There are lots of reasons to save money! You might want to save money for a big purchase (like a computer or a car), for your education, for emergencies, or for one of many other reasons.
It can be difficult to save money. It might be especially difficult if your income is small, or if you have lots of essential purchases that use up most of your income. You may also find money management choices and language difficult, confusing, or intimidating.
Strategies to Save
- Set some goals. How much money do you want to save? How soon do you need or want to have the money saved by? Be specific with your goals.
- Budget in savings. (Don’t have a budget? Learn more about budgeting in the Budgeting section of your Camper Toolbox!) Keep in mind that you may have to go back to the drawing board with your goals if they don’t fit into your budget. You may realize that it’s going to take a lot longer than you thought to meet your savings goals.
- Research. Spend time reading, watching, listening, and asking questions. There are lots of places and ways to save your money, and all have different pros and cons. Do you want to save using a piggybank, a high interest savings account, an investment portfolio, or another strategy? The best choice is not the same for everyone!
- Seek help. Consider asking a family member, teacher, school staff, or another trusted adult for advice and guidance. Banks can also provide you with expert advice. Note that, depending on the service, there might be fees associated with financial advising from your bank, so be sure to ask ahead of time.
- Grow your financial literacy. There is a lot to learn about money management, and the more you know, the more comfortable you will feel making decisions! Get started with the list of “Words to Know” at the bottom of this page.
- Invest. Learn a little bit more about investing from our graphic below. Investing your money can be a way to make it grow more quickly. Remember that there is a variable amount of risk involved: some high-risk investments might lose, rather than gain, money.
Words and Terms to Know
Budget: a financial plan adjusting expenses to income.
Credit: refers to borrowing; your ability to borrow and the amount you borrow. When it comes to loans (like credit cards, auto loans, and home loans), your credit is your reputation as a borrower. It tells lenders how likely you are to repay your loans, which helps them decide whether or not to approve your loan request and how much to charge.
Credit Card: a card issued by a financial company that lets cardholders borrow funds to pay for goods and services. Cardholders must pay back the borrowed money, plus interest, as well as any additional agreed-upon charges.
Credit History: your ability to pay bills on time and repay money that is owed. This is detailed as a credit rating and credit score.
Debit Card: an electronic card issued by a bank connected to a personal banking account. The card allows access to money in an account by electronically making purchases of goods and services or removing cash at an Automated Teller Machine (ATM)
Debt: an amount of money owed to another.
Interest: an amount of money at a consistent rate that is paid regularly, either as payment for money that has been loaned, or as a charge for postponing paying a debt.
Loan (auto, home, school): money, property or other material goods given to another party in exchange for future repayment of the loan value amount (along with interest or other charges).
Service Charges: fees for use of services. For example, a service charge may occur each time you use a bank machine.