DEAR HARRIETTE: Money was never abundant growing up, so I don't ask my parents for spending money. I work odd jobs to earn it on my own. As I have gotten older, my parents have me pay for more and more. I've purchased all of my toiletries, clothing and furniture for my room. My parents pay for most of my food and the utilities, but other than that, I'm on my own. I pay for my own transportation, or I walk. I want to learn how to stretch my money. I'm still a teenager, so I can't really invest money in anything -- then again, I probably don't even have enough. -- Busted Piggy Bank, Washington, D.C.
DEAR BUSTED PIGGY BANK: Good for you that you are figuring out how to pay for yourself, even as you have the blessing of living with your family. Start reading up on money so that you can learn about saving -- even when you start with pennies, you can grow and stretch your money. Go to the library or online to learn about money management and creative freelance employment opportunities. Talk to your parents about what you are learning about money. This may open up the conversation and create space for all of you to talk together about how to plan for the future.