When we think of teenagers, we often associate traits like defiance, moodiness, or saying things that show a lack of maturity. That’s not always the case. Many teens are responsible in their words and deeds. That’s not by accident. It means someone, or probably more than just one person, showed them how to do things right. When done right, this positivity can extend to the relationship your teenager has with money. Here’s some things that teenagers say who have learned to be savvy with their own finances.
"From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good, and the work of a man's hand comes back to him." Proverbs 12:14 ESV
Savvy Thing #1: I’m saving up for X
This is an underappreciated gem. This is a teenager who can think longer term. They are able to set a goal and associate actions over time with bringing them closer to that goal.
Savvy Thing #2: Let’s carpool
This teenager recognizes that costs of driving, like gas, can be offset by riding with a group to get somewhere. This is a tough one for teens who have recently begun to drive and still crave the chance to “do it themselves” by driving somewhere solo.
Savvy Thing #3: Mom/Dad, how does our family feel about (insert money issue)?
This is pro level words from a teenager. In some families, money is not an acceptable topic to speak to parents about. A teenager who ask a question like this shows some great confidence or perhaps an environment where parents have made this kind of question OK to ask. Either way, it’s a great thing to hear. Bonus points are awarded any time a teen shows that they value a parent’s opinion.
Savvy Thing #4: I’m a careful driver so my car insurance is less
This statement shows the maturity of linking behavior with how much money is in your wallet. This statement is also a recognition that teen drivers start with sky high insurance rates. Teenagers who are consistent safe drivers can bring premiums down over time. Money smart teens understand the value of a good driving record on their bank account.
Savvy Thing #5: I want to watch my grades so I can get a good scholarship
This shows an understanding that good grades can pay off, literally. The statement also shows a desire to go to college and an understanding that there is a cost to that endeavor. Linking academic performance and future scholarships is a great thing to see from your teen.
Savvy Thing #6: Let’s just go hang out at my house instead of spending money somewhere
If a teen’s peers want to go out somewhere, the easiest path is to just go along with it. The statement above shows a willingness to influence peers and also a recognition that going out somewhere usually carries a financial cost.
Savvy Thing #7: I want this shirt, but I’m waiting until it goes on sale
Delayed gratification is a challenge for adults, but even more so for teens. A statement like this shows patience, but also recognition that there is a monetary benefit to waiting sometimes. How many adults do you know that struggle with this concept?
Savvy Thing #8: Let’s go bowling this morning instead of tonight so it costs less
This statement shows a teenager who understands when you buy something makes a difference in the price sometimes. This is not always an easy one but pays off over time.
Savvy Thing #9: I’m going to put my birthday money into the bank
When you were 17, did you make saving a priority? Probably not, but when you see it, celebrate the inclination. First, having a savings account and remembering it is a positive sign. Second, the idea of putting money away to save and not immediately spend shows a teenager who has the right mindset.
What if I've never heard any of those?
If you've never heard any of the above savvy saying, don't be down about it. The best teacher your teenager has is you as their parent. You can model and teach them to be better with money. If you're not sure yourself, make it an opportunity to learn with them. You make it happen and be savvy together.
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