Digital tools can help kids build safe money habits
(BPT) - The earlier kids start learning basic financial skills, the better their financial health in the long run, according to research.
When it comes to teaching kids about money, caregivers are asking for help. In fact, 32% of parents are uncomfortable speaking about finances with their own children and 46% are looking for additional resources to help encourage good financial habits, according to a Chase survey of parents across the U.S., with children aged 8–14.
Traditionally, kids learn about money from shopping with adults and having related conversations. While discussions are an important part of learning about finances, online shopping has changed how kids experience spending.
"Families are juggling so many more responsibilities today than ever before, so it's understandably more complicated to find opportunities to teach financial wellness to children or to find hands-on purchasing moments to talk about the value of money," said Anastasia Morgan-Gans, an executive focused on family financial health at Chase.
Fortunately, new tools are helping meet the changing needs of parents and their children. For example, the free Chase First Banking account is designed to help families develop healthy financial habits by putting parents in control and giving kids and teens the freedom to learn how to earn, spend and save money.
Through the Chase Mobile app, parents can assign chores and provide allowance, set amounts and locations of where kids can spend money using a debit card, and help children reach savings goals. Kids interact with the app on their end, too, checking off assigned chores when completed and seeing when their allowance is paid. They can also see how much they can spend and where, as well as their savings goals.
This type of digital tool makes financial literacy discussions easier and brings family money management into the digital age, engaging kids in meaningful ways. In addition to adopting useful tools, it's important to have ongoing conversations about finances. Morgan-Gans suggests starting with some rules for a family ‘contract’ when it comes to having access to an account:
"These tools can help guide parents, so they have the confidence to teach kids about bank accounts and spending — it’s like an account with training wheels," says Morgan-Gans.
If you're buying a car for your teen, safety is probably your highest priority. After all, teenagers aren't exactly known for their driving prowess. However, other considerations, such as your budget and the vehicle's reliability, are important too. Before you turn over a set of car keys to your family's newest driver, take the following considerations into account.
It's Probably Going to Break
Like it or not, the car you buy for your teen is probably going to break. If you're like many parents and buy your teen a low-cost car with a lot of miles on it, it'll simply be more likely to break down due to age. Furthermore, teenagers are usually harder on cars than more experienced drivers. They tend to brake harder, accelerate more quickly and disregard necessary maintenance tasks. Teaching your teen how to maintain their car will help extend the vehicle's life, but you should expect breakdowns and plan accordingly. There are some cars that are safer for teens, but you should still encourage safe driving.
Consider the Upfront Expenses
Knowing the upfront expenses of buying a car for your teenager will help you budget and prepare financially. First, decide whether to pay for the car upfront or to take out a loan. Then, consider having your teen pay for part of the cost of the vehicle. Not only will this take a little financial strain off you, but it'll build a sense of responsibility in your child. Finally, don't forget to budget for car insurance. Adding a teen driver to your insurance is likely to increase your premiums considerably.
Find the Right Car
The car you want for your teen is probably different than the one you want for yourself. To encourage safe driving, look for cars that don't emphasize horsepower, and keep in mind that larger cars are typically safer than compacts. Newer cars generally come with more safety features than older models, but they also come with heftier price tags.
Handing over the car keys to a new driver is a big deal regardless of how prepared you feel or how responsible your teenager is. Adequately preparing yourself and your child for this milestone will give your entire family peace of mind. Know that the car you choose is likely to break down, establish a budget, and take your time finding the right vehicle for your new driver.
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