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The best time for young people to learn about money is before they move out of the house and set off on their own. Here are some ideas that can help your teen learn the value of money and get in the habit of saving.
Start Earning Money Now
A lot of teenagers have discovered more things they want to buy, which makes it hard to save. When your teenager wants something he or she can’t afford, an option is to create small jobs around your home or ask if friends and family are looking for help. There are also many part-time job opportunities that can help your teen earn money and learn responsibility.
Open a Savings Account
Once your teen has started to earn money, help him or her set savings goals. A good habit can be to encourage teens to “pay themselves first” by adding 20% of the money earned to their savings accounts every time they receive an allowance, a gift or a paycheck. Breaking down daily savings will also help teens manage their spending habits. If they want to buy a $200 item within the next three months, they should plan to save about $67 a month, or just $2.23 a day.
PNWFCU offers a youth savings account to help teenagers save money and earn interest. You and your teen can stop by a branch or call or text 503.256.5858 to open an account. PNWFCU members can also use our Money Management tool to set goals, track spending and watch their accounts grow over time, which can help your teen visually track the results of saving.
Spend Money Wisely
Teaching teens to practice self-control can help them reach savings goals and limit spending. Encourage them to avoid making hasty buying decisions. Limit the amount of cash your teen carries around. When making a purchase, show your teen how to research the quality and reputation of the item online. Compare the item’s price at multiple store locations to find the best deal. Make sure your teen takes care of the items purchased. It’s not cheap to replace things.
Protect Against Identity Theft
It’s important to know that thieves target young people, too. They can use a victim’s name, address and social security number to open accounts. Make teens aware that their information is private and should not be given to strangers. For instance, they should never give personal information in response to a phone call, an email or a pop-up ad online, no matter how official it might look. Help educate your teen to review all account statements for any errors or fraudulent activity. For more details, please visit https://www.consumer.gov/articles/1015-avoiding-identity-theft.
You may want to set up a complimentary financial consultation at PNWFCU, available through CUSO Financial Services, L.P.* The financial professionals here at your credit union can provide information on college savings plans and help your teen prepare for long-term saving and investing.
*Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. ("CFS"), a registered broker-dealer (Member FINRA/SIPC) and SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Products offered through CFS are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of the credit union, and may involve investment risk including possible loss of principal. Investment Representatives are registered through CFS. Pacific NW Federal Credit Union has contracted with CFS to make non-deposit investment products and services available to credit union members.