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30 Money Lessons To Teach Your Teens For Financial Literacy Month

Financial Literacy Month starts tomorrow, April 1. No fooling.

Like last year, we’re sharing tips throughout the month to help you make sure your kid is no money fool.

This year, we’re focusing on teens.

Here are 30 quick money lessons you can teach your teens one day at a time:

  1. Don’t Give Cash To Your Teens — Are you still handing cash over to your teens? Here are 6 reasons to replace those dollar bills with a reloadable prepaid card or a bank debit card.
  2. Fully Fund Your Working Teen’s Roth IRA — Here’s why it makes sense to max out your working teen’s Roth IRA, even if they already blew through all their paychecks.
  3. Audit The Household Utility Bill — Your monthly utility bill is the perfect opportunity to teach your teens about the everyday cost of living in the real world. Try this next month.
  4. Pick An ETF To Make Investing Lessons Fun And Smart — The classic way of teaching teens about investing is all wrong. Here’s a better way that’s all right.
  5. Conduct A Non-Judgmental Spending Audit — Want to teach your teens how to plug the small leaks sinking their financial ships? Try this simple, non-judgmental audit technique.
  6. Offer Teens A Savings Match With Strings Attached — Encourage your teen to save by offering a matching contribution, but attach these strings to send the right message.
  7. Bill Teens Weekly For Their Share of The Best Deal — Here’s how you can pay for your teen’s up-front or family subscription plan to get the best deal without forgoing fiscal accountability.
  8. Make Teens Pay The Sales Tax — Teens often don’t have a clue about how much things cost or that sales tax even exists. Here’s a clever and affordable way to make your teens mindful of both.
  9. Set Up A Smart Competition To Make Investing Lessons Fun — Betting on a favorite stock is fun but stupid. Buying an index fund is smart but boring. So how do you make smart investing lessons fun for teens? Here’s one way.
  10. Let Teens Gift Service Bucks Instead Of Stuff — If you want your teens to be thoughtful gift givers, but you don’t need any more stuff, here’s a solution.
  11. Nudge Your Teen’s Charitable Impulses With Giving Data — This data might be just the nudge your teens need to step up their charitable games in 2017.
  12. Use A Parent Payment Plan To Hold Teens Accountable For Big Fines — When teens incur bigger fines than their accounts can handle, parents often pick up the tab. Here’s a better solution.
  13. Stop Birthday Shopping For Your Teen’s Friends — This birthday present protocol will make your teen more responsible and thoughtful. It should save you some hassle too. Bonus.
  14. Fight Financial Bullying With Cards And Alerts — Financially bullied teens can be too intimidated, naive, or embarrassed to let Mom or Dad know. Here’s how you can proactively avoid the situation.
  15. Put A Meaningful Label On Your Teen’s Allowance — What message do you want to send whenever allowance hits your teen’s account? These allowance labels other parents are using might give you some fresh ideas.
  16. Help Your Teen Handle A Money Windfall — Discussing how to handle small windfalls with your teens now might prevent them from blowing big windfalls as an adult. (Yes, you know what I’m talking about!) Here are a few strategies to consider.
  17. Maintain A Net Worth Spreadsheet With Your Teen — A net worth spreadsheet is one of the best techniques I’ve found to help my teens understand the big picture of personal finance. How to lay out a road map to their financial independence one cell at a time.
  18. Spook Your Teens With Scary Debt Stories BEFORE College — Spooking your teens with scary debt stories before they go to college might just help them avoid becoming one afterwards.
  19. Help Your Teen’s Giving Go Far With GiveWell — Show your teens that when they give well, even small donations make a big difference.
  20. Don’t Teach Your Teens How To Write Checks — Writing checks is like an anti-skill in today’s financial world. Here’s why, and what your teens can do instead.
  21. Set The Stage For Socking Away Savings In College — If you set the savings stage early, you might just look forward to texts from your college teens about money, instead of dreading them like most parents.
  22. Tell Teens To Take More Risk — There’s one area that teens need to pump up the risk if they’d like to enjoy a healthy future: investing. Here’s a recipe for getting them started.
  23. Use Reimbursements To Teach Teens The Value Of A Dollar — Make teens active participants in the everyday expenses you’re picking up. That way, they’ll know — and appreciate — the real value of a dollar when the day comes for everything to be on their nickel.
  24. Charge Your Teens An Inconvenience Fee — If you’ve become the family servant lately, it’s time to teach the teens that your time is money.
  25. Ding Your Teens For Replacement Cards — Is your teen too cavalier about keeping track of a payment card? Consider this remedy.
  26. Teach Teens A Simple Secure PIN Strategy — Teens struggle with proper PIN management. Watch this video to learn a simple recipe you can teach your teens to create and remember secure PINs.
  27. Make Teens Journal Their Money Requests — Here’s another way (aside from a budget-based allowance) to put the brakes on impulsive extra money requests from your teens.
  28. Use Reimbursements To Condition Teens To Maintain A Spending Buffer — Here are two important personal finance lessons your teens can learn using a reimbursement process for everyday purchases.
  29. Reimburse Your Teen’s Uber And Lyft Rides — Here’s one thing I’ll always reimburse for my teens. No questions asked.
  30. Add An Emergency Fund To Your Teen’s Money Bucket List — Why wait until your teens leave the nest to teach them how to take the first baby step out of financial distress? Find out how to introduce your kids to emergency funds while they’re still young.

As Steven Wright says, “A fool and his money are soon partying.” Let’s hope that isn’t the case with your teen. But, if it happens, please reread #29!

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