Feb 18, 2022 / Money Tips

Teach Your Teens Financial Independence (The $100 Head Start)

As parents, one of your primary responsibilities is to help your kids help themselves. You can’t be with them 24/7 (and let’s face it, the constant questions about when their dinner will be ready get real old, real fast). But one of the most important ways you can help your kids is by teaching them practical, real-world concepts that promote financial self-sufficiency.

Financial Failings

Every parent wants the best for their kids, but sometimes lessons of a financial nature tend to get pushed aside, in favor of other, equally important life lessons. In fact, according to a PISA study, almost one in four teens lacks the basic financial skills to build a beginner budget, for example.

What’s even more telling, three out of four teens feel financially inadequate—they lack fundamental confidence in matters of personal finance—saving, budgeting, spending responsibly, etc. Considering most money habits are set at a young age, these early life lessons (or lack thereof) can form lasting financial habits.

The Best Place to Start

Practice makes perfect, and kids have a knack for picking up complicated concepts by doing, not just hearing. Perhaps the best time to teach your kids financial independence is during their teen years when they’re old enough to earn and savvy enough to understand the value of saving.

Encourage your kids to earn money outside the home or by doing chores around the house. Help them to open a savings account and set aside a portion of their earnings. When teens learn this one lesson—some of their money is for spending and some is for saving—they can begin to prioritize their purchases, build the beginnings of a budget, and save for the future.

Financial Follow-Up

Teens respond well to positive feedback. When their good habits are rewarded with encouragement and positive reinforcement, they’re more likely to stick with their goals, including their newfound flair for financial management. Keep tabs on your teen’s account. Follow up and ask questions about how much they saved last month. Help them stay on track with their savings goals and reward them for their efforts.

The specifics of the rewards are up to you and your teen. But you may consider matching their savings contributions up to a certain point. When teens can see the financial fruits of their efforts—i.e. their savings account keeps growing—they are more likely to feel invested and make healthy savings habits as a permanent part of their lives.

Savings for Success (The $100 Head Start)

At Utah First, we are invested (literally) in our community and in our members. We want to see you succeed and our community continue to thrive. To us, that means putting our money where our members are. That’s why we’re investing (again, literally) in the next generation of Utahns. We want to help your teens learn these valuable lessons of financial independence in a practical, real-world way.

The Utah First Savings for Success program gives your teens $100 just for opening a new account. That’s a $100 head start to help them save and spend responsibly with seed money and an actual interest-earning account. If your teens already have an account with Utah First, they can refer two friends, and we’ll give them $100, just for helping others on their financial journey. We can’t think of a better way to help your teens learn financial independence or a better place to invest for the future.

If you’d like to learn more about the Savings for Success program or help your teen set up an account, visit our website or stop by a branch with your teen today.