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Money Management: Control Your Cash

Lesson 1-5 Cash Flow

The basics of maximizing your money comes down to cash flow—the money flowing into your pockets as income and flowing out as expenses and debt. It doesn't matter who you are or how much money you have, maintaining a balanced cash flow is crucial to meet your financial obligations and to achieve your dreams.

What You’ll LearnExplore strategies to maintain a positive cash flow.

Taking it Home

  • Use the online Budget Wizard to generate several What If scenarios, such as an increase or decrease income or added expenses due to taking on auto-related responsibilities.

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  • Determine what you believe to be factors that set teens up to feel in control of their finances, either during high school or as they transition into life on their own. Sketch out messaging as though you might launch an awareness campaign to share with other students and their parents and guardians.
  • Research to estimate costs to live at home, on campus, or off campus if you will soon be attending a college or a trade school. Use that information create a spending plan for a school semester or trimester. Create another spending plan that fits your lifestyle when school isn't in session, such as over the summer break or winter break. 

Related Resources


Talking Points for Parents

  • Every family has a different money management system. Whether or not your family keeps a formal budget, talk to your teen about the importance of having a spending plan. Share your own experiences to reinforce classroom lessons.
  • Share examples of how your family budget changes over time and to accommodate changing priorities.
  • Include your teen in planning for household spending, such as monthly groceries or a major expense.