Both the girls have been saving money since they were young. They now have saved enough to do something besides putting the money in a savings account with minimal interest.
Before investing their money, I wanted to read some books about how to help youth budget; and invest what they earn and are gifted with through their teen lives.
This book has quite a few helpful suggestions. Some that I'll pass along to Sophia and Olivia are:
- Offer a weekly commission for home chores. Older kids and tweens can: make their own beds, feed pets, vacuum, sweep, do laundry, do dishes, water plants, clean windows, wash the car, do yard work, and clean the bathroom.
- Help them brainstorm about ways to earn money outside the home: babysitting, walking dogs, and doing yard work for others. (As a side note, Sophia has played the harp for money and Olivia has done painting - barn quilts and a windmill - as well as public speaking for money.)
- Help them open their own business - including creating flyers to advertise their business.
- Create a $500 emergency fund once a teen is in high school.
- Encourage them to give their time, treasures, and talent. Volunteering locally and doing short-term mission trips helps youth see beyond their own world and become aware of global issues. They may be inspired to give to others in need because of those experiences.
Sophia playing the harp while Olivia pets one of the dogs
waiting to be adopted at the humane society.
- If you aren't able to provide a global mission experience, explore local ways to give.
Sophia taking a break from playing the harp to
pet two senior dogs waiting to be adopted.
- Create a budget. Set goals.
If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.
- Zig Ziglar
- Five specific steps to help take control of money and look toward the future:
1. Save a $500 emergency fund.
2. Get out of debt.
3. Pay cash for a car.
4. Pay cash for college.
5. Build wealth and give.
- Open a checking account at around 14 years of age. Think about all the money you spend on your teenager each month (e.g., clothes, club/sport fees, lunch money, car insurance). Instead of paying for all of these things yourself, add up the items and deposit one lump sum into your teen's bank account. Let her pay for each of those things out of the account. This helps her budget and manage money.
- Save money for paying for a home. Ideally, you will pay this in cash. However, if a mortgage needs to be taken out, the payment should not be more than 25 percent take-home pay with a fixed-rate, 15-year mortgage.
- Parents should fund their own retirement before they save for their kids' college and/or wedding expenses.
- The biggest key to choosing a school is picking one that your child can afford. You need to treat it like a big purchase and shop around.
- Don't cross state lines for college or you will look at paying almost three times as much for a college education.
- The best college option is to take online classes from a full-on, regular brick-and-mortar college.
- As a senior in high school, the best part-time job is filling out scholarship applications - whether they are for $200 or $10,000.
- The higher your ACT or SAT scores, the more scholarships you qualify for. Take the tests at least twice or three times. Take an ACT or SAT prep class before each test to raise her scores.
- Foster a sense of contentment in your children while they are under your roof. This is the best insurance policy that they will win at life and money as adults. A content person can save, budget, avoid debt, handle relationships, and give exponentially better than someone who struggles with discontentment.
- Content people may not have the best of everything, but they make the best of everything.
- Let go of all the stuff you think matters and focus on the things that really do.
- With each opportunity, ask yourself: "Is this helping my child become the self-supporting, healthy, mature adult I want her to be"
There are two forms in the back of the book. One is a student budget and the other for upcoming expenses. I've emailed the Dave Ramsey program to ask if these forms are available online since I can't find them anywhere.
If they aren't available, I'll re-type them so Sophia and Olivia can use them and begin working on budgeting, more strategic saving, and investing.