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How to start talking about money


Before you start any allowance plan for your children it’s helpful to look at your and your spouse or partner’s money background and attitudes. It’s important to agree on a consistent approach the allowance system in your home. Here are some questions to get the conversation going.

Childhood Experience

• How did your parents earn and manage money? Cash, checks, credit cards, debit cards?

• Did you receive an allowance? If so, how much and what amount? Was it cash?

• What was your family allowance plan? Was is consistent?

• Was your allowance ever withheld or not paid? Why?

Current Financial Arrangement

• How do you allocate money in your household?

• Do you prioritize your purchasing? How?

• How do you and your partner make financial decisions?

• How satisfied are you with your current financial arrangement?

• How would you define good money management?

Spending and Payment System

• Who pays the bills? Using what methods? Cash, checks, online banking?

• Do others in the household know the bill paying process?

• How and when do you use:

—Credit cards?

—Debit cards?


Financial Goals

• What are your plans for your savings, if any, and how are the decisions made?

• How much debt does your family have?

• What amount of debt are you comfortable with?

• Do you have a retirement savings plan that meets the goals of the household?

• Is there an agreement on financial contributions (if any) to your children after they are legal adults?

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Lynne L. Finch

Lynne L. Finch is the author of “The No-Cash Allowance: A Practical Guide to Teaching Your Children How to Manage Money.” She writes, blogs, and presents seminars on kids and money.
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