Are you ready to become a legal adult before age 18? It’s a possibility, but before you do, understand what it entails. Not only are you separating from your parents legally, but you lose their financial support too.
Becoming an adult sounds great, right? It has plenty of responsibility, though. Learn how to prove you’re ready for adulthood with your finances in order.
Proving your Financial Stability
While becoming an adult sounds great, you must be responsible. Learn what it takes to create financial responsibility and prove to the courts you’re ready for adulthood.
What is financial stability? You must prove you can support yourself since you no longer have parents supporting you. This may include:
- Proving you have a stable job that will last for the foreseeable future
- Showing you make enough money to pay for housing, utilities, food, car, gas, and clothing
- Proof that you have adequate healthcare coverage and can cover your medical expenses
Along with the above proof, you’ll need a bank account for your ‘spending account.’ This is what you’ll pay your bills from and where you’ll deposit your paycheck. Make sure your bank statements show responsible use of your funds (no bounced checks or overdrafts).
In addition, the court may ask about an emergency fund. This is savings you have set aside for emergencies only. Courts may ask for this so they know you can cover the unexpected. Think of things like your car breaking down, breaking your arm, or replacing an appliance. The emergency fund should be separate from your checking account.
Emancipated Minors may get a Credit Card
Since you’re jumping into adulthood, you may apply for a credit card too. Just exercise caution. Credit cards can be great in an emergency. They also protect you during large purchases or even while traveling. But using a credit card irresponsibly can lead to financial issues.
Start with a credit card with a low balance. Most credit card companies won’t give you a large balance right away, anyway. If you use the credit card, charge only what you can afford. You must then pay the balance off before the next due date.
If you carry a balance, it will accrue interest. If you let the balance keep growing, the interest accrues more interest. It’s a never-ending cycle.
However, using a credit card can be good. If you use it right (pay the balance in full each month), you’ll build credit. You need a few trade lines, such as credit cards or personal loans to build up a credit score. Your first credit card is a great start.
Before you become an emancipated minor, get yourself financially situated. If you want adult responsibilities, you must take it serious. Start with a bank account, job, and steady income. Work your way up to funding an emergency fund and getting a credit card. Handle your finances responsibly and you’ll have an easier time convincing a judge to award you emancipation.