It isn't easy raising teens in today's materialistic society.
The older they get, the more expensive the things they want or
think they need. If they don't learn how to manage their money
at a young age, they won't be able to make it in the real world.
We've tried to teach our teenage daughter from a young age that
money and the things that money can buy can't bring you
happiness, but that is no easy task. Especially when her parents
aren't perfect role models.
We have picked up some tips along the way, however, that have
given our daughter a better appreciation for money and how to
manage her own spending habits.
* We gave her a small allowance until she was old enough to get a
part time job, and then the allowance went away. When she was
getting an allowance, it wasn't enough to buy most things she
wanted. She had to decide what she wanted to spend her money on
and save to get it.
* I helped her open her own checking account when she turned 16,
and taught her how to balance her checkbook every month.
* We encourage her to think of others, and not only herself. She
decided on her own to set aside a portion of her income (tithe)
to sponsor a child from the Dominican Republic. That experience
has been very rewarding for her and she enjoys writing her own
check out for it every month and receiving letters from her
* I buy our daughter several outfits when school starts, and then
a few things here and there throughout the school year. Anything
extra or too expensive she buys herself if she really wants it.
* Our daughter has learned to love a great bargain. She often
shops at yard sales and thrift stores to save money.
* We told our daughter we would buy her an inexpensive car for
her 16th birthday, but she would have to pay for gas and
insurance. This was a difficult adjustment at first, but has
taught her to budget her monthly income.
* She provides her own entertainment. I'll take her out to the
movies or out to lunch, but if she wants to go with her friends,
she pays. It's surprising how often she decides not to spend the
We don't expect our daughter to pay for all of her own expenses.
We pay for a cell phone for her in case her car breaks down or
she needs to let us know where she is. The point is not to make
your teen 100% independent quite yet, but they should be close to
being able to take care of themselves at this age and manage
their own money. Our daughter has been learning how to manage
her finances from a young age and I feel confident she will
successfully manage her money on her own.
Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer, mom, and owner of four home
and family web sites. For complete resources for the Christian
home, visit her web site at http://www.Christian-Parent.com.
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