The Visa Prepaid card is a great alternative to having a traditional debit card or Travelers Checks. Visa Prepaids can be used anywhere Visa is accepted. It's great to use when you do a lot of online purchasing or if you want your teenager to have a debit card option. This card has some of the same great features of a traditional Visa card but isn't tied directly to your checking account. There are restrictions and fees associated with this card so make sure to read all of the fine print before you use it!
Create a spending plan
Calculate your monthly income (including if you get an allowance). Next, subtract your expenses. Do you pay for your own gas or buy your own school lunches? Make sure you subtract an entire months' worth of these from your total income.
If you want an easy way to keep track of your income and expenses, consider using our free budgeting tool, Track Every $, in our mobile banking app.
Set goals for yourself
Short-term: what do you want to spend money on most? Going to coffee or dinner with friends? Buying a cool new outfit or video game? Allow yourself 10% of your paycheck to have fun or put towards something you can afford in the next month or so.
Long-term: are you thinking about college? Maybe you want to study abroad? Start putting aside 10% of your paycheck into a different savings account or envelope (if cash) to start building your way towards your goal.
Check your balance every day
Whether you're using cash only or a debit card, make sure you get an idea of how much money you have in your account or wallet every day. This will help hold you accountable so you don't overspend.
Try using cash-only! A Psychology Today article summarizes that people spend less money when paying with cash than they do paying with a card.
Resist the urge to spontaneously spend
Remind yourself how many hours and how much work went into the money you're about to spend. Is all that hard work worth what you're about to spend your money on? If not, it might be a good idea to rethink the purchase.
If this is something you struggle with, budget for it! Set aside 10% of your paycheck for spontaneity!
Save for a rainy day
Rain happens - something comes up at school and you need to buy extra supplies or you want to help out your parents during a tight month.
Put 10% of your paycheck into a rainy day fund for these unexpected occasions.
Breaking down the budget
So now you have all these different items to consider, but how do you put it all together?
Let's say you make $400/month at your job and through allowances. Here's an example of what your monthly budget could look like:
School lunches: $70/month
Short-term savings: $40 (10% of income)
Long-term savings: $40 (10% of income)
Rainy day: $40 (10% of income)
Spending money: $140
Now it's your turn to figure out what works for you! Download this free teen budgeting worksheet by Frugal Fanatic. You've got this!
If you're attending college this year (whether new or returning), you're eligible for one of our two scholarships, including the Matthew Stiltz Scholarship.
The only requirement is that you're a Canopy Credit Union member in good standing. If you're not already a member, now's a great time to open an account!
*Canopy Credit Union employees, board members, and their family members are not eligible to enter.
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