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Teaching Kids About Money

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Yahoo Finance is presenting a feature on teaching children about money. Here are some of the highlights.

When to Kick Your Kid Out of the House, and Other Financial Lessons for Parents. In a middle-class household, it will cost on average $184,000 to allow your one child to live to year 17. If you send her to college, obviously costs can vary, but Jonathan Clements, the author of this article, puts that price as an additional $160,000 for a prestigious private college. That’s today’s money — as we’ve seen, college costs outpace inflation.

On top of the pre-college and college costs, more offspring live with their parents for some time after college. This makes sense for the kids, but the parents may not be as thrilled. Clements offers these suggestions:

* Talk about your own struggles. Sit them down and tell them how hard it was for you after college, if that’s applicable.
* Draw up a plan. The returning child shouldn’t just be “hanging out to see what happens.”
* Treat your adult children like adults. Adults have responsibilities, not chores. No allowances — rent payments instead.
* If you help your kids financially, aim to leverage your investment. View the situation as a partnership, but don’t sacrifice your own financial well-being.

Another article in Yahoo’s feature speaks to “boomerang kids” — those who return home for a period of time. Jay MacDonald offers some tips resembling those above.

I lived with my father for a few months after college, but I should have probably used my money and time more effectively during that period. While I wasn’t paying rent for those months, I didn’t realize that my job at that time would not support me if I had real, adult expenses. When I moved out, I still didn’t know what I was doing. Eventually, I determined that my expenses must be lower than my income if I desired a future resembling something comfortable.

Updated February 6, 2012 and originally published October 25, 2005.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .