Teens, Tech and Money

If you are a parent of a teen, the words “tech” and “money” often conjure up ill feelings. However, teenagers can surprise you, sometimes in good ways.

As a financial planner, I have relished all opportunities to educate my daughters about money and finance. We’ve talked about needs versus wants, the evils of credit card debt, what stocks are, and the importance of saving money. It’s all fun to me, and they have even tolerated my long, very elegant explanations.

My elder daughter has been working and saving lots of money in her regular bank savings account so she decided it was time to open her own checking account and get a debit card. I was naturally eager to explain all the little tricks to managing a checking account and keeping her checkbook in balance. It was time to be a useful dad.

Well, she turned the tables on me completely.

Text from her with a photo of her new check register: “Look at me adulting”

Me: “Ooh, exciting! I’m so proudJ”

Her: “Haha wanna know something really cool?”

Me: “Yes. Please.”

Her: “I have the (bank name) app and so I took a picture of the front and back of my work check and it deposited it”

And I thought I was some sort of financial ninja! My daughter later gave me a tutorial on how to use the mobile banking app and suggested I give it a try. A day later I received a text from an app saying that she had sent me an online payment for her cell phone bill. I clicked the links and followed the instructions and received her deposit to my account. Wow, that was cool!

What was my first financial lesson from my childhood? I remember my mom telling me she opened a CD for me at the savings and loan that was paying 12%. I had no clue. Ah, the 80’s. On the other hand, she didn’t tell me her mortgage rate.

All of us at Starks Financial Group are big fans of financial literacy. So, we are excited to sponsor along with OnTrack Financial Education and Counseling, a rock ‘n roll financial literacy tour stop in Asheville this October through the non-profit organization, Funding the Future. Featuring the band Gooding, Funding the Future’s in-school rock concert program promotes the importance of financial literacy primarily to middle and high school students. Stay tuned for more details.

I am still clinging to the hope that I get the chance to lecture my daughters on the miracle of balancing a checkbook. But, I’m not holding my breath. I’m sure there’s an app for that.