Best Personal Finance Tips by Financial Experts
National non-profit American Consumer Credit Counseling highlights the importance of being a financially responsible teen.
Boston, MA – June 3, 2016
Learning how to be financially responsible as a teen, will most definitely contribute to future financial success. Understanding the importance of saving and the value of money are critical skills that will have an impact on financial well-being far into the future. National non-profit American Consumer Credit Counseling offers teens basic financial strategies and goals to help them become financially responsible.
“Managing money as a teenager can be extremely challenging, especially with the added pressure of affording daily expenses while large expenses , such a car purchase or college, loom on the horizon,” said Steven Trumble, President and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling, which is located in Newton, MA. “So many teens find that they have a large number of wants and an exceptionally small budget. By learning how to be financially responsible now, teens will be in a much better position when it comes to handling their money in the future.”
Teenagers between the ages of 15 and 18 years old scored an average of just 60 percent on the 2015 financial literacy test by National Financial Educator’s Council. Minnesota scored the lowest in financial literacy with an average score of 45 percent. This age group scored slightly higher in Massachusetts with an average of 61 percent. Of the respondents, less than five percent scored at or above 90 percent and 11 percent scored at or above 80 percent.
ACCC offers basic financial strategies for teens:
- Budgeting – It is extremely important that teens learn how to set a budget even when they have a limited income. The budget is a spending plan that details exactly how much money is coming in and how much is going out. By creating a budget, teens can learn how to live within their means.
- Saving – If teens want to save more, they can cut back on what they spend per week and add it to their savings. Learning to save has great advantages when it comes to creating a strong financial future. It is ideal for teens to save half of what they earn, especially during a time when expenses are lower. It can be easier for teens to save if they know exactly what they are saving for and how much money they will need. A “saving for a goal” calculator is a great resource to use in situations such as these.
- Having a bank account – Once teens have learned how to save they need to decide where to save it. Piggy banks can be a great and fun place to save money, but once teens start receiving checks or large sums of money, it is best that they open their own savings or checking account. Choose a bank that charges little or no fees for having an account and takes very little money to start an account.
- Smart spending – It is important for teens to practice self-control when it comes to spending their money. One part of self-control is thinking before you buy, and the other part is having the ability to distinguish between wants and needs. “Needs” are the things we can’t live without, such as shelter, food and clothing. “Wants” are the things that make our lives more pleasurable, but we can survive without. When teens can control their spending on wants, they have more money available to save for future needs.
- Smart borrowing – Although taking out a loan may not be necessary at the moment, it is never too early to start learning about credit and how it works. Credit is a tool that allows you to buy now and pay later. The golden rule is charge only what you can afford to pay each month and make these payments on time. Another rule of thumb is not to open more cards than you need. Opening multiple cards in a short period of time can have a negative effect on credit.
ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:
- For credit counseling, call 800-769-3571
- For bankruptcy counseling, call 866-826-6924
- For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
- Or visit us online at ConsumerCredit.com
About American Consumer Credit Counseling
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management through credit counseling, debt management, bankruptcy counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling and financial education. In order to help consumers reach their goal of debt relief, ACCC provides a range of free consumer personal finance resources on a variety of topics including budgeting, credit and debt management, student loans, youth and money, homeownership, identity theft, senior living and retirement. Consumers can use ACCC’s worksheets, videos, calculators, and blog articles to make the best possible decisions regarding their financial future. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®). For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit TalkingCentsBlog.com.