Self-Responsibility and Money Management

In the past, I’ve strongly advocated for families to introduce their teenagers to financial reality as early as possible. I know that in my own case, I went off to college with almost no idea of how to manage my money and it really showed in the spending decisions I made over the next ten years of my life.

Over the past decade, I’ve had the chance to intimately watch other families raise their children through the teenage years with lots of success and some failure. I’ve been impressed with some of the young people that are the core of Generation Y coming of age. Two in particular, my niece and my first cousin, are the kind of people that are a big net benefit to the world, and I would be incredibly proud if my own children turned out as well as they have.

At the same time, though, I’ve seen many tweens and teenagers spending money with reckless abandon, spending hundreds of dollars on completely unnecessary things and acting repeatedly as though money has no consequences at all. These people, I’m afraid, are headed down the same painful path that I went down.

When my children approach their teen years, what can I specifically do to teach my children the value of managing their money? This is a topic that’s left me thinking for a long time and I’ve been jotting down ideas and findings all the time. Today (finally), I had a chance to read through quite a few of these things and I was able to pull out several strong tactics that seem to work together to teach teenagers the value of managing money.

9 Tactics That Teach Teens About Managing Money

1. Start young

You’re better off starting too young than you are starting too old. Introduce an allowance as early as possible. Encourage their entrepreneurial behavior early. Introduce them to basic budgeting early on, too. You’re better off starting before they can fully understand all of the meaning than later on when their ideas for what’s normal have already been set, because it will take far more work to undo bad behaviors.

2. Don’t tie a basic allowance to specific chores

A basic, small allowance should be given without strings attached. It’s not a tool to leverage for good behavior, it’s a tool to teach basic money management. There should be certain behaviors expected in the home, but the allowance should not be a bludgeoning tool to force those behaviors.

3. Offer extra allowance in exchange for specific extra tasks

If you have extra tasks that go above and beyond normal household duties, you should offer a separate payment to your child in exchange for the task. Allow them (or even encouraged them) to negotiate for the exact amount so that they can learn the art of negotiation.

4. Make basic budgeting part of the equation from day one

I’m a huge fan of the Money Savvy Pig for this purpose. A child’s budget should be very simple, especially at first, and that’s exactly what the Pig helps with. It just splits a child’s allowance into four pieces – spending (they can spend it on whatever they want), saving (saving for a bigger goal), donating (giving to some cause), and investing (learning how to invest money). This forms a perfect simple budget for children. Later on, you can work on more complex budgets with them, with multiple savings goals and so on, but this type of thing forms the backbone in their mind.

5. Open bank accounts when the “investing” portion grows large

When they’ve built up quite a bit in the “investing” portion of their budget, take them to the local bank and open a savings account for them. Have them deposit their money. Then, when there’s an interest statement, show them the interest that’s been earned. As they grow older, you can talk about other investments with them and allow them to try these investments (stocks and so on). Set a very long term goal for their “investments,” such as college or a house down payment (seriously) so that they can begin to get a taste for the long term, plus it allows you to differentiate between short-term savings and long-term investments.

6. As their money grows, move to a checking account

Migrate toward allowing them to manage their entire budget themselves, incorporating saving, spending, donating, and investing to their own desires. One big step in this direction is their own checking account with a debit card – a great tool for a pre-teen. Make the card only able to access the checking account.

7. Give them a credit card when they’re teens

Gulp. Many parents avoid this because it seems like a recipe for disaster, but it actually serves a very important purpose. By giving them a low-limit credit card while they’re in your home, they can learn about how to use a credit card – and, likely, the dangers of getting into debt with them – while there’s still a safety net. Ideally, you want them to get into a bit of debt with it so that they can see the pain of interest.

8. Show them your monthly budget

Seriously. Show them how much you earn in a given month, then how that money breaks down into mortgage payments, car payments, electric bills, food, and so on. This is a firm taste of the real adult world, something that teenagers crave. Let them see the reality of adulthood and how expensive it is. Talk about the choices that you have to make along the way.

