If you have just landed your first job, you are about to embark into a world of financial freedom! No longer will you have to rely on your parents when you want money to go out to dinner, purchase concert tickets, or buy new shoes.
Having a job and earning money is great. Yet with financial freedom comes a lot of responsibility. Are you planning to go to college? Start saving now. Do you want to buy a car? If so, you need to keep your credit clear. Before you start spending the money you are making, it’s best to learn how to handle it well.
A credit card can be a very useful tool, but it can also be dangerous. Some kids get credit cards to use in emergencies, such as a car breakdown far from home. They can certainly be helpful—but you need to learn how expensive credit cards are if you use them for everyday purchases. These resources will help you comprehend the high cost of credit card use:
If you have a credit card, use it sparingly. Keep in mind, however, that you can, and probably should, use one to start building your credit score. If you are going to have a credit card, make sure you use it wisely.
Spending money is easy, and many people spend more than they have from the moment they start making money. To avoid falling into the debt trap, learn how to budget now with your first job. A simple budget compares your expenses with your income, and makes a plan to pay for your expenses. Be sure to plan for extra spending money and for savings. Check out these resources to help you make a budget:
By using your money carefully and avoiding the debt trap, you can start saving now for a large purchase—or for your college expenses. Even as a teenager or young adult, you can and should start making good choices with your money.