533980-6122-0Top Money-Saving Tips for Tweens and Teens

Source: http://www.parentsconnect.com/parenting-your-kids/parenting-teenagers/teen-behavior/teen-responsibility/money-saving-tips-teens.html

If you have normal tweens or teens, they probably stick in their earbuds the second they hear you and your significant other talking about the current economy. But as you tighten your home budgets, it’s more important now than ever to set your kids straight when it comes to personal money management. Here are some effective ways to set your kids on the road to their own financial responsibility. (Now all you have to do is get those earbuds out of their ears!)

Begin Budgeting Early
It all starts with you. Set an example for your kids by demonstrating responsible spending and sticking to a budget in your own financial life. (Trust us, we know how tough this is!) But if your kids see you spending within your means, they’re much more likely to follow suit.

Hold a Hard Bottom Line
Just as you’re sticking to your own family budget, expect the same from your teen. That means giving your kids a regular teen “salary” (a.k.a. a weekly or monthly allowance) for extraneous items and privileges, rather than a constant on-demand stream of cash from your wallet. Your kid needs to learn that when his money’s gone, it’s really gone!

Make It Relevant
Nope, your kid probably doesn’t want to talk about Roth IRAs. Can you blame her!? But she does want a great cell phone and tons of electronics. Have her help you research wireless providers’ family rates, or involve her in choosing a cable or digital TV, phone line and Internet service package that saves cash and meets with her teenage tech-savvy approval.

Collect Loose Change
It sounds almost too simple, but few things add up quicker than the old-fashioned piggy bank method. Dumping out those pockets at night, and then dumping the accumulated coinage into the counting machines at the market, equals extra cash extra fast. Tell your kid he can keep whatever change he finds—under seat cushions, in the car or even in the washer/dryer. It might even get him to start helping with the laundry! (OK, that was a bit much.)

Encourage Home Cookin’
One of the easiest places your family can cut costs? Cut out the eating out! That goes for fast food and snack and soda machines, too. If you make family meals a priority and keep your home and backpacks stocked with nutritious snacks-to-go, it can be a lot cheaper (and healthier) than any Dollar Menu!

Get Into Thrift
Thrift stores, that is. Secondhand and consignment shops are great places for you and your kids to score still-with-the-tags-on clothing, and you’ll score vintage-hipster points in your teen’s eyes. If you have any of your old concert tees and acid-washed jeans lying in storage, bust them out, too!

Find Odd Jobs
Every household and neighborhood has chores that need to be done. (Just ask us—we have some bushes that haven’t been trimmed since Bush was president!) Washing windows, yard work, cleaning drains and gutters, or pet- or babysitting might not be totally glam, but they teach teens the value of a dollar.

Set Goals
Stress to your kid that a little savings go a long way. Even if your teen or tween feels like a dollar here and there isn’t enough to get by on, do the math together: Saving just $20 each month nets $240 a year—a sum that’s definitely enough for that fancy prom dress or iPhone your kid’s been jonesing for.

Learning responsible finances is a life lesson that most adults never master. So if you can make headway in teaching your kid to value money, you’ll both earn huge rewards. Namely, fewer fights and more moola!