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A Financial Guide By Jessica Jedel


• Fat Wallets – Beyond an Allowance – Other sources

• Go Green • Smart Spending – Being careful with money – Budgets

• Plastic, Plastic & more Plastic – ATM & Debit Cards – Credit Cards and Debt


Allowance – how much? This is a discussion that you should have with your parents based on your needs and what they can afford. If you need a starting place, some advisors say that you should receive $1 for every year you have lived. However, some kids get as much as $40 a week. It is all up to your family and how much you can afford.

Negotiating If you’re asking for a larger allowance, come up with a plan before you talk to your parents: List how you’ve been wisely spending your money and how you plan to use the money in the future Offer to take on more household responsibilities Stay calm Don’t compare your allowance to other’s - only explain your needs and your specific situation.


Jobs! There are plenty of jobs out there for teens: tutoring

life guarding

yard work

babysitting

retail

fast food

Find something that you are good at and enjoy or dive into a new experience and learn something new!

Side Note: If you don’t know how to swim, please don’t be my lifeguard!

Networking Your friends and family can help you score an awesome job somewhere. Connections can help you throughout life! If you don’t have a connection to somewhere, a lot of applications are online and you can apply there. Start From Scratch If you can’t find a job you like, don’t be afraid to build your own company. Rebecca and her sister are very busy people. They have school work on top of swimming every day. they created their own jewelry company. They have a website and make their own jewelry, all while under the age of 18. Creating websites, writing books, or selling stuff on eBay can all be sources of income.


Your family may have money in other places for you. Ask your parents if there are savings bonds, or stock invested for you. A lot of times this money is saved for your future, like college. However you could talk to them about changing the plan for another large goal that would come sooner


Bobby went to the mall and saw a watch he loved. He bought it. Then he saw a new pair of shoes. He bought it. Soon enough he spent his entire pay check. Does that sound like you? Have no fear! There is a way to change that.

Saver or Spender Mini Quiz If there is a 10% off deal at your favorite store, would you A. Pass up the deal B. Buy a shirt even though it resembles your collection of 20 shirts from the same store You and your friends love the movies, but not the prices A. You wait a couple of weeks for the movie to enter second rate theaters B. You buy the tickets so you can tell everyone about the movie

You go to the store to buy a toothbrush A. You get the toothbrush and leave B. You get the toothbrush, and mouthwash, and gum, and a magazine


If you choose mainly B you are a spender. Don’t worry if you’re a spender. You’re young and enjoying yourself. Spending too much now, though, could mean you have less to live with later on. The earlier you start saving, the more options you’ll have later on.

If you choose mainly As, you are a saver. Being a saver means you have a good start for your financial future, but it doesn’t mean you’re a better person than a spender. Make sure when you’re saving, you have goals. Save money for your goals, but occasionally spending money is part of the fun of being a teenager.

Start Saving Today! 1. Look for Deals Don’t use coupons as an excuse to buy something you didn’t already plan to buy. Use coupons and sales as a reward for waiting to buy that new pair of jeans. Also, keep in mind that fashion has different seasons. Shorts are popular during the summer, but not very popular in the winter. The best time to buy shorts, then, is in winter.

2. If you save before you spend your money, you’re guaranteeing yourself that there is money for your future. You will know how much you set aside for your future goals.


3. Carry less money when you go out When going out, you are less likely to want to spend $10 on a burger when you only have a $20 in your pocket. 4. Leave your plastic at home It’s very tempting to pull out the plastic for an impulse buy. It doesn’t seem like real money, but you will pay for it later when the bill comes in with the paper money. 5. Find Alternatives Spend your time with free activities. Going to the park, hiking, watching street performances, having a movie night at home are all fun, FREE activities. You don’t always need to spend money to have fun. 5. Write Down Goals and Check them Regularly Remind yourself of why you want to save your hard earned money, and use it as a progress checker. 6. Designer clothing is made for the red carpet, not everyday life. There is no reason to spend hundreds of dollars for a t-shirt. There are great quality clothes at the {less fancy stores} 7. Spend Less Don’t spend your money on Starbucks every day. Be reasonable with your daily expenditures.


Ever had a goal, but didn’t know how to get there? For example, you’re trying to climb to the summit, so you used a map. A budget is like a map to help you reach your financial goals. Start by writing all your expenses and income for a week. Make sure to include how much you take in from allowance, work, gifts, and so on. At the end of the week create a chart like the one below.

A budget is a great way to figure out how much you can spend while saving. On your chart, make sure to list your necessities first. *You could you’re your budget to talk to your parents about an allowance*


Seeing how things are Where are your biggest inflows/outflows? Were you aware of how much you were spending. Just being aware of your spending habits can go a long way.

Start Saving Today! 1. Set Goal and how long you will take to achieve it You might want to save up for a new pair of sunglasses, a car, or a new phone. If you want to save $600 for your goal, you would have to save $50/month and prepare your budget around that. 2. Pay yourself first When making your budget chart, make sure to set aside money. Like in the previous example, take the $50/month out of your available spending money.

