Watching Your Wallet: Talking to your teen about money

Watching Your Wallet: Talking to your teen about money
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 5:53 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - If you haven’t had the money talk with your teen, now might be the perfect time.

Experts said there are some financial tips you should never avoid with your teen and even children of all ages can benefit from learning early in life.

The first is needs versus wants. Helping your child understand the difference between something you really want to buy and something you need to spend money on like food, clothes and housing.

Cherry Dale, a financial coach with the Virginia Credit Union, has hosted many workshops for parents and teens about money.

“I really believe the sooner we can invest in teaching our children basic things on when it comes to our finances the better off they will be as adults,” Dale said.

She said parents should sit down with their child and talk about financial goals. Maybe it’s saving for a Disney vacation. Involved your child in the plan to save. Show them when you as a family are cutting back on other expenses to save for it.

She said to make sure they understand you need income coming in, in order to have money to spend.

“So the sooner they can understand they’ve got to have money either in their piggy bank or their checking account, it will translate on later in life,” Dale said.

Talk about how they will earn money -- be it through chores, and allowance or a job. And the biggest lesson you can impress upon them? Pay yourself first.

Make sure they set aside money to save in a piggy bank or -- if they are old enough -- in a savings account at a bank.

More: Watching Your Wallet

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