April 13, 2022
by Amy Punchard, VP/Marketing Director
As parents, we all want the very best for our children. I’m not talking about material things such as shoes, clothing or the latest iPhone released, I’m talking about the intangible such as developing strong character, a solid work ethic and their physical and emotional well-being. An important part of ensuring your teen is well-equipped for success in life is by instilling a strong, financial foundation. There is no getting around it, money is one thing that nearly every adult deals with on a daily basis.
I’ve found that my teenage son has had no trouble grasping the concept of spending from a very early age. And why not? He’s watched me buy groceries, school supplies and other household needs and wants for years. Teaching him to save has proven to be a bit more difficult, but necessary. Teaching your teenager the value of saving money will help shape healthy financial habits that will serve he or she well into the future.
Start with the basics: defining wants vs needs. The beginning of building real money skills is understanding that not ALL money is meant to be spent. You must start by paying for necessities such as food, water, and shelter – things people need to live a healthy, happy life. Wants such as travel, entertainment and, for my teenage son, video games, are not necessary in order to survive. As your teen moves into adulthood, they will realize that paying rent and groceries are more important than a new pair of tennis shoes or the latest Apple iPhone®.
Once they’ve outgrown a piggy bank, it’s a good idea to help your teen open a savings account or start using a prepaid debit card which allows you to directly transfer money to your kids. It’s always good to talk with your teen about saving money, but it’s even better to put words into action. Here are some quick tips to get you started:
- To encourage saving, consider paying a bit of interest on whatever money is saved. This way they can see the fruits of delayed gratification by allowing their money to grow.
- Teach them to save before spending. Set aside money right off the bat. Those dollars will not be missed if they were not available to begin with!
- Start with a smaller savings goal such as new shoes or a bike so they experience the gratification of reaching their goal. As your teen gets older their wants and needs will be greater. A savings win early on can help build the patience and confidence they need to save for larger, more expensive items such as a car or spring break trip.
Teaching our kids to become fiscally responsible is one of the greatest gifts we can offer as we prepare to launch them into the real world.
If your child is ready to start saving, we’d love to help! Stop by one of our Banking Centers and speak with a New Accounts Representative for more information on prepaid debit cards, savings accounts, and other helpful tools for teaching your teens to save.