Junior year, as many know, is definitely the hardest year of high school. With all of the AP and honors classes and worrying about college, it’s a lot to manage. And not to mention, this is the year most teens start getting jobs and learning to budget is extremely important.

But as I begin to think about earning my own money, I wanted to create a plan to make sure I am “Pennywise”. I want to ensure I’m working hard and being smart about how I spend money. I would love to be able to have a fat savings account and zero student loan debt when I leave college. But in order to make that happen, I need to know how I am spending and, more importantly, saving my cash!

Let’s start with how teenagers spend their money:


So now we know how we spend our money, but where does that money come from? Well, you might think it’s “free” because you have a credit card. However, that is very a very dangerous assumption. Credit cards often come with very high membership rates, and the interest rates tend to soar in the first year. Many credit cards say they come with a zero percent interest rate, but that usually lasts just the first few months, and then they can go as high as 20%! So to be on the safe side, I say save your credit card for emergencies, or pay it off every month, or just use a debit card.

Another thing I notice is that when you are young, your social life can get pretty pricey. It’s easy to spend as much as $40-$50 every time you leave the house — Uber rides, dinner, coffee, shopping, etc. It all adds up very quickly. A few things to consider might be:  coffee at home, packing your lunch, or even going to a clothing swap hosted by Denver Style Magazine!

A few Pennywise tips include:

Check your status and know how much is in your accounts, so that way you know how much you can spend.

Shop around for a bank that has low fees and several ATM locations.

Planning for the future is key so, I purchased a book, The Motley Fool Investment Guide for Teens, that made me think about how I could invest my money and watch it grow instead of spending it and watch it disappear! I also got a Monthly Bill Organizer and Planner, to keep track of receipts.


Or take a class at the Young Americans Bank right here in Denver. This have Personal Financial Presentations on such topics as:  Money Recognition, Savings Goals, Budgeting, Checking Accounts, and Credit Cards

Keep a jar by your bed for spare change.  You will be surprised how fast it fills up and then take it to the bank for deposit and start all over!

And of course you will need some cute wallets to store all your extra cash, so here are a few cute options:


Jeweled kiss wristlet $18.00


Jewelius Baby Blue credit card holder $24.50


True Love Cat Wallet  $24


True Love Dog wristlet  $18

Happy (smart) Spending!

XoXo – Penn

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