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Father and son setting financial money goals for the new year 2023 with Greenlight banking app

Jan 5, 2023

Top 5 money New Year’s goals for kids and teens in 2023


- Goal-setting at a young age can help you set and achieve more goals as you grow up.

- Make sure the goals you set are S.M.A.R.T. goals. (Don’t worry, we’ll dive into this later!)

- Track goals and check in with yourself from time-to-time to maximize success — especially when it comes to your money.

It’s 2023 👋 — the year to make new goals and break old habits. One way to do this? Set New Year’s resolutions. Adults aren’t the only ones who can make New Year’s resolutions. There are plenty of New Year’s goals for kids and teens to learn valuable life (and money) skills along the way.

Why financial New Year’s goals for kids and teens are important 💭

Before you turn up your favorite playlist and map out goals for the new year, it’s important to reflect on why you’re making these goals for yourself. Think about what you can dial up and dial down. Spent too much on fast food last year? Haven’t saved enough for the new headphones you’ve been eyeing? Open your Greenlight app and take a few minutes to look at where your money went in 2022. Then decide what’s in and what’s out!

Types of New Year’s resolutions kids and teens can accomplish ✅

Focus on goals that make you happy and help you grow. Most of all, make sure the goals follow S.M.A.R.T. guidelines to ensure accountability and success.

Teen and kid-friendly S.M.A.R.T. goals are:

  • Specific: The goal should include all the details you need to succeed, including the skills you will gain from it and exactly how to achieve it.

  • Measurable: Always have a way to track your progress toward your New Year’s goals, whether on a chart or with an occasional self check-in.

  • Attainable: Goals should be a stretch for you to reach so you are challenged and can feel accomplished. But, they must also be realistic and not overwhelming or stressful.

  • Results-oriented: You should know exactly how to determine if you met your goal, leaving nothing unclear or undefined.

  • Time-bound: Set a deadline for the goal — a realistic one — and hold yourself accountable for meeting that deadline. Maybe even set smaller milestones along the way, so you know you’re on the right path.

These goals should be special to you. A few ideas? Save for that new video game you want. Read 12 books about money this year (woah). Spend 2 hours a week doing chores for more money. If you feel motivated by your goals, you’re on the right track.  

5 financial New Year’s goals for kids and teens 🎉

Now for the fun part. It’s time to start dreaming up your money goals for 2023. Here are five great New Year’s resolutions for kids and teens. (Just to get you started!)

1. Save 25% of your allowance or income — or more 💸

Teen girl and proud dad with used car she bought with her job and with Greenlight's Savings Goal feature

Saving is an essential financial goal for adults, and you can start building this habit from a young age. Save a certain percentage of your allowance or income and track it in your Greenlight app every month. Our recommendation? 25 - 50%. You choose what works for you. Some months may be more than others, and that’s totally okay as long as you’re aiming high.

Did you know? With Greenlight Infinity, you can earn up to a 5% Savings Reward* on the cash you save — making it easy to get to your money goals that much quicker. 

2. Read 12 money books this year — or more 📚

Reading is a great way to expand your mind and learn new things. Though finances may be complex, there are tons of age-appropriate books out there for kids and teens. Set a goal to read 12 number of books (or more) and stock up on money knowledge!

You can also set reading milestones to stay on track for the year. Or make it a party — grab some friends and form a book club together. 

3. Learn about investing 📈

Investing is key to building long-term wealth, and you’re never too young to start. That’s why learning to invest is a great New Year’s resolution for kids and teens alike.

Head to your Greenlight app to learn all about the world of investing with interactive stories, blogs, and more.

You can get even more hands-on and ask your parent to set up investing — right in your app. You can research stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in real-time. Then, propose trades (like buying fractional shares of stocks and funds for as little as $1) and then track all investments!

4. Set and stick to a budget 💰

Budgeting is a big part of being financially stable as an adult, but it takes time to perfect. One great New Year’s resolution idea for kids and teens: Learn to budget and stick to it. Why? When you learn to budget early on, you build smart money habits for the future. 

As a teen, you may not have tons of bills to pay, but you can still learn to manage your money. Start by setting your budget to save at least 25% of your income, whether that’s allowance or cash from a part-time job, and then allocate the rest into other categories.

For example, allocate up to 40% for spending or splurging. Think — clothes, video games, sneakers. And the other 35% on food and activities. Think — lattes, hangouts with friends, eating out. (These percentages can change depending on your priorities and saving goals!)

The best part about budgeting? It’s adjustable. Every month, sit down and review your budget. Look at what worked and what didn’t. If you fall off track, remind yourself not to give up and work hard to get back on track the next month.

5. Learn to earn — and increase your income 🏦

Is one of your goals to make more money in 2023? The new year is the perfect time to unlock your earning potential. Start by thinking of different ways to earn more money. (Here’s a list to get you started.) This can include odd jobs or chores, such as cleaning the garage, walking a neighbor’s dog, or even starting your own business.

If you’re old enough to have a part-time job, you’ll need a couple of things before you start your job hunt. First, you’ll need to check in with your parent. Have a conversation about your short-term and long-term money goals. Explain how some extra cash can help you reach those goals. Then, create a checklist with what you’ll need to start applying — like a resume. 

Once you’ve secured a side hustle, put your money to work with your money management skills and investing knowledge! Look at that — a full 360 🎉

New Year’s goals for kids and teens can pave the path to independence 🚀

Teens hanging out around an outdoor table discussing their futures with the Greenlight investing app

Way to go! You’ve made it to the end. But it’s really just the beginning… Now, let’s cheers to you and all the money goals you’re going to crush in 2023 🎊 Ready to get started? Head back to your Greenlight app to kick off your ✨ New Year ✨ money journey. 

*Greenlight Core and Greenlight + Invest families can earn monthly rewards of 1% per annum, Greenlight Max families can earn 2% per annum, and Greenlight Infinity families can earn 5% per annum on an average daily savings balance of up to $5,000 per family. Only Greenlight Max and Infinity families can earn 1% cash back on spending monthly. To qualify, the Primary Account must be in Good Standing and have a verified ACH funding account. See Greenlight Terms of Service for details. Subject to change at any time.

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