Best Personal Finance Advice for High School Students

Personal finance can be difficult regardless of age, but perhaps even more so when you are just starting out as a young adult. You might be wondering, what is the best personal finance advice for high school students? Good question.

High school is a time when people start getting part-time work, learning to drive, and attaining all of the other components associated with independent living, but without the right financial advice and steps, the whole thing can seem really daunting.

But what financial steps can high school students take to set themselves up for success as they get older?

The Best Financial Actions to Take

Luckily, there are numerous steps young people can take to prepare themselves for the future, and to give themselves the best foundations for later life.

Learn to Budget

For most young people, saving is a necessity – at least if they want the cash to buy the things they want.

With proper budgeting in all aspects of their lives, young people can really make their money go further.

This might seem like a premature move, especially if the high school students in question still live with their parents, however, establishing these budgetary practices at an earlier age can make them second nature for later years, and mean that the muscle memory of saving money becomes a part of their basic financial practices.

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Priority Goals

Talking to young people about their important, immediate goals is also an important part of saving and amassing money.

This could be a deposit for a new car, the start of a college fund, or the first month’s rent for an apartment of their own.

These things can all seem scary but are usually an inevitable part of maturing and growing up, which means that preparing your teens for the responsibilities that lay ahead could save them a world of hurt when the time comes.

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Further Education

If your teenager is unsure about college or university, or if they haven’t raised the issue at home, then perhaps it is time to discuss the topic with them?

Further education can be a great way to improve career prospects down the line, and while expensive in their own right, universities and colleges can be great ways to establish good credit and progress financially in life.

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Establishing a Credit Rating

It is also important for young people to establish a credit rating for themselves – something that can help them when it comes to attaining things like houses, apartments, loans, and large ticket items like cars.

Getting them a credit card can be a good way of doing this, as is telling them the importance of paying any loan they take as quickly as possible to establish themselves as a good borrower.

While teenagers under the age of 18 cannot legally take out a credit card, parents can add their children to their credit cards as authorized users – a step that even financial experts are recommending people try with their children.

In teaching kids the importance of avoiding debt, it’s smart to flank access to a credit card with sound advice on paying the card off weekly, or even daily by simply transferring funds from your checking account to the credit card balance. Most credit card companies have great mobile phone apps that makes this process super easy, taking only minutes.

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It is also important to discuss the world of insurance with your teenagers.

At high school age, they should be covered by whatever health insurance policy you have, but it is nonetheless to discuss the ways that this can be voided, and the various age limits that they might need to plan for further down the line.

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Planning for the Future

Being a teenager is very much only the beginning of your journey into adulthood, but the decisions we make during these years can have a notable impact on how easy our 20s are.

This is true, both in terms of work experience, education, and financial planning. Planning – both financially and careerwise – is one of the most important things a young person can do, and can take many forms depending on the individual involved.

One way to approach this is to establish family saving and financial planning values that each member can adhere to.

This is great for creating a financial culture within the household, and can make things like saving money, budget-making, and cutting costs second nature for everyone involved.

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Emergency Funds

Creating a savings account is also important for younger people, and the sooner they start saving for that rainy day the better.

This is because it is far better to start saving when you are young and living with the security of your parents, rather than frantically trying to amass some savings later in life when there might only be your own income to rely on.

In many ways, an emergency (or savings) account is the perfect safety net for any high school student, and while the temptation to dip into it might be high, holding out and watching it grow will be far more rewarding.

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Planning for Retirement

Growing old and retirement seem like alien concepts when we’re young, but (if we are lucky) they are unfortunately an inevitability.

This is why preparing for retirement is so important, and the sooner you can jump on the bandwagon the better – at least as far as saving money goes.

There are also interest calculators online, which can act as vital incentives.

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Balancing Checkbooks and Financial Apps

It is also useful to teach your teens to learn checkbook balancing, as well as any banking apps they might need to use as they get older.

This will save a lot of heartache and stress, and will prepare them for the nitty gritty aspects of daily financial life.

Final Thoughts

And there we have it, everything you need to know about personal finance regarding high school students, and the best pieces of advice for someone at the beginning of their financial journey.

While the world of money management can seem daunting to most – especially high school students – with these simple steps and tips you too can be at the top of your game in no time at all, making sure your money works for you and not the other way around.

By Lauren Hunter

I'm Lauren, and I've been on a journey to earn money and save money for most of my life. As the editor-in-chief of, and as a freelance writer, coach, musician, and entrepreneur, I love looking for new ways to make money and better ways to keep it. I'm also a wife and work-at-home mom (WAHM) to four kids, so budgeting is my middle name. I'm excited to be on this money journey with you!