Teenagers, whilst they are absolved from big financial responsibilities, do start to use their money independently as they enter their early teenage years; by spending their money on clothes, toiletries and gadgets.
According to Chris Labuschagne CEO of FNB Credit Card, laying the foundation to good financial habits for your child should include encouraging your teenager to earn extra money from other sources.
Chris touches on the different ways that teenagers can make money:
1. The parent ATM
The most obvious way for most teens to get their spending money, is through some sort of an allowance from their parents.
“As a parent you need to sit down with your teenager and discuss what they would need to use the money for, to ascertain whether it is for ongoing expenses such as airtime, or saving for a special item that they have their eye on.”
If you are going to give your teenager any extra money over and above their usual allowance make sure they earn it. This can be done through paying them extra for chores done around the house, or as an incentive for getting good marks at school.
“Furthermore, if you can’t afford to give your teenager extra cash, it is important to make them understand that money is not easy to come by and that there are lots of other ways that they can make money, without you as their main source,” suggests Labuschagne.
2. Easy jobs for week days and week nights
There are always a few hours available during the week that your teenager can capitalise on. For example, you can encourage your teen to explore basic part-time jobs such as baby sitting or walking people’s dogs during the week, after finishing school homework.
“Your teenager can build a solid client base using word of mouth or by advertising their services via social networks. Doing regular odd jobs will mean that they will have a few hundred rand extra each month to spend,” says Labuschagne.
3. Weekend jobs
There are also various formal jobs that your teen can try on weekends, if they are over the age of 15; which is the minimum age prescribed by the Department of Labour.
Places like fast food restaurants, local and retail stores are always willing to get extra help on the weekend. So encourage your teen to find out if they need someone to work on a Saturday morning; with the trick here to find a place close to your home so that you aren’t responsible for the travel.
“Your teenager might find the idea of finding work intimidating at first; however with your guidance they can soon learn how to approach businesses and discuss job opportunities for themselves; which is undoubtedly a very important skill to have,” says Labuschagne.
4. Sell small and big items
If your teen doesn’t fancy the idea of getting a job and just needs a cash injection; advise them to have a look around their bedroom and bookshelves to identify books and clothing that they haven’t used for a while. Second-hand books and clothing stores will pay a small sum for these items which are a quick way of making a bit of money.
“In addition, if your teen has some bigger items such as electronics or sporting equipments that they haven’t used in a long time, they can try using online sites to sell them; which eliminates any form of travel because potential buyers can come to you, with cash,” says Labuschagne.
5. Encourage financial acumen
Whilst your teenager is starting to develop an interest in money through making their own and engaging with it more independently. You need to constantly encourage behaviours that will hold them in good stead as they become young adults.
For example, encourage your teenager to stretch the money that they already have by spending it smartly; for example if they want a particular brand of shoes, can they possibly try a different style in the same brand or change brands completely, thereby saving them a few hundred rands.
“When your teenager starts to make money for themselves; they will start to understand its value and become more financially savvy. Furthermore, if you encourage saving and discuss concepts such as compound interest with your teenager – they will very early in their life see how their money can work for them; thereby creating a healthy and positive perception of the benefits of financial discipline.” concludes Labuschagne.
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