So you've probably heard about credit. The main idea of credit is that gives you the power to make a purchase with money that you don't have right now. The only rule (well, there are a lot of rules, but we'll teach you) is that you have to pay it back later, often with a little extra. It's kind of like a grown up, official IOU (you know, like "I Owe You" Get it?).
Credit shows up all the time. You use credit without even knowing it. When you ask your parents to buy something for you and then they take it out of your allowance, or when you forgot your wallet so you have to pay you friend back for your burrito, that is using credit. Hopefully your parents or friends aren't charging you interest... but then again if they were smart they probably should be. (#freemoney) Credit also shows up when you use a credit card or get a loan.
For some people, credit cards are like Bigfoot: kind of a mystery, a little spooky, and definitely something to stay away from. Sometimes people will try to scare you, telling you never to buy things on credit because it will come back to haunt you. They say you will rack up the money and forget to pay your bills, that with the interest you'll pay way too much more than you should, that you're not responsible enough to have large sums of money at your disposal... all that gibberish. If you are smart (and if you're reading this, you must be pretty smart), you will know how to use credit wisely.
*Credit is less like Bigfoot and more like a blowtorch: it is a super powerful tool that is totally understandable. A tool that can make your life easier, but can also blow up your life if you use it the wrong way.*
At this point, just understand that credit is a way to borrow money to make purchases when you don't have the cash at the moment. We're going to get into how to use it correctly, things to watch out for, and how it will help you later in life.