9. Work on distinguishing between wants and needs

This ties in perfectly with showing your children your monthly budget. Some of the items are needs – your housing, your electricity. Others are wants – entertainment. Others are somewhere in the middle – food spending. The better you’re able to distinguish between needs and wants – and to control those wants – the more likely you are to teach them to control their own wants. That’s one of the biggest keys to adult personal finance success.

This is my gameplan for raising my children to better manage their money. Hopefully, you can pull out a nugget or two for your own children or grandchildren.

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  1. Michelle says:

    I agree with many of these points, but I’m not sure how much I agree with the “allowance shouldn’t be tied to specific tasks” portion.

    I think that, if you really want to teach true responsibility, kids need to learn early that money isn’t free. They need to work for it, just like you work for the money you make to support your family. It’s these “free money” allowances that I think get families into a lot of trouble when they’re older because the behavior of, “If I ask for free money from Mom and Dad, they’ll give it to me” is learned from an early age.

    Sure, parents need to curtail that kind of giving, but I still think that an allowance with no expectations is just setting parents up for potential disaster. You don’t just walk into a place of employment and receive a paycheck before any work has been done; you must put in the work in order to earn that paycheck. I think the same tactic needs to be applied to the home.

  2. Des says:

    Yeah, I agree with Michelle. If you give children free money without strings, aren’t you teaching them that some money is free without strings in the real world? Why would you want to instill that entitlement mentality in your children?

  3. Ben says:

    What I want to bring up is children with poor role models. My little brother told me TODAY that my step dad told him that he doesn’t have to put his nearly $300 in change and small bills into a bank because he will only earn pennies in interest and didn’t explore other investment options with him.

    Parents teaching their children more often than not is the blind leading the blind not most schools and teachers are qualified either.

  4. Angela says:

    Having to chime in agreement with the others on set chores. If I don’t do my job at work then in the long run I don’t get paid, I’m out of a job and way worse off. I think that an exceptionally good job might merit some bonus pay on top of the allowance and extra chores to get extra pay but having to work for your money is part of learning about money. My parents gave me money flat out when I was growing up and as a result I didn’t have a job that I worked hard at and applied myself to until I was 20. I breezed through my college inherentence while not applying myself to my studies on the grounds that I had never really had to work hard at anything. Funnily enough when I had to start working my way through college my grades seriously improved because I realized some things are worth working for.

  5. Johanna says:

    I think the idea of not tying the allowance to chores is to prevent the child from unilaterally deciding, “Well, I don’t feel like doing half my chores this week, so I’ll just forfeit half my allowance.” Rather, she gets her allowance for being part of the family, and she does her chores as part of the family, and neither of those things is negotiable. If she doesn’t do her chores, she gets punished in some other way.

    In a way, this makes the allowance more like a real job, not less. I don’t get to decide, “Well, I don’t feel like coming to work this week, so you can just dock me a week’s salary” – at least, not if I want to still have my job next week.

  6. Ryan says:

    I can see both sides of the allowance issue.

    But if you make chores tied to allowance, what happens when the child/teen decides they just don’t want/need the money?

    For example, if a 16 year old gets a part time job, he probably doesn’t see the need in washing dishes and sweeping for 20 bucks a week.

    Personally, I’ve just never agreed with the argument that kids need to work for their allowance to understand that work is rewarded. I like the line of thinking that says some “work” is expected without pay.

  7. Bavaria says:

    I know a grandma who gives her grandson a weekly allowance, with the stipulation that he report to her where every penny went. So, she gets a weekly visit from her grandson in which they can discuss ‘money matters’, and she is teaching him to be aware of his spending habits instead of being consumer on ‘autopilot’.

  8. Mneiae says:

    I’m a bit like Angela, only younger. I’m only 18 and my parents give me money flat out. Unlike most Americans, I’m a first generation American, so this is with the expectation that I will be supporting my parents through retirement. I know that Trent is against parents just giving kids money, but this money comes with some major strings attached.

