Dear Dave: My husband and I live on a budget and are getting out of debt. Our daughter is in high school, and we’ve been teaching her about your plan.
Is it realistic to expect a 16-year-old with a part-time job and a hand-me-down car to make a budget?
Dear Marcie: Anyone who has an income can make and live off a budget. Your daughter is at a great time in her life to learn how to prioritize spending, saving and giving — and making her money behave.
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Even in her situation, when she’s still living at home with you guys, there are plenty of things she can include in a budget.
Think about it: She needs gas for the car, basic maintenance and insurance … things like that. She’ll also want a little spending money, and she might even have ideas of going to college. So sit down with her and show her how to make out a budget to figure out the upcoming month’s expenses before the month begins. Make sure she knows how to properly balance her bank account, too.
Of course, at this point it’s still your responsibility as parents to provide her with the basic necessities.
But I love your attitude and your willingness to teach her how to handle money intelligently. The sooner she learns some basic money management principles, the sooner she’ll be able to handle her finances in the real world responsibly.
Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.