By the time your children become teenagers, they should have a pretty good understanding of money… perhaps spending rather than saving! It’s important that teenagers recognize the value of money and understand that it is not an unlimited resource.
One of the first questions young children ask parents is a variation of, “does money grow on trees?” That is one of the earliest conversations about money you’ll likely have with your kids. My school-aged kids once asked me, “Mom, does that card just give you money?” That question led to further discussions about working, earning, and saving money. Now with my own two boys entering their teenage years, it’s time to further educate them.
Where do parents begin? Here are some ways to teach your teenagers about saving money:
If you haven’t already started your teenager on an allowance, now is the time to consider. For younger teens unable to get a part-time job yet, consider giving them opportunities to earn money for spending by doing chores around the house, and babysitting. Money that is earned is most always more valued than money that is given. Instead of handing bills when they ask for cash to go out for lunch or movies with friends, give them a specific amount each month. This will teach them to budget and control their spending.
Nothing teaches money skills faster than earning a pay cheque! Once your teen is ready to enter the job force, discuss what will happen after receiving that cheque; how much will go into his/her pocket, and how much will go into the bank account.
Have your teen write down what their financial responsibilities are, such as paying for cell phones or car insurance; and what their financial “wants” are, such as money for purchasing clothes, or hanging with friends. You can help them create a budget that determines how much they need to pay for bills, and how much they have left over to spend on fun things.
When you teach kids how to prioritize and plan using a budget, and when they understand that they need to pay the important things (bills) first, they’re more likely to save, knowing that there is money set aside in their budget for fun stuff, too.
Match Kids’ Savings Deposits
Most teens find it more enticing to save money when parents can match a percentage of their own savings. You can make a “rule” that a certain percentage of their earned income or cash gifts goes into a savings account – a good rule of thumb is 10%.
Let them know that their deposits are secure thanks to federal deposit insurance. The Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) is a federal Crown corporation that protects deposits at banks and other financial institutions that are CDIC members, up to CDN $100,000 (per deposit category), in case of a bank failure.
Eligible deposits include:
- Savings accounts
- Chequing accounts
- Term deposits, (such as GICs) with original terms to maturity of five years or less
But not everything is covered. Teenagers may not be banking beyond basic accounts, but it is important to note (for us parents, too!) that accounts and deposits not protected by CDIC include:
- Stocks, bonds and mutual funds
- Digital currency (like Bitcoin)
- Deposits in foreign currency
Explaining CDIC and deposit insurance to teens can help them understand where their money is saved. Here is a helpful animated video you can watch together to help them better understand.
Create Other Rewards for Saving
Teens also might be encouraged to save more if parents implement other types of reward programs. You can talk to them about ideas for savings – this interactive video is a great way to open the discussion around saving for the future. Upon graduating high school, you receive $50,000 and you choose what to do with it – what do you do?
Ideas for savings rewards for your teen can include helping buy for a vehicle, college/university tuition if they save up a certain amount first.
By teaching teens the importance of saving money, and budgeting their spending, you give them the power they need to spend and save in ways that are most important to their individual goals.
Disclosure: This post is proudly sponsored by CDIC. As always, the opinions expressed herein are our own.