Teens and Budgeting
For the month of April, we will be bringing you daily posts centered on our personal finances – saving, making and managing our money.
If you have teenagers, then you know how expensive they are. The old saying that small children need small things and big children need bigger things certainly is true. But, can you successfully set a budget with your teenagers? Of course, you can. It may not be easy, at first, but it is certainly doable. There are a few tips and tricks to setting and keeping a budget when you have teenagers.
It’s All about Communication
If you are determined to set a budget and stick with it, be sure to include your teens in the conversation. Implementing a budget and not letting them in on it, is like pulling the proverbial rug out from underneath them. You cannot expect good results if everyone is not on the same page.
Start out by letting your teens know that you are implementing a budget. Sit down with them and your spreadsheets if necessary and show them what the bills of the house look like. If you do not feel comfortable showing them what the monetary intake of the household is, that is just fine.
Be certain to let them know how much money you need to make up at the end of the month and what your thoughts are as to what needs to be cut. Sit down and have a round-table discussion, letting everyone know you will have a meeting to discuss the budget.
Make certain that you approach this with the idea that everyone is important and everyone’s thoughts are important as well. Allow everyone to put in his or her two cents, so to speak. Take a look at everyone’s ideas and see the benefits and risks of those ideas.
By having an open mind, you make your teenagers feel as though they are part of the process and not just being dictated to or yelled at by you.
Be Actively Involved
When it comes to making and setting a budget, everyone needs to be actively involved. Allow your teens to discuss after school work and part-time jobs with you. If you are like most parents, you may rather have them stay home and give them an allowance as compared to driving them all over creation to earn the same amount of money.
Discuss it with your teen and see how they may actively fit into the budget scenario. Perhaps your teen can work and put some money aside for their cell phone or to save for a first-time car. Maybe they can contribute in other ways by working around the house in exchange for gas and socialization money.
Whatever you do, make sure that your teen is actively involved in all aspects of the budget.
Last but not least, stick to your budget – do not cave in. If there is something extra that comes up, let your teen continue to brainstorm or take on more work such as pet sitting to make up the difference.
Be firm but fair and your budget and your relationship with your teen should stay successfully intact.