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Tips for Teens: Saving and Managing Your Own Money

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By FDIC

As a teen, you start taking more responsibility for handling money and choosing how you want to save or use it. Here are a few ideas to help make your decisions easier…and better:

  • Consider a part-time or summer job. A job can provide you with additional money as well as new skills, and connections to people who may be helpful after you graduate.

  • Open a savings account and put money in it for specific goals. Get in the habit of putting at least 10 percent of any gifts or earnings in a savings account right away. Saving a certain percentage of your income before you’re tempted to spend it is what financial advisors call “paying yourself first.”

  • If you’re ready for a checking account, choose one carefully. Many banks offer accounts geared to teens or other students that require less money to open and charge lower fees than their other accounts.

  • Once you have a bank account, keep a close eye on it. Watch your balance the best way you can. For example, keep receipts and record expenses so you don’t spend more money than you have in your account and run the risk of overdraft costs.

  • Understand that borrowing money comes with costs and responsibilities. When you borrow money, you generally will repay the money monthly and pay interest. Always compare offers to borrow money based on the Annual Percentage Rate (APR). The lower the APR, the less you will pay in interest.

Get more tips on managing getting started with money management from the FDIC.

Six Tips for Keeping Teens Safe on Social Media

Going back to school is about more than shiny shoes and trendy notebooks. It’s also about kids making new friends and adding those friends on social network sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

More than 60 percent of teens in the United States have at least one social media account, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. And while being online is a good way to keep in touch with friends, it’s important for parents to be proactive about Internet safety.

Unfortunately, there are people who can use your child’s personal information to steal identities, bully them or begin an inappropriate relationship. Help protect students from online dangers by following these safety tips:

1. Keep your child’s profile private so that only family and people you know see photos, important dates and other information.

2. Make sure they’re not posting personal details, including phone numbers, home address, and the name of their school or Social Security number.

3. Only allow them to publish photos and videos that don’t jeopardize their safety or their integrity.

4. Make sure they choose a strong password that can’t be guessed, and that it gets changed every three months.

5. Never allow them to accept friend requests from people they don’t know.

6. Keep an open dialogue with your children. Ask them to let you know if they’ve received private messages from a stranger, or from someone at school who is teasing, harassing or threatening them. Those could be signs of cyber-bullying or even a sexual predator.

Get additional online safety tips, and other relevant information on OnGuardOnline.gov, a great government resource for parents and teens.

Read this post in Spanish.

Adolescent health spans many areas, from mental, physical and reproductive health to substance abuse to relationships. The choices made and behaviors adopted during these years affect adolescents’ overall wellbeing and, potentially, their health throughout their lives.