- Long term savings
- Borrowing is a trap
- Give generously
Sit down with your child one on one and help them create a budget fit for them.
The teenager should be the one setting the numbers in their own budget, with guidance from their parent.
At this age, a teenager’s budget is very simple.
Their budget could include long-term savings, clothing, maybe a monthly cell phone bill and some fun money.
Also, encourage your child to contribute to a charity fund. Teach them to give back.
Long term savings
Keep savings goals visual. Print out a picture of the item the child is saving for and post it where they can see it. Write next to it how much they need to save each month in order to get it by a set date. That helps the child stay focused on their goal.
Set the example. Parents can model for the kids at the store when an item is tempting to buy, say “I don’t want to buy that. I’m saving my money for ___ instead.”
Credit card companies send teenagers applications all the time for their credit card, trying to get them caught up in that trap.
Teach children the concept of how borrowing means paying more down the road than the item originally cost.
Teach children the difference between a want and a need.
Teach children the concept of delayed gratification.
Debit cards are a good option because they only allow you to spend the money you already have.
Dave Ramsey encourages people to only use cash. If you don’t have any cash, then you can’t buy more than you can afford.
Debit cards have fraud protection like credit cards do, so they can be just as safe.
Student loans are another big debt that many come out of college with. It is possible to finish college without debt. It just takes lots of planning ahead, working hard and being creative.
There are many scholarships and grants that go unused every year.
Teach children to give back. Help them find a local charity like a church, American Red Cross or Habitat for Humanity that they can contribute to regularly.
The image this week is titled “Group of teens at the beach”, by Vladimir Pustovit. You can find it on Flickr.