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November 29, 2022

Ask Lisa Podcast - Episode 96

How Do I Raise Financially Responsible Kids? Special Guest Bobbi Rebell

Episode 96

Having conversations with our kids about money can be difficult. So how do we set them up for good financial health? Financial expert Bobbi Rebell, author of Launching Financial Grownups: Live Your Richest Life by Helping Your (Almost) Adult Kids Become Everyday Money Smart, joins the Ask Lisa Podcast as a special guest. The conversation answers key questions from listeners, including: How do we get kids to understand the value of the things they have? Should you do allowances? How do you teach financial responsibility to teens without stressing them out? Should kids have a credit or debit card, or even a checking account? Bobbi explains why there is value in biting your tongue and letting kids make mistakes with money and explains how her book grew out of some of her own parenting mishaps and regrets around money.

November 29, 2022 | 37 min

Transcript | How Do I Raise Financially Responsible Kids? Special Guest Bobbi Rebell

Ask Lisa Podcast, Ep. 96: How Do I Raise Financially Responsible Kids? Special Guest Bobbi Rebell

The Ask Lisa Podcast does not constitute medical advice and is not a substitute for professional mental health advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have concerns about your child’s well-being, consult a physician or mental health professional.

The following transcript has been automatically generated by an AI system and should be used for informational purposes only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of the information provided.

——

Reena Ninan
All right, we’re so excited to have Bobbi Rebell join us. She’s the author of launching financial grownups live your richest life by helping your almost adult kids become everyday Money Smart. I’d love that title. She’s also a financial literacy advocate and the host of the money tips for financial grownups podcast and founder of grownupgear.com. Bobbi, welcome.

Lisa Damour
We are thrilled to have you with us.

Bobbi Rebell
Thank you so much for having me.

Lisa Damour
We love it. Okay, I’m just gonna get us started. Why does it matter that we start talking with kids about finances sooner rather than later?

Bobbi Rebell
Well, because then it’s not going to be a shock to the system and you’ve integrated into their lives into your lives, and it becomes part of your everyday family life. It shouldn’t be something where it’s sort of a separate subject, it should just be something that comes naturally to them. When you go about your daily life. If you take your children with you to do whatever you’re doing, even as toddlers, you can point out to them, gee, we have a choice between two things, what should we use to decide which product we buy at the store. And if they say the one with a prettier picture, you can point out, that’s fine. It may cost more and may cost less, you might discuss that you might say we can pay more, because we really value the fancy picture on it. That’s okay. As long as you help them understand that, that it’s a proactive choice at the most basic level, but start them early and integrate it. So it’s not a separate conversation. It’s just part of life. And don’t stress them out.

Reena Ninan
That’s great. You know, Bobbi, I was so we’re so excited to have you because with the holidays coming, it’s always hard to get your kids to understand I feel the value of money when they’re getting tons of stuff and sometimes expensive things for free, when they’re not really paying for it. How do you get kids to appreciate the value of things, especially around the holidays?

Bobbi Rebell
This is such an excellent question. And I think it’s important that we be discussing it because it is universal. No matter what income level you’re at, no matter what’s going on with your family, you want your children to be appreciative and grateful for what they have, and to understand the value of money. And it can actually be a wonderful time to teach them those lessons. And part of it is actually having conversations about you know, what you’re going to be buying for it not necessarily their gifts, but the kinds of gifts that you’re going to be giving to other people and have them maybe think about what gifts they want to give to other people and the meaning behind those gifts. And they don’t always have to be purchased gifts. They can be gifts that they make if they’re maybe if they’re young children, so that they’re putting in, you know, their labor and their love. It can also be active things that they’re doing so that they understand that gifts don’t have to be a material object that they can be giving of time giving of you know, being thoughtful, being considerate, and maybe homemade things are also great, as well. So as long as they understand that it’s about giving not about items, I think that’s a good lesson to give them.

Reena Ninan
Great lesson. One of the questions we got over and over again in our inbox for you was on the subject of allowances, you know, should you give them? Why kind of curious about allowances to doesn’t really teach financial literacy? And do you think they’re worth doing? I’m a little skeptical about it.

