It can be tricky teaching teenagers about money, since they don’t necessarily want to do what their parents say. It’s vital, however, that they learn the ins and outs of money, since it will be their reality for the rest of their lives. Knowing how to make, spend and manage money are valuable life skills that they need to learn, and there’s no better time than the teenage years to start their financial education.
Here are some tips for teaching your teens about money:
Earn Money Working at Home
There are plenty of chores and duties around the house. Why not hire teenagers? After all, their rates are lower than any professionals, and they will be happy to earn some extra money. Hire them to mow the lawn, water the garden, clean the basement, paint, or do any other chores that need to be done around the house and yard. Make sure the chores you hire teenagers to do, however, are in addition to the basic chores they’re expected to do as household members, like keeping their rooms clean. You want them to have a sense that these chores are special and above and beyond their regular duties.
Get a Real Job
Teenagers can also get real jobs, and now’s the time to encourage them to mow lawns, work in grocery stores, or flip burgers at fast food restaurants. They can also seek work, paid or unpaid, at businesses that are interesting to them as possible career choices. Even in unpaid internships, they’re still learning the value of work and earning valuable experience that will look good on college applications and resumes.
Start a Savings Account
If your teenager doesn’t already have one, this is the time to open a savings account and learn to make deposits into it. Understanding how to use banks is valuable for teenagers, who will soon enough be using these accounts in their real lives.
Save for Major Purchases
Many teenagers want a car, eventually, as well as a whole host of other commodities, from video games to clothes. Now that they have a savings account, they can use it to save for these purchases themselves. Sure, parents can still cover part of the cost for these purchases, but saving gives teens a sense of responsibility and an understanding of the value of money.
Money management is one of the most valuable life lessons teens can learn, and there’s no time like the present for them to start their financial education.