1. Teaching Financial Literacy to Teens: Introduction
  2. Teaching Financial Literacy to Teens: Making Money
  3. Teaching Financial Literacy to Teens: Budgeting
  4. Teaching Financial Literacy to Teens: Credit and Debt
  5. Teaching Financial Literacy to Teens: Cars and College
  6. Teaching Financial Literacy to Teens: Account Reconciliation
  7. Teaching Financial Literacy to Teens: Investing
  8. Teaching Financial Literacy to Teens: Moving Out
  9. Teaching Financial Literacy to Teens: Conclusion

Reconciling an account means making sure that the money leaving an account matches the amount that’s been spent. It also requires making sure that all deposits are correctly noted.

In the days when teens had just a savings account – or maybe both a savings and a checking account – this process was relatively straightforward. Due to the explosion in payment technology, today's adolescents may have several additional accounts that need to be reconciled every month at least. Accounts that can be used to withdraw money, share funds or pay for purchases – including Venmo, Apply Pay, PayPal and the like – mean that there may be multiple places to check for errors. There are a number of money management apps that can help streamline this process. (For more, see 4 Best Personal Finance Apps as of October 2017.) 

Checking accounts and credit cards should also be reconciled each month. While bank and credit card statements are usually error-free, mistakes do happen. Also teach teens to watch for identity theft: for example, electronic withdrawals they don't remember authorizing. Someone could have gotten hold of their account number and used it to tap their funds. If the payment is small, it's easy to miss it.

Teach teens to keep all receipts in a specific place (such as a large envelope or zippered pouch) – or better yet, use a receipt tracking app. When the statement arrives, help your teen check each transaction against the receipts. If you have any questions, contact the bank or credit card company for answers.

While you're looking at the credit card statement, point out the section that shows how long it would take to pay off the balance (and how much it would cost) if only the minimum payment were made each month. This can help encourage your child to spend only what he or she can pay off in full each month.



Teaching Financial Literacy to Teens: Investing
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