Best of Money-Smart Kids

Saving Money

Best of Money-Smart Kids

Each week Janet Bodnar answers your questions about kids, money and finances. Here\'s a sampling of her most recent -- and most popular -- columns.

If kids and money have you stumped, Janet Bodnar has the advice you need.

Janet, a mother of three and deputy editor of Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine, has experienced firsthand the increased spending power and financial temptations facing today's children. You can find her responses to readers' questions every Wednesday in her Money-Smart Kids column on and regularly in Kiplinger's magazine. She also dispenses advice in a weekly radio segment which you can listen to through our Podcast page.

Send Janet your questions by emailing her at She can't answer every one, but she'll answer as many as she can. You might also check out her book Raising Money Smart Kids (Kaplan, $17.95) for real-world advice on how to help children develop a healthy attitude toward money, see through advertising hype and stand up to peer pressure.

We've pulled together a sampling of Janet's most recent -- and most popular -- columns. As you can see, she's got answers to a wide range of topics -- from paying for college, to setting up an allowance system that works, to keeping birthday party costs under control. There's plenty more where these came from, too. Scan the Money-Smart Kids archives for a bevy of helpful tips, whether your kids are off to nursery school or college. And make sure you never miss a column by signing up to have Money-Smart Kids automatically delivered to your email each week.

  • Everyday Ways to Teach Kids
    You don't have to schedule a special time to explain money matters to your kids. Instead, take advantage of these situations that come up all the time. Plus: How to Encourage Kids to Save

  • Who Pays for College?
    Mom and Dad shouldn't bear full freight for their kids' college education. Think of paying for school as a joint venture.

  • Birthday Party Mania
    No need to go overboard on your child's big day. You can create a memorable experience without breaking the bank. Plus: How to Keep Birthday Parties Grounded

  • IRA Rules for Kids
    If your children have earned income from a job, opening a Roth IRA is a good way to jump start their savings.

  • Making Allowances Work
    Should you ask kids to do chores in return for getting a fixed amount of money? Or should their allowance be independent of household responsibilities?

  • Your Card, Their Credit History?
    Mixing your children's credit with yours may possibly help them build a history, but resist the temptation. College-age kids can obtain credit on their own without placing a parent's credit score in jeopardy. Plus: Should You Lend Adult Kids a Financial Hand?