One of the most important parts of raising kids is preparing them for the real world and how to navigate adulthood—including finances. A great way to do this is to raise money-smart teens.
For many teens, their first exposure to earning money is getting their first job or doing chores around their house or neighborhood. This blog will cover the steps you can take to help your teen become money smart.
- Teach Wants vs. Needs. A great place to start helping your teens manage their money is discussing the difference between wants versus needs. Teens tend to be impulsive, which means they may get swept up into impulse buying. Television, radio stations, and social media timelines are all flooded with ads. With today’s technology, you don’t even need to grab your wallet to make a purchase, which makes it so much easier to spend on unnecessary items.
- Discuss Budgeting. Learning responsible spending habits early will help your teens transition into adulthood. Start by talking about what their big-money goals are right now. Teach them to think about how much money is spent on fast food and clothing and how much work it took to earn that money. If you feel comfortable, you can share your household budget and expenses. This will help give them an understanding in real-life terms.
- Set SMART Goals. One way to help your teens stay focused and ensure they reach their financial (or personal) goals is to make them SMART—Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound. Check out our SMART goals blog for more information on using this technique.
At Yolo Federal Credit Union, we believe the key to financial success is financial education. That’s why we provide the tools and resources you need to help teach your teens to be money smart. Our Achieve Financial Success program is a free online resource filled with enriching tools and resources about various financial topics. Choose from the playlists available, like the Importance of Checking Accounts, Budgeting for College Life, or create a custom playlist with your teen.
Click here to learn more about our Achieve program or schedule an appointment to speak with a Member Relationship Specialist about account options for your teens! Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and the earlier your teens start building healthy financial habits, the better they’ll will be in the long run.