Kids and Money: Do You Have a Say in What They Buy?

Kim Conte

teaching kids about moneyA blogger for The Juggle recently posted a dilemma about kids and money: Should she give her teen son complete freedom on how to spend his money (weekly allowance, cash gifts, etc.)? Or should she "interfere" and use this as an opportunity to teach him about how to make responsible purchases?

In this particular situation, the blogger wanted her son to use money he got as a gift for graduation to replace a broken car transmitter for his IPOD (which, according to the post, he really needed). She wondered if she should suggest that he use the cash for that purpose or if she should stay out of it all-together and let him make his own decision about how to use the money.

In her mind, she was worrying about looming college expenses and felt like she might want some control/input over where the money was going; yet, she also felt guilty interfering because the money was his.

I think this issue is particularly relevant now that so many families are stuggling financially in the recession. In other words, is it difficult watching your kids spend their own money on non-essential items when money is tight?

What do you think? How much freedom do you allow your kids when it comes to money?

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