Question:“At what age should my teenager get a checking account/debit card? It seems like most teenagers today are irresponsible when it comes to money. But on the other hand, how are my kids going to learn anything about finances and be ready for the real world if they don’t start until their 18?”Concerned-mother, 43, MI

Answer: “I am 17 years old and I got my checking account and debit card right when I turned 16. My parents told me up front that I needed to be careful with how to spend my money and taught me how to get in good spending habits and stay away from bad ones. My mom has taught me how to balance my own check book and I’m not even 18 yet. Sure, it’s easy to spend money left and right but it’s better to learn the reality of finances now, under the protection of our parents, then it is later when were purchasing a house or a car and make a $60,000 mistake.”Jim001, 17, OH

Answer: “That is a phenomenal thing to be concerned about. My parents never taught me about finances and as a result I know nothing about it and now I’m nervous about getting a job and having to deal with all of that. Therefore, I would say educate your teenager about it and then based on their maturity decide when a good time is. You probably know your son/daughter better then anyone else when it comes to their patterns of spending & saving, money techniques and responsibility so you’re the best judge when it comes to future finances.”Audrey, 17, OH

Answer: “As soon as possible! It’s best for you to teach your kids good spending habits (like my parents are now) while their young before they go out and screw everything up and having to end up moving in with you because their broke. That’s what my parents have always said and I’m sure you agree with them. 🙂 – Joshy, 15, IL

What do you think?