How to Teach Teens About Healthy Finance?
We can all agree that the ultimate goal of parenting is to prepare our children for independence and sustainability. These are two inseparable qualities that we adults have, as a result of the blood, sweat, and tears of our beloved parents.
While we as teachers are open to many questions regarding finance, we feel that each students’ parents or guardians are better qualified to discuss something so personal yet so powerful. Here are our suggestions on how you can teach your teens about healthy finance:
1. Teach your teens the value of money
The more there is money, the less we appreciate it. This is true in inflation. This is also true in many households. However, to get your teens to value money, do not give them less allowance than they would usually receive. Instead, teach them to allocate or budget money for a variety of purposes.
Always remember to instill this attitude — money is opportunity; it’s an opportunity to eat, to have fun, to learn, to do charity, and many other things. But like there are only 24 hours in a day, there is only so much money for a few things. So teach your teens to budget wisely.
2. Teach your teens the value of saving
If your teens still do not appreciate money, refrain from threatening to give them a smaller allowance. Instead, allocate some of the disposable cash into a “savings account” as a beneficial punishment. In this way, your teens will learn a few things:
- A way to control their spending isn’t to spend more on less expensive things, but to literally ‘save’ their money from being spent away.
- Saving up can hurt their feelings today, but they’ll be thankful tomorrow as they will have ‘more’ money to spend on things that are more important.
- They’ll learn to be happy with spending the same amount of money even if they become richer.
Giving them a smaller allowance could mislead them into thinking that money is bad and/or is so finite that they must hoard it. Saving is a useful skill for the next lesson.
3. Teach your teens the value of investing
Finally, when your teens are able to value and save money, they are ready to learn the value of investing. Investing is not the same as trading in stocks, is not as complicated as property investment, and doesn’t have to involve physical money at all, particularly for teenagers in school.
Investing is as simple as the spending of time, energy or money on something that will prove very useful in the future.
Education is investing, leading a healthy lifestyle is investing, saving up for a piano lesson is investing. You don’t have to give your teens a physical sum of money to teach them to invest. You just have to make them choose how they want to use their allowance or budget or time or energy. Teach them to commit to something that requires patience, help them to focus on the long-term benefits, and help them to resist short-term temptations.
Every life skill and habit is connected
Patience, long-term thinking, and hard work are skills and qualities that help a person become successful in many areas in life, including finance. At IPEKA Integrated Christian School, we strive to teach teens to develop these qualities. They are at a ripe age when they must learn how the world really works, and how to become successful in life.