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Teen Article: The Right Way to Both Save and Spend2/24/2017

Ann Morris

As a teen it can be hard to know how to spend and also save at the same time. Whether you’re shopping or going to lunch with friends, it’s important to set how much you are planning to spend up front so you don’t overspend. Keeping spending money and savings separate is important. For example, in my room I have a jar for spending money and a jar for saving money. When I’m ready to spend money on something, I take out a set amount from my spending jar. When my saving jar reaches $200, I deposit this amount at SLFCU.

If you earn money on a somewhat regular basis, then I suggest putting a little bit more than half of what you earn into savings and putting what you have left towards spending. For example, if you earn $30 for chores, you could put $20 into savings and $10 towards spending. Even if you are not able to save at least half, saving any amount will help in the long run.

In my opinion, the best way to always know you can spend without having to worry about saving is to figure out an easy way to earn money. This can be hard, but it can sometimes be as simple as asking if you can do some chores around the house, such as yard work or vacuuming. Other jobs could be babysitting, cleaning the neighbor’s yard, or offering to walk a dog in the neighborhood. Even if you don’t have a set way to earn money, being smart about the money you do have is what’s really important.

When it comes to spending, in addition to determining a set amount up front, I also try to bring that amount in bills smaller than $20. For example, if you go shopping and you’re willing to spend $40, then bring that amount in four tens instead of two twenties. I feel like this makes you want to spend less on something, and you have change in case you’re buying something that’s less expensive. Another suggestion I have is to put your leftover change in savings because it will add up over time.

Overall, spending while saving may seem like a difficult thing to do, but it’s actually quite simple with the right planning, preparation, and the suggestions above.

SLFCU member Ann Morris is in 8th grade.

Teens Can Get $100

SLFCU members age 13-17 are invited to submit an article on a financial topic to be considered for publication in our Dollars & Sense newsletter and on our website. SLFCU will award teens $100 for published articles.

Click here for details and to submit an article. SLFCU will review all submissions and respond within 30 days.

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