Parenting Information

Parenting Your Teenager: Kids and Money

Most teens go into the work world ill-prepared to manage the money they will be making. Even if their parents have attempted to teach them about money, they still haven't had the wonderfully frightening experience we have all had. You know the one: It's called ``getting to the end of the money before the end of the month.''

Here are some tips on teaching teens about managing the money they are about to make.

Once they get a job, here's what to do. Have them take the very first pay check and ... blow it. You might have been expecting me to say save it, buy a savings bond or something else responsible. Here's why I suggest having them spend it: They get to experience the benefits of hard work and have some fun.

After the first paycheck, here's how to handle every other paycheck, for the rest of their lives. I call this the 10 by 4 solution. With each and every paycheck, take 10 percent and put it in four different places.

1) First 10 percent: Pay yourself first.

Put this 10 percent in some form of savings that you do not touch until you retire. Begin this when you're young, and it's amazing what can happen. If a person starts at age 21 and puts just $1,000 a year into some kind of savings that will gain at least a 10-12-percent return a year (this is very doable, by the way), and did this for only eight years until age 29, and then didn't touch it until age 65, he or she would have accumulated almost half a million dollars.

2) Second 10 percent: Give it away.

If you are a person of faith, you've probably been taught to tithe. Whether it's tithing or simply giving to a favorite charity, giving away 10 percent teaches your brain an interesting thing: If I can give this away, there must be more than enough to go around. A nice way to feel.

3) Third 10 percent: Put this 10 percent toward getting rid of any debt that may have accumulated.

4) Fourth 10 percent: Save it up for something you really want.

For many kids that's a car. Or maybe a trip, a stereo or some nice clothes.

In this way, you are teaching your teen, from day one, how to live on 60 percent of his or her income, instead of the 110 percent that most of us live on.

Visit for tips and tools for thriving during the teen years. You can also subscribe to our f*r*e*e 5 day e-program on The Top 5 Things to Never Say to Your Teenager, from parenting coach and expert Jeff Herring.



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