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 Post subject: Re: Kids and Money
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:28 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 446
Never underestimate the power of peer pressure. My brother is working class and (up until recently) a single Dad. However for the schools he lives in an upper class suburb. My older nephew went through the same thing, asking for electronic devices (like iphone) and high end computer systems for gaming. My brother said he could work and save up for the iphone, and learn how to build his own computer. So that's what he did. I think it took him 2 years to save up for the phone, but he ended up doing it. Now he is in college (after going to community college for 2 years to save up for college) and is even doing volunteer work through his field in developing countries. My 12 year old niece is now going through the same same thing. Many of her friends and classmates come from much more affluent households and the way to fit in, is what you wear. Last year she really wanted uggs boots. And my brother said no way. As Christmas got closer, we learned that she would rather not have any other gifts, as long as she could get the boots. So, everyone gave her money for her gift, and other than some candy that's what she got for Christmas. But she was happy. I'm making it sound easy but it's not, the kids (really my neice) always have more wants than money is available. But you can only let them know what is allowed via the budget. It is hard not being able to fit in that way, but once they hit college, most likely they will have a better grasp on how the real world works, and be better for it.
ps - did you go to Grinnell college?


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 Post subject: Re: Kids and Money
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:26 am 
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Posts: 1045
grinnell wrote:


Homework -- both you and tightwad hit the nail on the head. Both my wife and I are terrified if we cannot somehow instill in her some discipline now what are things going to be like in a relatively few years. One thing you did hit on is that she is extremely sensitive to peer pressure and feels the need to 'fit in' more than seemingly even most kids. Again, my son is completely the opposite. Seems like he could not possibly care less what everyone else is doing. My wife is even afraid of her making bad decisions with respect to her friends and activities due to peer pressure. I've been trying to tell her that these are just so few years in her life and that, for example, middle school and high school (and even less the latter) are about the only place on the planet where being popular (she is pained that she is not popular) is more important than being smart or actually being good at something.


Hi Grinnell. The good news is there is still time. She is after all 12. ;)

Have you sat down with her and done the math for her to understand how much she can spend each day at school?

I also agree with others saying to "no" to her every now and then would be good.

Have you considered doing a match on savings as suggested? Whatever is left over from her school account you would match or double towards a big purchase? Speaking of...

Re: Big purchases
Perhaps whatever she can save for her first car you'll match up to a certain amount? She has 3-4 years to save towards it. It would be an incentive.

That's just my 2 cents...

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~ Eagle


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 Post subject: Re: Kids and Money
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:19 pm 

Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 3:06 pm
Posts: 81
grinnell wrote:
catchingup wrote:
catch -- Thanks for the moral support. My wife and I have three houses we rent and one of the tenants is a young woman who recently told me that while she used to always buy at the brand name stores she has now gotten hooked on shopping at Goodwill. The trigger? Now she has to pay for her own rent, her own food, her own car, her own everything. I had way more disposable income as a teenager (not to mention no real thoughts about the future) so I suppose I can calm down a little bit.
Maybe this tenant can have a talk with your daughter? I'm no psychologist but it sounds like it might be worth trying. :shrug:


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 Post subject: Re: Kids and Money
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:34 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:17 am
Posts: 16
nelson wrote:
grinnell wrote:
catchingup wrote:
catch -- Thanks for the moral support. My wife and I have three houses we rent and one of the tenants is a young woman who recently told me that while she used to always buy at the brand name stores she has now gotten hooked on shopping at Goodwill. The trigger? Now she has to pay for her own rent, her own food, her own car, her own everything. I had way more disposable income as a teenager (not to mention no real thoughts about the future) so I suppose I can calm down a little bit.
Maybe this tenant can have a talk with your daughter? I'm no psychologist but it sounds like it might be worth trying. :shrug:



Good Try :-) Unfortunately, my daughter also is the type who needs to learn everything the hard way. Speaking of wants, she told me on the way home from skating practice last night that she wants to do the synchronized skating team. Before that was she wanted a skateboard and join the ski team...... Seems endless.


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 Post subject: Re: Kids and Money
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:41 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:17 am
Posts: 16
autopilot29 wrote:
I can see how she feels with her age and social group. I think being honest about your finances is the best lesson to teach her. I grew up very middle class and I was never allowed to shop in designer stores... it was the sales rack in the department store if anything. When going to the mall with friends my dad would usually very KINDLY provide me with a $50 bill to spend however I wanted (maybe like 2 times a year and over holiday break). Of course there were times when I really wanted something and I protested, but I ended up getting my first paying job at 15 because I knew my parents wouldn't buy me whatever I wanted (not that it upset me at that point, I just knew and respected their fiances). I didn't make much, but I knew the value of a dollar and that was the important lesson. It's not the red ice skating skirt that she'll forget about in the long run, it's the investment you make in her character which stays with her for life.



