Most teens are consistent at burning through money faster than it accumulates, and even going a step farther by causing untold grief with family vehicles, thus creating woes for someone else’s finances. Money in is money out, and with a reluctant work ethic, acquiring it on their own is certain never to see the inside of a bank unless they are saving up for that really big purchase. However, this kind of saving tactic neither resembles lifelong saving, nor does it follow a reasonable budget.
True planned saving structures and budgeting is something that is almost never learned by one before they reach early adulthood, when it truly matters. The great part of youth is that to enjoy it, one must live it to its fullest. Of course, this plan of action translates into “go flat broke while you live it up.” But it isn’t too hard to learn otherwise, and all it takes is a little incentive.
In the day of digital earning, teens are no longer restricted to having to rely on part-time jobs to make some cash, but aren’t given the world with their online works either. In order to make the most of whatever their cash on hand, it is good to form a system of budgeting and saving that will keep money in the bank and a potential future full of reward. It won’t be easy to convince them, but freedom after schooling is a set financial future, otherwise it is spending another five to ten years under parental guidance.
The best place to start a teen with budgeting and saving is at the very basics: spend most of what you make, save very little, and then modify as you go. To start out completely in the habit is something to imprint upon young children with saving games. To a teen they learn through money starvation. If they spend all they have, and aren’t given more, then they might learn to value money a little more and save towards things they really want, and not just going after whatever seems appealing at the moment.
Unfortunately they happen to be in the rebellious stage of their lives, so this tactic may not work at all, but if it does, then the best place to start afterward is a simple tracking that can be done through a spread sheet or by pencil and paper. They can track all money coming in, and see how much they spend over the course of a month. For each month they should try to save up for several expenses and keep the rest in the bank, similar to bill payment for those in the working world. If all goes well and they learn from the flow of money in and out, then they will have realized the foundations of budgets. If not, then there’s always hope down the road.