Talking about money may be complicated, but talking to a teenager about anything can be a minefield. Combine the two and you’ll almost certainly find yourself faced with eye rolls and resistance. But having open conversations about money can help foster a sense of financial awareness that will benefit your child in the long run, Inc.com reports.
Make a list of broad topics you’d like to cover and broach each subject when it seems appropriate. It helps to come up with tangible ways to put lessons into action like helping your teen save for certain items or plan a budget. Creating these goals ahead of time can help you make sure you touch on all the financial concerns you want your child to be aware of.
Consider touching on these five “how to” themes:
1. Budget—Consider giving teens a fixed amount of money for lunch each week. If theywant a more expensive meal or snack one day, they can opt to bring lunch from home another time. If your teen has a part-time job or side hustle, like selling artwork or babysitting, you can use their income to develop a more detailed budget.
2. Control spending—Creating a budget is one thing, but learning to follow it is a whole new beast. Suggestion: If back-to-school shopping, provide a set amount of money you’re willing to spend and teach your teens about trade-offs.
3. Earn money—While it’s good to let teens practice budgeting with money parents provide, you’ll also want to foster an appreciation for a hard day’s work. When teens start earning their own money, there’s a whole new set of financial lessons to teach, like tax withholding.
4. Save—Teaching teens the importance of savings can help set them up for a life where they aren’t living paycheck to paycheck. Instead, they will have a buffer for emergencies, investment opportunities, or even spur-of-the-moment experiences like trips and concerts
5. Pay for college—Help them break down the total costs of student loans they might need to take out, and how long it will take them to pay off that debt. Once your teen realizes the financial costs and responsibility attached, he or she might decide to opt for a less expensive school or to spend two years at community college first. Read the full story.