15 Tips for Talking With Your Teen About Money

In a 2023 Pew Research survey, when asked about their aspirations for their children when they reach adulthood 88% of parents surveyed said it’s extremely or very important to them that their children be financially independent. It’s no surprise most parents want what’s best for their kids, the problem arises when this expectation comes with no guidance. The 14th Annual Parents, Kids & Money Survey conducted by T. Rowe Price found that 57% of parents surveyed had at least some reluctance to discuss money matters with their kids. Not talking to kids about managing money and expecting them to be successful is like throwing your car keys to them on their 16th birthday and saying, ‘figure it out.’ It’s not likely to end well. To bridge the communication gap, here are 15 tips for talking with your teen about money.

1. Start Early

Begin conversations about money early on, establishing a foundation for financial literacy. Teach them basic concepts such as saving, budgeting, and the value of money.

2. Make it relatable

Relate financial concepts to their interests or goals. Whether it’s saving for a concert ticket, a gaming console, or a car, connecting money discussions to their aspirations makes it more engaging.

3. Be transparent

Share your own financial experiences, successes, and mistakes. This transparency helps your teen understand that everyone faces financial challenges and that learning from these experiences is a part of life.

4. Set a budget together

Collaborate on creating a budget. Discuss income (allowance, employment), expenses, and saving goals. This hands-on approach helps them understand the practical aspects of managing money.

5. Teach the value of delayed gratification

Emphasize the importance of patience and saving for bigger goals. This lesson can be crucial in preventing impulsive spending habits and instilling a sense of discipline in financial decision-making.

6. Introduce banking basics

Teach your teen about bank accounts, interest rates, and the benefits of saving in a bank. This knowledge will empower them to make informed decisions about where to keep their money.

7. Discuss the concept of credit

Introduce the basics of credit cards, loans, and credit scores. Emphasize responsible credit use and the long-term impact of financial decisions on their credit score.

8. Involve them in family finances

If appropriate, involve your teen in family financial discussions. This helps them understand the broader context of financial decision-making and prepares them for managing their finances independently.

9. Encourage philanthropy

Explain the importance of giving back and supporting causes they care about. Engaging in charitable activities or donating a portion of their earnings can instill a sense of empathy, gratitude, and responsibility towards others while reinforcing the value of generosity.

10. Emphasize long-term planning

Discuss the importance of setting long-term financial goals, such as saving for education, a home, or retirement. This helps your teen develop a forward-thinking mindset about their financial future.

11. Promote open communication

Create an environment where your teen feels comfortable discussing money matters. Encourage questions and provide guidance without judgment, fostering an ongoing dialogue about financial topics.

12. Use technology to teach

Leverage educational apps or online resources that make learning about money fun and interactive. Our Money Path app is the perfect tool for reinforcing personal finance concepts in the context of real-life decisions.

13. Celebrate financial milestones

Acknowledge and celebrate when your teen achieves financial milestones, like reaching a savings goal or making a well-thought-out purchase. Positive reinforcement encourages responsible financial behavior.

14. Encourage saving and investing

Introduce the concepts of saving and investing. Teach them about the power of compound interest and how investing early can lead to significant financial growth over time. This compound interest calculator can help them visualize what investing can do for them.

15. Lead by example

Demonstrate responsible financial behavior through your actions. Your teen is more likely to adopt healthy financial habits if they see you practicing them consistently.

Remember, the key is to make these conversations a regular part of your relationship and to approach them with patience and understanding. Financial education is a lifelong journey, and starting early lays the groundwork for a more secure financial future. For more articles about teens and financial empowerment subscribe to our newsletter.

Go to Top