Have you ever wondered about how income tax works and why your take-home pay is less than your gross income?

 

During the teen years, people often work their first job so this is a good age to learn about taxes directly from the agency that collects them, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

This IRS simulator can help you become familiar with how to complete tax forms in a fun way.

 

(Most useful to teens will be the first two examples: "Lawrence Red Owl" and "Cicely King")

 


 

 

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) does more than insure our deposits.

 

They provide excellent money-management advice. Learn how to save, spend and protect your cash. At the end of the article, you can even test your knowledge by taking a quick 7-question quiz!

 

 

 


  

 

Did You Know that Credit Card Rules Have Changed?

 

 

Let’s listen in on a sibling conversation to
learn the latest about credit cards!

In this episode, Tiffany, age 21 teaches her 18-year-old brother, Sam.

[written by Evan Diamond]

Tiffany: “Sam, I can’t believe you’re already old enough to head off to college!”

Sam: “I’m so excited!  Any advice before I go?”

Tiffany: “Actually, I want to help you learn how to responsibly handle a credit card.”

Sam: “Oh yes!  I remember all the cool giveaways you got when you first arrived on campus and got 3 credit cards as a freshmen… a baseball cap, a T-shirt and a large pizza!”

Tiffany: “Cool down, Sammy.  There have been a lot of changes to the credit card rules since I was a freshman.  Did you know that lots of college students were opening up credit accounts just for the giveaways?  They didn’t realize how fast they could get into too much debt.  In fact, it got so bad that giveaways that require students to complete credit applications are no longer allowed even within 1,000 feet of college campuses!"

Sam: “Wow.  I didn’t realize that it could be such a problem.  When you get a credit card, how do you know how much to pay?”

Tiffany: “Here, look at this credit card bill I just received.  Do you see this part?  It shows that I owe a total of $1,000 and the annual percentage rate is 15%.  Now, the credit card issuer must show what will happen if I only make the minimum monthly payment which for this card is $20.”

Sam: “OMG, it says it would take 7 years to pay off that $1,000 you borrowed and you would have paid a total of $580 in interest!”

Tiffany: “Yes.  So that $1,000 computer I bought would actually cost me $1,580.  But if I could pay just $15 more each month ($35 instead of $20), it would only take 3 years to pay off and the total interest paid would go down to $248.  Making larger payments will decrease your interest costs and allow you to pay off the balance faster.”

Sam: “That’s a big savings.  It’s great that they explain all of this on the statement.”

Tiffany: “Yes.  They are now required to give examples like this to help borrowers make good decisions when deciding how much to pay.”

Sam: “Now that I know more about credit cards, I think I’m going to start by getting just one when I get to college.”

Tiffany: “It’s a good thing that you got that part-time job on-campus to help with your expenses.”

Sam: “Why do you mention that now?”

Tiffany: “Because you are under 21, you now need to show an independent means of paying off debt so your job will help with that.  If you had no way of making the payments, you would need a co-signer who is at least 21 to even get approved for the card.”

Sam: “Thank you for telling me all of this, Tiff.  I feel much smarter about credit cards now.”

Tiffany: “You’re welcome.  That’s what big sisters are for.”

 

 

Click here for previous money tips for teens.

 

 

 CHILDREN'S PRIVACY POLICY