Financial Tips for Teenagers

Imagine having to take a surprise quiz after not reading the assignment. Pretty stressful, right? Now imagine having to maintain a good credit score without having any knowledge of how credit even works. Your understanding of finances plays a big role in your spending habits as an adult. That’s why learning money management skills in your teens is so important.

No need to sweat it! Here are 5 easy tips to help you navigate your finances while you’re still in school.

Start saving money

Just like shutting off the lights when you leave the room, saving money can become a useful habit that you don’t even have to think twice about. If you start learning how to save money now, that habit will stick with you in the long run. Whether you’re getting paid for a job, received a check on your birthday, or have an allowance – you should always save a portion of what you earn. The fewer expenses you have, the more you should save. Starting with saving half of whatever funds you have coming in would be ideal, and then you can adjust as you get older and your expenses grow.

Establish a credit history

Talk to your parents about starting your credit history before you leave home, and perhaps they can add you as an authorized user to one of their credit cards. This process will open a credit file in your name to help you build credit.

In the meantime, learn how to manage credit card usage and avoid debt. Take time to understand what a credit score means and how it can affect you in the future. And don’t forget to always pay your bills on time (that impacts your credit in a big way!).

Track how you spend

Take a minute to think about things you’ve spent money on this week. Did you get coffee or takeout more than you’d like to admit? This is where tracking your spending habits comes in handy. If you know where you spend most of your money outside of necessary expenses, you can find alternatives and work on changing your habits. Instead of getting an iced coffee every morning, instead get yourself a to-go mug and serve up some iced coffee at home.

Use your student ID

One of the best perks of being a student are all the deals you receive. Having a student ID can get you access to big savings on Amazon Prime, concert tickets, events, groceries, movies, travel, subscriptions, electronics, and more. Just ask if there’s a student discount!

Learn to earn money

It’s always a good idea to start earning money as soon as you can. Even if it’s babysitting once a week, starting to make money now will help you grow your independence and freedom. Want to go on a trip with your friends this summer? Find a job you can work after school or over summer break, and start saving what you earn in advance of the trip.

Talking finances may feel overwhelming at first, but there are always resources available to help. If you want to begin your financial journey and start your credit off strong, our financial experts are here to help. Contact us to get started or stop into your local branch to speak with a representative today!

Personal Finance Lessons Students Should Learn Before Graduation

How to make a budget.

It all starts with the budget. Here, students can compare earnings to expenses. It will give them insight into the value of a dollar. With a budget, students can plan for major purchases, eliminate debt and create good saving habits. Check out our budgeting guide here!

How to balance a checkbook.

While few people probably write checks anymore, students should still know how to balance a register. Even if they prefer to use an app to help keep up with their funds, the basic accounting skills they’ll gain from an old-fashioned register will give them insight into how their money flows. It will also teach them that even financial institutions can make mistakes, so it’s good to check the account for errors or fraud on a regular basis.

The real cost of credit cards.

Credit cards have advantages, but as anyone who’s gone into debt knows, those advantages can come at a significant cost if card holders aren’t careful. Understanding how compound interest works and what that $40 shirt will cost them if they take years to pay it off – will help them make wise choices with their credit.

How to build good credit.

Good credit can save them exponentially over a lifetime. Everything from home and auto loans, to job applications will be affected by a person’s credit score. Teaching students about what makes their score good, how to build it and how to monitor it will set them up for years of success.

What to do when it goes wrong.

Having a financial backup plan can make the difference between disaster and survival, when a major catastrophe strikes. Tools such as health and homeowners insurance and a savings account are critical, but increasing numbers of Americans do not employ these resources. Teach students how to plan ahead of time so they can weather inevitable disasters successfully.

Article Source: Jennifer Reynolds for