Do you remember your first job as a teenager? The happiness you felt at earning your own money and the freedom to pay for things yourself? Today, teens between the ages of 13 and 18 are most likely to babysit, mow lawns, or perhaps even have their own businesses on eBay or other sites. I know quite a few young entrepreneurs who make money by selling homemade doggie treats, glitter slime, and even buying sneakers and selling them online at a profit! Teenagers are finding new and interesting ways to earn money, so how can we help teach them to use that money wisely?

savings pig

Start a Budget
Right from their very first paycheck, it’s important for teenagers to learn how to balance between expenses, savings and discretionary money. Start them off with a simple two column budget: 

  • Money earned to indicate each paycheck
  • Money saved/spent to indicate bills, discretionary spending and any money put aside in savings

The visual will help to illustrate the importance of responsible money handling and will help to prevent overspending when used regularly.

Open a savings account
Did you know that at Rhinebeck Bank, a child can open a joint savings account with a parent or guardian as soon as they know how to sign their name? Talk to your teen about saving 25% of each paycheck; this small habit will go a long way towards building healthy financial habits as they get older.

Talk about Credit Cards
One of the most important conversations to have with your teen when it comes to building good money habits is to talk about credit cards. Once your teen turns eighteen, he/she will be eligible to start applying for credit at stores and online. Teach your teen that credit cards are great to have in an emergency, but should never be used for day to day spending unless they will be paying them off in full each month.

Discuss Identity Theft
In an age of breaches and compromises, it’s vital for teens and young adults to understand the importance of protecting their personal information. Here are some simple rules for protecting identity and sensitive information: 

  • Keep social security cards, driver’s licenses and account information in a secure and safe location
  • Never provide your online banking credentials to ANYONE
  • Shred any documents not needed for tax purposes
  • Visit the FTC’s website for more tips at

Take the time to talk to your teen about money, credit and protecting their information. Sharing your personal stories about the lessons you’ve learned along the way also helps them to understand the importance of managing money wisely. These basic habits will help them build a strong foundation for financial success.

Yvette Temple

AVP, Customer Solutions Manager