Learning how to manage money is part of growing up and a real skill that a teenager needs as they transition into adulthood. Unfortunately there are many bad influences out there, maybe even within your own extended family, which may be giving them the wrong messages. Teenagers often do not listen as well as they should to their parents on certain subjects, and it can be helpful to have an outside resource to reinforce good money management principles.
Money and Teens
The book Money and Teens by Wes Karchut and Darby Karchut is a great way to give your teenagers some useful financial wisdom without it coming across as a lecture from their parents. The book is written to include everything from opening bank accounts to how credit works and is a great reference, even for those who are well past the teenage years. Some money tips that are covered in the book include:
– How to check and read your credit report
– How missing a payment affects your credit
– Checking accounts and writing checks
– Protecting your financial security, i.e. PINs and login information
– How grocery and retail stores use tactics to get you to spend more
– A self-quiz to take when deciding whether you should buy something
The book is a basic guide to everything that you need to know about saving and spending money wisely. Many people in their twenties, thirties and, even, beyond may learn something they did not know from this book.
As parents, it is your job to try and give your children the skills they need to succeed. A big part of being an independent adult is learning to handle money wisely. Sharing a book like Money and Teens is a good way to solidify the lessons that you have been teaching them all along. It can be a useful guide for them to turn to as they begin to face financial challenges on their own.
Teaching your kids good money habits is not easy. It is not a one-time tutorial, but instead an ongoing process of setting good examples, explaining money concepts and letting them learn by trial and error. However, it is an important lesson that is best learned from their parents. Teaching them the value of saving versus spending is the first step.
Learning The Value Of Saving
As frustrating as it may be to a young child not to get what they want, when they want it, it can also be rewarding. Most children learn the basics of saving through getting an allowance or payment for chores around the house and using that money to buy the things they want. However, many parents easily give in to children who beg and plead for a new toy or treat instead of teaching them the valuable lesson of how to save.
Beyond teaching children how money works, which is done to some extent in school, the more important value that parents can impart to their children is the satisfaction that comes from earning rewards. If a child wants a particular toy, explain the cost and what they will need to do to earn that money and how long it will take. Do not give in to children who already understand the concept of credit and asks to have the treat or toy now and promises to do chores later to earn it. This is exactly what you do not want to teach them! Instead, allow them the satisfaction of working hard to save the money they need to purchase the reward. They will appreciate what they buy even more, and learn a valuable lesson.
Financial lessons are better learned earlier than later, when credit scores can haunt them for years to come. Give your children the tools to learn the value of saving versus spending from the very beginning, to prepare them to be independent and financially responsible.
There are many books, TV shows and online websites dedicated to showing how extreme coupon use can save hundreds and even thousands of dollars. As impressive as these savings may be, they do require an amount of time and dedication that many families cannot or are not willing to give. However, there are ways to make the most of coupon savings without making it a full-time project.
There is more to saving substantial money on groceries using coupons than just clipping out the ones that are for products that a family currently needs. The true trick to saving large amounts of money throughout the year is to change the way that a family shops, incorporating coupons into the strategy. By buying items when they are priced the lowest and adding coupons to make the price even lower instead of only buying those same items when they run out, can be a huge money saver.
Prices on all items go up and down, based on many uncontrollable factors, including seasonal changes and corporate buying patterns. Extreme coupon users know this and save their coupons to combine with low prices. By doing this on all items whenever possible, a family may get a years worth of cereal or shampoo at a fraction of the cost of buying it only as they need it.
Look at the Big Picture
To make this possible, instead of only buying what is needed for the next week or two, the bigger picture needs to be looked at. Grocery lists need to be built around savings, stock piling on good coupon deals and doing less impulse buying on wants versus needs. Although it can take a while to get a surplus of items on hand, once this becomes a habit, it can save hundreds if not thousands of dollars a year.
The main idea is to use coupons to save money over the long run, not just on what a family needs today. Combining coupons with sales prices to stock up on everyday items is a way every family can save using coupons, even if they are not “extreme”.
Whatever your financial life goals are, it often takes discipline, planning and a lot of hard work to achieve them. You need to know where your hard-earned money is going before you can make the necessary changes to your spending habits. Here are 6 steps to follow to help you get on track.