How to Own Your Personal Finance as a Teen Like a Pro
It has been a few months since son got his new part-time job at the movie theater. I have seen that he is really growing into a responsible adult who is getting better at managing his money. This is the same boy who spent $300 one week after he got paid. We had a serious conversation after that occurred. I told him that he seems to love spending money, but he has to learn three things:
- If you want to spend like a baller, then you better have the money to back it up. Meaning do not live paycheck-to-paycheck because you don’t know when to stop spending money
- It’s ok to not buy something right away. The best thing to do is wait 24 hours and see if you still want to buy it. For me, I usually don’t. For example, I thought I wanted to buy a new smartpen. I saw a few that I liked, but I said, “Girl, wait 24 hours.” I woke up today not wanting one.
- Save as well. Don’t spend your entire paycheck on frivolous things and then not have anything for long-term goals.
He’s still learning, but I am happy that he is making progress.
One thing he has been doing consistently is checking his finances every morning. I told him that this is a habit that he needs to adapt because you should always know what is going on with your accounts. The main reason is to check on any unusual activity that you did not contribute to. Also, to understand your spending habits and see if there are things you need to work on.
We had discussed that he should pay for his Taekwondo being that he was not taking it seriously. I started taking out $79.50 every two weeks. I knew he had listened when he texted me about the $79.50. It made me proud that he was asking about it because that means he had checked his account. I was even more excited when I told him that the contract ends in September so he might want to go to the dojo and cancel the contract. Do you know how proud I was when he came home late from school and said, “Oh mom, I went to the dojo to make sure the contract ends in September.” I almost fainted. It would have been great if he had continued but with all the stuff he had to do for Eagle Scouts, he couldn’t juggle both plus school.
I was listening to a YouTuber Graham Stephan who gives great financial advice, and he said that he thinks teenagers should have one credit card so they get an understanding of how to be smart with one. It’s much easier when they have their parents around to coach them instead of when they are in college or directly to the workforce. I got my first credit card when I was in college, and I messed up my credit so bad. However, it was also a credit card that helped get me back on course.
Schools don’t teach financial literacy but in middle school before teenagers can get a part-time job and start making their own money. Therefore, parents, help your teens out and get them to the point where they can retire at the age they want, can enjoy their hobbies, and not feel like they are prisoners to money.
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