Money Skills Every Tween Should Have

What your tween should know about earning and saving

As your child rounds the corner towards the teen years you might need to consider taking the time to educate him about the all mighty dollar. Tweens need to know about earning money, saving, investing, spending and budgeting. There's a lot of material to cover so take the time every now and then to talk about money and personal finance. Below are a few ways you can bring your child up to speed on getting the most out of the money he has.

Money Management for Tweens

Work on a Personal Budget: If your tween earns money by doing chores, helping neighbors, or running a lemon aid stand it's not too early to teach him about writing a personal budget. A budget will teach your tween to plan for expenses (like fun activities or special activities) and work towards a goal. A budget may even help him make decisions on how his money should be spent. Would he rather save his money for something special or blow it all on snacks at the concession stand?

Careers in Finance: There are a number of ways people can earn a living and make a career in the finance industry. Educate your tween about possible future careers. Have your tween research what it takes to become an accountant, a personal investing advisor, a stockbroker, a credit counselor or a mutual fund portfolio manager. Who knows? Your tween may discover an interest in finance that you never knew existed.


Invest in the Future: Your tween is old enough to know that there are different ways to put your money to work for you, each with its own set of risks. Teach your child about different savings and investing options, such as saving accounts, mutual funds, stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit and even real estate.

Talk about the upside and the risks involved, and explain the difference between aggressive (and risky) investing and conservative (and safe) investing. Explain your personal investing philosophy to your tween.

Shop for Bargains: If your tween likes to shop, he needs to know how to get the best deal, and save whenever possible. Help your tween research ways to save money -- by buying used, shopping at thrift stores, going to garage sales, comparing brands, and checking out close-out stores. Challenge your tween to save as much money as he can on his next big purchase, make it a game and he'll have fun while learning while he hunts for the best bargain. 

Follow the Market: The stock market can be a fascinating study even for a tween. Have your tween pick a few stocks to "buy" and then follow them over the course of a few months. Did he make any money? Did he loose? How did the ups and downs of the market impact his investments? Did current events impact his investments? 

Share Your Finances: Your tween doesn't need to know all of your financial secrets, but you could clue him in on what it takes to run your household.

A financial reality check will show your tween how rent, a car payment, groceries, clothes and other responsibilities eat away at your paycheck. Educating your tween might also help him be a bit more responsible about keeping your expenses down a little. 


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