By Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach®
Young people don’t need to wait until they’re adults to begin learning about money matters. If we teach them key financial concepts now, they’ll be better prepared for life’s economic challenges as adults.
Here are some ideas and activities to make tweens and teens money-smart citizens.
For Tweens 10 to 12: Have a Yard Sale
A yard sale has multiple benefits for your entire family. You get to reduce household clutter and raise some quick cash. Your loved ones get to unload items they no longer want, need or use. And your 10- to 12-year-old child can learn some good financial lessons if you put him or her in charge. You can supervise, but pre-teens will benefit from this project by being the person responsible for setting prices of various goods, handling payments and giving change, and negotiating with customers. For items that don’t sell, consider donating them to a local charity, which teaches your tween a final lesson in philanthropy and helping others.
For Teens 13 to 15: Open a Savings Account
If your child doesn’t already have a savings account in his or her own name, opening one can be enormously impactful. Making deposits and withdrawals will help them learn about managing money and the importance of saving in their early teen years. Putting aside cash on a regular basis also establishes fiscal discipline and consistency. Plus, it teaches a teenager the importance of delayed gratification and how to save money toward a future goal, like paying for college or buying a car.
For Teens 16 to 18: Get them a Debit or Credit Card
To some parents, it may seem too early to introduce your teen to plastic, but there’s a responsible way to let your older teenager know that debit cards, prepaid cards or credit cards are financial tools. When used wisely, they can help a teen learn about managing their finances, making smart financial choices, not overspending, and seeing firsthand how credit and debit charges work. With a reloadable card, your teen can put allowances or other money onto the card and budget those funds.
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Extra Credit provides general information to help improve our Member’s financial lives. Every situation is different, so please contact us for guidance on your specific needs. The advice provided in Extra Credit is not intended to serve as a substitute for speaking to a loan representative, financial advisor, or BALANCE counselor who can help tailor a solution for you.
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