to consider the lessons as a way to jump-start his dream of becoming a restaurant owner. “This camp taught me the importance of taking responsibility and how to think wisely about where my money is going. I know how to write a business plan, and that will help make the restaurant a success,” says Domonic, who plans to study chemical engineering and business administration at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. “That’s very important when you’re in the business world.”
Using his knowledge of stock fluctuations, Domonic has begun investing in companies such as PepsiCo and in Vanguard mutual funds. “To say Domonic’s spending and saving behavior has changed is an understatement; he has evolved,” says Terrance. “It’s amazing how the same information repackaged and presented by a stranger can sound like something totally new to a teenager.”
Terrance and Donna Bell urge other parents to enroll their children in educational programs that promote financial literacy. Follow these suggestions to improve your children’s money management skills.
Seek out programs in your area. Listen to local advertising, check community bulletin boards, and search the Internet for financial literacy programs for young people. Community colleges often offer courses for teens. If there are no programs available in your region, “try consulting an expert who can teach a couple of hours a day for a week,” says Terrance.
Make sure the program suits you and your child. Don’t hesitate to ask the administrators and program facilitators plenty of questions. Make sure the level of the topics that will be covered is right for your child. And find out all the costs for the program. “We thought it was a good investment; our money was well spent because he’s learned lessons that can last a lifetime,” says Terrance.
Use peer pressure if necessary. If your child is unenthusiastic, introduce him or her to other children in the program and let them talk without adults present.