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What My Mom Taught Me About Money

Andrea’s note: This is a guest post from my 13 year-old son, Jayden. Please be kind! This is his first attempt at blogging and he’s a little nervous. I’d love it if you would all leave a comment – hopefully it will encourage him to do this again sometime. 🙂


My mom is always talking about the economy and topics related to money. Honestly, I don’t care too much about that stuff because I’m just a kid. I do know that the economy is not as good as it was when I was younger, and many teenagers don’t know a lot about finances. The economy may never improve if we’re in charge. Here are a few things I’ve learned from my mom that I think all kids my age should know about money.

  1. If you have trouble holding onto money, don’t get a credit card. My mom used to go out and spend too much money on credit cards, and it added up to a lot of debt. Later on, we didn’t have any money for ourselves because we had to pay it all toward credit card payments. I was little and it was hard for me to understand why everything was different. It would have been better if she spent what we could afford all along. Instead, I was used to getting new stuff all the time and I used to get mad when she said no. When I’m older, I will get a credit card for emergency use only. An emergency would be something like car repair, not clothes shopping or going out to eat.
  2. You should always save as much as possible. I don’t save much right now because my mom takes care of everything I need. She makes me save 10% of my allowance every week and I’m never allowed to spend any of it on things I want. But when I’m an adult, I’ll need to save for things like retirement and emergencies (so hopefully I’ll never have to use a credit card). My mom saves for things now instead of buying them with credit cards. It makes a lot of sense to save up money when you want something and don’t have enough money to pay for it. Even if it’s something you really want, sometimes you have to wait.
  3. You should think of several ways to make money instead of just one. If all your money comes from your job, you could get in trouble if you had a crappy job like my mom had. (Andrea’s note: You can read the story starting here.) They didn’t treat her very nicely and she was always mad when she came home from work. She didn’t make enough money to pay all the bills. We were lucky she was a blogger because the blog made money too. When I’m older, I don’t want to have just one income because something might go wrong. I could get fired or laid off or I might not make enough money.
  4. Find a way to make money doing what you love. My mom quit her job so she could be a writer. She has always liked to write, even before I was born. Considering she makes enough money to pay the bills and got one of her blog posts put in a magazine, I think she’s doing a good job. She’s not as stressed out now and I get to see her more. I’m planning to become a blogger when I finish high school because I like working on the computer and I want to see if I’ll be as happy as Mom is. No matter how big or small your dreams are, you shouldn’t give up on them even if it takes a long time.

Those are the things I know about money so far. I think if all teenagers knew these things, they’d be better prepared for the future. Hopefully some teenagers will see this post and avoid making the same mistakes my mom did.


  1. Congratulations Young Man on getting a handle on all of this now – this will save you from financial meltdown in the future and enable you to earn a living whatever the state of the economy.  Let us know when you start you "Junior Money Blog" LOL

  2. Anonymous says:

    Well said and well written Jayden!  Mom should be proud.

  3. CommonCents says:

    Jayden you are wiser then your years! Its great that your leaning these things now so you know what not to do!!

  4. Nice work, Jayden!! Too true about earning your money from more than just one place…I'm still working on figuring out what else I can do to earn money. I hope to see you write another post sometime!!

    • In the future, I will probably start writing more posts for Mom as practice for my own blog. Be sure to check so you don't miss them!

  5. Hey,

    Wow! You are a bright kid. You will go far in life of you continue to learn from those who you look up to and apply it in your life. Nice job! Love the part on multiple income sources!

    Kraig –

  6. Jessica Lancaster says:

    Jayden seems to be quite a smart young man!  I wish people twice (and more) his age had the same ideas about money that he has.  Great work!

  7. Shellie Griffith says:

    Wonderful post! You should be so proud of him Andrea. Great job teaching him how to be a money-smart adult!

