Don’t lecture.  Instead, use stories and share your experiences.  As much as you think appropriate, share your family’s situation, including your budget, savings, insurance, and investments.  Take money out of the closet.

Encourage questions.  Nothing should be off the table.

Walk the talk.  Kids watch what you say and do.  Often the unspoken messages are the most powerful of all.

Make concepts and examples relevant to their lives.  Having a savings or investing account, an allowance, or making them an authorized user on a credit card all are ways to help your teen learn by doing.

Among African American youth, girls tend to outpace boys in understanding finances, and later in life, tend to manage finances better.  Be careful with implicit and explicit biases when talking to boys.  Help your sons become as financially strong as any of his female counterparts by giving him the same skills and knowledge to succeed.

Discuss your values.  So much of money management has to do with our personal priorities, so show your teen how they can connect the two.  Fancy car or college fund?  Expensive vacation or helping an aging parent?  Include your teen in these important decisions.

Don’t be afraid to say, ‘I don’t know.’ Seek out the answer together!

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