Where did you first learn to manage your money? Maybe it was your first summer job that allowed many of the life lessons that you may use today. According to the findings from the Youth Development Study (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2936460/pdf/nihms220511.pdf) teens were surveyed during all 4 years of high school and beyond about their work experiences.
-Working can be good for youth if done in moderation. It provides an opportunity to explore careers, learn time management and practice money management skills. Be sure to have a conversation at the beginning about the expectations and limitations that you can agree on. How else can you help support your teen? Here are a few ideas for you to think about.
-Give your teen tips for finding and keeping a job. Encourage them to be neat with their appearance, be thoughtful with their application and ask people before listing them as a reference. Ask friends and acquaintances if they know about job possibilities.
-If your teen doesn’t need the income or if they can’t find a job, volunteering is another great option. Giving back to the community and learning about other career tracks are valuable pieces to report on a resume or college application in the future. An additional note is that volunteering contributes to personal growth and makes us feel better about ourselves and our community.
-The financial goals might be where you can contribute the most. Help them set up a budget about how they will spend, save and share their money. Encourage the following: spend no more than 80% of your income; that leaves 10% each for giving and savings. If they are saving for larger goals, such as a car or college, they may want to invest part of their income, and allow time for their money to grow.
- Purchase a note pad or use the app on their phone to document all the daily spending. It’s hard to budget your money until they realize where they are spending it.
- Help them understand that budgeting is more than just writing down where their money goes. It’s setting limits of how much they will spend in their spending categories and sticking to it.
- Help them set goals using, how much I want to save in total, how much each pay and what timeline will it take me to get there. I have some goal cards at the office. Please contact me if you would like one. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Have a conversation about what expenses you will still cover and what ones you will expect them to pay for. This can be an important part of setting their budget as they plan for current activities and back to school expenses.
Don’t forget to set aside some planned family time too. Teens will still want time with their friends and time for other activities. While there are benefits to consider there are also other considerations for you to take into account as each child is different. Having honest conversation is the best way to make a workable plan for your family.
Melinda Hill is an OSU Extension Family & Consumer Sciences educator and may be reached at 330-264-8722.