Teaching Money to our Teenagers

I've included this lecture above, not because it has a religious affiliation, but because it has a "parental affiliation".

It's no secret that I spent last week taking my son to his first college visit. We've spent many weeks pouring over the choices that he has available to him. We've listed his priorities, and wants, and needs. And if you have any teenage boys in your family, you know that the average one has a long list of wants and needs.

But part of this process that we've begun was also to shed some light on the process of paying for that education. For most teenagers entering college they are looking at amassing a grand total that they will likely pay on for 10 years.

10 years.

That's a really staggering amount of time. Life can go by really quickly in 10 years.

If they enter college at 18 and graduate by 22, that means that most of them will be paying off their college debt until they are 32! That's just for a four year degree.

And I don't know about all kids, but the majority of the kids that I have dealt with over the years have very little idea of the significance of that amount of debt. To them it's something to think about after graduating. They'll get a good job and make big money and won't have to worry about it.


My daughter graduated last May, Magna Cum Laude with 2 degrees. She worked her butt off for them. She had planned every moment of her college career and she'd earned some pretty significant scholarships and grants. Thank goodness. Because the reality is... she's been out of school almost a year and while she is working almost full time, she couldn't make it without living at home.

A degree doesn't guarantee success. Nothing comes with a guarantee, including life.

We are lucky that we can help her, but those college loans, even as small as they are, are a noose around her neck. She feels it everyday. She went to a $40,000/year college. The average kid without the scholarships and grants will owe a minimum of $120,000 to pay back before interest! That's staggering! That's one heck of a noose to hang on a 20 something that only wants to have a good life.

So when my son starts looking at colleges and he can't understand why I don't agree with a college that costs $40,000 a year versus $20,000 then it's time to get real about the money. I will do everything in my power to enable him so that he won't come out owing all that money.

Teach your Teen about Money.

And maybe have them watch this video.


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