Teaching your Pre Teen Money Responsibility

The pre-teen is very curious about life and how things work; therefore lessons on money responsibility will help the pre-teen understand what the money aspect of life is all about. Pre-teens can learn a lot just by the way you do things. Paying your bills on time, not maxing out your credit cards, and not causing bank overdrafts will go a long way in helping your pre-teen learn about money responsibility.

You can discuss payments you make on your mortgage, credit cards, car, and other bills with your pre-teen, discussing how you make your money and where it all goes. This will greatly help the pre-teen understand about money and how it is important to work, save, and budget.

The pre-teen bank account

One way to teach pre-teens money responsibility is to have them open a bank account. Pre-teens will feel delighted to have their own bank account and will enjoy this new responsibility. The bank account should also have your name on it since they are still minors, but you can allow them to make their own deposits and withdrawals with your supervision.

Now that bank accounts can be fully activated online, you might want to be careful that your pre-teen does not access your online bank account or even do their banking online as yet. It might be too much responsibility for the pre-teen and also cause temptation for misuse. So monitor their banking very carefully.

You can however also teach them how to use the ATM, but if they have a card, you should hold their card and only let them use it when you are with them. It is good to know how to use the ATM in case of an emergency, especially when you are traveling since they can be used countrywide. This money lesson will give the pre-teen some sense about using a credit card, although not the same thing but similar, which will be invaluable for them especially when they go off to college where they will be offered all sorts of credit cards. Here you can teach them the difference between the bank ATM card and the credit card. 

Also, it is a good idea to teach them along with banking and ATM use, something about identity theft, which is very prevalent in this age of computer technology.

Pre-teen budgeting

Pre-teens can also learn how to budget. This will help them in later years when they are grown, in buying their own house and raising a family. It won’t hurt to teach them young.

Have your pre-teen draw up a column of all the things they use that will be their expense column such as clothing, food, and gaming equipment. Help them to figure out what you spent in the past on their food, clothing and other. Then have them make a column for income. Since pre-teens do not as yet have an income, offer them an allowance. The allowance won’t be big enough to cover all their expenses, but you can offer them an amount extra from your own income to put in the income column calling it income from parents. Do not give them this money, but allow them to use this amount on the budget they are making.

A pre-teen budget that they regularly look at and use can greatly enhance your ability to have your pre-teen understand about how money is spent giving them more understanding about things they may want but can not have, or things they might want to save for.

You can find free spread sheets on Google, which you can use for this purpose; or you might want to use a program you already have for the purpose of budgeting. You can also just make your own columns on paper or on the computer.

The pre-teen allowance

Together with your pre-teen decide on what amount you will be able to give them for an allowance. Discuss with them what they think is fair; and what types of work they might like to do around the house to earn their allowance. Do not offer them more than you can afford in your own budgeting. Some parents just give their children an amount they feel they can afford to give their children without the children being obligated to do chores. You can give an allowance this way also.

Pre-teen work outside the home

Pre-teens can do some types of work. They can babysit, do lawn work such as raking and mowing lawns. Or they can shovel snow. They can also have a lemonade stand or other small business that you can help them with. This is another great way to teach them about making money and spending money. If they have a lemonade stand they would have to make up a budget for the lemonade stand. How much will they be spending for supplies such as lemons, sugar, paper cups, and napkins? Then how much did they sell? And did they make a profit?

Saving money

You can also teach your pre-teen about saving money, by having them decide what they would like to save money for such as buying a new bicycle, buying skates, buying a new gaming toy. Once they have decided what they would like to buy, they should learn the prices of things, and how they can save money by looking for sales, or buying them at a store that has lower prices. Have them go through the sales flyers that come in the mail or in the newspaper to compare prices. This is also a good money lesson in learning the worth of things.

In conclusion lessons learned at the pre-teen stage can help them all through life once they marry and have their own families; or when they go off to college with their new credit card. Opening a bank account, saving money, and budgeting are all important steps leading to their future life of money responsibility. Pre-teens will certainly need this knowledge when as adults they venture into the real world whether it is college or totally on their own with a job and family.