Time to let your son handle his own finances

  • Growing and learning: parents should give their children the freedom to learn how to look after their own finances while at college, with some safeguards

    Growing and learning: parents should give their children the freedom to learn how to look after their own finances while at college, with some safeguards

Dear Dave,

My son is about to go off to college, and Iím concerned about how heíll handle his money when he gets there. Weíve taught all our children how to use your envelope system, and to save and give, but Iíd like some advice on how he can safeguard his finances a little better.


Dear Ashley,

If you havenít already covered it, he needs to learn to utilise a debit card and reconcile a chequing account. Set the account up in your name and his, so you can follow whatís going on in the account. If thereís an issue, this gives you easy access so that a minor incident doesnít become a huge problem.

Right now, the best way for him to learn is to make educated, informed decisions on his own and to stand on his own two feet. Youíre there for guidance at this point ó not control. Iíd let him use a debit card, cash, and have a few simple envelopes for expenses. Also, he needs to report back to you monthly whatís going on with the budget. What Iím talking about here isnít control; itís a simple, regular review and coaching session on finances. This is an exciting time in your lives. Youíve laid a foundation, and itís time for this little one to spread his wings a bit. Together, you can make sure heís learning and living the way a young man should!


Dear Dave,

What is your opinion on leasing mobile phones?


Dear Monica,

In most cases, leasing something is just another way of financing. I wouldnít lease anything, apart from a building or office space for a business in the short term.

There are almost always hidden conditions and a few ďgotchasĒ hidden in the fine print of leases. Besides, leasing a mobile phone? Really? Come on! If you canít pay cash for something like a mobile phone, it means you canít afford the phone. Itís as simple as that!


Dave Ramsey is CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven bestselling books, including The Total Money Makeover. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 13 million listeners each week on 585 radio stations and multiple digital platforms. Follow Dave on the web at daveramsey.com and on Twitter at @DaveRamsey.

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Published Oct 7, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated Oct 6, 2017 at 11:20 pm)

Time to let your son handle his own finances

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