I read the interest form to my 14 year old son – WealthQuest for Teens. We looked through the website together. I was interested in seeing what would be behind the catchy promises and yellow books. The program is directed towards kids aged 14-19. My 14 year old said – “No thanks. Pass. I don’t want to spend time having them teach me how to budget and save money – I make money so I can spend it.” You see, he has a pretty thriving trading business on Craigslist. He doesn’t have a lot of cash flow, little really, but he does trade some high dollar items. From Pianos to Headphones. He works day labor for friends, helping them move, dig dirt, yard work. They might slip him a 10 or 20 dollar bill here and there.
I have a deep desire to see his money grow. To give him freedom. To learn the roots of what it takes to be independent. His dad and I had great role models in money management. But both of our dads retired from the Military. We never lived a day in our life wondering if dad would have work, or even a thought of worry about if the paycheck would get deposited this week. We had money. We had a budget. We had to wait to save for camps or jeans or tennis shoes with a label on them. Our parents saved. Part of each check went to retirement. My money management training really only went towards – Save, Tithe, and Don’t Spend. I had the idea that we would always work. The Money would always come in.
So when we got married, I carried that with me. We’ll save later. We’ll have everything we wanted to get as a child. We both had great incomes. The money would always be there. But I didn’t know how hard the economy was outside of the Military. We both got out. We both couldn’t find meaningful work. It took years to grow into good incomes. We scraped. Did without. Sold everything. Went into debt 30,000. Yep. You read that right. We were always broke. Stomach ulcers and late night worries. Injuries. Surgeries. Hospital Stays. aMoney Sucking Events. In 1996 we turned around. All of my salary went to pay off debt. We paid off 32,000 in 2 years time. Layoffs. A year out of work. Two moves. The economic collapse closed the jobs hubby would gain. Children. And yet. The practices we started in 1996-8 have held us. Credit use by the shortest of payback periods possible. Budgeting to live within our paycheck. One income. And I’ve never felt more free in my life. We live on 1/4 of what we had when we first got married. What if we had lived like this 20 years ago? Our life would be so different now. We’d not only be blessed, but we’d have the freedom to bless others.
I read the information on the site to dad, and he declared that Nate would take the course. WeathQuest states that : “WealthQuest for Teens, Ltd., unifies and supports parents raising teens with excellent money habits and attitudes. We provide you with the highest quality resources, tools, and information available to make this easy, effective, and affordable.” You can bet that we use just about every spare moment talking about money management to the boys. They have seen the choices we have made these last 10 years. But will they take our path?
Using the Program:
I read the intro to the program book – as did my son. We both were pretty excited at what the book promised to do.
Nathan spent quite a bit of time watching the videos. There are 6 videos that come with an online question and answer time that can be printed. Nathan said it took a bit of figuring of how to stop the video to take time to answer the questions and then move on, but it he did well. He wanted to print each of his answer sheets. He was being asked questions about his goals and plans that he had not ever had to list before. All of his time working and on Craigslist – was he working for more than flipping gaming systems or buying a Mountain Dew at will? I read through the Parent Workbook, which helped me be on the same page as Nate. We downloaded the software suggested to help with money management. I am not sure that Nate will use it to the fullest – it does come with an app for his iPod. He is almost done reading through the teen workbook. He’s not home right now – he might be finished.
Most importantly, this gave us the tools and resources to open up the communication. It opened Nate’s ideas to money management and goals. He said, “The whole idea of putting money in the bank and getting more money” was new to him. We had not talked about interest before I guess. He spent quite a few days figuring math facts of how much to set aside each month to watch it grow to his desired level. He was amazed at how little he would need to set aside at this young age.
Strangely enough – he really liked the ideas of boxes of money – separating his cash into goals sets. I asked him, “You know the black and red billfold I use for our cash? Ever notice the folders in it? I do that every month?” “Oh”, he replies. Ya. Like I said, it opened up the door to have him intentionally look at money management – see what was going on in his own wallet and around him.
