Let’s take the “haphazard” out of our teens’ money management habits.
Many of us learned our money habits piecemeal, rather than as a whole system with all parts working together. As a teenager, when the occasion arose to contribute to charity, I sometimes donated some of my own money. When I wanted to save for something expensive, I would put all my money toward that thing until I bought it. When I needed to buy something and I had enough money, I bought it. Money management for me was completely based on my emotions.
Does that sound familiar?
The problem is, with this system, we don’t ever learn to make all the parts work at the same time.
This is where parents fail to prepare their teens for adulthood with excellent money management habits. I know I used the “Hack it together” system of money management for most of my adult life. I mean, I pretty much just hacked together a system that worked, sort of, and I added parts to it as I grew and when I had time to think about it.
When we think about it, why would we ever want our teen to suffer the consequences of poor money management habits when they are adults? It puts them at a terrible disadvantage and risk for major problems in their adulthood. It’s so unnecessary and so preventable. The internet is an excellent source of educational materials for teens in the area of money. There are summer camps where they can go learn about money and have a blast! There are books and articles that teach about compound interest and why it makes so much sense to start to save and invest at a young age. There are board games–I highly recommend Robert Kiyasaki’s Cash Flow 101 that teaches how to think about money as a wealth builder.
In the WealthQuest for Teens Online Video, teens learn the Silo System. They learn to design a whole money management strategy that is organized around their needs, wants, dreams, and commitments. This strategy makes money management matter to them on a personal level.
Jill Suskind, M.Ed. is a 25-year veteran public school teacher. Since 2007, she has been working with parents and their teens, providing innovative, practical, and effective resources and guidance for preparing teens for adulthood with positive money habits and attitudes. Jill owns and operatesWealthQuest for Teens, Ltd., and Your Teen’s Money Skills, Inc, and currently serves as a member of the Financial Literacy Committee of the National Association of Estate Planners Council.
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