Teaching Teens Financial Responsibility: What Should They Have to Pay For?

The annual cost for the average couple to raise a 14-year-old in 2012 was $17,730, according to the USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. It cost $18,380 to raise a 17-year old that same year, and in a house with two teenagers and a 12-year-old, the annual cost to raise all three children rose to $33,590. How much of this financial load should teenagers be asked to bear? If you’re raising one or more teens old enough to work or drive, you might be wondering which expenses they should start paying for themselves. Here’s a guide to get you started.

Build on Your Budget

Approach your children’s budget as a reflection of your overall household budget. Financial advisor Elizabeth Warren advocates following a 50/30/20 budgeting policy: Each month, allocate 50 percent of your income to necessary expenses, 30 percent to discretionary spending and 20 percent to savings and debt reduction.

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Kids and Money + Making Fiends + Drug-Free Kid

[amazon asin=1607744082&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Joline Godfrey, author of Raising Financially Fit Kids.
Topic:
A pioneer in increasing children’s financial literacy talks about thriving in a post-Madoff, post-subprime meltdown world.
Issues: Five financial development stages; essential skills children (of all ages) need to learn; observing your children’s money style and helping kids differentiate between wants and needs; connecting goals and savings; fostering an entrepreneurial spirit.

[amazon asin=0738213233&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Elizabeth Hartley Brewer, author of Making Friends
Topic:
A guide to understanding and nurturing your child’s friendships
Issues: Should you worry when your child’s imaginary friend sticks around past preschool? How do boys’ and girls’ friendships differ? What do kids really value in a friendship? What should you do if you don’t like one of your child’s friends?

[amazon asin=B003E7ET44&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Joseph Califano, author of How to Raise a Drug-Free Kid.
Topic:
The straight dope for parents
Issues: When and how to talk to your kids about drugs and alcohol; how to respond when your kid asks, “Did you do drugs?”; how to know when your child is most at risk; how to prepare your teen for the freedoms and perils of college

Fighting about Money Could Cost Your Kids Plenty

When mom and dad fight about money, their college-aged students are more likely to rack up credit card debt. So says Adam Hancock, who coauthored a just-published study at East Carolina University.

The study looked at the credit-card-carrying habits of 400 college students. Two thirds of them carried one card, while about one third had more than one. But the number of cards didn’t necessarily predict the student’s debt level. Instead, the students who told researchers that their parents “usually argued about finances,” were three times more likely to have balances over $500 than those whose parents never quarreled about money.

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U.S. Department of Treasury: Who’d Have Thought They Could Have Fun?

We all know that Americans have  among the lowest savings rates of any industrialized country. Well, we’re about to get some help.

The U.S. Department of Treasury just launched a contest that’s designed to inspire kids in grades K-12 to set financial goals and save for them. The “Save Out Loud” contest invites kids to send in their savings stories for a chance to win prizes from the Department. The grand prize is a live video call with Rosie Rios, the Treasurer of the United States (a much cooler prize would be to let the winner sign some dollar bills, but that’s just not in the cards, so a chat with the Treasurer is the next best thing).

The contest runs from now through November 25, 2012. Entry info on the next page.

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