With a teenager as part of the household, you likely already have your hands full with the often mind-bending responsibilities that come with parenting a child in the 21st century. But don’t let those day-to-day duties get in the way of efforts to impart that teen with the skills to responsibly handle their money, because those skills will serve them well throughout every phase of life, says Certified Financial Planner™ Timothy Watters of Watters Financial Services in Paramus, NJ.
Helping teens develop the ability to make smart financial decisions is among the most important and valuable legacies a parent or guardian can leave, asserts Watters, who knows of whence he speaks, having raised four kids of his own. “It’s about giving them bumpers to crash against, but not enabling them, because people need to learn to stand on their own two feet. If you can help show teens how to make good financial decisions, you’re doing your part to prepare them for the launch into adulthood.”
Here Watters and other personal finance experts who’ve been down this road with teenagers and their families offer creative ways to instill financial literacy in a kid — and particularly one who, given their stage in life, doesn’t necessarily welcome advice from their elders.