5 Money Tips for Teens
Teens, you might think you are too young to think about money management, but these are the best years to learn personal finance best practices and start saving money. It can be overwhelming, so here are a few simple tips to make it easier.
1. Track your spending
Keeping track of your spending helps to establish a budget and good money habits. Record your expenses and try to categorize them so you know where you are spending most of your money. Does the local coffee shop have your order memorized? Do you make weekly mall runs? Tracking your money doesn’t need to be a time-consuming process. Look into budgeting app options. Bonus Tip: if you use a debit card with rewards like Affinity’s Cash Back Debit Card, you can start earning money on your expenses too.
2. Shop with friends
Bringing a friend with you helps keep you accountable to your budget, especially if you are a notorious over-spender or impulse shopper. And for things like back-to-school shopping, think about items you can buy together and split, so you can both save some cash.
3. Always pay yourself first
Whenever your paycheck comes in, no matter the amount, get in the habit of sending a certain amount directly into savings before you do anything else. Even if it’s a few dollars each week or month, it adds up – especially if you start now and use savings accounts that earn extra interest like Affinity’s SmartStart savings account. And if you set up an automatic transfer into savings, the money will be out of your checking account before you even realize you have it.
4. Educate yourself
While things like credit scores, retirement savings and investing may seem like far off financial worries, they’re closer than you think. While you have the time and your finances are still fairly simple to manage, take the time to learn about these financial terms and how to set yourself up for success. Affinity has educational materials such as articles, videos and more you can tap into to take control of your finances early on.
5. Build credit
Credit cards come with great responsibility, and the potential for risky spending habits, but learning how manage credit cards well can be a make or break for your finances. Consider asking your parents to add you as an authorized user on their credit card or open a starter credit card1 for yourself. It’ll help you build credit and learn priceless money management and responsibility skills that prepare you for when you gain access to larger credit limits.
It really is never too early to start cultivating the right spending and saving habits. The best thing you can do is educate yourself and make sure you have the tools needed for success. If you focus on these five tips and money habits, you might be surprised by how prepared you are going into college and beyond.
This information is for informational purposes only and is intended to provide general guidance and does not constitute legal, tax, or financial advice. Each person’s circumstances are different and may not apply to the specific information provided. You should seek the advice of a financial professional, tax consultant, and/or legal counsel to discuss your specific needs before making any financial or other commitments regarding the matters related to your condition are made.
1 Retrieved from https://wallethub.com/credit-cards/teenagers/