Teenage financial responsibility means more than ever in these tense economic times

Some teenage financial responsibility tips come easier than others. Parents try to teach a young man or woman to fish, rather than feed them for a day.

As any parent of a teen can tell you, however, this is not an exact science. This is an age when kids want to be free and independent, meaning they may not follow adult advice.

If you are a worried parent or guardian, you are not alone. Here is a look at a few ways you can help teach teenage financial responsibility as they mature.

When does teenage financial responsibility begin?

The answer to this question is different for each parent. You may be able to start working with your son or daughter on a budget as early as 13 or 14. In fact, here are steps parents should take with their kids as soon as they reach school age:

Create a system of chores and allowance

This will develop a strong work ethic. Rather than just giving them a weekly allowance with no work system, try to help a child see that money ought to be earned.

Encourage part-time jobs

Teenagers may rebel, but most only do so because they want to taste true freedom from their parents. If they expect to have their freedom subsidized, they are likely to keep expecting money long after their teen years from their parents, even if they do not earn the money.

Once they reach the age of 15 or 16, show them how working after school or on weekends will keep them out of trouble while putting extra money in their pockets.

Discuss driving, cell phones and other privileges

Even if you as a parent can afford to buy these things, it helps to have a teen pay for the ongoing monthly costs. This will teach them the value of a budget.

How much of teenage financial responsibility revolves around a budget?

Most of it. More than anything, you should show your teen how to plan for initial purchase costs, recurring bills, late penalties, replacement costs and so forth.

What if advice about teenage financial responsibility just does not sink in?

Teens spend money on frivolous purchases. They also tend to expect parents to replace damaged or lost clothes, video games and other items.

Set the ground rule that you will not replace items they do not respect. Tell them you will not pay for overdraft fees from their first checking account. These can be hard lessons they learn once and remember forever.