7 Tips for Teaching Your Teen to Be Financially Independent

7 Tips for Teaching Your Teen to Be Financially Independent

Our job as parents is to teach our children to be strong, confident adults who can become successful members of society. Of course, a teen is still a kid, but there are some things you can do to better prepare them to be financially independent.

1) Have them Work

School is the most important thing, but a summer job or after school job is a great way for a teenager to become financially independent. Even young teenagers can find ways to make money such as a paper route, grass mowing, snow shoveling, or detassling corn. Most fast food jobs hire at the age of 15 or 16 with parental permission.

2) Charge Rent

Another way to help your teenager be financially independent is to charge a small monthly amount for rent. This teaches your teenager how to pay bills and gives them a feel for the real world. This could be $25 a week or a month depending on how much money they make working.

3) Open Accounts

In this day and age, it isn’t always safe to carry around cash. Opening a checking and savings account with your teenager is not only a safer way for them to manage their money, but gives them a little more independence and education on balancing accounts.

4) Encourage Savings

It is recommended that 20% of everything a person earns should be put in savings. Teach this saving tip early so it continues through adulthood. When opening up accounts, encourage your teenager to put 20% of each paycheck into their savings account.

5) Let them Buy a Car

Buying a car is a huge decision, but a great incentive for saving. If your teenagers know they want a car and they have to buy it, it will give them more incentive to put that 20% in their savings account each paycheck. Not only does this teach financial savings, but it also teaches teenagers the value of money, and how much work it takes to actually buy a car.

6) Have them Pay Insurance

Another way to build financial independence is to have your teenager pay their own car insurance. Car insurance for a teenager is expensive, so it may be best to keep them on your policy and allow them to pay the discounted price.

7) Have them Buy Essentials

You provide everything for your child while they are young, but as they get into their teen years, it is important to make them start buying things on their own. Instead of buying five name brand pair of jeans at the beginning of the school year, set a budget that you will pay for their clothes, and if they want extra, make them pay for it themselves.

Teaching a teenager to be more financially independent isn’t going to happen in a few days. Gradually build your teenagers responsibilities as they get older starting from their earlier teens. The earlier you start this transition, the better equipped for life your teen will be when they reach 18.

Save a Bundle on Back to School Expenses by Planning Ahead

Kids with Back to School Supplies

Our back to school expenses each year add up pretty fast between the lengthy school supply lists the teachers give us, new shoes, backpacks and clothes. That could be a big hit to the budget all at once if I didn’t plan ahead for each year’s expenses in advance. Check out the HUGE bags of back to school supplies my kids had to take last year! Altogether the cost of those five bags of supplies was less than $30!

Ever since my children started school I started buying school supplies for the following year, so that when the next year came all I had to do is fill in with a few things that may have been added to the list.  Here is how this works:

Starting in early July everybody is doing school supply sales, and some stores, like Office Depot, do 1 cent sales on a few items, or 25 cent sales on a few items to get people into the store.  As an example, last week Office Depot had 3-pack pink school erasers, reg. $2.49 for 1 cent each (limit 3), hand held pencil sharpener, reg. $1.00 for 1 cent each (limit 3) and bottles of school glue, reg. $1.49 for 25 cents each (limit 3).  Because I have 5 children to buy for, this is the time for teamwork with my mom and me.  We each get the limit of the 1 cent and 25 cent items, plus another item to make a total of $5.00 (must have $5.00 purchase to get the “next to free” items).  That’s all we bought, because in  next weeks’ paper there will be more of those type deals.  In previous years we have gotten packs of notebook paper for 25 cents each, duo tang 3 prong/2 pocket folders for 8 cents each, composition notebooks for 25 cents each , spiral 1 subject notebooks for 25 cents, crayons for 10 cents, packs of pencils for 10 cents, B1G1 backpacks and so on.

About 6 weeks ago, Office Depot had a special “deal” – their  3 ream cases of copy paper were on sale for $10.01 – then if you had a “reward” card with them, you got $10 back in reward money, making the cost of the 3 reams of paper only ONE CENT!  I bought 3 of the deals in June, then in July got my reward money of $30, so actually got 9 reams of copy paper for 3 cents.  SCORE!  Now I have enough copy paper to send a pack to school with each of the children, and have 4 left for me!