Bobbi Rebell
I like that you’re skeptical. I’m a little skeptical too. And I can take both sides. So I think it’s really important that this be considered as a potential tool for a child. Here’s what has to happen. It has to be the right child in the right stage of their life and it has to be well executed. Among all family members. What happens sometimes is you have an idea of allowance and one parent is very strict and the other parent is kind of slipping the kid money here and there and the grandparents are doing things and it doesn’t really stick if it’s not good. sistent with everyone that impacts the child’s universe. The other wrinkle that I’ve encountered, I’ve had success with the allowance with some kids, I have three kids, and not so much success with one kid in particular, is that if the child doesn’t necessarily have a financial goal, for example, I’ll put it out there. My he was a young teenager, at the beginning of the pandemic, he was turning 13, he was stuck at home, my son really had no interest in earning money in an allowance, he there was no thing that he wanted to buy. So if I what I made the mistake of doing and I’ll be honest, it was a mistake was trying to tie allowance to things like making his bed well, he made the choice, he did not value making his bed enough to get it, he didn’t value the allowance enough to make his bed. So what I had was a kid who had a perfectly good excuse not to make his bed. Because he made the choice, right? He said, No problem, I’m good, I don’t need the allowance, I choose not to make my bed, he was very empowered by that. On the other hand, I didn’t tie some, he had some family responsibilities, like he has to take out the garbage. Well, I didn’t tie that to allowance. And you know what, he took out the garbage every time it was full. And we asked him to take out the garbage he took it out because it wasn’t tied to anything, it was just part of his job is a member of the family to take out the garbage. So for that child, it was best to not tie money to doing specific chores, or tasks around the house or certain grades. But every child is different is and is going to respond differently, and in different seasons of their life. So you really have to weigh what’s going on with your child in that season of their life, and how well will whatever the parameters you set up? How will that be adhered to by the different people that are involved in that child’s life?

Lisa Damour
Love it, love it? Here’s another question. A parent asked, How do I get my child to save and not ask me for money? What about older teens, things like coffee, food spending? You know, it’s social, it gets expensive? How do I get my child to take responsibility for paying for these things?

Bobbi Rebell
This is an easier question. Stop paying for them.

Lisa Damour
Where should the money content? Where should the money come from?

Bobbi Rebell
Yeah, when they ask for it. Ask them right back. Well, where are you going to get the money?

Lisa Damour
And what are the options that you see what they say? Yeah, so in terms of where kids get money, what do you think the choices parents should be running down with them might be?

Bobbi Rebell
Well, they could choose? If they choose to have an allowance, going back to our previous question, that could work, but then they’re proactively choosing that and they’re gonna have to stick to those parameters, whatever rules you set in place, you can set that up, because they’re now goal oriented, they want the money, you could also if they’re, if it’s age appropriate, have them do a job, if they’re younger, they could babysit, they could do chores for other for neighbors, I’ve had kids that I know of that are, you know, doing gardening, landscaping type things, you know, mowing the lawn, or more, not necessarily with machinery, but you know what I mean, you know, raking leaves, whatever it may be cleanups, Snowplow, that kind of stuff. Whatever is appropriate, my oldest, she was a lifeguard, she learned and she gradually, she was so smart, she gradually got different levels of accomplishment. I don’t know the right terminology. When you’re a lifeguard, there’s different levels where you can get different pay scales. And she became very ambitious. And then she could teach swim lessons. So she was gradually moving through that system and earning more and more so that she could have the income and then have the spending power herself and not be dependent on her parents. And she really enjoyed that feeling of accomplishment, and knowing that it was her choice whether to save or spend the money.

Lisa Damour
I love that. And so then actually back to the question about setting up an allowance, it sounds like part of what you’re saying is, if you have a kid with a busy social life that can be expensive. One thing that might be helpful is to say, this is your allowance from which we will expect you to finance your coffee dates, your lunch dates, to have that be proactive and understood so they can start budgeting accordingly. Is that part of what you’re saying here?

