If you’re the parent of a teen, you already know how expensive they can be. The old adage, “small children need small things and big children need bigger things” is certainly very true. However, you can successfully teach your teen about money management. Your teen may not like it, but you can certainly do it. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you set up your teens budget and keep it when they are demanding so much.
If you have decided to set up a budget for your teen. Stick to it. Always keep your teen involved in the conversation. Setting up the budget and not telling them isn’t fair. It’s like pulling the rug out from under someone and it’s just not how it’s done. You can’t get the right results if you don’t have everyone on the same page.
To begin, let your teen know that you’re setting them up on a budget. Let them know how it will work, use a spreadsheet if you need to and show them how much the household bills are and why they are only alloted a pre set amount of spending money. If you’re not comfortable sharing the household budget, then you don’t have to, but you may be selling yourself short. If they understand how a budget works it may be to your advantage.
Let them know how much money you must have each and every month and why you’re budgeting. Have a discussion and share this with the whole family and tell them you’ll meet with them frequently to discuss the budget.
Always begin this endeavor by treating everyone as important. Everyone’s thoughts are important as well. Let everyone have their turn to speak and keep things civil. Remember to look at each persons ideas and suggestions and help everyone see the benefits or risks of said ideas.
Keep an open mind at all times. By sharing with your teens, you’ll put them into the equation and they’ll feel like they belong. They’ll also understand why you sometimes have to say, “No” when they want something.
Setting up a budget is often a challenge and everyone needs to help participate. Let your teens discuss working part time or after school jobs. If you do as most parents and want them to stay home, then you’re going need to work in an allowance so that they can stay in school and do their schoolwork. If they do get a job make sure it’s close to home and not in the next town so that they don’t have to drive so far or worse, have you drive them there and back daily.
Keep your teen involved in these discussions so that your teen learns how to manage their money.
Lastly, stick to the budget. Don’t give in. If something unexpected comes up brainstorm with the family about how to remedy it quickly. Perhaps you could pet sit, house sit, baby sit or something to make up the difference.
Always be fair and firm regarding the budget and your teen will respect you for it and the relationship will stay intact.