Helping Your Teen Make Wise Decisions With His Money

Teenagers don’t like a lot of input from adults about their money. They feel that it is theirs and they are free to do what they want with their hard earned money. For the most part there is some validity to their feelings that is why parents must start the education concerning money early with their teenagers. Instilling a work ethic within your child is an important first step; then showing them the importance of goals and savings when it comes to their money is another important lesson for them. They will also watch how dad and mom handle their money which will influence them when they make decisions concerning their own money.

A first lesson that we feel is important to teach our children about money is giving back to the Lord a tithe of their paycheck. A usual tithe is ten percent of their wage; in the beginning the amount is not as important as the life lesson. Giving a tithe teaches them several important lessons. It helps them to understand the blessings that God provides for them and how to be thankful for those blessing by acknowledging that God is the one who provided these blessings to them and the tithe is their way of giving back to God. It is also a way of letting them be a part of the community of their church and helping others in that community.

Learning to be responsible for the bills they have is also another important lesson your teen needs to learn when dealing with their money. Most teens I know have a cell phone and other technology that has a recurring billing cycle. This is the perfect time to help teach important lessons by letting your teen be responsible for these bills. Technology is a privilege not a right. Letting them pay for these privileges while having the safety of home and food provided for is a good lesson.

Savings is another lesson in helping your teen with his money. Encourage your teen to open up a savings account at a bank; this will help with long range savings. This savings is for their future needs. It might include goals such as paying for a vehicle, college and those types of needs. Putting ten percent into this account as they get paid and then investing in a certificate of deposit (CD) when there is a larger amount of money in the account; these CD’s offer a higher rate of interest then the average savings account.

A short term savings is another important item for a teen to have for his money. This savings is for the things a teen wants such as video games, clothing and the necessities that teens feel that they need. These are items that once they have a job parents can turn over the chore of providing them over to the teen themselves. Around the age of 16 we no longer bought clothing, provided gas money or entertainment money for our kids. There will be times when they do not make wise decisions with their money and they will have to skip going out with their friends because they had run out of money by spending too much earlier. It is a wise parent that does not rescue the teen from this situation, a life lesson is being taught here and stepping in to change the consequences could create more problems in the future for the teen then learning the lesson at this point of time in their lives.

Our goal with helping teens make wise decisions with their money is that they will learn lessons that will keep them from falling into the pit of debt. That they will learn to manage their finances so that they can obtain a vehicle, a home and help provide for their family when they become adults.

Shawn Snyder is a WAHM with 3 grown children and a loving hubby who gives her the freedom to follow her dreams. She has an online business selling personalized children’s products. And a passion about raising the next generation of adults with love, respect and some good old fashion work ethic. Visit her blog at The Odd Couple Blog.

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Originally posted 2010-04-22 16:58:42.

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