Author Topic: How to get teens understand / get interested in FI?  (Read 1246 times)

mucchad

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How to get teens understand / get interested in FI?
« on: November 03, 2017, 03:59:25 AM »
My Pre-teen is slowly getting a grasp of basic cashflow. Income (allowance, birthday money, interest from bank of dad) and expense. Hasnt gone broke yet, but not for lack of trying :). Slowly understanding what it means to budget, to be frugal.

Thinking ahead I want to build this into an understanding of what it means to be financially independent. Any suggestions on how to do this?

Simply explaining the concept will water it down. I think the take away will be a dream of getting rich.

Laura33

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Re: How to get teens understand / get interested in FI?
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2017, 07:41:56 AM »
Wow, I definitely want to follow this one -- my experience to date is that my kids seem to be largely hardwired, with one wanting All The Things, and the other who will happily pour out his piggy bank and count his money just for fun.  So I think the lessons need to be targeted to what appeals to your kid; I just haven't totally figured it out yet.

E.g., I think DD prefers lazy.  So I make her work for stuff; both kids get an allowance and a phone with data limits, but anything else she wants is on her.  Because she strongly prefers playing to working, she is getting the experience she needs to be able to decide later the appropriate tradeoff between time to FIRE vs. stuff.  I make her automatically deposit 1/3 of her allowance into a savings account, so she can learn the value of "invisible" money (because if she sees it, she will spend it, so "pay yourself first" is going to be a critical skill for her -- and she's definitely excited to see how much money she actually has in that "invisible" savings account after a few years).  I have also focused on compound interest and such with her savings, and she has a small investment account so she can learn about that, but she is not an abstract/theoretical kind of kid, so that really hasn't made much of an impact.  But it occurs to me that maybe I can talk about how that works both ways -- e.g., when you put extra money in savings or bonds or companies, other people are working to pay you; when you borrow money, you are working extra to pay other people.  I tried this when she was younger (if she wanted an advance on her allowance, I gave her like 90% of it and charged her the other 10% as interest), but she always took the payday loan, so I thought, well, THAT's not the lesson I was going for and stopped.  But now that she's a teenager she might understand it better, especially now that she has experience with her own savings account and investment.

And then maybe it's just me by example:  I'm FI but still work, but that gives me a lot of flexibility, so I am working at home a lot, may well go back to part-time next year, etc.  The parents are always the strongest influence in a kid's life, and they will notice what you do far more than what you say.

The one thing I did realize when DD was much younger is that a lot of this stuff can be invisible.  I mean, when I shopped with my mom, I watched the money get counted out; when we went to the grocery store, I plugged everything in to my calculator to make sure we didn't exceed our food stamps.  DD's experience, OTOH, is limited to watching the Magic Plastic Rectangle get whipped out and put away, and she doesn't see even that we actually PAY any money, much less that I am operating under a budget!  I'm also very good at saying no to myself for things I don't need -- but again, that's all in my head.  So I am thinking "boy that's cute, but I don't need a new top," repeated 10x, followed by "yes, I do need a new pair of grey pants for work, and these are a good price."  And what she sees is "mom walks around, sees something she wants, and gets it."  So I have learned to talk through my thought process out loud much more and to try to make the daily choices much more transparent.  Again, not that that directly relates to FIRE; but it is exposing them to the constant choices that are involved in making that decision.

DS, OTOH, I don't even worry about.  He is much, much more an abstract thinker, and naturally puts his money away until he sees something he really, really wants, and then is logical and intentional about it (he got a bunch of birthday money from relatives yesterday and spent about 40% of it on two things he has wanted from Amazon for several months (a nerf gun and a metal detector - he thinks he is going to find buried treasure, hah), but his savings account is still over $800 -- all from the allowance and other gifts that he did NOT spend).  With him, all I'm going to have to do is show him the "Shockingly Simple Math" column, and he'll take it from there.  :-)  Of course, he's also the kind of kid who's going to want to work forever, as long as it can be in something fun like building robots -- he's like his dad, always has to have a project, and just loves tech and making stuff, so I could see him happily working in a lab or at a university basically until he keels over.

