BECU Dollars + Sense

Having the “money” talk with your teen is as important as speaking to them about any other life challenges. A healthy relationship with money starts at an early age. Spend COOK UP A BUDGET PARENT: Ask your teen to choose a dinner recipe to feed the entire family. Give them $20 to go to the grocery store to pick out ingredients. You can also encourage them to look for coupons ahead of time. TEEN: Discuss the price of each item, add it up as you go and review the choices and trade-offs you make along the way. For example, is there another brand on sale or available for a lower price? Can you swap out another ingredient for one that is less expensive? A HEALTHY INTEREST IN INTEREST PARENT: Search for an “interest calculator” on the Internet with your teen and use it to show how small amounts of savings can add up over time. What will $100 be worth 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years from now? Take a step further by researching CD (Certificate of Deposit) offerings with your financial institution or reference the CD calculator on for more savings options. TEEN: With the “save, share, spend” philosophy, you can set aside money specifically for spending, saving for the future and charity. Identify a community organization or non-profit that is close to your heart and consider giving regular donations, which can provide tax benefits in the future. Save Borrow JUNK MAIL – FINALLY GOOD FOR SOMETHING PARENT: Collect all of the credit card offers that you receive in the mail and review them with your teen. Look for the interest rate. Is it promotional with an end date? Is there an annual fee? Discuss the grace period. Do they offer other perks? TEEN: Compare the features and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each offer. You can also play out purchase scenarios–like buying a laptop on credit. If you make the minimum payment, how long will it take to pay off the computer? What will the total cost be, given the interest accrued over time? Plan LIFESTYLES OF THE SMART & PRUDENT PARENT: Write down what you want to accomplish in the long-term—both personally and financially. Focus on your dream job and lifestyle. Where do you want to live? TEEN: Together, research the requirements and average income for their dream job and compare it to the costs of their lifestyle, including groceries, rent or average home prices in their desired community. And if a family is part of the plan, research average childcare costs. Support them in their goals and reinforce the important role that finances play. THE NEXT BIG TALK: THE MONEY TALK THE FOUR BUILDING BLOCKS TO FINANCIAL HEALTH 8 SUNDAY, APRIL 22, 2018 | Sponsored Newspapers In Education Content