Bobbi Rebell
100% Because you’re getting their buy in, you know, and I guess that’s a bit of a pun, but you are you’re getting there by it and and to the story with my son, we never got his buy in. We just said arbitrarily. Well, if you want your $15 a week, you have to make your bed and he’s like No, fine. Exactly. But if it wasn’t COVID now post COVID He wants money to go out for pizza with his friends. We’re renegotiating as we speak. So now he has an incentive for allowance. And he actually last summer he came back from Camp true story. It came back and crumpled dollars if any parents can picture this like a baggie with crumpled small bills, he decided he did want money and they would he went on outings with the camp they would give the kids like 2030 bucks to spend at like the amusement park. And he had reached a point where he didn’t really want to spend it on the junk. And he came home with all this money. He said well I didn’t want to spend $25 at the amusement park. I just got myself one little snack for $5 and I saved up my money. He came home with over $200 Wow, I couldn’t believe it. This is a kid that didn’t want the money. He didn’t want the allowance. And he came home with in crumpled bills, my lovely and promptly told me to put it on his Greek Korean light app for him. But he came home with all this crumpled money because he suddenly made he came to that on his own, that he didn’t want to buy the junk that other kids were buying at these amusement parks. He saved the it was literally cash, they handed the kids and he came home with the money. And now he has a little bit of a bankroll.

Reena Ninan
You know, we’re gonna get to that green light app, because we got a question about that. And when have you explained that to the audience, but on this concept of sort of, you know, save spend, there’s some sort of rule right? 60% you live off of 20%? You save 20%? I don’t I don’t I don’t you’ll have time with the breakdown is I don’t even know as adults.

Bobbi Rebell
5030 20 is kind of the standard thing, but it’s whatever works for you. 50,

Lisa Damour
spend 30, save 20 Donate? Is that the formula?

Bobbi Rebell
Um, you could do that. Yeah. I mean, yeah, whatever works for you. We did do when he was younger, and I would reference people with young children because my book is primarily for ages 16 and up teenagers and mid teenage years, Ron Lieber wrote a great book called The opposite of spoiled. And we followed it so much. When my son was younger, and we had the three jars it was save, spend and give, I believe, and save sort of invest also. And I think that is a really good thing. And it’s visual, because the kids can see the money piling up. And I think that’s really great for young kids. So yeah, the opposite of spoiled is a great book for younger kids.

Reena Ninan
Wait, that is a great idea. So literally, you could take pasta sauce, you know, clean pasta sauce jars that you’ve empty. Yes, save, spend charity, and they physically see it building? Yeah. Oh, wait like that. I really like that.

Bobbi Rebell
You just gotta watch it. Because sometimes they’ll get in a phase where they’ll dip into that charity one a little bit. So we have to watch that. Keep an eye out. Yeah, that’s the idea.

Lisa Damour
That’s great. Okay, here’s another question we got from our listeners, how do you help your kids manage a Keeping Up with the Joneses attitude.

Bobbi Rebell
So this is something I am very familiar with. I live in New York City. And I we’ve had, we have three kids, two are a little bit older now. And we’ve experienced this a lot, because you have kids sometimes in the schools that have parents that really have just different ways to approach money, and you can’t control the other parents. So it is a balance, because you want to make sure that your kid isn’t necessarily spending up to them. One, because of the practical matter. You don’t want to jeopardize your own finances and have your kid galavanting around the world as they get you know, bigger and you know, this friends going out to this resort area, and so on. So there’s obviously that personal one. But also what I found was very effective. And I’m going to reference my older, older one again, the lifeguard, she got to a point where she took the lead. And she said, You know what, instead of going along with the other kids going to this fancy restaurant when we’re starting to go out, and this is really more directed towards teenagers, I’m going to take the lead, I’m going to make the reservation and it’s going to be somewhere that everyone can go because the truth is if you’re keeping up with the Joneses, so are some of the other children you’re not alone. And that’s an what I really stressed to her and she really took to heart was that it’s not just about her keeping up. It’s about the burden it puts on your other friends. So let’s say there’s a group of five or six kids, and one is sort of the you know, the leader, that’s, that’s spending all this money, maybe the parents aren’t enforcing any boundaries. Maybe she’s spending money irresponsibly, and her parents don’t really know somehow we don’t know. But regardless, she’s the big spender, and maybe your kids somewhere in the middle, let your kid know, hey, look out for the people that don’t have the money, be a good friend to them by speaking up and saying, Hey, let’s choose a different outing, let’s choose a different thing, whatever it may be, and phrase it not as Oh poor, you, you can’t keep up phrase it as a way to be a good friend to the other friends and look out for them. And that’s going to hold true. That is so important when kids get older in their 20s. And I see this now with my eldest daughter, because you start going to weddings and stuff and airline tickets and bridesmaids dresses in the whole thing. And you want to teach them those skills, because otherwise they’re gonna have real financial problems. And again, phrasing it as looking out for the other people to is so important that it doesn’t mean they can’t afford it. It means they’re being a good friend to the rest of the group.