Try to figure out areas where you can spend less each month. You can work more, but that might be harder as a student. Budgets are extremely helpful, especially when saving for a large goal like a car.


ATM Card An ATM Card, aka an Automatic Teller Machine Card, is used to withdraw cash from a savings/checking account. You use a 4 digit pin at the machine to withdraw the desired amount of cash. When you make your PIN, make it hard to guess but memorable to you. Not your birthday, Social Security number or address. Maybe your 4 favorite numbers. Or your dog’s birthdate. Not all ATMs are made equal though. Each can come with a fee when you withdraw the cash. However, we are paying for their convenience. You can basically withdraw from any ATM, anywhere in the world. BE CAREFUL! – ATMs can have risks • Keeps track of what you withdraw • The fees can catch up to you, and it may not be worth withdrawing every day. I recommend withdrawing what you need for the week, if you have to withdraw money. • Make sure someone isn’t stealing money • Protect your PIN • Don’t share your PIN with anyone but your parents • Don’t write down your PIN • Block the ATM when withdrawing cash to prevent thieves from learning your PIN


Debit cards are very similar to a ATM machine. Debit cards is a direct link to your account. Your debit card can be used in store or online, unlike an ATM. Usually you set up a special account for your debit card. You will receive regular statements about how much you spend, when, and where. Check these over to make sure someone didn’t take your card and that you weren’t overcharged. Keep your receipts to verify all of this.

REMEMBER! Plastic is still is money! Be careful that you don’t spend beyond your means. Keep your budget in mind when you spend your money. Debit Cards allow you to spend only as much as you have, so there it is not possible to go into debt.


What is it? Every swipe is a promise to American Express, Visa, Capital One, or whichever company that you will pay them back for the products you just bought. You are borrowing money from the. However you have to pay to borrow that money.

Ann: “Hey can I borrow you phone to call my mom?” Joy: “Sure, but only if you give me that Snickers”

Ann wanted to borrow something of Joy. Ann paid Joy in the form of candy for the use of the phone. Credit card companies and you work in a similar way. Interest rates are symbolized by the Snickers. To borrow money from the credit card company, you have to pay a percentage of the money borrowed back to the company.


Borrow $5000 for a used car 10% interest 3 years to pay it back Total interest: ($5000)(.10)(3) $1,500 If you borrow $5000, you have to pay back the company for the $5000 and the additional $1,5000. When the interest rate increase, the borrower has to pay more. The cartoon has this summed up pretty well.


1. Convenience Instead of saving for a product, then buying it when you have the money, you can buy the same product with delayed payments. You can enjoy the product while paying it back. In addition, credit cards are much easier than cash. When making a big payment, you can use your credit card, instead of carrying the exact cash with you.

2. Build Up Credit This may seem far off for a teen, but you need to have a good credit history for all kinds of loans. Paying back bills on time give you credibility as a trustworthy money borrower. Later down the road, more people and companies will give you loans and with lower interest rates. Also – if you pay off your full balance on credit cards at the end of the month, you don’t have to pay any interest.


3. Emergencies This section is saved for expenses that you were not expecting or saving for. For example, a credit card is very handy if your car broke down and you need to pay for a new battery on the road. “Needing� a new shirt does not classify as an emergency, despite the need to match your outfit.


Combatting the Debt Monster People can get into debt if they are borrowing more money than they can afford to pay back in a timely manner. Because credit card companies and other lenders have interest fees, debt can grow bigger by the day.

Staying ahead of this monster by spending what you can afford, paying back bills, and keeping track of what you spend are simple ways to keep your life in your hands.

Because credit cards can be dangerous financially, minors can’t have a credit card account. You can, however, have a card from your parents account with your name on it . Even though your parents pay the bills, you get to establish credit if your parents are reliable bill payers.


Sources These are the resources that I used to create this quick guide. I recommend checking these books out. Some of them are pretty interesting and they can add to anything you learned in this guide. Bijlefeld, Marjolijn, and Sharon K. Zoumbaris. Teen guide to personal financial management. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2000. Print. Chantiri, Emily. The savvy girl's guide to money: take charge and get the life you want. Thunder Bay ed. San Diego, Calif.: Thunder Bay Press, 2007. Print.

Gardner, David, Tom Gardner, and Selena Maranjian. The Motley Fool investment guide for teens: eight steps to having more money than your parents ever dreamed of. New York: Fireside, 2002. Print. Modu, Emmanuel, and Andrea Walker. Teenvestor: the practical investment guide for teens and their parents. New York: Berkley Pub. Group, 2002. Print. Shelly, Susan. The complete idiot's guide to money for teens. Indianapolis, IN: Alpha Books, 2001. Print.

So You Want Some Money?  

A brief financial guide for middle schoolers and their parents. Great starting off point for those who have little experience with teen fin...