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Teaching Your Child About Money

Some teens will have their own money to manage from casual jobs like babysitting or mowing lawns and others will have part-time jobs. It's a great idea to talk to your teens about spending and saving.

Odds are your teen will want a lot more money for social activities, clothing, transportation and on and on than he did when he was 10 years old. Make sure you talk to your teen about priorities and how much money you have available for him to use and what you will allow him to use this money to buy. Perhaps he will be responsible for buying the expensive shoes he desperately wants or maybe it will be his responsibility to pay for his nights out. Whatever you decide, it's best to stick to the limits and rules you have set. If your teen doesn't follow the rules, then maybe he isn't ready to be financially responsible.

Your teen may have her own bills like car insurance or a cell phone so it is very important that she understands how to budget her money. Remember a budget isn't just about spending money, it's also about saving money.

Sit down with your teen and discuss her needs. Is she planning a big trip? Going to school? It's a good idea to encourage her to put money away even if she isn't saving for something specific. Let her know why it's good to have a rainy-day fund.

Credit is a huge problem for many Canadians so it's important to talk about the wide variety of credit available and why it's best to use credit as little as possible. Sit down with your teen and figure out what the actual cost of an item would be if it was purchased with a credit card. Don't forget to include any additional annual fees that need to be paid.

It's also a good idea to discuss money strategies like setting up direct debits or only taking cash with you on a night out. Teens will need to learn how to manage their money and they will likely make a few mistakes on the way. And that's okay, you're there to help them figure out where the mistake was made. Together you can problem solve solutions or ways your teen can stay on budget.

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