Teens and Money

teen mowing lawnTeens and money don't always go together, but your credit union has some solutions. Here are three ways your teen can earn some cash, begin acting responsibly and make financial decisions for himself/herself.

  • Lawn Care: Chances are your teen is already helping out in the yard. Take it a step further, and encourage him/her to ask neighbors if they need any help pulling weeds, mowing the lawn or planting flowers. You can also help by driving him/her around the neighborhood to look for yards that need mowing or extra care. Create fliers listing services at low prices, and build a client base.
  • Pet Sitting: People always want to make sure their pets are well taken care of. Tell your teen to offer his/her services to make sure pets are fed, nurtured and cleaned. According to about.com, pet-sitting fees can range $5-$15 per visit, depending on the number and type of pets, the number of times visited and what the client will want.
  • Tutoring: What's your teen's favorite subject? He/she can help others succeed. So, why not charge for the help? Advertise in the neighborhood, through friends, at church or at activities.

Finally, remind your teen to PYF or "pay yourself first," and always use his/her Unity One account  to keep money safe.

Teens and money: What's the disconnect?

Teen and moneyMoney doesn't grow on trees, no matter how much we wish. Why is it that teens and money can be such a hard topic for parents to approach? Perhaps it's because talking about money for ourselves can be difficult.

However, financial health and responsibility touches many parts of our lives and can affect our general well-being. According to a 2011 survey by the JumpStart Coalition, 29 percent of teens said the economy is causing them anxiety. Teens and money should go hand in hand, especially since many teens feel a financial responsibility to provide for their futures. Seventy-five percent of 16-17 students say that it's their responsibility to fund part or all of their higher education.

Here are more reasons why financial education is needed now more than ever (source: JumpStart Coalition):

  • Fewer than 50 percent of the students surveyed consider themselves knowledgeable about how to budget money (41%), how to pay bills (34%), how credit card interest and fees work (26%), or whether a check cashing service is good to use (24%), how income taxes work (14%) or what a 401K plan is (13%).
  • Sixty percent of high school seniors did not know that they could lose their health insurance if their parents become unemployed.
  • Sixty-five point five percent of teens that took a 2004 finance survey failed.
  • The lack of time, lack of state curriculum requirements and lack of demand are the top three challenges to teaching financial literacy topics, according to teachers.
  • Also, according to teachers financial literacy skils are lacking among young people in the U.S., and many say that their students need to be exposed to the basic financial skills they will need to function in society.
  • Fifty-two percent of teens are eager to learn more about money management, but only 14 percent have taken class on the topic - 35 percent would like to learn from parents.

Credit unions are great partners in financial education, and they can provide resources for parent. At Unity One, we support materials from the National Endowment for Financial Education that is designed specifically for teenagers. Click below to reserve a handbook today.

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