Work for More Than Minimum
After the age of eighteen, most teens are more than capable of working at companies which allow for opportunities greater than minimum wage. Tutoring, financial institutions, and the service industry guarantee greater earnings, and are normally well versed in the need for flexibility when hiring college and university students. By opening up your child’s abilities to make more money, they’ll have more security and opportunity during their time in university, especially if they’re living on their own.
Open a Savings Account
After relying on their parents for so long, many students off for university haven’t been versed in the necessity and benefits of savings. Rather than expecting them to save excessive amounts (something you likely didn’t do through your years of university), show them the benefits of putting away 10% of their pay cheque each week. This life lesson is important and mandatory for those intending to eventually pay off their student debt, or acquire assets such as a car or a home.
Budget and Stick to It
Tracking your teens money is beneficial both for them and for you. By creating a spreadsheet, keeping track of receipts, and understanding how much money flows in and out of their accounts each week, you and your teen can work together to tighten loose ends and leaking finances. That being said, if you’re interested in helping your child financially throughout their school career, budget for your contribution as well. In doing so, you’re forcing your child to budget according to their income, and preventing them from running to you each time they’re short or unplanned. Financial responsibility is an important lesson that most student’s aren’t educated on, and it’s your job to find the happy medium when it comes to your child’s financial education.
Don’t Create Excess Debt
OSAP and student loans are a great way to financially plan for university, but can be looming and stressful for those who allow financial anxiety to get the best of them. For teenagers, this is likely their first monstrous expense, and the fear of paying it back can be overwhelming. This is why you should teach your children the difference between necessary and unnecessary debt. Racking up credit card bills at high interest rates, or having many credit cards at once, can cause debt to pile up without necessity. If you explain this difference, and your teen leaves for school with just one card (at a moderate spending limit), they have the financial ability and freedom to spend without the fear of financial burden.
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