Tip 249: Save your money. Your financial responsibility will either help you through life, or hinder you in life.
So you turn 16, get your first job, and get your first check for 200 dollars. What an exciting moment for you right? You get a chance to spend your own money, buy some extra stuff, and just have a little fun with your newfound finances.
One thing that is rarely mentioned, is knowing how save money.
While extra money and the first taste of money sounds extra appealing, you have to always think further than the next week and see the bigger picture.
The bigger picture is that you won’t be a teenager forever, and that the teen years are where you need to learn a little bit of financial responsibility.
I can’t think of a bigger burden than financial irresponsibility. This issue affects a huge part of the general population and it all goes back to your upbringing and training. Not managing your finances correctly can have long lasting implications on the rest of your life.
When you received your first little bit of money, did anyone tell you to put a certain amount to the side for a rainy day? Did anyone give you the save more than you spend talk? In 1997 (a long time ago, i know, but the principle remains the same so follow what i’ m saying), national surveys were done in reference to teen-young adult spending habits.
It was found that teens spend 141 billion dollars throughout the year, and of the monetary gifts received, only 30% was put to the side to be saved. It was also found that most of that spent went towards immediate wants and self gratification.
While 30% is impressive for a teenager, this didn’t necessarily translate into actually knowing how to save money.
Places Teens Typically Spend Money
Unfortunately, these conversations are not as popular as they should be which lead to adults that don’t necessarily know how to manage their money. Trust me, I was one. My parents are regular parents and they allowed me to do what I wanted with my money. I had my own personal bills as a teenager, internet, gas, and cell phone, but the rest of my money was free game to go wherever.
I had all the clothes, shoes, and games I wanted, but what I DIDN’T have was money saved or a savings account. What I didn’t understand is that I would outgrow those shoes, those clothes would go out of style, and that my life would continue after high school.
If you decide to go away for school, your family isn’t right around the corner to help you, so those little coins that you gain from your high school years will come in handy. You will need to know how to save money for college and the little things will come in handy many times.
You may have car issues, want to take your friend out on a date, buy that new game to play on the weekends, go to that new bar, or anything you can think of.
The saving principle will save you more heartache and headaches than you know. I’m bringing this full circle to tie into the college experience, but in reality, it extends much further than your college years.
Studies in the past revealed that it takes a habit 30 days to form, so when you consistently do something it becomes ingrained into your mind. Some people were truly dealt a bad hand, but more often than not, poor decision making is the cause of most of the financial issues that exist in our personal lives, and it all goes back to the habits that we develop and learn from others as young kids.
You have to want different for yourself, you have to want better, you have to want to grow and learn from those before you.
It personally took me some time to learn my lesson about money, but I learned.
2007, I ran into the easiest job ever that made more money than I’d ever seen. I was 20 years old and making $15 dollars an hour.
Of my peers, I knew no one else in the town who made what I made or had a job as easy as mine. Everyone was receiving half of what I made and worked twice as hard.
Most were working at call centers or doing odd jobs, and here I was with a great Thursday through Sunday gig. I just happened to receive this blessing of an opportunity that granted me another way out. What I didn’t do though was save my money.
I was in love with this job and spent money just as quickly as it was coming in, and then BAM!!!
I started hearing whispers from other employees that “business needs” were changing.
I get in contact with my higher ups and they tell me to not worry and that everything is perfectly fine. Boy were they lying. Long story long, a few weeks later, I received a call telling me that my position was being cut in all stores.
I was devastated, but even worse, I had rent, cell phone, credit card, and many other bills that needed to be paid. Did I have any money saved? Not a chance in hell. I had to learn how to save money, quick!!
I spent the next 3 months struggling and having to depend on my parents, and others to help me out until I was able to find another job. Depending on others as your first source of income has to be one of the worst situations to be in, in my opinion.
I don’t like others telling me how to spend money, and I definitely don’t like putting others in a bind for my own mismanagement of finances or poor preparation.
When I finally found another job, it wasn’t for 15 dollars an hour, more like 8.50 lol. I was humbled and I learned to appreciate money and saving it. Of course, as a teen in high school, I wouldn’t have saved enough money to cover all the bills I had, but it sure would have helped when I was eating from the dollar menu or needed gas to get back and forth from places.
If you don’t have anyone that is telling you to save, I’m telling you now, SAVE!! That was my first lesson in handling my money. An even bigger lesson will be discussed in a later topic that I have for you guys (stay tuned).
You will learn to be responsible and it will financially put you ahead of your peers by putting a little to the side. In all honesty, it’s not a competition thing, it’s a do better for yourself thing.
You don’t have to be exactly like anyone. Just because you were raised around those who spent every dime, doesn’t mean that you have to.
If you guys find value in what I have to say, please subscribe to the newsletter. You’ll be able to keep up with my latest topics, the random giveaways, scholarship offers, and much more. Hit me up guys on the social networks below. I talk back!!!
Also, I have a little template that I’ve created to help you guys manage and budget the money that you do have. Subscribe to my email list and you’ll receive your own, free of charge. I don’t mind you passing it along to your peers either, just tell them to check out the site as well. It’s here for you, the people!! Each one, teach one.
Financial literacy starts with your parents/guardian/family teachings, but as you grow, your own decisions will set the remainder of the tone for the rest of your life.