Top Money Management Mistakes to Avoid as a Teen

Your teenage years are often when you learn to handle your own finances. Getting your first debit card is exciting, but it also comes with responsibility. Your credit union can help you get off to a great financial start with a variety of services and advice.

Piggy bank or credit card

Plan to Save
Open both a checking and savings account at your credit union to encourage saving. If possible, set up direct deposit of your paycheck and decide how much of each check you want to spend and how much you’ll save. Talk to your parents or a financial advisor about developing financial goals, whether it’s saving up to buy a new car or preparing to pay for food and expenses once you go to college.

Avoid Impulse Buys
Impulse buying seems like a good idea at the time, but it also puts your plans to save on hold. Take note of your actions when going out with friends. Learn to recognize when you’re buying items impulsively. Try waiting at least 24 hours before purchasing anything you see. If you’re not still thinking about the item the next day, chances are you don’t really want it that badly.

Understand the Terms
Once you have a checking account, savings account, and debit or  credit card , it’s important to understand their terms. Find out whether your accounts have a minimum balance and what it means to be overdrawn. You should also know if there are spending limits on your credit or debit cards, as well as your interest rates. Late payments can increase your interest rate, so set up reminders on your computer or phone to make sure you pay your bills on time.

GCS Credit Union can help you on the path to successfully managing your finances as a teen or adult.  Visit us on the web  to read through our wide range of financial services, including checking accounts, savings accounts, and credit cards. Contact us by calling (618) 797-7993 to inquire about opening an account in O’Fallon, IL. 

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