Speaker: How can I help my teens learn good money habits?
Janet Bodnar: Well, certainly for the early teenage years an allowance still works because probably kids don't have a job of their own at this age, but again if you started young you are expanding their responsibilities and if you haven't started before now, it's a good time to start because you can say hey, you are teenagers now; I am going to give you a little privilege of having allowance, money of your own to manage and along with that certain responsibilities are going to come. So I think that starting with allowance or continuing along with young teens is a very good idea. Certainly, extending it to a clothing allowance or now a days, a gasoline allowance when they start to drive, so you are going to finance perhaps one tank of gas a week, but other that is going to be on own their dime. They are going to have to figure out how to come up with the income to pay for the gas. Those kinds of things are very important for teens. What's also important for teens is to stay on a cash basis. I really believe that the best way to become a money manager when you are older and certainly to manage credit is to learn how to manage cash when you are younger. So again it can be an allowance when the kids are younger, but they get to be teenagers, it can be the job that they get, the part time job or the summer job, but again if on a cash basis. They should have their own bank account, their own checking account, so that they can deposit a pay cheque if they have a job and they have perhaps an ATM card as well, so they can withdraw money on their own. But again it's their money that they are taking on more and more responsibility with their own money, certainly as they get a job and then you may want to pull back on the allowance as they are earning more money on their own; but againb it's very important for kids to have cash at that age and a bank account that they can learn to manage.