How to Deal With Teen Budgeting

By Kathryn Hatter
Help a teenager learn how to budget her income.
Help a teenager learn how to budget her income.

Teenagers tend to have a variety of expenses, including entertainment, clothing, food and even school fees, perhaps. One of the skills a teenager needs to learn involves budgeting money to ensure that it stretches to meet every obligation. Although budgeting money can be challenging, learning this life skill while still living with parents can be better than learning as an adult. Give your child support and guidance to encourage strong money management.

Help your teenager figure out her monthly income, recommends Agora Financial for Families as part of George Mason University. Income might include allowance, wages and cash gifts. If this amount remains steady, there's no need to readjust the figure every month. If the income amount varies, your teen will need to project her income every month.

Calculate your teenager’s regular expenses and write each one down. Possible expenses might include a cell phone bill, clothing, gas and school fees. Encourage your teenager to designate a percentage of her income for saving and also for charitable contributions.

Subtract the expenses from the income to determine whether your teenager’s income will support her expenses. Any money left over is discretionary spending your teenager can use for entertainment or extra spending.

Discuss possible solutions if your teenager’s expenses are higher than desired. Possible solutions include cutting expenses or finding a way to earn more money by performing odd jobs, working more hours at a job, babysitting or selling unwanted items.

Tell your teenager you will always be available for troubleshooting or consultation if she encounters difficulty with budgeting or meeting financial obligations. Encourage her to approach you with problems before they become emergencies. An example of an emergency might be needing to pay a bill, not having the funds to do so and waiting until the bill goes overdue before seeking help.

Engage in financial and money conversations often, suggests The Mint website. Talking about money, money management, budgeting and spending frequently encourages responsibility.

Set a positive money management example for your child. Strive to set a budget and maintain it. By spending within your limit, saving and making charitable contributions, you set an effective, positive example for your teenager.


Some parents pay school fees for a child and other parents include money to cover school fees in a weekly or monthly allowance. A benefit of the latter option is that it encourages your child to learn responsibility for budgeting and paying expenses. Providing an allowance encourages your child to learn money management skills, states the KidsHealth website. Provide ongoing supervision and support as your teen learns how to budget money and make it stretch to meet all obligations.

About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.