Most adults can trace the development of their financial lives back to childhood. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau researched more about this topic to determine what the most helpful activities are for children and youth as they learn and grow. This three-article series provides tips for parents of young children, elementary and middle school students, and teenagers and young adults.
Part 3: For parents of teenagers and young adults
The financial world of today isn’t the same world you grew up in. New services and choices are being offered all the time. For your children to navigate the new financial world they’ll face, they need to know when to seek out information and how to evaluate it.
Let your kids safely practice making financial decisions
Your children need practice making money choices, and they could use your guidance. At this age they may be earning some money of their own. Now, as you make benefits choices for next year, think about including your teenager in your decision-making process.
You can help your teenager think about how to use information to make a good decision. If you have benefits fact sheets or Web sites from your employer, sit with your teenager and go through them. Talk through the questions your child has, and ask a few questions of your own:
- What is the most important thing to think about for the family’s health care? Why?
- Have there been any changes in the family since last year that could make a difference to health care? To insurance? To flexible spending dollars?
- What could be the advantages or disadvantages of having benefits deducted from your paycheck, compared to paying the costs on your own?
- How trustworthy is the information you receive? How would you look for further information?
You don’t have to do anything you wouldn’t do normally, when you make your benefits choices. Just by showing your teens how you approach enrollment, you’re helping them practice the decision-making process before their own paychecks are at stake. For more ideas, visit www.consumerfinance.gov/parents.