5 Things I wish I knew about money in High SchoolComment December 8, 2016 by Triangle Credit Union
Do you want to have a lot of money and wealth when you get older? Have you thought of things you can do now to set yourself up for the ultimate success in life? We asked a few of our employees for their advice on what they wished they knew about money in high school. They came back with some responses below.
Establish a budget
“I would have started saving at a younger age and had a budget planned out. It’s easy to think that you will just figure it out when you get older, but it’s more logical to have plans set for your future.” Melissa, Financial Services Representative
It’s never too early to start a budget. The second you start making money you should know where every dollar of that money is going. Pay attention to any expenses you have now like car insurance, cell phone payments, or even food and clothing expenses and set aside money each month to pay for these specific items. Getting organized and staying organized when it comes to your money is one of the healthiest financial decisions you can make.
Develop good saving habits
“The biggest financial decision I wish I had made when I was a teenager would have been to deposit more into my savings account on a regular basis. It is important to save your money from a young age and always have a ‘rainy day’ fund as well as multiple retirement options. ” Patrick, Teller
Don’t wait to start saving. Do it now. Even if it is only some change or even a few dollars a week, the money will eventually add up. The percentage to save depends on many factors concerning your own financial situation, but some experts recommend saving 10% or 15% and work up to 20% if you can. If you consistently save a little over time you can set yourself up for having money in the future for emergencies or future expenses.
Watch your spending habits
“I should have focused more on being frugal, appreciating the things that I had and making due at times. It’s okay to splurge sometimes but you really need to think about the rainy days when you might need something more than perhaps that new pair of shoes.” Jennifer, Assistant Branch Manager
Spending money is fun and, in many cases, the main reason people make money to begin with. Unfortunately, if you aren’t watching your spending habits, you are likely to spend more money than you intended to. Make sure to save some of your money before you start to spend it. One trick is to ask this question, “how much do I really need that item and how long did I have to work to earn the money to buy it?” Your answer might surprise you.
Start investing and retirement accounts
“I definitely could have spent less on useless things, but mostly I wish that I saved more for long term expenses like retirement or purchasing my first home. I wish I had someone… to teach me what to invest in and why it is important.” Heather, Financial Services Representative
Retirement and investing early is something people oftentimes don’t bother thinking about. The reality is that the sooner you start collecting money in these accounts, the exponentially more money you can earn over your lifetime. There are all kinds of resources available to start investing early. Talk to a professional, listen to podcasts or webinars and get books on the subject. If you want more of your money to work faster for you throughout your life then starting retirement accounts or investment portfolios is the way to do it.
Don’t wait to open that savings account- open NOW
“When I was a teenager I remember walking into my bank to deposit my checks and the tellers would always push me to open up a savings account in addition to my checking account but I always said that I would do it later. A few years later with a car payment, a phone bill, and an insurance bill I found myself regretting never opening up that savings account they always mentioned. ” Courtney, Financial Services Representative
Now is the best time to get started on building healthy financial habits for your future. It’s easy to forget and take too much time when it comes to making decisions on things you may not see until later. Start now— the sooner you get in the habit of saving, planning and investing, the better off financially you will be and the more likely you will build a prosperous, successful career and future.
Want to know your options as a teenager? Visit a Triangle location to discuss further today. Triangle has savings accounts and Flex CDs specifically for our younger audience. We can even set up automatic transfers to a savings account to make your saving habits effortless.