  8. Jayden made a great post! These are all great things to know.

  9. Great job, Jayden!  Thank you for sharing with us.

  10. Jayden, glad to see you're ahead of the game! 

    If you're 13 I don't see why you can't blog now, even if it's occasional guest posts on this site?  13 is usually the cut-off for age restrictions on the internet, and now that your Mom is getting traction I'm sure she would love the change of pace as well…


    • Right now I don't think I can balance schoolwork and blog posts. I have a hard time staying focused on school, so I'm waiting until I have more free time. I'll probably write more posts here though.

  11. Debgemologist says:

    Your son is very smart and wrote an insightful post that everyone can learn from.
    And I think you should feel good too.  I remember one of your previous posts where you were concerned about being able to teach him good money habits, since initially you were not a good example for him.  I think he has made it clear that your changing your relationship with your finances has taught him a lot as well.  What a great accomplishment!

  12. Mltodd1018 says:

    I wish I had known these things when I was  teenager.  Congrats on figuring things out early!  Your mom should be proud.

  13. What a great post Jay!! I don't think you have anything to worry about when it comes to blogging. You have definitely inherited the ability to write from you mother. A very good job. I've been thinking of asking my 9 year old to write a blog post too. He's learning a lot about money because I've done a lot of the same things as your mom

    I hope you write more soon.

    • Tell your son to give specific details and try to stay close to the topic of your blog. That's the best advice I can give to him.

  14. I wish I was this money-smart at 13. Great post 🙂

  15. Featherdiane says:

    Jayden, I grew up with my Mother making poor financial choices (credit card debt, second mortages, impulse purchases before the monthly bills were paid) this caused so much stress and fighting in our home.  Unfortunately, even though I knew that the way my Mom did things was wrong, I began my adult years making the same mistakes because I didn't really know how to do things differently.  I had to learn the hard way.  I now have a 4 year old son and I can only hope that I can teach him the things that your Mother has taught you!  You are on a great path and you show both wisdom and knowledge beyond your years.  Please share this knowledge with your peers in anyway that you can because this is just one way you can help shape your generation's future in a positive way! 

    • Thank you for the compliment. I hope I can help others learn to do the right things when it comes to finances even though I still have a lot to learn.

  16. Jayden!  Wow you are a bright kid, I wish I had written a post when I was your age, huge high fives for getting on here and sharing what you know!  I know it can be a bit scary when you blog the first time but I loved reading this post, you have some solid insights that I think adults need to hear, you're smarter than many of them! haha!  

    I want to read more of your stuff, so post on here anytime!  As much as I love reading your mom's stuff, nobody can resist hearing from a smart 13 year old to show us a thing or two! 😀

  17. Anna Newell Jones says:

    You have some great insight and it's evident that you're very smart. I'm sure your mom is really proud of you!

  18. Your mom is wise, and you should listen to what she teaches you.  How else would you explain the fact that you know at 13 what many adults in their 30's and 40's can't figure out!  Just think, if you start learning about the economy and money now (even a little at a time), you will be much farther along than many people could hope to be

    • I think it's sad that some adults don't know how to take care of money. Hopefully I won't be like that when I'm grown up.

  19. Great post, Jayden! You're clearly a really smart kid. You definitely know more about how to manage money than most of my friends in their twenties!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Jayden, you are truly an inspiration, just like your mom! I think it's wonderful that you have learned so much at a young age and that you are determined to be prepared for the future. You are far beyond your peers and I will be sharing this post with my three teenage boys. Congrats Andrea on being such a great example for your son, and as a mom myself, I know your are incredibly proud of him! Look forward to some more posts from you Jayden.

  21. Whoa! Bright kid!

    I think Jayden's writing is better than mine.  I am emailing this to my 18year old sister- just so she can use as advice.

  22. Great post! You are one smart kid and your mom should be proud 🙂

  23. That's all great advice. I like the point you made about not spoiling your kids at the beginning so they won't get used to it and be mad when it's taken away. 

