Do u txt? Gr8. If u don’t, now’s the time to learn.

According to the Nielsen Company, the average U.S. teen sends 3,339 texts a month — more than six during every waking hour. And that’s just an average.

It’s tempting to go all OMG about our kids’ texting obsession. But here’s another idea: Harness that obsession for good and use it to get kids to hear what we have to say about money.

If we want to get kids talking, thinking and learning about how to be more financially responsible, there’s no better time than now–April is Financial Literacy for Youth Month– and no better way than texting. 

Wondering how to get started? Not to worry.  Here are a few ideas for openers that will catch your kid’s eye and get you both talking about money.  “BTW, I have BTDT and this really works.” 

1.) TTYL about wat ur going to do with ur bday money from gma and gpa. LTS. 2nite at dinner?

2.) I am willing 2 match dollar for dollar the $ u make at ur summer job. R u good w/ tht? Lets MIRL 2 talk about it.

3.) Ur savings is lonely! JW when ur going to stop by and make a deposit.  Wanna go to the bank today? PTB

4.) Just deposited ur allowance to ur checking account.  JW how much money u want to deposit in ur savings account?

5.)  Lets have a FTF to talk about college expenses.  Lunch this weekend? 

6.) JW if you have thought about getting a job?  NOM but this summer u need to earn some money. *W* *W*

7.) Saw ur fone bill. OMG! N/C. Lets talk about how to get tht bill paid!

8.) Time to go through clothes in closet to make donation. DYK when u will have time to get this done?

9.) Watsup? Today is payday? How much do u want to put in savings?

10.) DYK that ur savings just passed $100? Gr8 job!

Try these out and email me with the responses you get in return from your kids.

Text glossary (listed alphabetically):

BTDT: Been there, done that
BTW: By the way
DYK: Did you know?
FTF:  Face to face
Gr8: Great
JW: Just wondering
LTS: Let’s talk soon
MIRL: Meet in real life
NOM: No offense meant
N/C: Not Cool
OMG: Oh my Gosh!
PTB:  Please text back
TTYL: Talk to you later
Ur: You are, your or you’re
$: Money
*W* Wink

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Written by Susan Beacham
Susan Beacham founded Money Savvy Generation in 1999 after almost two decades in private banking and investment management complemented by considerable time teaching at the elementary level.


  1. cinderella10383 March 22, 2011 at 8:45 pm Reply

    Love this idea, this is one of the only ways it seems to get teenagers to listen now a days. The cell phone was a great invention for emergency uses but a horrible invention when it comes to teenagers and driving

  2. dinosmu March 24, 2011 at 10:03 am Reply

    Yeah I want to talk to my kids about money and texting is just another form of communication, but I don’t think I can encourage the butchering of the English language! Too many teenagers think of “text-speak” as real words now! I’m a college professor and have had to fail students assignments because they can’t respond in full sentences! I don’t know if I agree with parents encouraging that part. If I text my kids they are still going to get full, proper words.

  3. Susan Beacham March 24, 2011 at 3:18 pm Reply

    I agree with both commenters. No one, especially teen drivers, should text while driving. I also agree that text-speak can undermine the English language when we communicate electronically. I fully endorse engaging one’s teens via text message while using proper English.

  4. leslieforman September 12, 2011 at 8:31 am Reply

    I like this post. My brother’s favorite form of parental communication is definitely the text message, and I can see this being a good way to bring up sometimes-challenging topics like money.

    I integrated this suggestion into a post I wrote for AgentPiggy, a new online piggy bank for kids. You might be interested in checking out the post:

    Keep up the good work! I’ll email you in a moment.

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