    Also, I never had an allowance. I got money twice a year, at my birthday and at Christmas. That’s been it for me.

    I also have had a job, but it hasn’t been the typical teenager’s job at a fast food restaurant or a store. Whenever I get called on, I have to work for the family business owned by my aunt and one year I worked 14 hour days 6 days a week, some days with no breaks at all (including bathroom and lunch), during my Christmas break. The money that I got from that job was great, but the work environment was extremely awful.

    (And before you protest that this was child abuse, I should say that my mother has been in the same position for about 20 years. That is the reason why she didn’t see a problem with this. She told me that this is what the “real world” is like. I answered something like “I’m never, ever working like this again.” I’m now receptive to 12 hour days with reasonable breaks, but that’s my limit.)

    As far as Trent’s comments go, I wish that my parents would show me their monthly budget. They weren’t even comfortable with showing me our tax information when I filled out the FAFSA with them. My dad kept exclaiming, “Why do they have to know that?!” when I asked him for information.

    The only other thing that they haven’t done is gotten me a credit card. I really want one so that I can start to build my credit history. You may think that I want one so I can spend all that I want, but I’ve had a debit card for about a year and a half now and I have had no problems with plastic. I also have 5 figures in the bank, courtesy of my parents, so I could pay off my credit card monthly if I had one.

    I recognize that I’m spoiled. I plan on getting a job next semester, but my parents’ financial help while I get my BS, MBA, and JD is something I’m not willing to relinquish. They both worked their way through college when they first came to America with the clothes on their back. When my dad was in college and feeding 10 mouths on minimum wage without taking welfare, he slept about an hour a night during the week and eventually dropped out of college because he had to take care of his family. As a result my parents paid and are paying fully for my sister’s and my college experience.

  9. Des says:

    I absolutely agree that some household tasks should be expected without pay (after all, I don’t get paid to do my own dishes and laundry). But I disagree with the corollary: that some payment should be given regardless of work. If I don’t show up to work for a week, I don’t get paid that week (and, likely, for subsequent weeks until I find a new job).

    Some work is done fore free, some is done for payment. But, payment is never received without work.

  10. bethh says:

    When I was in high school, I didn’t get an allowance but I DID get $5/week to buy hot lunch at school (this was in the late 1980s).

    Then one day I came home with a Binaca mouth spray and my mom flipped. She said if I had the money to buy stupid crap like that, I could darn well buy my own lunches or pack something from home.

    I was annoyed at the time but I think it was an excellent message and lesson: if you’ve got money to fritter away, then don’t come to mom for a handout!

  11. Joanna says:

    Re #6 Ryan:

    Definitely true that some work is unpaid. We ALL do that kind of work. I myself have a huge pile of it awaiting me at home tonight, laundry, housecleaning, etc. Nobody paying me for that one, sadly. I think that’s a great argument for not tying it to chores.

  12. Steven says:

    @Trent

    Is a forced donation really a donation?

    @#8 Mneiae

    I totally get how you feel. My parents supported me through high school, and I got through college with scholarships and loans.

    I fully expect to help my parents out financially when they retire. Granted, they are very frugal people and generally hoard money, so they might not need my help to retire. But I budget a portion of my income to go to them if they need it, it’s money I don’t touch.

    Going up and seeing them work in the restaurant was enough to make me do well in school, graduate from college, and get myself a well paid desk job.

  13. Joanna says:

    Trent, you made one excellent point in this post in that most teenagers are actually hungry for information on their parents’ budgets. Mneiae confirmed this and I can recall myself asking my parents how much our electric bill was for a school project. They wouldn’t tell me! I vowed to be more open with my children.

