[I]f your kids are old enough to take on a summer job, now is a golden opportunity to teach them about money and finances. If you start them out right, they will know how to handle money and financial responsibility for when they are earning a full-time income. Here are three tips to use this summer with your kids.
Encourage them to put money back every time they get paid for savings. Go with them to the bank and open a savings account. If your kids are young and earning money helping neighbors with chores or babysitting, you can even put the money in a separate envelope or use another system. However, opening a bank account will make them feel more grownup and help them understand the importance of earning money.
Have them decide how much they will save. It often helps if they have a goal for spending that money. At this age, they don’t need to worry about emergencies, but you can teach them the concept of saving. For the teen, it may be a car or new clothes. Younger kids may want a new video game. They’ll be more likely to want to put extra towards savings if they have something they want to buy.
Once kids are old enough to earn money, they are old enough to budget. Sure, they don’t have living expenses like adults, but they can plan for how they want to spend their money instead of wasting it. Perhaps they will need to buy some soda or snacks for their job. It’s also not too much to ask for a few dollars in gas money if you are driving them to work. While you may not really need it, paying for expenses will teach them about responsibility.
Up until now, you have provided for their needs. While you will still take care of them, it’s not a bad idea to help them develop some responsibility for what they need. Perhaps you’ll have them use their own money for clothes, snacks or other items they may consider “essential.” You may also decide to take care of those, but have them buy anything they want rather than need.
Teach your kids to be financially responsible with part-time or summer jobs, and they will remember that lesson for the future as adults.
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