Tl;dr:  As I think about it, most of my job is teaching the skills the kids will need to achieve FIRE if they decide they want to; the rest is just making sure they are aware that FIRE is an option that they can pursue if they want -- and that even if they think they want to keep working forever, being FI can sure make the ride a lot more pleasant.
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Illgetthere

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Re: How to get teens understand / get interested in FI?
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2017, 08:28:08 AM »
I explained to my 12 year old that when he starts working his regular full time job, if he saves half of his money then he can stop working (or do what he wants) in 17 years. I told him that it is smart to start with those savings goals as soon as he earns any money to get used to the idea, and it started the dialogue.  He asked some questions that demonstrated he really grasped the concept.  We haven't used the FI terms, but he knows that a higher than normal savings rate leads to options.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 08:30:32 AM by Illgetthere »

acroy

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Re: How to get teens understand / get interested in FI?
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2017, 08:57:57 AM »
You're on the right track already by letting them earn & manage their own money.
My 11 and 8yr olds understand the concept of interest, investments, etc. The 'little green men' making more 'little green men'.
Kids are smart... ;)
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mucchad

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Re: How to get teens understand / get interested in FI?
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2017, 11:42:26 AM »
Looks like we are all on the same track :)
My son also has come around to understand savings and interest. In the past he asked about buying shares, so he seems to be inclined to the idea of investing.
What I want to do is to make him understand the concept of FI.
Right now he sees thriftiness as a family value but does not understand the purpose behind it.  So when the teenage hits, I can see him swinging the other way and going to consumerism.
If he gets the idea of not needing to work, of FU money, I think it may stick better.
I have tried gateway books like "Rich Dad Poor Dad for Teens" but it did not hit the spot.
I keep peppering our chats with hints about assets, and freedom, but that gets filed as "Dad talk" :(

Illgetthere

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Re: How to get teens understand / get interested in FI?
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2017, 12:01:54 PM »
Looks like we are all on the same track :)
My son also has come around to understand savings and interest. In the past he asked about buying shares, so he seems to be inclined to the idea of investing.
What I want to do is to make him understand the concept of FI.
Right now he sees thriftiness as a family value but does not understand the purpose behind it.  So when the teenage hits, I can see him swinging the other way and going to consumerism.
If he gets the idea of not needing to work, of FU money, I think it may stick better.
I have tried gateway books like "Rich Dad Poor Dad for Teens" but it did not hit the spot.
I keep peppering our chats with hints about assets, and freedom, but that gets filed as "Dad talk" :(

I'm with you. There's basic finance that everyone should teach their kids, and I imagine anyone on these forums is doing that.
I'm vocal at times with how busy our life is and wanting time for us to do things as a family, wanting to spend the weekend playing and camping vs housework, etc. He knows that I have a goal of going part time soon, so he is able to see the desire for options. That is why I try to instill "save to have options." I don't talk real dollars with him, because large numbers are just SO LARGE to him and it would take some of the "realness" away I think. Besides, knowing the intricacies are not very important at this age.

BAM

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Re: How to get teens understand / get interested in FI?
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2017, 12:20:08 PM »
I agree with Laura - that kids are wired in one of two ways with money and that you have to start from there.

We have two in college - they are one year apart but very different personalities. DS1 is a saver, techie, abstract, etc. DS2 is a spender, hands on, can do abstract but prefers things he can see/feel/etc.

DS1 is doing as we expected - money already saved to get him finished with college debt free (we only paid car/car insurance, some food, occasional clothes, health insurance). Unless something weird happens, he'll have money in the bank at graduation also. He works hard - two jobs right now with 15 credits of 400 level CS/other classes, full time over the summer. He'll graduate in May 2018, has a job already lined up, will be an investor (knows about it, has a plan but all money is liquid at this point for school).

I was quite worried about DS2 as he was growing up since money just slipped through his fingers. But now that he is 20 (today), things are different. He has almost enough money put away to finish college debt free and should have the rest by the end of Christmas break. He will graduate in May 2018 with an associates in welding. Actually just got his first two certs last Friday. He also knows about investing, has a plan but all money is liquid for school, has a job already lined up.

