It’s never too early to teach your children how to budget their money properly. Once they become teenagers, though, you should start showing them the details of setting a budget and keeping track of their finances. Knowing a few tips will help you teach them the right way to take control of their money now, so that they can reap the benefits when they are adults.
Creating a Budget
Spend some time each month to create a budget with your teen. Have them keep track of how much money they earn and how much they spend. At the end of your first month, sit down with them and make a list showing how much money they spent on necessities (food, clothing, car insurance, etc.) and non-essential items (movies, video games, music, etc.). This will show your teen specific areas where he could reduce spending to save more money. You can even use a free budget planner to help him create an effective budget.
Set Financial Goals
Making financial goals a part of your teen’s budget will teach her about the importance of saving. For instance, you might encourage her to save 20 percent of her paycheck for college expenses. Incorporating these future expenses into current spending practices will teach her that it is important to take a long-term perspective when making financial decisions.
Let Your Teen Learn
Many parents make the error of saving their teenagers from mistakes before they turn into bigger problems. If you take consequences out of the equation, then your teen will not learn important lessons about financial responsibility. For instance, if your teen spends too much money one month and cannot afford his car insurance, then let him suffer the consequences by earning more or going without a car until he has saved enough money.
Soon, your teenager will learn that there are consequences to financial irresponsibility and he will focus on making smart budgeting decisions that make life more enjoyable.