Consumer Watch: Talking to kids about summer jobs

Summer jobs are a good opportunity for kids to develop better financial habits (file).

Summertime isn't all hanging out - many students take on their first part-time jobs. Having your own money, maybe for the first time, brings the overwhelming temptation to spend it all. That’s why it’s a good time for parents to start talking to their kids about good financial habits.

“They can put a little bit away each and every time they get paid to help establish some savings, “says Jennifer Lown, chief marketing officer with Oklahoma's Credit Union.

Teaching kids to save a percentage of their income is a priority. A common goal is to save 10-percent every time you get paid. That first job is also a good time to teach them about using a bank.

“A checking account is going to be a great way for them to access their money using a debit card and keep it safe-- better than carrying cash around, “says Lown.

In the Internet Age, there should also be a focus on identity protection. It's also important to remind kids to regularly check their accounts and to be careful when entering financial information on websites to make purchases.

“Today it is incredibly easy to login to online banking or mobile banking, and check your account balances and make sure you are not going to take out more money than you have, “says Lown.

Kids under 18 cannot enter into a contract, so a parent or guardian would have to be on the account. Most banks have accounts for young people that have protections like not allowing purchases when there isn't enough money in the account.

Talking to kids about short term and long term financial goals can also help them decide how to spend their money. This could mean something like opting to spend less for a few weekends to buy a new bike.

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