Heading back to school means buying binders, pens, and maybe even a pair of shoes.
If you worked as a lifeguard, nanny, or lawnmower this summer, you might have some cash of your own. When you think about buying a new backpack for school this year, ask yourself, “Is it worth four hours of mowing lawns?” You should only spend the cash if the answer is “yes.”
Thinking twice before you pay with cash helps you save money, but your mom or dad may want you to keep your money in a safe place like a checking or savings account. Checking accounts often come with a debit card for spending, which can make it easy to forget how much money is in your account. So be sure to check your statement often and keep track of your balance. If you know how much money you have, you aren’t as likely to spend more than that amount.
Down the line, many adults choose to use a credit card. Credit cards can be much riskier than debit cards if you don’t understand how interest and fees work. Talk to your parents about credit to have your questions answered.
By using cash when you can, debit cards when you have enough in your account, and credit cards when you understand how they work, you’ll end up with more when you go back to school.