Lisa Damour
Bobbi, let me ask you, did you work out with your daughter very specific language? I think this is brilliant and wonderful. But was there a phrase that she had to work with something like let’s go a place that’s going to be comfortable for everyone? Or did she figure it out on our own? Or how did that come to be?

Bobbi Rebell
I would say a combination. We definitely did have talks about it. She went to a school with a lot of wealthy kids. Some of them were from different countries and just had very different attitudes and levels of parental supervision. I don’t know that you at that age when they’re younger can be that specific when they’re teenagers at the younger ages. I think it was more just making a suggestion and having the confidence to get the group to fall. Have you so not explicitly saying, Oh, our other friend can’t afford it. So let’s not do that. It’s just saying, Oh, but I heard this other place is awesome. It’s this cool dive bar or whatever, I’m just if they’re old enough to drink, I’m not advocating that. But whatever it is, whatever it is, but you understand, but once they’re older, I will tell you, and she actually talks about this in my book, and she was recently on my podcast last summer, she will be much more clear now because she now at age 25, bought her own apartment a year ago, largely because of these practices. Yes. And it’s because she did these things. And she’s very clear to her friends that are still very dependent on their parents, that she made these choices, and they are jealous of her, some of them. And she says, Well, let’s go somewhere cheaper, so you can save more money, let’s not blow our money going out. Look what I accomplished by living at home. Granted, COVID helped because there was less temptation. She lived at home she banked almost all of her salary, because we did not charge her rent, we didn’t charge her for groceries, she went out with her friends that was on her, but they can see her friends can now see what she accomplished. And that motivates her friends. So now she’s very clear to her friends. And it’s almost you know, it’s a support group for any goal, whether it’s health related, or school support, when you want to get better grades, you tell your friend, hey, let’s go do a study group. Let’s go work together. A lot of young 20 Somethings, they want to be financially independent. And so if it can be something that comes from friendship, and love and support, that’s going to be so motivating.

Reena Ninan
Bobbi, we’ve got a question from a listener who says how can I teach financial responsibility without stress or valuing money wealth too much? What really works and getting them to be good savers.

Bobbi Rebell
I would say let them make mistakes and don’t judge. That’s really hard to do though here and I found myself, I have found myself making mistakes on this end to be fair, and so you learn from your mistakes, but try to take a step back and give them the independence to make some mistakes. I mean, some younger people, for example, I keep being asked about crypto and what I think about from don’t I have no idea what’s going to happen with crypto, I am the last person to ask about that. But what I do think it’s great for is teaching young people about risk because rather than say to them, no, don’t invest in crypto say you decide, but understand the risks. And who knows where it is now who knows where it’s going to be. But whatever happens it is high risk, let them lose a little money, let them make a little money. They might do great, depending on where they buy, right?

Reena Ninan
I never do that I would never do it. And don’t judge I would never because if I’m not invested in crypto, why would I allow them to I think that’s sort of a mindset a lot of parents have, right? But you’re saying let them do it. What’s the worst that can happen

Bobbi Rebell
with a controlled amount, I’m not saying turn over their future inheritance. But you know, if they’re earning some money and they want if they’re earning money, or they got money from a birthday, and they want to put in 10% into a very risky asset class, whatever that may be. Let them do it. I remember, you know, during the pandemic, there was a lot of Reddit talk that the kids kept seeing about certain they called a meme stocks where they were sort of stocks that were gonna go, there was hertz, it was going bankrupt. And yet the stock was soaring, and people were making money. And they were telling me, oh, my friends so and so bought hers, and it tripled in value overnight, and they sold them like That’s great. Are you going to do that? And they’re like, well, we don’t know, you know, they sort of I just let them decide. Because there’s so much time to make up and they’re not gambling. They’re not 63 years old gambling with their last you know, last investment whatever it may be your last bits of earned income. They’re so young in their in their investing life. So I think it’s fine. Let them make the decisions. And the hardest thing and this is something again, I have definitely stumbled on it’s not easy. None of this I told you. So none of this judgment, you have to just step back and just even you know, don’t bring it up. Even last summer when the NASDAQ was cratering and I knew one of the kids had some had, you know, a big chunk in technology stocks. I didn’t bring it up Uh huh, just don’t bring what it

