Budgeting for Youth Lifestyles

As teenagers we’ve all felt at one point in time that we needed the very latest clothing styles and gear to “fit in” at school. That is why regardless of what you might think of a certain brand of sneakers, the fear of being a total outcast motivates a lot of your teenager’s buying decisions. But part of becoming an adult is learning to be responsible for your own budget and learning to pay for things yourself. As children, your son or daughter may have had things handed to them, and they will continue to expect that. It’s not their fault because that’s just the way children are. But when they reach their teen years, this might be the time to let them know that the cell phone, music player, and game systems they are clamoring for doesn’t come from a tree in the back yard.

Approaching Your Child About Their Expenses

Let your teenager see your budget. A lot of parents tend to keep their financial concerns to themselves, but this is not necessarily the best thing for teaching your teen financial responsibility. If you can let your teen know, without a lot of drama, what money comes into the family budget and what goes out – for things like house payment, car payments, taxes, utilities, insurance, groceries, and even gas – it will actually help prepare them for the real world by giving them a better idea of what they can expect as adults.

You might also teach your kids to save up for things that they want, and pay their own bills. Does your teen want his/her own car, or his/her own cell phone? Sit down with them and help them develop a plan to get one. List out the different opportunities on how your child can obtain these items. Maybe they could get a part-time job, babysit, or pass out newspapers. Figure out how much they will need monthly for a cell phone plan, or for car insurance payments. Being responsible for their own payments teaches them self-discipline, and it helps ingrain these habits for the future.