Special to CSMS Magazine
The holiday season is now here. This season is probably the hardest time to stick with the financial goals you set in September and kept within the budget you developed. Some of you may have had savings for holiday gifts as one of your short-term goals back in September. If you did, you are already off to a head start. Being able to make and follow a plan for managing your money is one of the first, and most important, ways to be financially successful.
According to experts, teenagers in the U.S. spend over $84 billion a year. The money, which averages to about $3,200 per teen, comes primarily from parents and jobs. It covers spending on clothing, food, entertainment, personal-appearance products, recorded music, and transportation. Every time something gets more luxurious, their parents have to give them more money then the year before. Some parents want to know how much they need to give their children so they can go shopping for the holiday. Teenagers spend a lot of money. They can spend money by just buying what they like, what they think is cute, and they also spend money in families and friends.
Teenagers can also learn how to earn, save, spend and borrow money each year in the marketplace. They have more money to spend than previous generations and develop spending patterns at a younger age. Teens learn about money by watching their parents. They also learn by practicing money management. Teenagers, who take part in regular discussions about using the family income, learn how to make wise decisions.
Teenagers influence their families’ spending even if they do not earn money. The wants and needs of children are part of the family budget. Teenagers want and need to decide how to spend their money. Peers may influence their choices. Watching their parents will provide plenty of practice through the family financial decisions in long-range planning, record keeping and credit.
Their parents, their media, their peers, and their own successes and failures in spending money influence teens’ attitudes about money. The buying habits of teenagers are learning experiences. Parents usually use a weekly allowance as their primary tool for teaching teens about saving. It is appropriate for teenagers to begin receiving allowances as soon as they begin to realize that money can be exchanged for goods and services and also what they like.
Parents can teach their children how to save money, or they can save it for them by giving them $20 every Friday from their allowances, which should be enough for them for the week. Some parents also need to make sure they know what their kids are buying and how much it cost them. Should over-spending come to play, parental guidance can help correct that. Parents can teach them how to manage their money by giving their children an allowance, whether or not it is tied to chores.
The emphasis is on guidance because the child should be given at least some freedom to make his or her own choice. Remember, when your teenager makes a poor choice, he or she will learn from that. Many teenagers love to go shopping not only when the holiday is here but also every time they go down the shopping mall. Some teens, who will go away to college, are some time given a credit card and a checking account to pay for college expenses.
One thing they have to remember is that credit is an important financial tool. They can learn how to handle credit responsibly if they are taught the advantages and disadvantages, the kinds and the costs of credit. Teenagers love to spend money not only in shopping but also in entertainments, junk food ect… Teaching teenagers how to spend wisely is one of the lifelong gifts that parents must award their children. It can last forever. Note: Tiga Desire is CSMS Magazine newest collaborator. She is a senior at South Plantation High, near Fort Lauderdale, Florida.Comment this article or e-mail it to a friend.