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Teaching my high schooler to manage money
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Hobbies and sports should not be considered part of a child's savings and spending plan.


It's a judgment call, but by the teen years, hobbies and sports can make up a substantial part of a teenager's financial responsibilities.

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Which of these is NOT a useful tool for teaching teenagers about money?


Giving teenagers money between allowances can discourage responsible money habits.

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Key Takeaways

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Whether they’re saving for a big purchase or going out with their friends and spending, here’s how you can teach your high schooler to manage his or her money.

  • Try to be open about answering teens’ questions about money because you can help shape their perspective on spending and saving
  • Start small, but increase the allowance once your teenager shows she can manage her funds well
  • Develop guidelines for your teenager’s allowance, and determine whether to reward them for good grades
  • By now, teenagers could be in the habit of saving part of any allowance they may receive. Help them set up longer-term goals for big-ticket items
  • When you’re helping your teenager build a savings plan, start with a manageable, short-term goal. The more distant the goal, the harder it is to visualize.
  • Work with your teenagers to identify the differences between their “needs” and “wants” so they can make smart spending decisions
  • When helping teenagers build a budget, use your own budget as a point of reference. It may seem more complicated, but the basics are the same
  • Help your child save for multiple goals at a time, from laptops to prom to college expenses
  • Help your teen treat a new debit card as an opportunity to learn how to use it responsibly; for example, by keeping track of “third-party” ATM fees, and not allowing account balances to run too low
  • Know that children can be choice targets for identity thieves; be on the lookout for red flags that indicate their information may be compromised, such as suddenly receiving pre-approved credit card offers in the mail