Teens and Financial Literacy: 7 Tips to Financial Success

As summer is approaching many parents question whether their teen should get a job or go to summer camp.  It is a personal decision and a depends on the teen and the family.

Teaching your teen how to be responsible with money is very important. So many teens enter adult hood unaware of the workings behind their finances, which leads them into a lot of financial hardships down the road.

Here are a five ways to start teaching your teen to be financially responsible:

Get a Job:Your child’s education should be first priority and their job second, so a job that requires a minimal schedule is best. Look at lifeguarding, restaurants, retail or babysitting. Even if the job doesn’t have epic responsibilities it will teach them about paychecks, pay periods, taxes and what to do once you get that pay check. Be sure to check your state’s legal working age; some differ from others anywhere from 13 to 16 years old.

Allowance: Your teen may be too active with school and extra circular activities to find a part time job, so make them earn an allowance. Chores around the home, dog walking or watching their younger sibling is a good way for them to earn their money. Pay them what you would normally pay someone to do that job. Just because they are your child doesn’t mean you should pay them less.

Save: Teaching your teen to save is so important and probably the most important habit they carry on into their futures. The money they earn, whether it is allowance or from a job, have them save a portion, Teach them the reasons you save and why it is so imperative for their futures.

Pay for own things: Going to the movies, concerts or buying a new pair of shoes that they ‘must have’ should come out of their own pocket. As parent you are not entitled to buy them new video games or supply cash for pedicures. Teach them that that these things are just extras and they will have to pay for it themselves. Have them pay for their own gas too will help them see how quickly money can disappear.

Give them a Credit Card: This may be a stretch for some parents and could seem an extreme. But sitting down with your child and going over how credit cards work can help them when they run off to college one day. College students are easy targets for credit cards because they do not understand how to use them. Start early and let them use the family credit card and monitor every spending and show them how quickly things can add up.

As in any lesson you are trying to teach your teen, don’t beat a dead horse. Avoid the nagging and pestering and let them make the mistakes. Obviously you need to monitor them from a distance but be there to kindly guide them in the right direction. Follow some of these tips and you will see a little money saver in no time!

Special contributor: Jenny Ellis is a freelance writer, and a regular contributor for aupair care. She welcomes your comments at: ellisjenny728 @ gmail.com.

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