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Dave Says: Involve the Kids?

by | Nov. 08, 2011

Finances

Dear Dave,

Is it a good idea to include teenagers in financial talks and budget meetings?

Paul

Dear Paul,

I think it’s a great idea, as long as it’s not an extreme situation, such as you’re very wealthy or you’re looking at foreclosure. Teaching them about money with a standard, regular, monthly budget is one thing. But you don’t want to put young people into situations they can’t handle emotionally.

Walking through a typical, normal budget will show them how much money is coming in and how much things cost. They’ll see on paper exactly how much the groceries or light bill costs. Then, when it’s right there before their eyes, they’ll begin to realize why mom and dad always tell them not to waste food and to turn off the lights when they leave a room.

As long as mom and dad are having a discussion and making decisions—not fighting—it’s good for kids to hear the give and take where handling money is concerned. Parents who never let their kids handle money, and never teach them proper money management techniques, run a high risk of turning financially irresponsible adults loose on the world!

—Dave

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