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What do you like to spend money on? What do you save up for? How do you make sure you have enough cash for all of it?

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Offline Activities
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Managing Money: Spending and Saving
Kid juggling dollar bills

Topics on
Managing Money:
Spending and Saving
Needs Vs. Wants
Set Money Goals
Expect Expenses
Track Your Cash Flow
Create A Budget
Make A Saving Plan
Bank It!
IML Money Tips
From the Mentors
So you're old enough now to have some of your own money. This money is also called income, and you're probably getting it in these ways:
  • Earning it through a job or work outside your home, like a paper route or babysitting. For lots more ideas, check out IML's advice on Making Money.

  • From gifts, like a birthday check from Grandma. You've probably gotten a check or cash for your birthday, holidays, or other special occasions from relatives or friends.

  • From allowance given to you by your parents.

Having your own money is a GREAT thing, but it also means you have to make choices about how to use it. Do you blow your hard-earned cashola on candy or save it for something that's really important to you -- like a new mountain bike or a trip to Disneyland? We asked IML'ers to tell us what they spend their money on.

Justin, 11, likes to go to the movies while Amy, 12, spends on phone minutes, clothes, and roller-skating.

Evelyn, 13, spends her cash on pedicures and manicures, and Emily, 9, loves to buy books. "I have over 400 books!" she told us.

Sometimes there are things you want or need to buy that cost more than the amount you have. For example, Randy wanted a pair of inline skates that cost $150.00, but he only had $12.00. In order to buy the skates, Randy had to save up for them. Other IML'ers told us they'd rather save their money than spend it.

But how do you decide when to spend and when to save? Can you do a little bit of both? Yes! That's the secret to managing money, and if you start learning how to do this now, you'll have these important skills for the rest of your life. IML will show you the way, so read on!

Printables Record your thoughts and ideas on managing money with a printable IML Journal page. You can also puzzle around with the "Managing Money" Crossword, or check out a list of great books on the subject. If you want help talking about this subject with an adult, try these discussion questions.

Our thanks to Janet Bodnar, author of Dollars and Sense for Kids and the Money Smart Kids column at Kiplinger.com, for her contribution to this topic.

Let's start by looking at Needs Vs. Wants.

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Mad Money Quiz
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Can you control
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       as I get it.
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       matter what.

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