Guest Post: 7 Reasons Why Your Teenager Needs To Know About Money
When your son and daughter was born, they were probably a smiling, gurgling bundle, quickly growing into an angelic child who never tired of cuddles. Now a few years have passed and they have transformed into a stomping, grunting teenager who would sooner poke their own eye out than have a serious conversation with you.
However, as their parent it is your responsibility to have a conversation with them and make sure they know all the facts. No, not the birds and the bees…..something far more tricky; money.
You may well flinch at the idea but they need to be fully equipped to venture out into the world. Here are seven very good reasons why you should take a deep breath and sit them down.
1. If they don’t find out from you, they will have to get the facts from somewhere else. And that means you will have no way of knowing whether they are being given accurate or honest information. Banks have proved themselves as less than trustworthy in giving out advice. If you want to be certain they get an honest view, you need to do it yourself.
2. Letting them wander into the world of credit without a financial education is like sending a lamb to the slaughter. Mobile phone companies and rogue lenders will take advantage of your child’s naivety and they could end up signing a contract which costs them a lot of money.
3. And if they do get in financial difficulty, whose door will they come knocking on? Whilst there are many altruistic reasons to make sure your child knows what they are doing, it also means you are potentially protecting yourself from having to bail them out of trouble.
4. It isn’t easy to work out what everything means without a bit of help. There are some things in life which are simple to understand without any help. The world of finance isn’t one of them. Contracts are full of jargon and impossible to make sense of without someone explaining all the terms. Did you know what APR meant before someone told you what it meant in plain English?
5. Teenagers tend to make impulse purchases. If they don’t appreciate how long it takes to pay back a credit card and how much extra interest they will have to pay, they will max out their card almost as soon as they get it.
6. If your offspring get the chance to learn about money as soon as possible and gradually put those skills into practice, by the time they have to make big financial decisions, they will be more adept. This is particularly relevant if they are planning on going to university as managing on a tight budget will be a key skill.
7. If you take the time to talk through the subject calmly – and perhaps share some of your past mistakes, your son or daughter might feel more at ease approaching you in the future. Struggling with money problems is much more difficult if you don’t have anyone to discuss the issue with and by making the first move and showing that everyone can make mistakes, hopefully you can avoid your children trying to cope with any problems alone.
Baines & Ernst specialise in helping people clear debt with effective solutions including Debt Management Plans and IVAs. Since 1996, Baines & Ernst have helped over 100,000 escape the pressures of debt.