How to Talk to Teens About Money | Part Three
Last month, we shared the second part of our 4-part series on simple money concepts you can introduce to your children between the ages of 8 and 12.
At ImageNPay, we strongly believe that one of the greatest gifts you can pass on to your children is financial education - which is why this series aims to help parents teach financial responsibility to their kids in a way that resonates with them best depending on their current age.
In the third part of this series, we’ll be sharing four age-appropriate money concepts you can have with your kids in the next age bracket: teens aged between 13 and 15.
Here are 4 money topics to help jump-start the conversation with your 13-15-year-old (s):
1) Understanding How Borrowing Works
Now your child is a teen, you’ll need to adjust your method and action plan for either introducing or reaffirming the concept of money.
This can be a good thing as they’re now at the age of being able to more clearly understand how money works in the adult world - however, you may find that you now have the added challenge of holding their attention!
The trick is to ensure the lesson that you’re teaching them is relevant to their own experiences in some way. Rather than it feeling like a chore - which your teen definitely doesn’t want to be bored with - make it exciting and give them an incentive.
A recent study from Virgin* shows that the Gen Z population make up a large number of the customer base for Buy Now Pay Later payment methods, which would be a great example of demonstrating the impact of borrowing money.
Take a look at this article from Easy Peasy Finance for how to can explain the concept of loans to kids and teens - and make sure they’re aware of the potential setbacks of using BNPL when shopping online.
2) Understanding Income vs. Expenses
The next money concept on our list that is crucial to teach your kids is income vs. expenses.
At its most basic level, your children/teens will need to grasp a basic understanding that income = money going in, and expenses = money going out.
To help your kids understand this, you could use the household budget as an example. Inform them of the total income for the household each month from your main job, your partner’s income (if applicable) and any other income e.g. from side hustles or benefits.
Next, total up all of the expenses for the month: groceries, bills, travel costs, school supplies, pocket money, etc. This should allow them to understand that as nice as the initial paycheque looks, there’s always something to account for!
You’ll also want to emphasise that it’s ideal to have more income than expenses in order to reach financial success.
3) Creating a Personal Budget
If your teen has been receiving a weekly or monthly allowance, or earned money through casual jobs, creating a personal budget is a must!
Your teen may not think they need a budget if they’re still living at home without bills to pay, but it’s important for them to get into the habit of budgeting - ideally before they reach adulthood.
Help them set aside time each week to work through their budget and allocate money to different spending categories e.g. shopping, days out with friends, gaming.
Creating a budget (and sticking to it) should help them resist any impulsive spending urges brought on by hormones in their teen years - and help them stop spending all their pocket money at once/asking you for more!
*Did you know that teens from 13+ can use the ImageNPay app when out shopping? With Apple Pay, they can add the prepaid card to their digital wallet within their phone to keep their payments in one place and track spending with ease. Click here to find out more.
4) Earning Money Through Casual Jobs
As we briefly mentioned above, earning money through a casual job is a great way for your children to learn healthy money habits in their teen years.
Earning a regular allowance from parents is all well and good, but understanding that hard work earns them good money is an invaluable lesson to pass on to your children and help prepare them for the adult world.
If they did simple chores around the house when they were children, you can step this up a notch by having them take on more chores for more money, or giving them more challenging tasks.
Whether it’s washing the car, mowing the lawn or taking the dog out for a walk after school, allow them to earn money through various jobs to teach them financial independence.
5) Understanding Wants vs. Needs
The final lesson you’ll want to teach your children between the ages of 13 and 15 is the importance of distinguishing wants between needs.
Children belonging to this age group can often get caught up in the latest trends - either online through social media and YouTube or from their peers at school - making this the perfect time to help your kids understand whether what they want is an essential or another thing to add to the wishlist!
Help your teens understand that needs can fall into the category of something that’s a necessity for us to live, like food, water, and shelter - essentially, basic living expenses. A want, on the other hand, is something that we really desire but could ultimately live without.
If the item in question is something they really want, you could encourage your child to take part in a savings challenge to save up for the item - which also helps them learn delayed gratification!
In the next, and final part of our series, we’ll be sharing age-appropriate money conversations you can have with your kids aged between 16 and 18. Stay tuned for Part 4 coming at the end of this month!
Help provide your kids with the tools they need to be financially savvy adults with the ImageNPay app.
With ImageNPay Family, you can add up to 3 separate cards for your kids which you can use to transfer money, monitor their spending, and make money a fun-learning experience with colourful card designs and moving images!
To find out more and download FREE for iOS or Android, just tap the button below.
You can also visit our FAQs page for all you need to know about how our app works and the benefits for kids and parents.