What I Wish I knew about Money Management

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Money management is best learned at an early age.

This post was created in partnership with American Express

When I went to college, I was very grateful for the financial assistance of my parents. I didn’t realize how blessed I was until I became aware that most of my friends and roommates did not have that same assistance. They either had scholarships, worked long hours in between classes or had to take out school loans. I’m sad to say, I was oblivious. I’m so grateful for that, but I wish I went into it a little bit more informed about money.

One night, I decided our apartment needed a TV. We didn’t have one and I thought it would be fun to have to watch movies together. Everyone needs a TV for the occasional cozy night in, right? I took that magic card I had, and with my roommates in tow, we spent nearly $300 on a TV. I didn’t check in or ask, I just did it. Looking back on that experience, I cringe. The audacity I had to do such a thing. I just don’t know where it came from. But that’s a big reminder to me that I could have  used a little bit more direction when it came to managing money.

I wanted to come up with a little list of talking points to share with my teens, as they are learning about money and budgeting and financial responsibility. So here it is, what I wish I knew about money management when I was younger.

Money management

What I wish I knew about money and money management

  1. There is not an unlimited fund of money to buy whatever you want
  2. If you want something, you need to save for it, work hard
  3. Just because some people spend money they don’t have, doesn’t mean that you should
  4. Make a list of your expenses, and plan ahead for big ticket items
  5. Use a budgeting system to track what you’ve spent in a month
  6. Develop your own internal filter about spending, and don’t be swayed by keeping up with others
  7. Credit cards are actually really amazing in that you can get cash back or save points for travel

By adding my teen to my American Express account as an Additional Card Member, I’m able to educate my teen about the common mistakes of having a credit card and how best to avoid them. It’s so important to me to make sure my kids develop financially responsible habits before heading off to college. From budgeting to building credit, the Additional Card gives our family the tools we need to educate our teen through firsthand experience.

In my previous post, I discussed teaching kids financial responsibility by monitoring their habits through their Card. If you missed it, click the link.

As a next lesson in understanding budget, I’ll have my kids write down their monthly expenses on their budget worksheet. Then they will be able to SEE how much things cost. Earning allowance will give them parameters from which to start. Learn more about how to add your teen to your account as an Additional Card Member here: https://amex.co/2M7f1Ae

money management

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