Here are some tips for high school students and their parents to help in shoring up their money management skills:
- Set Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic Trackable goals. Choose your priorities—whether it’s saving for a computer or building an emergency fund—and make sure they are achievable. Create a plan to follow and measure your progress over time.
- Start a savings account if you don’t have one already. It will help fund future purchases, and in the meantime, you’ll be earning interest.
- For working-age students, consider part-time employment. You will learn more about personal responsibility and have an opportunity to manage daily and long-term expenses.
- Track what you spend to develop good budgetary habits and avoid making impulse purchases. Many personal finance apps are available online to help you track your spending.
- Learn about credit. Talk with your parents and your local community banker about the complexities of using credit cards. They will discuss the responsibilities associated with these forms of payment to help you establish and maintain good credit when the time comes.
- Gain perspective about risk and reward. Understanding how stocks, bonds and mutual funds can affect an investment portfolio shows you how financial decisions can grow or shrink your savings into retirement. Some high school classes and financial literacy-based websites (i.e. https://www.practicalmoneyskills.com/teach/lesson_plans/grades_9_12) provide simulations of how these investments work in the real world.