One of the most important but often overlooked topics a parent can teach their kids about is money management.
WealthQuest for Teens is an online video seminar with workbook program for teens 14 to 19. It retails for $39.95, and includes a seven module video with interactive workbook seminar, a teen pdf ebook with 30 daily assignments, link to an online money-management practice program, and 60 page pdf parent/teacher ebook.
In using the program, a 6 week period is recommended. The online seminar with workbook that can be typed into and printed after each module is viewed over the first week. The seven modules are short enough to do daily or a few in one day, depending on your internet speed. This is what the online module and workbook look like:
The 2nd and 3rd weeks are suggested to work through the Teen ebook, which has 30 daily lessons. The 4th week it is suggested to set up a free account on a money management site called Money Trail to keep track of where their money is going. (This account can be set up as the kids are working through the Teen ebook, as well.) The 5th week is suggested to read through your choice of a good money management book with suggested list. The 6th week is all about motivating the teen to put all they’ve learned into practice.
The parent guide is packed full of ideas, hints, suggestions for discussions, and basic philosophy of financial education. It is written in a conversational style directly from the heart of the creator and author of the WealthQuest for Teens program- Jill Suskind. You can truly see she wrote this program with the best interest of your teen at heart, and the desire to create a portal of entry into financial fitness for all teens. She answered the call to reach out to a generation of parents who might not have been taught very effective money management skills, leaving them a bit weak in the knees when it comes to teaching their own kids.
Over at the website you can also find a link to Jill’s blog where you can find lots of useful information, and sign up for an email newsletter.
Gunn Ranch Academy’s Wealth Quest:
Let me begin by just saying that we enjoyed our time together discussing and using this program. For us, it was more of a review of our goals and ambitions than a learning experience. Living on a working ranch and showing livestock in 4-H has provided my children rich opportunities to earn their own income, as well as understand money. My girls have been working for our neighbor taking care of his Miniature Hereford Ranch and his horses for over 3 years. Our neighbors do not reside at their ranch except some weekends, so the girls take care of making sure the cattle, horses, donkeys, and the ranch in general is ok every day. He drew up a contract and helped give them a name (Cowgirls LLC) and they signed and “shook on it”. They have regular communication, and a pretty nice monthly paycheck. They have learned to negotiate, use good work ethic, deal with a boss, manage raises, and learn the responsibilities of maintaining a paying job. My older daughter has also ridden her horse to various neighbor’s houses to help feed and unload feed for them. My girls have also raised and sold show animals at the county fair auction. Their livestock projects require them to keep extensive records of expenditures, income, etc to turn in. They both have active working bank accounts in their names, as well as college savings.
They are very conscientious of finding ways to earn income and fired up about saving money for college and their futures. They always have their own money to spend, tithe to the church, give to charity and even buy much of their own horse tack, which can be very expensive (and very motivating to keep it picked up out of the dirt and weather!!!). They both just purchased English Show attire for the county show that will happen in two days, which again, was quite an expenditure! I felt really proud that they were able afford and wanted to buy it themselves!
The reason for giving you a small peek into their financial lives is to try and help make this review a bit more complete. You see, MY financial education was pretty typically lacking. It was probably equivalent to where most teens are these days, mostly due to parents who weren’t well financially educated so didn’t know quite how to educate their own children. This is actually the targeted audience of WealthQuest for Teens. This program really paves the way for healthy discussions of the How, When, Where, Why, Who and What of financial education. It’s a motivational and basic informational program.
The seminar is composed of seven short, lively, quick-paced and inspirational modules narrated by a group of teens and the creator of the program. On the right side of the screen is a “workbook” where you can follow along and type in answers during the program. There are places where the program tells you to stop and spend some time filling out the discussion questions. Most of the same questions are used again and expanded upon in the pdf Teen Ebook.
Our internet made the modules very frustrating to watch because it took quite a while of freezing and loading to get the whole module loaded. But we just left each module to skip and freeze through once, then went back and replayed it from the beginning, then it played all the way through as long as we replayed it without leaving the page (this is mentioned in the instructions). While you can stop the video and restart it, you can’t rewind or forward through. It only plays from start to finish. We didn’t find this to be a problem, however, because the modules are pretty short. We actually watched the first four in one day and the other three the next day. (We probably would have watched them all in one day had it not taken so long for them to load, but that’s just our crazy internet!)
Again, there wasn’t anything new for us in the seminar. This isn’t because I’m a great financial educator, though I wish I was. But I have been very conscious of trying to bring it to the table and learn along with my kids, hoping they will manage their money better than me (which isn’t terribly bad.) My oldest daughter has already been looking into compound interest, investment funds, and had already spent quite a bit of time one Saturday last Spring with her friend looking up how much money they could make at certain percentages if they invested money now. This is also one of the things demonstrated in the program, and just might motivate your teen to do the same thing!
I printed off two copies of the Teen ebook which consists of 30 daily lessons. I put each set into a green plastic folder-binder and we went through the pages together. My girls found most of the pages a little boring they said, but it’s only because they are already familiar with the ideas and goals the program presents. They didn’t have problems coming up with any of the answers, and it was a bit tedious to write down the answers. But I felt it was a good investment of time to cover it together and have them write it down. It was validating to see all they already know and carve out some goals for things they want to learn.
I believe this program is a great program for kids and parents needing a starting point. For kids who don’t really have much (or any) outside income. It’s a great program for kids who do home chores and receive allowance from parents and holiday/birthday money. It’s a great program for teens who are starting a new job, and need a basic knowledge of what to do with their money so it doesn’t all just get wasted. It’s a great program for homeschooling families wanting a basic program to begin financial education discussions.
What it doesn’t have is specific information on investing, savings and checking accounts, Cd’s, etc. While it does cover the basic splitting income into certain percentages to savings, necessities, charity, fun money, etc, it doesn’t actually give ideas of specific places to invest. It does show charts of how much money can grow if invested at different percents; it doesn’t discuss different investment options.
It does give a link to an online program where families can create a free account that basically helps the child practice saving their money. It’s definitely worth a look. The program is based and focused on parents giving children allowances, though the “allowance” could also be other income such as my girls have. I do understand most kids don’t have paying jobs as young teens, though. A few years back our family began using a similar online program, so we were already familiar with this type of accountability and practice. I do believe this type of education is good for the kids to practice. But mine are actually already using “real” bank accounts that hold their money. They learned how to split up their income into “envelopes” as it comes in, which is the same basic idea as WealthQuest’s “silos”.
The program also recommends several books to read, one reference being Dave Ramsey books. We have several that we have used in the past and defininetly recommend using pretty much any of them, but the teen targeted books are phenominal for helping with teen financial education. The WealthQuest program certainly follows along the same basic principles as the Dave Ramsey philosophy. We actually already have and have used a couple other of the financial book resources cited and recommended to read by the WealthQuest program.
In closing, I’ll say again this is a worthwhile program to teach basic financial education to your teens, and to your family. While it doesn’t go into detail, it is a great springboard for discussion of money, and life goals. They do have an advanced seminar that is supposed to go into more detail in investing, etc that we have not seen.
Don’t let your teens leave your home unprepared and uneducated about money! This program makes it easy to bring it all to the table, and get them started to a bright financial future.
Check out my Crew Mates’ adventures with WealthQuest for Teens over at the Crew Blog!
Disclaimer~We received this program as members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew for review purposes. No other compensation was received and opinions are my own.