There comes a time in every person's life when they start to save for a major purchase. For many, this happens during their teenage years. It could be something like a car, a trip, equipment for a new hobby, or any number of other things, but the bottom line is that saving like this is one of the first steps a child takes into adult financial responsibility. If this sounds like something on the horizon for your child, try out these four ways to help a teen save for a big purchase that might be able to set them on the right course while teaching some valuable money management skills.
1. Provide a Timeline
Odds are good that you've likely been in a similar situation to your child at some point in your life. While what they hope to buy may not be something you've purchased in the past, you probably have a good idea as to how long it will take to save for something of similar value. In order to help a teen save, take some time to sit down with them and work out a basic timetable for when they can expect to save. You can even present some ideas for how to save extra, so they don't deplete all of their savings on a single transaction.
2. Negotiate a Pay Raise
If you're providing an allowance for your teen, you might want to help them out with a bit of a raise in that department. However, just handing over more money isn't the best lesson to send. Instead, send the message that you're open to negotiating a pay raise on the work they do around the house. This can both get them closer to the thing they want while teaching them a valuable skill to have in the job market. Far too many people settle for the basics and don't inquire about anything better, so setting them straight on how to properly discuss a salary will pay off in big ways down the line.
3. Help in a Job Search
Depending on how big the purchase is, chores and allowance probably won't cut it when it comes to saving up. For this and many other reasons, your teen might be on the lookout for a job, so why not help them out? Teaching a child how to search for a job is a good lesson to learn, preferably before you're stuck unemployed or underemployed for a long period of time. You can be as hands-on or hands-off as needed here, but the important part will be making it known you're open to providing guidance upon request so as not to impose yourself too strongly.
4. Think About Sales to Help a Teen Save
Research is a big part of making any big purchase. As you look into what your teen hopes to buy, make sure to be on the lookout for any sales or discounts that might appear. Finding information on annual sales for a specific business your child hopes to buy from is a good place to start, as that's something you can factor into the total cost and your timeline. As the big day gets closer, you might also want to double-check for any flash sales or other deals that might have appeared since you last went looking. This also goes for finding alternatives at a lower price, as you could potentially save a ton on the same kind of item just by looking in a different store or on a different website.
Saving for a big purchase is a large responsibility for anyone, but especially a teenager. Try these four ideas to help a teen save up while also teaching them good money management skills in the process.