On Nov. 1, 2022, musician Taylor Swift announced on social media her next tour — Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour — is scheduled to begin its first leg across U.S. stadiums in 2023. Hot on the heels of Swift’s release of her 10th studio album Midnights, this tour presents parents who have Swiftie fan teens with an opportunity to discuss financial literacy together.
GOBankingRates spoke with Jennifer Seitz, CFEI and director of education at family fintech company Greenlight, about how parents can talk to teens about saving and budgeting for major concerts and events. Here’s how Taylor Swift’s tour can be a teachable financial moment for teens.
How Parents Can Use Taylor Swift’s Tour Announcement To Teach Teens About Spending, Saving and Budgeting For Entertainment
Seitz said parents can always be on the lookout for teachable moments to talk about money with their kids. When there’s a topic your teen is passionate about, like a concert announcement from Taylor Swift or another favorite artist, Seitz said this is a great opportunity to talk about the financial cost and how to be prepared now to start setting savings goals and a budget.
Here are a few financial principles and strategies parents may discuss with teens.
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Learning About the 50/30/20 Budget Rule
Adults are usually familiar with this budgeting guideline in which one spends 50% of their income on needs, 30% on wants and 20% into savings.
Teens usually have much more money available for wants, especially those living at home with few expenses. Seitz recommends discussing this guideline with teens so they can take advantage of their early financial start and put a majority of their savings aside towards the future.
Setting S.M.A.R.T. Financial Goals
According to Greenlight data, in 2022 Greenlight kids and teens saved almost $110,000 for concert tickets. (Their top artists were Harry Styles and Taylor Swift.)
Even if your teen hasn’t started saving for Swift’s upcoming tour yet, they can learn now about achieving their short- and long-term financial goals. Seitz said the key is to make them S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound) goals.
Preparation Is Key
“Parents can remind teens there will be more moments when they’d benefit from having money tucked aside, whether it’s another concert tour or a spontaneous invitation to go to an amusement park with a friend,” said Seitz. “Preparation is key when it comes to saving for the future.”
What Should Parents Not Do During This Teachable Moment?
While most parents will probably purchase the tickets for their teens using their credit cards, this is not the time to say: “We’ll get you front row seats!” Concert tickets, in the 50/30/20 rule, fall under 30% want items. They are not a necessity, but can be an amazing experience worth saving your money toward.
Seitz recommends talking to teens about the cost of the tickets and how they contribute. If they have an income from an allowance or part-time job, discuss what’s realistic for them to contribute to ticket costs. Parents may consider matching their teen’s saved amount.
“Parents can also introduce the idea of ‘credit’ to teens by offering them a loan and working out a payment plan to cover the cost on a timeframe which works for them,” said Seitz. “Take it a step further and introduce an interest rate. If they miss their regular payment, they will start accruing interest to pay back on top of their original loan!”
Tips for Saving For Tickets and Other Concert Costs
The deadline between now and when tickets go on sale for Taylor Swift’s 2023 tour is tight, and some teens may not have enough spending money from a part-time job or allowance to cover the cost. What can they do?
Seitz said many adults take on extra work shifts or a side gig to reach their money goals — and teens can do the same. “Consider offering them the opportunity to earn extra cash through one-off jobs around the house, or explore other ways to earn.”
Once your teen has a tour ticket, they will need to understand any other concert going costs. Will they need to pay for transportation or travel? What about tour merchandise, like t-shirts and posters, or food and drinks at the venue?
The good news is teens have several months to prepare for these additional costs. Seitz recommends parents talk to their teens about what they’re expected to cover from the start. Once teens know what they are responsible for, they can set a savings goal and contribute to it each week to reach their goal before their concert date.
“Encourage teens to estimate the costs to know how much they’ll need in total, then divide by the number of weeks remaining to get their weekly savings amount,” said Seitz. “It’s a great lesson about the value of a dollar and helps them carefully consider how to spend their money.”
Should Parents Keep Talking To Teens About Money After Taylor Swift’s Concert?
Yes! The foundations of financial literacy are built on money conversations and these conversations need to keep going with teens. Parents can emphasize the importance of paying for needs, saving money for wants and putting money aside for the future.
“Set savings goals together, whether that’s a new dress for the prom or cool concert tickets which could pop up in the future. Practicing now helps set teens up to be financially smart in the future!”
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