Teaching Teens About Money Management
Once your child reaches the teenage years, it's the right time to get into more depth about money matters. While your 10-year-old may have a piggy bank and a modest allowance, not to mention all that Tooth Fairy loot, it's not nearly enough bucks background to take him or her into adulthood feeling financially fit.
We want our kids to grow up with peace of mind when it comes to their financial state, so giving them the ammo to make wise decisions when it comes to money makes perfect "cents."
Here are 4 useful parenting tips to help your child learn more about money management while they're still young. With sage savings and spending advice, your teen will move into adulthood well-prepped with financial independence and confidence.
1. Plan a Weekly or Monthly Budget
Focus on the Familysuggests, "Help your teen write out a monthly budget that is based on income and expenses." Consider his or her needs for spending and how to plan ahead of time.
AOL Finance recommends, "Instead of handing out $20 bills when they're heading out with their friends, you can teach them to control their spending by limiting them to a specific amount each month. You'll need to be ready to say no when they ask for more money after they spend all of the allowance in the first week, but that's the only way for them to learn."
With the weekly or monthly amount your teen has to work with, they can pre-set their spending accordingly. He or she can mindfully allot a percentage for movies with friends, trips to the local diner, or gas for his car. When the money is there when they need it, they'll know they've done a good job with budgeting carefully. And as an adult, when there's more money to deal with paired with more and greater expenses, they'll have the tools to manage wisely.
2. Encourage Them to Get a Job
Not much will teach a teen more about the value of a dollar than when they've had to work for it. They will understand (finally) that money doesn't grow on trees and should be saved and spent wisely.
AOL notes, "Before that first paycheck arrives, make a plan with your son or daughter for saving part of every check. Determine whether the rest of the income will go toward a specific financial need or whether your teen will have full control over the money."
Free Credit Report encourages parents to help their teens find work. "Teenagers should be encouraged to start earning their own money as soon as possible, and they don't necessarily have to wait until they're of legal working age. Families are always looking for babysitters, and if your teenagers have particular talents, such as home improvement, gardening, or arts and crafts, encourage them to start their own business. If your teens want more traditional jobs, help them create resumes."
A strong work ethic paired with the independence your teen will gain financially will be one of the most valuable life lessons they'll receive.
3. Set Up a Bank Account
As per Focus on the Family, it's important to "Set up a personal savings account (for your teen) at the bank for long-term savings."Bankrateadds, "Starting a checking account early for teens is a key way to avoid pitfalls later. It helps them better learn concepts related to money and can give them valuable practice in a safe environment."
Teach your teen how to deposit and withdraw money, how to manage a checking and savings account, etc. Monitor their activity for safety and in the case they might be mismanaging their money. A teen checking account "gives you joint account holder status and complete access, while also letting your child monitor and manage the account online or with a smartphone," as per United Services Automobile Association (USAA). NerdWallet recommends some teen checking account optionsfor your child.
4. Teach About Investing
It's never too early to plan for the future. As per USAA, "The earlier teens understand that retirement is the biggest expense they'll ever save for, the better off they may be. If your teen earns income, think about opening a Roth IRA."
If you're not well-equipped to provide such information to your teen, Focus on the Family notes, "Some banks and credit unions offer workshops on these topics for free." You may learn something useful too!
You can also use an online calculatorto "show your teens the value of investing some of their money for retirement now," as recommended by Free Credit Report.
With money management know-how, your teen will be right on the money with his or her financial future! Start talking about money matters with your teen today.
Looking for a job? In addition to encountering those annoying never-ending job interviews you may find yourself face-to-face with an artificial intelligence bot.
Companies worldwide increasingly use artificial intelligence tools and analytics in employment decision-making – from parsing through resumes and screening candidates to automated assessments and digital interviews. But recent studies claim that AI does more harm than good.
While AI screening tools were developed to save companies time and money, they’ve been criticized for placing women and people of color at a disadvantage. The problem is that many companies lack appreciable diversity in their data set, making it impossible for an algorithm to know how people from underrepresented groups have performed in the past. As a result, the algorithm will be biased toward the data available and compare future candidates to that archetype.
The City’s Automated Employment Decision Tools (AEDT) law is designed to offset the potential misuse of AI and protect job candidates against discrimination. It was enforced on July 5th, 2023 in New York City - with other cities and states expected to gradually follow suit. Employers must now inform applicants when and how they encounter AI. Furthermore, companies have to commission a third-party audit of the AI software used, and publish a summary of the results to prove that their systems aren’t racist or sexist. Job applicants are able to request information regarding what data is collected and analyzed by the AI. Violations of the law can result in fines of up to $1,500.
Replacing Human Hiring Decisions
However, should a job applicant want to opt-out of such impersonal judgement by a bot, the new law's scope is quite limited.
While the law specifies that instructions for requesting an alternative selection process must be included in the AI screening disclosure, companies aren't actually required to use other screening methods. Not to mention that the law only applies to AI in hiring and not any other employment decisions. It also wouldn't apply if the AI, for example, flags candidates with relevant experience, but a human then reviews all applications, making the ultimate hiring decision.
