parents

This post is for every parent who has dished out too much money on One Direction.

Bern with her daughter.

They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and it appears that “they” might be right.

My 14 year old daughter and I have a lot in common but our mutual love of music seems to be the area where we bond most.

When I was her age I landed my first job in a fast food establishment and within minutes of receiving my first paycheque, I headed over to the mega record store to put my first ever stereo on layby. I’m not even sure the kids of today would know what layby is, but back when I was a teenager, it was the only way to buy items that we didn’t have the upfront cash for. There was none of this “12 months interest free, take it home now” business. No, back then it was all about wanting something desperately, waiting until we had the minimum deposit and then patiently paying it off, instalment by instalment. The day I could finally take my purchase home was a very sweet day indeed.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by CUA – Life rich banking. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100 per cent authentic and written in their own words.

The thing is, children and young adults, until they start to work for it, have no concept of being rewarded for their actions. As a general rule, adolescents, or children are quite irresponsible with money. And I guess, why shouldn’t they be? They don’t have those monetary burdens placed upon them at a young age and nor should they. But they should definitely understand its value. And this is where I’ve found it is so very important to educate all three of my children on not only the value of money, but earning it and then saving at least SOME of it, especially as a teen.

Here’s what to say next time your teenage daughter asks for something One Direction.

So how do you teach your children that saving now, building up a little nest egg, is a good thing? You find their sweet spot, that’s how. The thing they want the MOST. It could be an iPad. It could be clothes, makeup, Lego, jewellery or say, One Direction tickets. Yes, One Direction tickets. That is where I found my particular teenager’s weakness.

I’m pretty sure if you looked up One Direction in the dictionary, you’d find a picture of myself and my husband showing you the insides of our empty, gutted pockets, frowning. We have spent endless amounts of money buying her all kinds of paraphernalia associated with these guys. So when she asked to see them in concert, I decided it was time to shut down the bank of ME and tell her it was time to work and save for it. Old school.

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When I reached 16, my mother made a deal with me. Being of limited means, she couldn’t of course buy me a car but she did make a deal with me. If I could put half of my weekly wage away, she would match it and help me buy my first car. It was like a switch flicked within me the minute the offer was put on the table and each and every week I handed over half of my pay to her. When it came time, two years later, I had a great little deposit, which she dutifully matched and one of the biggest purchases I was to make as a young woman, was made.

Now my daughter, as I mentioned, is only 14 and not yet able to work but she does babysit and earn pocket money for doing various chores around the house. So, the announcement that the boy band she would literally sell a limb to see was touring, seemed like the perfect time to teach her about the value of money, the value of saving, the value of waiting for and working towards something she desperately wanted.

So, she too now, after discussing it, is handing over half of the babysitting and chore money she receives and banks this each and every week into her  savings account. By Feb 15 next year, when the concert is held, she will have enough in her savings account to pay me for the tickets.

Sure, I could have easily just bought these for her and handed them over and I’m sure a lot of parents do this, but I need for her to know that money doesn’t simply appear from a magical ATM machine in the wall. That we ALL have to work hard and save for what we want and that she shouldn’t get used to the instant gratification of having it “now” because that is ultimately a dangerous trap.

How do you teach your teenagers about the value of money? Any tips you can pass on?

These are the things that make washing your parents car for $10 worth it… …

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