Raise Those Expectations!

Most parents, in the Old School Model (check out the WealthQuest for Teens’ Parent Guide for details), think their teen has done something amazing if they make a donation to a charity or save for a really big purchase or put away some money for the future. Each of these actions is valuable and important for your teen’s experience with money, but what parents don’t realize is that their teens are capable of a FAR more sophisticated money management system.

Teens need to learn how to do these things AT THE SAME TIME. That’s what isn’t learned in the Old School Model. Then what happens is that teens become adults who can’t pay their bills, save for big purchases, grow their investments, and have some fun, too.

The Silo System is the perfect training ground for teens to get the hang of coordinating all of this at the same time.

These are the main elements of the Silo System, which teens can learn about in the WealthQuest for Teens online video/workbook seminar.

  1. Necessities
  2. Play money
  3. Big ticket items
  4. Future financial freedom
  5. Education
  6. Contributions to make the world better for all of us

Consider the benefit of having your teen establish this habit BEFORE he becomes an adult. Wouldn’t that be the best way to prepare her for adulthood?

During the past 25 years that I have been teaching in the public school system, I can tell you without a single doubt, that having high expectations for young people to challenge themselves to accomplish is one of the greatest gifts you can offer the teens in your life.


Easy Action:  Begin a money journal with your teen.  Teach your teen to figure out his or her current net worth.  Then, set a goal for updating this document routinely (Weekly?  Monthly?  What works for you?) and create a reminder system.

Resource at Your Fingertips:   Check out this article from TheMint.org about teens and tracking your net worth.


Remember to Pledge to teach your teen to be an excellent money manager!  Vote “Yes. I will make the promise!” to let the world know that parents are doing their part to build a financially literate society!

© Your Teen’s Money Skills, Inc., 2012 All rights reserved worldwide.

Parents, Teens, and Money: Budgeting and the Broken Record

With regards to parents, teens, and money, we are full of automatic responses, most of which don’t really make sense OR make a difference with kids when we really look at them. One example is BUDGETING.

Budgeting your money is just like dieting—they both promise big results and they both ultimately fail because they don’t take into consideration the way human beings are designed. Diets make you want to eat and budgeting makes you want to spend!

Wealth builders are not about budgeting; they are interested in tracking net worth. Budgeting is a survival technique that is supposed to help us avoid money problems like overdrawn checking accounts or spending beyond our means. But there is a MUCH BETTER WAY!

The most honest article I have ever seen about budgeting is here.

Instead of budgeting, encourage your teen to spend, save, give, and invest intentionally. The jar system is one way, and the Silo System by WealthQuest for Teens is a version of this approach that is specifically designed for teens. Experts recommend that young children use this approach to divide their “income” (all the money that comes to them) into 3 accounts: spend, save, and give. WealthQuest for Teens teaches a TEENAGE version, which involves 6 accounts: Necessities, Rainy Day fund (or Learning fund), Big Ticket Items, Fun, Give, and Future Financial Freedom. This system works for them now AND for the rest of their lives.

Jay Sanders talks about how and why this approach is so effective on his site, which is also FULL of great content about financial literacy.

And it works WAY better than budgeting! Your teen will love this system, because it makes a direct connection between their money and their goals, dreams, and values.


Easy Action: Teach your teen a great money management system that is age-appropriate.

Resource at Your Fingertips: WealthQuest for Teens’ Silo System teaches a system that works great for teens now AND for the rest of their lives.


Remember to Pledge to teach your teen to be an excellent money manager! Let the world know that parents are doing their part to build a financially literate society!

© Your Teen’s Money Skills, Inc., 2012 All rights reserved worldwide.

Where to begin: Keep track of your money

I admit, this one took me a while to get together!  When I started to make my money work, I had NO IDEA how much money I had, where it was, what it was for, or what it was doing!  Man, I wished I had learned to do this when I was young, before the stakes were so high, and before I had lost so much time in growing my money and making good decisions about it.

Start by having your teen set up a money journal and a tracking schedule.  This journal can be kept on a computer or in a paper journal.  Will he or she be checking in with his or her money every week?  Every month?  Every day?