Some civil rights advocates and public interest groups argue that the law isn’t extensive enough and that it’s even unenforceable. On the other hand, businesses say that it’s impractical, costly, and burdensome, and that independent audits aren’t feasible.
Responsible use of AI in hiring
Although this law may be a good first attempt to assign more regulatory guardrails around AI, it remains to be seen if it ensures the responsible use of AI in hiring processes. At the end of the day, perhaps recruiting talent should remain a human-made decision.
The good news is that AI can help companies without harming potential job candidates in many ways – such as connecting new employees with internal organizational information and company benefits during onboarding. Or helping employees to do their jobs more effectively rather than replacing them.
There’s all this talk about solo travel. And for good reason — no wasting precious time waiting for others to get their act together, take the plans out of the group chat and actually buy the tickets. Going solo, you can be spontaneous. You can plan your trips according to your precise tastes. You can hop on any flight and fly awayyyyyy.
But what if each time you flew you’d get a free ticket? That’s what you get with the Southwest Companion Pass.
Award status, upgrades, lounge access — there are many perks in the frequent flier game. But one of the coveted holy grails is the Southwest Companion Pass.
What is the Southwest Companion Pass?
The Companion Pass is part of Southwest’s Rapid Rewards program. You get to choose one person to be your “companion,” and they fly with you for free (plus some taxes and fees) on every flight. That’s right. Two for the price of one. That’s half off each ticket if you split it! Whether you’re flying with a partner, family member, friend, or anyone else, they can tag along for free.
And it gets better: once you earn the pass, you can reap the rewards for that full calendar year … AND the next. That’s why people go mad trying to earn a companion pass during the early months of the year. The sooner you qualify, the longer you can use it.
There are also no blackout dates. There are no limits. And if you didn’t purchase the ticket (think: work travel, your companion, or a generous benefactor), there are no restrictions! As long as you’re the one on the plane, your companion can also … be on the plane.
You can also switch out your designated companion 3x a year. So, no need to stay in a relationship simply to get the most out of your companion pass! Ghost and fly away — with a whole new companion!
If this sounds too good to be true — it’s not. But there is one small catch. It’s kinda tough to earn this mega reward.
How to qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass?
You can qualify for the pass in one of two ways:
- Fly 100 qualifying one-way flights
- Earn 135,000 qualifying points in a calendar year.
Clearly, this is no small feat — especially if you’re trying to qualify ASAP.
So how do you actually earn the Southwest Companion Pass?
Don’t worry, there’s a path to earning this amazing reward without climbing on 100 flights or spending an exorbitant amount of money.
Earning 135K reward points may seem completely impossible, but it’s easier than it sounds. Simply sign up for a Southwest Credit Card and turn those spending habits into a rapid rewards account. Through the Rewards Priority Credit Card, earn points when using local transit and commuting, plus score major points and miles whenever you spend.
Stay with me here. This is not some scheme to get you into credit card debt. Many airline cards come with potential savings, giantic rewards, awarding you points, and cashback with every purchase you make that can be redeemed for travel. And often they can come with passive sign-up bonuses. If you spend a specific amount of money within a certain timeframe of opening the card, you can be in for a windfall of points.
Now that’s where the companion pass comes in:
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card
- Southwest Priority Credit Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card
- Southwest Performance Business Credit Card
Southwest has three personal cards and a business card. Each of these cards offers rewards between 30K-80K points. In the past, people could open two cards and get a bonus that granted enough points to almost meet the minimum. However, with new restrictions on personal cards, you can only get one bonus every 24 months. Boo!
However, this doesn’t apply to business cards. If you’re eligible, have good credit, and not likely to spiral into insane credit card debt, you can open a business card and a personal card, and accrue 100K+ points. The Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card will get you points after you spend money in no time.
Now to earn the rest of them.
The secret to gaining these credit card points is to plan your card sign-ups around big purchases. Just before a recent move, I opened a card . . . and the rewards came rolling in — a small balm to ease the pain of how exorbitant moving can be.
Put everyday spend — especially big purchases or bulk items — on your Southwest credit card and watch your award points quickly add up. Typically, you earn 1 point per $1 spent on your Southwest card and 2 points per $1 on actual Southwest purchases.
But there are other ways to earn points, including:
- Flying Southwest: Booking travel on Southwest earns more points. The cost of this travel will be worth it with your companion pass
- Shopping from Rapid Rewards Partners: Purchases with Southwest’s “Home & Lifestyle” and “Shop and Dine” Partners also earn Companion Pass qualifying points. While you shouldn’t make gratuitous purchases, browse Southwest’s partners to see if you could earn extra points for items you'd be purchasing anyway. All this, simply from enrolling in their Dining Program and shopping with their partners.
So there you have it! And since it’s almost Spring, get to earning and soon you’ll be flying two for the price of one!