Learning money management early on key to savings later



A Visa debit card is pictured with a chip-enabled card in Portland, Ore., on May, 12, 2016. Retail giant Walmart is suing Visa due to the request from the financial company that signatures should still be allowed at the retailer to validate payments. (Alex Milan Tracy/Sipa USA/TNS)

Sophia Farrow, Associate Editor

No one wants to have debt or discover they have no money in their bank account, this is a fact of life. A skill that many have, but few take the time to develop, is money management. It is hard to manage money whenever there are many tempting items just begging to be bought. There are, however, ways that this problem can be resolved.

“Money management is a privilege, not a burden,” said personal finance teacher Stephanie McKoy.

To be able to manage money properly a person needs to set up a bank account to put all the money they earn in. The next step is to establish a budget; this budget should include savings, bills and money for personal expenses (toiletries, eating out, buying items for fun, etc.). Do not overspend, and if there is money left over, put it into the savings account. Also, a person should think about what they want in the future, whether that is a new car, a house, or a vacation. Planning ahead allows for goals to be set and a budget to be made.

“Delayed gratification is an important skill to learn. Being willing to wait before making a purchase is key to money management. Delayed gratification will help you save for big purchases and also helps with not making silly impulse purchases,” McKoy said.

Debit cards and credit cards are some people’s major downfall. Although it is a plastic card, every time something is bought with it money is taken out of an account. Falling into the deep, dark pit of debt is easy to do when a person uses their credit card often when they don’t have the money. Credit cards should be promptly paid off and should not be used as a tool to afford needless expenses. When debit cards are used, money spent is taken directly from the bank account. To not fall into debt or overspend, finances need to be observed frequently.

“Money management takes discipline and you must be proactive. You cannot manage money after you spend it!” McKoy said.

For students a personal finance class is an option. This class teaches students the life skills of  how to invest, save, and manage their money. This class is offered as a CTE, Career Technical Education, class. Students do not receive honors credit for this class, but they are taught life skills which are utilized in everyday life.

“Finance class is probably the most useful class I’ve ever taken in high school. I’ve learned everything from putting a down payment on a house to taxes,” junior Kyle Logan said. “This class has been so helpful in developing a budget. I think everyone should take this class, because it really prepares you for life outside of high school.”