No matter where you are in life, managing your money responsibly is one of the most important life skills you need to have a healthy, happy life. Whether you’re a part-time barista at a local cafe, the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, or just a student who babysits every other weekend, saving just a few dollars every now and then can add up to quite a bit of savings in the long run. For instance, if you save three or four dollars every day–the equivalent of a small latte at Starbucks, this exploding golf ball, or this french fry holder–that adds up to over one thousand dollars after just a year. Now imagine if you could do that for ten years. That’s enough to buy a pretty decent car. That french fry holder for your car is totally tempting, but wouldn’t you rather have that car in the first place? Saving money is definitely a challenge when there are so many cool things to buy, but when the going gets tough, think about why long-term saving will be so much more rewarding than the short-term satisfaction of an exploding golf ball.
Emergencies happen; you should be prepared. Honestly, that’s all there really is to say. What if you suddenly lose your babysitting job and you absolutely have to pay your monthly Netflix bill because the new season of Orange is the New Black is coming out next week? That’s important stuff, friend. In all seriousness though, preparing for the worst is always a good way to approach your personal finances.
Almost as important as preparing for emergencies, preparing for the future is a must. Do you want to continue your education somehow–say, beauty school or medical school? That requires money. Do you want to move out of your parents’ house someday? That also requires money. Do you want to travel to South Africa or France or Russia someday? Well, you understand. We live in a capitalist society, so basically everything you’ll ever want to do requires money. It’s the sad truth, but if you want to go to art school in Italy someday, you’ll probably have to put back those cute jeans at American Eagle and think of your larger goals at least once or twice.
If you’re ridiculously lucky and absolutely zero emergency situations will ever pop up in your entire life, and in the very rare case that you have absolutely zero ambitions which may require a bit of financial saving, putting money in a bank is just more sensible than leaving your hard-earned cash around. What if you get robbed, and the burglar finds the two-hundred dollars under your mattress? What if your pesky dog happens to devour the tennis shoe with your prom savings in it (and ends up devouring your cash right along with your shoe)? This is sort of similar to preparing for emergencies, but these kinds of things happen. And often. Be proactive, play it smart, and consider opening a savings account the next time your grandma slips you a twenty in your birthday card.
For more information and advice on how to be responsible with your wallet, check out Easy Ways To Save Your Money, How To Create Your Personal Finance Strategy, Start Smart Savings Soon: Open a Roth IRA Account, and Budgets, Checkbooks, and Credit Cards — Oh My!