Rock Star Finances for Teens
I grew up in a poor, single parent household. I have tasted the government cheese (it’s actually not bad), and I have taken cool baths by candlelight because the electricity had been turned off for non-payment. As you can imagine, I didn’t learn how to manage money because there wasn’t any. I filed bankruptcy by the time I was 26. After getting tired of being a financial failure, and after meeting my wonderful, number savvy husband, I got my money stuff together. It became really important to me to teach my son how to manage money. So, my husband and I decided on an allowance and chore system when our son was younger.
Through the years, the allowance amount and the types of chores have changed. Currently, at age 17, the boy gets $40 a week for things like taking out the trash, mowing the lawn, scooping dog poop, and helping out as needed. While having an allowance and a checking account did help him learn to manage money, being a musician and having a rock band helped more. Here is what he has learned through music.
My son purchased his first guitar when he was in 4th grade from saving his Christmas and birthday cash. Recently, he and his band mates saved money together to purchase professional photos, studio time, CD copies of their EP, and to have a music video produced.
While the band did save money, they also made payments to the album and video producers. My son kept track of when payments were due and sent the money via Paypal.
Since my son is the founder of the band, and the front man, he is also the organizer. So, when it comes time to make payments for band things, he is the one who collects cash from the other band members and keeps track of their account balance.
The band doesn’t have a manager in this stage of the game, so my son has taken on that role. He is in charge of scheduling gigs and handling the details for shows. He was also responsible for ordering CD’s and calling the company for replacements when several CD’s arrived with broken covers.
While my son is not a natural salesman, he did wan to earn money from CD sales. So, taking into account the cost of the CD’s, he determined a fair price that would appeal to buyers and still allow the band to earn money.
Like most parents, my husband and I have done what we can to prepare our son for adulthood, which is a little over two months away. While I would love to take credit for his financial awareness, I can’t. He learned more about money from being in a band than I could ever teach him.