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Ask Neale!

As a subscriber, you have the opportunity to have your questions answered by Neale Godfrey, financial expert for over 30 years and New York Times #1 Best-Selling Author of 26 books and curricula.

Questions and excerpts of answers will be made publicly available, but if you desire point-by-point instructions on how to raise financially responsible children, please go to our Subscribe page.

Should I Pay for Grades?

Question: I’m so proud of my 10 year-old for working so hard in school and getting good grades. I give him a bonus for any quarter that he gets a B+ or better average. I was wondering what you think is an appropriate dollar amount to give – 1 week’s allowance? Some other amount?

Answer: I feel that good grades are a behavioral situation and a responsibility for kids, not work. I don’t advocate pay for good behavior, because that is almost a bribe.

Cheap Mom?

Question: Dear Neale, My kids attend a fancy private school and the tradition is for the parents to get the kids really expensive toys for birthdays. I think it is wrong, but don’t want to appear cheap. What do I do? Signed, Cheap Mom

Answer: Dear Cheap Mom, BTW, you are not cheap, you are right. Expensive gifts like that send the wrong message.

“Can I borrow… ?”

Question: My 10 year old has been doing your allowance system and really is doing a good job. But, she just saw a coat on sale and wants to borrow money from me to buy it. What do I do? Signed, Confused

Answer: Dear Confused, As long as you explain to her that since she has been so good at earning her money, she has, “Earned Good Credit” (just like it works in real life).

“I’m Sorry” is Not Enough

Question: My 6 year old son broke a friends toy. He said he was sorry and thought that that was the end of it. I told the girl’s Mom that, of course I would pay for the toy. I remember in one of your books you said that, “I’m sorry is not enough”. What do I do?

Answer: You are right, I have written about this. In real life, you have to pay for damage, and, “I’m sorry”, is not enough.”

My Six Year Old Wants a $350 Bike!

Question: Neale, I need your advice. My six year old has been playing your Green$treets App and loves it. I had to tell you what he said! He is saving in the app to rescue the animals and also loves budgeting money to save for toys for them. He asked me – yes, he asked me, if he could do chores to earn money to save for a bike for himself.

I started him on an allowance system. But, the bike he picked out costs $350 and he figures that it would take him a really long time to buy it. What should I do?

Answer: Thank you so much for letting me know that our Green$treets money and budgeting lessons have inspired your son to save for a bike. His goal is wonderful, but you don’t want him to become…