If you have teenagers, and you just hand them money when they need it, you are doing them a big disservice. This is the prime time in life for them to learn about financial independence and how to take care of themselves when they are on their own. Teens should have their own money, but they should also learn to value it. If you just give it to them for no reason, which is different than allowance, they are not going to value what they have very much. Not only should they have a set amount for allowance, they should earn extra from you and they should work when they are old enough to do so.
An allowance is a good idea for financial independence, even if you don’t give them a lot. They will soon learn that if they go through that money they are out and have to do without something they want. If you just give them more than what they are supposed to get from you, they are not learning the right lessons. Instead, for extra money, have a list of chores that are not a part of their normal chores that they can do for more money. If they work for this money by cleaning the garage, wedding the garden, or detailing the car, they learn good lessons about financial independence.
Some experts agree that an allowance is a great idea for any child. You should come up with an amount that your kids get at a certain age, and then stick with it so your kids know what to expect. Make it clear that if they go through that money, you are not going to give them any more. The extra chores, like those listed above can be used to earn more money, but don’t waffle on the price. You can even make a list of chores and how much they pay so they know what they are going to get for doing each extra chore for financial independence. Don’t forget?they should have chores they do without pay just because they are a part of the family.
When your children are old enough, they can learn financial independence by getting part time jobs. Make sure you set up the rules for them before they start looking for such a job. There are often rules that children of school age can only work so many hours a week, so find out about that. Some have to have ‘working papers’ so find out if that applies where you live. Tell your kids that they have to maintain grades or they will not be able to work. They can learn financial independence as well as how it feels to be an adult when they make their own money and have to keep it in balance with the rest of their lives.
Along with earning their own money, teaching your children about financial independence is teaching them how to save and when to spend. Teach them to put a certain amount away and then how to spend the rest so that they have all they need first. This shows them responsibility comes before fun, but if they are good with their money, they can have savings as well as fun money left once they have paid their bills. These lessons don’t always stick, but most children who have these financial independence lessons early on are better with money later on in life. It is a great lesson to teach them that can make a huge difference to their future.