What we noticed/did:
First off, I know I will probably be in the minority but we don't do allowance. We tried it briefly but found that it made them lazy - they started only doing work for money. Instead, we require house related chores without pay. As adults, house related stuff will not be paid, so they need to learn to do it without pay now. They are also required to work fairly hard at home - by 15, they can run the entire household by themselves including all cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping, childcare (lots of younger siblings), etc and have exposure to bill paying, budgeting, jobs, investing, etc.
Second, they received what I considered a lot of money for bdays and Christmas presents from grandparents. We gave them half to spend and put the rest away for later (given to them at age 13 or when responsible enough).
Both of the above led them to look for ways to earn money. They then learned the value of work - it costs x hours to get y - and started to decide what to buy based on that thought process. Talk about investing then became easy - you earn x in so many hours but if you invest it will earn y without you doing anything but leaving it alone. After working for their money, they wanted to invest - even my spenders do. In addition, they have become really good at seeing opportunities to earn money and work really hard (which is why both DS1 and DS2 have jobs lined up for after graduation already).

DS 2 is still more of a spender but he's also more willing to look around for extra opportunities to earn money. His personality is also one where he is quite versatile in what he does - he learns quickly and well and then can earn from that.

And (as I think Laura said) talk, talk, talk - you HAVE to think out loud so they can see your thought process. Talk through what you are doing - "our investments earned x this month" , what you are not doing - "I don't need that so I won't get it", what you have done in the past - "I can quit work when I want since I saved and invested and now have enough", mistakes you've made - "if we'd started investing sooner, we could quit now", etc.
And give them time to grow into it. Money is abstract and kids don't generally think that way until they are teens.

And, truth be told, we've taught our kids more through our mistakes than anything else. They've seen the consequences and have learned from them so... we don't have our FU money yet but they've seen the consequences of that, have learned from it AND we're making rapid progress on our FU money now also.
We don't have this all down but have seen evidence of this all working for our oldest two so hopefully some of this will help someone.

mucchad

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Re: How to get teens understand / get interested in FI?
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2017, 02:12:57 PM »
They are also required to work fairly hard at home - by 15, they can run the entire household by themselves including all cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping, childcare (lots of younger siblings), etc and have exposure to bill paying, budgeting, jobs, investing, etc.

Wow! That is awesome!
What age did you start them on chores, and how did you ramp up?
I would love to do this.

Both of the above led them to look for ways to earn money. They then learned the value of work - it costs x hours to get y - and started to decide what to buy based on that thought process. Talk about investing then became easy - you earn x in so many hours but if you invest it will earn y without you doing anything but leaving it alone. After working for their money, they wanted to invest - even my spenders do. In addition, they have become really good at seeing opportunities to earn money and work really hard (which is why both DS1 and DS2 have jobs lined up for after graduation already).

This is one thing I am thinking of. I had a couple of discussions with my son where he talked about earning money. He had some age appropriate ideas for what he could do. Still hasnt started, but I hope he will in a year or two.
He knows about interest on savings already. So if he starts earning, he may save and expect passive income.
I want to make him enjoy the benefit of passive income as soon as possible. So that he will remember it and miss it, in case he changes during teenage.

BAM

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Re: How to get teens understand / get interested in FI?
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2017, 09:23:06 AM »
I would be willing to answer this question on how I did chores, etc with my children but I don't know if this is the correct place to do so since it's off topic of the OP. So can someone tell me the etiquette for things like this? Do I answer the question here? Do I start another post? Does the question asker start another post?

Laura33

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Re: How to get teens understand / get interested in FI?
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2017, 09:25:13 AM »
I want to make him enjoy the benefit of passive income as soon as possible. So that he will remember it and miss it, in case he changes during teenage.

Right -- but this is part of "meet them where they are."  My kids are, by and large, not at the point of appreciating the concept of little green soldiers making more little green soldiers -- it's too abstract.  But they do appreciate that if they put $X/week away automatically, (a) they don't even miss it, and (b) before they know it, they have what they need for the Lego Death Star, or the HS trip.  IOW, even though I would prefer them to save for the sake of saving, right now it is the stuff they buy with those savings that is providing the impetus to save.  So I take that half-victory and hope the habit takes hold, and then at some point they can realize that saving up for freedom is more compelling than saving up on stuff.  But for now, that concept is too abstract to resonate with them. 

