Personal Finance Textbook Guide for Teens – All You Need to Know
November 1, 2021
By the time most teens graduate from high school, they’ll have learned a good deal of algebra, chemistry, and other subjects. But many of them would have learned little to nothing about money and financial planning.
Why’s that? High school kids aren’t required to take a personal finance class in most states.
But considering that the ability to manage money ranks high among the skills necessary to have any semblance of success, teens need to gain some personal financial literacy at an early age.
Once kids are out of high school and start to get a feel of the “real world,” bills, expenses, and debt can begin to add up pretty fast. There will be rent to pay, food to buy, and pricey college student books they need to purchase.
Without proper exposure to a personal finance textbook guide, it can be difficult for young adults to learn the the all-important skill of money management and building a financial plan on short notice.
Before teens turn 18 and get their first credit card, it is important to help them understand the consequences a poor financial decision can have.
While more “adult” lessons from the likes of Suze Orman or the wealthy barber may be out of their league, there is still a ton parents can do to provide more understanding around money.
Getting kids started on the right foot will help them gain financial independence, and lead positive financial life. These are some of the valuable lessons and advice they’ll need to know:
Kids don’t need all the nitty-gritty details of budgeting. However, they need to know that it is a tool that helps them manage money better. Stick to the basics and you’ll get kids excited about money lessons and on the path to financial freedom.
A great way to get them started on budgeting is to write out a basic budget. Help them pen down all the money they earned within a certain period. You can limit it to a week or spread the budget to cover an entire month.
Next, guide them to write down their financial goals, defined by the important things they want to spend the money on. After that, help them decide where the remaining money will go (savings, investments, donating to charity, etc).
Insist that kids should budget regularly on their financial journey rather than making it a once-in-a-long-time activity.
While this may not seem much, it is a classic personal finance textbook guide for youngsters. You are giving them a valuable life-long lesson in their personal finance education.
Many kids don’t have a clue what their family’s finances look like, and that’s not surprising! Many parents want to protect their children from their financial concerns and aren’t keen on sharing their personal financial planning.
Parents need to be tactful when sharing information with kids, especially if they are still very young. However, letting them take a look at the household finances is a great way to give them a better understanding of basic financial concepts and what a home budget should look like.
While it may seem as if kids are generally impulsive when it comes to spending, they can be surprisingly supportive if you let them in on the financial management of family money. Besides, they might just pick a thing or two from your good spending habits if you share the household budget with them.
The Cost of Things
The actual value of most items is lost on many kids because no one ever took the time to explain these things to them.
A young person today is constantly inundated with trendy online videos where their mates show off the stuff they purchased. What this does is give young people the erroneous idea that there are no consequences for spending on a whim.
The best way to protect teens from this “disposable” culture is to let them know how much things cost and how much they have to spend. It will give them a better idea of what their actual wealth is, so they don’t have a bad spending money habit where they spend as if they are a millionaire.
If your teen has $100 for the entire month, he or she will not likely spend nearly all that money on one item. You can also help your kids know the cost of everyday items, such as groceries. Doing so will help them quickly know a great value when they go shopping on their own.
The Importance of Saving
Savings is another important personal finance textbook lesson to teach kids from a very early age. As pointed out earlier, kids can be impulsive when it comes to spending money unless parents provide guidance.
Teach your teens the value of saving up for something they love instead of giving in to instant gratification. Delayed gratification is not only about saving money to achieve their goals.
It is also about the satisfaction that comes from working to make their dreams come true and finding financial success.
Kids will appreciate a new Xbox or bike more if they worked hard and saved up to buy it. On the other hand, they are less likely to learn anything about saving money if they got these as gifts. It won’t be surprising if teens think less of these gifts, too.
Perhaps there is no better personal finance textbook lesson for teens than working to earn money by themselves. Working part-time or summer jobs don’t only give kids independence; it also brings about financial responsibility when they see their hard work reflected on a paycheck.
Traditional part-time jobs for teens usually include babysitting, cutting lawn, bagging groceries, and walking dogs.
But with technology making life easier nowadays, part-time and summer jobs have assumed a different dimension. There are tons of online jobs, such as paid surveys, virtual assistants, social media influencers, and more for kids aged 13 and up.
Parents should help their kids find jobs that best suit their personality, whether it is online or a more traditional position. Whatever legit work they can do to earn money will prepare them for the challenges and opportunities later in life.
With advances and benefits of technology comes the problem of identity theft, which is somewhat common in recent years.
One of the important personal finance textbook lessons to teach kids is the consequences of oversharing personal information, especially on online platforms. Let teens know the dangers of being loose with credit card information or even sharing personal photos online.
Teach your kids the need to increase their privacy settings on the different platforms they use by helping them to choose strong passwords.
Parents are the first role models for teens. It makes sense for kids to look up to you as parents for guidance in all aspects of their lives, including finances. After all, you’ve towed this path before and should be able to help them make better choices.