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How to Teach Teenagers About Money

For teens, money can feel like an abstract concept. How long do I have to work to earn enough? How much to the basic necessities really cost? Start by imagining the lifestyle your child wants, and break down a living budget from there.

Money is a challenge to understand conceptually – for adults and teens. How much is enough money?

Start by discussing the lifestyle your child hopes to achieve. Ask, “Do you want to live in a large house with land, or do you want to live in a small apartment?” Teens need to understand what they’re aiming for, and then figure out how much they need to earn to achieve and maintain that.

Create a living budget. List out all of the expenses – a car payment, insurance, gas, maintenance, rent or a mortgage. How much does food really cost? What about medical insurance? Then ask, “How much are you going to make?” Take the total expenses and divide it by the hourly rate — minus taxes — to see how many hours he needs to work to make that happen. When he sees 300 hours a week, it can be eye-opening.

Learn more in this video, from the ADDitude webinar titled “How to Find Your Path: A Roadmap for Choosing a College, a Career, or Something Different,” with Rick Fiery, M.S., MBA.

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Updated on March 29, 2019

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