Monday Financial Nuggets: Youngsters and Money

Few working youths (per United Nations’ referenced ages 15-24) know what to do with money, either earned or gifted to them. I used to be one of those several years ago. Maybe not totally, but looking back, I acknowledge that I could have done better.

A working teenager has no money responsibilities like bills or rents/mortgages, except to splurge on new outfits, shoes, makeups, eat-outs, and other mundane things. Not that those things are unimportant, but it’s sheer vanity to acquire and accumulate endless amounts of them, most of which lay unused.

By the way, if you have tons of these mundane things lying unused in your closet or house, have a garage sale or post them on platforms like Depop, OfferUp, or Facebook Marketplace. Of the three, I have only used OfferUp, but my daughters have successfully used Depop and FB Marketplace. Please do your due diligence before choosing one for your purposes.

Once those mundane items have been sold, resist the urge to buy more things, and invest the money or put it in your savings account.

But what if the teenager could save at least half the amount of their paycheck every week and never touch it. For example, saving $50 every week for three months (using summer when most work), s/he would have saved $600 . On top of this, interest accrued depending on where the money is saved or invested, could add an additional $1-$25 or more per year. Imagine leaving that money untouched for another four years while in college, with compounded interest … Think about that for a second.

If a teenager could discipline him/herself to save and/or invest, it becomes a habit that will stick and only get better. The teenager would have mastered a money habit where most have failed.

Similarly, graduating out of college and starting full time job is the dream of almost every graduate. Some however are anxious to be independent and live alone. But precious one, what is the hurry? Ponder for a second how great it would be if you could live rent-free with your parents while working in an effort to save the most that you can for down-payment for your own house? It becomes harder to save when the bills start pouring in and/or when you start a family. I am puzzled when kids look forward to being 18 and independent. “Now I can drink alcohol” seems to be the most popular reason they give for the excitement! Hello?! There are better and more things in life than the liberty to be able to buy and drink alcohol. Why not think on those things?

Needless to say, the earlier you start saving and investing, the better. The rule of thumb is to save three to six months’ living expenses. Some say three months’ salary. Either way, the goal is to start and save the minimum of either three months’ salary or living expenses.

There’s no need to rush out of your parents’ home. It is a shield for you. Use living with your parents wisely and to your advantage before the bills start rolling in.

I acknowledge however that there are several other reasons when a young adult might decide to move out. Reason such as finding their first job in a different City or State. This is understandable but should be the exception and not the norm.

The essence of this post is to encourage youths to save, invest, and spend wisely. I hope it communicated that. If not, do let me know.

Leave a Comment

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s