There are a lot of talks parents have to have with their children over the years, but one of them I think that gets neglected often is the money talk. When I was growing up I don’t really remember a lot of discussions about using money other than don’t spend it all. I admit I am not very good with money and Hubby isn’t either. That leaves Taylor in not the greatest of positions, but we are trying to teach him to do better than what we have done.
One thing that has helped is that I got Taylor an American Express PASS card. How this helped is that it is causing us to talk about money more. We actually are having more in depth conversations now. I think that when you bring in a financial item like this into the picture you are telling your child that you feel that they are responsible enough to handle it. As teens they need to hear this and let them know they are headed in the right direction. It doesn’t mean to just let them go blindly with it, but at least it is a place to start. For Taylor he knows it means they we don’t monitor every single penny he spends which he appreciates.
Short term spending habits we have been pretty good about teaching him all along. We have always discussed getting value for his money. Taylor actively looks for coupons and discounts for items he wants to buy and rewards programs for stores he shops at often. He knows how to determine how much per unit items cost to determine which size to buy even. He saves money for short term purchases and plans on how much he needs for his regularly occurring costs, like his WoW gaming costs. I’m really very proud of him on how he handles all of this.
Long term is where I struggle and where I really haven’t been the greatest teacher for Taylor, YET. I am working on it though. One thing we talked about today was savings and how I hear folks saying you should pay yourself first out of each paycheck into your savings account. Right now Taylor gets $15 a week in allowance and so he thought $1.50 for savings was a little light. We talked about it more and he decided he was going to try saving 1/3 of his weekly allowance now in his savings account. That gives him $5 per week to save and $10 per week to spend. I didn’t want to keep the conversation too long today so I stopped there, but soon I will bring up the topic again and talk about him saving part of the money that he receives as gifts too. Things go over here at our house in small doses.
One of the most eye opening things he said was that he knows Hubby and I have screwed up with money over the years and he really hopes that he will do better than us. While I truly appreciate that he can say that it definitely made me wince. You never want to be a bad example for your kids, but sometimes it happens. Like I said, it’s a work in progress.
So have you had “the money talk” with your teen? How did it go? Did they say anything that surprised you? Any tips you want to share with me for my future talks with Taylor?
Transparency is everything!