Toddlers to Teens: Raising Financially Responsible Kids

16 and Older

At this age, teenagers are facing a number of important and difficult financial decisions. They are also seeking control over their lives and want increased independence. However, they are also easily influenced by their peers, so parental guidance is incredibly important as they make big decisions like purchasing or choosing a car, choosing a college to attend, and whether or not to get a job. Responsibilities only increase as your teens move into adulthood, such as paying for college, building their credit, budgeting, and paying bills.

Below are some tips that will help parents assist their teens with navigating some of these big decisions.

Getting a Job

Teens are old enough to get a job beyond babysitting or mowing lawns. Help them look for jobs and discuss what questions they’ll have to answer on job applications. Set up mock interviews with them and talk about the importance of dressing appropriately, being polite, etc.

Opening a Checking Account

Once your teen starts working, they will need to learn to actively manage their money. Many employers will also require direct deposit, so now is the time to help your teen open a checking account. Go to the bank with them and ask a bank representative to explain their responsibilities. Once you’re home with your teen, teach them how to write checks, maintain their checking account log, and talk about their budget and the importance of keeping receipts. Help them balance their checkbook each month and, if necessary, monitor their account.

Giving Credit and Debit Cards a Try

You may want to consider trusting your teen with a prepaid debit card. The law requires you to be at least 18 years of age to get a traditional credit card, so you can go down that route when ready. Prepaid cards function similar to a debit card in that there is a set amount of funds available on the card to use until its depleted. This type of card makes it easy for parents to load funds onto the card, for kids to use the card to make purchases wherever debit cards are accepted, and allows

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