Teaching Teens Personal Finance
Stephen has given financial presentations to more than 100 groups of high school students in recent years, and he now uses DVDs and books to help parents teach their children about finance at home. He says his Financial Survival System covers these three areas:
- Budgeting: Stephen suggests creating a spending plan and using a cash-based envelope system—where you put your cash in envelopes according to your budget categories—to help control spending. "You just carry around envelopes; you don't carry around an ATM card or a credit card, and you manage your money on a ration-based system," he says.
- Personal Finance 101: Stephen teaches young people the basics of interest rates, minimum payments and the other ins and outs of managing and building credit.
- Credit Building: Once a young person learns how to budget and manage cash and understands personal finance, she can then apply for a credit card, pay it off every month and start building a good credit score, Stephen says. Other credit building tips, such as putting a utility bill in their names, are other ways Stephen says college students can build credit.