In high school, many people get their first job and subsequently their first paycheck. If you’re a high school student who’s just starting to work, it’s important to begin building good spending habits with the money you earn now. That way you can continue these habits later in life when you have more bills to pay.
If you’re not sure how to get started, here are some tips to create habits now that will carry through to adulthood.
Set goals and stick to them
Figuring out your financial goals is the first step to making a budget. Following a budget will keep you from spending all your money at once, while also allowing you to do things you want. For instance, maybe you want to buy a car before you graduate. Setting this goal will help you prioritize your spending. Maybe you and your friends like to go out to eat on the weekends. Instead of going every time, you could budget to save most of your money toward a car and still set some aside to have fun and go out with your friends on occasion.
Keep track of how much is spent
If you have a PSECU account, you can see a breakdown of how much you’re spending every month and what those funds are being spent on. Being able to look at how much you spent in a month can help you improve your budget. You can look at where you need to cut spending so you can put more toward your goal.
Research before you buy
It’s important to do your research and take time to think before making large, and even small, purchases. Making impulse purchases can cost you a lot of money in the long run. If you take the time to do some research, it will also allow you time to think about if you really need or want what you’re planning to buy and figure out where you can get the best deal on it.
Look to save
If you decide to make a purchase, look for ways to save money on it. This can be as simple as using a coupon or taking advantage of a discount on a certain day, or as complex as comparing prices between stores or buying something secondhand at a fraction of the cost.
Giving yourself time before a purchase can save you big. For example, don’t wait until you’re completely out of gas to stop for fuel. If your “E” light comes on, you may have to stop at the closest station, which could have the highest prices. But, if you plan ahead, you can look for gas at a good price and choose a station you prefer or where you may have a rewards card.
Building good spending habits while in high school is important. It will help you manage your money now and get you ready for a brighter financial future. For more money saving tips, visit our WalletWorks page.