Update: two of the “kids” mentioned in this post are grown now, with their own children. However, I do think this topic is perennial and the advice is still sound:
One of the most effective ways my three “kids” (now ages 25, 20 and 14) have learned to manage their own money has been through the use of clothes budgets.
What is a “clothes budget”? I’m referring to an exact dollar amount a teen gets per year for ALL items of clothing, including shoes, socks, swimsuit, underwear, coat . . . you name it. When they spend it, it’s gone. Finis.
If a teen wants more clothing than her budget allows for, she can pay for that with her own hard-earned money or gift money she’s saved. If your son blows all his money on designer pants, then needs a coat, he can ask for one for Christmas. (Yes, I’m hard-nosed, but my two grown kids are now wise shoppers!) Sticking to your guns is the ONLY way a clothes budget will work.
What dollar amount is reasonable?