Recently my daughter turned 16! You know what that means….a driver’s license! That was scary enough for her over protective parents, but we quickly learned there was another thing to be scared about…..apparently freedom means spending money! In the first week of getting her license she did a couple of very responsible things – she got gas for the car and she got groceries for the family. Nice! But she also did some things that, in hindsight, I should have anticipated….she got a coffee each day (“But Mom, it was only $4 each day”), she went to lunch with her friends (there was nothing to eat at home…please refer back to grocery shopping) and she spent some time and money at Barnes and Noble.
The moral of the story is this…even with a parent who works in the financial industry, my daughter didn’t fully understand that she didn’t have an unlimited amount of money in her checking account (yes, she has had a debit account for over a year). So begins the task of educating her about what a budget is and how to stay within the budget! First step: shut off overdraft protection. Now if she uses her debit card and there is not enough in the account to cover her coffee, it will reject rather than pulling from the savings account her Dad and I have worked so hard to accumulate! My hope is this will motivate her to actually write in the check register I gave to her. Stay tuned for more tips on how to help your teenager through the world of financial management!
Charlotte Nemec— VP of Administration/Spokane Federal Credit Union