Financial Wellness

Talking Finances with Your Teens

Teen and parent with tablet From report cards to SATs, teens are used to being graded and are familiar with how numbers represent accomplishments and responsibility. Additionally, teens understand how to earn and spend money. The concepts of budgeting, credit scores, and money management are not lost on the average teen, but do require guidance and practice.

Since personal finance is not a traditional part of the school curriculum, healthy money habits should begin at home. Parents and grandparents can help educate their teens with introductory conversations about saving habits, bank accounts, credit cards, interest and debt management.

Start the Conversation

Teen and parent with laptops These insightful real-life testimonials from CEFCU teens can kick start the “money talk“ with your tweens, teens and young adults:

  • “I've been watching my savings account balance grow since I was six. I still don't know what I'm saving for, but if something unexpected ever occurs, if the proverbial 'rainy day' ever happens, I know that CEFCU will have my back.“
  • “After taking two years of high school economics and watching the film The Big Short three times, I started to understand and use terms like 'housing bubble,' 'subprime loan,' 'mortgage-backed securities,' 'compound interest,' 'recession' and 'marginal cost.'“
  • “There is no future without preparation now. Saving early is like driving. If you start learning how to drive at 15 and pass your license test at 16, you have more independence, opportunity and experience. The earlier you start earning and saving money, the more you will accumulate and let compounding do the rest.“
  • “To maneuver through life with financial independence is a power. I nicknamed my CEFCU savings account PIF &emdash; Personal Independence Fund. This is my security blanket. If I suddenly need to leave a job, a relationship, or weather a financial crisis, I am developing the savings to do so.“
  • “Listening to my grandmother share stories about her financial journey and work experience was very important to me. Life was not easy. It took a lot of money management and budgeting.“
  • “My family created financial stability for me. My mom saved money, understood the terms of her mortgage, avoided frivolous spending and we lived within our means.“
  • “We should understand basic terms such as money, budgeting, debit and credit cards, and establishing credit because these are practical and relevant to everyday life. Examples include keeping track of your income so you know how much you can spend and save, looking for deals, and maintaining belongings like your car and electronics to avoid unnecessary spending for repairs.“
  • “The main areas of finance that could really benefit teenagers are how to establish credit, pay taxes and manage student loans.“
  • “Creating a budget isn't just for adults with mortgages and bills, but for anyone wanting to learn to manage and spend money better.“
  • “Having my own account really helped me understand the value of money. The concept of interest was also quite motivating. I loved all of the 'free money' that magically appeared on my statement every month. Compound interest sounds complex but the sooner you learn how it works, the greater the benefits of compound interest on your money.“
  • “Although I did not have my own credit card, I was very aware of how much credit cards charge in interest and how interest can make the true price of an item go up drastically.“

Remember, it's never too soon or too late to prepare young adults for financial wellness.