It seems as though there are more and more things for our teenagers to buy every day so why not start teaching kids about money? There are mp3 players, video games, designer sports shoes, expensive clothes and so much more. If, like nearly everyone, you have not been blessed with wealth, then it is obviously hard to give your teenagers everything that they want and, for this reason, it is very important to begin to help them understand the value of money.
It is critically important to begin teaching kids about money from a young age. Beginning at about the age 10 you should give them a few dollars every week which they can spend in whatever way they want. This allowance should not be ‘free’ but should be dependent on them completing some household chores. You should however work with them and to some degree let them decide what chores they want to do instead of enforcing particular jobs on them. In addition, it is important not to set limits on what they can spend their money on and also that, having given them allowance, you do not then simply go on buying them the things they want. They need to, and quickly will, find out that if they spend all of their allowance as soon as they get it they will not be able to buy some of the more expensive things they want.
In addition, it is most important when teaching kids about money, the ins and outs of budgeting at a young age and discover exactly how much things cost. Take them to the shops when you go shopping, have them help you with the household budget and allow them to watch you when it comes to paying the bills. It will not take them very long to get a feeling for precisely how expensive everyday living can be.
Teaching kids about money as the grow
As your kids get older, and certainly by the time they get to the age of about 13 or 14, gradually increase both their level of responsibility and their allowance. For example, add their lunch money to their allowance and give them the responsibility of buying their own lunch. As they accept greater responsible, show them how to create a budget for bigger items like clothes or an mp3 player, and then force them to stick to this budget. Once again, you will discover that they will soon learn that if they want to purchase expensive items, then they have to make sacrifices elsewhere, or make the extra money to cover it.
Do not forget that you can also always backtrack. If you discover that your kids are not learning how to to use money sensibly, then do not be afraid to step in and take back control of that money until you are satisfied that they can handle it.
At some point, your teenager will decide to get a job and this is an excellent time at which to introduce them to the benefits of saving. By teaching kids about money at this point can be done by assisting them to put a proportion of their wages into a savings account which they need to come to see as a fund for major projects, like their college education or other significant pursuits. Also, get them to put a small proportion of their wages to one side to fund less important, but nonetheless expensive, items like a computer or video game system. Having made these provisions, you can then let spend the remainder of their wages in whatever ‘mad’ way they choose and, if you are concerned about what they are spending their money on, then open up a checking account for them which you can monitor.
Teaching your kids about the value money has in life can be a long and slow process which takes a number of small steps and will not be without its problems. Your kids, and particularly your teenagers, will mess up but do not forget that we learn perhaps our most valuable lessons from the mistakes that we make. So with that in mind its time to start teaching kids about money.