As we wrap up National Credit Union Youth Month this week, we wanted to share some savings advice taken straight from our members’ mouths. We asked them to share their best savings advice for youth on our Facebook page and compiled the most popular answers below.
- Save half of your money earned or received. Did Grandma send you birthday money in the mail? Maybe you receive a weekly allowance for performing chores around the house, or earn some money through a part-time job on the weekends. Whenever you receive money, put half of it into savings. The benefits are two-fold: you will always be tucking money away into savings and you are still able to spend some of what’s burning a hole in your pocket.
- Collect those coins! Lynelle S. had a great idea to collect loose change for a year and then roll it up and deposit it into your savings account. You’ll be amazed at how much it can add up to! Start every year on your birthday (or today if you’re inspired!) and collect any coins you come across. Roll it all up and deposit it into your savings account. Ask your family if you can return those bottles and cans piling up at home and keep the change. Did you break a $20 at the mall and get some loose change back? Throw it in your coin collection. When I was growing up, I loved scouring my grandparent’s bedroom floor for change whenever we visited…my grandpa always had a pocket full that would fall out when he changed into his pajamas. He may have sprinkled coins on the floor just for my benefit, but I like to think it was just happy chance.
- Set goals. Goals are an important contributing factor to your growth, and financial goals are no exception. Jennifer H. suggested setting a goal to simply put money into your account monthly. “Even if it’s not very much, at least you’re saving!” Erin L. went a step further and suggested setting money aside for both short-term and long-term purchase goals. “You will get to enjoy the reward of your short-term purchase, which will help you hold out and save for the long-term.”
- Don’t go crazy with credit cards. Renee M. warns that when you use credit cards when you get older, “don’t go crazy or you’ll be paying for a long time”. We think this is great advice! Credit cards are convenient to use and are often a first step in establishing credit. But it is very easy to rack up credit card debt in a short amount of time, especially when you don’t see the instant impact on your checking account like you would with a debit card. Paying minimum balances each month will get you nowhere. Used wisely and responsibly though, credit cards are a great tool to have in your financial arsenal.
- Stick with it. This is my personal advice. The sooner you start building your savings, the easier it will be make it a habit. I’ve always been somewhat impatient, so at times, saving for a particular long-term goal was difficult. When I want something, I tend to want it now. I’ve been known to give up when I wasn’t seeing my savings balance rise as quickly as I’d like, or if I had a minor financial setback and had to spend my entire savings on an unexpected bill. But no matter how many times I gave up, I always started over again. Don’t let a temporary road block become a permanent problem. I think that’s important not just for your financial goals, but life in general.
CUNA Youth Month Articles
What is the best savings advice you’ve ever received, or wish you’d received? Please share in the comments!