There are many things that a high school student should know about debt. First and foremost is this: Try your hardest not to get into debt too deep, but do not expect to come out of college completely debt free. It is a virtually impossible feat, unless mom and dad pay for absolutely everything. But then of course, they will be taking on the debts for you. This is a horrible state to put them in. So come on, high schoolers, man up and take responsibility for your own future!
The second thing every high school student should know about debt is that credit cards are evil. They are not shiny, plastic, endless money suppliers. Credit cards come with a price too, and for young people, it is often too high a toll to pay. Credit cards should be issued for emergency only situations. And that new Coach purse is absolutely NOT an emergency. You can live without it, really you can. If you feel that you simply must have a credit card, “just in case”, then you should educate yourself on the different types of cards available and examine the interest rates, to find the best fit for you and your budget. High interest rates can kill you. And don’t forget to keep it paid down. It is much harder to pay it off once the late fees start adding up- take it from someone who knows.
Thirdly, every high schooler should know to keep a healthy nest egg. It is definitely a good idea to start a savings account when you are in high school. Saving a little can go a long way when you are out on your own and living off of Ramen noodles and Kraft Easy Mac. You never know when you might need a little extra, for a supplemental tutoring session, or if your car gets towed. Life is unpredictable, and as a high school student, it may seem far too predictable, but that is not the case out in the real world. Once you leave that sheltered life behind, you will truly be on your own. And it is always better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to money matters. So save up, and have a good sized “emergency fund”.
Finally, and this one really should be common sense, even for high school students: Get a job. Seriously, you can’t expect to go anywhere in the world if you don’t get a job and keep one for a reasonable amount of time. True, it is tough to hold down a job and go to school, especially if mommy and daddy are paying for enough so that you don’t necessarily need one. Jobs are still good, whether you need one or not. A part-time minimum wage job while you are getting your bachelor’s may seem like a drag, but really it is a building block to your future. So keep that in mind!
All of these things are important aspects for high schoolers to know about staying out of debt. It is a hard thing to do, but living relatively debt free can be done. It is an easier task than one might think- if people are smart with their money, and with teaching their children about money. Today’s high school students are the future of our economy. Remember that parents.