One of the things which causes more problems within a family than almost anything else is the subject of money and it is extremely important to teach our teenagers how to handle money properly.
It seems as thought there are more and more things for teenagers to spend money on every day. There are designer sports shoes, mp3 players, expensive clothes, video games and much more. If, like the majority of us, you do not have pots of money, then it is clearly difficult to give your teenagers everything they want and that is why it is very important for us to help them to understand the value of money.
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It is vitally important to start teaching your children about money at an early age. Beginning at about the age 10 you should give them a few dollars every week that they can spend however they wish. This weekly allowance should not 'free' but should be dependent on their doing some household chores. You need however to work with them and allow them to what chores they wish to do instead of giving them specific jobs. It is also important not to set limits on what they can spend their allowance on and also that, once they are receiving an, you do not then simply continue buying them the things they want. They must, and quickly will, discover that if they spend all their money as soon as they receive it they will not be able to purchase some of the more costly things they want.
It is also very important for you children to learn the principles of budgeting at an early age and discover just how much things cost. Take them to the shops when you go shopping, get them to help you with the household budget and allow them to watch you when it is time to pay the bills. It will not take them very long to get a sense of precisely how costly everyday living can be.
As your children get older, and certainly by the time they have reached the age of about 13 or 14, gradually increase both their level of responsibility and their weekly allowance. For example, include their lunch money in their weekly allowance and make them responsible for paying for their own lunch. As they learn to accept more and more responsible, teach them to create a budget for larger items like clothes or an mp3 player, and force them to stick to that budget. Once more, you will discover that they will soon learn that if they wish to purchase expensive items, they have to make sacrifices.
Do not forget also that you can always backtrack. If you discover that your children are not learning how to to use their money sensibly, then do not be afraid to step in and take control of that money again until you are happy that they can handle it.
Sooner or later, your teenager will get a job and this is a very good point at which to introduce them to the concept of saving. Get them to put a proportion of their wages into a savings account which they should come to regard as a resource for funding major projects, like their college education or another significant pursuit. Also, get them to put a small proportion of their wages to one side to pay for less important, but nevertheless expensive, items like a video game system or computer. Having made these provisions, you should let spend the rest of their money in whatever 'mad' manner they choose and, if you are concerned about where they are spending their money, then open a checking account for them that you can monitor.
Teaching your children the value of money can be a long and slow process that takes a number of small steps and is not going to be without its difficulties. Your children, and especially your teenagers, will screw up but do not forget that we learn some of our most valuable lessons from the mistakes we make.