How do I Save Money?- Student Teacher Advice column

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How do I Save Money?- Student Teacher Advice column

Claire Lawrence, Reporter

 

“How can I save money wisely and effectively? I keep trying to save but always find myself impulse spending.
Thanks!”

 

Teacher

Um, I’m fairly certain that just you asking this question makes you more financially responsible than I am right now. In all seriousness, it’s great that you are thinking about this, as it would be completely typical for you to embrace those impulse-spending habits as normal, as many of your peers do the same. But, the sooner you learn how to manage your money, the less fear you’ll feel from finances in the future.

My best advice would be to have your parents set up a savings account for you that is linked to their bank account  (if they haven’t already). Have them help you deposit your savings into this account so that it is not cash just waiting to be spent. I also like to make myself “sleep on” any purchases I’m going to make. For example, if there’s something I’m dying to buy, I will consider it for at least 24 hours before actually buying it. I figure that if I still want that item the next day, I am making a wise decision.

Finally, I always recommend that you think of the long game, and plan for the big things. These days, I think we’re a bit too comfortable in our society with large amounts of debt, and if there is anything I wish I could impart upon you, it would be that you need to fight that complacency. Debt is stressful and not okay, and when you get a bit older you will have credit card companies practically chasing you around. Seriously. At college move-in, I had a woman follow me into my dorm trying to get me to sign up for an American Express! It’s important that you use these resources wisely, and never spend more than you have.

Plan for the big things, like holidays and birthdays, and it’s certainly not too early to start planning for huge things, like buying a car. Learning to delay the gratification of spending money by saving it up for large purchases is one of the best ways to be a responsible spender. If you make it a habit of never spending more than you have and planning for what you will need, I think you will be far ahead of your peers in the future when it comes to finances.

-Mrs. Piliere

 

Student

At the middle school age, I’m fairly certain you don’t have a job to work for the money you may be earning. You may be getting the money just as an allowance or for specific chores you do around the house. Others may get an earning at this age for baby/dog/house sitting while neighbors or friends are away. However you get the money, it’s certain you don’t totally need it for common expenses like food and shelter. Those are probably taken care of by your parents.

I know the feeling all too well of trying to save up some money for something big or keeping it safe for long-term investments like college. However, I still find myself making purchases on Amazon the next moment. One way I’ve found saving is easy is getting an actual bank account. I use Bank of America because it has a free program for minors to get a bank account. Of course, there’s a limit of about $10,000, but I don’t find myself making that much money just on watching people’s dogs.

You can open a saving and spending account, as well as a debit and credit card. I don’t have a credit card open, as debit is way easier to manage. To get an account, you have to make an appointment with the bank and do other steps as well. You can follow the instructions on their website. In the account, you have to have at least $100 in the savings account in order to not be monthly charged. You can set up alerts and do pretty much anything on it that a normal bank account can do.

Besides setting up a bank account, make sure to separate your money into money to spend and save. You can reward yourself from time to time if you don’t spend money but instead save it. If you are going outside somewhere that you could be spending, only take the money you actually want to spend. Don’t take extra money “just in case”, and when buying things take a second to think to yourself: do I actually want this or do I just want to buy something?

Also, if you want something online really bad, look at different sites for different prices. If the site accepts it, wait for coupon codes. Make sure that you are spending only what you want to for something. Don’t buy if you know it’s overpriced!

It’s important at our age to learn to be financially stable, so just pace yourself and think through purchases before making them. Try your best, and just know that it’s not even that expected for you to be totally responsible. Do what you can, and try not to worry.

-Claire Lawrence (Grade 8 student)