Practice saving habits now

Sarah Caporelli, Staff Writer

One day as I was driving to school, it was snowing hard. As I was turning around the bend in my neighborhood, my brakes lost traction and my front right wheel slammed into the curb. The collision dented the rim and messed up the alignment in my steering wheel. The first thought that went through my head was how am I going to pay for this?

As teenagers, most of us are not tied down to bills, insurance or other responsibilities. We are at the best time in our lives to save money. Starting to save money early in life can leave benefits later in life with good habits and extra funds.

The first time I was employed to make money from people other than my family was when I started babysitting in my neighborhood. After I got paid I would take all that cash and hit the mall. When I was hired at Aéropostale in Jordan Creek Mall I started to really understand saving and taxes. I used to save $50-$100 every pay check I received depending on the amount.

Senior Blake Singbush takes a better approach towards saving than I do. “My parents, every time I saved until I was about 12 would match what I put into the bank,” Singbush said. Incentives like this taught Singbush the value of saving money throughout his life.

Singbush currently works at KTC (Kids Teen Connection) at Wallace Elementary two hours-a-day, five days-a-week. At the end of the month Singbush saves four-fifths of his salary. “Occasionally I run out (of money at the end of the month) but then I’ll just go to my parents and ask for money, and that usually works,” Singbush said.

Sophomore Jordyn Jensen saves money differently. “I kind of keep like a mental balance in my head. So if I have like $200 left, I know I need to make sure not to spend it so I can save up,” Jensen said.

When I first got hired at Aéropostale I asked my parents for a bank account because I  was tired of my mother being the one to cash my checks at her leisure. The deal we made was that I would save money and I could have an account.

There really is not a good reason that anyone that makes over $100 every two weeks cannot save 10% of their paycheck. 

The way I save money is by transferring it to a savings account where I can’t be tempted to touch it. My bank account is a teen account so when I want to get money out of my savings account I have to go through my parents. That usually ends in a round of questions where my mother says I do not need it, and I have to figure out a way to get by on low funds.

In some families, kids are held accountable to some expenses like gas or insurance. “I’m a teenager,” Singbush said. “I don’t think I should have to worry about paying bills at the end of the week.” Not having any bills to pay allows Singbush to save more and worry less. “I pay every other tank for gas,” Singbush said.

Jensen has some responsibilities also. “I don’t have any fixed costs, but I do have to pay for my clothes,” Jensen said. “If I go out to get food, I have to pay for anything extra that I want to do.”

In my household the rules are that if I am allowed to drive my parents car I will pay for my own gas and my phone bill. This also means if any damage comes to their car, that’s my responsibility too. When I had the accident, the $90 expense came out of my pocket.

Normally I pay my parents about $40 a month towards my phone bill, and gas is about $80 a month. I tutor twice-a-week and babysit on and off. I do not work regularly at a government-recognized job and I can afford to save money, pay my expenses, and pay for other entertainment costs. This is completely manageable to spend, and to keep saving up.

Singbush’s parents are an active part in helping Singbush save. “I woke up one morning to however many grand gone from my (savings) account and I called my dad like ‘What’s going on’,” Singbush said. He found out that his Dad had moved a sum of money into a five-year interest building account. “I always just saved for whatever reason,” Singbush said.

The fact that Singbush is successful in saving can also be partly because of his parents involvement. I know that if my parents were not a part of my saving endeavors I would not be sitting where I am financially.

Saving can help when you see something that you might want and  it’s good to have reserve money to use. “I’ve taken money out several times for ‘special things,’” Singbush said.

I have also used my savings to take out money and get ‘special things’ and that’s the main reason I am glad to have one.  When I run low in my checking account and a birthday is on the way, it takes away a little of my stress to know I have money to fall back on rather than going through all my old purses franticly to find a dollar.

Some people believe living for the now is fun, but I do not want to be the child that conveniently forgot my brothers birthday because my bank account is zero. 

The best thing that I urge everyone to do is to find people who will support your saving endeavors. I tell my mom that when I ask for money to slap me on the wrist and tell me not to ask again.