High school teens are going through a lot of changes, and it is important to make sure to instill values in them in these critical years. Teaching them to become financially independent during these years will teach them valuable lessons about earning money, budgeting, and saving — all skills that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
A great way to start this hugely important lesson is to let your teen know that while you might help out with paying for driving lessons, they have to work, save up, and make sure they budget enough for buying a car and taking care of insurance and repairs.
Of course, as the parent you can help in your own ways, like having a AAA card available to them or being ready to help in a huge emergency. However, a great motto to follow is that you’ll help out your kids if they are willing to help themselves.
Getting a job and being able to pay for “extras” like designer clothes and electronics is a great way to have your kids learn that being financially independent is rewarding.
Of course, teens have a lot going on with schoolwork, socializing, after school activities, and applying to college. However, life is always about juggling all of our responsibilities, so it’s not a bad idea to have your teenager learn how to balance everything and be able to pay for themselves when they’re out in the real world.
You can start out these type of lessons with younger kids as well. Reward chore completion with an allowance. When they’re old enough, this is a great way to get them to help out with laundry, clearing dishes, clean, vacuum, or help out with bringing in the groceries.
When kids learn independence, they’ll carry these skills with them through adulthood. There’s no reason your children should think that you will be taking care of everything for them forever, so this is a great way to get them to learn these skills from early on. Best of all, this will also give them a boost of confidence.
They’ll understand the value of hard work, so that when they’re on their own, they will use these skills in the workplace as well. They’ll already be familiar with the concept of working hard, showing up on time, and making a solid effort. They will also know that if they want something, hard work and patience is the way to get there.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you’re making your kid pay for everything. Not at all — but getting them to pay for the “extras” is a good way to teach them about fiscal responsibility. That also means making sure they know that you are not a bank or reach out their hand anytime they need money.
If you teach your kids these skills early on, you won’t have to worry about them being able to prosper on their own once they leave the nest.