Raising Financially Fit Kids: What Would You Do? Best Practices From Parents

Last month's question:

We give our 15 year old son an allowance of $25/week to cover school expenses and some extras (food, a movie, etc.) We have two other kids and this represents a significant part of our monthly expenditures. He also has does chores for a next door neighbor a couple of times a week and between the two sources of income, he makes an average $40-$50 week. My wife and I think this is adequate money for a 15 year old to manage at this point, but we are in a constant battle as he says it isn't enough to cover the cost of the dates he goes on each week. 

What is a reasonable amount for a 15 year old to spend on a date and what happened to equality? Don't girls ever help pay the cost of a night out?

June Brown offered our favorite response (and the gift certificate winner!)

"Who says YOU have to pay for his dates? I suggest that when he runs out of money, he doesn't go on any more dates. Do not ever give him money for his dates. Otherwise you'll have a college student asking for money for his dates... Suggest he needs to space his dates to conserve his funds and find lower cost dates (picnic, hiking, free outdoor event such as a sidewalk art show. Explain to him about coupons and free/ reduced events at the zoos, movies etc. that can be found by looking on the web or in the local newspapers. Mention early bird specials for cheaper eats.

For his next birthday you might buy him an entertainment coupon book. Independent Means suggests you check out And of course the girl could pay her way as well. Imagine he explained that he would LOVE to spend more time with her but doesn't have a lot of money so he would really appreciate it if she would think up some fun low cost/free things for them to do.

Remember - his dates are his problem."

Note from Joline:

I just returned from Mexico City where I had a chance to meet with 100 teenagers, boys and girls. This topic came up under the heading: learning to talk openly with your friends about money. It was clear in this very traditional culture that this was a worry much on young men's minds - even though they wanted to show manhood by being able to "support" their young girl friends, they were anxious about the how to manage it. The girls were quite mixed. Many clung to the notion that paying for dates was "his job." Others saw the fairness of sharing the costs of dates and time together. This topic is talked about less openly among young people, across culture and class, than sex and drugs. Parents can help by raising the topic often and helping their kids to find ways to discuss money with their friends in ways that transcend what brands they like and are going to buy.

© 2007, Independent Means

*    *    *

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:


Contact Us | Disclaimer | Privacy Statement
Menstuff® Directory
Menstuff® is a registered trademark of Gordon Clay
©1996-2023, Gordon Clay