21 things you should make your kids pay for

A blogging mother of three thinks the way to teach children about money is to have them pay a lot of their own expenses. Not the mortgage or groceries, but movies, toys, treats and things they broke or lost. Older kids should pay for clothes, entertainment with friends, gifts, their smartphone data plan, driving-related expenses and more.

Whether it’s from birthday gifts or a part-time job, kids often have access to cash. “Many parents still find themselves paying for every little thing kids get, letting their money pile up in their piggy banks,” this blogger writes.

As the parent of 20- and 23-year-old boys, I can tell you that there’s some good, common sense in having your children pay their own way in some situations. But money piling up in a piggy bank can be a good thing if it’s used to teach the idea of long-term saving, particularly for college or university.

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If your kids plan to go to college or university, suggest they begin saving for it once they start taking on summer jobs. Putting part of a paycheque away for university costs may mean your child doesn’t have enough to pay his or her cellphone data plan or car insurance bill. Covering these expenses as a parent is the cost of teaching your children how to save for life’s biggest, most important expenses as well as the small stuff.

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Rob’s personal finance reading list…

How real families are cutting their grocery spending
A useful list of tips for organizing your grocery shopping so that you spend less money. Gathered from suggestions submitted by singles and people who are part of a couple or family.

Is your adviser a pro or an amateur?
An important read for people with investment advisers. A look at the behaviours of conscientious advisers versus amateurs (aka sales people).

Move to Saint John
The mayor of this New Brunswick city makes a pitch for people in Vancouver and Toronto to check out the cheap house prices there. Saint John has come up a few times when I’ve looked for affordable markets in Canada.

She’ll have Pepsi
Fifteen-year-old Maya Peterson writes in her investing blog about why she bought shares of PepsiCo. An excellent analysis of how to decide if a company making a product you like is worth investing in.

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Today’s featured financial tool
Parents and teens will find this post-secondary cost of education calculator useful. It goes beyond basic costs like tuition and books to include food, transportation, accommodation and more.

Ask Rob
A comment this time instead of a question:
“Just a big thank you for the column headlined ‘A frank discussion of your excuses for not giving to charity.’ Thought you might like to know that it ‘shamed’ me into donating securities to the Cancer Society and that your column has been of benefit to the less fortunate. I hope that it prompted others to do the same.”

Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Sorry I can’t answer every one personally. Questions and answers are edited for length.

What I’ve been writing about
– Canada’s advisers reveal their best suggestions for managing your money in 2018

– Eight do’s and don’ts for your personal finance this year

– Here’s a good, sound portfolio of ETFs that will cost you less than last year (for Globe Unlimited subscribers)

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