PBS Kids GO! It's My Life
Manaing Money: Spending and saving

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!

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.

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