Jobs Can Help Teens Develop Good Money Habits Says LSU AgCenter Family Economist

Jeanette A. Tucker  |  7/14/2005 8:30:17 PM

2005 Back-to-school News

High school students can develop good habits today to reach their financial goals for tomorrow. Earning money provides a sense of accomplishment and responsibility, says LSU AgCenter family economics professor Dr. Jeanette Tucker.

Whether babysitting, mowing loans or obtaining employment at a "real" business, jobs are oportunities to learn about careers and to network with professionals, according to the family economist.

"Develop the habit of ‘paying yourself first,’ which means to put some money into savings or investments regularly before being tempted to spend it," Tucker says, adding, "Begin with small dollar amounts if you have to and then gradually build up."

Open a bank account. Whether on your own, or opened jointly with a parent or other adult, a bank account provides a good way to learn about managing money. Teens also may want to begin using a debit card - they can use it to make purchases and avoid paying interest or getting into debt since the money is automatically withdrawn from their bank account.

Enroll in a personal finance class or join an investment club at school. Teens who are planning to go to college should begin learning about options for saving or borrowing money for this major expense.

If high school students and their parents are comfortable with teens getting a credit card, explore cards designed just for teens. One type offers a low credit limit that prevents the youth from going deep into debt. Another type is a pre-paid card that comes with parental controls, including spending limits.

For information on related family and consumer topics, click on the Family and Home link on the LSU AgCenter homepage, at www.lsuagcenter.com. For local information and educational programs, contact an extension agent in your parish LSU AgCenter office.

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On the Internet: LSU AgCenter: www.lsuagcenter.com

Source: Jeanette Tucker (225) 578-5398, or Jtucker@agcenter.lsu.edu.

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