The holidays can leave many of us feeling financially depleted, but instead of trying to forget about that, BECU says it’s an opportunity for a family discussion on how to manage money.
The credit union has put together a guidebook for parents on how to talk to teens about money. The aim is to help young people learn how to save, manage cash flow and stick to a budget.
Stacey Black, a financial educator with BECU, said those credit card solicitations you probably stick in the recycling can be useful educational tools. You can show your teen how credit card companies try to suck you in with low interest rates and offers of freebies.
“One of my favorite things to tell teens and anyone is: What the big print giveth, the little print taketh away,” she said. “So read the fine print with your teen and just take a look and go through what all those things mean, because sometimes it’s kind of a surprise.”
Black said another thing you can talk about with your teens is your last big purchase. She said it’s best to be honest – if you paid for a TV or vacation with a credit card, use an interest calculator to figure how much more it will wind up costing you over time. That can prompt a discussion about how to save and plan for big purchases.
Another suggested activity is to have teens plan out a meal and set a budget for it.
“And then take them to the grocery store or have them go to the grocery store and stick to that budget, and they’re always shocked at how expensive groceries are,” Black said.