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This week: Money lessons from high school, using cellphones as teaching tools, thing to negotiate at work, how to succeed, and how to know if you're financially ready for kids.

1. How to Know You’re Financially Ready for Children

[Frugal Rules] “My grandparents always told me, “We never worried about having enough money for children. We just had them and made it work!” However, today, finances seem to be one of the major issues holding people back from having children, aside from perhaps a desire to be more settled, own a home, or get further in a career.”

This post offers 10 ways to know you’re ready. The list includes being able to pay your bills in full and on time, having an emergency fund, understanding your health insurance, estimating child care expenses, and having life insurance. See the post for more.

2. How to Succeed at Work

[Getting a Rich Life] “Last year my niece secured her first part-time job as she’s still in school. With that job came advice from various people (myself included) on how to do well at work. It was a job at the movie theater for a little more than minimum wage.”

So what did this author advise his niece to do? Among other things, find out what’s important to the boss, see what makes the top three employees the best, see what makes the worst two employees the worst, and if you don’t know who the worst employees are, you’re one of them.

3. 5 Things to Negotiate at Work (That No One Ever Does)

[The Frugal Model] “[J]ust as you should negotiate your salary when you’re first starting out at a new job, you should demonstrate your worth and be sure to negotiate other working arrangements instead of just taking what they offer you — because trust me, they will try and get away with giving you as little as possible.”    

So what should we negotiate that we never do? This model/real estate agent suggests you talk about a flexible work schedule, a promotion, additional training and classes, maternity leave and vacation.

4. Back to school: Time for a Cellphone?

[Living on the Cheap] “With a son going into fifth grade, I’m one of the few holdouts among the class parents who haven’t given in to peer pressure and gotten my child a smartphone. I have my reasons, most notably among them, he hasn’t asked for one … yet.”

This mom has a plan, when the time comes, to use her kid’s cellphone to impart a life lesson or two. Among the things she plans to discuss: how much it costs, including hidden fees, and the privacy and identity theft implications. She also plans to ask for something in return, like extra chores around the house.

5. 9 Financial Lessons People Learn in High School — Did You?

[Wise Bread] “Whether it be in the classroom or via real-life experience, high schoolers get the chance to learn and apply a lot of the basic tenets of personal finance and money management.”

There’s a lot of talk these days about what’s being taught, and not taught, in high school about basic money management. But this author says we’re all afforded the opportunity to learn life lessons in school. Examples include understanding that money is hard to come by, that saving requires time and patience, that budgeting is important, that getting a job is hard, and that you need to watch what you spend.

That’s true. Although I never took a personal finance course in high school, I can’t deny learning those valuable lessons.

What do you like?

We’re always on the hunt for talented personal finance writers and interesting sites. If you’ve got a favorite, let us know below or on our Facebook page! You can also talk to us about anything you’d like simply by hitting “reply” to your daily email update. (Not subscribed? Fix that right now!)

Stacy Johnson

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