And it's also the wrong time in their lives, I think.  Right now, they are all wrapped up in figuring out what they want to be and what they want to do with their lives -- and they are excited about that!  They want to get out of the house, get their degrees, and get interesting jobs!  So if I start lecturing on FIRE, I am basically saying, "yeah, I know, you're spending 17+ years of your life to be qualified for this awesome job that you are really interested in, but you really need to save at least half your money so you can quit that job ASAP."  And that not really going to resonate right now, you know?  So I am focusing more on the habits ("saving a lot gives you lots of money for what you want") and on translating that into ideas that are more likely to speak to where they are now -- e.g., having the safety net that allows you to take a chance on an interesting job that pays less, or being able to walk out of a bad situation, or going back to school if you discover you need a Master's to move up to the job you want, etc.  I guess you could say it is savings = the ability to chase better opportunities -- which is the exact same concept as FIRE, it's just right now they are focusing on opportunities in the world of careers, vs. opportunities that do not involve a paycheck. 

Tl;dr:  I think maybe kids need to experience the drain and the suck of full-time work for a few years before the idea of being free to walk away from that becomes really compelling.  ;-)  So for right now, I am focusing on big savings = you can get big stuff you want; then as they move into late HS and college and start really thinking about the careers they are interested in, that lesson will morph into how FI (or at least FU money) gives them the freedom to pursue better/more interesting work.

@BAM:  I think it is totally relevant and appropriate for you to add that on here.  Heck, I'd like to know, too - always looking for new/better ideas.  :-)
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BAM

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Re: How to get teens understand / get interested in FI?
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2017, 09:47:33 AM »
Laura, thanks for answering. I'll add that here a bit later. Should really be getting to some of my tasks for the day first though - ha.

I agree with your observation that at the younger ages they are more interested in saving to see the money grow into what they want to get. That is where we started and it worked. Eventually the "what they want to get" is the FU money so it did transfer for my kids.
You also had good points about them being excited to get out and get a job they love. We had that talk with our oldest this past summer. He is a saver personality and I'm sure would save even if we didn't talk about it but he would look at us like we were crazy when we suggested he save lots so he could FIRE - he LOVES computers and LOVES the job he's got lined up for after graduation so he can't imagine wanting to FIRE. So we approached it from the "freedom" standpoint. Having FU or FIRE money would give him the freedom to move, or take a year off, or take time off once he's married/has kids or go on a really cool bucket list vacation or get out of a horrible work situation. We explained to him that having the FIRE money doesn't mean that he has to FIRE, just that he has the flexibility to do so if/when he wants. That made him much more gung ho on the saving/investing as much as possible as soon as possible.

Okay, tasks now. Back later to post on chore stuff.

Rubyvroom

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Re: How to get teens understand / get interested in FI?
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2017, 09:52:02 AM »
I know we're talking teens here, but a coworker told me he gives his young daughter (9 years old) 5 $1 bills a week. He asks her to give $1 to church, save $1 in her piggy bank, and the other $3 she can do with what she pleases. He lets her buy her way out of chores with the money too, but she has to save up to do that (ie, no chore is worth $5 or less). This always struck me as a great way to lay the groundwork for savings and donations. I am a childless adult though so I will back away slowly and just read along in awe. Kudos to all you parents trying to get these concepts across to younger generations. We tried with my husband's brothers who were in their early 20's and they looked at us like we were crazies.

Plugging Along

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Re: How to get teens understand / get interested in FI?
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2017, 10:24:21 AM »
Itís really important to understand your kids.   My parents and family taught me a lot about being frugal.  They were probably the original mustachian.  I hated it and rebelled, though understood it.   I even have an financial degree.  All kids are different, and itís 8mportant that yo7 donít put your will on them.

My kids are 8 and 11.  We have taught them about money starting at a young age.   We talk about it it in terms of why we make the choices that we do.   We have been teaching them that what they do with their money is just another choice they make in life.  When my oldest came home from a play date when she was 6,froma very large McMansion, she asked if we were poor because er friends lived I. Huge houses with all ton of expensive stuff.   I explained that we we could also afford all of those thing but choose not to spend it on a house.  We talked about how we owned our house (no mortgage) but could buy a bigger house but then would owe money.  We then Have discussions about because we done have a mortgage by choosing a smaller house, thether things that we have chooses to do.   We keep many of our conversations like this.   When my spouse and man6 of our kids friends parents were laid off, kids at schooĒ were worried because of conversational they overheard.   We told our kids not to ever worry because of the choices we made previously.  We asked them to reflect now looking in the future do they regret that we had the smaller house.   This is just one example.