    • That part made me laugh when I was reading over the post (AKA fixing all his typos). He really did act like a brat for awhile, and it made it SO hard to stick to what I was doing. But I was raised to believe that you don't get things when you whine/cry, so I stuck to that. He's become surprisingly grateful for what he has, and has realized that he still has more than 10 kids put together.

  24. Nice job! I especially like the do what yoy love! Life is so much easier if yiu do that.

    • I agree. I think some of these people who are doing things they hate only do them because they're scared to try the things they like. I'd rather try things I like than be miserable.

  25. Can I hire this guy to write for my blog??? Seriously, Jayden, great first post! It sounds like you've learned some valuable lessons from watching your mother. You're going to start out from a much better place than I did with money. Good luck to you, young man! I hope you'll write again for the blog soon! (And you should negotiate a guest blogging income! At least a little increase in the allowance, I think. 22 comments already… That's a lot of traffic you're bringing in! ;))

  26. Great post!  I wish my parents had made me save 10% of everything I earned when I was your age.  Keep up with the writing, you can definitely make a living doing what you love if you work at it!

  27. Wonderful article! Here's a big idea — you don't have to wait until you finish high school to write or become a blogger… you can start right now! In fact, you already have! Looking forward to reading more!

  28. Impressive! Good lessons to have learned at your age, and well thought out I would have to say. I think you are so right in all of your points especially the dream part. I truly believe we should not give up on our dreams. I also agree that happiness is important. Some of our decisions should be based on whether it makes us happy or not! Keep writing Jayden!

    • All I really want in a job is to be happy with what I do. I don't understand why so many people push themselves to succeed in a career they hate. Even if I don't blog as my job, I want to find something that makes me happy.

  29. That is amazing and Jayden has a better grasp on finances than a lot of adults. I think you are obviously doing a great job raising him Andrea. Even though you may have made some mistakes along the way with your finances, everything happens for a reason. You have taught your son valuable life lessons! Best blog post I have read all day!!!

  30. What a great post! You are ahead in life by knowing these things about money/finances. Well done!

  31. There is hope when young folk can write posts like this!  Good luck with your schooling J and why wait until you finish high school?  Go for it now – find a passion of your own and get blogging.

    • I have said this a few times but I am not the best student, so I want to wait before I start a blog of my own. Otherwise my grades would probably get worse and I'll be grounded all the time. Thank you for reading my post.

      • Yes J but you will learn a lot from blogging possibly including the technology and how things work, how the world works etc because you may be interacting with people a lot older than you and who can guide you.  It may not be detrimental to your grades at all.  Good luck anyway whatever you decide!

  32. Thank you for the compliment!

  33. Clutteredmoney says:

    I am so proud of you for writing this post!  

  34. You really hit my writing out of the park, sort of speak. Good job on this article. You’re definitely setting up an example by being honest about your opinions and finding lessons in things that happened to you. Hope we can see more from you later.

  35. Great post – keep writing and learning from your mom. She's a smart one and will be famous one day!

  36. What a nice post!  Jayden, definitely find a career you will love and you will be good at it. 

  37. Congratulations Jayden! This article is so well written.

    Andrea, you should be so proud of yourself for raising your son to have such a sensible head on his shoulders 🙂

  38. OMG, the wisdom!  You are doing a great job…. both of you.  🙂

  39. Afford Anything says:

    Hi Jayden! I'm glad you're thinking carefully about saving and spending now, at the age of 13. Keep it up!

    You'll do much better than most of your friends if you're smart with your money starting from age 13 — which it sounds like you are. Nice job, Jayden!

  40. Great job on this post! Very well written, and it contains some real wisdom. I'm very impressed!

  41. AmericanDebtProject says:

    Jayden, great post! I think these are great tips for adults and kids, and I LOVE tip #3, looking for more than one way to make money. It's a great plan and even more powerful if you start young.  Look forward to more of your posts!

  42. Great job Jayden.  You have a great grasp on finance.  This article was very well written.  I can't wait to read your next one.

