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A lesson about debt

Money talk with my teenage daughter

by Single Ma  |  2398 views  |  1 comment  |        Rate this now! 

My daughter and I were riding in the car, returning home from a fun-filled weekend. The entire trip is several hours long and we had approximately one and a half more to go. So I used the "togetherness" as an opportunity to talk about... what else? Money!

Single Ma: Now that you have your first paycheck, you know you owe me $25 right?

BabyGirl: *with a look of fear*

For what!?!

SM: *laughing at her for being all indignant*

Because I bought you a Smart Trip card and the shoes you needed for work.

BG: But I thought you were doing that to be nice?

SM: *makes mental note to clarify any future advances as “loans”

Oh no, no honey. You said you needed them, so I bought them for you because I knew you didn’t have any money yet. And since when have you ever known me to be nice?

BG: *laughing because she thinks I'm joking*

But Maaaaaaaa, you said you wouldn’t take me to work unless the weather is bad or it’s dark, so I have to take the bus. And none of the black shoes I had fit the dress code at work.

SM: Yes, I know that dear. I’m not saying you didn’t need those things, but they are work related. You wanted this job, so you must pay for your own work related expenses - *pause for effect* - which just so happen to include transportation and appropriate work attire.

BG: *crosses arms to pout*

Well you shouldn’t have bought them then!

SM: *gives BG the side eye in the passenger seat*

Why not? Would you have walked to work?

BG: No, but I don’t like being in debt!

SM: *thinking*

HA HA! that response was worth more than $25. It was friggin’ priceless! She feels uncomfortable knowing that she owes me (or anyone) money before receiving her paycheck. Also, she realizes that paying it back will reduce the amount of money she thought she would have at her discretion to spend. And now she’s mad. LOL. Good!

About the Author

A working (single) mom and author of the personal finance blog Fabulous Financials @

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1 comment so far...

  • Good for you mom. It is always good to establish priorities early on, especially when it comes to finances and paying debt. She may be mad for now, but it will wear off soon and she will appreciate you more for being so direct. Now if I can just instill that same principle into my daughter. She seems to think money grows on the invisible money tree in the backyard.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Yvonne on 28th November 2008