You Took Her to Work -- Now What? Eleven Ways to Make Your Daughter Money Smart Year 'Round

1. Expect more of her. By the age of 18 every girl should be able to:

  • open a savings account and save money each month
  • create an annual plan (account for money she'll get and money she'll spend.)
  • balance a check book
  • make a budget and stick to it
  • develop several ways of making money

Parents who do not make handling money as expected as brushing teeth are doing their daughters a dis-service. Remember she's smart, she's on a quest for independence and these are the tools she will need to live safely and well.

2. Give her role models. Sojourner Truth once said, "If I can't see it, I can't be it." Remember your friends are great role models. Someone in your office or in your family is living a life your daughter should have a chance to see and experience. Work out a swap--you take a colleague's daughter and she'll take yours to work for a day. Do this once a quarter and give your daughter a broad range of experiences and role models.

3. Enlarge her vision. Most girls and women have a hard time thinking in a large scale. At Independent Means we don't think big is necessarily better, but we know that girls who are able to think expansively about themselves and their world, see greater opportunities for themselves. When you ask her what she wants to do with her life and she says she wants to be a doctor, suggest she can own the practice, or found a hospital. If she says she wants to have a nail salon, ask her if she's thought about owning a chain of salons. Or maybe she can open the first inter-galactic network of nail salons!

4. Shop competitively with her. Turn the next mall stop into an afternoon of great buying lessons. Select 5 items you will each shop for (actual purchase not necessary) and see who gets the better buys (make sure you each have evidence of the "purchases" you make!)

5. Take her to a business function with you. Maybe it's a chapter meeting for one of your business organizations, or maybe it's a lecture given by a business speaker--give her a chance to experience the culture of business: how people greet one another, what they talk about, what they learn. Business is a culture like any other and we all know that the younger you enter a culture, the easier it is to assimilate into that culture.

6. Give her a copy of the National Business Plan Competition for Teen Women application. Every teen is used to seeing invitations for Miss Teen Beauty Queen, but Miss Teen Business Queen? The young women who enter the Competition master a process that many adult women have yet to tackle! (call 800-350-1816 or email us for more info)

7. Give her a budget and hand her the opportunity to plan the summer event schedule for the family. You want to do things together anyway, give her a chance to think creatively and responsibly to set up one or more family events. Whether it's a picnic in the local park or a day together at an art festival, if she needs to plan the budget and the arrangements for transportation, entrance fees, incidentals bought on the excursion, and materials needed (like food for the picnic) she will be a more cost conscious and responsible person. And if she makes mistakes -- so much the better. This is how she will learn. When teens leave Camp $tart-Up we often ask "What did you learn that surprised you the most?" The most frequent response: "How much things cost."

8. Run a joint venture with her. Whether you plant flowers to sell at the local farmers' market, run a garage sale, or offer hiking tours for women who want to get in shape, the experience of working together and learning together will give you each a new level of respect for one another.

9. Run a business video festival for your daughter and her friends. Rent a few videos and ask them to critique the movies from an economic point of view. What are the money messages being given in the film? What did they think the main characters portrayed that was relevant to their lives? Some good videos to screen: BabyBoomer, Working Girl, Rosie the Riveter...

10. Take her seriously. One of the biggest challenges women and girls face is they are not taken seriously much of the time. When you take her ideas and her opinions seriously, she’ll have practice knowing what to expect from others. You know it's important to you--a sense of gravitas is imprinted early -- make this a gift she will use throughout her life!

11. Send her to camp - Camp $tart-Up, the summer program that teaches teen women to start a business of their own!

© 2007, Independent Means

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Some people think they are worth a lot of money just because they have it. - Fannie Hurst

Independent Means, Inc. sets the standard for innovative resources for Raising Financially Fit Kids. Your kids are developing views on money through your actions! This month, make a note to talk about hidden costs - the price of that trip or the car or club membership that DOESN'T show up on the price tag. Source:


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