The tips below are activities, tools, and resources my husband used with our sons to further encourage the truths found in Conversation #4. Feel free to pass them along to your husband and in turn, if he has something valuable to add to the list, please comment and share the idea with the rest of our 5 Conversations blog community.
Dad:2:Dad tips (by Keith Courtney)
Tools and principles I used to teach financial and personal responsibility:
- Gave allowance equal to 2 times the boys age; I taught them:
– all of the money was God’s and that they are stewards of that money;
– to tithe 10%, save 10%, and that it is good to avoid, or at least limit, debt
- When each was young, we gave them their allowance in cash, and when they were older, we used a check register to teach them how to do a checking account (write down 10% in a savings “account” in the check register, and write down the other 80% in a separate part of the check register). Click here for a link to a similar product to the one we used.
- When they got older, I helped them develop a budget regarding how to spend the money they had
- On trips, we would give the boys a set amount of money to use for souvenirs, extra food, etc., and tell them that once they spent it all, they would not be able to get anything else.
- Taught importance of taking care of their stuff, including how to do so. One example is that when they got a car, I told them that it was their responsibility to check the oil and fluid levels, tire pressure, etc. and to ensure that oil changes and other maintenance were done.
- Taught them how to do house chores and projects, including mowing yard, putting up ceiling fans, etc., and required them to do such house chores and projects.
- Required that each boy face the consequences of their actions or failure to act, such as failing to do chores on time or properly, getting a speeding ticket, etc.
- Had them get a job and pay for certain things, such as activities they wanted to do with their friends
In order to prepare each of my children for the real world and avoid a sense of entitlement over a college education being “owed to them,” I had each of my children sign a contract at the beginning of every year of college. Below is a copy of the actual contract we had our oldest son sign before he attended Auburn University:
a. At the end of each semester, one of the following must be met, or you will have to pay us the amount indicated in 1.b.:
i. your GPA for the semester is at least 3.0, or
ii. your cumulative GPA at the end of the semester is at least 3.0.
b. The amount you will owe if you do not meet either 1.a.i. or 1.a.ii. is as follows: $500 for every tenth of a point that your semester GPA or cumulative GPA, whichever is highest, is below 3.0. For example, if your semester GPA is 2.7 and your cumulative GPA is 2.8, you will owe $1000. You cannot use money earned during the summer to pay this amount; you must get a job while going to school to pay it off.
c. For any class for which you receive a D or F, you will owe 100% of the cost of the class, as determined by the following formula. You cannot use money earned during the summer to pay for a D or F; you must get a job while going to school to pay it off.
[total cost of school for semester (including tuition, room, board)] X [# of hours of class] # of hours taken in semester
2. You can never be taking less than 15 hours, either at the beginning or end of any semester (because we will only pay 4 years of college).
3. Extracurricular activities
a. First and foremost, get involved (i) with a church and at least one Christian group on campus, and (ii) in a small group Bible study (such as Sunday School or a study in sorority or in one of the Christian groups.
b. Participate in intramurals
c. Appropriately limit electronic stuff (computer, games, text messaging, cell phone
4. You understand that: (i) we (your parents) are taking a huge financial load off of you, compared to most kids, by paying for your college education, (ii) it will cost us between $100,000 and $125,000 for 4 years of out-of-state college tuition and related expenses, and (iii) if we did not pay for your college, you would have to work during school, and take tens of 1000’s of student loans that would be very difficult to pay off.