Seven Things My Son Needs To Know About Having His Own Debit Card


My son, who recently turned sixteen and got his driver’s license, also just scored his first part-time job. For the first time in his life he will have the responsibility of scheduled work shifts, but will also enjoy a biweekly paycheck. With a steady income, as well as the expenses of gasoline, car maintenance and insurance that come with driving privileges, he will be traveling new ground in financial responsibility. When he came home from the required drug test for his new job he was told that he could have his paycheck direct deposited into a bank account. My son […] Read more »

Are You As Financially Savvy As A 7th Grader?


My daughter and I always have a good time together. We have similar personalities, interests and senses of humor. She was aware of our situation as we fought to pay off over $109,000 of credit card debt, and even shared her perspective on our journey in a guest post here on Enemy of Debt. She apparently also paid close attention to how our view on money and what is important in life changed over the last few years have changed. I found this out through a conversation we had last weekend. We had gone to the mall to buy a […] Read more »

Your Kids are Watching, What Are You Teaching Them?


In a rush of memories recalled by the video being projected onto the wall, I was reminded of countless times my parenting skills didn’t qualify as Father Of The Year material. It was the last session of my son’s driver’s education class and parents were asked to attend the last half of the session. The instructor was attempting to drive home the point that the only way we will ever create a culture of safer drivers was for us parents to put in the time and effort to teach our sons and daughters how to be good drivers. The video […] Read more »

How to Talk with Your Teens about Credit


It’s not at all uncommon for teenagers to receive credit card offers in the mail. Are your children prepared for this? Do they know what to do with these offers? Do they understand how credit works? According to Consumer Action, it’s up to you to teach them: “Parents are usually the best people to teach their kids about credit, and since even young children can use credit cards, it’s never too early to begin this education.” In many families, if the parents don’t take the time to teach their kids about credit, those kids may end up making naïve choices […] Read more »

When Your Kid Shows More Financial Responsibility Than You


Have you ever had one of those moments where as a parent you just hang your head in shame, because your son or daughter showed more responsibility you? Yeah, I had that happen to me just this weekend. My son got his Xbox360 a few years ago, and instantly wanted to take advantage of the console’s ability to play games online with his friends. In order to make that happen, we had to purchase an Xbox Live membership. We gave him a year’s subscription as a birthday present, and to pay for it we attached our checking account to the […] Read more »

Using Arcade Games to Teach My Daughter About Gambling


I am writing this as my daughter skates around the local roller rink. There was a time when she would bring $5 with her and blow it all on the arcade games. After many failed attempts to grab the stuffed animal or put the ball in the right slot I think she’s learned the value of a dollar – and that most gambles don’t pay out. Tickets are the real reward here and they don’t get you very much. Each one is worth a penny at the “Stuff Shop” and the assortment of plastic trinkets is vast. Spider Rings are […] Read more »

A Very Special Valentine’s Day Lesson Taught By My Daughter


Introduction:  A few days before Valentine’s Day my daughter, Tori, came to me with an idea she had for a gift for Vonnie and me for Valentine’s Day.  I could tell that this meant a lot to her, and her sincerity and creativity impressed me so much that I knew I had to help her make it happen.   Tori has written for Enemy of Debt once before, and did a wonderful job, so I asked her if she would write about the experience to share here.   Please welcome back my daughter for a very special guest post: It was only […] Read more »

Teaching Your Kids About Money? 5 Concepts They Need to Know

teaching your kids about money

Are you regularly teaching your kids about money and how to handle it?  I don’t mean just talking about very simple concepts such as “save money” or “don’t spend it all”.  I mean are you really teaching them what money is all about? When they get older are they going to have a clear picture of how to manage their money well so they don’t end up in financial trouble like so many people who never learn these principles?    The Basics Still Apply Managing money is much more difficult than it was 40-50 years ago because most of us […] Read more »

Reining In The Baby Expenses

baby bathtub

[Guest author today, Jason Steele] Having a baby creates the ultimate budget paradox. On one hand, it’s every good parent’s instinct to spare no expense when it comes to their children’s health and safety. At the same time, “sparing no expense” can be a non-stop ticket to unlimited debt. So how can parents resolve this paradox? It starts with a conversation about how to express our love and caring in ways other than spending. The wealthiest, most free spending parents do not love their children any more than their more frugal neighbors. And once a child’s need are met, additional […] Read more »

Surprise, High School Freshman – Real Life Starts NOW!


Last week we took my son to his incoming freshman high school schedule pickup and orientation. I repeated something that I said to him last spring when we were having some difficulties making him put forth the required effort on his school work. “This year you start high school. This shit’s for real. It counts forever.” I then went on to try to explain the chain of events that starts with day one of his freshman year. Hard work, good grades, and school involvement will dictate what college opportunities will eventually open up in front of him in a few […] Read more »

Your Perspective On Money Changes….When You’re Paying the Bills


My son looked at me like he didn’t believe what he was hearing. He believed that his parents have an unlimited source of money. My son has been saving his allowance as well as the money he’s earned mowing lawn this summer to get his own computer, and has amassed a pretty good chunk of coin. We had planned on a building a computer together as I thought it would be a cool father and son activity plus save us some money by assembling the computer ourselves. However, recently he found a pre-built computer online that had the required specs, […] Read more »

Kids, We’re In Debt


Preface: My wife and I were discussing various financial subjects over dinner one evening last week when  Tori, our ten year old daughter, blurted out, “I remember when mom told us we were in debt.”   After she told us the story from her perspective, I asked her if she would be willing to write me a blog post about it.  Immediately after dinner she sat down in front of the computer, and began typing away.  The following is the story of our journey out of debt through the eyes of our daughter. Three years and four months ago my mom […] Read more »

Visa GiftCard: Bad Birthday Present?


With the clock reading 11:20am, we didn’t have much time to get a present for the birthday party Tori was invited to at 1:00pm. Scrambling, we asked our daughter what her friend might enjoy receiving as a gift, but unfortunately she couldn’t come up with much.  The one good idea she did give us was a gift card to a popular clothing store for kids, but we didn’t have the time to go to the mall to get it.  Vonnie suggested getting the birthday girl a Visa gift card that could be spent practically anywhere, further stating we could even […] Read more »