From credit cards to savings accounts, the basics of financial responsibility should begin early in the teenage years.

The wise use of money and credit is a lesson best learned early in life. Persons who are in debt and who are under financial stress tend to feel depressed, anxious and suffer from poor self-esteem.

Adults are not the only ones who suffer. According to Rand D. Conger "A Family Process Model of Economic Hardship and Adjustment of Early Adolescent Boys" [Child Development, 1992] families also may suffer from everything from divorce to family-wide despair. All of the of this points toward prevention being a key to avoiding financial ruin and aim for financial freedom.

Teenagers need to understand some of the basics, especially as they approach an ager to be able to obtain credit in their names. And while teenagers may have to be 18 to obtain their own credit cards, their are a number of helpful financial products teenagers of any age may enjoy and learn.

The idea of savings for wants and needs can be an important value to instill. Parents can assist their teenagers in obtaining a student savings and checking account. Teaching kids the idea of paying themselves first by placing a small amount in savings is essential. Even by beginning to save $25.00 per month, teens will have $300 not including interest.

There are couple of interesting strategies to explore with just a $25 fee. Savings yields about $356.00 with an aggressive savings rate. Teens are also welcome to invest is certain fund and other stocks and bonds. Reyna Gobel shares some more specific ideads on Investopedia.

Checking accounts are wonderful teaching tools for teens. Accounts offer a responsible way for teenagers to set goals with their money while having to be responsible of taking care of the amounts. Both Wells Fargo and Bank of America offer zero costs checking accounts under certain conditions. These accounts provide teens with their own checks and ATM cards. However, certain deposit amounts are required and parents will need to co-sign the account to be compliant with FDIC rules.

There are even some credit cards willing to place a card in a teen's hands as a secondary card holder. Parents will need to be very vigilant in reviewing charges and make the teen responsible for any items on the card. If the teenager does have charging privileges with a parents card, parents should review each bill with the teenager, explore why the item was charged rather than paid for and the teenager should include a check from their account to pay for the charge.

A quick review of some essential tools for any teenager to learn good financial skills include:

Assisting the teenager in opening a youth or student checking account with very low monthly charges.

Teaching a teenager to read both a checking account and savings account statement.
Review any charges on credit cards and ask why it was charged rather than saved for or purchased outright.

Limit the teenager to just one source of credit as they are beginning to practice their financial skilsl.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Reece W. Manley, DD, M.Ed., MPM
Author, Psychotherapist, Seminar
Inventor of the Spirit Thinking series at