It seems to me that the words “teens” and “savings” are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Well at least with my kids. In a time when there is easy access to just about everything and endless marketing messages, saving is the last thing kids are thinking about. The other side of the coin is that kids technically don’t really need to save for anything because many kids get whatever they want from doting parents (I’m talking to myself here too). Work, sacrifice, and waiting seem like foreign concepts. I’m not bashing teens, but rather bringing to light the barriers to savings they seem to have.
Empowering Teens to Get Into the Savings Habit
Getting in the habit of saving is not something I’ve pushed very hard. That said, I want my kids to learn responsibility with money so I’ve done a few things to help them see the importance of saving. My problem is that I love giving them awesome things no matter how large or small. I love surprising them and seeing their faces light up. I almost think it is an addiction. But I’m recovering because I see that giving to them all the time instead of letting them earn and save for what they want does not warrant gratitude. That is what I really want them learn; how to be thankful and appreciative of what they get.
Lessons I’ll Use to Empower My Teens to Save
So my lesson begins in teaching them how to save. I read an article on the Regions Bank website about this very topic. They offered great feedback that I’m sure I can begin implementing. They offer five tips to encourage teens to save money.
- Develop a Savings Habit
- Use Online Tools
- Differentiate Between Needs, Wants, and Wishes
- Establish a Financial Game Plan Together
- Keep a Record of Spending and Savingoffer begin implementing.They offered great feedback article on REhat they get.
- and save for what they want does not wa
Encourage the Savings Habit
When my kids get birthday or holiday money it’s tempting to spend it all in one place. My 14-year-old son just wants food and games at this stage in life. As long as he has food and a bed he’s pretty happy. Recently he’s been talking about doing paintball for his birthday so he said he wants to save for that. My daughter wanted an iPad when she turned 15. I made a deal with her to save her birthday money and any other money she made to pay half for the device. She agreed and kept up her end of the bargain. I paid the other half and insurance. She still holds on to her precious iPad today even though she complains that it’s a bit outdated. She will always remember saving for what she wanted.
I’m big about banking online and being connected. I use tools like my bank app and Mint.com. My daughter is connected to our bank and can check her account balance when she needs the information. She can also see her savings account amount. I’ll have to set up an account for my son on my account and start letting him use his card and track his expenses. This is a good habit to start.
What they Want vs What they Need
Paintball is definitely a want for my son. Like I said before, he is all about playing games. He hasn’t hit the “gotta look good for the ladies” stage just yet. So buying clothes, shoes, and cologne is not a top priority. He’s not into designer sneakers so that has saved my budget. He loves getting new shoes when I get them but doesn’t make a big deal out of it.
My daughter on the other hand loves new clothes, make-up, and electronics. She wants them but is still working on making the most of her current wardrobe. She has had a wakeup call recently since she drives her own car now. Clearly she feels the need for gas, maintenance, and registration fees. She feels the pain each time she goes to the gas pump so her trips are few and far between; even to the mall. She has said she needs to save her money for when she goes to college and needs gas money. Savings for her will be kind of forced after all.
Planning for Their Financial Future
As they grow and their needs change in the process, we will need to talk about their financial future. My desire is for them to learn about business and entrepreneurship. They have it in them to use their creativity to provide a product or service. My daughter has dreams of being a private pilot. It will require a pretty large chunk of money to go through the final classes and do her test flight.
In the long term they have goals of finishing school and training for their profession. We will plan to sit down and discuss those goals and come up with a financial game plan.
Recording their Financial Activities
When I grew up I learned the basics of how to track my income and expenses using pen and paper. A simple ledger was enough to keep up with my allowance and payments for my small business. Today there are several options for recording financial activity. As part of my son’s curriculum he will learn how to record income and expenses using a simple spreadsheet system. It will be a great start and help him sharpen his math and critical thinking skills.
Empowering my teens to save and manage their money is a good first step to empowering them through life. They will feel in control of their finances and be able to make good choices throughout their lives.
This post was sponsored in part by Regions Bank. The content and opinions are my own.
Images by StockImages, suphakit73, and adamr at freedigitalphotos.net