Handling money is one of the most important, yet least understood, aspects of stewarding the resources entrusted to us. Parents, you can probably remember the confusion you felt and the mistakes you made when you first began living on your own. How much money should go to rent? How much should I save? How many credit cards are enough?
That’s why teaching your high schooler about money is crucial.
Some of the basic information your child needs to know is how to set up a budget, keep track of income and expenses, and pay bills responsibly. Balancing a checkbook, learning about the wise and foolish use of credit, and being able to complete an income tax form are also invaluable skills.
You can supplement your own knowledge in these areas with a teen finance or cooperative extension course. Or a financial advisor in your community might be willing to meet with your support group and explain the basics of money management.
Is your high schooler interested in learning how to invest? Taking an investment course can solidify his or her knowledge of math in a practical way.
Another possibility is to encourage entrepreneurship in your teen. Coming up with a marketable idea or product, developing a plan, complying with local laws, and experiencing the day-to-day realities of running a business can provide an in-depth financial education.
And until next time, I’m Mike Smith.