Dear Dave: My daughter is 14, and she was recently offered a steady weekend modeling job. Do you have any advice on how to handle the money she earns?
Dear Cynthia: In terms of investing some of the money she'll make, a Roth IRA would be pretty cool. You would have to oversee it, of course, and you'd have to file a tax return, but starting something like this when she's 14 would help set her up for some serious money later.
I think the biggest thing, however, is to make sure you create lots of teachable moments for this young lady.
There are three areas every child should learn about when it comes to finances: spending, saving and giving. If she's working and earning money, she should be able to spend a little and enjoy the fruits of her labors — within reason, of course.
Saving for the short term might include putting money aside for a car or even college. Long-term goals would include the Roth IRA, so she would have a head start on being able to retire with some dignity one day.
Then you should always make sure to give some. Whether it's tithing to your church or finding other good causes, giving helps others and it's good for the giver. When we give, it helps us realize that we're not the center of the universe. It also makes us a little more Christlike.
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