Part 2 'FINANCIALLY FIT' TEENS
Children learn young that money equals independence. As they mature they become even clearer about their own values and ideas, which often diverge sharply from YOUR'S, their parents. With teenagers this development is exacerbated by the all-pervasive outside influences of peers, media and marketing. Still, no matter what their age, a parent's goal should remain the same: to raise "financially fit" kids. That is children who are: "independent, balanced, able to exercise good judgment and live independent lives as contributing members of both family and community." 1
Ten Basic Money Skills for Teens (from the esoteric to the practical) :
Connects money and future
Understands relationship of time to money
Knows how to earn, save and invest
Can shop comparatively
Can read a bank statement and paycheck
Handles simple tax forms
Understands philanthropy (aren't you glad you started that church giving when they were young!)
Understands interest and dividends
Can manage a credit card (and debt)
Understands how loans work
How To Achieve these Skills:
Parents can help their teenagers learn these skills simply by continuing to expose them to practical, real-world activities. At home this might mean:
By the time they graduate from high school it's certainly reasonable to expect your teens to be able to balance a checkbook, actively save, spend and invest and show an increasing capacity for economic self-sufficiency.
- Showing them how to write a check, balance a checkbook or use online banking.
- Encouraging them to hold down a job - as long as it doesn't interfere with school and other extracurricular activities.
- Walking them through the processes involved in buying big-ticket items like a car (will you borrow or use your own money?) or budgeting for holiday gifts.
- Talk to your children about everything money, from how to save, to TV ad messages, to credit card debt and college loans, to how to be an entrepreneur and use money to change the world through philanthropic giving!
- Perhaps, most importantly, allow your kids to make mistakes. This might mean letting them buy that product they wanted but didn't read the Consumer Report about. Or get that trendy item without comparison-shopping and then discover their friend bought it for less. If you allow them to use a credit card, let them take responsibility for any debt incurred. Far better they learn these harsh lessons now, before they leave home, than having to face them unprepared out in the big world, where there's little or no safety net.
1. 'Raising Financially Fit Kids' by Joline Godfrey
See you in two weeks with more updates and news!
This information is copyrighted June 2009.
For those of you with questions, feel free to call me at 203.966.2712. Also please visit my website at www.catherineaveryinvest.com Please pass along this newsletter to friends and family to spread the word!