Friday, February 24, 2012

I Gave my Kids a Money Pop Quiz

I have been out of commission for most of the week (either a cold or the flu...doesn't matter as long as it goes away).  To save time and energy, I am re-posting an entry that originally ran in March, 2011.  Hope you enjoy...

Frank and I try to include our kids in many money discussions. It can be as simple as which cereal to choose in the store and as difficult as explaining why it is not feasible to pay $3000 for a school trip (seriously!). All in all, I think my kids are fairly responsible money managers for their different ages. Last night I decided to give them a surprise quiz! So after dinner, when each kid had gone off to do their own thing, I decided to talk with each one individually. I asked them each the same question, “If you had a friend who just started getting an allowance (or paycheck), what advice would you give them about having their own money?”

Advice from the Seven Year Old:
I started with my seven year old who was busy looking for a toy under his bed. His response, without even looking at me, was “Keep your allowance until you can get something that you really want.” Plain and simple. I thought that was pretty darn good for a seven year old. Lesson one: Save your money until you have enough to pay for the things you want to buy.

Advice from the 14 Year Old:
Feeling rather pleased with my idea for a pop quiz, I next wandered into my 14 year old’s room and asked him the same question. He thought for a brief moment and then said, “Don’t blow it on something in the store just because it looks cool. Like when I spent $40 on the new video game and it really wasn’t that fun.” Awesome! Lesson Two: Have a plan for your money. Don’t give in to impulse purchases!

Advice from the 17 Year Old:
At this point, I was two for two! Feeling really confident, I went downstairs to my daughter’s room. She is 17 years old and was working on a research paper. I assured her that this wouldn’t take very long and asked her the same question. I wish I had a picture to show you the look on her face. It was a combination of “Really?” and “What in the world is my mother up to now?” After a pause, she said, “Don’t spend it all.” So she lost a few points on style, but gets extra credit for a good answer. Lesson Three: Always have some money put away. SAVE!

And finally, Advice from the 10 Year Old:
I go back upstairs to find my 10 year old son. This little guy is our laid back comedian. He was petting our goofy dog, Rascal, when I asked him the money question. With a twinkle in his eye, he replied, “Don’t give it to the dog.” After I finished laughing, I asked him what he meant and he explained that if you give your money to the dog, the dog will eat it and you will be left with nothing. In a crazy, silly way, it made sense to me! Lesson Four: Invest wisely --- because it’s a dog eat dog world out there! (Sorry, couldn’t resist the dog humor!)


  1. Too funny! And great advice! Even without the picture I feel like I can see the seventeen-year-old's expression :) Hope you're feeling better!

    1. Thanks...feeling much better now. Teenage expressions are universal, aren't they?

  2. What a fun way to see if your children are getting the concept of money! The question they take their own advice? :)

    1. That changes from week to week. Consistency is a goal!