Being frugal isn’t something that is easily learned. It takes discipline, practice, and experience with the ups and downs of managing money. Teaching your teen to be frugal starts with modeling a frugal lifestyle yourself. The next step is helping your teen learn frugal living in the trenches, so to speak. Here are a few ways you can help your teen learn to pinch pennies/
Make Them Spend Their Own Money
If your teen has their own money, whether it’s gifts from Grandma, from babysitting, or earnings from a part-time job, then it’s time they spend their own. When you go to the movies, it’s okay to expect your teen to pay for their own ticket or buy their own concessions. It’s easy for kids to spend Mom and Dad’s money without a second thought, but spending their own makes them stop and think. If your teen wants to give a birthday gift to a sibling or friend, then let them spend their own money on the gift. Get in the habit of not throwing money at your teen and instead expecting them to finance their own ventures.
Help Them Save and Give a Percentage
Make a deal with your kiddo: Any money they get, they should save a portion and give a portion. They could easily save 10 percent of their money and give 10 percent and still have a nice chunk left over for spending. The key is to get them into the habit — and mindset — of saving money and giving to others. You can set them up a bank account for saving or give them a large piggy bank. They can choose to give their “offering” at church, to a local charity, or use it to buy food for a food bank. The point is to give to others and understand the importance of giving.
Don’t Buy Them a Car When They Get Their License
Do you ever get frustrated when you see a newly-licensed teen driver zipping around in a brand new car their parents bought for them? What does that teach the teen? It certainly doesn’t teach them to work and save for things. Instead, they learn that things they want will be handed to them with no strings attached. Instead of buying into that baloney, give your teen a little bit of money to go into a car fund. Ideally, a teenager should help buy their first car (they will certainly appreciate it and take care of it more if they have to invest in it also).
Expect Them to Help With Certain Expenses
When your teen starts driving, expect them to pay for their own gas expenses. They want to run around with their buddies? Sure! As long as they bring the vehicle back with gas in it.
All of these ideas can help teach your teen to be frugal and mindful of their money. Raising a money-wise teen takes work, but it’s worth it when they become a money-wise adult.
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