inset information.

There is a nice glossary in the back of the book as well.

What I wished for.

The book was copyrighted in 2002 and refers to older technology – primarily newspapers showing the stock prices. I wish it could be updated to refer to more recent methods of getting information about the market.

Favorite quotes.

“Hey Grandma, my company on the stock market could be this pie. Everyone can get a piece but no one gets it all.


Exactly, Grandma smiled, and she continued to cut apples into wedges. Everyone could have different kinds of pie. That’s why pies come in many flavors. No two pies are alike, and neither are companies. Some pies are very popular, so many people want those pieces. Usually these companies have been around a long time and everyone knows about them. People trust they will be good investments.” p 10


“A stock has no set price, since supply and demand make it rise and fall. The buyer’s representative and sellers representative must reach a price agreement. During regular hours, it often takes just a few minutes to complete a market order.” inset on p.16

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Review of: Once Upon a Company

Once Upon a Comany A True Story by Wendy Anderson Halperin

In Grandma Rie’s Money Camp each summer, the kids have traditionally run a one or two day business of their own – usually a drink and snack stand at the lake. The last two years I’ve tried to introduce making and selling a physical product. The in 2013 we did hand made soaps and last year they tried their hand at paper mache piggy banks.

I’ve been toying with the idea of trying to establish an ongoing company where we could make things and sell them year round – or at least on a more consistent basis.

So when I saw this book, I though it would be a good one to introduce that idea – and I think it will be!


Halperin is both the author and illustrator of this short picture book for the lower end of the grade levels. She tells the story in the voice of her son Joel and he builds the story of how their companies came about year by year. The kids (with the help of parents and grandparents) decide to make wreaths and use the money to start a college fund. This is a fall/winter activity as they use live evergreens, so after the first winter, they decided to have a lemonade stand in the summer. Six years in, the college fund had $16,000 in it and the kids learned a lot about being in business.

What I liked

The author introduces terms in natural ways. For instance, when a young friend of theirs started selling the wreaths after buying them herself at a small discount, they learned that she was a DISTRIBUTOR.

The book shows how the kids got their materials and greatly simplifies the things that typically will stop an adult cold in their tracks (such as finding suppliers, bookkeeping, regulations and etc). For instance, they have a neighbor with a tree farm and to get the evergreens for their wreaths, they just asked if they could have the leftovers.

It also parts the veil a bit on how to get the word out. Somehow they got a newspaper report to come watch them build a wreath and then they gave it to her. They set up shop (with permission) in the local hardware store to sell and that happened to be where many of the towns people came to socialize.

The book presents multiple ideas on products to make and sell including wreaths, lemonade, sandwiches, birthday cakes and sand art. Some of the things they tried to sell, such as sloppy joes, got nixed by the local health department (so they at a lot of sloppy joes that summer).

It touches on different sales outlets – such as direct sales, selling through other kids, selling to retail stores and etc in an easy to understand natural

What I wished for

A parent version of the story would be great so that parents would know how the behind the scenes stuff got done (things such as checking out local laws, how the actual company was formed, scouting out appropriate venues, coaching the kids without overpowering them and etc).

Favorite quotes

“The first year we made seventy-three wreaths. We gave one to everybody who helped. The others were sold for twenty dollars apiece. After we subtracted the money we’d used to buy supplies, we still had some left over. WE’D MADE A PROFIT! After Christmas, we went to the bank with our money.”

After making a stand to sell sandwiches and lemonade:

“For the record, be prepared to clean up a giant mess if you make a six-foot-tall sandwich. The Styrofoam gets all over the place.”

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Blinds On A Budget: How Can You Compromise?

Below is a guest post.  Blinds can be expensive, so anytime you can save money on them you can use it for other purposes!


They can save us significant amounts of money, but get your buying choices wrong and blinds can cost a fortune to start with. Fortunately, compromises can be made and this is the direction this article is going to head in.

We’re by no means suggesting that you should go out and buy the cheapest set of blinds. While that particular product might serve a purpose for some homes, you should still look to get as much as you can from your money by shopping around for the features that suit you. Therefore, we’ve quashed the article into three ways which you can compromise by spending less on your blinds, but still getting plenty of functionality in the process.

Readymade v Made-to-Measure

This will depend on the retailer you opt to purchase for, but a lot are now swaying to the made-to-measure route. This means exactly as the name suggests; with blinds arriving in the dimensions that you set on the buying page. Ultimately, it’s much less hassle for you and chances are, the finish will look much better as it’s done by the professionals.

Of course, this extra burden on the retailer means that the increased costs are often passed onto the consumer. Cutting blinds to size certainly isn’t a hard task – for example, to shrink a set of the typical vertical blinds you’ll only need to be armed with a pair of scissors. Therefore, ask yourself if you really need someone else to carry out this step – or if you can bag the savings by doing it yourself.

The faux alternatives

We’d all love to be basking in a house that is comprised of blinds made from natural materials. Wood is usually the material of choice yet unfortunately, this costs a small fortune to install. For a lot of years this was the only option, yet faux materials have now come to the rescue.

Blinds ad

Faux wood blinds, for example, look almost identical to the real material itself. They also hold similar properties; with many believing that they’re actually more durable. The big difference is the price, with these blinds arriving at a fraction of the cost. As such, opting for a faux material is one of the quickest ways to slash the overall cost of installing blinds through your home.

Do you really need the new technologies?

There is an awful lot of commotion regarding the new products that have been released in the blinds industry at the moment. This is for good reason; there have been studies that have shown you can save considerable amounts of money by opting for certain types – with insulated shades and solar blinds generally being those products in question.

However, if you are operating on a budget, the question you need to ask is if you really require such inventions. Yes, they can make your life cheaper and easier, but they do cost a lot more than the standard blind.

For example, if you are looking to improve your home’s thermal efficiency, a traditional roller or blackout blind will still improve your plight albeit on a much smaller scale. You could combine these cheaper alternatives with drapes to enhance the effect, and still experience some benefits. In other words, you can make the most of some of the cheaper products if you shop shrewdly.

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