Teenagers are old enough to understand about money better compared to when they were younger. However, it would be too much to expect them to understand the entire workings of the family’s finances.
What to tell your teen?
Generally if the family’s finances are stable and under control, it is fine to tell your teenager that the family is comfortable enough without worrying about the next pay-check.
However, if the money situation is shaky and the future does not look bright, it is appropriate to tell your teen about the bad situation. For 12 years old and below, it is better not to say you have problems paying the bills as this may worry them excessively and have them feeling insecure.
For older teens of 13 years old and above, it is acceptable to tell them about the bad financial situation and the steps you are taking to solve the problem or find ways to improve the situation. You can also ask for your teen’s opinion on how to help you with the finances.
Older teens should be required to take some responsibility for certain money issues. For example, if your teen wants to buy something which exceeds his allowance, he should be encouraged to earn the extra money instead of just getting the money freely from you. If he has some savings, then he should use his savings to top up the balance.
If you discovered that your teen has been spending way too much of his allowance at the shopping mall, what do you do?
If you want your teen to learn the consequences of unnecessary spending, then you should not intervene. Let him discover the results of not saving part of his money. At the same time, he will learn the importance of saving for the future.