Where to begin: Keep track of your money

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I admit, this one took me a while to get together!  When I started to make my money work, I had NO IDEA how much money I had, where it was, what it was for, or what it was doing!  Man, I wished I had learned to do this when I was young, before the stakes were so high, and before I had lost so much time in growing my money and making good decisions about it.

Start by having your teen set up a money journal and a tracking schedule.  This journal can be kept on a computer or in a paper journal.  Will he or she be checking in with his or her money every week?  Every month?  Every day?

Have your teen enter the following information into the journal:

  1. Write today’s date.
  2. Make a list of all the places you have any money right now (pants pockets, bank accounts, CDs, piggy bank, wallet…it all counts!).
  3. Next to each place, write how much money is in each one.
  4. Finally, list all money owed and to whom.

Bonus Opportunity!  Set up your money journal on a tracking site like Mint.com.  This is a GREAT site for tracking money AND learning about money.

Your teen is off and running now.  Check in with him every so often to see how he’s doing!


Easy Action: Learn about the Curve and two key elements of personal finance from Jay Sanders’ blog, Life on the Curve.   He offers a wealth of information for parents and teens.

Resource at Your Fingertips:  Check out WealthQuest for Teen’s Online Video Seminar and QuickStart Guide for a fun way for your teen to learn about saving, managing, and growing his or her money!


Remember to Pledge to teach your teen to be an excellent money manager!  Vote “Yes. I will make the promise!” to let the world know that parents are doing their part to build a financially literate society!

© Your Teen’s Money Skills, Inc., 2012 All rights reserved worldwide.

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