    I think it depends on the culture, though. I dated a Colombian guy once who, after about 2 dates, asked my how much money I had in savings (we were both in late 20s at the time and his question was within context of our conversation). Personally I was shocked and felt the question was very intrusive. But he didn’t understand my offense at all. Now, my husband who is Puerto Rican, regularly discusses salary with friends, which is not something I do with anyone other than him. Nor does anyone I know bring up the topic with me.

  14. Kathy says:

    My oldest daughter is a freshmen in college this year. She was never a saver even though she had a part-time job in high school. During her senior year I gave her “homework” assigments on basic personal finance that she had to complete, fearing she would get herself in all kinds of difficulty in college. She still spent her money as fast as she got it, and didn’t seem to appreciate the value of a dollar. So, before her senior year was over, we told her she needed to come up with all of the money needed for her first semester of college, and if her grades were good, that she could use money from her college fund to pay for the second semester. When her financial aid package came, we gave her the option of taking out student loans, but explained that when she graduated and wanted to buy a car, she may not be able to afford it because of student loan payments. I am happy to say she decided against the loans; buckled down and between 2 jobs and her graduation gifts, plus a 4-H project sold at the County Fair, she earned the $6000 she needed. She did not blow her money, and has realized that needs have to come before wants. (Whew!) Her younger siblings have watched the whole process, and have started socking money away like Scrooge McDuck :)

  15. Lou says:

    Perhaps, for those opposed to an allowance that isn’t tied to chores, start thinking an allowance as a teaching tool instead of as free money. If the only money I got as a teenager related to chores, then I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to learn to budget money for clothes, bus tickets and similar necessary items.

  16. Meagan says:

    My sister and I had an allowance from the time our parents got divorced (ages 7 and 9, respectively). Mom thought it would be a good way for Dad to remember to communicate with us (he was an ocean away). Mom had planned to have us save half of it in a bank account but that never really happened (My mom isn’t all that great at saving herself). We generally just spent it on whatever we wanted (books, candy, toys, in varying orders) I don’t recall getting additional help if we wanted something that cost more than we had (or at least I had) so we (I) probably had to learn some saving skills in order to purchase larger things.

    I got my first credit card and debit card when I was 16 and going on a school trip to France. I don’t remember what my limit was, but I do remember prefering the credit card, but I didn’t do anything over the top with it. The card was then paid off with the money I had saved. The card was put away when I returned home and was not returned to me until I went to college.

    I generally had babysitting-type jobs when I was in middle to high school. After graduation (and just about every summer of college) I got a job on a fish processing boat and made a few grand. That was spending money to get through the school year so that I could focus on school. My parents helped me with what financial aid wouldn’t cover.

    Currently I (almost 29 yrs) have a 9-10 month emergency fund/down payment saving, live on my own (pay my own rent/utilities/groceries/car), nearly paid off my car, etc.

    my sister (26 yrs) has had just about all the same opportunities and is still living at home with my mother, spending money as she pleases (movies, dvds, video games). She only recently had the personal epiphany that she will have to save money if she ever wants to move out and be on her own.

    Technically we were both a bit (or alot) spoiled, but I came out understanding money and she didn’t.

    To summarize: different people can learn different things from the same lesson.

    You have to try and find the lesson that helps your kid or each of your kids to become a financially responsible adult(s). It is certainly not one size fits all.

  17. Ken says:

    Well stated post! I agree with starting when they are young. I have an 8 yr old and I think me and the wife will be discussing allowance pretty soon. I also agree with being transparent about the budget. We are responsible for teaching our children about money. Nobody else is going to do it..except the greedy media that starts on them in preschool!

  18. Ashley says:

    I’m sorry, but I find the whole issue about allowances rather offensive. Many folks are just struggling to get through today…

  19. Mneiae says:

    @ #12 Steve

    Yes, seeing them has given me the same ambition. I have a world of opportunities that they did not have. And even though my parents are also very frugal, and probably not going to run out of money either, I still am going to dedicate a portion of my salary to them when I graduate.

