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Talking money with teens

Posted July 17, 2013 in Advice Column

Talking money with your teenager could be compared to washing the dog. It’s not all that fun, but it does need to happen every now and again.

With summertime job or maybe even first-time jobs, it is a great time and opportunity to open the door to this discussion with your teen today.

Teenagers today wield some of the greatest spending power of any generation, and most are woefully unprepared to make the giant financial decisions that they’ll make in the coming years. Decisions like how much to borrow for school, what kind of car they should buy, how much apartment rent they can afford,and even simple decisions like how often is too often to eat out.

Finding teachable moments is the key to making financial education a fun, easy on-going dialogue with your kids about their money habits. Consider asking the following questions:
•    If you had $10,000 in cash, what would you do with it?
•    If you couldn’t borrow money for school, how would you come up with the money?
•    Describe the return on investment if I buy you these jeans.
•    What was the worst investment you ever made?
•    How would you double $100 if I gave it to you?
•    What do you think is the advantage of clipping coupons?
•    Would you rather have a closet full of clothes, or a savings account full of cash? Why?

Teachable money moments can be found everywhere — at the credit union, at the store, at church, on vacations, at the dinner table, at bill paying time — any time you’re making a sound money decision, turn it into a teachable moment. Your kids will one day thank you for the money wisdom you imparted.

Or, maybe you feel less comfortable speaking with your children about financial decisions. Within our community you have a wealth of informed and expert-level professionals who would enjoy the chance to introduce the world of money and financial education to your children.  Taking advantage of our community resources is a great way to help teach your kids and is also a great refresher course for adults as well.  Either way you choose, you will be doing a great service to your family and helping future generations gain insight on a topic that will effect them for the rest of their lives.

Information provided by People’s Credit Union, 310 First St., Webster City.  For more information, call People’s Credit Union at 515-832-6346

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