Dear Mr. Suffrin: Iím 13-years-old and Iím saving my money so I can buy a car when I turn 18. I earn $60 a month babysitting for neighbors. I also get $40 per month for doing my chores around the house. My mom gives me $10 for every A I make on my semester report cards, and I always get three or four of them, so thatís $60 to $80 per year. She pays for my clothes and other expenses. How much should I save for my car - and where should I put the money? I have $500 in the bank now. - Looking Ahead in Hahnville
Dear Looking Ahead: Assuming youíll be able to earn 5% interest on your savings, the $500 youíve already put away plus the $110 per month you anticipate making will grow to $6,442 four years from now, when you turn 18. Whether the $6,442 is enough for the car and your rainy-day account depends on the type of car you want and what you feel youíll need for a rainy day.
The money should be invested in short-term certificates of deposit (6-month to one year) or a combination thereof. CDs yielding at least 5% are what you want. The CDs should mature on the date the money will be needed for the car purchase. Talk to a banker or broker for details.
Students' questions about finances answered - only in the St. Charles Herald-Guide. Financial expert and school board member-elect Al Suffrin, a certified public accountant, takes on the tough questions from parish kids- and their parents - in an important weekly column everyone should read. Send YOUR questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org or write: MONEYTALK, P.O. Box 1199, Boutte, LA