money management basics for teens

The next Big Talk

Talking with teens about money is as important as speaking to them about any other life challenges. A healthy relationship with money starts at an early age. BECU wants to make it easier for parents to help their teens get familiar with managing finances so they can to jump into adulthood with a solid financial foundation.

Encouraging Financially Independent Adults

If you feel unprepared to talk to your teen about finances, you aren't alone. However, conversations about finances are important and chances are your teen wants to have the talk– a 2015 survey by Junior Achievement USA  showed that most teens (84%) want to learn about money management from their parents. 

We want you to feel ready to talk to your teens about money. So, let's get started.

Guide to the next big talk

A simple conversation using real-life examples from your experience with money can get your teen started on a journey toward financial independence. 

To help, BECU created the Next Big Talk Conversation Guide

  • Part 1: Conversation starters and questions for parents and teens focused on the four  pillars of financial health: spending, saving, borrowing and planning framework 

  • Part 2: four activities for parents and teens to do together to reinforce the four pillars of financial health 

To get started, download the guide, be open, be honest and have fun!

More on the pillars of financial health

Money management starts with daily financial activities. Our friends at CFSI (Center for Financial Services Innovation)  have identified four pillars of financial health: 

  1. Spend: Managing cash flow and spending less than your income to save for future expenses and help deal with unexpected events.

  2. Save: Building up sufficient savings to cope with the unexpected, like a car repair or a sudden drop in income. A strong savings account also means you can take advantage of financial opportunities like investing or education.

  3. Borrow: Managing your debt responsibly to avoid getting overwhelmed by late fees or payments, which impact your credit score and can lead to further financial problems.

  4. Plan: Planning ahead by setting goals, preparing for expenses and obtaining insurance are important fundamentals of positive financial health…now and in the future.

The Next Big Talk

Why this is important

According to a survey from the Federal Reserve Board, nearly half (47%) of Americans can't come up $400 to cover an emergency expense without having to borrow or sell something. We know that people with exposure to basic budgeting and financial education principals, especially at a younger age, are more likely to have better savings habits and will be more equipped to handle financial challenges as they arise.

Additional resources 

BECU offers a variety of free resources to help you and your teen continue on the road to financial independence and reinforce healthy behaviors: