Top Money Tips for Teens

Hopefully you have found clever ways to earn money this summer. Getting a job is probably the best way, but there are other ways too, such as…

Mowing lawns
Babysitting
Selling things on eBay
Dog-sitting
Starting a small neighborhood business
Doing work for your parents
Being a caddy at the local golf course

Avoid loaning out money to people without first getting a written statement of repayment and/or collateral. Never assume that you will be paid back when you want, if ever at all.

Avoid borrowing money unless it is an emergency. Always pay people back as promised and on time.

Develop a savings plan. Put away a specific percentage each time you earn money. Place it in a piggy bank that does not allow for easy access to the money.

Avoid using credit. Credit may seem like free money, but what really happens is that you pay for the item later, and at a highly inflated price. It is very easy to get trapped by using credit and the credit card companies know this and use it to make a lot of money off of you. Use cash instead.

If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it!

Shop around before making a significant purchase. Make sure you are getting the best product at the best price.

Find out what the return policy is before making a significant purchase. You don’t want to get stuck with a defective product that can’t be returned.

If you have a checking account, always make sure you have enough money in the account before writing a check. Most banks charge a considerable fee for having insufficient funds. Besides, it is illegal to write bad checks!

Always maintain a minimum amount in your checking account that you will never go below (for instance, $100) then assume that once you get down to $100, there is no money left in the account.

Set financial goals then develop a plan for reaching them.

Avoid spending money on unnecessary things. For example, why spend $15 dollars eating out when you can eat at home for free? How about renting a movie instead of paying $8 at the theater? Each time you feel like you did something to save money, put the difference in your piggy bank. It will add up quickly.

Purchase things using only bills then put your leftover change (coins) in a piggy bank. Deposit it every six months or so into your savings account. It, too, will add up quickly.

Drink water while eating at fast food places. Most of these places charge over $1.50 for a large soda. That’s more than if you were to buy a two-liter bottle at the store! Besides, water is good for you!

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