We have tried not to get our kids to save for things, but rather just save.  They put money in the save (long long term that gets invested) spend, and give.   We advise them to always have some money in their spend because they never know whenever something awesome is going to come up that 5he6 want to buy. 

We have equated their futures to choices for them.  We have told them the school isnít the only way to make a better oncome(they are very aceademic) but thatís how we know.  If they want a different route we will support them but they must make choices that allow them to live the life they choose.   


LiveLean

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Re: How to get teens understand / get interested in FI?
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2017, 12:16:56 PM »
Make their lives so miserable they will head to college laser-focused on graduating debt-free and with a high starting income in an actual career that will sustain them for decades.

That's how it worked for me anyway. Okay, slight exaggeration. I had a great childhood, wonderful MMM parents. But the thought of relying on my parents for a penny after college graduation (in 1991) was so repugnant that it drove me to pursue a career that would sustain me without graduate school. And I've never taken a penny from my parents. I was off their health and auto insurance at 21 and, even if there were cell phones at the time, would not have expected to remain on a family plan.

Our sons, 14 and 12, are forever telling DW and me we're the strictest parents they know. We tell them that's a title we plan to hold indefinitely.

Between that and living a Musatchian life, we're planning to set the example and inspiration my parents did.

Living lean at www.tolivelean.com

BAM

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Re: How to get teens understand / get interested in FI?
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2017, 07:27:11 AM »
How we did chores:

We tie privileges to responsibilities. If they can't handle the responsibilities, they are not ready for the privileges. This is esp true as they hit the teen years. Life is like that - you don't work, you don't have money for food; you don't take care of your car, you don't have a car to drive - so we teach them that as they are growing.

So we start between 2-3 years old. First things: putting their dirty diapers where they go, their dirty clothes in the hamper, helping with simple toy pickup, carrying in groceries. For groceries, we save them the light bags or even take something light out of a bag to give them something to carry.

At 3, they start folding and putting away laundry. I always start in the summer with shorts, short sleeve shirts and washclothes - they are simple, basically fold in half, fold in half.

By 4, they fold everything but socks (they match, I fold) and things on hangers. I do handle all dress clothes until age 8-12 depending on child and clothes storage set up but they do all play clothes. They are also expected to keep their possessions neat, help clear the table, help with all toy clean up, and simple kitchen tasks like filling muffin tins (mini muffins are perfect for this). They make their bed and help with more of the above and dusting and stripping their beds for wash day.

Between 5-8, they learn to vacuum, sweep, mop, put sheets on beds after they are washed, more kitchen stuff like drying, unloading dishwasher, wiping table, etc. They also learn simple cooking - eggs, pbj, quesadillas, oatmeal in the microwave, peeling/cutting veggies. And they help younger siblings with their meals.
Somewhere between 7-12, they start going with DH to help other people move and/or help neighbors with projects.
 
We teach them to cook between ages 9 and 12 - really cook not just help. I focus on skills for this like browning hamburger or steaming veggies, or cooking/blending/spicing beans instead of on specific recipes - they can then transfer the skills to any recipe. We usually start with baking breakfasts (quick breads, bisquits, coffee cake, etc), then dinners, then things like yeast bread. By 13, they are expected to make one breakfast and one dinner a week and are expected to plan those things from what I have available in the house or can get for cheap that week.
Age 9-12, they also learn to clean bathrooms, change diapers, change baby/younger siblings clothes/shoes, buckle youngers into car seats,  and start helping me in the store - first as a runner (go find x), then as an actual shopper. They also help with all grocery unloading - until it's completely put away. And all house cleaning/straightening.
 
Age 12 - they take over their own laundry. They also start babysitting siblings for short times during the day (so I can pick up something from the store or drop siblings off at a lesson). This is also the age when we move to more privilege/responsibility tie ins. They get a later bedtime, snacks after littles go to bed (teenagers are ALWAYS hungry), extra freedoms with their time/activities, but also have to help more around the house and with minimal to no reminders of what to do. If they don't handle their responsibilities, they go to bed with the littles, get no snacks, etc. Works great - what teenager do you know that wants to be treated like a little kid?