Hi Auto --- Maybe you and/or some others have experience with telling your kids they get x amount of dollars per month for clothes, etc and that they can choose on what they want to spend that. If they want one expensive pair of pants they then have to find shirts for less etc. My wife and I have talked about it but not quite sure how well it works. Any experiences? Also, yes, we live actually pretty close to some retail stores and a McDonalds and I have told her that as soon as she is able she'll be getting a job during the summer to help pay for her activities and save some. She seemed pretty open to that. One of my problems is that, sure, we could spend a ton of money but then we'd be just like many of my neighbors and other people we know who spend a lot but save nothing. I tell my kids that we save for two reasons: 1) So my wife and I can retire and not be a burden on them and live comfortably at that point of our lives; and 2) So they do not have to have tons of debt hung around their necks when they graduate from college. We don't save a gigantic amount in their 529 plans but it should help. I paid for lots of my own college but that was when it was 1/4 of what it is today.


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 Post subject: Re: Kids and Money
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:44 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:17 am
Posts: 16
Eagle wrote:
grinnell wrote:


Hi Grinnell. The good news is there is still time. She is after all 12. ;)

Have you sat down with her and done the math for her to understand how much she can spend each day at school?

I also agree with others saying to "no" to her every now and then would be good.

Have you considered doing a match on savings as suggested? Whatever is left over from her school account you would match or double towards a big purchase? Speaking of...

Re: Big purchases
Perhaps whatever she can save for her first car you'll match up to a certain amount? She has 3-4 years to save towards it. It would be an incentive.

That's just my 2 cents...


Hi Eagle -- good point on going through the $$ with her. I have just assumed she is smart enough to think about how much she has and how long it is supposed to last and figure out from that how much she can reasonably spend in a week, for example. I suppose start out just trying to get her to manage it and be disciplined over a week and build on that.


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 Post subject: Re: Kids and Money
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:47 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:17 am
Posts: 16
Skiwi wrote:
Not sure if it will work for you, but I told my son whatever he had left over at the end of the week I would double and he could keep.. The cunning wee ratbag made sandwiches every day and I had to fork out another $20 :lol:


Hi Skiwi -- what lessons do you find your son learned from that? Anything that really stuck with him?


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 Post subject: Re: Kids and Money
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:52 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:17 am
Posts: 16
Tightwad wrote:
You still have an issue with her wants & I don't envy your situation of having to say no all the time. Tough spot to be in.


Tightwad -- yes, to be honest it is hard to say no all the time. As a parent you want your kids to have stuff, especially stuff they want. I suppose one of the reasons why this upsets me is that she asks for so many things that we have to say no so much that it makes us resent having to constantly feel bad about saying no. I've read articles about how kids should have 'just about' as much money as other kids they hang out with. In my case that would totally break my budget. Again, I could spend that but why should I? The problem is that it is never enough. She (and others, because this is perhaps human nature) get something and they want more. They get more and that makes them want more. The wants just can explode if you're not careful. I am sure I am preaching to the choir, however.


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 Post subject: Re: Kids and Money
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:00 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:17 am
Posts: 16
partgypsy1 wrote:
But you can only let them know what is allowed via the budget. It is hard not being able to fit in that way, but once they hit college, most likely they will have a better grasp on how the real world works, and be better for it.
ps - did you go to Grinnell college?


Hi gypsy -- thanks for sharing your thoughts. No, I did not go to Grinnell -- my last name is Grinnell. My daughter may end up going to Grinnell, however. It's only a few hours from where I am (Rochester, MN) and I understand they provide excellent financial assistance and it's a good school. To be honest, Minnesota has a little-known reciprocity agreement with Manitoba and a MN resident can attend U of Manitoba or U of Winnipeg for less than it costs to go to a community college in the US where college costs are absurd. If I can talk both my kids into going north to Manitoba for school maybe I'll tell them I will put half the difference in the cost in a bank account for them or something. It's a long ways off.


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 Post subject: Re: Kids and Money
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:40 am 

Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:34 pm
Posts: 496
Hi Grinnell. I'm a little hesitant to add to the discussion, as I am not a parent and my ideas/advice may or may not be feasible. So please feel free to accept or discard any of the below. :)

My thought is that, at 12 years old, your daughter is starting to form her independent sense of self that will carry her through adolescence to adult-hood. So maybe it's time to start treating her less like a child and more like a teen/young adult. What I mean by this is that instead of saying "no" all the time to her requests, turn it around on her so she can start learning problem-solving and money management skills. When she says she wants something, sit her down and encourage her to come up with ways to prioritize what she wants and get what she wants. Ask her leading questions such as, "How much does that item you want cost?" "Is there some place you can buy the same or similar item for less than retail price?" "What are some things you can do to earn the money you need to buy what you want?" The idea is to give her some kind of ownership over her challenges, and empower her to figure out things on her own (but with guidance from you). You're no longer saying, "No, you can't have that" all the time, but instead saying, "Let's see if you (or we) can figure out a way."

At 12, she's old enough to do certain jobs around the neighborhood like babysitting, paper route, mowing grass in the summer or shoveling snow in the winter. If you and her mother are so inclined, you could also offer her extra chores to do for extra allowance money. If she's not willing to work to buy the things she wants, that's her choice to make, which means that she now bears some responsibility for not getting things that she wants.


