By Maya Fankulewski
It’s essential for teenagers to pay attention to personal spendings and savings. There are so many things for high schoolers to spend their money on, such as getting food with friends, shopping for new clothes at the mall, or grabbing a Starbucks drink before school. Now is the time to practice saving money, especially since most teenagers are on the brink of adulthood. Getting a part-time job, saving up birthday/holiday money, and buying less unnecessary and expensive things can all help save money for future use.
Getting a part-time job is one of the quickest ways for teenagers to start saving up money. Part- time jobs allow teens to learn time-management skills, make friends with coworkers, and get paid. If working at a busy company such as Starbucks or Chick-fil-A seems too stressful, applying to a small ice cream shop or clothing store can be a better option for a first-time job. On average, teen employees in the United States make $31,152 per year or $15.98 per hour. Nevada’s own minimum wage is $9.75 an hour, which is two dollars more than the federal minimum wage. A part-time job also allows teenagers to become more responsible with their bank accounts. There is no better feeling than getting a first paycheck.
“During the beginning of the school year I got hired to be a part-time hostess,” senior Brenna Garcia said. “I like being able to spend my paychecks on whatever I want while also saving some money for future use in college.”
Sometimes, grandparents can be very generous with giving cash during birthdays and holidays. It’s crucial to save up some of this money instead of spending all of it within a week. The 50-30-20 rule is a quick and straightforward trick to save money. 50% of a paycheck would go into essential spending like rent/bills/etc, 20% into savings, and 30% for non-essential expenses, such as getting food with friends or shopping at the mall. Since a majority of teenagers do not pay for rent and other housing costs yet, the percentages for this rule could be moved around. Instead, 40% could be put into savings, and 60% for non-essential expenses. Putting at least 20% into savings is ideal when trying to save money.
“I’ve been very careful about spending money,” senior Emily Fankulewski said. “I want to be able to go on trips with my friends this summer, so I’m always making sure that I’m saving more money than I’m spending.”
It’s key to focus on the prices of food and clothing while trying to save money. Before purchasing an overpriced hoodie or sneakers, consider how much they would be worn, and whether or not it’s really worth such a costly price. Daily coffee runs to Starbucks add up; a cheaper alternative would be making coffee at home. It’s important to be thoughtful when spending money, but it’s also important to be able to go out and get dinner with friends or go watch a movie. Learning to balance ‘work’ and ‘play’ is hard, but completely achievable.
Saving money is one of the most critical lessons a high school student can learn in order to succeed in adulthood. Now is the time to get a debit/credit card, apply for a part-time job, and be more thoughtful about prices and what to spend money on.