High school: we add auto mechanics (oil, all fluids, brakes, all belts, anything specialty that comes up). Investing (not just saving for a want). Budgeting for all expenses as an adult. Checkbook stuff. Babysitting at night for longer periods of time. etc  Although they have had some exposure to all of this at earlier ages. And we touch up on other items or teach stuff we missed.

Our oldest 4 actually did run our entire house including care of 5 younger siblings for 6 days this summer while DH and I went on a trip for our 25th anniversary. 15/16 year old shared a day while oldest two were at work. 19 year old took a day off to be in charge. 20 year old did the same plus had a regularly scheduled Friday off. All hands on deck last two days since littles were getting fussier. They had to also deal with the internet/phone going out for 2 days and a tummy/throwing up virus in the two year old with all the clean up/baths/laundry that entailed while we were gone. They were tired when we got back and very glad that I took things over again but the house looked good as did the kids.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2017, 08:34:14 PM by BAM »

ChiefMomOfficer

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Re: How to get teens understand / get interested in FI?
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2017, 04:35:54 AM »
I became interested in financial independence and investing as a teenager after reading The Wealthy Barber at the local library. It was amazing to me that a barber, someone who you would never have guessed was wealthy, had amassed enough wealth to stop working whenever he wanted. It was written in a very simple way that my 16 year old self could grasp, and was told via a story (so I found it interesting). Although today it's a bit out of date, sadly, it still might be a good book to get the conversation going. Perhaps you can bribe them to read it...I mean, reward them for reading it. I did that when I had my oldest son read The Richest Man in Babylon (another good book teaching money concepts via stories).

I would recommend Warren Buffett's Secret Millionaires Club online webisodes - http://www.smckids.com/ - as a great resource to teach kids about business, investing, and wise spending. Not only is it created by the Oracle of Omaha, but it has great advice, is entertaining, and my older boys (14 and 10) still remember the lessons it taught a few years after they watched it.
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PizzaSteve

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Re: How to get teens understand / get interested in FI?
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2017, 08:36:31 AM »
What helped for me was getting a summer job, or pay for chores, and no allowance. Nothing like getting a paycheck and/or not having money to spend unless you save it up to teach kids the value of saving.  Also, being transparent about your income, investments, budget.  My dad shared our net worth, his income and expenses, and we used to watch Wall Street Week together.  He showed me stock charts (he charted by hand in those days) explaining volume, patterns, seeing growth rates.  Very educational.  No one charts by hand anymore and accordingly, people somewhat ignore daily volume variences and how a move on high volume can be more meaningful. It was also useful to see that some stocks skyrocket and others go to 0, helping me to understand diversification. 
« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 08:14:50 PM by PizzaSteve »
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formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: How to get teens understand / get interested in FI?
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2017, 10:01:49 AM »
My 11-year-old had a Eureka! moment this weekend.

We cleaned out her closet together.  More than 60% of the stuff went into the "I don't want it" pile.  Some of the clothes still had the tags on.

While sorting through her dresser, we found 2 nice skirts shoved under other stuff.  These would have been appropriate for a funeral we had to go to recently; instead, I spent $100 on a new dress for her because I had literally 20 minutes to shop, so I bought the first thing that fit her.

We had a conversation there about wasting money - yes, the new dress is pretty, but we didn't need it, and it added so much more stress to the day for her and for her siblings and for me.   She seemed to understand that.

The next day, I took her with me to run errands.  We dropped off 2 bags of clothes to Goodwill, brought a bag of nicer stuff to the resale shop, and brought 100 books I'd decided to part with to the used bookstore.  We ended up with about $30 for stuff we spent over $1k on new.

I could see the wheels turning in her head.  We talked about saving your money for things that are truly valuable to you.

(She called me on this an hour later - we stopped and bought cake pops.  I told her it was worth it to me to spend $3 on absolutely delicious and gorgeously decorated cake pops for each of us - way more valuable an experience than a $3 bag of Oreos.   That made sense to her.)

