By Bill Reiner, CFP®, ChFC®
Teenagers are not known for being logical and responsible, especially with money. But given the right tools and opportunities, the teenage years are an ideal time to set a financial foundation that will benefit your children for their lifetime. So, before they leave the nest and head out into the real world, consider these steps to help them prepare for financial independence.
1. Let Them Earn An Income
Kids learn best by doing. Hands-on opportunities allow them to learn from the experience, regardless of the outcome. If your teen is old enough, let them take on a part-time job, either permanently or temporarily, during school breaks. If they’re not quite old enough (or too busy with extracurricular activities), pay them for doing jobs around the house, whether that’s mowing the lawn, making dinner, or cleaning out the garage.
Letting your teen earn their own income is exciting! It teaches them about taxes, gives them their own spending money, helps them become a more responsible and independent person, and allows them to feel empowered and capable.
2. Show Them How To Track Spending
We all know how little purchases can add up to huge expenses over time. Coffee on your way to work. Take-out on your way home. A small purchase on Amazon. Before you know it, $100 is out the window.
Your teen can keep their spending in check by tracking their own expenses. As a tech-savvy teen, they’ll likely find a budgeting app more appealing than using the old pen-and-paper method. A quick online search will reveal several apps out there that can help your teen stay on top of their spending and track expenses in real time.
3. Help Them Set Financial Goals
Once your teen has some income to work with, help them set financial goals. They may want to save for a car, some college expenses, or even a post-graduation trip with friends. Help them calculate how much they need to save each month to reach their goal by a certain date. This gives them something tangible to work toward and shows them the value of saving. If they are motivated to save for something in the future, it encourages them to weigh the opportunity cost of buying something now versus saving the money for later.
Invest In Their Future
Teaching your teen the importance of financial independence is no easy feat. But if you put in the hard work now, they’ll be less likely to depend on you financially in their 30s and beyond. At Reiner Financial Group, we’re dedicated to helping you and your teen experience financial success. If you want to partner with us to make that happen, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (215) 340-2360 to get started.
About Bill Reiner, CFP®, ChFC®, Financial Advisor
Bill has been in the financial industry since 1995, earning numerous professional designations, including the Certified Financial PlannerTM Certification in 1999. Clients work with Bill because of his honesty and unwavering devotion to superior client service. He helps clients discover what financial strategies work best in helping them achieve their goals and objectives. When taking on new clients, he works diligently to gain their trust and help them understand the solutions he recommends.