  20. Diane says:

    #18 Ashley – I suggest that many people are struggling these days BECAUSE they do not have good money management skills. This only serves to underscore the importance of Trent’s message. Please don’t be offended; these are important lessons for good times and troubled times. Good money management skills can help smooth out the bumps in the road.

  21. Jane says:

    Once again, Trent thinks that parents have more control over their children than they actually do. It’s certainly important to have a plan for how you want to deal with money and allowances, but overall I think the most important thing is to model frugality in your home, which you already are doing. Your kids will eventually decide whether or not they decide to emulate that or not.

    I grew up in a family that was extremely frugal. My parents tithed 10% and lived very modestly. They paid off their home very early and now have plenty in their retirement. I have done a pretty good job with money, and my brother appears to be in good shape. My older sister, however, is a total mess. It will be a miracle if she doesn’t go through foreclosure or bankruptcy in the next few years. And college fund for her children? Forget it! It’s hard for me to believe we grew up in the same household. I guess what I’m trying to say is that your best laid plans are only part of the story. For reasons that might mystify you someday in light of the way you raised them, one of yours might become a spendthrift or whatever. There’s only so much control you have over people, even if they share your DNA.

  22. Patty says:

    Wow – love the discussion here.

    I do agree – show the kids early. That got me thinking, if the parents had to own up to their kids about their financial accomplishments or NOT, maybe many of the parents would straighten out their ‘mess’

    Just a thought!

  23. I think chores should be expected without compensation. I family is essentially a communist construct. I also think there should be an allowance. The allowance is not free money to be spent on whatever but money to be spent on clothes, pencils, etc. This will teach the kids about the price of stuff. I know too many who never got to spend their own money but got stuff from their parents. These guys have no idea about value/price as they have always asked their parents for a stuff. Let’s face it—the kids have to get dressed one way or the other.

    On top of that I think money for extra chores is okay, but be careful about that. As soon as the kids start earning money in the economy, they may decide that you’re not paying them enough and decide not to work for you, so make sure that “extra” really is “extra”. If you have a side-business where you could hire them, this would be optimal.

    In terms of budgeting, try this one. Give them 100% and then immediately take 25% back saying it’s tax for the government. Listen to the howl :-D .. that’ll definitely teach them something.

    I don’t think donations should be forced, but I don’t think taxes should be forced either, so …

    Anyway, I prefer the invest 50%/spend 50% budget. If they want to spend on charity, I have no problem with that. If they want to save the spending money for something bigger, that’s fine too. If adults kept to that budget they could all become FI within 12 years or so.

  24. anne says:

    here’s what worked for me and my son-

    i have five kids all together, but two are adult stepsons who were raised mostly by their mom. i have two young girls, ages 4 and 6.

    but my son just turned 16, and he seems to be very good w/ his money.

    anyway, when he was very little, i gave him an allowance- $1 per year of age. so when he was 3 he got $3 per week, when he was 4 he got $4 a week, and it went up $1 per year.

    his dad and i separated when our son was only 7 months old, and divorced when he was 2. we lived VERY modestly- sometimes in studio apartments- not even in a one bedroom. and i only took jobs i could bring him along to, so these weren’t high paying jobs. his dad paid little child support. a few years later, his dad, w/ the help of one of his brothers, bought me and my son a small condo to live in, in lieu of paying child support. my ex husband owned it- not me.

    anyway, it might seem counterintuitive for a mom w/ almost no money to give a substantial allowance, but i had to say no to almost every request, all of the time. i could only buy gas at the gas station- no candy. and vending machine snacks were a very rare treat. and toys? those were almost always a gift from someone else, or bought for cheap at a thrift shop or tag sale.

    anyway, my son was able to save up his own $ to buy things he wanted/needed, and i didn’t have to feel guilty about always saying “no.”

    even in the grocery store, if he wanted an ice cream or something that wasn’t on sale, he could have it, if he paid me the difference between the sale price i was willing to pay and the price of what he wanted. i got a lot of strange looks from people when my son and i were shopping. i really did.

