12 Things Every Teenager Needs To Know About Money (And How To Teach Them)

This is a guest post from Grant Baldwin, the author of Reality Check, a book about helping students transition into the real world.  His new website, BrokePiggy.com, answers questions from teenagers about personal finance, savings, and all things money.

This series “12 Things Every Teenager Needs To Know About Money (And How To Teach Them)” is a community blog experience.  This post is only one of the 12 points in the series so to view the other 11, please visit the list of links below.

Do What You Love, Love What You Do

In the book “The Millionaire Mind” by Thomas Stanley, he discovered several different common characteristics among millionaires.  One of the leading traits of financially successful people: a passion for their work.

To them, it’s not just a paycheck.  It’s more than just a Monday through Friday J-O-B.  The work they are doing doesn’t feel like work.  It feels more like a calling.

As a motivational speaker for teenagers, I regularly present a workshop at conferences and conventions called “What the heck am I doing with my life?” in which we discuss the importance of finding work you love.  And as Stanley’s work indicated above, doing work you’re passionate about may have a direct impact on your income.

Here are the three characteristics I teach students about when choosing a career path:

  • Passion – If you’re not passionate about what you’re doing, you should find something else. Life is too short to do something just for a paycheck. We all need to work. We all need to make a living. Wouldn’t rather do something you love? The danger is that pursuing something you’re passionate about is risky. What if you fail? What if you’re not good enough at it? What if you burn out? All are valid questions but far too often, people play it safe and end up looking back on a life of regret for what could have been.
  • Talent – The fact is nobody wants to do something they’re not good at. Do you? I like playing sports, and I’m pretty competitive, but if you’re killing me at some game, that’s no fun for me. Now if I’m destroying you, that’s great for my self-esteem! The unfortunate thing is we are often taught to figure out what our weaknesses are and improve on them. The problem with this is we can often do this at the detriment of our strengths. There are some things in life I’m never going to be that good at, so I want to spend my energy on the things I do well.
  • Enjoyment – Far too many people live life with the mentality of “Thank God, it’s Friday” to “Oh God, it’s Monday.” What a miserable way to live life! This may sound strange, but I actually look forward to Monday morning. I look forward to getting back to doing something I love. It should also be pointed out that no matter how much you love what you do, you won’t enjoy every job 100% of the time. There are some things that just come with the territory but the good should far outweigh the bad.

Here are the rest of the articles in the “12 Things Every Teenager Needs To Know About Money (And How To Teach Them)” series:

This is a guest post from Grant Baldwin, the author of Reality Check, a book about helping students transition into the real world.  His new website, BrokePiggy.com, answers questions from teenagers about personal finance, savings, and all things money.

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Filed Under: Personal Development

About the Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor® and spent a few years working as a financial planner. Today, he helps people make the most of their money by writing about personal finance here and elsewhere on the web. Jeremy is also Coach at Adaptu and a regular contributor for other publications such as Intuit, and American Express. Be sure to follow Jeremy on Twitter or Google+.

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