AGES 13 to 18: BIG KID LESSONS
At this stage, it’s about increasing responsibility and, believe it or not, letting your children make mistakes. At this stage, your aim is to help them appreciate how money fits into the bigger picture.
- Consider stretching out the allowance pay periods. Rather than once per week, consider once per month or once every two months. The goal is to get your kids to learn how to budget over longer periods of time and to strengthen their ability to delay gratification. If they want a pair of jeans that cost $80 and only get $40 in allowance every month, they’ll need to wait two or more months to afford those jeans — forcing them to contend with the concepts that link time, money and budgeting.
- Offer to match their savings for big-ticket items, such as saving for post-secondary schooling or a car. You can set an annual limit, just be clear and upfront about this limit before they start.
- If they get a part-time job, sit down and talk to them about how much they earn and how much they keep. Use their pay stub to show how much is taken off in taxes and government benefits.
- Have a weekly family money meeting. This doesn’t have to be a long, tedious chore. Just designate one dinner a week where the family talks openly about money. Perhaps it’s to discuss the family vacation or the upcoming house expenses — the idea is to keep money from becoming a taboo topic and to help empower your kids to ask questions and suggest solutions.
- Talk about the bigger picture: jobs, passions, goals. Be open to their ideas. This is not the time to hinder their dreams or to point them in a specific career direction. This is about making a link between work, money, and choices.
Romana King is an award-winning personal finance writer and a real estate expert and speaker. She is the current Director of Content for Zolo Realty, Canada’s #1 real estate brokerage site. Her real estate and personal finance coverage can be found in MoneySense.ca, Maclean’s, Canadian Business, Chatelaine, Today’s Parent as well as various other North American publications. https://www.btvancouver.ca/videos/teaching-kids-about-money/