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Subject:  Re: Debit card irresponsibility Date:  10/20/2009  12:12 PM
Author:  llambe Number:  292706 of 312155

My DSS had very similar problems when he was in the 16/17/18 age range. Looking back it appears to me that it had a lot to do with when he got a part time job and was "rolling in the dough". It wasn't that much money in the overall scheme of things but he had very few expenses other than clothes (not important to him), lunch and gas. He chose to resolve the overlimit dilemma himself by asking the CU to stop allowing overdrafts.

At that time we had no CC debt - no debt at all other than mortgage debt - his father had no debt other than mortgage when I married him and we continued that through DSS's teen years (until we bought our "dream house" but that was after DSS moved out). So I don't buy into the thought that this happens because kids see you LAYM and so do it too.

A couple things I hope to do differently with DD - talk with her regularly about budgeting (however although I budgeted diligently it wasn't until I found YNAB that I "got" budgeting in a way that really helped my finances and that happened after DSS moved out). Talk a lot more about how important it is too save a big chunk of your money (EF style rather than the "save for college" we threw at him). And cut off the "you budget your own allowance" if she shows us she is not budgeting ala overdrafts etc (I really wish I had cut this off early - as it just added to his pool of money to blow rather than teaching him to budget as we hoped). Possibly cutting off allowance altogether if she is working.

I am overall a big proponent of allowance. At a younger age, DSS had the same reaction as DM describes. Pre- allowance he wanted everything, post allowance, when we could say "buy it with your own money" that all changed. And I believe that an 18 yo living at home going to high school is still a kid. A 16 yo living at home going to college should still receive an allowance. Only 18 AND done with high school is also done with allowance in our family.

However, I also see that having "lots" of money is a heady experience - so I'm still debating the advantages/disadvantages/choices once DD gets to that stage - of having a job with no real costs of living. I'm also aware that the choices we make might be just as wrong/useless as the choices we made for DSS though - although I hope I'll be able to "shift direction" more quickly this time around if needed.

Note: even previous to "budget it yourself" DSS had a clothing budget - a monetary limit for clothing - so if he spent it all on 1 pair of jeans than too bad for him, that was all he got. If he shopped wisely he could get more things. He just didn't get to keep track of the money himself at that younger age and didn't get to keep any excess - I did it for him and it all had to spent on clothes. That's what I wish I had gone back to - NOT you can buy whatever clothes you want.

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