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Basic Money Concepts for Teens

Teenagers at a fire pit eating pizza

Navigating the world of money can seem overwhelming, especially now when you are just beginning to understand the value of a dollar. However, developing a solid foundation of financial literacy is crucial for long-term success and stability. In this article, we’ll explore some fundamental money concepts every teen should know to start building a healthy relationship with money.

First: Checking accounts. A checking account is typically opened at a bank or credit union and is used for day-to-day spending and paying bills. Checking accounts usually come with a debit card, which allows you to use the money in your checking account in real-time. Where a credit card is money you promise to pay back later, a debit card allows you to use the money you already have available in your account. Checking accounts typically include online and mobile banking options. This can help you keep track of how much money you have available. It is still important to keep close track of everywhere you have used your debit card to purchase. A Jeanne D’Arc StartStrong account gives you access to free money management tools like Money Compass to help you keep track of your spending.

While a checking account is typically used for day-to-day spending and expenses, a savings account is designed for money that you are not using regularly. A savings account is an account to tuck money away for future use and keep it separate from your regular spending money.

Credit can be a valuable tool when used responsibly, but it can also lead to financial trouble if mismanaged. Be sure to learn about the basics of credit, including how credit cards work, the importance of maintaining a good credit score, and the potential consequences of debt. It is important to understand the significance of using credit cards responsibly and the importance of paying bills promptly and in full.

By mastering these basic money concepts, you can lay the groundwork for a solid financial future. Continue learning about personal finance and seek guidance from trusted adults or financial resources when needed. With the right knowledge and habits, you can build a strong foundation for financial success and independence.

Stay Savvy!


Celia Otero is a Jeanne D’Arc Financial Wellness Specialist. She’s dedicated to promoting financial education and literacy and strives to ensure that individuals have the tools they need to navigate the complexities of personal finance. With a background in early education and adult learning, Celia believes that by empowering individuals through education they will learn to develop strong habits, make informed choices, and achieve financial well-being. You can find out more about Celia and the rest of the Financial Wellness team here.