Talk Money with Your Teen
Raising a teen is like walking a tightrope – you must keep a fine balance between guiding and liberating.
Raising a teen is like walking a tightrope – you must keep a fine balance between guiding and liberating. As a parent, your job is to prepare them for the life ahead, groom them into responsible adults and show them how things are done right.
It is inevitable that the subject of money will find a way in a lot of chats with your young adult. Wait, did I say ‘chats? Sorry about that – most teenagers only talk to parents in monosyllables! So, the key is to be patient while you spill your pearls of wisdom and teach your teen about money – how to earn it, save it or spend it.
If you are an income earner and a parent, you can instill some financial discipline in your teen by giving him or her a Xare card. The Xare card gives your kid access to your debit or credit card. The best part is that your teen does not need to have a bank account of his own – just his smartphone will do to use the Xare card you give him. While he enjoys the benefits of owning a supplementary card, you can set spending limits and track expenses.
Your teenager might already be helping around the house or may even be doing more of the heavy lifting. Laundry, chores, errands, anything. Now’s the time to cut back on the weekly allowance and assign a commission to every task they do. So, you withdraw the entitlement and show them the equation between hard work and money earned.
You can create opportunities for your teen to make some money. Ask him or her to tutor a younger sibling and earn a fee. She can babysit a toddler cousin or wash the family car. Or you can hand over the grocery list to your teen and ask him to shop online. The Xare mobile app allows you to share access to your credit or debit card with your teen so he can shop and even earn cashback.
While you’re at it, talk to your teen about taxes -types of taxes, how they affect earning, and why it’s important to pay them.
Teen’s first credit / debit card
Getting your first credit or debit card is a rite of passage, just like losing a tooth or going on your first date. Your teen has outgrown the piggy bank she got for her fifth birthday. She’s also thinking beyond the weekly allowance you give her. She is sniffing around for ways to grow her earnings to meet her shopping needs. Read the signals and understand that your child is ready for some serious lessons in financial literacy.
Getting a bank account is a really big deal for your teen but the cherry on the cake is getting a personal debit card. You will still want to approve payments and see her spending behavior. Now imagine you could her a credit card – most banks would have strict age limits for getting an add-on credit card – but with Xare you can create a virtual credit card for your teenager which gives her access to your credit card. This is a great way to teach your teen how to manage money, spend it wisely, and save.
Since Xare doesn’t actually move money and spending needs to be authorized by the income owner, there is less risk that your teen will overspend on the card, or their identity will get stolen.
Spending and Saving
Most definitely, your young adult can no longer get away with throwing a fit when you don’t buy what he wants. Your teen will be tempted to splurge on shoes and clothes, or on the latest electronic devices but it’s time he learns to spend with discretion. It's important to teach your teen about saving as well, and how he must set goals for it. Giving him a Xare card will go a long way in helping your teen plan his spending and saving. Watch his shopping routine like a hawk but let him indulge occasionally.
Among the many lessons in money management that you teach your teen, budgeting is a core subject. As he gets older, he will have more money in his hands, and managing it will require higher-order budgeting skills. So, start early – teach him how to do a zero-base budget, even if you do it casually over dinner or when you’re driving him to school. Give him his allowance via Xare so you can monitor his spending. Let him list down his earnings, match them to his needs and wants, and make a budget every month.
Sharing is Caring
As a parent, you might be overly concerned that your child grows into a successful adult. But it’s equally important to ensure that your teen becomes a sensitive and responsible citizen. Show your teen the concept of giving and sharing at an early age, they’ll remember how good it felt and continue the pattern as they handle their own finances later in life. Sharing works on trust, so teach your teen to build beautiful relationships with his tribe and learn a lesson in financial inter-dependence.
Learning by Doing
Let’s be honest, money management is something that even adults don’t get right every time. But the key is to repeat the effort till you get it right. Same goes for your teenager. Help him or her take baby steps toward spending and saving wisely, preparing for emergencies, saving for college, planning to get their own place, or even getting a head start on investing. Let your teen learn money management the Xare way.