Turn Holiday Spending Into A Merry Money Lesson


Many families will use the power of plastic to make cash registers ring this holiday season. But that might bring bad tidings after the first of the year, according to a new survey by USAA that asked teens how they learn about money. And unfortunately, racking up holiday debt may be another way parents are teaching bad money management skills to teens.

According to the survey results, nearly three out of four of high-school teens say they learn "a lot" or "a decent amount" about money management from their parents. But it doesn't come from lectures — it's from watching how their parents spend.

Also, remember that there's no better way to teach teens to be accountable for their spending than by empowering them to manage their money. Set up an online savings account and debit card for them, and show them how to manage and monitor their spending on the web. When teens can see how their debit card takes money from their savings account, they'll better understand how that piece of plastic isn't an endless supply of spending power.

Using the holidays to teach teens good money management habits may make you feel more like Scrooge than Santa Claus, but learning to be financially savvy is a priceless gift. Visit usaa.com for more information about teaching your children ways to develop good money management skills.

USAA means United Services Automobile Association and its affiliates.

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