The Relationship Between Teenagers And Money Needs Your Best Parenting Advice
Learning how to become an independent and responsible adult is probably the best parenting advice you can give your child.
Although money is said to be bad company, the understanding of how it works cannot be understated.
A child’s confidence in financial matters will almost certainly affect the quality of life he/she leads.
Children are more likely to get into financial difficulties later if they aren’t taught how to handle their income wisely.
Educating your teens on the value of money is some of the best parenting advice for how well they manage their finances as adults.
What is true is that the most important financial management lessons will ensure better living standards during adulthood. These are most often taught at home.
Besides instilling a firm understanding of ethics, morals and other important principles of life, you need to teach your kids about money too!
How do you go about teaching your teenager the value of money?
Here’s what you can do:
1. Lead By Example
Teenagers learn through example so be aware of your spending habits and how you manage your finances.
A parents attitude towards money helps mold your child’s financial management skills.
If you spend your cash irresponsibly or have little control over your finances,your teenagers will not behave any differently. They will expect things to always be readily available.
Instead, involve your children in the financial management of the household.
This doesn’t mean letting them see every cent that comes in or out. Show them how much is spent at the supermarket, the fruit market and the butcher.
Let them see the general household bills such as electricity, gas and water to allow them to understand exactly where the money goes.
One of the best parenting tips to give your child is to show them roughly how much money you have to work with each week. Let them see where this money goes.
Not only does this teach them the concepts of saving and budgeting, it includes them in the household running.
What this allows them to see is how decisions are made regarding where the money must gol.
It is your role as the parent to be the educator around money and financial management habits.
Start by showing your children how well you manage your finances.
2. Don’t Use Credit Cards
Children imitate their parents so if you tend to pay mostly with credit cards it may be time to check that habit.
Credit cards tempt adults to spend what we don’t have, even though we know we end up paying for that privilege.
The best parenting advice here is to imagine what a teenager with a credit card will act like? They see Christmas Day every day and Mum & Dad will pay!!!
Teach your children to budget and show them the importance of buying things in cash. At least with a debit card that is spending their money.
Handing over cash is the best way of learning how to spend responsibly.
Scott Pape, the author of The Barefoot Investor for Families gives the best parenting advice for teenagers (and parents) about the use of credit cards.
At the very least you should give a detailed explanation of what a credit card is as well as the disadvantages of using one.
Statistics in the US show that 45 percent of teens with access to credit cards will have amassed a debt of up to $3000 by senior year.
This means that unless you’re convinced your children are very responsible and can manage credit cards, they should not be allowed one.
But if you must, having a cap limit on a credit card before giving it to your child is advisable.
3. Involve Your Teenagers In Financial Decisions
Have your teens contribute to the financial decisions made around the home.
Before you task them with any shopping errands, make sure you’ve taught your kids how to look for discounts and shop for better deals.
Start by taking them along when you go shopping.
Ask your teenager to go grocery shopping and give a list of the items you want. Make them understand the importance of sticking to the budget and only getting what is on the list.
Give your teenagers plenty of advice and teach them how being meticulous with their calculations can help reduce unnecessary expenses.
You can show them how you budget your monthly expenses with careful planning and choices.
Eduate them about marketing gimmicks and why they should not fall for such tricks.
4. Show Them Financial Responsibility
Some of us don’t think cash should be handed out to kids. However, your children won’t learn to respect, value, and spend “pocket-money” if they aren’t given the chance to handle it.
Giving your kids a small allowance from early childhood is, therefore, a good idea.
You can give your teenagers a bigger allowance and more financial responsibilities once they’re ready to handle their own budgets.
Regardless of their needs, giving your teenager a weekly or monthly allowance to cover a specified list of items is a great piece of parenting advice.
Show them how to budget for the items listed (essentials) and then explain that whatever is left over will have to cover such things as social activities, school lunches etc.
Do not give them any more cash until the end of the specified period to teach them the effects of going over-budget .
5. Encourage Your Teens To Save
Show your teenagers the importance of saving and having savings goals.
If you ask my children, they will tell you that is one of the best pieces of parenting advice I gave them growing up.
They had to save half of their pay once they got a part-time job. I am proud to tell you my daughter had $5000 invested in shares by the time she was 18 – all with her own money!!
They can start by saving for new clothes, technology, or other some investing targets.
Learning to save for something and understanding the value of saving with things like compound interest, could help improve your children’s financial management skills. A skill which will come in quite handy in their adult life.
6. Familiarize Your Teenager With Banking
Your kids will need to deposit their savings somewhere, hence the importance of a bank account.
If you didn’t open an account when your child was young, go with your teenager to the bank. Have him/her talk to the teller and open an account in his/her name.
Discuss with them before-hand the different types of accounts and ensure they have a low or no fee account.
Again we suggest Scott Pape’s Barefoot Investing for Families for all this type of information.
Besides teaching them about banking, letting them conduct the business on their own will make them feel independent and important.
Encourage them to deposit regular amounts each month. Committing to a minimum deposit is a great way of saving for any particular goal.
Direct debit is probably the best option and for convenience and opt for an account that can be serviced online.
Helping your kids learn how to save and having their own savings account is bound to give them a feeling of achievement that might accelerate their motivation.
7. Encourage your teenager to work
Although school activities do not prevent teenagers from taking on part-time jobs, your may want your children to wait for their vacations to earn some extra money.
Getting a job is beneficial on so many levels.
Judge not the job your children pick or how much they earn. Getting a job can help them learn how to manage additional responsibilities and give them some extra cash.
Besides the basic work ethics, they will also learn that cash doesn’t come easily and develop respect for hard work and reward for effort.
The best parenting advice we can give is to support your child’s initiative and the chosen activity regardless of whether it is tutoring, babysitting, or serving at a food outlet.
We believe that the best parenting advice you can give your teenager is to value money.
Being able to manage finances is the first step towards leading responsible, independent lives as adults.
Here’s a summary of what you can do to develop your kid’s financial management skills.
- Be aware of how you manage your finances
- Discourage credit card usage
Teach them how to budget and make sound financial decisions
- Task them with grocery shopping and other duties that can help instill financial responsibility
- Encourage them to take up jobs and earn their own cash
- Show them the importance of saving on a regular basis
- Set them up with a savings account
For more best parenting advice for teenagers click here.
Dawn is a regular writer at ParentingMonkey.com. She is an experienced classroom teacher and comes home to a full house of her own. See her on Facebook or visit her on Twitter.