We can’t emphasize enough the importance of teaching our children about money right from an early age, but that also extends to their teen years. In fact, we should all try to educate ourselves about money throughout our lives.
When it comes to clothing, most teenagers are heavily influenced by their peers or the celebrities they happen to like at a particular time. If their best friend happens to come from a wealthy family and is in the habit of buying $100 T shirts, they may decide they also want to buy a $100 T shirt. This is where you can apply a budgeting lesson. If you normally give them $100 a month for clothing, you can set them free at the mall and see what they buy. If they blow the entire budget on one T shirt, do not give them any more money. They need to learn that they could have bought 5 very nice shirts for the price of that one designer T shirt that probably advertises the brand to the world. Not only did they pay an obscene amount for a T shirt, they are also giving free advertising to a company that has brainwashed people into thinking that their products are worth that much.
The same kind of idea applies to food. Teenagers love to hang out, and most of the time they will be found at mall food courts or fast food restaurants. This can get expensive if they are doing this every day on their lunch break from school. Again, a set amount of money for food is critical for them to understand budgeting. All of us get tired of bringing sandwiches to school or work for lunch everyday, and it is a treat to go out for lunch once in a while. Teenagers need to understand that if they buy their lunch every day, they will never get ahead. They can still hang out with their friends that do this every day, by buying something that is much cheaper from the value menu and eating the lunch they brought to school when they get back.
Regardless, we can’t keep handing money over to our kids every time they ask for it. That will set a dangerous precedent for when they are older and have jobs. If they are still living at home, but earning a full time income, they must be required to pay some rent. Otherwise, having access to a lot of money could allow them to get into trouble with too much partying or worse.
Here is a great video that has some great advise