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Sabrina Lamb, executive director of World of Money, talks about financial literacy for teens on thew Brian Lehrer Show.

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To be financially responsible is important in our everyday lives. Being financially responsible means to respect money and make good financial choices. You have to first believe in yourself and know that you are able to be successful in life. This attitude starts by doing well in school and getting good grades, which can lead to attending great college. Planning for our future is part of what it takes to be financially responsible.
Knowing what you want to become after college is extremely important not only because you completed both high school and college but, you also are set up to embark on a successful career. Planning your career or your profession when you’re younger gives you an advantage because you have thought out your life. This gives you a solid plan to enter the work force and accomplish your financial goals whether that’s to work for a company or to become an a business owner. Some people can’t figure out what direction they want to go into, and can still be successful in time.

To be financially responsible requires a few simple steps and procedures that include being aware of the power of money and being responsible with money. This also includes buying stocks, saving money spending money and most importantly making smart all around decisions.

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In life, you have to make many decisions that will affect your future. An important decision is whether or not you will take your money seriously and be financially responsible. Everyone should want to be financially responsible for many reasons. First, financial issues can affect many aspects of your everyday life such as your house or belongings. Also, there are many ways that you get rewarded for being financially responsible. These are all examples why being financially responsible is important, as well as helpful.

There are many ways that financial issues can affect your personal life. If you go around spending all of your money, then you would have no more money to use on clothes, food, utilities, and your house. Also, if you were planning on getting a gift for a family member, then you would have no money left because it was irresponsibly spent. In addition, knowing how to budget your money can help you not spend too much of your money on things that you want and more money on things that you need. Lastly, being personal life because you must spend money on things that will help take care of your self. If you are sick, then you must buy some medicine or you endanger yourself and others around you. Your presentation is also affected by whether or not you are financially responsible because you need to buy deodorant, soap, shampoo, mouthwash, etc. But if you don’t have the money to buy these things, then people assume that you are not well kept.

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These days, I’ve become increasingly alarmed by the growing pattern of recklessness and neglect that seems to govern the management of our personal finances. Recent actions—or I should say inaction—by large numbers of African Americans have prompted me to suggest taking a bold step and declare a state of financial emergency. I make this assertion not for dramatic effect but to bring attention to the need for us to take corrective measures. If not, this self-destructive behavior will continue to threaten the future of our families for generations to come.

Let me give you an example. I recently discovered much to my dismay, that 21.7% of African American households are “unbanked,” while 31.6% are “underbanked,” compared with 3.3% and 14.9% of white households, respectively. What does this mean? As a member of the unbanked, you’re walking around without a checking or savings account. The underbanked rely primarily on nonbank money orders, check-cashing establishments, and payday loans to conduct transactions.

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1) Review Ones’ Family Money Culture. Parents will complain about kids thinking, “money grows on trees.” Parents must be financial role models.

2) Have Cogent Conversation. Let them know what expenses are and how they are paid. It’s okay to talk about the bills–mortgage, gas, landscaping, food, etc. Start talking as early as possible: educate, inform and empower.

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Damon Williams turned a passion for athletic shoes into a stock portfolio worth $50,000. The best part? He’s only 15 years old.

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Jasmine Lawrence, a 17-year-old at the Williamstown High School, is arguably one of the most successful teenage entrepreneurs in the country. Jasmine’s business was inspired by a regrettable incident with a hair relaxer that made all of her hair fall out at the age of 11 – and she was determined to create safe organic products for other women.

Desperate to make her hair grow back, Jasmine researched and experimented with organic products, and stumbled onto a formula which helped her hair grow back. Word spread throughout her community, landing her a spot on Oprah and a deal with Whole Foods Market (which carries her line of bath salts). She has recently negotiated a deal with Walmart – all before the age of 18.

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  1. Don’t let shortcomings thwart you. Everyone — from those with learning disabilities to those earning national scholastic honors — has the ability to become an entrepreneur, says Mark Victor Hansen, author of the soon-to-be-released book The Richest Kids In America: How They Earn It, How They Spend It, How You Can, Too.
  2. Expand upon your interests. “Find a task (or) work you like and that is in demand,” says Lucas Rice, 18, who runs a successful landscaping business in Loveland, Ohio. “With my business, I like to be outdoors and to work with my hands, which was one of the reasons I chose landscaping.”
  3. Create a formal business plan. Put it all on paper in an organized and accurate fashion.
  4. Scour for savings. Leanna Archer of Leanna’s Inc. surfs the Web to find the best prices on everything from ingredients to product containers. Kids who buy supplies should also negotiate for discounts.
  5. Price wisely. “Feel around and see what other companies are charging,” then price competitively, Rice says. “When you’re starting out, go a little lower on price in order to start capturing some customers.”
  6. Make taxes less taxing. Save every work-related receipt. Those expenses could become tax write-offs. IRS.gov has details on dependents, such as children, filing tax returns.
  7. Create a sound financial plan. Archer has a formula for allocating the money she makes. She socks away half her earnings in a college fund, 25% is reinvested in the business, and the last 25% goes to a charitable cause to help kids in Haiti, where her family is from.
  8. Don’t overinvest in supplies/equipment. “Allow your business to grow, and then grow your equipment into your business,” says Rice, echoing advice he was given by others. He invested in his first riding mower at age 12 (bought at a yard sale with savings from a newspaper route) and as his customer base grew, he conservatively bought more equipment.
  9. Promote your business and yourself. “Seek business; do not wait for it to come to you,” says Rice. “I go and welcome new people in the neighborhood and offer my services and give out business cards.” Archer promotes herself and her products on the Web, as well as through fliers she places into shipments to customers.
  10. Know the rules. Entrepreneurs who want to hire other young folks for help should check the YouthRules section at the Department of Labor’s website at youthrules.dol.gov. It provides federal and state labor regulations for younger workers.
  11. Carve out personal time. “For a while, I was working so much that I didn’t have time to do things that I wanted to do,” Rice says. He didn’t want to miss out on leisure actives such as golfing with friends, so he made some changes to his landscaping business, such as hiring others to help him with the work. He now has three employees.
  12. Stick with your dream. When Archer first brought up the idea of selling hair pomade, her parents didn’t take her seriously. “It took a lot of convincing” to get the business going, she says.

“My mom was like, ‘Maybe you can start the business when you are 20 or when you get out of college.’ ” Now, Archer is bringing in six-figure sales and has customers as far away as Ghana, Switzerland, Indonesia and Iceland.

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