    he’s been working since he was 13, first in his aunt’s restaurant, and now in one his dad bought. on top of this he buys guitars, modifies them, and sells them.

    and recently he inherited money from his dad’s dad. i’m out of the loop on the details, and i’m on barely speaking terms w/ his dad, who STILL has to be forced to pay child support. last year the state intercepted his tax return he was so far behind. he’s a bit of a brat.

    anyway, i think my exhusband will blow through his inheritance any day now, but i think my son will be a good steward of his.

    one thing i’m very happy about is my son is making sure none of his money is invested w/ companies he thinks are unethical. i try to stay out of it since the money is from the other side of the family, and it’s my son’s money- not mine. but i won’t buy from companies i think are wrong. like coca cola is terrible in colombia- they are doing absolutely nothing about the bottling company owners who have labor organizers down there murdered. so i won’t buy coca cola.

    my son told his financial adviser he wanted out of coca cola and nike. and he told me this when i was telling him there are mutual funds which invest only in ethically run companies, if he wanted to do something like that w/ his money. then he told me about donating a portion of his $ to human rights watch.

    my son doesn’t attend church anymore, but when he was young he tithed faithfully. and when he was little i had an extra $20 i gave him to give to the salvation army bell ringers- he gave it out to different bell ringers- he didn’t want to give it all at the same time- he liked being able to ring the bell, so he spread out his gifts.

    anyway, he’s always been generous, and i’m so happy he feels the need to give away some of his $.

    he’ll be able to pay for college w/ his grandfather’s money, and i’m hoping he tries to preserve the principal. we’ve talked about how some people in his situation could just blow throw all of the money and then some. i’m really hopeful though.

    and i’ve warned him that his dad is probably going to try and get access to his good credit, even if he doesn’t try to go after his money. his dad is terrible w/ money- no matter how much he earns, it’s never enough. and when we married i went from having excellent credit to having very bad credit in a short time. i went into the marriage w/ savings, a 401k, and stocks. a few years later it was gone and we had nothing to show for it. it was sad. and he’s still like that.

    i don’t know how my son will ultimately handle money, but so far he doesn’t seem to be anything like his dad. i guess what i think really worked for my son was having an allowance he could do something w/. and since we were together so much of the time, he had a really good look at how money got spent and pennies got pinched.

  25. Self-responsibility and self accountability.

    My son turns three in a month and while not pressured at all about money or the not so fun side of it, he does know what it is, he does know we have a finite amount of it, he does have his own, and he already thinks well before deciding on how to spend it.

    I would say to start early, but also start slow.

  26. Lisa I says:

    Though it seems like this may have been said already, I have to disagree with this:

    Don’t tie a basic allowance to specific chores. A basic, small allowance should be given without strings attached. It’s not a tool to leverage for good behavior, it’s a tool to teach basic money management. There should be certain behaviors expected in the home, but the allowance should not be a bludgeoning tool to force those behaviors.

    As the mother of two teenage girls (16 and 14), allowance at our house does come with strings. Bad attitudes and refusal to help around the house are grounds for revocation and this was set out in advance. I do it this way because in the real world, if you don’t work, you don’t get paid. If you have a bad attitude, you are the first to go. I think these life lessons are every bit as important.

    The other thing I tie to the allowance is the stipulation that if my teens want to do fun stuff (movies, etc), this comes out of their allowance. Period. I am not ‘Mom, the human ATM’ and the sooner they learn that you need to live within your means, the better.

    So yes, there are strings at my house where there weren’t when they were younger but I think it’s crucial at this age to teach these lessons. :)

  27. Leah says:

    I’ll disagree with many others and say that I like the allowance idea. It’s based on personal experience, but my parents did give me an allowance until my late teens. However, it was pretty meagre ($20 to $40 a month), and I had to supplement to buy stuff. I got a summer job when I was 15, and when I got my first paycheck, my mom took me down to the bank to start an account. At the end of the summer, she helped me open up a CD, and thus started my great savings.

