A Parent's Guide: Teaching Financial Literacy | Zero Debt
A Parent's Guide To Teaching Financial Literacy To Teens - blog | zerodebt.co.za

A Parent’s Guide: Teaching Financial Literacy To Teens

Teaching financial literacy to teens is one of the most important things they can learn. As they grow into adulthood, financial management will become an essential part of their lives. If they have a good foundation, it can set them up for a brighter future. 

However, teaching financial literacy to teens can be challenging, so we thought we would provide you with a very basic guide to help you get started.

Begin With The Basics

To get your teen to wrap their head around sound financial management, start with the fundamental concepts surrounding financial management. These include a simple understanding of the value of money and how it is earned, as well as the benefits of saving. 

They can earn money by getting an allowance or doing part-time jobs or chores. During this basic educational phase, your teen needs to learn basic financial concepts such as income, expenses, and savings.

Setting a Good Example is Crucial

If you set a bad example for your teen, they won’t apply the financial management principles that you teach them. However, if you have good financial habits and a positive attitude towards your finances, this can have a significantly positive influence on your teen’s perspective on money. 

Demonstrate responsible financial behaviour and make it visible to your teen, such as consistent budgeting, saving, avoiding unnecessary debt, and managing monthly expenses. Where possible, involve your teen in age-appropriate discussions about how household finances are managed so that they can understand how financial decisions are being made.

Teach Them How To Budget

Teaching your teen how to budget will stand them in good stead for many years to come. Introduce them to budgeting by making them draw up a simple budget based on their allowance or the small income they earn from chores or part-time work. 

Help them understand how to categorise their expenses, whether it be for entertainment, clothing, food, savings, or something else, and help them allocate some of their income to savings so that they can benefit from the long-term rewards.

This phase will require discipline, as the teen will need to sit down, create a budget, and then review it on a monthly basis.

Teach Them the Value of Saving and Investing

One of the most important things a teen can learn about good financial management is how to save money and invest where possible. Set up a savings account or even an investment account and teach them how to systematically put some of their money away. 

During this process, you should teach them about how interest works and how it can grow their savings over time.

Make Sure They Understand How Credit and Debt Work

Borrowing money can be dangerous if done irresponsibly. However, it can also yield significant rewards if handled in the right way. Therefore, it’s important to teach your teen how borrowing money works, how interest rates affect it, and how to build and maintain a good credit score. 

Discuss with them the consequences of overspending and incurring unnecessary debt, as well as the importance of paying bills on time to avoid penalties and interest charges. Additionally, it is critical to emphasise the difference between wants and needs so that they can make wiser financial decisions.

At Zero Debt, we aim to help individuals who are struggling to manage their finances by providing counselling and support to steer them towards financial freedom. Contact us today if you need our assistance.