It's never too late to SAVE.
It's okay if you don't have a lot of money to save. You can open an account at some credit unions for as little as $5.00. Then you can add to your account at any time with money given to you from birthdays, from your parents, from an allowance, or even from a part-time job.
Did you know the decisions you make today could have a big impact on how your money will grow over time? The money you save would certainly come in handy when you're ready to buy your first car or head off to college – or even sooner, like saving for a new bike or video game.
Check out your local credit union.
If your parents don't belong to a credit union ask your mom or dad to help you find one to join. You can find a credit union close to your home by going to our Credit Union Locator (opens new window).
Open an account.
You can ask your mom or dad to help you open an account at a credit union. Many credit unions offer special accounts for youths.
Know your dividend.
Credit unions pay you for keeping your savings at the credit union. The money it pays is called a dividend which is the same as interest. Make sure you are saving in a place that will reward you for holding onto your money. For more about this, check out The Power of Dividends.
Set your goals.
Before you can spend your allowance, decide in advance how much you want to save for the future and deposit it right away. You can see your savings grow!
Here is an example of how to set a goal. If you choose to save half for the future and half for new sneakers, let's figure out how long it will take you to save enough money. If the sneakers cost $50 and your allowance is $5 a week, and you save half for the future and half for the sneakers each week, it would take you $50/$2.50, or 20 weeks.
Make a budget.
How much money do you earn each week? What do you spend your money on each week? What big items do you want to save up to buy? Start a financial journal as to what you spend, and what you earn so you can see where your money goes.
Check out how much money is in your savings account by looking at your statement.
Most credit unions send you a statement of your account. Statements show how much money is in your account, if you made a deposit or withdrawal, and how much of a dividend is paid to you. It's fun to look at your statements from month to month and watch your money grow.
Benjamin Franklin said "a penny saved is a penny earned."
Ask if your family will let you collect their spare change. You can ask the teller at the credit union for empty coin wrappers, and then fill them with pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. In no time you will be on your way to learning the fun of saving!
Clip your coupons.
If your parents don't use coupons to buy groceries, ask if you can find coupons to use. Maybe they will let you keep some of the money saved on their grocery bill. You can find coupons in the Sunday newspaper or online.
Spread the word.
Let your neighbors know you are saving for the future. They may have an odd job for you to do. It is important to ask your parents first before taking on any odd jobs.