The spending habits of Teenagers
In our modern day society, power, independence, quality, and improvement come down to one single common factor; money. Despite all negative connotations and timid opinions on the subject of money, people who have greater amounts of wealth tend to be less stressed, more fit, and more organized physically and mentally. There are special circumstances to these statistics, but in the words of Tai Lopez, the main speaker of the Grand Theory of Everything finance blog and multi-millionaire, “Money, dollar bills are freedom units.” The more you have of it, the less you have to worry about paying bills, student loans, and debt in general, and the more time you get to spend achieving your own goals.
This is critical for teenagers and anyone between the ages of 16 through 24, since their demographic is the most targeted for major products due to their mass amounts of disposable income. The typical belief about handling income is that you must make more than you spend in order to cover your living expenses. However, if you’re throwing your paycheck out the window on new clothes every week, excessive amounts of fast food, and bills, you may as well throw out that belief out the window.
The easiest and best way to handle your financial career is to cut out the excess amount of things you spend your money on, and primarily focus on your needs and not your wants.
The first way to truly control your expenses after high school is to understand the more luxurious you live does not make you rich, and will not make you more happier than the average person. In a January 2011 edition of The Wall Street Journal entitled Who’s buying all that luxury? Not the rich!, a study was conducted showing the upper class have cut back on luxury goods, lower income classes have been picking up their slack. And picking up the record for going into credit card debt. The best way to keep your money and make more is to save and invest more. Instead of wasting five dollars on Starbucks coffee everyday, put it in your bank account, and save it up over time. Thinking before you buy is the name of the game. Before you decide to buy a certain product, consider if you truly need it, and on a second note, is there a cheaper way to buy or obtain it?
The second tip to controlling your expenses is to understand that the world of banking, credit cards, and insurance is a world of manipulation and greed; no one is safe from becoming a target of loan debt or bad credit. People inside the financial industry aren’t ineluctably mischievous. They’re just average hard working people, but their ultimate goal is to make money, and will try it anyway they can. Therefore, having a dependence on a certain income such as credit cards, is one of the worst decisions you can ever make when handling finances. Avoid the hassle of paying credit card loans, interest and late payments by paying purely in cash for anything. It may sound “basic” or “primitive”, but having a set and limited amount of cash you can dish out without any wavering fees or threats of loans is the most efficient way of keeping your own money. Cut up your credit cards – they’re not worth the interest rates if you can manage to have an emergency fund in your bank account.
The final tip to controlling your finances is to almost never buy new. Embrace the thrift.
As Macklemore sings in his Thriftshop song “Payin’ fifty dollars for a t-shirt, I call that being swindled and pimped, I call that getting tricked by business.” To save money, go on a full thrift shop “diet”, but never buy pre-season for clothes, instead buy during in-season. Buy winter clothes during winter, buy summer clothes during the summer. During pre-season, clothing stores jack up their prices on their season specific items, for the incoming amount of customers who want to buy new season’s clothes, and then any remaining left over clothes are put on clearance for a fraction of the cost during the specific season.
Handling your finances is just the beginning to being able to control your own well-being, and the direction of your life.