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Teenagers & shopping

Talking with your teen about money can go smoother if you keep the conversation age appropriate. The conversation starters and activities here can help you find the words.

Conversations about shopping

  • Recognize your child might not use investing knowledge for years, but talking about how to compare investments can help build comfort and confidence
  • Talk about the benefits, risks and costs of investing. For example, a stock mutual fund, the benefit is the potential for long-term growth, the risk is the potential for losing money, and the costs include fees paid to the mutual fund company regardless of gain or loss
  • Share with your child the idea of not putting all your eggs in one basket and the advantages of a mix of stocks, bonds and cash
  • Share your own stories about long-term investing and what you’ve learned
  • Discuss how much you can contribute to your child’s college tuition and expenses each year
  • Compare college costs, graduation rates, loan default rates, average monthly loan payments, and employment prospects by using the Department of Education’s College Scorecard
  • See what schools cost by finding the “net price calculator” on their websites; know that most families don’t pay the tuition sticker price
  • Use the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) Paying for College tool to compare financial aid offers
  • Visit Federal Student Aid to research additional loans, scholarships, and grants, and use the calculators to estimate your child’s monthly loan payments

Activities about shopping

Whether college is years away or just around the corner, your teenager can explore and compare schools online.

College Scorecard

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Help your teen reach money milestones...