Andrea’s note: This is a guest post from my 13 year-old son, Jayden. Please be kind! This is his first attempt at blogging and he’s a little nervous. I’d love it if you would all leave a comment – hopefully it will encourage him to do this again sometime. 🙂
My mom is always talking about the economy and topics related to money. Honestly, I don’t care too much about that stuff because I’m just a kid. I do know that the economy is not as good as it was when I was younger, and many teenagers don’t know a lot about finances. The economy may never improve if we’re in charge. Here are a few things I’ve learned from my mom that I think all kids my age should know about money.
- If you have trouble holding onto money, don’t get a credit card. My mom used to go out and spend too much money on credit cards, and it added up to a lot of debt. Later on, we didn’t have any money for ourselves because we had to pay it all toward credit card payments. I was little and it was hard for me to understand why everything was different. It would have been better if she spent what we could afford all along. Instead, I was used to getting new stuff all the time and I used to get mad when she said no. When I’m older, I will get a credit card for emergency use only. An emergency would be something like car repair, not clothes shopping or going out to eat.
- You should always save as much as possible. I don’t save much right now because my mom takes care of everything I need. She makes me save 10% of my allowance every week and I’m never allowed to spend any of it on things I want. But when I’m an adult, I’ll need to save for things like retirement and emergencies (so hopefully I’ll never have to use a credit card). My mom saves for things now instead of buying them with credit cards. It makes a lot of sense to save up money when you want something and don’t have enough money to pay for it. Even if it’s something you really want, sometimes you have to wait.
- You should think of several ways to make money instead of just one. If all your money comes from your job, you could get in trouble if you had a crappy job like my mom had. (Andrea’s note: You can read the story starting here.) They didn’t treat her very nicely and she was always mad when she came home from work. She didn’t make enough money to pay all the bills. We were lucky she was a blogger because the blog made money too. When I’m older, I don’t want to have just one income because something might go wrong. I could get fired or laid off or I might not make enough money.
- Find a way to make money doing what you love. My mom quit her job so she could be a writer. She has always liked to write, even before I was born. Considering she makes enough money to pay the bills and got one of her blog posts put in a magazine, I think she’s doing a good job. She’s not as stressed out now and I get to see her more. I’m planning to become a blogger when I finish high school because I like working on the computer and I want to see if I’ll be as happy as Mom is. No matter how big or small your dreams are, you shouldn’t give up on them even if it takes a long time.
Those are the things I know about money so far. I think if all teenagers knew these things, they’d be better prepared for the future. Hopefully some teenagers will see this post and avoid making the same mistakes my mom did.