Try one of these 5 suggestions to increase your tweenager’s financial literacy.
1. When your tween receives a monetary gift, discuss spending versus saving then open a bank account. Whether your child is earning money from doing chores or just getting a little cash in a birthday card, opening a savings account for your child will give them a place to put their money and will introduce them to the concept of delayed gratification.
2. Make charitable giving a part of your conversation. Discuss the virtues of sharing what your tween receive with someone less fortunate. Whether contributing to a specific cause or to a general fund at your church or synagogue, charitable giving is not only a financial fluency lesson but a moral one as well.
3. Introduce the concept of a budget. Discuss the cost (or the concept of having a set amount of money) to purchase back to school items, to pay for after school activities or to buy holiday gifts. By discussing that your family has a finite amount of money to spend, you show demonstrate thoughtful planning about how your money is spent.
4. Have children pay for their own unnecessary items. This suggestion compliments the concept of a budget. If there is not enough money in the family’s budget to purchase an item the tween wants, explain that if the tween really wants something, then the tween will need to save his/her own money until they have enough saved to purchase what they want. Regardless of how much your family can afford to spend, the concept of delayed gratification is an excellent (though sometimes difficult) lesson, whether for children or tweens.
5. Around age 12, introduce the idea of saving for a college education. This important discussion will demonstrate two things; the importance your family places on the value of higher education and the fact that your family has included this important opportunity in their budget. Your tween may even decide to contribute to her or his own college education fund.
Although we are all busy with the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s important to take the time and talk to your tween about these important financial matters. Financial literacy instills confidence in making sound monetary decisions. It’s never too early to begin the conversation.