I figure the TOTAL cost of school supplies for my 5 children (4 elementary school and 1 middle school this year), is about $20-$25.  Check one of those school supply lists provided by the school and see what the costs would be at retail price!

If this is the first time for you to do this, here is my suggestion.  Keep the list of school supplies handy – check what your child needs THIS year, then look to see what will be needed NEXT year.  Each week check the papers to see what the special deals are (1 cent, 10 cents, 25 cents), and get THOSE items for this year and next year.  Find a shelf or cabinet to keep the ones for “next year” separate from what you need now.  As you purchase the various discounted items each week, your “next year” shelf will get fuller and fuller, until the time when school starts, you can see that you are NOW prepared for next year.  However, as it gets closer to school starting  and you have a few items like hand soap, paper towels, and other items that you still need, you can usually get some deals on them at a grocery store.

HOT TIP:  My children LOVE to make things, so I also try to get extra construction paper, glue, crayons, etc when they are super cheap to stock the “craft” shelf.

HOT TIP #2:  My childrens’ elementary school each year has a school supply drive to collect school supplies that they give to children in need.  This is a good cause that I collect additional items for at the “next to free” sales (if there are no limits on how many you can buy), so when the children bring home the papers that the school supply drive has started, I have a good number of items that I divide up between all the kids so they can each have a bag of school supplies for the needy kids.  I figure this is a good lesson in “giving” for my children and they love to carry those bags of school supplies to their teachers!

HOT TIP #3:  I just this minute got an email with a preview of  next weeks’ ad for Office Depot.  Guess what!!! Those bottles of school glue that I paid 25 cents for last week are one of the “get people into the store” deals next week for 1 CENT!  That’s ok, we’ll still need more glue, so Mom and I will each be getting 3 more bottles of school glue!  PLUS  3×5 index cards will be 1 cent (I need many packs of those, because I write the kids’ spelling words on them each week, so we can practice their words at home and in the car).  Also they will have their 10 pack pens for 1 cent each (each of the kids need either a pack of red or a pack of blue).  I noticed that there are also a number of 25 cent items.  WHOOHOO!!!  This is going to be a good week for school supplies!

 

Back to School with Kohl’s and Disney Apparel

Disclosure – I participated in an Ambassador campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Kohl’s. I received promotional items and product samples as a thank you for participating.”

Kohl's Disney Collection Sofia the First

There are eighteen days until my five kids go back to school, not that I’m counting or anything (wink, wink). They’ve been in summer camp all summer and they’re really having a great time and go on lots of field trips every week, but I think they’re ready to go back to school too, and I’m positive that the budget is beyond ready.

I’ve been busy getting all the school supplies that they’ll need ready, but I think the most important thing is that they have something new and “cool” to wear the first day. I remember when I was a kid and how excited I was to put on a new outfit with new shoes and a new backpack and head to school to make some new friends and see all the old friends that I’d missed over the summer. That always got me excited to be back in school and I (sometimes) envy the kids when I see how excited they are to be doing all the back to school shopping.

My kids are all huge Disney fans and my girls absolutely love Sofia The First so they are really going to enjoy these new outfits for the first day of school. It always amazes me how different the quads are from one another, even though they were all born within two minutes. One of my girls is a “girly” girl and loves dresses and fingernail polish so she’s going to adore this Sofia the First tiered dress with a tulle skirt. My other girl is more of a tomboy and loves animals of any sort so she’s going to wear these bling leggings with the tiered skirt and Sofia the First “I love my animal friends” shirt.

There is a whole new line of Sofia the First character apparel now available at Kohl’s as well as a new line of Jake and the Never Land Pirates clothing that my boys are going to go crazy for. They are available in kids sizes 4 to 7 and toddler sizes. Check them out online or in store and let your kids experience the adventurous spirit of wearing Disney clothing by Jumping Beans.