Working teenagers...separate budget or separate account?

What experience have any of you had with helping teens learn to budget their money once they get jobs and are suddenly "loaded with cash"?  I want them to learn the YNAB method while their bills are few and before they get used to "wasting" every dime that ends up in their pockets. :)  I'm wondering if it works to create a separate budget for them on my account while they are getting the hang of it, so I can help guide them a little, or if they should start their own YNAB account altogether.  My fear is that somehow they'll inadvertently get on my budget and mess it all up. :-/

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  • I've been thinking about this too - my daughter is hoping to get a job this summer.  I will definitely get her her own YNAB account.  I'm not entirely comfortable sharing our entire financial picture with my kid.  Not sure why, but we've always been a little vague with her about how much money we make etc.  

    Also, my hope is that she will continue to use YNAB for the long haul - she's still in highschool, but it won't be long before she is out of the house.  To me it seems to make sense to just get her set up to carry this with her.

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    • All About Numbers yes, that is pretty much what I was thinking. Thank you. 

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    • nolesrule
    • Stealing From the Future fix is an improvement but is incomplete....
    • nolesrule
    • 3 yrs ago
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    Separate budget. My kids have their own budgets which receive income from allowance and the occasional other cash receipt. They are learning early.

    As they hit high school we will step up what they are responsible for paying for, and they will have an even better grasp of budgeting by then.

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  • I have two teens left at home. Each of my 4 kids has their own YNAB account. Two of them really need to use it and two of them are naturally good at managing their money. YNAB has really been a helpful tool in making me feel comfortable launching my children into the world. 

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  • Each of my children (3 still living at home) has their own account and budget. The eldest is working part time and the two younger ones receive an allowance. As each has reached "the age of allowance" a condition for receiving the allowance is a well maintained budget! 

    Although my wife and I use nYNAB, I've kept the children's budgets on YNAB4. I use Dropbox to ensure I have access to their budgets but they don't have access to ours. 

    Although the nYNAB licence allows for all family members to use the tool and have separate budgets the security is all or nothing - credentials have to be shared which I find a struggle. If YNAB4 stops working at any point, I may consider having a second subscription to nYNAB just for the kids to share. It's not that I don't trust my children but my wife and I have a complex budget that also manages a small business so I want to limit the access to limit the chances of something going wrong. 

    With respect to teaching the children to budget, it's something that came pretty naturally for them. They have been brought with the phrase "let's check if there's money in the category" as the response to pretty much any request that involves dad reaching for his wallet! 

    When each child reached "the age of allowance" I sat with them to set up the budget, discussed their priorities and their obligations (each was quite taken aback by how much they had to save for birthday and Christmas presents!). At the start, I would help them each month to reconcile their accounts and budget for the next month but now they are pretty self sufficient. They use their phones to enter each transaction and it's now a habit. 

    Now that the eldest has a part time job, he is starting to accumulate some spare cash so we've been discussing long term savings options. Although only 15, if he ever want's to buy a house in the UK he'll need to start putting money aside. Why not start now and get into the right habit? The money could also come in handy if he decides to go to University. We'll most likely open up a Junior ISA (tax free savings in the UK). This can be converted into an adult version when he reaches 18.

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  • It doesn't sound to me like you need a separate account Gina Giraldin — just having a separate budget should get you and your kids the benefit you're looking for (and not get distracted by being "loaded with cash" 😬 )

    But others have said that and I think the advice you've gotten so far is spot on...I mostly wanted to reply because you might be interested in this thread. It's about younger kids, but there's some nice discussion of kids and budgeting in general there!

  • My kids have their own accounts, and run their own budgets. One with YNAB4, one based on Savings, Spending, Giving. 

    Both make their own money and their own decisions on what to do with it. I do give advice, and yes sometimes that is answered with "I know that Dad."

    But as their savings rates are both over 50% of their income, and they have more real money than I do, I figure they are doing okay. 😀

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  • I maintain a separate budget for each of our teens. Their money is off my budget completely. So it their college savings accounts.

  • I have two teenagers that work, the third will be soon as well. 

    Over Christmas break, I am setting them all up on YNAB with their own budgets. My oldest son just asked me this morning to be his accountant, because he spends way to much at his job (McDonald's). 

    Kids are never too young to set savings goals. 

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  • My kids have separate budgets in the family YNAB account but my teen has a separate account.  Why?  Privacy.  I want him to feel comfortable putting the truth in his budget, his true goals, etc.  Budgets are SO personal and I want him to budget for him, not to please me.  Plus, when he eventually leaves home, it will be nice for him to have his own separate account to take with him.  I don't know when I'll split off the kids' to their own accounts.

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  • Thank you...well said...makes sense!

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  • Have the same issue.  The first child we've done as a second budget.  It works OK but we're adding another child now and I think I'd rather do their own account since I'm pretty sure one of them is going to inadvertently mess up my own budget one of these days.

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  • Yes, my partner and I have 5 boys between us (9-17) and we have our own accounts (moving in together is on the calendar this year at some point).  The 17 year old needs his own account but I am not sure he will use it.  My 12 yo wants to see his budget all the time.  I have a separate budget for him and a line item for his budget in my account so I make sure to have the money in my total.  I wish for a function to be able to share a separate budget with a minor without them being able to make changes in my whole budget!  My 12 yo still needs guidance and I need to be able to see his budget.  

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