(BPT) - With the start of a new school year underway, your teens are already learning new skills. While most of this learning happens in the classroom, there are plenty of opportunities at home to learn other life skills, especially around financial responsibility.
If you haven't had money conversations with your teen, the fall semester is a great time to start. Your student will have plenty of expenses for school, extracurricular activities and their own wants and needs that they'll need to learn how to fund. These additional expenses can be a great entry point into a conversation around how to help them navigate while they cultivate their own financial skills.
Not sure where to start? Check out these three financial hacks to start the school year strong.
1. Work Together
It's never too late (or too early) to talk about spending mindfully and saving regularly with your children. The earlier teens learn the basics of money, the more prepared they'll be for their own financial journey. While finances can seem like an overwhelming subject for you to teach and your teen to absorb, working together and having a real-life scenario will make it easier.
Teach them that conscious spending is crucial to their overall financial health. For example, they may not be aware that they're spending more on their morning latte or online shopping than they'd like. Regularly checking in with your student about their account activity keeps finances part of your family conversations. This also provides an opportunity to help them analyze how much they're earning, what they're spending it on and their savings goals.
Getting started with a bank account early will help set kids on the right path for future financial success. As your child ages, Chase has different options to help on their financial journey, such as Chase High School Checking and Chase College Checking accounts.
2. Expense the Unexpected
With the school year in full swing, unexpected purchases for classes beyond the standard supplies can put a dent in family finances. A study published in 2022 by the Federal Reserve found that the overall share of adults who would cover a small emergency expense using cash or its equivalent has increased to the highest level since 2013 when the survey began. This is likely because these adults were able to increase their savings to cover surprise costs.
It's important to explain to your student that an emergency fund can provide peace of mind to help with life's unexpected surprises. Don't be afraid to start small, as long as you start saving; even if it's just $1 per day, you're creating a resource for emergency expenses. The easiest way to start an emergency savings fund is to automate the process. With Chase Autosave, you can set up a repeating, automatic transfer from your Chase checking into your Chase savings account. Just set the amount to be transferred, forget it and watch your savings grow.
3. Stay on Track
Teaching your student how to create and stick to a budget can help them prioritize their spending and savings habits. For example, while it might be tempting to dip into an emergency fund for a new sport, band uniform or an outfit for the homecoming dance, these aren't true emergencies. Instead, students should look at their budget and plan for those significant expenses by cutting back spending in other categories for the month.
The desire for these costly items also provides a great opportunity to teach your child about financial goals. If they'd like to save for a new laptop or the latest shoes, you can help them create savings goals for these expenses. This way, they can put aside a little money from each paycheck to afford the items on their wish list.
Using these three tips, you can teach your child important financial skills and set them up for monetary success as they age.
To learn more about high school and college checking and savings accounts, visit chase.com/studentbanking. Don't forget to check out the Chase Student Resource Center to learn more about financial health beyond spending, saving and budgeting.
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