A lot of the times when we’re looking around the world of personal finance, we see a lot of advice aimed towards young adults and the middle-aged. What bout teenagers? Aren’t they supposed to be into personal finance? Even though they can’t enter into contracts, you’ll find that personal finance lessons as a teenager are incredibly important. Even though you’re not going to have a lot of money as a teenager for the most part, you’re going to really need to think about how you actually spend that money. You want to make sure that you are thinking about the type of future you want, even though people tell you that you shouldn’t think about anything past homeroom and maybe lunch.
Our society is changing to the point where we aren’t going to give older teenagers are type of leeway. If they don’t hit the personal finance field running, they’re going to get squeezed out.
So the biggest thing that we advise teenagers to do is start reading up. Learn about credit above anything else — once you turn 18, there will be a lot of people that are going to try to offer credit, and a lot of people that think you should take it. There’s no rush to get into a bunch of credit cards. There’s also an assumption that if you take out credit cards, it’s not really a big deal — surely you can ask your parents for the money, right?
Instead of jumping to that conclusion, you’re going to want to make sure that any credit that you take out can be handled on your own.
What about a car? Is that a dream that you have? It can be accomplished easier than you think. But you’re going to need to make sure that you have a stable income source of some kind in order to afford a car loan. If financing isn’t what you want to do, then you’re going to need to save up as much money as you can in order to afford the car.
Yes, there are going to be times where you’d rather go out with your friends rather than save your money. It just depends on how fast you want to reach your goals. If you have time to wait, then we definitely say keep a balance — save money, but don’t miss out on the best part of being a teenager!