Being smart in handling money at a young age is a very good thing. It will help you prepare for your future. Remember that your allowance will come to an end once you graduate from college. Are you clueless on how to budget your money? Psst.ph tells you nine ways to go about it…
- Follow the money. Your money- be it allowance, trust fund, salary (for part-time jobs), income (if you have business), inheritance or investment – needs to be followed closely. It is important to keep a record of income and transactions so you know what your net worth is at any given time. Make a personal expense record sheet for the week. This way you know how much money you spend and how much you have.
- Manage your allowance. Take the next step toward financial maturity by asking your parents to give you allowance on a monthly basis. This way you will learn to manage our money over a longer period of time, which will train you to view finances long term, just like an adult.
- Draw up a plan. In a phrase, learn to budget. Budgeting is just a matter of identifying your needs from wants. Needs include school supplies, food money, transportation money, a basic school wardrobe. Wants are the latest gadgets, that to-die-for Mango blouse and gimmick money for nights out at Eastwood City. Never, never interchange the two. Always keep in mind the needs come first. Don’t blow your allowance on a fancy blouse then expect your folks to cough up money for that track shoe you need for P.E. class.
- Be a smart spender. It’s great to know teens these days are acquainted with smart-consumer concepts such as buying clothes from the ukay-ukay, boutiques that offer discounted items, etc. Be wise in your spending ways. Always look for bargains and discounts. Look for cheaper alternatives. Don’t buy pricey makeup when there are so many good bargain-basement beauty products around. Think twice before buying anything. If you’re itching for a new book, look for a friend who has it and borrow first and listen to it before buying. Before getting anything, ask around; try to ask your friends and relatives. “Will P1000 you allot for a night out in Libis get you that discounted blouse you so desire from H&M?” Believe us; doing this little ritual can go a long way toward preventing unnecessary expenses.
- To save is divine. As young as you are, you should now be well aware of the importance of saving. Few things are as gratifying as looking at a fat bank balance. Saving can really be difficult, especially if you’re the type who can spend money on a day-to-day basis without buying anything substantial (money, alas, really flows like water!). Distinguish between long-term savings, such as for a computer or a car, and short-term savings, for a dress or a bag. Imagine you’re putting money in “pots”. Have a pot for the computer. Another for that longed-for Mac book. Remember to set aside money, however small, for each pot. Over a period of time, you’ll be surprised how much money you have put in each one.
- Learn to cut corners. Admit it; the best way to save is to spend less. Bring your own baon to school. Take the MRT instead of a cab. Consider budget-meal options when dining out. Drink water instead of soda. Instead of going out, clean your room or read a book (edifying too!).
- Learn independence. Opening a checking account serves as an important financial learning tool. You’ll learn how to record transactions, maintain a necessary balance and reconcile monthly statements.
- Earn money. There’s nothing like earning your own money. Avail of summer and part-time jobs. Learn how to be an entrepreneur. Most successful business-minded people started earning their own money in their teens. Take the case of the young entrepreneur Christine where her kiosks sprouts like mushrooms in different malls. Christine enjoys making cheesecakes but things started to kick off when she brought her delicious concocts to her Dad’s office and school fairs. It was such a hit and since bulk orders have come her way, her cheesecakes went all the way to major malls. If baking is not your thing, you can make accessories if you’re good at it, sell dresses or shoes.
- You’re never too young to know about stock options. It’s best to buy shares first from a company you know. Consider the company’s profitability and the value of its stocks. Learn to read the business pages. Ask your parents to help you manage your account.