On several occasions, I have written about the importance of saving, and money management tips for college students. But I’ve found that some parents want to know how they can get their high schoolers in the habit of saving and managing their money at a younger age. Well, this column is for you.
Times have certainly changed since we put coins in the piggy bank or even went with mom and dad to open our very first bank account. While these practices are still sound ways to save, there are several other steps today’s teens can take to start building healthy financial habits. Here are a few to get them started:
- Start applying for scholarships early. Between a Google search and a reliable high school counselor, lots of money awaits the college bound high school student. Ignore the old advice to wait until your junior year to get started. There are plenty of organizations and causes looking to invest in the educational journey of sophomores and even freshmen. Sometimes the guidelines require them to keep a certain GPA or attend a certain school upon graduation. Bottom line, the earlier you start the search, the more funds you can potentially secure for college.
- Secure a part-time job. There are some who believe that a student must focus on their studies only and that he/she has no time for a part-time job. Consider how your child’s grades are, the time commitment for the job, and the job’s proximity. By age 15 or 16, you most likely know how responsible your child is. If you are still on the fence, try starting with a summer job, and make sure he/she saves some of that money earned!
- Enter contests and competitions. There are all types of organizations that offer cash prizes for various talents and skills. Have your child do an online search and enter as many contests as they qualify for. Put the prize money in an account and allow it to collect interest.
- Sell unwanted valuables online. No longer in love with those Jordans or that video game system? Well, post them online and sell them. Make sure to use reputable sites like eBay, and parents, make sure you are always aware of your child’s online merchandising activity.
Last but not least, the old-fashioned way of giving your child an allowance for completion of chores or good grades is always a great way to encourage them to start saving. Besides, the more determined they are to earn and save money, the bigger the break your pockets get! Have a great school year!
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*Securities and advisory services offered through Woodbury Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Insurance services offered through Atled Financial Group 717 B Main Street Schererville, IN 46375 which is not affiliated with Woodbury Financial.