Teenage children can be a challenge. Not just because of hormones or behaviour, some of us have perfect children that give us no trouble at all. The challenges can come due to knowing when it’s the right time to give your kids more responsibility.
This could be anything from allowing them to stay out later, to choosing their bedtimes. It could be letting them stay in the house for a night when you aren’t there, or maybe, it’s helping them learn about money.
Teaching your children about finances is vital as they grow older. By now they may have a job. However, their experience only really shows them if you work hard, you are rewarded with an income. Depending on the arrangement you have with your children, it doesn’t teach them about tax, living costs and saving for out of the blue expenses.
You might not want to bog your children down with learning about paying rent and household costs, but teaching them how to manage their money will be a valuable tool when they want to leave home. Teaching them how to save is vitally important.
Simple steps could come when they want to learn to drive. The cost of driving lessons is enormous. With the average person spending nearly £500 before they pass their test. While you might be tempted to help pay for lessons, you could consider asking them to contribute or take on the payments themselves. Maybe the reward for this could be to add them to your insurance when they can finally drive.
Encouraging your children to set themselves a budget and save for a car is another exciting way of teaching them about money. Although you should use the process also to highlight how much motoring will cost them from the price of fuel to new tyres and regular services and MOT’s. Help them work out their income and how they could budget a years worth of driving without help. They may realise they need additional income to make it possible.
Another way you can teach your children about money is by letting them help you with your household budgets. It can seem strange to share your financial situation with your kids, but showing them the difference between gross and net income, then working through all the areas you have to spend money will give them the tools they need to understand what lies ahead when they move out or go to uni.
Teaching your children about money doesn’t mean you can’t help them financially, it just means they will have respect for the help they do receive as they will understand how much work goes into earning and how little we are left with for the fun stuff at the end of the month.
This will make their transition into adulthood a little easier and can motivate them to work harder, save more and plan out any significant financial decisions before wasting cash on the things they don’t need.