Typically, adults earn money or an income when they get hired by an employer to work at a job. Income is earned as a:
- Wage: a set amount of money per hour of work
Example: Jane works as a cashier and earns a wage making $12 per hour.
- Salary: a set amount of money earned per year
Example: Olive works as an IT consultant and makes $70,000 a year. That means if Olive adds up all her paychecks throughout the year, they will equal $70,000.
- Sales Commission: an amount of money based on part of a sale amount
Example: Ethan works as a car salesman and earns 5% for every car that he sells. If Ethan sells a car for $25,000, he'll earn $1,250.
For kids, earning money is a little different. Some of you may get your first job working at a fast food joint when you're in high school. Until then, however, kids typically earn money from doing chores around the house like washing dishes or mowing the lawn, or get monetary gifts from family or friends.
How do you spend the money you earn from chores or as a gift?
There are so many ways you can use your money! Do you treat yourself and buy snacks at the movies? Do you save your money towards a larger goal like saving for a new bike? Do you share your money by giving a portion of it to a local charity or your church collection? Most financially savvy adults do all three: save, spend, and share.
A good way to budget your money for saving, spending, and sharing is by having a savings account and also envelopes or jars labeled "Save", "Spend", and "Share". Every time you receive money, place a portion of it in your "Save" container until you can make a deposit into your savings account at the credit union. Also, put a portion in your "Spend" container and a portion in your "Share" container.
Saving money means you put it away — maybe in a piggy bank, jar, or savings account at your credit union — so that you can spend it later on something big. You can save money for a family vacation, where you'll want to buy souvenirs or other goodies. You could save for new soccer shoes, extra dance lessons, or your first car as a teenager or young adult. Saving is all about having a goal in mind and patiently working toward it, even when you want to spend the money right away. Saving money can be challenging, but you'll be so glad you did when you reach your savings goal.
It's not surprising that spending is what most people like to do with their money, especially if they're spending money on something that gives them joy. Everyone likes to spend money differently — new books, video games, clothes — it's all about what makes you smile. As an adult, you may also spend money on more serious things like rent or a mortgage, electricity, cell phone bill, or internet.
Sharing your money can mean lots of things. It can mean donating to help a local animal shelter or helping a family in need around the holidays. Sharing can also mean using your money to buy something to share with your friends, like a fun day at the bowling alley, lunch, or popcorn and drinks at the movies. It's an important lesson that sometimes sharing our money to spend time with friends or family, or to help those who may not be as fortunate as us, can be more fulfilling than buying a new toy or electronic.
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