The topic tabs here each contain resources that Muna found helpful for teens exploring personal finance topics.
Check out the free High School Financial Planning Program, which is a self-paced, 6-module online workshop series, which is fully funded by the Endowment for Financial Education, which is a noncommercial, unbiased personal finance curriculum for teens. Modules include Money Management, Borrowing, Earning Power, Investing, Financial Services, and Insurance, as well as info on Identity Fraud.
Saving up for things you want is an important life skill. Having a budget where you "pay yourself first" -- meaning you save up for things you need and want before spending money on other things, can help you achieve your goals and stay out of debt.
Contrary to popular belief, teens are required to file for taxes if they are earning an income. The good news is the, often, the government will owe you a refund because as a teen, you aren't likely to make a very high income... and a refund means a windfall for you every April!
Do you keep your savings in cash, or store them in the Bank or Credit Union? There are many benefits (like free check cashing, and automatic bill pay) to keeping your money in a bank or credit union account -- and it's safer from theft, loss, or accidents like fire.
Investing is an option for you if you have some savings and are okay with taking a bit of a gamble on the chance that your investment will earn you more money than a typical savings account, CD, or other savings account. In short, you are buying an investment that you hopefully will be able to sell at a profit later. Investments are things like stocks, bonds, mutual funds and annuities.
Debt - or loans - can help you buy things you wouldn't otherwise be able to afford, or which would take a very long time to save for (like a house). Only about 25% of Americans are debt-free. Avoiding debt int he first place is the easiest way to stay debt-free, but it can require careful planning and persistence.
A credit score or credit rating is a number that lenders will use to figure out if you are likely to pay back the money you borrowed (see Debt). If you have a "good" score, you are more likely to be able to borrow money, to be able to borrow more money, and to borrow it at a lower interest rate - meaning it will cost you less in the long-run.
In the U.S. people typically live an average of 20 years after retirement. If you aren't working - whether by choice or because ailing health makes it harder to work -- how do you pay the bills? Learn more with these resources.
Mortgages are a loan that is secured by property you may own, like a house or a condo. In agreement for the loan, you agree that if you don't pay it back, the lender can take your property. Many people buy their first home with a mortgage of 20-30 years and pay it off over time, but people can also take out a mortgage on a paid-off home.
Fines, fees, and criminalization around these, has a disproportionate affect and impact on poor Americans. Find out more about financial justice, and what you can do about it.
Age 16 | Pflugerville, TX
I’m so excited to be working with Austin Public Library on helping y'all understand personal finance. I really wanted to work on something like this because, growing up, I was told how important managing money was but I wasn’t sure where to start. I hope these resources serve as a guide on where to start, and more importantly I hope that each and every one of you are empowered by the knowledge you gain about YOUR money.
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