I like playing video games, and I’m the type of person who would also like to spend a lot of money on them. But that is not a good financial decision: what if a big expense comes up and I don’t have enough money to pay for it?
That is where saving money comes into play. People need to save for things such as bills, food, college, and unexpected expenses. That is why I put most of my money into a savings account. I do not need this money now, but I will need it in the future. Smart savings like this can help decrease your likelihood of going into debt because you are giving yourself a head start for when you are on your own.
I’ve heard an analogy between life and video games. Your teenage years are the tutorial phase when you learn how to play the game, and you have few responsibilities. Your twenties are the transition phase, the early levels where what you need to do is easier. And your thirties are when you are sent on harder missions and need to perform well. Saving money in your teenage years is like storing up benefits in a video game, and it helps develop good habits.
There is an online game called SPENT that simulates what it is like to live on just $1,000 a month. If the virtual character saves even just a little bit, it is just a little easier to get by, and the game is easier to “win.” I know some people are not so privileged in their teens – all the money they earn is required for their family’s needs immediately. But saving even a bit of your money is a good start toward better finances.
Teens might also try finding a job to earn more savings, so they can have as much money as they can when they really need it.
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 slfcu.org/TeenArticles for details, topic suggestions, and to submit an article. SLFCU will review all submissions and respond within 30 days.
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