WSJ: Teaching your kids about money

Ramit Sethi · May 31st, 2005

Ever wonder how to raise your kids if you have money? Here’s tomorrow’s WSJ personal-finance article–and a question for you.

The goal: to get your kids to make tough financial decisions. If they are always asking you for money or they are merrily racking up charges on the credit card you gave them, their desires will be limitless and spending will seem painless, because they aren’t paying — you are. What to do? You have to set up a system where, instead of you saying “no,” your kids have to say “no” to themselves.

Read the entire article here: Giving Five-Year-Olds a Toy Allowance:
How to Teach Your Kids About Money

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That’s why when I’m rich, I’m going to make my kids wear god damn paper towel for shoes. I WANT THEM HUNGRY FOR SUCCESS!!!

Seriously though, what do you think about his idea about paying for his kids’ college? I have my own views (which may surprise you) but I’m interested to hear what you’ll do for your kids’ education. Thoughts?

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  1. We plan to pay half of our kids’ college costs. They can earn their half through working, scholarships, whatever — and we plan on matching it.

  2. Maneesh Sethi

    Interesting item about finance: pound for pound, a hamburger costs more than a new car. Sure, its like buying several thousand hamburgers at once, but which really gives you longer lasting enjoyment? The burgers (which, based on how much I am eating now, would last maybe 5-7 days), or a car, which can last 7-10 years if they are taken care of?

    (Sorry I ended a sentence in a preposition).


  3. Ramit Sethi

    My little brother, ladies and gentlemen.

  4. Philip Dhingra

    I would do what my parents did, which is to do whatever I can to make sure my kids don’t have to work while in undergraduate education. I’d also try to aim for a debt-free graduation. This offer, depending on how wealthy I am, would probably only extend to public universities.

    If they aren’t being productive with their summertime, then I’d require them to pay an amount that I think they could earn with a summer job.

    As for grad school, I wouldn’t offer any, unless they were really hard-pressed on it, in which case I’d help them some. This would hold even if they wanted to be a doctor. Because if they were sure enough about the value of their dreams, they’d back it with their own money. The last thing I want is someone who free-loads to get a Masters or Ph.D. only to back-out of using those advanced degrees.

  5. I am so fortunate to have had my parents pay for my entire undergraduate education, and all of my siblings.educations as well. They knew in raising us that we are capable and responsible young adults who would get quality jobs once finishing school. Having to work to get your degree is an honorable thing to do, but it creates added stress to an already stressful time.

    Financially, my parents have been very wise with their decisions, and they know we will be too. Having no debt after graduation allows me to invest right away rather than paying student loans. This is invaluable to beginning an positive net worth. It will be paid back to my own children and hopefully theirs as well. It’s all a positive cycle. No one struggles, and we all get richer.

    Your concern may be that kids who have their school paid for will have financial disciplinary issues. I have seen this time and again. Many of my friends have this problem now. It’s all a mental game. If the right systems and values are taught to the student, then he/she will experience greater success because of more startup capital.

    I also know plenty of smart and capable people who are absolutely crippled by debt from their student loans. They save wisely, but it will be forever before they break into positive net worth. Then they won’t be able to afford to send their kids to school and it repeats.

    There are of course, exceptions in any case.

    So, yeah, pay for your kids school if you can afford it. Make sure they know how to handle their money before you do it. Your family will have continued success if you do it right.