It’s never too early to teach your teens about spending money wisely. Teach them about money management early and they will be able to manage their money well when they grow older. Here are eight ways to teach your teenagers about spending money wisely.
Encourage your teen to create a budget plan.
Let your teenager write down all of their sources of income and all of their expenses, and explain to them how a budget works. Exclude the things that are normally paid for by a parent or an adult.
Having a budget or spending plan can help your teen learn how to manage their spending. It will also help him or her think of ways to earn money to cover their expenses.
Teach your teen to track their expenses.
Show your teen how to track his or her expenses and keep the receipts of the items bought.
Writing down expenses and keeping the receipts can help give them a more visual understanding of how they are spending their money. It can also help them when it comes to deciding which items not to buy next time in order to save money.
Give out allowances on a monthly basis.
Make sure to tell your teen that this money is for the whole month and that it is their responsibility to make it last for the entire month.
A monthly allowance can help your teen budget their money, and it is important for them to make sure that it lasts until the next time they get an allowance. You will have to be firm about not giving out extra money should your teen spend all his or her money before the month is over.
However, also be mindful that your teen can make mistakes and you should be able to assess the situation and help your teen understand how they can do things better the next time.
Encourage your teen to find a part-time job.
Teens will think twice before spending money that they earned through their own hard work.
Talk to your kids about what kind of work they can do. Discuss the working hours—make sure that the part-time work won’t interfere with family time or school.
Talk about taxes and savings and encourage your teen to save a portion of his or her earnings first, before spending.
Help them open their own savings account.
Make sure your teen understands the terms of a savings account. Encourage your teen to deposit a portion of their money every week or every month. Don’t stop your teen from withdrawing money; it’s their account after all. Just make sure your teen is responsible for adding to his or her savings account.
Encourage your teen to write down their goals.
Having concrete and specific goals in mind can help your teen have more focus when it comes to managing their money. Your teen will be more motivated to spend wisely if he or she is saving for a new laptop computer or for college.
One way you can motivate your teen is to offer to match a certain percentage of whatever they save for a particular item.
Let’s say for every hundred dollars your teen saves, you’ll add twenty-five. It will encourage your teen to know that you are also committed to helping them with their goals. Make sure to commend them for being responsible—your approval will mean a lot.
Take your teen with you when you go shopping.
Take your teen with you when you go shopping for groceries or other basic necessities.
Talk to them about comparing prices and checking for quality, value, warranty, and other factors.
Explain to them how you choose which brand to buy, how you plan for your meals and household activities, and how they translate to being efficient and cost-effective when it comes to buying things.
Talk to them about using coupons and discount cards.
Helping them understand how spending smarter benefits your family can help them with their spending decisions.
Have regular discussions about financials.
Talk with your teenagers about how they’re doing with their savings and how close they are to achieving their goals. Brainstorm with your teens on what else they can do to reach their goals.
I think you should decide for yourself on how open you want to be when it comes to discussing your family’s financials. Perhaps you could start off slowly, see how that works, and then go into more detail as time goes on.
Make sure your teen understands that you are talking about family matters and agree on a level of confidentiality with your teens about such matters. The last thing you want is for all the kids in the playground to know how much money you and your husband make.
Simply talking with your teens about money and your current financial situation can help them be more aware and be more conscious about spending money.