Talking to teens about anything can be difficult, but talking about finance, like saving and investing, can be worse. They get distracted, ignore you, put in their ear buds, or even hit you with the classic “I’m only a teenager! Why do I have to worry about this now?!” Despite all of this, it is important that you, the parent, keep in mind that learning about personal money management at a young age is crucial factor in your child’s abilities later in life. What you teach your kids is up to you (though, I do recommend checking out the rest of this site for ideas), but here are a couple of tips to make it bearable, and maybe even fun, for you and your child.
When you’re in the car, casually strike up conversation about the topic by informing your teen about a current economic event. The younger he or she is when you start, the easier this will be. If, at young age, your child realizes that these events are interesting, they will usually be all the more willing to have an interactive discussion about the economy, the effects of the event on the country and citizen, and the politics intertwined in these issues in his or her teenage years. Once you get started, the conversation will come more naturally, so lead it into a discussion of financial terminology and its basics.
Give lots of examples Financial lessons can be very overwhelming, so give examples of basic concepts using smaller numbers.
Be Resourceful For Teaching Moments Use every opportunity to discuss changes in the stock market, rules-of-thumb for your everyday money-saving techniques, etc. with your teen. For example, when you buy or sell a certain investment, get your teen involved and explain to him or her why you think this would be a good option for your money, what your motives are, and how to buy and sell certain investments.
Set an Allowance Even if your teenager doesn’t work, having a set amount of money for spending on unnecessary items will aid in their differentiation between needs and wants. There are debit cards available for this exact idea, but you could also just set a limit on what he or she spends when shopping. Though you may get a few (or many) complaints, this option will most likely help in the long run when your teen is living on their own income alone.
Explain Your Why Your Lessons Are Important Describe how this information is critical for many financial aspects of his or her adult life. This includes earning more money, saving for retirement, college, a car, and to simply be educated because you can’t blindly rely on what others tell you is the right decision for your hard-earned money.