Once your child enters high school, you’ve only got a few years before they become adults. Whether they plan on going to college, traveling the world for a year, or applying for a job right after graduation, having a clear understanding of financial management practices will help them along their journey. Besides putting coins in a piggy bank and paying for things they want, you must teach them the following:
You may have provided your child with an allowance for getting good grades on their report card and completing household chores, but now it’s time to take things up a notch. Your teenagers need to understand that mom and dad aren’t ATMs. Teach them the importance of earning a living.
There are a few ways you can teach your teenager this financial lesson. If they’re old enough, encourage them to apply for a part-time job. If a job is not an option, show your teen how to turn their skills and talents into earning opportunities. They can cut grass, remove snow, walk dogs, babysit, or assist family members and neighbors with home improvement tasks.
While you wouldn’t expect your teen to pay the rent, utilities, or groceries, there are personal expenses they can cover. They may be responsible for their portion of the cell phone bill, special meals or snacks, and entertainment. When your teenager starts earning income, show them how to create a budget. This shows them that to survive, they have to be responsible with their spending.
Tucking money away in a drawer, under a mattress, or in a piggybank was fine when they were younger, but it won’t work in adulthood. Now is the perfect time to teach your teenagers about banking. Open a free checking account at the bank of your choice. Show your teen how to make deposits, write checks, and manage their accounts through online banking.
Whether for future purchases or emergencies, saving is an essential financial management practice to teach your teens. When you open a checking account, consider opening a savings account. Based on the budget you created, talk to your teen about setting a little money aside each week.
Credit and Debt
From credit cards to student loans, teenagers are inundated with credit offers to finance their future. Without proper management, however, these credit options quickly get out of hand. Therefore, talk to your teen about credit and debt. Explain how credit works, what it means to be a responsible borrower, and what happens if you aren’t.
Allow them to view your credit report so they can see how accounts and payments are recorded. Express the importance of paying bills on time and not taking on too much debt to keep their credit in good standing. You should also communicate the importance of good credit to obtain personal loans, a house, a car, and, in some cases, a career.
Fortunately, there are a lot of teen credit card offers you can take advantage of. The cards allow you to deposit cash in an account and use just as you would any credit card. Your teen then gets a hands-on experience on what credit is and how to manage it. The best part is, you’ll be there to help them.
The last lesson parents should teach their teenagers is giving. There are so many causes and people in need that could use the support. While there are several ways to give, donating money is at the top of the list. Ask your teen what causes they’re interested in or how they’d like to give back to the community. Then, show them how to donate to that cause.
There’s no reason why your kids should have to learn about money through trial and error. As you probably already know, this concept often leads down a path of destruction. Give them a headstart towards a great future by investing time in teaching them the financial lessons listed above.