  43. Nicely written, Jayden! I was lucky enough to learn most of these lessons as a teenager, too, but I really wish I had saved more of my money. I could have saved myself a lot of stress over bills in college if I hadn't spent so much of my money on junk in high school! 

    I don't know very many teenagers, but I know a lot of people in their early 20s who could also use this advice! 

  44. Best Bring your Kid to work day EVER.
    Its really easy to know what you think at 13, the key is to keep other people from changing your mind as you get older. Good luck buddy. I know that you can hold on to the truths in life.

  45. Great job, Jayden!  You are well on your way to be a successful blogger and have already learned some wise financial lessons.  Good luck!

  46. Wonderful first post, Jayden!  Congrats and I look forward to more posts from you.

  47. Great job, Jayden!  You have learned important things from your mom.  I have to say that there are way too many grown-ups who have not learned these lessons.  You are way ahead of them!  Keep learning from your mom and you will have a great life!

  48. Financial Samurai says:

    Wow, awesome!  Good job buddy!  Keep up with the savings and appreciate everything your mom and you have!

    Best, Sam

  49. My mom taught me how to stretch a dollar as far as it can go. She is great at this. People thought I was rich growing up even though I wasn't. She just really new how to spend right. I am still trying to perfect this myself. 

  50. Way to go Jayden, hope my daughter picks up as much by the time she is your age!

  51. Loved your lessons Jayden – it's helpful advice for more than just teenagers. I think number 4 is my favorite – being able to get paid for something you love makes life not less stressful but much richer. 

  52. So smart about money at such a young age! You'll do well in life Jayden. 🙂

    Andrea, congratulations on raising such an intelligent young man.

  53. Wow! Sounds like Jayden knows more about money than a lot of the adults I know !Well done!

  54. Good job Jayden! You really hit the nail on the head with everything you mentioned. I wish I had known those things as a teenager. You'll be very successful in life, of that I have no doubt!!

  55. @ Jayden – 13 years old and outshining me and i'm willing to bet a few million more in financial knowledge. What a start at such a young age. You have an awesome mom Jayden.

    @ Andrea – You must be so proud. I'd bet anything you were moved to tears after reading this. You can't tell me otherwise 🙂

  56. What an excellent post! I hope you write again! This is a post I will be having my nephews look at when they get a little older (and I know some adults who need to read it as well).  I'm glad that you are already thinking of the future. I wish when I was younger I would have been smarter and followed some of this advice. 

  57. Smart post!  My only suggestion, save for retirement (or a house or something) even before you are technically an adult.  You will love the fact you looked ahead later.  🙂

  58. Wow Andrea,

    I can't believe I just stumbled on this post.  I'm shocked at his writing skills!  Perhaps I should hire him as a writer? 🙂

    • I'm telling you, I was impressed as well! I think years of me nagging him about formulating coherent writing for school has rubbed off a little.
      He will be so excited to know that you said that. He's on a kick right now about blogging full time when he's older, so this will make his day.

  59. Nice job Jayden. You obviously know more about money than a lot of adults. And a really amazing job expressing it. If I hadn't been told, I wouldn't have beleived it came from a 13 year old.

  60. Great job teaching Jayden so much about money. When I was 13, I knew nothing about money except that I needed it to buy stuff. I think he's gonna have a bright financial future thanks to having the opportunity to learn about all this now. 🙂 Can't wait to read his next post.

  61. Way to go, Jayden. As a mom, let me say first that your mom is doing a great job. You seem like a very sensible young man, and I think you'll do all right for yourself. 🙂

  62. seedebtrun says:

    Great tips, Jayden! I wish I could go back in time and tell 13-year-old Michelle these pearls of wisdom!

  63. Wow awesome post! I am new to the blog and have only read a few posts so far, but this one was awesome! These are great tips that I wished I had learned this as a teenager. I will have to remember these when I have kids 🙂

  64. Wow too good. Congratulations to Jayden. Nice find of the day this was. This is the beginning, ask mommy for your own domain. The more you write more knowledgeable you'll become.

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