Teaching Homeschooled Teens Financial IndependenceMarch 7, 2022
Public schools may not appreciate the importance of financial literacy for teens, but the great thing about homeschooling is the control over the curriculum we teach. Adding finances to your teen’s homeschool education can give them a leg up in adulthood.
Your teen will soon be heading off to college, managing student loans, getting their first job, and managing their finances entirely. So, you must adequately educate your teen on achieving financial independence. Read on for guidance on how to teach financial independence to homeschooled teens.
Prepare Them for College Expenses
Many homeschooled teens will choose to go to college once they graduate. Your teen must know about the unique financial expenses of a college or university education to remain on the path to financial independence.
For instance, your teen may have to take out student loans if they plan on going to college. Therefore, they must understand everything about taking out student loans, especially how to pay them back and their relation to credit scores. This is because if they’re constantly late making their student loan payments or default on them, it will adversely affect their credit scores. We as adults know how bad credit can become a dark cloud over your finances.
So what can you do? Take yours and other homeschooled teens on college campus visits. Make it a point to visit the financial aid office and have any questions answered about the college expenses and how to pay for them. Encouraging your teen to get a summer job is also an excellent way to teach them financial independence.
Encourage Your Teen to Get a Summer Job
A summer job is a beautiful opportunity for your teen to grow their financial knowledge. They’ll learn taxes, how to calculate net and gross income, how to cash checks, saving, and so forth. In addition, they’ll learn to appreciate money more because of how hard they have to work to obtain it.
Summer positions are usually made for teens to gain real-world work experience without overwhelming them with a load of a full-time job. Babysitting, dog-walking, and tutoring are great summer jobs for teens because their application requirements and schedules are flexible.
Furthermore, getting a summer job can help your teen focus on where they want to go career-wise.
Motivate Your Teen to Focus on Choosing a Suitable Career
You should absolutely be asking your teen what they want to do when they grow up. This may change as they get older, but having a vision for their life will help them understand finances even more.
Encourage your teen to explore various career options. For example, you could make career exploration a part of their education by doing assignments on potential careers. You could also have them talk to career counselors and participate in extra-curricular activities with other homeschooled teens that focus on defining their next steps after high school.
Next, help your teen open a checking and savings account.
Open Checking and Savings Accounts
Financial independence will become even more real to your teen when they open a bank account. The responsibility of managing a checking and savings account will prepare them for what’s to come in adulthood.
During a financial literacy lesson or home economics course, take your teen on a field trip to the bank to open their own checking and savings account. Allow them to research which banks are most suitable for them and their financial goals. Then, have them set up an appointment with the bank they choose to open their accounts. Putting them in charge of this process will hopefully inspire them to take control of their financial independence altogether.
Gifting your teen books and literature on financial independence can also teach them necessary financial concepts.
Gift Them Books and Literature on Financial Independence
Sometimes, it’s best to let financial experts, money enthusiasts, or wealthy people teach financial independence. Implement financial books and literature into their lessons. Encourage them to create and join book clubs with other homeschooled teens that focus on financial freedom.
Another way to teach financial independence to homeschooled teens is to assist them in creating and sticking to a budget.
Assist Them in Creating a Budget
Anyone financially independent will tell you just how important budgeting is in the journey. If you help your teen create and stick to a budget now, they’ll be more inclined to take this practice with them when they become an adult.
You can assist your teen in creating a budget for themselves by implementing financial literacy into their homeschool curriculum. Budgeting is one of the main topics regarding financial literacy. Making this and the other financial literacy concepts a part of your teen’s everyday education will give them an advantage when it’s time for them to step out on their own.
Lastly, be sure to lead by example when it comes to finances.
Lead by Example
We’ve all heard the saying that “Kids do what they see, not what you tell them to do.” Financial independence is no different. Take an in-depth look at your finances. What’s your debt-to-income ratio? Are you adhering to a household budget? How are you saving? What sources of income do you have? What’s your approach to paying off debt?
Answering these questions will help you gauge your financial situation. From there, you can continue if things are moving in a positive direction. Or, be open with your child and make adjustments that will better your finances and take the journey to financial independence with your teen.
Ultimately, it’s a lot easier to teach your teen financial independence when you’re doing all that you can to be financially independent yourself.
Teaching financial independence to homeschooled teens is integral to them thriving as adults. Making financial literacy a part of their homeschool education and daily life will ensure they’re well-equipped to manage and grow their finances as they get older.
More About the Author:
Sam Bowman is a writer who enjoys getting to utilize the internet for the community without actually having to leave his house. In his spare time, he likes running, reading, and combining the two in a run to his local bookstore.