What Every Teenager Needs to Know About Money
While no teenager is required to take up any finance classes while in high school, it would be a great initiative to enroll in one. Understanding the basics about money, including how to earn, spend, and save it, is a crucial skill for everyone. If one can learn about this while still young, the better. It is more practical to start cultivating good financial habits as a teenager than trying to mend every wrong financial decision you make as an adult.
You may have seen teenagers holding credit cards at the age of 18, and they end up in jail, drop out of school, or cause other real damages for having money in disposal but with little to no understanding. Therefore, rather than waiting for your kid to face regrettable consequences, teach them how to manage money. Here are some of the things that you should do.
Let Them Know How Much You Have and How Much Things Cost
Most parents would never tell their children how much they make or if they have any financial difficulty. Your kids might even get angry at you for not buying something they feel they need, yet you are only trying to budget and ensure that they at least get the basics. What if you trusted them and showed them what you have and the things you plan to do with the money? You would be surprised how much understanding they can be—some will even help you budget and forego the unnecessary needs.
Let them know how much the household expenses are, the mortgage cost, their school fees, or the cost of that front door you have always wanted to replace. Your teenage daughter and son can be stubborn, but if you give them the true picture or a hint of your financial situation, they might come around and also learn from it.
Let Them Make Money If They Can
You know that the summer holiday is approaching and you have no clue what your teenage boy or girl will be doing—let them find jobs. Most high schoolers love the opportunity to earn their own money, and even if they will not help pay your mortgage or buy groceries, it is a good opportunity to learn how to manage money. It would be their first jobs and most probably paying peanuts. What would be a better way to learn how to earn and spend money wisely than this? They will gradually become responsible and get prepared to handle a better job in the future.
Teach Them Basics About Budgeting
Budgeting is the key to healthy financial stability. The fact is that you can be making a lot of money but still be broke most of the time. This is the reason why every parent should encourage and teach their kids how and the importance of budgeting. Let them know how to differentiate what is necessary to spend on and what they should forego. Also, help them make a budget after every pay if they are working or budget together for your household expenses. If they can learn everything about budgeting now, chances are they will still stick to a realistic budget as adults.
Encourage Them to Make Healthy Choices
There are so many things we do as human beings and they end up costing us a lot of money. For instance, if your teenager is always partying, drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, or taking other harmful drugs, you have to protect them. Let them know the consequences of the things they do today and how much it might cost them in the future. For example, do your research into how to persuade smoking teens to quit and give them a list of the consequences it can have on both your health and your bank account. A healthy lifestyle such as exercising, eating healthy food, avoiding any type of drugs, and maintaining a positive attitude is very important. It is not only comfortable but also cheaper as they won’t need to spend their money on medical bills or court cases after causing chaos.
Encourage Giving Back to The Community
There is a great satisfaction that comes with helping others and giving towards the needs of other people. As you teach your teenage boy or girl how to earn, spend, and save money, show them the importance of making a difference in other people’s lives as well. It comes with a great sense of belonging, and of course, nurture a person’s philanthropic personality. Volunteering and helping the needy helps one to stay focused, utilize time properly, and go home with a warm feeling after every charity act.
Everyone wants to earn money, spend part of it, and save. Unfortunately, most adults are having difficulties saving or even meeting all their bills, despite earning enough money to do so. What if they learn more about money while still young? They would probably be more responsible adults. Teach your teenagers about financial responsibility and accountability, and you might save their future through these lessons.