How do I teach my teen about money?


By Wanda Buddrius
Manager, BECU Spokane Valley Financial Center

First off, I have some good news for you. You don’t have to be an expert on money yourself, and this is a conversation your teen is actually wanting to have with you. According to a 2015 Junior Achievement USA survey, 84 percent of teens want to learn about money management from their parents.

This is a conversation your teen wants to have with you.

Wanda Buddrius, BECU

So how do you know where to start? Fortunately, there are great resources available that simplify this process and make it fun at the same time.

I refer families to BECU’s “The Next Big Talk” (available at This resource provides relevant, hands-on ways to teach the four pillars of financial health: spend, save, borrow and plan. There are tips for healthy financial behaviors, questions to help start the conversation and activity suggestions for each pillar. Personally, I like the one that not only challenges the parent to have a vulnerable conversation about spending, but results in the teen purchasing and preparing dinner for the family.

My advice: Lean on a great educational resource, customize it to your teen and, most importantly, dive in. This conversation is just as important as speaking to them about other life challenges and can help prepare your teen to better handle future financial challenges. Your teen needs — and wants — to hear from you about money.

NOTE: A version of this article first appeared in the 2019 Liberty Lake Yearbook.

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