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This room is dedicated to those who are facing the challenge of raising children without the support of a spouse. This is a place to share ideas and lend mutual support.

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Dear parents,

I am the proud mom of a 14-year old boy who, as many kids his age, do not really "feel" (for lack of a better word) the need of saving. It goes in one ear and comes out in other when I explain to him what it takes to have money to buy what we both need/want. He seems to understand, but his plans are to "use" (translated "waste") his money in electronics or vanal things. He is not a compulser buyer either and I know...this is somehow a normal behaviour in a teenager, but I think times now are more difficult than ever and one of my responsibilities is to teach him the correct use of money.

A while ago I bought an accounting program (very basic) but useful. Back then I was able to get a teenager version with mine. I never installed it in his computer, but I am thinking that I should now. And...I would like him to take care of our budget!...is that too crazy? I know that this implies "revealing" how much money I make, and I've read that it's not good to tell our children that, but I do believe that if he is in charge of making the numbers work, then he, himself will know that we do or do not have enough to buy a certain product.

What do you think? Would that make him sad to know in advance that he wouldn't be buying something expensive he likes? or would it make him more responsible and would teach him how to manage money and later on would make him be more prepared to manage his own? Thoughts?

Thanks in advance for your input.

06/14/2012 new

Money was never a secret in my house growing up. I think that it was a big benefit to me. If you listen to money counselors, they blame a lot of problems that people have with money, on the idea that it was a taboo or secret growing up. My father played poker as kind of a second job, generally making money, and his ledger of profit and loss was left out to see. When I was not much older than your 14 year old, I was doing taxes for the family. I think that openness towards money helps me even today. So I would definitely encourage openness about money.

I don't know how effective it will be discussing family finances in detail with a 14 year old. I suppose that it depends on the 14 year old. Not 100% sure if I would let a 14 year old actually control the books, but it would depend on their diligence and integrity. I suggest that it might be worth a try, but you would need to very carefully audit the books that he keeps.

I think that the process could be very educational for the kid, but it is hard to know whether the child would keep good books or change his attitude about money. Note that most schools do not teach money or budgeting, so if you don't teach it, who will?

Of my two nephews, the older one manages money pretty well, the other is a disaster, very poor credit. His mother admits that she gives him $2000 a year or so, and he is 28 years old, working, not going to school. Not sure if more financial education would help him or not, as he is unwilling to admit that he has a problem with money. His brother gives him a hard time about money, and he does not want to hear it. My view is that he needs tough love on money, but his mother is too soft hearted to crack down on her "baby".

Richard

06/15/2012 new

I love what you wrote Richard. You are right when you say that if I don't teach him, nobody will. I think I would like him to 1. Prepare the budget. 2. Schedule payments and make sure that there is enought money to pay bills on time. For that each time there is something to pay, he would refer to his "books" (computer) and he would be responsible to advise me if we can or cannot afford the purchase, and if we cannot, putting money aside to make it happen.

I will still follow my finances through online banking and he won't be having any accesses to that. :) Maybe in the future...for now, there is no need.

How's that?


Thanks!!

P.S. something important to mention is that he is sorounded by wealthy people at school and around our neighbourhood. We live in an appartment, I am a single mom, but there are huge houses around us, and his elementary school was in the neighbourhood, hence his friends' econmic situation is completely different that ours. We live well, but cannot afford a Porsche! so it's more important for him to know money management ... I find.

06/15/2012 new

The authors that I think of who talk about money are:


Dave Ramsey - Focuses on getting out of debt, Christian perspective, syndicated radio show.


Michelle Singletery - Washington post, focuses on lowering your expenses

Suze Orman - More conventional money advice, importance of emergency fund.


Dave and Michelle always talk common sense. Michelle talks about her grandmother who saved money while making very little. Dave has a "snowball" system for getting out of debt.


It may make sense for you to have some money management books around, then you can point to the book and say that the expert says.....