    I also got a credit card as a teen; my mom added me on hers. It was a great opportunity to learn about debt, how they work, etc. I’ve never taken credit cards for granted, because we all had to pay my mom back for whatever we’d charged at the end of the month, so we had to know that we had enough money for whatever we were charging.

    The key, in my mind, isn’t how you run the little details. But we all need to be transparent about money with our kids. If you never talk about money topics, kids won’t learn about it. But if you discuss money, where it comes from, and how it can be used with kids, they’ll have a better idea of how they want to manage money as adults.

  28. GayleRN says:

    @Anne#24
    I don’t understand how a 16 year old has a financial adviser and apparently an investment account that you are not privy to? He is a minor and YOU are still responsible for him. If the financial adviser is not talking to you along with your son he is should know better and I would question his motives. Additionally, you need to make sure he is filing his taxes properly, especially with a side business and an investment account. He is apparently a smart kid, but he is still inexperienced and naive. There are things he just may not know.

    One of the best things I did with my kids was sit down and go through the bills with them. They truly had no idea how much things cost, how much money we had or didn’t have and what we were doing with it. They never asked why we weren’t going to Disneyworld for spring break ever again. Just be sure they are old enough to have verbal discretion otherwise the entire neighborhood will know your checkbook balance.

  29. anne says:

    #28- gayle rn

    it’s all to do w/ his dad- i really have nothing to do w/ it. i’ll ask my son who’s handling his money, but it’s in a trust his grandfather set up for him, like he did for all of the grandchildren.

    as far as work goes, i don’t think my son gets actual paychecks- he used to get cash at his aunt’s restaurant, and i think it’s the same set up at his dad’s. but you’re right about tax returns- i think this year he will have to file one for sure.

    my former father in law was very good w/ his money- he had no illusions about his youngest son, and i’m sure he’s set up his grandson’s trust in a way that would protect the money from his son. you’re right though- i’ll talk to my son though and try to get some info about how the trust is set up, and who he’s talking to about the investments. i’ll make sure it’s legitimate, and not some shady friend of his dad’s.

  30. Esther Ziol says:

    I have been to my bank and credit union with my teenager (16) and they will not open a checking account or issue a credit card under age 18.

  31. Sandy says:

    Keep looking Esther…we just opened an account for our 16 year old tied to our checking/savings. No fees, so she’s pretty happy.
    What her dad and I did is different than what anyone’s ideas are so far. The 3 of us went through how much we spend in a year for her…clothes, shoes, school fees, yearbook, school lunches, allowance,etc… The we divided it by 12. On the 15th of the month, she gets a pretty hefty amount for a teen, but the deal is, she has to pay for everything (regular spending) out of her checking…she can write a check or use the debit card that came with it, too. If we are out and she sees something she wants, she has to decide if that’s how she wants to spend her money. She went to a birthday party last weekend, and had to buy the friend’s present with her money.
    The thing is: we would be paying for all of these things, anyway. The lesson will be in..can she get a better deal somewhere else…a less expensive pair of jeans at another store, etc…and then save a certain amount out of the monthly amount.

  32. Jason says:

    Why why why would you ever give a kid a credit card? In fact, why would ANYONE ever get a credit card?? SPEND LESS THAN YOU MAKE!!!

  33. Just wanted to mention that I linked to this on my weekly roundup – post is under my name. Thanks!!

  34. alina says:

    It is very important. Well, we are in the business of making money, and in order to make money we have to learn how to manage it. Ironically, this is one of the most overlooked areas in trading like make money in minutes .

  35. Nancy says:

    One way I’ve encouraged thriftiness with my girls is when we shop for clothes, we have the following rules; If it’s from Goodwill, I pay for it. If it’s from a used clothing store, they pay 1/2. If it’s from the mall, they pay the entire price. My girls have been voted best dressed, and most clothing is from Goodwill/second hand!

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