The effect of the coronavirus pandemic has got many parents worried about their children's financial future. According to a study by Pew Research, close to 70% of American adults think today's kids suffer more financially than their parents. It's easy to see why. Indeed, the pandemic has caused significant learning loss due to school closures and the economic fallout rendered millions of Americans, including teens, unemployed. Financial experts warn that unless things change, these fears may become reality.
While there is little you can do about the nation's economy, you can help your teen plan for the future. Set them up for financial success by helping your teen build wealth early with these tips:
Talk About Money
Talking about money with your teenagers can be tricky. As the pandemic rages, the subject of a financial future can even become scarier. Although many parents are hesitant to talk about money, don't be one of them. Now is a good time to have money conversations with your teenagers.
Research shows that kids who are taught about money through real-life examples are more likely to understand and apply the knowledge. Citing what you and many Americans are going through right now, teach them the basics like needs vs. wants, credit, debt, emergency funds, retirement savings, and more.
Set Goals for a Financial Future
After covering the basics, it's time to help your teen plan for the future. That, indeed, starts with setting realistic goals. Laying out goals and objectives helps keep people focused. However, don't be pushy. Let your child decide what they want to accomplish.
Help Your Teen Find a Job
Now that your teenager knows what they want to achieve in the next 3, 5, or 10 years, help them find work to earn money. As you already know, job hunting can be a daunting task. For teenagers, getting rejections and hitting dead ends can be more discouraging. Instead of waiting until that happens, it may be wise to help.
Don't do all the work for them. Just be the coach who offers encouragement, ideas, and feedback. Let your teen do the real work, like filling out applications and making phone calls.
Explore Additional Sources of Income
Getting that first job can be great to teach children about their financial future. But relying on one job can be tricky, especially if your teen wants to achieve their goals faster. So, help your teens see that they don't need to wait for a raise from their first job to make more money. In today's gig economy, they can make more money through side hustles.
Advise them to take on side hustles like pet sitting, driving for Uber, delivering products, and freelance gigs like graphic design and content creation. Wealthy people often say, working 9 to 5 helps one meet the basics, but it's what you do with the extra hours that determines your level of success.
Recommend a Mentor or Like-Minded People to Teach About a Financial Future
You've probably heard that you are the average of the people you spend most of your time with. Well, it rings true. So, if you want your teen to achieve financial independence early, advise them to surround themselves with like-minded people. These are people who have the same goal. Achieving long-term goals needs sustained discipline, which cracks sometimes.When that happens, like-minded people can help get your teen back on track. This can be a family member, friend, or financial advisor.
Invest in Continuous Learning
Many rich people never stop learning. They don't stop challenging themselves, growing, learning, and losing touch with what's going on around them. If your teen is to build wealth early, he/she must borrow a leaf from them. Encourage them to invest in continuous learning through reading, and enrolling in training courses. This, indeed, may help them get a raise, find more rewarding jobs, or help them grow their side gigs or business.
Teach Your Children to Protect Their Financial Future
The pandemic has made many parents pessimistic about the future. It's OK to worry about our children's future. However, don't let the worry hinder you from teaching your teens about money and wealth creation. It could be what they need to achieve financial freedom soon and thrive. Good luck!