A part-time summer job can teach teens the value of earning a paycheck, but not necessarily how to manage their money wisely.
That’s a job parents should take on, and the earlier the better, experts say. Teaching teens the basics of saving, following a budget and the principles behind responsibly managing checking and credit accounts can instill healthy financial habits that will serve them well as adults.
But many U.S. teens aren’t being taught these skills, according to a report released last month by the Programme for International Student Assessment. The organization, which evaluated financial literacy among thousands of 15-year-olds in 14 countries, concluded that one in five American teens lack basic-level skills, more than in Russia, China or Poland.
“Financial literacy is a key component to understanding general money management and credit basics, but a majority of American teens are not financially literate,” said Heather Battison, vice president at credit reporting company TransUnion. “This is why it’s imperative for parents to have conversations with their teens about money in order to start a good foundation for financial literacy and help prepare teens for financial independence.”
Here are some ways parents can begin teaching their children money management skills, even from a very young age: