Should You Rethink Your Allowance?

Now that you’re getting older, what you need extra cash for has probably grown too. Maybe you have a part time job to help pay for your extras or maybe you rely on mom and dad to cover all of your expenses. Wherever your money comes from, it might be time to rethink it all.

  • Budget Time – Do you know what you spend in a month? It’s probably time to put a budget together. Figure out your income versus your expenses and you’ll get a good idea of where all the money goes. Here’s one you can fill in to get you started.
     
  • Make a List – After you put together your budget, make a separate list (maybe a spreadsheet) of what expenses you pay and what your parents pay. This will give you a clearer picture of how much help you really need.
     
  • Expand Your Allowance – Talk to your parents about what’s not already covered by your paycheck or allowance – things like auto insurance, school supplies or big ticket clothing items like coats and shoes. Maybe they can expand your allowance to include costs like these so you can learn how to your expenses budget better.
     
  • Checking/Debit – If you’re getting your allowance in cash or cashing your paychecks, it might be time to open a checking account at your credit union – with the help of mom and dad of course! This is the perfect time to learn how to balance a checking account and get used to using a debit/check card of your own.

It won’t be long before you’re out on your own. Learn how to manage your money now while you’re living at home where circumstances are more forgiving should you make any major money mistakes. By the time you hit college, you’ll be money smart and ready to go.

Top Budget Apps
You do everything on your smartphone and tablet these days, so why not use these devices to help you stay on top of your finances as well? The right app can make all the difference by helping you track income and expenses and give you a useful overview of where your money really goes. Some apps even help remind you when you have payments due so you can stay on top of your bills too. All of these apps are available in iTunes and Google Play.

  • Mint (Free) – Millions of people can’t be wrong! This popular app (and website) lets you automatically track your accounts in one, secure location. You can also set up payment reminders and low balance alerts.
     
  • Spendee ($2.00) – This app’s user-friendly layout helps you analyze your income and expenses and used infographics to give you a snapshot of your finances. You can even add photos of important bills or notes and export your info into a spreadsheet, Google Drive or CSV.
     
  • Manilla (Free) – This app offers a useful calendar and digital filing cabinets for your bank statements, etc. It can also help you wrangle all of those reward and loyalty program cards.
     
  • Easy Envelope Budget Aid (Free) – Instead of using real envelopes to budget your expenses, this app uses up to 20 virtual envelopes to track your income and expenses. You can sync your information with multiple devices so everyone is on the same financial page.