Guest post by Olivia Camargo

As you become a young adult, managing money becomes an increasingly difficult task. If good money-management skills are not learned early in life, teens may grow into adults who make foolish decisions when it comes to their money.

So, what are some of the things that would be wise to learn sooner rather than later?

Identify wants vs. needs:  What are the things you really cannot live without, things you use every day, like lunch money or shoes?  What are the things that would be nice to have, but you do not necessary need such as a new phone or concert tickets?

Budget your money:  Plan ahead and keep track of how you are spending your money.

Use credit cards wisely:  Use credit cards for convenience, not because you don’t have the money to buy what you purchased.

Save for the future:  Don’t spend money impulsively. Think about future things you may want such as a car, college or more expensive items that require saving over time.

Basics of investing:  When you invest, your money can grow!

Compare prices before you buy:  Be informed. Research online for where to get the best deal before making a purchase.

Basics of banking: Understand how checking and savings accounts work.

For activities to help teach kids about money, visit the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability website at It features 20 age-appropriate money lessons, with activities you can share with your kids as they grow.  Check it out!

Olivia Camargo is a high school student in the Metropolitan Phoenix area.