There’s a reason so many rap songs talk about making those Gs: Accumulating wealth makes it easy to buy whatever you need—with money left over for the fun stuff, too. And you’re at exactly the right age to start mastering the basics of personal finance. After all, many banks are eager to open accounts for kids 13 and up. And whether you’re babysitting, selling clothes at the mall, or serving coffee, you’ve likely stepped up your earnings from the coins you brought in when all you had was a lemonade stand. Plus a sweet perk of a bank account is a debit card, which you can use to make purchases with money from your account.
It’s smart to trade in your piggy bank for some plastic, and not just because it feels super adult. “I opened up a checking account with my parents. I learned how to budget and spend my money wisely, as well as keep track of my account,” says David Marshall, 16, of Ruidoso, New Mexico. “It’s taught me how to be more responsible with money.” To get started, we’ve pulled together genius ways to see your net worth grow—and to stretch every dollar as far as you can.