Lisa Damour
reminds me of Bobbi is a friend of mine whose son had a financial goal wanted for himself a particular pair of shoes, that the parent was not going to finance. And the parent had said, you know, that’s on you, and the kid was saving for it. And then he made some impulsive decision. on something else, I don’t remember it was a video game or something, and so spent and so the separate from investing, I couldn’t see the same exact lessons can play out in all sorts of places, spent the money impulsively on a video game that he ended up hating. And my friend did the best job of saying, you’ll figure this out, you have the goal that you want, you’re going to learn from this really didn’t say like, See, I told you, you shouldn’t have bought that game, or if you really wanted those shoes. So I can see all of these ways investments, or even just sort of much more kind of everyday financial wishes that kids may have, or things that kids may want to be able to buy themselves, letting them make their mistakes, like you say, and treating all of those mistakes, which hopefully can be small and contained and like you say not their last dollar for retirement, as them learning as they go about where they really want to spend their money.

Bobbi Rebell
exactly true. And like I said, it’s really hard, you may stumble and judge, I definitely have had my moments where I’ve been like, I can’t believe you did that. But you have to let them make their mistakes. And by the way, some of the things that we perceive as mistakes may not be in the end. So you just have to let it play out a little bit.

Lisa Damour
I love it. Okay, let’s talk about teens and checking accounts. Should they have them and then also tell me where debit and credit cards fit into all of this, especially as kids go off to college, if that’s where they’re going,

Bobbi Rebell
I do think they should have checking accounts. And I do think they should have debit, debit accounts to start and then credit cards, I should say, and credit cards, really because it’s important for them to build a credit history. So the first credit card for most kids will probably be their name on your credit card. And what’s really important is that you explain to them first of all how credit cards work, you can say, Oh yes, pay off the balance every time. But believe it or not, a lot of things can be misunderstood if you don’t really walk through it with them. Now, as I said, first, they’re gonna be on your credit card. So you can have a limit to how much they can spend. And you have to be in tune with what’s going on with them. I have friends that sent a kid off to camp last summer, and they had a certain amount in mind. But they didn’t realize that the camp took the kids to Disney World. And so they had budgeted $200 for the month, because they thought he’d just be buying snacks. And then oh my goodness, he blew the whole thing. And he was getting the credit card rejected. So you have to really understand what it’s gonna be used for and make sure the the limit is appropriate. That said, when they get their own credit card or even before, when you teach them how credit cards work, it’s important that they understand, paying off the whole balance every month is not the number you really want to show them the statement. It’s not the number that isn’t is usually bigger on the statement, because the bigger number is often the minimum payment. And many people think that they’re paying their credit cards every month properly. This is, you know, maybe surprising to some people. But it really is more common than than I would like to believe. But it happens that you think that. Yes. And many adults have told me that that is what they did when they were younger. Because no one taught them otherwise they paid the bill.

Reena Ninan
That makes sense if no one’s ever explained it to you, you know we you mentioned earlier in the podcast, Bobbi something called green, the green light app, what is that we actually got a question about whether what you thought about it and maybe might be good for some parents who don’t know what it is to explain it?

Bobbi Rebell
Oh, absolutely. And I should say I have no affiliation with the company. So I’m not speaking on behalf of the company at all. I’m just a parent that uses it. I think it’s terrific. It’s effectively the way that I use it as mainly as a debit card, and I can send my son money, I find that very useful. Because sometimes, for example, he now sometimes has visited his grandfather, he goes on plane rides by himself, and he’s in an airport and he might need more money for something unexpected, or I need to send him money. And I also love it because I can see exactly when he hits that Krispy Kreme donut shop, right? You can see what they’re doing. When you give them cash, you don’t always see everything. Greenlight also has great investing tools that you can use to teach your kid to research potential investments and go forward from there. And there’s different levels of it, depending on what your needs are. But it’s really growing all the time. I’m not sure what the latest features are, because I kind of am in my zone with it. But it’s wonderful. They’ve got research, they’ve got tools for parents tools for kids to really learn about money in a very practical sense.

