Teen Needs to Pay Bills or Lose Benefits

Featured Article, Finance, Home & Family
on September 18, 2012

Dear Dave,
My son is on my auto insurance and cell phone account for the discounts. He’s 19 and lives at home, but he works. He’s supposed to pay his share of these bills, but he doesn’t. What can I do to help him become more responsible?
—Steve in Indianapolis, Ind.

Dave Says: It’s really pretty simple: Take action! I’d first sit him down and apologize for doing a bad job of communicating with him in the past. Explain to him that from this point on, you’re going to make him live up to his end of the bargain. Do this by explaining that the next time he doesn’t have his share of the money, you’re shutting off his cell phone and canceling the insurance. Then, if he doesn’t pay up on time, do it! You still have the control in this situation, Steve. You just have to exercise it. Your son may not like it at first, but you’ll both benefit from the process.