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Guide Living Debt-Free: A Budgeting Guide for High Schoolers

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7 Characteristics of Debt-Free Living

Taking control of debt, free debt advice, improving your credit score and low-cost borrowing. Renting, buying a home and choosing the right mortgage. Running a bank account, planning your finances, cutting costs, saving money and getting started with investing.

Understanding your employment rights, dealing with redundancy, benefit entitlements and Universal Credit. Planning your retirement, automatic enrolment, types of pension and retirement income. Buying, running and selling a car, buying holiday money and sending money abroad. Protecting your home and family with the right insurance policies. Many teenagers rely on their mum or dad to set the right example when it comes to managing finances. It is important that teenagers recognise the value of money and understand that it is not an unlimited resource.

Providing your teenager with a regular, set amount of money and the responsibility of paying for something they want gives them their first opportunity to practice how to stay within a budget. Just over half of year olds who receive money on an ad-hoc basis keep track of their income and spending.

Whereas almost two in three of those who receive a regular, fixed sum are aware of their financial incomings and outgoings. One way to get teenagers to take responsibility for their money is to give them a set budget for a specific task. Part of teaching your teenagers how to manage their finances comes down to being strict with the money you give them and not bailing them out if they overspend. Better they learn the hard way now while the amounts are small, rather than later when overspending can lead to problem debt.

Our research has shown that nearly eight in ten 15—17 year olds who cover unexpected mobile phone expenses from their own pocket say they keep track of their income and spending. Just over half of those who turn to mum and dad to cover unexpected costs claim to keep an eye on their financial incomings and outgoings.

of your Finances and Career

One way of setting the right example is by including your teenagers in some of your financial decisions, particularly as they reach their late teens. This could include showing them how you shopped around for a better deal on your current account, or sitting down with our Budget planner tool to work out a monthly budget. You can take this a step further and send them out to do some grocery shopping with a list and strict budget.

Learning about the importance of saving and only buying things which you can afford is an important part of adult life.

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Whether this means encouraging your teenagers to put aside a small amount every week to buy new shoes, or longer-term planning for a larger purchase, leaning to save is a vital skill. If, for example, your teenager is interested in taking driving lessons, this is a great time to sit down with them and work out how to meet the cost.

This might mean looking at how much needs to be put aside each month, or searching for a part time job. If your teenager is trying to save up for a large purchase, or simply wants some extra spending money, one option is to find a job. While many teenagers take on informal employment such as babysitting for family friends, anyone over the minimum school leaving age can work full time.


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If your child does get a first job, this will often result in an increase in the amount of cash available to them. This is great opportunity to put some time aside and talk to them about the importance of saving. This can be as simple as deciding to put aside a certain sum each month for a rainy day, or, if they have a set goal, helping them make sure they reach it. For example, if your teenager would like to buy a car, you could show them how to set-up a standing order to their savings account each pay day. You could even direct them to our Car costs calculator , which will help them find out how much it costs to run a used car over a year.

39 Ways You Can Cut The Cost Of College

Sorry, web chat is only available on internet browsers with JavaScript. What is APR? What is a grace period? What are transaction fees? These and other questions will be answered in this lesson as students learn about credit cards, and the different types of cards available and features of each, such as bank cards, store cards, and travel and entertainment cards. As students start to shop for their first or next credit card, this lesson will make them aware of various costs and features.

Included in this section is a discussion of the methods for calculating finance charges. Various federal laws protect our rights as we apply for and use credit cards, such as procedures for disputes and protection from card theft and fraud. In this lesson, students will also be given an opportunity to analyze the information contained on a credit card statement. In this lesson, students are asked to identify costs associated with owning and operating a motor vehicle. Since these costs are commonly underestimated, guidelines are provided on how much to spend when buying vehicles.

In addition, some forms of advertising can be subliminal, such as the strategically-placed soda can in a movie. In this lesson, students will become aware of the various techniques and appeals used to influence consumer behavior.


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  • Decisions, decisions. Wise consumer buying starts with a plan. Using a systematic purchasing strategy will provide students with an ability to make more effective purchases. Comparative shopping techniques will be discussed to encourage students to carefully consider price, product attributes, warranties, and store policies. Next, this lesson covers a variety of buying methods, such as buying clubs, shopping by phone, catalogs, online, and door-to-door selling.

    1. Give teenagers financial responsibility

    However, a person must start to save. This lesson provides students with a basic knowledge of saving and investing. The process starts with setting financial goals. Next, a commitment to saving is discussed. The material in this lesson will help students become aware of the warning signs of financial difficulties. This lesson includes information on where to go for debt consolidation help and for nonprofit credit counseling. What you put on an application for a loan, your payment history, where you make purchases, and your account balances are but a few of the financial records that can be sold to third parties and other organizations.

    This lesson, with attached budgeting activities, will encourage high school students to take the time and effort to develop their own personal financial goals and spending behaviors.

    14 Things Every High School Student Should Know About Money

    Supplementary Resources. The cost to attend college has soared faster than almost any segment of the economy over the last 30 years. The good news is that are hundreds of online sites offering tips on not just what it will cost, but what you can do to pay for it. So, take a deep breath and check out these sites that should help you find a college you can afford to attend.