Have your teen enter the following information into the journal:

  1. Write today’s date.
  2. Make a list of all the places you have any money right now (pants pockets, bank accounts, CDs, piggy bank, wallet…it all counts!).
  3. Next to each place, write how much money is in each one.
  4. Finally, list all money owed and to whom.

Bonus Opportunity!  Set up your money journal on a tracking site like Mint.com.  This is a GREAT site for tracking money AND learning about money.

Your teen is off and running now.  Check in with him every so often to see how he’s doing!


Easy Action: Learn about the Curve and two key elements of personal finance from Jay Sanders’ blog, Life on the Curve.   He offers a wealth of information for parents and teens.

Resource at Your Fingertips:  Check out WealthQuest for Teen’s Online Video Seminar and QuickStart Guide for a fun way for your teen to learn about saving, managing, and growing his or her money!


Remember to Pledge to teach your teen to be an excellent money manager!  Vote “Yes. I will make the promise!” to let the world know that parents are doing their part to build a financially literate society!

© Your Teen’s Money Skills, Inc., 2012 All rights reserved worldwide.

Is Money in Your Teen’s “Circle of No Control”?

Sean Covey, in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, advises readers to identify those aspects of life that they can control and those that they can’t control.  When teens are learning how money works and how to manage their money effectively, they move this area of life out of their “Circle of No Control” into their “Circle of Control”. 

When you consider how profoundly and pervasively money affects our lives, you can see the radical difference this education and training makes for them.  This is a shift that impacts them now AND for the rest of their lives.

Do you think that your teen’s money habits currently fall under the “Circle of No Control”?  If they lie in the “Circle of Control”, what did your teen do to achieve this?


Easy Action:  Begin a money journal with your teen.  Teach your teen to figure out his or her current net worth.  Then, set a goal for updating this document routinely (Weekly?  Monthly?  What works for you?) and create a reminder system.

Resource at Your Fingertips:  Check out WealthQuest for Teen’s Online Video Seminar and QuickStart Guide for a fun way for your teen to learn about saving, managing, and growing his or her money!


Remember to Pledge to teach your teen to be an excellent money manager!  Vote “Yes. I will make the promise!” to let the world know that parents are doing their part to build a financially literate society!

© Your Teen’s Money Skills, Inc., 2012 All rights reserved worldwide.

How Safe is Your Teen from a Disastrous Financial Future?

As parents and leaders, we want to do whatever we can to raise our teens so they are prepared to be happy, productive, thriving adults!

And sometimes it looks like, once they are teens, there’s not much more we can do for them. We’re busy, they’re busy, and just holding it together on a daily basis seems like all we can do.

But, we make time for what’s important. And, society isn’t calling for us to teach our teens great money habits and attitudes. We don’t talk about it with each other, we don’t talk about it with our teens, we don’t have easy at-your-fingertips resources to lean on, and we don’t get reminders or reinforcement in our environment.

So, at what cost do we just leave it alone? We ALL know what life is like without money skills. Teens WANT to learn to think about and manage their money. They WANT to have the confidence that they will be OKAY as adults. More than that, they WANT to know that they have every chance to make their dreams come true, to make a difference in the world, and to provide opportunities to the people in their lives that they love.

There are loads and loads of resources online that are easy and effective. It just takes a decision on your part that you will make this important; important enough to make time for, important enough to spend a little money on, important enough that you will make sure that your teen grows in this way.


Easy Action:  Talk to your teen about setting a specific financial life goal.  For example, “By X (age) I will have X (net worth) so I can _________ (benefit that is meaningful to your teen).”  Like all areas of life, we first set meaningful goals, then our journey becomes the discovery of how to achieve our goals.

Resource at Your Fingertips:  Get resources for YOU and YOUR TEEN at www.wealthquestforteens.com


Please vote on the Parent’s Promise poll that you will prepare your teen for adulthood with effective money habits and attitudes!

© Your Teen’s Money Skills, Inc., 2012.  All rights reserved worldwide.