Dave Says: Teach Them While They’re Young

Reader Question: My wife and I want to begin teaching our son how make a budget and live on one. He’s 16, and he has a part-time job and a hand-me-down car. Is this a realistic idea?

Your son is at a great point in life to learn how to make money behave. Even in his situation, when he’s still living at home, there are plenty of things he can include in a budget. There’s gas for his car, along with maintenance and insurance. He’ll need to save a little money — maybe even for college — and I’m sure he’ll want some spending cash, too.

Sit down, and teach him how to make a written budget by figuring out the upcoming month’s income and expenses ahead of time. Also, make sure he knows how to properly balance and reconcile his bank account.

It’s still your responsibility to provide him with the basic necessities at this point. But I love your willingness to teach your son how to handle money intelligently. The sooner he learns some basic money management principles, the sooner he’ll be able to handle his finances responsibly in the real world!

Dave Ramsey

Dave is the author of The New York Times best-selling book Financial Peace. He is also the host of the nationally syndicated The Dave Ramsey Show, and is a regular guest on television. All of his financial counseling is based on biblical truths. You can hear Dave from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., weekdays online at www.daveramsey.com. Send your questions toaskdave@daveramsey.com. He resides with his wife Sharon and their three children, Denise, Rachel, and Daniel, in Nashville, Tennessee.

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