Teenagers and young adults today are in a money crisis, often spending too much and going into debt for unnecessary items they want. Budgeting is a way to combat this.
According to the dictionary, a financial budget is “a plan for the coordination of resources and expenditures.” Simply put, a budget is a plan for what to do with one’s money.
Even though children and teenagers do not typically have bills they are obligated to pay, budgeting is still a vital skill to learn. I have made various budgets for myself over the years and have seen the benefits of them.
My parents have a rule: they will pay for half of whatever extra thing I want, and I have to pay for the other half. For example, if I want to drive a car, I need to come up with the money to pay for half of the insurance and half of the gas. If I want to go on a trip with a school group, I need to come up with the money to pay for half of the fees associated with it. To make sure I have enough money for these extra things, I created budgets.
Budgeting allows an individual to take a look at one’s finances and make a plan for the future. One may set savings goals while making a budget or even find ways to reduce costs or excessive spending. When one has a set, planned-out budget, it is easier to stick to it when tempted to buy something on impulse.
Making a budget can also be a time of reflection. It allows the individual to look back on previous finances and see how much money is typically being spent, allowing them to see if they are spending too much and need to cut back, if they are paying for things they do not need or use, and if they have room to save or invest excess money. Planning a budget and looking at finances is similar to visits to a doctor or dentist. It needs to happen regularly to continually check up on one’s finances and ensure they are “healthy,” so to speak.
My budgets allow me to save money for college, pay for half of my various expenses, and have money left over to spend on whatever I want. I get most of my money from working a part-time job as a lifeguard. The rest I usually get from gifts. Budgeting helps me to not overspend on random things I want. Instead, it lets me make sure I set aside money for my expenses or save for future goals.
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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