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Personal Finances and Money Management

As you begin earning your own money, learn how to make good choices about spending and saving it. Money that you earn by working at a job or for yourself is called income. By working to earn your own money, you’ll learn skills needed to succeed as an adult. Earning money also gives you more choices and independence.

Bills and other things that you spend your money on are called expenses. Some expenses are things you can’t be without (needs) and some expenses are things you’d like to have, but aren’t really necessary (wants). Learning how to track your income and expenses can help you predict where your money will go in the future (budgeting). Once you begin earning money, you’ll want to consider opening a checking account. By putting your money in a bank, you can keep it safe and manage it.

As you get older, you’ll need a good credit record in order to get a loan for a car or house. A credit record shows how well you pay your bills. In order to establish credit, many people get a credit card. A credit card allows you to charge an item and pay for it later. This is a loan from the credit card company that you must pay back. If you do not pay the entire amount right away, you will be charged interest. Interest is a fee that you must pay for borrowing the money in the first place. Beware! Credit card debt can add up quickly! Be sure to only charge what you can pay back right away.

The West Virginia State Treasurer’s Office has many resources on managing personal finances. Visit http://www.wvtreasury.com/Education/Personal-Finance for more information.

MyMoney.gov Resources for Youth has activities, games, and more to learn about managing money. Visit https://www.mymoney.gov/Pages/for-youth.aspx.

  • Keep financial records
  • Develop a monthly budget
  • Pay taxes
  • Manage a checking account
  • Understand and establish credit
  • Obtain required insurance, home and auto

  • Offering ABLE Accounts to West Virginians with disabilities
  • Tax-free savings plan for disability-related expenses
  • Save and invest without losing federal needs-based benefits