Still, there are ways for parents to turn back-to-school shopping into a learning experience, even if teens can't contribute financially. The Capital One report notes that parents and teens together can:
- Sit down to design a realistic budget. If teens want to spend more, they can use their allowance or other income source.
- Search ad inserts and scout out the best sales.
- Shop as a team, allowing teens to be more invested in the process.
"Many parents say they're talking with kids about important concepts like wants vs. needs this shopping season -- which is great news -- but parents can further reinforce those practices by building a shopping budget with teens, discussing priorities and trade-offs, and comparison shopping together to get the best deals," said Solheim.
In addition, the report says that teens may benefit from more inclusion in the day-to-day management of family finances. By teaching them to balance the checkbook, write a budget and pay the bills, parents can help their young adults start learning even before the first school bell rings.