Contributors: Andrew Hogg (Leigh Parent); Seana McKean-Saul (Leigh Staff)
Once you graduate high school and make your way into the “real” world either taking the path to college (where you will have to pay for stuff!) or to a job, you will need to have a grasp of some basic “finance” and “ money management” fundamentals. This document will give a quick overview of the key things you need to know, with links to online resources for you to consume at your leisure. Once you have read everything in this document, you will have a basic idea of the fundamentals – but that is all. You should continue to research and read up on personal money management on an ongoing basis, and treat it as a lifetime learning task!
Note that all of the information contained herein is the personal opinion of the Authors, and should in no way be taken as financial or tax advice. Consult with your parents or a financial or tax adviser before making any final money decision.
First Things First
So, what are the few “essential” financial things you need to do and know in order to make your own way in the world and not get in “trouble” with debt? We will go over all of the following items below:
- Open a bank account
- Get a debit card (optional)
- Get a checkbook and learn how to write checks
- Open a peer-to-peer payment account – PayPal/Venmo/Apple Pay/etc
- Decide if you NEED a credit card – probably not
- Decide if you will use cash or always use cards or online methods to pay for goods and services
- Adopt a money management and budgeting tool and link it to your bank account
- Understand your credit score and how to make it better
- Learn some investing fundamentals in case you have money left over…