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How I Taught My Sons to Be Financially Responsible at 13

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How much should I give my 15 year old kid as an allowance every month? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

When our children (four sons) reached eighth grade, we began giving each of them $100.00 per month as an allowance. With that vast sum of money came a few realities. First, we no longer paid for school lunches. We provided plenty of things at home that they could pack for lunch, but if they wanted school lunch it would need to come from their allowance. Next, we no longer paid for entertainment. If they wanted to go to a movie with a friend or out to ice cream or whatever, that was their responsibility from their allowance. We no longer paid for gifts for birthday parties that they were invited to as that was part of what their allowance was for. Lastly, we set a shoe budget. If they decided that they must have some shoe that was above the budget, which was generous (but not Jordan's generous), then they needed to be able to pay the difference.

We took the time to sit down with each of them to talk about budgeting and prioritizing their expenses. Some of them did better then others, but they all learned to do a pretty good job at budgeting or they spent a lot of time at home with the family. We feel like we won in either circumstance.

We took our children to our bank and helped them open up a savings and checking account (student accounts were free at the time). They each had a debit card and as soon as they had the ability, they each got a credit card. We taught them to use their cards regularly but also stressed that the balance must be paid in full at every statement. This way they would build credit without paying interest. From what I know they are all still pretty conservative with their money.

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