The teenage years are crucial for many different factors that could affect long-term well-being, and finances are certainly one of them. Teaching teenagers how to manage money while they are young can provide countless benefits as they venture off into life on their own.
There are many different strategies and techniques that you can use to help your teenager become money savvy. Here are a few of the more effective ones:
Lead By Example
The whole ‘do as I say, not as I do’ concept has probably never worked very well for anything, especially not where money is concerned. If you want your teenager to be able to properly manage their money, then you have to be able to manage your money. Speak to your teenager about budgeting, show him or her how you manage your family budget, and make sure you put it into practice on a regular basis. Only when you lead by example will all your advice and tips have any real meaning.
Keep It Real
Honesty is another virtue that works well when teaching teenagers how to manage their money. Most teenagers think of themselves as adults, and they don’t appreciate being lied to. Be honest about your own successes and failures with money, even if some of them are currently ongoing.
You don’t want your kids to worry unnecessarily, but if you have high levels of debt, chances are they’ve already figured it out. Being honest about how you got in that position and discussing things you would have done differently will provide a great lesson for them in the future.
Let Them Make Mistakes
As your kids move through the teen years and get part-time jobs, they’ll inevitably make financial blunders here and there. If there are serious consequences to be had, don’t let your kids go down in flames, but don’t always bail them out, either.
One of the most effective ways that humans learn is through experience, so if your teenager gets themself in a financial pinch, let them work it out on their own. You’ll help teach them how to get out of a jam, how to stay out of one in the first place, and that everything will be okay if you persevere.
Sit Down with an Expert
Before you send your financially savvy kids out into the world to college or their own apartment, consider scheduling an appointment with an expert. Not only will your kids pick up helpful tips and techniques that you weren’t able to provide, but they may absorb and accept the information more readily than if it came from a parent.