Teaching Teens Financial Responsibility

When your kids were little, you frequently heard requests such as “Will you read me a story?” or “Can we go for a bike ride?” Now that your offspring have morphed into teenagers, their pleadings often involve asking for money—your money.

How can you tame their cash demands and avoid the money wrangles, while also instilling a sense of financial responsibility? Here are a few ideas:

Make the most of “teachable moments” – Look for opportunities in your day-to-day interactions with your teen when you can slip in a money “lesson.” For instance, if you’re out shopping together, you can talk about your own shopping choices or why you’re delaying a purchase.
Provide hands-on experience – These types of experiences have more impact for teens than just listening to you talk. For instance, have your teenager make the grocery list for the week. At the market, he’ll see for himself how big a chunk of the family budget goes toward groceries.
Model money monitoring – Sit down with your teen to go over her list of expenditures for the week. Discuss the following: Were these wants (things that just made you feel good) or needs (things like a new jacket to replace the one that no longer fits)? How could you have spent your money differently?
Introduce plastic, perhaps – You’ll need to decide if your teen is mature enough to manage a debit card. You could give your teen a Resource One Visa® debit card with a spending limit. Again, go over transactions together.
Talk about the future – What will come after high school? If it’s college, what portion of expenses will the teen have to cover? Older teens also begin to think about career choices. This is a good time to talk with them about saving for retirement. It’s never too early to have that conversation.
Monitor their expenses – If you’re still apprehensive about giving your teen too much responsibility, R1CU offers the MobiMoney™ app. This app allows you can control and manage your Resource One Debit Cards, and it’s free to download on Apple and Android devices.

  • Turn your debit card on/off
  • Receive instant card transaction alerts
  • Limit card usage based on location, transaction type, and amount
  • Set merchant preferences
  • View debit card transaction history

Let Resource One help set your teenager up with their first debit card and checking account. Getting teens established with these tools can help them learn to manage money now—while the stakes are small—so they don’t get into financial trouble later. Call us today at 1-800-375-3674 or stop by today.

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