Reena Ninan
So is this like Google Pay or Apple Pay but just on an app.

Bobbi Rebell
So you can see my son could use green light can funnel through to Apple Pay. Green light is is really an educational resource. I mean, it’s a practical resource in that it has a debit card, the debit card connects to his Apple Pay, if that makes sense. Apple Pay so the green light is really an educational tool as well as a financial app.

Lisa Damour
Is it like a digital wallet that the parent can supervise? Exactly. Okay, that’s really cool. And how old was your son? When he started with it?

Bobbi Rebell
I want to say 12, maybe 12 or 13, fantastical years? Couple of years? Yeah, I think you could probably start them on the simpler things younger, that’s just happens to be when we started using it, I just find it useful because it has so many different components is sort of a one stop shop versus Apple Pay is just one thing. And as I said, it works with Apple Pay. That’s how we use it. In most circumstances, he does have a physical card, you send in a picture of them. So his photo is on the physical debit card that he has, but in practical use, he really uses it through his phone, as they do everything. Excellent.

Reena Ninan
So someone else is asking, you know, there’s a fine line between making kids aware of your financial situation and then stressing them out, especially if you might be going through sort of a difficult patch at the moment. Do you have any pointers when talking about family wealth, or lack thereof, or even if you have an abundance, what do you think is important?

Bobbi Rebell
I think it’s important to consider the child’s personality, their interest, their maturity, their age, their responsibilities, because sometimes you have an older child who may have real responsibilities, if something should happen. And some things can be on a need to know basis, like your actual net worth, they may not need to know that. But they may need to know who to go to, should something happen to you guys. Right? So they might know that Aunt, Margie has all the information if you ever need it at the most basic level, or they might be older, and they might have skills, one might be you know, studying, you know, accounting and be able to actually get involved. It just depends with the younger kids, I think that you have to be a little more delicate, obviously, if something’s going on, because you want them to feel safe and secure. And there may not be any good that will come out of giving them that information. When they’re older. You know, as a practical matter of if you really are in dire financial situation, as we saw with some families and COVID, including an immature teenager in what’s going on. They might say, oh, you know what, I’m gonna go get a job, and I’m gonna contribute to the family. Now, instead of asking you for money, I’m going to be giving the family money, and I’m going to step up. And that’s a good thing. That’s great. That happened a lot.

Lisa Damour
What I hear Bobbi in your answer is, don’t put your kid in a position where they’re going to feel helpless. So if it’s a younger child, where there is nothing they can do, and they may not even understand it, there’s probably no upside to involving them in your financial situation if you don’t have to. But if it’s a child where they can have some say, or even become an asset to the family in terms of their ability to help with the situation, if you need and want that, then it might be worth having that conversation. 100%. Buddy, as we wrap up, tell us a bit about your book launching financial grownups. What can parents look to this book for? What would you recommend they might seek it out for when they’re wanting information?

Bobbi Rebell
Well, first of all, thank you so much for having me. And for discussing the book, which is really comes from my own. I’m just going to be honest, here. It comes from so many failures, Lisa, Reena, it really does, and a lot of my failures in parenting and teaching these kids about money. You know, it came from the fact that here, I spent two decades as a business news journalist working for places like CNBC, and CNN and Reuters, I became a certified financial planner, I had written a previous book. And yet I was really struggling with my young adult kids, to get them to do things fully. So for example, they might sign up for a 401k, but not fill out all of the forms. They didn’t know about credit cards, but a perfect example would be what we were talking about earlier, where you get your credit card, and you don’t fully understand how they work. Right? So a lot, a lot of that was sort of half half getting with the program and half not and I didn’t know what to do. So I reached out, I have a wonderful network of friends that are money experts, parenting experts, therapists, financial therapists are in the book, because I was sort of feeling embarrassed about my lack of success in some areas. And I figured there are other parents that are also struggling with teaching teenagers and young adults about money, in a very practical sense, and it is so hard. And it’s not something that we necessarily talk to each other about. We keep our failures secret. And I thought that by admitting that even I was having these struggles that might help other people and I had the wonderful ability to reach all of these experts basically, and get their take. And some of them I mentioned Ron Lieber Julie Luke got Hames is in the book, she wrote a wonderful book called How to raise an adult. kJ del Antonia, our mutual friend who used to be the parenting editor at the New York Times is in the book, so it’s really just my helping myself and in the meantime, hopefully helping lots of other parents with these. I don’t want to say embarrassing situations but just uncomfortable to talk about with your friends situations when it comes to your kids and helping everybody kind of get on the same page. and understand that we’re not alone. And hopefully from the book, a lot of the parents that read it and grandparents and really anyone that cares about a young person will start talking to each other and sort of saying, Gosh, I’m really frustrated. I love my 20 Something, kid, but I don’t know what to do about this or that, and so on. And I just want to get a conversation going about that stuff.

