The value of money is hard to define. It is even harder to define as a teenager when funds from flipping burgers at the local diner are not paying for the brand new video game console. Ask yourself the following questions to help prepare and save as a teenager.
What are my financial responsibilities?
From car payments to birthday gifts for friends, you will have responsibilities to save for. Make note of these responsibilities and plan accordingly. You may need to spend more money around the holidays or when going back-to-school shopping. It is important to plan for unexpected costs as well. Your car may need a new battery one day or you may want to go out for the baseball team and need to pay the registration fee. Financial responsibilities could also include clothing, hygiene products, admission to social events, gas, and car insurance. As a responsible individual, be aware of the cost of your needs and wants.
What is my budget?
When determining your budget, think of all your expenses. Consider how much you want to spend on each expense a month. Consider if you need another job to help pay for your expenses. Think about future expenses and how you will be able to cover them. Reevaluate and adjust your budget on a month-to-month basis. Keep track of what you spend in order to be prepared for the future.
Do I have set goals?
With the responsibility of saving and budgeting, it is also important to think about the future. Every teen should set financial goals for themselves. Many teens save for going to college or for moving out of their parents’ home when they turn eighteen. Other common expenses of a teenager include: buying a car, recreational activities like sports and video games, clothes, and books. It is important for you to consider the long term effect of saving as you set financial goals.
How am I using my bank account?
Benjamin Franklin once defined savings as “a penny saved is a penny earned.” Bank accounts are a great tool to help teenagers save. With a bank account, you can manage your own money, learn about the value of interest, and gain the responsibility of a bank relationship. Many banks offer special savings accounts for teenagers; although, some require a parent to co-sign the account.
Are my parents helping too much?
Parents are a great resource for advice on how to save and budget money. Talk to your parents about ways to save and what financial plan is best for you; they may offer help and financial assistance. Accept their help but know when to say no. Take advantage of any jobs parents have available around the house. It is easy to get comfortable spending your parents’ money, but as a growing young adult, do not rely on them too heavily.
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