Posts Tagged ‘allowance’

Note From Wil: This is a guest post from Kelly Austin, a writer with  Much of what Miss Austin writes today should sound familiar to many readers. Much of her advice today can also be found in various articles right here on F4Y:TB. I include her take for those newer readers who might not have read some of those older posts.

I like to include the writings and opinions of as many people as I can.  If you want to contribute to Finance For Youth: The Blog, send me an email:

Personal finance is one subject that does not get enough attention in the education system, so it is up to parents to raise financially literate children. Here are five actions that you can do to help teach your teenager about personal finance.

Get a job: Encourage your teen to find a part-time job so that he learns the value of work and develops a good work habit. Giving allowances is okay, but adults have to work for their money; no one just gives money to them. Help your teen look for a paper route, babysitting job or a job at the local fast food joint. Working ten to fifteen hours a week while in high school will help them learn to prioritize their time and earn money for their spending and savings needs.
(Note from Wil:  I talk about this very topic HERE!)

Open a Checking Account: Your teen probably has a savings account but it’s good to get him a checking account so he can deposit and use his hard-earned cash. You can get your name put on the account so that you can oversee his transactions. Let him get a debit card and teach him to balance his account regularly. Even if he messes up and gets an overdraft charge, it’s better to do it now than to rack up thousands in credit card charges and fees as an adult.
(Note from Wil:  I talk about this very topic HERE!)

Make A Budget: Once your teen has a job, show him how to make a balanced budget. The expenses must equal (or at least less than) the income otherwise he’ll go into debt. Allocate extra money to savings goals. If your teen doesn’t have a job, you might consider giving him a lump sum of money equal to what you usually give him annually (or quarterly) for his clothing and entertainment expenses. Then it’s up to him to spend it appropriately. Do not bail him out if he wastes it. The best thing you can do is to give him some household chores so he can earn some money.
(Note from Wil:  I talk about this very topic HERE!)

Read A Good Personal Finance Book: There are a few great books that teach personal finance and are enjoyable for teens. Consider giving your teen a copy of Dave Ramsey‘s Total Money Makeover or Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez. I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi is also great for teens as it was written when he was just out of college and has a writing style that appeals to a younger audience.
(Note from Wil:  I personally don’t agree that all of these books or authors are great, but that’s my opinion.  For a F4Y friendly book, You can always go with THIS ONE!)

Set Short and Long Term Financial Goals: Your teen will likely have a long list of needs and wants. Help him to prioritize them and set short and long-term savings goals. Short term goals might be saving for a concert, buying a car or new computer. Long term goals will likely be college, an apartment or car upgrade.
(Note from Wil:  This is the name of the game!  I talk about this everywhere online and in Finance For Youth: The Book!)

This guest article was contributed by Kelly Austin from Visit her site for information about salary and benefit information for many popular careers.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine


I read every email sent to me regarding Finance For youth.  Every once in a while, I get a few questions that might not spur a whole post in and of themselves, but are worthy of answering publicly. Just as a note, I do respond to any questions sent to me. Most are handled via email, but some see publication here or elsewhere. Some of the questions are great questions that inspire conversations between me and my PF friends; others are strange questions that inspire minutes of Family Guy style reenactments in my head. Not all the questions have to be about finance, but they should all have something to do with youth issues.

I’ve corrected this issue in the letters and questions that I’m using today, but going forward, your chances of getting your question responded to or even read are increased if you can properly spell my name. I know it is not the standard spelling, but my name is spelled with only one “L”. W-I-L. Three letters. That’s it. Also, I will not publish your name or other identifying information without your express permission. That being said, I prefer to have a name for whenever I’m corresponding to people just so I know that you are a real person. That being said, in the words of one of my favorite characters, “Allons-y! Alonzo!”

Dear Wil:

So what is the secret of true wealth? I looked in your code but couldn’t find anything.


I’m assuming you are referring to my post HERE. That was an April Fool’s Day joke that I’m rather proud of. If you come from a place where April 1st is not April Fool’s Day, this is something pretty common. People play little harmless jokes to celebrate. It’s actually one of my favorite celebrations. Sadly, since I now work in schools, with children, I have limited my participation. I have to be an adult once in a while. But I still like to do something fun here.

The secret of true wealth, A.J? It’s all in the definition of wealth. Some people talk about wealth in terms of money, some talk in terms of “stuff”, and others talk in terms of family and experiences. However you define wealth, the secret to achieving that wealth is hard work, focus, and an unwillingness to compromise your values for anything that doesn’t get you closer to your definition of wealth.


Dear Wil:

I used to like the music videos you play in your posts. They usually have something to do with what you are talking about. I can’t believe you played that stupid Friday song! WTF man?


This is a question from the same post. In the same way that I wanted to have a little fun and play a little joke with the content, I decided to play a little joke with the music. This brings up a couple points on music. First regarding this specific video, I will say that I was wrong to include Ms. Black’s work as part of a joke. She is everything I want to see when I think of Qualities of Success. Whether or not I like this song, her style, or even this particular video, she went out and did it while most of her detractors are sitting on their asses wondering what might have been. Not only that, but she got her 15 minutes and withstood her critics proudly. Good for her! There should be some measure of fulfillment that Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert and Taylor Hicks all got together to sing her son.

My second point is, F##k You Sony music and YouTube! Nobody is trying to make a buck here from showing a video of a song that stopped being popular 15 years ago. The whole point of sites like YouTube is to get the videos seen and the music heard. That is pretty damned difficult to do if you block remote playing of the videos and the songs. You guys suck!


What is your opinion on the Ryan plan? What do you think about the Republicans trying to end Medicare and Social Security?


Those are both very important questions. I’ll be honest that I haven’t read the actual Ryan Plan, so I won’t comment on it directly. As far as Republicans trying to get rid of Medicare and Social Security, I think that position only tells a limited part of the story. Look, if we keep things going as the left wants, Medicare and Social Security will not last. When I’m old enough to qualify for these programs, using today’s ages, neither of these programs will exist in their current forms. Quite possibly, they will not exist at all. On the right, their proposed plans seem to do little to change that reality. So basically, people in my age group and all those who come afterwards are either going to be boned, screwed, or f##ked, depending on how you look at it. I personally don’t see a whole lot of difference.

While I’m at it, you may have noticed a conspicuous lack of political content on this site and other places where I frequent. I’ve decided that I’m backing away from the political. There are times when politics are important, but being one of the few who have the balls to tell the truth takes its toll. I’m a little fatigued by having to defend facts and truth against nutjobs who see bogey men and the specter of past presidents everywhere. As my wife has pointed out, I haven’t been too good about abstaining from political conversation yet, but this is a work in progress. We’ll see how this works going forward.

And finally, this last email has sparked what I hope will become a series of articles coming up. It is short, but opens the door to a huge subject. I’m curious to hear how some of you feel about this subject.



What’s your position on giving children allowances? I have two young children and my husband and I are split on how to handle this.



I can’t help but think of this song whenever I think of reading anything.  Assuming that showing the theme song for a show that hasn’t been on in forever doesn’t qualify as copyright infringement, enjoy!


Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine