High school is the final frontier when it comes to the years your child will spend at home under your guidance. They are filled to the brim with school work, sports, friends, first jobs, extra curricular activities and other important life lessons. One of the most important things you can do for your children during these final formative years is to prepare your high schooler for their financial future.
Prepare Your High Schooler For Their Financial Future
Encourage A Part-Time Job. Encouraging your teens to find a part-time job, that doesn’t interfere with other responsibilities, will do more than give them some extra spending money. A part-time job can help your teen establish a work ethic, meet new friends, and reinforces the importance of being reliable. If your teens are consistently requesting money for gas, clothing or other discretionary expenses, part-time jobs may be a good idea.
Help Them Open A Checking Account. Teens 15 and over, with a parents signature, can open a checking account in most states. If opening an account is a possibility, go to the bank with your teen and help them get started. Before taking this important step, take the time to sit down with them and explain how to deposit and withdraw money, use a debit card and the consequences of an overdraft. Having a checking account can help your teens get used to banking and will make it easier to manage their own money if they have a job, car or other financial obligations.
Create A Budget. Creating and live on a budget is the most important financial lessons your high schooler needs to learn. By learning how to make their money work for them, instead of just working for the money, your child can quickly get ahead of the game known as personal finance. Something I’m sure many of us wish we would have done as a teen.
Set Financial Goals. If your teens are earning an allowance or a regular paycheck, suggest they establish two or three financial goals to accomplish before graduation. Whether they wish to save for college, a down payment for a used car or a gaming console, learning to establish and track progress toward a financial goal can help them understand the basics of managing money.
Talk About Paying For College. Whether you intend to fund your children’s education or expect them to save their earnings and take out student loans, it’s important that you discuss college finances with them. Setting expectations about paying for higher education well before your children are filling out college applications is crucial. The longer your teens have to seek out scholarships and save more of their allowance or income from a part-time job, the better. If you plan to pay your children’s tuition, be honest about what you’ll be able to afford, and what expenses (if any) you won’t pay, like room and board or textbooks
Remember that good money habits can be taught with the right amount of financial support and independence. High school is the perfect time for your children to take on real fiscal responsibilities – and become comfortable with them before the financial pressures of college set in.
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