It is tougher if the kids around you have more money. But that is the way it goes sometimes.


As a retiree, I tend to have more time than money, and less money than most of my working friends. Besides my nephew, I know one or two other young people who have Cadillac tastes on a Hyundai budget.


Even Freud talked about money as being as taboo as sex. ;-)


Good luck.


Richard



06/15/2012 new

We have the same issue here - well-to-do families and then a very few of us who can't buy our kids brand new mustangs when they gt their license, can't spend money on extras without careful consideration. My high schooler goes to a Catholic school on a full scholarship. You can tell the richer kids by their shoes, accessories and cars. Seriously! A brand new Mustang for a 15 year old? I've never had a lot of money but if something weird happened and I did, I really don't think I'd buy a new driver a brand new car.

My son knows that there are strict limits on our spending. The younger two don't know as many details but they understand when i say we can't afford something or if I explain that we can do this or that but there's not enough money for both. They get the idea about making responsible choices which makes my job easier.

I am hoping to find something to help me track my moey more easily...we have surprise expenses sometimes that leave us with too much month at the end of our money. The last one was my son's bike wreck...even with insurance, the ER visit left us with several hundred dollars of copays. I didn't see that coming. Talk about a budget buster. I'm glad I had an emergency fund. What accounting program are you using?



06/15/2012 new

(Quote) Richard-831657 said: As a retiree, I tend to have more time than money, and less money than most of my work...
(Quote) Richard-831657 said:

As a retiree, I tend to have more time than money, and less money than most of my working friends. Besides my nephew, I know one or two other young people who have Cadillac tastes on a Hyundai budget.


Even Freud talked about money as being as taboo as sex. ;-)


Good luck.


Richard



--hide--


I chose to work part time so I could be more fully present to my children - different circumstances but same result...less money than my circle of friends. And some of those have Ferrarri tastes on a Cadillac budget. No point in discussing finances with them....they are clueless and whine and complain about how strapped they are for cash. With a few small changes, they'd be just fine but they can't possibly do without their twice a year family vacations and shopping sprees.


And, yeah....why is money a taboo subject? What the heck is that about? I would love to sit down with a couple of friends and get some input into my budget. On my own, I'm likely to miss something or maybe someone has a strategy that would help.

06/16/2012 new

(Quote) Ivonne-91361 said: Dear parents, I am the proud mom of a 14-year old boy who, as many kids his age, do not re...
(Quote) Ivonne-91361 said:

Dear parents,

I am the proud mom of a 14-year old boy who, as many kids his age, do not really "feel" (for lack of a better word) the need of saving. It goes in one ear and comes out in other when I explain to him what it takes to have money to buy what we both need/want. He seems to understand, but his plans are to "use" (translated "waste") his money in electronics or vanal things. He is not a compulser buyer either and I know...this is somehow a normal behaviour in a teenager, but I think times now are more difficult than ever and one of my responsibilities is to teach him the correct use of money.

A while ago I bought an accounting program (very basic) but useful. Back then I was able to get a teenager version with mine. I never installed it in his computer, but I am thinking that I should now. And...I would like him to take care of our budget!...is that too crazy? I know that this implies "revealing" how much money I make, and I've read that it's not good to tell our children that, but I do believe that if he is in charge of making the numbers work, then he, himself will know that we do or do not have enough to buy a certain product.

What do you think? Would that make him sad to know in advance that he wouldn't be buying something expensive he likes? or would it make him more responsible and would teach him how to manage money and later on would make him be more prepared to manage his own? Thoughts?

Thanks in advance for your input.

--hide--
Hi Ivonne, in the brutal economic situation young folks will be facing, it is more important than ever to have a clear understanding of priorities and budgets. The earlier kids understand economic realities, the sooner they can begin saving and spending responsibly. There is no magic "chip" to be inserted into a teen's brain at a specific age containing this knowledge. Part of it is kinda an art or feel, and experience builds confidence and patience. KIds need to know the unblinking reality of the situation early, and learn that it takes work and thrift to achieve dreams and goals. I found it fascinating how many ideas my kids could think of to save and stretch what money we had. Encourage your son to take a job as soon as possible, the sight of the government theft from his first paycheck will be a great educator.

