8 Rules for Raising Money Smart Kids

When I wrote my first column about kids and money in the 1990s, the hot topic was whether to buy Pump sneakers, one of the first items of kids' apparel with a price tag that passed the $100 mark.

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When I wrote my first column about kids and money in the 1990s, the hot topic was whether to buy Pump sneakers, one of the first items of kids' apparel with a price tag that passed the $100 mark. Two decades later, I found myself weighing in on whether to pay for LeBron X sneakers, which topped out at $270. While some challenges are a matter of degree, today's parents (and grandparents) are also wrestling with new quandaries that didn't even exist back in the '90s. Should they let teens spend with a prepaid card? What happens if kids run up charges on the family cell-phone bill? Should children be allowed to download games to Dad's iPad?

What I've learned from raising my own three children and speaking with thousands of other parents and kids over the years is this: The circumstances may change, but you are guaranteed to raise kids with sound financial values if you follow these eight guidelines.

Janet Bodnar
Editor-at-Large, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Janet Bodnar is editor-at-large of Kiplinger's Personal Finance, a position she assumed after retiring as editor of the magazine after eight years at the helm. While editor, Bodnar was honored by Folio as one of its Top Women in Media. She is a nationally recognized expert on the subjects of women and money, children's and family finances, and financial literacy. She is the author of two books, Money Smart Women and Raising Money Smart Kids. As editor-at-large, she writes two popular columns for Kiplinger, "Money Smart Women" and "Living in Retirement." Bodnar is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University and is a member of its Board of Trustees. She received her master's degree from Columbia University, where she was also a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Business and Economics Journalism.