Does your teenager know the real value of money?

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I spoke to my 13-year-old son the other day about learning the value of money. My Dad used to say this to me when I was younger every time I asked for some money for the shop and I always thought

“Well, I know the value of money” whilst looking down in to my hand.

“that one’s 10p, that one’s 50p, the shiny gold ones are worth £1 and the paper ones are the most valuable”

His words were clearly lost on me.

After many years and sleepless nights worrying about how I could budget my outgoings, I seem to, finally, have a pretty good handle on my finances. There’s not much to have a handle on to be honest but I at least know we won’t starve!

Anyway, the reason my son started the financial discussion was because he decided he wanted to start his own business.

“What kind of business”? I asked.

“I don’t know” Was his reply…

I wasn’t sarcastic with my response (I know, bloody miracle), I didn’t want to put him off. I just made it clear to him that knowing the type of business you want to own is kind of important. Anyway, he settled on window cleaning and wanted to know if people could work for him. I explained that he should build up his client base first and then think about taking people on. This is where we got to talking about money, he wanted to know how employees got paid, as in where the money comes directly from. This eventually lead us on  to credit cards, debit cards and loans.

I do not like loans, they are stupid and dangerous, the only way it would be safe to get a loan is if you are capable of paying it back straight away in one lump sum. In which case you wouldn’t have needed the loan in the first place. They are nothing but trouble and I have made this perfectly clear to my son.

Credit cards can be equally as dangerous if in the wrong hands, however I do believe that they are helpful for building a decent credit score if used wisely and sparingly and as long as you are keeping up with payments.

I got the impression that the idea of debit cards confused him. I suppose if you’ve never had access to a bank account or bank statements then you wouldn’t understand where the money comes from and where it goes to when you’re paying for utilities, rent, food shopping etc.

He was a little surprised when I was reeling off the list of monthly payments and I got to ‘TV Licence’, he was gobsmacked by this one (aren’t we all).

However, our little money discussion has hopefully stirred something in his brain and he might start to think more clearly about how he spends his money.

It did get me thinking that for many of us we don’t understand the value of money until we’re in our late teens, early 20’s, sometimes later and this is unacceptable. I firmly believe that some of this should be taught at school, as much as I think it is a parent’s responsibility to teach them to respect money they should at least be taught about bank accounts and budgeting.

I drew a diagram to show my son the ins and outs of my bank account. I thought a visual aid might help make it seem less boring. Obviously my bank account activity will differ from others but the general idea is the same.

I shall have a follow-up blog with exactly what he thinks. I’m interested to see if he even realised the extent of what goes out of my account every month, or if he even cares! I haven’t put individual amounts of money on the diagram as I don’t want to disclose that information, I will discuss the figures with my son though and see if his perspective of my financial situation changes. I’m also going to start giving him a better insight in to how his bank account works and that money doesn’t magically appear there… He might start out in 2017 with a better financial mind-set 🙂

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My finances at a very tiny glance!

Don’t ever let anyone make you think you’re not good enough. 

Follow your dreams right now! Don’t wait until tomorrow, 

next week, next year. Stop planning, start doing 🙂

‘Blind faith is no way to run a world’ – Victor Stenger

 

 

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