Later that day, she started talking about ideas for her first job.  I told her that with her first paycheck, I'll help her set up her retirement savings.  If she saves her money from early on, she can be done working at age 40!  She asked if that meant I was retiring next year, when I turn 40.  I said, "Nope, I didn't make wise financial decisions when I was younger - like buying all that stuff that didn't bring us much value.  Now I'm making better decisions."

We'll keep having these moments and conversations.
Boldly leading a blended family into (future) financial independence

fuzzy math

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Re: How to get teens understand / get interested in FI?
« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2017, 09:42:46 AM »
My oldest kiddo loves playing the board game Cash Flow. Interspersed with all the hard work (scrubbing toilets and babysitting and all the other awful stuff kids do for extra $$) should be some fun moments. Encourage entrepreneurship.
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Laura33

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Re: How to get teens understand / get interested in FI?
« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2017, 11:33:00 AM »
Thanks, BAM -- great ideas.  Reminds me of my mom, who woke me up on my 10th birthday with "Congratulations!  Now you're old enough to do your own laundry!"  :-)
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formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: How to get teens understand / get interested in FI?
« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2017, 12:05:54 PM »
Thanks, BAM -- great ideas.  Reminds me of my mom, who woke me up on my 10th birthday with "Congratulations!  Now you're old enough to do your own laundry!"  :-)

That is awesome!

My 10-year-old isn't tall enough to reach the buttons on the washing machine yet.  The 11-year-old does her own laundry, and the kids' towels.
Boldly leading a blended family into (future) financial independence

BAM

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Re: How to get teens understand / get interested in FI?
« Reply #21 on: November 07, 2017, 03:12:09 PM »
Laura33, that made me laugh. I can just imagine my kid's faces if I woke them up that way.

I usually give some privileges first. Both because it's their birthday and to give them an idea of what will disappear if they don't handle the responsibilities.

TheWifeHalf

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Re: How to get teens understand / get interested in FI?
« Reply #22 on: November 10, 2017, 12:55:37 PM »
We've raised 3 kids, who all went through our 'allowance' method.
When 1  - get 1 dollar.
1/2   50 cents automatically goes into their college fund
1/4   25 cents   goes into a long term savings jar.  The child had to discuss with us what they want to spend it on. We discussed why that was a good or bad idea. We discussed saving for something bigger they really wanted versus spending it right away. But ultimately it was the child's decision.
1/4   25 cents  went to the child to be spent when or however they wanted.

It was a weekly allowance.

They got $1 at 1 yr of age, and $1 for every year of age as they got older.  They did not have to buy their own lunches, nor any participation costs for 4 activities per year.

This was 30 years ago but I think if they were small now, it would be $2-3 for each year of age.

We told them that Daddy worked for the family, they were part of the family, and we wanted to share with the family. But sharing came with a cost.
I was not big on them making their bed  or keeping their room clean AS LONG AS I DIDN'T SEE IT.  Whenever their bedroom door was open, and I saw something that needed to be picked up off the floor, they had to pay me 25 cents for each item I picked up, 75 cents if I had to make the bed. It came out of the next week's allowance
Our daughter kept her door closed  most of the time, the boys did not. Without bragging, our kids have turned out very financially stable, and are a joy to be around.
My husband has always been very good about bringing towels and clothes downstairs to the laundry room. The kids just did what he did so we never had a problem with clothes or wet towels left upstairs. If we had, we would have somehow changed the system.
As the years went on, we involved them in financial discussions that we felt were age appropriate.

2 kids have purchased homes by the time they were 29, one could have but going a different route. They are 29-32, have college degrees or equivalents, and make enough to move out and support themselves. That was our goal, as we told them, if they want to be rich, that's on them!

I remember last year talking to the ex Navy guy that showed he understood how being FI was a worthy goal, the Navy helped with that. He learned that there are ways to not break rules, but use these rules to one's advantage.

All 3 have demonstrated their knowledge of knowing it will not be immediate, but there are ways, in your day to day life, to achieve the goal of FI.

