Dear Dave: My wife and I are trying very hard to save money and pay off debt, but we’re not making progress as quickly as I had hoped. What do you think of the idea of putting a hold on our son’s allowance for the jobs he does around the house until we get into a better financial situation? — Kellen
Dear Kellen: Kids should learn at an early age that money is connected to work. Even a child in kindergarten is old enough to begin doing some age-appropriate chores around the house.
I admire your drive and determination to get out of debt, but if it were me, I wouldn’t stop the process. I would, however, stop calling it an allowance. There’s a victim mentality attached to that word. He’s doing work, and reaping the rewards.
We did this kind of thing in our home with our kids, but we called it a commission. We kept it very simple for them, and very affordable for us. If they did their jobs, they got paid. If they didn’t do their jobs, they didn’t get paid. It didn’t take long for them to make the connection.
Don’t let these teachable moments slip away, Kellen! —Dave
Dear Dave: I read where you recommend investing 15% of your income into Roth IRAs and other pre-tax retirement plans. Do you also advise counting a company match as part of that percentage? — Bryce
Dear Bryce: Employment situations, and employers, can change at any time. I want you putting in 15%. That way, you don’t have to rely on someone else to complete your retirement savings plan.
Planning for retirement is your responsibility. It’s not your employer’s job to make sure you have money to live on in your old age. Stick 15% in there yourself, Bryce. If your employer matches workplace contributions, that’s great. Things will be even better! —Dave
Dave Ramsey is a personal money-management expert, a bestselling author and host of the nationally syndicated radio program “The Dave Ramsey Show,” which is heard locally on KROC-AM. For more financial advice, visit daveramsey.com.