Six Steps to Raising Financially Responsible Teens
In the current world of money-driven culture teens are constantly bombarded with TV ads, magazines and peer pressure, which makes them feel less than perfect if they don’t dress in the latest fashions and drive the latest “cool” car. Go to the local mall and you’ll see a plethora of teens who spend money like credit cards have no maximum limit for spending. With all the pressure for extravagant spending Is it possible to educate your teenagers in a way that is sensible and protects them from making costly financial errors?
While I’m yet to have children that I can call myself, I am fortunate to have my parents, who taught me at a young time to become a responsible money steward. Let me tell you about some of the actions my parents took to teach me that money is a scarce resource and should be utilized carefully.
Even if your child isn’t old enough to hold a job isn’t a sign that it’s not a good time to teach basic financial concepts. Since we were children we received the “allowance” from our parents. We were only able to receive this money after we had completed every chore we had to do daily or weekly. We learned that money isn’t free, it’s earned.
Set An Example
It’s impossible for your teenagers to make wise decisions when it comes to spending money If you don’t establish a good example for them. Are your children seeing your purchases on credit simply because you want the item now, but don’t possess the discipline to put off buying until they can save enough cash? My father was a great example of this. Before making any major purchase (such as an automobile) the first thing he did was determine the amount was within his budget. Then, he started looking for a car. At times, it took nearly a whole year to find the item was he looking for at the price he was willing to pay. His persistence always paid off and created a lasting impression on me.
Don’t Buy Everything For Them
It’s easy for parents to wish to “help teens out” by purchasing everything they need for their teens. But, is this really “helping”? If your child is entering the world by themselves and is able to make their own decisions, they will learn some tough lessons learn if you bought them everything they desired for them. Once we started making money from our earnings, my father required us to pay for our own items like clothing as well as gifts for our friends as well as things we wanted and other things. Since my parents didn’t purchase everything for us I learned the importance of work hard to think about what I want to buy, and to search for the most effective purchase.
Teach Your Teens the Value of Hard Work
In a time when lazyness is a common occurrence, teach your children instead the importance of being a dedicated worker. The things you do for is what you will appreciate more. If your teenager put in the effort to purchase the car they want, it will be almost certain that they will love it more and will take better care of it.
Train Your Teens to Think Before They Spend
It may seem to be a simple idea however, figuring out how to think about my purchases before making a purchase literally made me save hundreds in the past. Encourage your children to ask them at least three important questions prior to purchasing anything:
- Have I enough cash on hand to cover this?
- Do I really need this?
- Do I have to buy this elsewhere for less?
In many cases, when I ask these kinds of questions, I’ll convince myself to not make the purchase! I’ll realize that I don’t have the funds to pay for it or do not need the item. In other instances, I’ll find a way that I can buy this product for less.
Encourage Your Teens to Get the Best Buy
As well as making these inquiries, you should also teach your children to search for the most affordable price. It’s amazing how many variations in prices you can discover in the marketplace. For instance, the water tank broke within one of the vehicles we own last week. When we brought it to an the auto shop to repair they told us that we’d need go to a more specialist repair shop as the engine needs to be removed for the replacement of the damaged water pump. The initial cost we were offered was $775. Being aware that this was not within our spending budget, our husband immediately began making calls to various auto repair shops. One shop quoted him about $500 while another offered him around $300. When we shop around for the most competitive price we will save many hundreds on the repair task.