They all knew college was needed to make enough money to support themselves, college was expensive, so they had to find ways to make it affordable.
Ohio had a Tuition Trust program when they were born that allowed us to buy college credits at the current price, for credits when they went to an Ohio college. We bought each child credits for one year. I did not work and tried to expose them to life situations that would help them to where each of them wanted to be in life.
1. son
Got very good academic scores and wanted to somehow go into computers. There is a 5 county vocational school that started a computer program he wanted to take part in. But he also wanted to continue to be on the hs golf team.  We bought a Ford Ranger, he drove himself to Penta classes, supplementing with classes from the nearby community college, but then drove back to the hs to participate on the golf team. (He had participated in the LEJGA - youth golf league- each summer since he was 10) So, he graduated from hs with 37 college credits. I know now they have a lot more options for bright kids, but that's all that was available out here. He went another couple of years (the college gave 2 years free for hs students who had ?? can't remember I think it was B) He now works networking in a local hospital and last year tied for first in his golf travel league..
2. daughter
She is an RN and works at a hospital that pays her tuition for classes to get a degree. She has always said she wanted to be a doctor but last time we talked, it was a pharmacist. I think buying her house, and her scientific/grad school boyfriend may have had something to do with doing something where she'll have more time, had something to do with it. She was 2nd in her hs class and 4.0 in college and is so very very smart. She skipped the 8th grade despite taking 6 mos out for scoliosis surgery.
3 son
At the start of his hs senior year he said he wanted to join the Navy. I took him to Navy 'classes' each month and he tested into the nuclear propulsion rate. He knew it meant a 6 yr commitment. He was an electrical nuke and from what I saw, it was mostly brain work. It helped him get the job he has now, the interview was given by an electrician who was a nuke dropout.
One thing that showed his knowledge of how money in this day and age is important: He was on the Ronald Reagan, based in San Diego. He went to Japan, some mideast country and got his card that he crossed the equator. When they were back in SD, the ship had to go up to WA and the sailors could put their vehicle on the ship, he chose to drive his up. He kept San Diego as his base so was able to get a bit more pay. When the sailors are in a war zone, they offered them $90,000 to re-up, which he declined. I knew then he was coming home.

So both boys gave their Tuition Trust money to my daughter, which they were allowed to do. I explained all that to the kids, demonstrating that you need to know the rules, play by the rules, and use it to your advantage. I'm not sure the oldest son gets that though. I told them that is why none of them have any college debt.

Laura33

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Re: How to get teens understand / get interested in FI?
« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2017, 09:37:40 AM »
I really love BAM's and TheWifeHalf's posts, because they illustrate how many ways there are to get to the end goal -- you just have to have that vision in mind of the values you want to impart, and then do the day-to-day consistent slog to stick to it.

E.g., for us, I also didn't focus on clean room at all, for personal reasons (my mom was freaking OCD about me keeping my room to her standards, and I really resented having no space that was just mine.).  And we had a fairly complex allowance system that was based around our specific issues (I was tired of DD asking for $ for candy or for total crap school lunches, and she had specific behavioral issues related to her ADHD and was highly motivated by money).  So our system was a basic allowance of $5, but she could earn up to $0.25/day more for doing certain specified behaviors.  I chose the amount specifically because (a) good behavior allowed her to earn enough to cover two school lunches with a little left over for tzedakah (a/k/a charity -- they asked the kids to bring in some coins every week to Hebrew School to learn the habit), (b) it was not enough to gorge on total crap every day, so she had to choose which days it was worth the money; and (b) it was not enough to cover school lunches AND all the other crap she wanted, so again, she had to decide which mattered more.  As they got older and those behavioral issues went away, we shifted to the "$ per year of age" approach -- and now I dock them $0.50 for every glass or dish they leave out, because that bugs the crap out of me.  :-)

What is cool to me is that all of these different approaches seem to be producing mature, responsible kids (though the jury is still out on mine!).  Which tells me that what really matters is the consistent parenting more than finding one "right" path.
Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

Livingthedream55

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Re: How to get teens understand / get interested in FI?
« Reply #24 on: November 27, 2017, 01:17:14 PM »
Thanks, BAM -- great ideas.  Reminds me of my mom, who woke me up on my 10th birthday with "Congratulations!  Now you're old enough to do your own laundry!"  :-)

LOL My two daughters were taught how to do laundry at that age too - and I never did it for them again!  I was (still am) a single parent and I praised them to the moon "Oh this is so wonderful that you are doing this - what a great help for me - and I also praised them (in their earshot) to others.