So my daughter turned 16 this year and has started driving. (ahhhh that's a story for another day) My husband and I decided this would be the best time to open up her own checking account and make her keep track of her money. She's working so she is getting a regular paycheck (at least for now). She has gas, car payments, and spending money she needs to keep up with.
I took her to the bank with money from her savings account and she and I sat down, talked to the banker and set up her new account. We all decided checks- the paper kind- were not such a good idea, so she only has her "check card." She can use it for cash at the ATM or to pay for gas, or whatever else she needs. We talked about how to keep track of her transactions in her check register, including deposits. We're fortunate that she's pretty organized, so she has done a good job so far.
This is where the funny part comes in..... A couple nights ago, we sat down to balance her check book. I was showing her what she needed to do, and noticed her registered NEVER had any cents. It always balanced to $ .00. For example, an even $400.00, or $372.00. Not $400.56 or $375.23. At first I thought, okay, maybe she is rounding. Some people do that and then just fix it when they balance their checkbook. But hello... she's never balanced one- how would she even know to do that. Nope, not the case.
When we actually started checking off the transactions in her register, I noticed she would have a deposit for $125.44, description, babysitting and $125.87, description babysitting. Now I know her fee for babysitting(that's her regular "fulltime" job) is $125.00, so I asked her "What in the world are you doing? You can't just make up the cents? You have to write down ONLY what you deposited." Her response was... "Duh!" Come to find out, she was depositing her CHECK of $125 and the CHANGE to make it a whole number. So her deposit slip said checks= $125.00, cash = .44! What a novel idea!!! We laughed so hard we cried, not at her, but I would have never thought of that. After we caught our breath, she looked at me and said, "Is that wrong? Should I not do that?" I told her of course not, but it makes me realize how innocent and naive they really are, even when they want to be all grown up.
Needless to say her check register balanced and all is well in the life of teenage spending habits :)
Friday, August 22, 2008