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 Post subject: Re: Kids and Money
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:43 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:17 am
Posts: 16
alohabear wrote:
What I mean by this is that instead of saying "no" all the time to her requests, turn it around on her so she can start learning problem-solving and money management skills. When she says she wants something, sit her down and encourage her to come up with ways to prioritize what she wants and get what she wants. Ask her leading questions such as, "How much does that item you want cost?" "Is there some place you can buy the same or similar item for less than retail price?" "What are some things you can do to earn the money you need to buy what you want?" The idea is to give her some kind of ownership over her challenges, and empower her to figure out things on her own (but with guidance from you). You're no longer saying, "No, you can't have that" all the time, but instead saying, "Let's see if you (or we) can figure out a way."



Hello Aloha,

Nice ideas. As I noted in another posting, maybe I am assuming more than I should. This morning before I left the house for work she said she wants a clarinet and wants to take clarinet lessons. To be honest, when it comes to getting involved with music I have a terrible time saying no, so I'll see how interested she is by how much she agrees to work towards getting this.


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 Post subject: Re: Kids and Money
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:29 pm 
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grinnell wrote:
alohabear wrote:
What I mean by this is that instead of saying "no" all the time to her requests, turn it around on her so she can start learning problem-solving and money management skills. When she says she wants something, sit her down and encourage her to come up with ways to prioritize what she wants and get what she wants. Ask her leading questions such as, "How much does that item you want cost?" "Is there some place you can buy the same or similar item for less than retail price?" "What are some things you can do to earn the money you need to buy what you want?" The idea is to give her some kind of ownership over her challenges, and empower her to figure out things on her own (but with guidance from you). You're no longer saying, "No, you can't have that" all the time, but instead saying, "Let's see if you (or we) can figure out a way."



Hello Aloha,

Nice ideas. As I noted in another posting, maybe I am assuming more than I should. This morning before I left the house for work she said she wants a clarinet and wants to take clarinet lessons. To be honest, when it comes to getting involved with music I have a terrible time saying no, so I'll see how interested she is by how much she agrees to work towards getting this.


Maybe you could pay for the lessons and have her pay for the clarinet rental. That way you are not investing much if she decides she doesn't like it and she has to make her own commitment by renting an instrument. I know rental might not make the most economic sense but I think it makes practical sense give that many kids frequently change their minds quickly and also that her motivations may be less about music than about something a friend is doing.


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 Post subject: Re: Kids and Money
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:37 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:35 am
Posts: 1148
Location: Maryland
@DH,
She already takes piano lessons. My suggestion (and again, a participant without kids), would be to wait until the piano lessons are up (do you pay yearly?), and then if she's still interested in clarinet when they end, then she can take up the clarinet.

She probably knows that you, dad, are a fan of music, so perhaps her interests lie in music now because she knows you'll agree to it. Kids are smart. Don't underestimate their manipulative abilities. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Kids and Money
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:55 pm 
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peachy wrote:
@DH,
She already takes piano lessons. My suggestion (and again, a participant without kids), would be to wait until the piano lessons are up (do you pay yearly?), and then if she's still interested in clarinet when they end, then she can take up the clarinet.

She probably knows that you, dad, are a fan of music, so perhaps her interests lie in music now because she knows you'll agree to it. Kids are smart. Don't underestimate their manipulative abilities. :)


Sure, assuming the piano lessons are for a fixed duration I think that is fine. When I played an instrument, lessons were usually paid each time. If you had weekly lessons then you paid each week without any long term obligation. But maybe things have changed.

Based on my knowledge of music and experience playing, there is nothing incompatible about clarinet and piano. If she is a good musician there could be good reasons to pursue both at the same time.

But the spirit of my post was to make sure SHE has some investment in the activity. Make sure she has to sacrifice something to make sure she has a commitment to it. And definitely don't buy the instrument until she is certain she'll stick with it.


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 Post subject: Re: Kids and Money
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:03 pm 

Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:56 am
Posts: 132
How to figure out whether a kid really wants to learn an instrument and put in the necessary work is one of the great mysteries of the universe. I used to teach private lessons and even I had a hard time telling before the student had taken several lessons. However, given how big an impact music lessons had on me I tend to lean towards the side of give it a try. But I think all kids should be strongly encouraged to try an instrument if the parents can afford it. I'm going to stop now before I get on my soapbox about kids and music.

OK, I'm going to say one more thing. Kids often don't really know if they want to study music until they've been doing it for a little bit. For some it's pretty obvious if they love or hate it right away, but some need to get to the point where they're actually playing music before they realize that yeah, they do enjoy it. So I really don't envy you that decision right now given all the other requests she's been making.

If it's just the request of the day, you know what to do. Renting is a good idea even if she is serious.


EDIT: Peachy and DH posted while I was typing. I'm a multi-instrument player, in fact I started piano at 7 then picked up clarinet at 10. I also joined a bell choir at 10, started viola at 12, in middle and high school played in both the band and orchestra while playing piano on the side - I didn't have time for piano lessons by that point but continued working on my own. I'm now an adult, own a few more instruments, play them all at least semi-regularly, and will even say that playing music is a large part of my life even though I've only been paid to play a few times.


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