Here's a Tip...Start Saving!
By Courtney White, Stride Career Prep Success Coach
If you don’t already know the importance of saving, even now as a teenager, let me clue you in. It’s TREMENDOUSLY important, and it’s arguably the most cardinal thing you can do in terms of being financially savvy. You may think it’s too early to concern yourself with money matters, especially saving, if you don’t think you have very much. But, saving money is a great habit to develop as early as possible, and it will certainly help you once you graduate, start your first job, and begin managing your new living arrangements and other purchases. Make a goal to start saving now!
Set up a checking and savings account
Set up a checking and savings account, if you haven’t already. You can probably already think of many reasons to have a checking and savings account. These accounts offer benefits such as the ease of making debit card purchases, the convenience of managing your money online at your fingertips, quick accessibility to how much you have and how much you’ve spent, and of course, an easy way to store money… just to name a few. Another key benefit of these accounts is gaining mastery over how they work, as this can lead to greater financial literacy. Additionally, it will help you establish a relationship with a local or national bank, which will be beneficial to you later, if you need to establish credit or obtain a loan.
Take advantage of apps and digital tools for checking and savings
While we’re on the subject of digital banking through checking and savings accounts, another pro-tip to manage your finances, as a teenager, is to use other mobile apps and digital tools. Your smart phone is a great resource for connecting you with guidance on how to best manage your money. There are apps that help you track what you spend, allow you to tip yourself every time you earn, and encourage you to save by using creative ways to show you how your money grows. Check out the app store on your mobile device for some digital assistance with becoming a financial pro.
Educate yourself on debt
As a teenager, you’re unlikely to have any major debt. It’s also something you probably don’t think much about. Debt is something that cripples many people as adults, however. Don’t let this happen to you! The best way to prevent accumulating overwhelming amounts of debt is to educate yourself on how to avoid unnecessary debt, and generate awareness of the hazards of things such as using credit cards and student loans, as a means to fund your lifestyle. If college is on the horizon for you, you may already be thinking about taking out a loan to finance your education. While this may be a necessary and important step, it is wise to ensure that you are always staying abreast of the amount you owe. Do not borrow more than necessary to cover your school expenses, and if possible begin making payments early. Having an informed and educated approach to debt management and borrowing will guarantee you have the knowledge to secure a bright financial future.
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