July is National Savings Month. Encourage your teens to become super savers by giving them the confidence to handle their own money. This will not only empower them, but it should also take some of the financial stress off you (the parent) too.
“There is a huge gap in the education system when it comes to teaching children and teenagers how to manage their money,” says high school principal at Riverside College, Dave Swart. “If teens learn to use their money responsibly, it creates a culture of saving from a young age – this has a massive long-term benefit.”
Much like their avoidance of tackling a dirty pile of clothes stuffed under their beds, teens tend to put good sense when it comes to saving pretty low on their list of priorities. “A bit of encouragement and leading by example will go a long way in helping them to not only clean up after themselves, but also partake in the culture of saving,” says Swart.
Teach your teens to reap the future benefits of saving responsibly. Swart offers some useful tips to help you inspire your teen to save.
- Start the conversation: Talk to your teen about how to spot the low prices while grocery shopping, this will teach them to be mindful of price tags and the general cost of living.
- Earn it: Whether it’s mowing the lawn or tutoring the kid next door, giving your teen some incentive to work and earn their own income, will encourage them to become money conscious.
- Put it away: Having a bank account and a place to put their savings, will give your teen a sense of accomplishment and some motivation to save.
- Budget it: Create a budget timeline with your teen so that they are conscious of their saving and spending.
- Set goals: Whether it’s a new set of headphones or a skateboard that they have their eye on, help your teen to set up a savings plan, so that they can be reward themselves with the object of their desire.
Expert’s background: Dave Swart has been the principal of Riverside College high school, which is based in Cape Town’s Burgundy Estate, since 2014. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and sociology and a postgraduate certificate in education. Swart is passionate about social work, youth counselling and life coaching, he has completed a number of Life Line courses and runs a counselling service called Introspect Life Coaching.
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