Ways to Teach Your Teen About Money

If you don’t teach your kids how to manage money, somebody else will. And that’s not a risk you want to take! Give your kids the head start you wish you had and set them up to win with money at any age.

  1. Teach them contentment.

    Your teen probably spends a good chunk of their time staring at a screen as they scroll through social media. And every second they’re online, they’re seeing the highlight reel of their friends, family and even total strangers! It’s the quickest way to bring on the comparison trap. You may hear things like:  “Dad, Mark’s parents bought him a brand-new car! How come I have to drive this 1993 Subaru?” or  “Mom, this girl at school got to spend $10,000 on her Sweet 16 party. I want to do that too!”

    Contentment starts in the heart. Let your teen know that their Subaru (although not the newest car on the block) is still running well enough to get them from point A to point B. And you can still throw a memorable party without spending a chunk of your retirement savings funding it!

  2. Give them the responsibility of a bank account By the time your kid’s a teenager, you should be able to set them up with a simple bank account. This takes money management to the next level, and will (hopefully) prepare them for managing a much heftier account when they get older. WKFCU offers the Extreme Teen Club for teens ages 13 - 17. We also offer checking accounts  with a debit card for teens ages 16 and 17.

  3. Get them saving for college.
    There’s no time like the present to have your teen start saving for college. Do they plan on working a summer job? Perfect! Take a portion of that (or more) and toss it in a college savings account. Your teen will feel like they have skin in the game as they contribute to their education.
  4. Teach them to steer clear of student loans.
    Before your teen ever applies to college, you need to sit down and have the talk—the “how are we going to pay for college” talk. Let your teen know that student loans don’t have to be an option to fund their education. Talk through all the alternatives out there, like going to community college, going to an in-state university, working part-time while in school, and applying for scholarships.  While you’re at it, get The Graduate Survival Guide for them. It’s a must-have resource to help your college-bound teen prepare for the next big step in their life.
  5. Teach them the danger of credit cards.
    As soon as your kid turns 18, they’ll get hounded by credit card offers—especially once they’re in college. If you haven’t taught them why debt is a bad idea, they’ll become yet another credit card victim.
  6. Get them on a simple budget.
    Since your teen is glued to their mobile device anyway, get them active on a simple budgeting app, such as,  EveryDollar. Now is the time to get your teen in the habit of budgeting their income—no matter how small It is. They should learn the importance of making a plan for their money while they’re still under your roof.
  7. Introduce them to the magic of compound interest.
    We know what you’re thinking. You can barely get your teen to brush their hair—how in the world are they supposed to become investment savvy? The earlier your teen can get started investing, the better. Compound interest is a magical thing! Introduce your teen to it at an early age, and they’ll get a head start on preparing for their future.
  8. Help them figure out how to make money.
    When you think about it, teenagers have plenty of free time—fall break, summer break, winter break, spring break. If your teen wants some money (and what teen doesn’t?), then help them find a job. Here are some ideas:
    • Babysitting.
    • Yard work for a neighbor.
    • House and/or pet sit for vacationing neighbors.
    • Organize a yard or garage sale.
    • Do extra chores for money
    • Wash neighbors' cars.
    • Collect recyclables.
    • Tutoring.

Teaching your children about money at any stage is going to take time and won’t always be easy. But if you want your children to know how to successfully manage their money when they get older, taking the time now will be worth it.

One of the best ways to teach your kids about handling money is to give them a chance to make some of their own! With the Teen Entrepreneur Toolbox, from Dave Ramsey,  you’ll get all the tools you need to help them start their own business and learn real-world skills.

April is Credit  Union Youth Month and We’re Celebrating

Now is the perfect time to open an account for your child or grandchild for FREE.

We will waive the $5 Enrollment Fee and Make the First $5 deposit.

We will have a Kids Cash Giveaway -- 2 $25 Prizes -- on Thursdays - April 8, 15, 22, and 29.

When you open a new kids account or make a $25 deposit into an existing account, your child will receive a special gift bag full of goodies.

Details at www.wkfcu.org/Kids-and-Youth/Youth-Month.

(Partially reprinted from ramseysolutions.com and money.usnews.com/money)

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