Do you dread having long and tiring conversations about good financial skills and quality money management with your teenager? Do you fear that these conversations can’t go smoothly or efficiently? If any of these worry you, this is the article for you.
Not exactly a fan-favorite topic, conversations about finances often get the best of us. And as important as this matter is, it is not exactly what your teen is looking forward to on a Tuesday afternoon when they might rather be hanging out with friends from school.
And yet, there is no running away from this crucial talk, as good money skills from an early age can help set up your teenager for success in the long run. So, what can you do to teach teens about money and do it without any arguments or headaches? We’ve got you covered.
Should parents talk about money with kids?
As nerve-wracking as this can be, it is advised that parents have constructive conversations about finances with their children. Research shows that it is never too early to start introducing kids to the basic concepts of money and finance management.
This not only relates to your teens’ allowances but also their savings, part-time jobs, as well as the next grocery list and its impact on the overall family budget.
To put it simply – there are better and worse ways to go around this. What you do want to make sure of is that you are not inciting any fear, anxiety, or stress when discussing it. This will only produce negative feelings and an aversion to understanding money management.
Fear not, science is on your side. Science says to go for it and involve your children in money matters even before the age of seven. However, it is not too late to start breaking the topic down in their teenage years, all the while providing good examples and patience.
Encourage your teen to save money
Knowing how to save money is just as important as knowing how to make money. There is no point in telling kids to study, be committed, and take on a job if they are not going to know how to properly manage their income once it arrives.
The advice is to start small. Start involving your kids with savings. You can do it old style with a cute piggy bank safely stashed away at the top shelf or you can opt for a modern solution like BusyKid that will have your kids saving, spending, and doing their chores all in one go.
Involve your teen in family finances
Just to clarify, this particular piece of advice does not mean that your teens should be aware of your entire financial situation. Whether you are doing great or you have temporarily hit a bad spot, the length to which you will involve your teens entirely depends on you.
However, you do want them to know that there is a limited amount of money available each month. You will be clarifying that it is good management that ensures that things keep going smoothly as you plan your family’s necessities, wants and needs out. Have them join when you are drafting your next grocery list or have them do the shopping with you.
Make finances fun, not scary
This cannot be emphasized enough. Having quality conversations and practices relies on the fact that you ensure a stress-free environment. If your children become terrified of money or managing their small amounts, it is safe to say that we have not achieved our goal here.
Some practical experience in a safe and fun environment won’t hurt and it will give your teen some financial freedom to practice the things you previously only talked about.
Leave room for mistakes
You must leave some room for mistakes. After all, they are bound to happen. Do not be quick to react badly when some mistakes occur, but rather try to keep to your idea of promoting financial responsibility, reaffirming the benefits of good money management.
If at all possible, provide a safe environment for any future mistakes and tell your teen not to hide it from you when this happens. This is crucial.
As we’ve said, teaching good financial habits to your teens is not the easiest task, but it doesn’t have to be the most tricky either. Remember – make talking about finances a conversation in which your teens can approach you freely for confessions and advice.