I haven’t written lately because I have struggled to know where to start! There are so many considerations as we seek to raise responsible teenagers that take an interest in their financial future. Of course, looking back at some of the massive mistakes that I have made with money….well…we don’t have to talk about that today. And it really doesn’t matter. What does matter is in the here and now. Let’s start with a list of a few things we should consider as we help ourselves and our kids:
Do I have a financial plan that I actually follow? Do I have a budget? Do I track what I spend? If we don’t have some of these basics in place for ourselves then how can we expect to pass on good financial habits to our kids?
Should I give an allowance?
A fundamental question for parents. Some give an allowance and some do not. Some tie in the allowance with chores completed and some do not. In the coming weeks, we will discuss many of these variations and the pros and cons of each.
Should I force my teenager to save their money?
This is a really important point. Should we force our kids to save their allowance if they get one? What about money that they earn themselves? Do we make them save or sit back and let them spend every cent they earn each week? It’s a compelling question and this issue alone can lead to conflict between parents and a teen.
Should I buy my teenager a car?
Oy. People feel pretty strongly about this, and it usually has something to do with what their parents did or did not do for them. I don’t have the answer, but am really interested in talking more about this issue. And then there are all the followup questions – do you pay for insurance, repairs, gas, maintenance, etc. etc. etc?
And here is the big question that many of us are most concerned about. College. Do we pay for college? Do we help at all? Do we have our children take on thousands in student loan debt if we are unable to pay for it ourselves? What are the choices out there for those of us who didn’t save $150,000 in a college fund for each of our children? There are many options – so lets explore them all and see what we come up with.
Here Comes the Bride…
Okay – so if we are supposed to be paying for college, funding retirement, creating an emergency fund and paying off all our debt how is it we are supposed to plan and pay for a wedding? My plan? Eva is going to elope. (But don’t mention it because I haven’t told her yet and she is having a ball planning her wedding on Pinterest….)
Your Kids Pick Your Nursing Home
Last but not least, retirement.
Some of us, I am on the ‘I hope my kids still like me when I’m old’ plan. What do you do if you haven’t saved for retirement and find yourself just a few short years away from being as old as the crypt keeper? I have no idea – but let’s find out! Retirement is an uncertainty for many of us, but ignoring it isn’t going to help anyone. My plan is to find out all that I can, and save as much as possible during the years I have left.
What are some of the financial issues that are most important to you and your family right now? Join me next time for a look into the pros and cons of allowances.