It can be difficult to teach teenagers anything at times. They will tend to think that they know more than you and they may also not be prepared to listen to their parents. However, it can be an important time to talk to them about money. This is because they will start to have access to more money, perhaps because they will get a job or a student loan and they will need to understand about budgeting. It can be a difficult conversation to have but it will be a worthwhile one. There are some things that you can do to help.
Start the Conversation with Something that Will Draw them in
It is not always easy to start the conversation but it is worth trying to do it at a time when they have no choice but to listen. Perhaps when you are in the car with them, at the table having a meal or on a walk. Then they will not be able to get away. However, they may still be plugged into a phone so you will need to make sure that you grab their attention so that they listen. Perhaps telling them that you can give them some tips to make them wealthy or something equally appealing to them. Hopefully you will know them well enough to know how to phrase things so that you can get them involved in the conversation.
Explain the Consequences of Mistakes
It can be good to start with explaining what might happen if they make mistakes with money. This could help to make them realise the importance of managing their money carefully. For example, let them know that they could run out and might not be able to make ends meet and that a young age borrowing beyond a student loan can be difficult as can repayment. If you have made mistakes with money then tell them about those mistakes as this could help you to get through to them. Hearing about peoples personal experiences can make it feel more real rather than just hypothetical situations which they might think will just never happen to anyone.
Explain the Gains from Doing things Well
It is also a good idea to explain to them what they will gain from doing things well. If they are able to budget well and manage their money etc, they will obviously feel better. They will feel more positive, be in control and maybe even be able to put some money into a savings account so they have some behind them to fall back on. Try to explain to them incidences of when you were able to do this and how it made you feel as well.
Buy them a Book
If you having trouble explaining yourself or feel that you are not getting through then buying a book for them could be handy. There is a text book which explains all about money for teenagers but they might want to start with something a bit lighter and a bit more fun. There are lots of books available and you will need to think hard about which ones will be the most appealing to them. You could always get a selection and encourage them to take a look at them to see which works for them. If cost is a problem you may be able to get some books from the library or some free kindle books. There are also websites with plenty of free information. It could be even better to see if there is a youTube channel with handy videos that could be more appealing to some teenagers than reading a book.