Many teens have jobs and now it's our job to help them learn how to manage their money. Does your teen have their own checking account yet? Are they helping to pay their own bills, like gas for the car or their monthly cell phone charges? Check out some of these local resources and get them off to a solid start.
Online Money Resources:
There are a number of different 'schools of thought' about how to manage, save and invest your money. For teens, it's a good idea to become aware of some of the more popular resources so they can begin to review the various ideas and form some of their own about the subject.
Some places to start include:
- The Motley Fool has a great area online titled "Teens & Their Money". It discusses saving, spending, investment, interest, stocks, IRAs and includes examples from real teens.
- Dave Ramsey is a very famous motivational speaker who teaches adults & teens how to control their spending in order to afford what they really want. Start with his article on "How Teens Can Become Millionaires" to get an idea about the benefits of saving when you're young.
- CNN's Money online has a number of finance articles about saving, spending, credit and investing.
One of the best ways to teach teens about money is making sure they have some hands-on experiences with it. Integrate some of the following opportunities into your son or daughter's life:
- Get them a bank account (savings first, then checking before they leave for college or to live on their own) and teach them how to make deposits, write checks and read & balance their bank statements.
- Have them write out a budget so they understand how they use money. Start with school expenses or car costs and construct a monthly list of these items. You can then discuss how to 'stretch a dollar' by looking for sales, upcycling what they have instead of buying new, borrowing from others, purchasing second-hand, etc.
- Help them find a job - during the summmer or after school - so they begin to understand what 'work' is, how they get paid and how economics work in our country.
- A great website from the U.S. Mint talks about earning, saving, spending and investing money. Try balancing an online checkbook, take some money challenges and learn about credit cards.
- For some practical advice and real-life stories, read the KC Star's Kids & Money column by local writer, Steven Rosen.
Explore Money in KC
The Money Museum
Take a visit at the Money Museum located at the Federal Reserve Bank in Kansas City. Teens will enjoy seeing some of the cool exhibits and learning about the history of our economic system. Activities include:
- Watch the process of an operating bank vault,
- Learn where money goes when it's no longer usable,
- See if you can tell the difference between a real $20 bill and a counterfiet,
- Try your hand at lifting a real gold bar,
- See $30 million dollars up close!
Admission is free but check the Visitor's page for hours and information before you go.