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Teen Article: How to Decide Where to Put Your Money


SLFCU Teen Member Taryn Ortiz

When I put money into my bank account, I organize it in four categories: charity, long-term saving, “saving up for,” and spending. Those categories can be tricky to manage. Here are some tips that may help you with your own plan.

Let’s say I have $100: $25 will go into my charity category. Then, once a year, I’ll donate that money to a non-profit charity or charities that I care about. That makes me feel good about where I’m putting my money and it’s helping a cause that I care about. I recently donated $100 to CCI ‒ Canine Companions for Independence, a non-profit organization that breeds, raises, and trains assistance dogs to help adults, children, veterans, and professionals gain greater independence.

Next, I will add $30 to my long-term savings category. This is where I put savings for college. College is very expensive, so that is why I put a little over a quarter of my money there.

I will also set aside $20 for my “saving up for” category. I use this is when I want something expensive, like a new computer. Whenever I get money, like for my birthday, I’ll put 20 percent into this category and when I have enough, I’ll buy the computer and start saving up for something else. This is so I can buy expensive things on my own and not rely on my parents to buy them for me. Sometimes, if I’m especially good at saving up for something and not spending that money, my parents offer to split the cost with me and I only have to save up for half of it!

My last category is spending. I’ll keep about $25 in this category. For example, I’ll use this money to buy something that I don’t have to save up for, like coffee or a book. You need to prioritize what you buy with this money since it is limited. I like to have a minimum of $10 in this category, just in case something happens and I need to go into that money instead of my savings money.

So let’s go back to that $100. In a nutshell, $25 is for charity, $30 is for long-term saving, $20 is for “saving up for”, and $25 is for spending. Now go organize your money so you can spend it on things you really want!

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. Teens are awarded $100 for published articles. Visit for details, topic suggestions, and to submit an article. SLFCU will review all submissions and respond within 30 days.

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