A Thoughtful “Top 10” for Teen Financial Literacy, by Melissa Pazen

Today’s post features parenting coach Melissa Pazen.  As a coach who often works with young families, she takes a thoughtful approach when considering the important lessons that parents must instill into their impressionable teens about money and money management.  Here is Melissa’s list for parents to consider:

1. Respect for resources and belongings: Take care of what you have and you won’t need to replace it as quickly. Reduce, re-use, recycle.

2. Respect for self & others: Benjamin Franklin said “Neither a borrower nor a lender be.” Before it’s time to go out on one’s own, developing good habits show you respect yourself and your abilities.

3. Respect for self & others: No whining! If you don’t have the money, you don’t have the money.

4. Discipline: review income (allowance, earnings, gifts) and determine percentage of each to save. (I work more with parents and suggest they model good money management and be honest with your child about decisions to save/spend and choices among purchases.

5. Discipline: avoid frivolous expenditures if there are bills to pay or more important expenditures to come in soon.

6. Responsibility: While family and friends can help you budget, you’re in charge of your money — now AND later! Learn this now and your credit rate will be better.

7. Flexibility: So you planned and saved to buy something. Then an unforeseen expense comes along. Growing up means dealing with the things that “happen while you were making other plans.”

8. Attitude of Gratitude and Abundance: Especially in the US, we’re beyond fortunate. So many of us have more than we need. Recognize that what you have is good and make a point of keeping a gratitude journal or stating thanks to keep yourself and your desires in perspective.

9. Charity: Even if you have only a dollar, a few pennies can be given to others. Again, we’re very fortunate. You probably know others who aren’t.

10. Deal with Reality and make Realistic Goals: While you may not have everything you want today. A realistic appraisal of your skills and abilities will allow you to plan your life, (and your money). You most likely can be anything you want to be. It will take work, but nobody ever said life was meant to be easy!

To learn more about Melissa and her work, click here.

© WealthQuest for Teens, Ltd., 2011 All rights reserved worldwide.



  1. Nice list, Melissa. I really like the fact that you connected these 10 ideas with a teen’s real life. It makes the theories much more relevant than having a discussion about investments and IRA’s with a 16 year old.

  2. Melissa…thank you for writing this to parents. So many parents these days are focused on sheer academics that they don’t leave time or energy to teach their children the financial life skills they must have to move into adulthood successfully.

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