Teaching your children about the value of money and budgets and saving are more important now than ever before.
So is imparting a strong work ethic to avoid their having that annoying sense of entitlement. Otherwise known as being spoiled rotten.
Teens now have more disposable income than before. By the time prom night is approaching, they want everything because their friends are going to have it and at their young age they are already in the “keep up with the Joneses” race and very materialistic. So try to give some of the following values:
Teens must learn now that their identity is not defined by what they own. It is not what you have materially, the money that you have and earn in the future, but rather what you do with that money and planning for the future that matters.
Today’s teens are very media involved – TV, radio, YouTube, Facebook, iTunes, mobile advertising, and between all of that advertising and the peer pressure every day. My own son keeps wanting to go into debt and have me co-sign for material things like a new cell phone or a credit card to take to the mall. He said he wants to “build his credit”? Really? Why? To get an increase on your credit card limits and buy more stuff? And he has one major problem: no job, no ambition to be self-employed like me.
Debunk Their Incorrect Beliefs or Assumptions
Many teens assume that their parents and/or extended family will always take care of them. I recently had to fire an employee, 24 years old, wouldn’t show up for work half the time, or would show up late, be on his mobile phone constantly and against company policy about personal calls, and finally decide he had to leave early, he had found something he wanted – not needed – to go and do with a buddy. No work ethic or sense of responsibility. He bums money from his family to pay his rent, put gas in his car, pay his phone bill, groceries, etc. 24 years old. But I blame the family, they allow it and are now reaping their spoiling of him in his teens. They also are to blame for not leaving him alone during his work day. They cost him money and then they do feel obliged to give him money. But it just is not a working model overall. His family is not doing him a favor by enabling his continuing laziness and dependence. They did not equip him for life. Plus he was caught lying to me. Honor and integrity was not taught by his family so he now is a hustler, will say or promise whatever he must to get what he wants, even if it’s as simple as borrowing $10 gas money from me… and then not showing up for work, and when he does show up, he has an excuse but no gas to go run errands I assign.
So I use the prom as an example of the culminating frivolous event. Girls, especially want gowns and limos and spending money and after parties, and it runs, as I said, about $1,200 for their parents. So then when they are planning their wedding years later, and expect the father of the bride to pay, as is tradition, now they want to spend $20,000 on average for another fabulous one day event of several hours. Between the high school junior prom, the senior prom a year later and now a wedding, about $25,000 spent.
Would have made a nice start in life as a savings account, IRA, 6 months emergency fund and down payment on a home, yes?
Is your teen saving now? 10% every payday into untouchable savings? If they do have a credit card, who makes the payments? Not you, the parent, I hope. And, separate from that savings account, are they saving up for these proms? For a car? For college? Do they have a part time job?
Get them started in these good habits! “Raise up a child in the way that they should go and they will not depart from it”.
Reach James as pastor and teacher at his church site: [http://www.churchofthelost.org/financial-peace-university—fpu-classes.html]