By Kathleen Pignone, M.Ed., CRC
Financial Literacy is a much-discussed topic in the field of transition planning and life skills acquisition. Basically, we want our teenagers and young adults to have competence or knowledge in this broad area. Who is responsible for teaching this? Schools, parents, other community providers? The simple answer is all of the above.
Here are 10 quick, easy and hopefully engaging ways to support financial literacy and lots of other life skills in teenagers and young adults while juggling all of our other many parental responsibilities.
- Plan a preferred meal or dessert and make a budget for ingredients – learn cost comparison and cooking
- Calculate a tip in a restaurant – teach about tipping habits and budgeting; similarly schedule a haircut and pay adding tip calculation – learn multiplication and practice phone skills
- Provide a menu of chores and determine prices for duration and frequency – help teens be seen as resources to parents by providing a menu of desired activities and a money value associated with each task
- Help plan for a vacation – pick an activity in the destination and price it out or cost-compare flight options
- Cost out weekly snacks – make decisions about healthy spending and healthy eating habits
- Volunteer at school bake sale with your teen – practice making change for cash purchases while helping fundraise and give back to your school community
- Purchase birthday card and/or birthday present – model how to budget and cost out how much for a DIY card and birthday present versus buying both from a store
- Figure out how much it will cost to fill a gas tank – determine how far can you get on one tank of gas versus an hourly salary for entry level competitive job
- Bus fare or uber fare comparison – great conversation about wants versus needs!
- Play an online financial game with your teenager, such as Financial Soccer by Visa or Plan It Prom App – learn together how much it costs to attend a prom (and subsequently plan for the expenses) or play a fun game where both parents and teen can learn together
All of these activities teach saving, budgeting, financial goals, wise use of credit, cost comparison and other key executive functioning skills. Hopefully this will make spending time with your teen enjoyable and educational.
About the Author:
Kathleen Pignone, M.Ed. CRC is a deeply knowledgeable and experienced transition specialist. Prior to her tenure at NESCA, Ms. Pignone was the Career Development Director at Bay Cove Academy for 15 years, providing students with classroom and real-world employment skills training, community job placement and on the job employment-training. She has also worked at Massachusetts Department of Secondary and Elementary Education and privately as a vocational rehabilitation consultant. As a certified rehabilitation counselor, Ms. Pignone brings unique expertise carrying out vocational assessment and employment planning for adolescents and young adults as well as supporting local school programs. In addition to fortifying NESCA’s premier transition assessment services, Ms. Pignone engages in person-centered planning with teens and young adults, consultation and training for parents, providers and schools, and community-based coaching services.
To book a transition assessment or consultation with Kathleen or one of NESCA’s expert neuropsychologists and consultants, please complete NESCA’s online intake form.
Neuropsychology & Education Services for Children & Adolescents (NESCA) is a pediatric neuropsychology practice and integrative treatment center with offices in Newton, Massachusetts, Plainville, Massachusetts, and Londonderry, New Hampshire, serving clients from preschool through young adulthood and their families. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 617-658-9800.