Here it is.
The (in our opinion) definitive answer to this question: “what is the most important money conversation I should and will have with my teenage child?”
The answer: goal-setting.
How to set both short- and long-term financial goals is a crucial conversation to have with your teenager because it will help them learn how to be financially literate and set them up well to build healthy money habits for the present and the future.
Financial goals give us direction and purpose for our money and life, which often brings with it an increased level of financial stability over both the short-term and the long-term.
Not talking to your children and/or teaching them about proper financial goal-setting will almost guarantee your child goes on to treat their money without care and without regard for how fickle money is. Without a direction for how to spend and divide their money between different areas of their life, children (and really, in much the same way, adults) are more likely to spend it without considering the ramifications of their actions.
Without setting proper financial goals, it’s more likely that your child will disregard or forget that they could use the money they are earning during high school to pay for their textbooks or other learning materials in college, for example. Instead, they could very well blow all of their hard-earned money on clothes and video games and nights out with friends.
Good and focused financial goal-setting, on the other hand, will ensure that your children act in a measured and focused manner with their money, increasing the likelihood that they manage their finances properly in order to give themselves money to spend, have money put away in savings and potentially even set some money aside for emergencies. Going back to our textbooks example, having this goal set and defined will ensure that your child allocates their money properly to be able to enjoy themselves now, but also have the ability to accomplish said goal when the time is right.
There you have it, folks. Financial goal-setting is definitively (in our opinion) the most important money conversation you can have with your child because learning this skill will improve their financial literacy and set them up immensely well for the future.
Okay, so you’ve read this blog and now you’re thinking… “darn, I really need to get my teen ready for the financial life they’re going to go through. I’ve read this wonderful blog but I don’t know where else to go” (thank you for the compliment, we appreciate it).
We’ve got nationally and internationally-acclaimed personal finance programs for children in grades one all the way to twelve, covering topics from the basics and history of money to the stock market, so we encourage you to check out our courses and classes today and sign your child up as soon as possible.
Get them started on the path to financial literacy now and watch them become financial superstars into adulthood as they grow and understand more about the world around them!