I would recommend this course for your teens. Especially if they are starting to have an income. The course is currently $39.95. This course was a blessing to our family at just the right time. Nate has had many deals go through that he has nothing to show for now. He also has a few deals that keep making him money. Stopping to see the difference is outstanding. Being aware of helping your money work for you – priceless. This course is easy to go through, simple, we worked a bit every other day, or about 3 days a week for a little over a month.
You may want to see if WealthQuest for Teens will help your family by looking at other experiences from the crew. Click on over to the Schoolhouse Review Blog to See. I don’t feel like my crazy journey will help the boys – but I hope they learn from our mistakes. I recommend this program to kick off your own child’s money journey.
Disclaimer – I received the Online Video Seminar with Workbook and Quickstart Guide for Teens eBook, Parents Workbook and Software from WeathQuest for Teens as a part of my tour with the Schoolhouse Review Crew for free in exchange for using it in my home and sharing our experience with you – describing what we did and how it worked for our family.
Angie, I’m curious about something. You mentioned: “The whole idea of putting money in the bank and getting more money” was new to him. We had not talked about interest before I guess. He spent quite a few days figuring math facts of how much to set aside each month to watch it grow to his desired level. He was amazed at how little he would need to set aside at this young age.”
My question is, was this information quite outdated? Because for over 10 years now, you can’t really put money into the bank and expect it to grow. For a teen to earn something like several dollars a YEAR on over $500 dollars in the bank isn’t really growth that I’d count as true growth.
The Dave Ramsey class we took a year ago had very outdated information regarding interest. A whole evening of video taught us that we could buy a cheap car for cash, keep saving $$ each month for a better car, and eventually pay for a nice car fairly quickly based on the great interest rate of 6% or 8% we would receive in our savings accounts. Bah! We all know that no one has received that kind of interest for many years now! I know that Dave Ramsey has redone his entire course this last summer, so hopefully that chapter will be greatly revised to make it realistic in this day and age.
I was just curious about how this curriculum really addressed the whole concept of interest, because while it is an important concept, people are receiving almost no interest these days.
I think it is a bit old school of the promise that if you give your money to the bank it will always grow. We’ve seen alot in the last few years of people loosing their savings to failed banks and investments.
I think it mostly opened his eyes that he didn’t need to live dollar to dollar. Even today – last night he bought an item on Craigslist talking the guy way down. Today he found a buyer and can easily earn 10 dollars on the transaction. In the past, he would have traded the object and not earned any cash. This will be one of the first that he will come out ahead cash wise. He’ll be able to use that cash or save it. Thinking of moving cash on for future use instead of always coming out even. This is, in my opinion, a huge step. I think a young man needs to know how to set up his family so that his earnings meet his needs – with a bit extra to pass on to tomorrow. Living for the moment, or enjoying the moment with extra for the next.
As he grows and matures, his thoughts go on to investing and earning – saving and growth. This program really lit a light bulb for him.
Oh, I wholeheartedly agree with you, Angie! It sounds like this curriculum has really helped your son see money in an entirely different light. Wonderful! I was merely curious about how they treated the discussion on interest, because it sounded like they were going on really old, outdated information. There may be a time in history where once again the savings interest rates are in our favor, but for almost as long as I’ve been out on my own, this hasn’t been the case. Thank you for your insight!
They did seem to emphasise – If you put 50 dollars a month in your account for x amount of years, you’d have bajillions to retire on. I told him that it doesn’t always work that way, stocks, bonds, interest – change and fluxuate. I had a friend who put her entire salary in her 401k for over 20 years while her husband worked – and lost it all in the crash. Heart breaking. She never spent a dollar of her earnings. My dad started investing – and lost it all. He pulled out when it hit his initial investment – but he had ‘earned’ thousands more. Balance. Truth. Saving.