As a young adult, it’s hard to think about saving and budgeting your money. In high school and possibly the early years of college, you’re most likely making minimum wage or not much more. You may be fortunate enough to get an allowance or have most of your expenses paid for, but it’s still important to learn the value of money. Here are some guidelines to help manage your money effectively.
Use a savings account.
If you don’t have one of these, go ahead and open one with the help of a parent. Having your savings in the bank instead of in cash under your bed will make it less tempting to take from. Even adding as little as $10 per paycheck will really pay off when it’s time to start college.
Budget your income.
Turn your spending into smart spending. Putting some money away into a savings account is a great way to begin. Next, it’s important to make a budget and stick to it. Plan your monthly spending and compare it to how much you actually spending. Make a budget worksheet in excel to keep things organized.
Understand credit and how it works.
If you have a checking account and use a debit card, setup online banking to easily check your balance. It’s probably too early to use a credit card, but be sure to learn about them before you get one. Familiarize yourself with interest payments and learn good credit management. Building good credit is important, but getting behind on your credit early can be a big hill to climb out of.
Ask a million questions.
Use parents, older siblings and other mentors as a resource. Ask about how loans work or about credit card fees from those around you with experience. No question is a dumb question!
Expenses like prom dates, gas money and spring breaks can add up. Get organized with your finances and set goals for yourself. We’ve all been there and trust that you’ll be glad you did!