Talk to Your Teens About Money

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Last night I participated in a conference call, set up by H&R Block, with Dr. Brad Klontz, co-founder of  Your Mental Wealth Consulting and author of many books including his newest, Mind Over Money. Dr. Klontz is also working with H&R Block to help parents to teach teens financial fitness and prepare them for life after high school.

I recently wrote about the importance of teaching civics in school. Dr. Klontz reminded me how important it is for teens to learn about money and finance, something that our public schools also neglect. This is another reason why it is so important for parents to step in and teach their teens how to handle money. Many parents feel uncomfortable talking about this because money is a difficult issue and has always been a taboo topic. Money stress is just as damaging to our health and can predict an early demise as much as major illnesses. Money is the biggest stresser in most people’s lives and the biggest conflict in marriages.

50% of high school seniors got a grade of F on general financial knowledge. We are not preparing our kids for the real world. 80% of kids entering college have credit cards, yet only 15% have had any formal instruction in personal finance management. Their credit score can hurt them for years.

Tips for talking to your teens about money:

  • Think before buying.
  • Don’t buy on impulse.
  • Model healthy financial behavior.
  • Let kids watch you save. be good role models.
  • If your teen has a job or an allowance, teach them not to spend it all. Talk to them about how there are 3 things they can do with their money, spend, save and donate.

Tips involving teen cell phone use – 80% of teens have cell phones, yet only 10% know what its like to pay their own cell phone bill. Parents are exasperated that their teens are racking up tremendous cell phone bills. Use cell phones as a budgeting tool. Give your teens a prepaid calling card with a certain number of minutes a month. When they run out early, tell them you’ll help them budget their minutes for the next month, but don’t bail them out. This is a good way for them to learn not only budgeting but impulse control.

Would you like your kid’s school to teach money and personal finance? Wouldn’t it be great if schools taught teens practical real life things like balancing a check book and credit card debt. Teens need to know this before stepping out into the world.

See also:    
Helping Teens Understand The Value of Money
Is Your Teen Ready For a Credit Card?
Teens and Money – Cash, Credit or Debit Cards?

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Comments

  1. This is so true! I only got a cell phone when I was 16 & I had to pay for it myself. Unfortunately, money is what makes the world go round, and teens should know the realities as soon as possible.

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