I had my checking account in my teens, but i don't remember just how old. Maybe you could set up a "checking account" from home to teach them its use? You hold their money, and when they want to buy something they have to write a "check" to you, plus keep a running balance in the account, etc. And you pay out the money they want only when they have it in their "accounts"?

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Thing is, I think your mistake was to give them an ultimatum about the saving half the check.<br />
My mom was always giving me and my brother 'advice' on what to do with our money. She basically managed it for us for a long time. <br />
For example, I didn't make much at all until I was 22. Up to that time I was giving what I earned to mom because she was convinced I am not able to manage money on my own and she never gave me a chance to do so, and it was, as she put it my 'contribution to the family budget'. So basically I didn't have experience of actually managing my own money until 22. And let me tell you, even though I was already 22 years old, I had 0 skills of managing my own money and I had to learn from scratch on my own at 22. I wasn't able to save money and would spend it all and lived paycheck to paycheck. And to be honest, I still struggle with learning how to save because up until recently I let parents give me advice on it when I just needed to do it on my own.<br />
My brother still doesn't realize value of money because of that and doesn't know how to save. And he's 25 years old.<br />
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What I'm getting at is, let them do with their money what they want. It is their money, they have to realize that they are in charge of it. They'll probably spend it all that summer anyways, but they will start learning to handle the money. <br />
I think what you should do is just give them advice re. considering to save some of it for some bigger purchases they may want, but don't micromanage them and don't make decisions for them.

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Oh I wouldn't make them pay me for nothing, the other half of the check would go onto their first car or even a downpayment on their own house when they are old enough to move out

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This is one of the reasons I advocate a kind of modern "HomeEc" class in high school that covers not just stuff like the basics of cooking for yourself, but how to keep a bank account, how credit cards and debit cards work, starting a savings account, the stock market, etc.--all the basic practical stuff for going out on your own.

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no, i didn't mean that they would pay you. i meant you giving them that ultimatum of saving half the check. they have to think on their own. telling them what to do won't make them think.

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@ChipmunkErnie: yeah, I agree. our schools need that class a lot. so many youngsters get in trouble with credit cards and money in general because they're simply illiterate when it comes to money by the time they get their hands on it. Not to mention how many financially illiterate parents there are...

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Well I don't want to be an illiterate parent I have a few ideas of my own, but I am seeking things that I have not yet thought of.

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I have a twin, and my mom had us get jobs the second we turned 14. We got cell phones when we got jobs, and had to pay our bills. I didn't get a credit/debit card til I was 18. We had to put all of our money in the bank, and then got atm cards so we could take out what we needed, when we needed it.

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Did that help you learn to manage and save your own money?

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Yeah. I also have two other sisters. Once we got jobs, the majority of things we wanted had to come from our own bank accounts. I bought my first car at 16 before I even have my license. We didn't grow up with a lot of material things, because my parents are strange hippies, but it helped because once we had money, we didn't spend it on random goods 'just because.'

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cool :D

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So what I really need to teach my children is to make wise decisions with their spending habit, that is the most important, I want them to save up for big things that will really benefit themselves like a car and then a home, in the mean time I will provide for them, but the half of their checks will teach them to spend their money wisely, maybe the clothes that they really want or going out on dates lol.,

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I would hold off on credit cards and such for a couple years.. It might be too much for them

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13 year olds can't get jobs.

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