Who is the perfect person to ask about money?
Your local banker!
I’m not throwing your parents under the bus, but bankers are specifically trained to help you meet your financial goals—and avoid the pitfalls that may derail those goals.
It’s never too early to start setting goals—like buying a new bike or a car. I’m betting that you have something you want to save for, so go to your local bank and start a savings account. Banks often have special accounts for young, beginner savers. Where do you go from there?
Make a budget. No massive spreadsheet is required, but if that’s your thing, go for it. Set your ultimate savings goal, and then use your budget to chart a path. Here are three easy questions to ask yourself: What’s your goal timeline? How much are you earning per week or month? (Allowance counts!) How much of that should you be putting in the bank, and how often, to meet your timeline?
No large deposits are required. As a matter of fact, most people like to make frequent small deposits either online or in-person at their local branch. Take a trip to your bank or visit its website (or mobile banking app) and make your own deposits. Yes, it’s that easy!
Money does grow, but not on trees. The bank pays you to have a savings account. The more you have in your savings account the more interest the bank pays. If you start saving, just a little bit now, you’ll thank yourself later.
Talk to yourself about money. Before you buy anything, ask yourself, do I really need that, or do I just want it? Is it more important than whatever you are saving for? If the answer is no, get to the bank and deposit the money you would have spent.
Celebrate when you hit your goal, and don’t stop there. Now, it’s time to set a new goal!
A Money Mistake You Don’t Want to Make (Like Me)
Establishing credit is a good thing, but spending more than you can pay back will hurt for years to come.
My first credit card was in college, and I promised myself it would be for emergencies only. I had a hard time separating “needs” from “wants,” and managed to rack up debt by the time I graduated. I was paying more in interest than in principal (what I originally spent) and was hardly making a dent.
I decided to get smart about credit, but I needed help. Where did I turn? My local banker.
By that point, I had been with the same bank since high school and felt comfortable asking for help in meeting my goal. With their advice, I paid off my debt and raised my credit score.
Your banker wants to help you be successful and meet your money goals, all you have to do is ask!
President and CEO, Arkansas Bankers Association