Reena Ninan
Just one more. I’m going to put Bobbi I’m gonna put you on the spot for a second. What do you wish you had done in your teenage years or learned that you think could have helped you financially down the road?

Bobbi Rebell
I wish I had talked to both of my parents more. And both of them separately, I talked to my dad a lot, because he did put us on budgets. And we had to come in and have yearly conversations with him, actually, really, every semester, once we got to college, about what we were spending, why, because he did give us money. Even though we had jobs, we were able to save the money from our jobs and then spend the money he gave us. So I did talk to him a little bit. But I really didn’t talk to my mother who’s no longer with us. And I had a lot of conversations with my father while writing this book. That gave me such a clearer picture to what was going on in his life and his own ups and downs. And I didn’t know there were any downs in his life, ever. And like all of us, he had many setbacks. He had career setbacks, he had moments when he had his own whatever things, and I had no idea I always saw him as perfect, which I still do, of course, is the best. But it was good to know, you know, Oh, I did have this career stumble. Oh, yeah. That time when I was suddenly really into, you know, taking piano lessons, oh, there was a career stumble there or, you know, little things that happened that as a child, you just see your parents is all knowing and all perfect. And I really wish that I had talked to him, even as a younger adults. I mean, I’m now you know, a parent of three kids. And I hadn’t really talked to him about this stuff till now. And I really wish I had talked to him in the moment. So I would encourage any teenagers or young adults out there to do a debrief with your parents.

Lisa Damour
I love that. I love that. Bobbi, thank you so much for joining us. We so appreciate your wisdom, your willingness to talk about a hard topic. I think a lot of people find money very, very fraught, to discuss and your normalization of the complications, the mistakes, the weirdness that can sometimes arise and the importance of having the conversations anyway.

Bobbi Rebell
Thank you so much for having me. I really enjoyed being here with both of you.

Reena Ninan
Thank you, Bobbi. I’m gonna go make pasta for a week so we can get those jars to save, spend and for charity. I love that idea. love that idea. Bobbi Rebell. The book is called launching financial grownups live your richest life by helping your almost adult kids become everyday Money Smart. I love that she’s right. You know, Lisa, parents just don’t talk about finances because it’s awkward with our kids. But Bobbi’s right, you know, you need to have these conversations, even if they’re a little bit uncomfortable or awkward. Absolutely, absolutely. So what do you have for us for parenting to go?

Lisa Damour
Well, as Bobbi was talking, I was thinking again, about how much I love when teenagers have jobs. And I know I’ve brought this up many times, I think there’s huge value in adolescents having jobs outside the home. And she reminded us of another one, which is when they are making the money. And they are then in the driver’s seat often about choosing how to spend that money. That is really when they learn a huge amount about the connection between effort and outcome, time and money and what they really want to spend money on and what it’s not worth spending money on. And I’ve absolutely seen kids learn this the hard way. And sometimes the easy way, but they learn when they are making their own money.

Reena Ninan
You rightly said nothing beats experience. And by the way, next week, we’re going to talk about tracking your kids online. When should you do it, and when could it ruin your relationship? I’ll see you next week.

Lisa Damour
I’ll see you next week.

The advice provided by Dr. Damour here will not and does not constitute - or serve as a substitute for - professional psychological treatment, therapy, or other types of professional advice or intervention. If you have concerns about your child’s well-being, consult a physician or mental health professional.

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