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Essential Money Talks to Have with Your Teen

Authored By: Genisys Credit Union on 5/22/2024

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Empowering your teens with financial knowledge is more than just a gift – it’s an investment in their future. As parents, guiding your children through the maze of money management is crucial for their long-term well-being. Think of it as laying down the stepping stones toward a path of financial security and independence.

We’re revealing six money conversations you need to have with your teen. These discussions aren’t just about dollars and cents – they’re about equipping them with the skills they need to navigate the complexities of the financial world and succeed.

Earning an Income 

Before teens can effectively manage money, they must understand the practical value of earning it. Parents can start by discussing the concept of earning money through work. Whether it’s by receiving an allowance or getting a part-time job, earning an income teaches teens valuable lessons about responsibility, work ethic, and the tangible relationship between work and reward.

How to Apply It:

Allowance: If you choose to give your kids an allowance, it provides an excellent opportunity to discuss financial concepts in a controlled environment. Parents can use allowances to teach teens about budgeting, saving, and spending within their means. 

Part-Time Job: If your teenager works a part-time job, it’s the perfect opportunity to instill lessons about budgeting, saving regularly, and spending within their means. It also opens the door to valuable experiences, including time management, teamwork, and gaining real-world skills. 

Budgeting Basics 

Budgeting is the cornerstone of financial literacy, and it’s never too early for teens to learn this essential skill. Parents can introduce their teenagers to budgeting by helping them understand the concept of income and expenses. 

How to Apply It:

Contributing to Savings 

Saving money is a crucial habit that teens can carry into adulthood. Parents can help their children establish this habit early by emphasizing saving for short-term and long-term goals. Whether it’s saving for a car, senior trip, or college tuition, setting savings goals gives teens something tangible to work toward. 

How to Apply It:

Working Toward Financial Goals 

Teaching teens how to set and achieve financial goals is a valuable skill that will serve them well throughout their lives. By instilling the importance of goal setting early on, you’re empowering your teen to take control of their financial future. 

How to Apply It:

Understanding Credit Cards and Loans 

Credit cards and loans are powerful financial tools. However, adults know they can also be sources of immense financial stress if not used responsibly. As your teen approaches adulthood, educating them about the risks and benefits of credit is crucial. 

How to Apply It:

Saving Money While Shopping 

Teaching teens how to save money when shopping is an invaluable skill that can help them stretch their dollars even further. By instilling smart shopping habits now, you’re setting your teenager up for financial success in the future. 

How to Apply It:

As parents, empowering your children to make sound financial decisions is one of the most important responsibilities you have that can set them up for success. By fostering open and honest conversations about money, parents can equip their teens with the knowledge and skills to thrive financially. Every money conversation with your teenager is an opportunity to prepare them for a brighter financial future. 

We’re committed to financial education and supporting you and your family through all of life’s milestones. If you want to learn more about Teen or Youth Accounts and the tools available to parents, like our Financial Empowerment Center, we’re ready to help. Please stop by any of our branch locations or call 248-322-9800 extension 5 to speak with a team member.


© Genisys Credit Union and www.genisyscu.org, 2024. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Genisys Credit Union and www.genisyscu.org with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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