If you’re going through the credit repair process, discussing this with your teen should be on your mind. You want to teach them good personal finance habits so they never have to go through the credit repair process themselves. As you may know first-hand, many people find themselves in financial trouble because they didn’t have any education on personal finance. Because of this, the cycle continues with their children.
These days, most schools still don’t teach personal finance skills. Even still, there are definitely some things you can do to teach your teens how to be responsible with their money. In this blog post, we share a few ideas.
In an effort to boost your teens financial education, financial apps for generation Z are on the rise. One useful app is called Current, which helps young people understand personal finance. Another free app is Credit Stacker, which teaches teens about the importance of credit. Because this app functions as a game, it helps make the process of learning about credit fun, and your child will be more likely to use it.
One of the best things you can teach your teen is how to set up their own personal budget. This will show them the ins and outs of managing their money before they head out into the real world.
A good place to start, is to show your teen your own budget. They will be able to see firsthand how you keep track of what is coming in and what is going out. In an effort to make this more realistic for your teen, you should have them be responsible for handling money for clothes or other things related to their lifestyle. When teens make the connection that they will have to do more chores or work more hours to get more spending money, they begin to realize the value of money for themselves. If they are just given money from you, they will never fully realize this important lesson.
If your child is an older teen who loves learning and has some spare time once the homework is done, he or she might enjoy taking a course. To find a list of some of the best free personal finance courses, you can check out this article (https://studentloanhero.com/featured/free-personal-finance-courses-2019/). You may even want to take the course alongside your teen, so you can both learn something new about personal finance.
With debit cards and apps like Venmo, our society is moving further and further away from using cash. This makes it that much harder to show our kids the true cost of their spending. When using a debit card instead of cash, you don't see the immediacy of your money leaving your hands. For this reason, it is important to consistently show your teen the steps of different financial transactions.
As an example, when it comes time for your teen to get their license, show them everything that is taking place on the financial side of things. Have them be present for the purchase or lease of the car. Keep them in the loop as you move through the process. You also should discuss car insurance with them. Show them how expensive insurance is for them compared to yours can be a real eye opener. You also want to make sure to discuss the costs of maintaining the car. Gas, oil changes etc. Doing this will go a long way in boosting your teens financial education.
Another way to show your teen the financial behind the scenes is to have them watch you pay your bills. Set up a time each month where you go through your bills. Let them see how much the bills are and how you plan your budget around them. Teens need to have a clear idea of what it means to live within your means and stick to your budget as a family. Take them through every step of bill payment. You will be doing them a huge service by showing them every detail. With debt so rampant today, do what you can to save your child from creating debt for themselves.
Debt will inevitably be a part of adulthood whether it be because of a necessity or a choice. You need to teach your teen the difference between good debt and bad debt.
A healthy financial future is largely tied to one's credit. With that being said, the power lies in the hands of parents to teach their children and teens the importance of their credit report and credit score. Take the time to explain what makes up their credit report and how their credit score is determined. If you don't know yourself, take the time to learn about it. Knowledge is power and the more financial knowledge your teen has, the more confident and capable they will feel. This will help them greatly when it is time to start their own financial journey as an adult.
Does your teen know that you’re currently going through the process of credit repair? If not, you may want to consider inviting your teen to follow you through the process. Show your teen your credit report and explain to your teen the steps you are taking to repair your credit. Being honest with your teen can teach them an important, real-life lesson.
Have you already found strategies for getting your child interested in personal finance and responsibility? We’d love to hear about what’s worked in your family. If you’re looking for helpful information on personal finance to share with your teen, consider visiting our Resources page for helpful tools and guidance.