I wrote this post for Brian at Debt Discipline as part of his series on financial literacy.

I wasn’t a “teachable” teen

Sometimes I read parenting articles that offer pointers on teaching teens about financial management – and I find myself shaking my head. I’m not convinced that good financial management can be “taught” in a linear, rational way to teens – at least not all of them.

Take me, for example. Wind the clock back a few decades, and see me as a teen, begging my parents for yet another advance on my monthly allowance. With every hesitation on their part, with every effort to explain to me that I needed to be more careful about how I spent the money, my begging would escalate – to whining, to exasperation, to wounded anger.

Every time I succeeded. I got my advance – which once again I spent too quickly. Rinse repeat.

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