How many of your kids have any idea what their phone bill is, or their computer, iPad or cable bill that allows them to order movies, games, apps and TV shows without regard to the extra charges that appears on your bill, or my personal favorite...uber bill!!! How will your teens ever develop an appreciation for what things cost unless you teach them. I am a big advocate whether you are a family of means or a family where you need to count every penny, that you have a monthly date to go over the bills. Let them see just how many movies they did order and what the cost was. How much their portion of their cell phone cost. Dollars and cents, they need the reality. So much of teens lives in this 21st century make it easy to live in lalaland. They can say things without consequence through impersonal devices, they can order things without using the old fashioned greenback, and so it is no surprise that when they go off to college with a car full of new clothes and comforters that it feels magical. They absolutely need to know that college can cost up to $50,000 a year, and that is a sh**load of money.
Start teaching them now. They may not have to pay the bills, but at least let them know that it all costs the real deal...money. Maybe there is a limit on downloads and uploads, and scanning the bills together you develop some budget items. And NO UBER use unless it's an emergency and you really can't get them. I know that uber has become an easy way to ditch the late night pick-ups, the I don't feel like picking you up at so and so's house. But I have seen kids use uber because they don't feel like walking the 1/2 mile home from school, or they want to move to another house on a Saturday night where there are no parents, and think this is a sneaky way of doing it. This is enabling your teen to be, go, do whatever they feel like it, whenever they feel like it. Parents be damned!! Because truly, how many of you really check your credit card for uber charges specifically from your teen. This is a 21st century issue for entitled teens who are impatient, sometimes lazy and a bit sneaky, and for parents who finally have a secure way of moving their kids around when they don't want to! Lots of great stuff happens in the car with your teens, observing them with their friends, spontaneous conversation or trips for coffee or ice cream, and TIME!! Time is a very precious commodity these days. Don't outsource your time with your teens.
And lastly when the time comes, let them know that mediocrity is not acceptable for college when everyone in the family sacrifices for their ability to go. A little guilt never hurt! And more importantly, obstacle and challenge make the journey to success so much more meaningful.
In this world of plastic and cyber-money it is a challenge to to teach kids about the value of money. It will serve both of you well in the future!!
PS Booking seminars for the spring, invite me to your school, church, temple, community group, or even your home for a fun, informative "get down" about teens! Also do you have a "quick question"
Purchase and bank 60 minutes of phone coaching time with me, and call when you need it. Sometimes 10 minutes at a time is all you need when a time-sensitive issue comes up. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org