Money management and teens are not words that typically appear in the same sentence. Given a teen's propensity for immediate gratification, it is sometimes a difficult task to teach financial responsibility.
A basic understanding of finances is an important and valuable lesson for any teen to learn. They need to learn how to earn money, how to spend it responsibility, and the importance of savings.
Here are five basic and easy money management tips for teens
- The time is now
Any time your teen receives money is the time to start teaching them how to handle it responsibly. Whether it is income from a job, an allowance, or birthday gifts, money is money. If your teen is receiving an allowance, hopefully they are already participating in household chores as a means to earn that money. If not, start assigning responsibilities now. None of their future employers are going to hand over free money each week for doing nothing, so why are you?
- Budgets and loans
Teens borrow money from parents all the time. Busy parents often forgive or forget the value of repayment. Set up a reasonable repayment plan. This is the basis start point to teach them borrowing, repayment, and interest. For example, if your teen wants to borrow $40 for fun or entertainment, arrange to withhold $5 from his allowance until the loan is paid back in full. Alternatively, help them explore options as a way to make the money for themselves. Perhaps there are seniors in your area that needs help with yard work or running errands? Walking dogs and babysitting are also two ways to earn extra cash.
- Monkey see, monkey do
If the words budget and financial responsibility are not in your vocabulary, chances are great they will not be in your teen's vocabulary either. Fortunately, help is just a mouse click away. Financial strategies, programs, and guides are available online for all who choose to utilize them. Take advantage of all the free advice from the experts. There is no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to money management.
- Network, network, network
Responsible buying goes hand in hand with good money management. Almost every teen spends time on the computer for various reasons. For example, let your family and friends know what you are looking for before you purchase it. Whether your teen needs a new skateboard, or a computer printer, chances are someone in your circle has one they will part with. Older cousins are great sources for school supplies like textbooks, backpacks, and the like. Recycling unwanted items/possessions is a great way to cut down on expenses. Encourage your teen to use social networking sites as potential ways to earn money and to save money.
- Stop living a cluttered life
Parents and teens alike should learn to determine the difference between wants and needs. The simple fact is that most people today have too many possessions. Consider trading, selling, or donating books, videos, clothing, and so on. Do not be a parent driven by guilt or laziness. No teen has yet died from not having the latest gizmo or fad.
Invest in your future by saving a portion or percentage of any money you receive. Set realistic goals and take baby steps toward achieving them. Teaching your teen money managements skills now is a tool they will benefit from forever.
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