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Teens and Finance

It is never too early for teens to learn about making money, budgeting and spending responsibility

In order to control your money, here are actions you must take to stay on track.

Save receipts from transactions using an ATM card, debit card, or check and record the information in your checking account register. Use your transaction register to add deposits, subtract withdrawals, and track your current balance. Some transactions may not have been processed by your bank yet. Keeping track of your current balance will help you avoid spending more than you have in your account. Every month, review your bank statement along with your register and your receipts to make sure that your records and the bank’s records agree. Online banking gives you access to review your accounts any time.

When applying for a credit card, get one with a low annual fee and interest rate. Read the cardholder agreement. Always make at least the minimum payment each month, but pay as much as you can. Pay off the entire balance whenever you can and always on time. This will reduce the finance charges you pay and will build good credit. Check your statement each month for the payment due date. It’s not always the same date.

Don’t use your credit cards to buy things you really can’t afford. Follow your spending plan. Keep within your limit. Track your credit card charges throughout the month. Stay within your credit limit to avoid damaging your credit rating. Try to keep your credit card balance below 70% of your limit at all times. That will help you build credit by showing lenders that you can control how much credit you use, and it leaves enough credit available in case of an emergency.

Many thanks to Sue Ann Satterfeld, CPA for the NAWBO SA High School Mentorship Program's presentation with info from Well Fargo Bank, N.A.

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