06/17/2012 new
I think having kids have to manage their own money is very important. I went through Love and Logic training. It recommends that children hold " jobs" and get a payment . If one doesn't do the job then who ever does the job gets the pay.My daughter loves pay day when she get her paycheck (I deduct 1O% to cover living expenses). She often will pick up extra money by toung "over time". She has learned that a good garage sale will allow her to.spend less money to enhance her wardrobe. All children are expected to tithe and put money into their savings. Then the rest goes to their discretion. When we go to the movies as a family, they pay their way. Etc.

My son tends to "blow"his money. I'm trying to.have him make the connection at 13 but it is going slowly.
06/17/2012 new

(Quote) Laurie-523231 said: We have the same issue here - well-to-do families and then a very few of us who can't buy ou...
(Quote) Laurie-523231 said:

We have the same issue here - well-to-do families and then a very few of us who can't buy our kids brand new mustangs when they gt their license, can't spend money on extras without careful consideration. My high schooler goes to a Catholic school on a full scholarship. You can tell the richer kids by their shoes, accessories and cars. Seriously! A brand new Mustang for a 15 year old? I've never had a lot of money but if something weird happened and I did, I really don't think I'd buy a new driver a brand new car.

My son knows that there are strict limits on our spending. The younger two don't know as many details but they understand when i say we can't afford something or if I explain that we can do this or that but there's not enough money for both. They get the idea about making responsible choices which makes my job easier.

I am hoping to find something to help me track my moey more easily...we have surprise expenses sometimes that leave us with too much month at the end of our money. The last one was my son's bike wreck...even with insurance, the ER visit left us with several hundred dollars of copays. I didn't see that coming. Talk about a budget buster. I'm glad I had an emergency fund. What accounting program are you using?



--hide--


Hello Laurie, Thanks for responnding. I use Quicken for Business, but I also have a simple software that I bought a while ago. It's called my budget planner www.mybudgetplanner.com. I never used it extensively, since I had plans to start my own company and didn't want to work twice inputting the information in two different systems. Is that second one that comes with a software for teens which I will still now in my sons' laptop. I already talked to him and he agrees to use it...we'll see. biggrin

06/17/2012 new

(Quote) Richard-831657 said: The authors that I think of who talk about money are: Dave Ramsey - Focuses on getti...
(Quote) Richard-831657 said:

The authors that I think of who talk about money are:


Dave Ramsey - Focuses on getting out of debt, Christian perspective, syndicated radio show.


Michelle Singletery - Washington post, focuses on lowering your expenses

Suze Orman - More conventional money advice, importance of emergency fund.


Dave and Michelle always talk common sense. Michelle talks about her grandmother who saved money while making very little. Dave has a "snowball" system for getting out of debt.


It may make sense for you to have some money management books around, then you can point to the book and say that the expert says.....


It is tougher if the kids around you have more money. But that is the way it goes sometimes.


As a retiree, I tend to have more time than money, and less money than most of my working friends. Besides my nephew, I know one or two other young people who have Cadillac tastes on a Hyundai budget.


Even Freud talked about money as being as taboo as sex. ;-)


Good luck.


Richard



--hide--

Hi Richard,

Having books around, it's a good point. Thanks for the recommendation. I am curious to know what is the Christian perspective of getting out ot debt.

I will be installing the software in my son's laptpo later today and will sti together to start inputting the information he will need. I think it will be a very good experience, and who knows...maybe he has better savings ideas than myself. It's too bad that schools do not have a course on that these days. My mom told me that she had "house economics" during hight school, I wonder why it's not a mandatory course now.

Well, I will update you on how it goes,


Thanks!!


Ivonne





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