There are some smart people out in this world and I get to try out a lot of the creative programs they put together. One program that some of the members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew have been blessed to review is from Jill Suskind, WealthQuest for Teens. Let me just say this: my daughter loves this program!
What is WealthQuest for Teens? It is an “online resource for finding innovative, engaging, practical tools for teaching your teen effective money management.” (from the website, emphasis mine) It was designed for teens ages 14-19 and their parents.
I don’t feel that the website gives very much information about this program. There are no samples that I could find, other than the above video, for what you will see in this program. You can sign up for the mailing list and receive the first chapter of the parents ebook free (on the homepage, on the right, you have the option of signing up via email). I would like to say that the endorsements by apparently well-known finance gurus was a selling point for me but it wasn’t really. However, there are testimonies from previous parents, teachers and teens that have used the program; all good reviews.
Money ‘issues’ have never been hidden in our house but I don’t know that we are open about our habits with money with our kids. Growing up I heard, “I don’t have any money,” from my parents a lot. But there wasn’t a lack of income just a lack of efficient money management. They didn’t share with us what they did. I don’t even recall any advice on how to handle money. I did have a Personal Finance class in high school but…honestly, it didn’t help at all. I don’t recall anything of value from it.
I think what caught my eye and why I was interested to review this product is because it is a program for helping “this generation of teens to meet the financial realities of adulthood with confidence and competence.” Growing up with poor examples of money-management and attitude toward finances, I understand that this is an issue, not just in my house but for this entire country. Adequate instruction isn’t given in school to help our teens know how to be smart with their money. But not just that: “While all of the lessons offered through WealthQuest for Teens online products are about money and wealth building, they are really about wealth in all areas of life.”
I looked over the program before letting my 16 year old daughter use the program. She will be the one to tell you what she liked/disliked, what worked/didn’t work. I will give you my thoughts on the program as well as all the nitty gritty details like where to find this and how much it’s going to cost. Here goes!
The program can be purchased for $39.95 and consists of four ‘parts’:
- Basic Seminar QuickStart Guide Teen Workbook,
- 7-Module Video Series,
- Parent ebook
- and Online Money Management Program (MoneyTrail.net)
Here are the questions I put to my teen using this program, and her answers:
A: I expected a boring course on budgeting, savings, stocks, and such, but it really turned out to be different! It isn’t about all those ‘complicated’ parts of money, but really the basics – the basics that aren’t very well known. It turned out to be fun and educational.
Q: How did you ‘use’ the program? Take us through your typical session using WealthQuest for Teens.
A: Each day I watched one of the videos, filled out the questions, and read from one of the suggested books. I would think about how it all applies to me, and then I would apply it to my life – dividing my money up, saving my money, and figuring out what I wanted my money for. *My note: she ‘narrated’ quite a bit from the book readings she did and taught us a few things along the way!*
Q: What was your favorite aspect of this program?
A: It’s very easy to understand. The program wasn’t hard to read, but the things I learned kept me thinking later on – it really changed my perspective on a lot of things. I also like the ‘silo system’ – the system suggested for managing your money: it’s simple but efficient!
Q: What did you think of the online money management system?
A: It’s simple to use and works fine. I didn’t use it very much because I felt it was simpler to have a physical notebook (*she uses envelopes for ‘silos’*) for keeping track, without having to go online.
Q: Do you think this is a beneficial program for teens? Why or why not?
A: I think it is very good for teens! I would not be saving my money as well as I am now if I had not gone through this – and those habits will stick with me for life! As is said in the program, the sooner you learn these things, the more time you have for it to become a good habit, and that will help you out a lot later in life.
Q: What else would you like to let readers know about this program?
A: There are many good suggested books to read along with the program – definitely read at least one! The more you know, the better you can do with your money. (One she is reading pictured below)
This program gets a hearty thumbs up from my 16 year old as a great money management program that will instill good habits for later life as well.
I read the Parent’s Guide that came with the program. It is 60 pages long, so not a terribly long read. The table of contents looks like this:
- Prelude: This book is for you if…
- Chapter 1: Teen Financial Literacy: Defining the Problem, the Goal, and the
- Chapter 2: Origins and Overview of the Online Video Program: The Basic Seminar for Teens
- Chapter 3: Recognizing the Old School Model: Mistakes Parents Unintentionally Make
- Chapter 4: The New School Model: What to Teach and How to Measure Success
- Chapter 5: Allowance and Jobs: The Pitfalls and the Possibilities
- Chapter 6: Teen Philanthropy: The Black Belt Level of Teen Financial Literacy
- Chapter 7: The New Normal: Financial Literacy as a Peer-Group Experience for Teens and a Grassroots Movement for Parents
While reading this, I found myself nodding in agreement through at least Chapter 4. I thought would have a different mind-set about Chapter 5 about Allowances but it could honestly be because I don’t expect the right responsibility from my kids when it comes to what they do with that allowance. Follow-through is always important.
And here is what I think WealthQuest for Teens really emphasizes:
At first I felt like the program was striving to make a millionaire out of my kids but I don’t think that’s the case at all. It doesn’t matter if they make $10,000 a year or $1,000,000- that’s not where their ‘net worth’ is. Those are just numbers. In the course, yes, it does talk about net worth in terms of actual money- but it focuses a lot on the attitudes that are carried about that money. That’s important. I don’t want my kids to feel that money should have such a lofty position in their lives. I also really appreciated the “Philanthropy” chapter- giving to others is important and I’m so glad that this was made part of the program.
The Parent’s Guide gave a lot of good tips for how to implement, or rather how to not hinder, the New School Model for healthy money management.
Here are some screenshots of other bits of the program as it was used:
We couldn’t print out the notebook from the website (due to lack of ink at times during the review period) but Lee figured out that OneNote worked well for keeping these interactive notebooks for future reference. I show you a few shots of different modules that she went through.
And also the Teen Ebook, that is printable, Lee figured out how to keep her notes by leaving comments and then saving the document. This workbook is a 30-day program but honestly, it can be gone through quicker than that. I do think it is something she will go back to again and again. She can look at this and reevaluate what she feels and believes about her ‘wealth’.
I think this is a wonderful program for teaching teens how to appropriately handle their money, no mater how little they might have. My daughter, who has a babysitting job and does not have a large income, has saved (and spent!) more using this system than any of our previous “Old School” methods. I’ve been quite impressed with the amount of responsibility she has taken with what she has.
The program is easy to go through, isn’t stale or boring and appeals to her partially because there are other teens who are presenting it. I personally think that if it were Jill alone presenting these videos my daughter would have gained just as much but this different perspective definitely didn’t take away from the program. It is really great to have a program for this life skill that does such a great job and instills such positive results.
The cost is very low for what is presented and the skills that are learned. The skills will last a lifetime, if the person who is going through the course wishes them to. I believe that once they see the benefits of going through WealthQuest for Teens and applying the strategies they will be sold! My daughter definitely is. She insists that *I* need to complete this as well as her 13 year old brother!
Others of the Schoolhouse Review Crew also reviewed this. Click the image below to read more reviews.
Contact WealthQuest for Teens:
Webpage contact: http://wealthquestforteens.com/contact-jill/
***Disclaimer: I received the above reviewed items from Jill Suskind, WealthQuest for Teens via the Schoolhouse Review Crew, free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions stated are my own or those of my family members. I only recommend products that I feel would be beneficial for others based on our experiences. See Disclosure/Policies***