Our guest blogger Chelsea Derrick is a high school student from Edmond, Oklahoma. She hopes to one day work in journalism and is applying to work in the school paper next year. CCCS is a non-profit Credit Counseling agency with offices in Oklahoma City, Bethany, Enid, Stillwater and Tinker Air Force Base. Contact us at http://www.cccsok.org
Most teenagers today are expected to save money for college, their first car, and gas – not to mention money used to spend when going out with friends. Although it may seem as if most teens spend frivolously and without thought, many of us stress about having enough money saved up for the future. Without even considering saving our money, it’s difficult to even attain money in the first place! I know my parents are not very willing to give me money to spend on whatever I want. I do not have a job yet, so much of the time it’s a task to make any money at all. Due to being unemployed (which sounds a little funny for a 16 year old to label themselves as), I don’t have a savings account because I don’t have any extra money to be saving. Setting goals with money is a useful idea that many teens do in fact consider. Saving up to a certain amount before spending allows for money to be organized and put into long-term savings, as well as short-term.
First cars are a huge money draining object. The car itself, gas, and repairs all cost crazy amounts of money, as I am positive you’re aware of. College is another colossal expense teens worry about. Scholarships and savings all too often do not cover the whole cost of college. Thinking about the future can be stressful to many teens. There is also the social aspect of money; going out to dinner and out to events is expensive! I had never really realized how quickly things added up until I had to start budgeting my own money.
I feel as if the media is partially to blame for many teens spending problems. Money is portrayed as an easily attainable object and instant gratification is encouraged. Sometimes it’s difficult to distinguish whether I need something or just merely want it! It’s not only a problem for me, but I have found that many other teens are experiencing the same thing. When we see something we want, we want it now. We don’t think about what we might want tomorrow, next month, or next year and how we’re going to go about getting it! I think it’s entirely irresponsible, but everyone is after money. Although it is hard to save, it is not impossible. With a little self-restraint and some useful techniques, all teens are able to budget their hard-earned money.