Teenagers and young college students are often confused about how to handle money. Growing numbers of college students fear debt, foreclosures, and bankruptcy, sometimes because they’ve seen these things happen to parents or relatives.

Learn What a Budget Is

Most teens have a basic idea of what a budget is: the way to keep track of how much you earn and spend. But when it comes to forming one, these same teens can feel lost. Watching parents budget their money is a huge help. Teens should also be encouraged to get jobs and calculate the salaries they earn. They can then allocate different amounts of money per month to what they need versus what they want. Teens can also contribute part of their earnings to family expenses like groceries or utilities, helping them formulate a budget around “adult” concerns.

“Do I Need This?”

Most parents are pretty diligent about teaching children the difference between need and want. A child may want a piece of candy, but need a school notebook. Ironically, for teens that line is much blurrier. Social pressures and desires for material goods easily cause wants to become needs. “Do I need this” is a good question for teens, but they can also ask, “Will I want this in a week? How much will I use this?”

Solicit Help

Despite the best financial planning, anyone can fall into bankruptcy – especially young college students. This can cause stress, shame, and self-loathing. Yet teens need to know bankruptcy is nothing to be ashamed of. Bankruptcy lawyers have seen plenty of cases and helped young people become financially stable again. A Scottsdale bankruptcy attorney can also guide through goal-setting and long-term financial planning.