Teenagers now have the ability to earn money with part-time jobs, summer jobs, and apprenticeships. Some will spend every last penny on ‘stuff’ which you can’t see the point of, some will save every penny for a big purchase but a lot will try and save, fail drastically and spend the lot and then start saving again.
With bank accounts, cards and lifestyles choices like hobbies or cars, teenagers need to be street savvy with money a lot earlier in life. It’s not like when our parents were young and money was hardly talked about and a big mystery till you got your first job after leaving school.
The biggest thing you can do to teach teenagers to handle money and hopefully save it too is to lead by example. I remember watching my Mum put my Dads weekly wages, which then was in cash, into envelopes each week. There was a separate envelope for each category so petrol, food, saving etc. Because I remember seeing her doing this it’s something I do as well.
Help them get a bank account. Then explain how it works. When my eldest had her first account she was adamant it had to be at the same bank as me. At first, I thought it was rather odd then worked out it was familiar to her as she would go to my bank with me each week. This little thing helped her confidence using the bank and now she regularly puts her savings into the bank.
If they are earning regularly and have regular outgoings it would be a good idea to teach them about budgets. Though calling it a budget might send them running. Try spending plan instead of as this sounds more fun. Teach them about listing their expenses and outgoings so that they know how much they have left over. You can slip in about saving for bigger things and how to wisely spend their savings.
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