From piggy banks to that first savings account, many children are taught the value of saving from an early age. But as they grow to adolescence, following parental advice sometimes gives way to peer or media influences, and those once-thrifty children are now teenagers in a consumer-driven world where spending, not saving, is king.
“Nearly everyone falls into two categories: spenders and savers,” says John Cortines, co-author with Gregory Baumer of God and Money: How We Discovered True Riches at Harvard Business School.
Cortines and Baumer suggest this tip for parents can help teens establish good financial habits before they reach adulthood, and pave the way for those teens to become generous people as well as good savers
• Family philanthropy. Even if the gifts are modest, Cortines and Baumer advocate involving teens in the family giving plan. Encourage them to research charities and apply for “grants” from the family’s budget for giving. “The experience of learning about nonprofits will be invaluable,” Baumer says. This is also where another portion of the teen’s earnings from a part-time job could be placed.