Want to know how to save money as a teen? You’ve come to the right place. Saving money can be a challenge, even more so when you’re younger. But once you gain the habit of saving money from a young age, you won’t have to worry about excess spending for the rest of your life!
This article is aimed at school, college or university going teens, so expect us to consider their circumstances while we answer the question – How to save money as a teen?
Saving money from a young age can greatly help you as you get older. Whether you get a job or you work as a freelancer, gaining the habit to save money will make sure that you will have the money when you most need it. Here are 16 tips to get you started on your journey to save money as a teen.
Get An Income
To save money, you first need to have a source of income and be committed to earning that income. Whether it be a part time job, or a summer job, it might be a freelance gig that you tied or your own business – you need to have an income.
Apart from having a source, you also need to be serious about it. Earning money through a job from a young age has taught me many useful things. From being punctual, to respecting superiors and authorities. There are a variety of useful life skills you will pick up as you earn depending on your country, age, and job.
If you want to do affiliate marketing, which is one of the easiest ways to make money online, be sure to check out my other article of a beginners guide to affiliate marketing.
Create A Savings Account
It doesn’t matter how much money you have, having a bank account will help you in many ways. Whether it is the ease of transferring that money somewhere else, paying bills, or just getting that feeling of being an adult – you first need to create a savings account.
Now, some countries have an age restriction when making bank accounts. But in this case, you can seek help of your parents to get a suitable bank account for yourself. Once you’ve made an account, you’re already way ahead of others.
Separate Your Savings From Your Spending Money
Now that you have money in your account, you might be tempted to spend it – don’t do it!
Have the mentality that you don’t have a lot of money – always. I know this is easier said than done, but it is honestly one of the best things you can learn about saving money.
You can think of it this way. Consider the money you kept in your spending account to be the only money you have. The money in other accounts that you might have for different purposes, like one for bills or savings should only be used for the said purposes.
The only way you use that money is when there is a real emergency. Like if the tire of you car punctured, and you don’t have money in your spending account, you can take money from your savings. I genuinely think this will help you save money as a teen.
An easy way to follow this strategy to save money as a teen is to maintain at least 2 bank accounts- one for your savings, and another for spending or expenses. You can also have multiple accounts. You need to just find what works out for you. If you’re confused or not sure, creating 2 accounts might be a good starting point.
If you have all your money in a single account, you might think “I have $$$ dollars to spend”. That will make your journey of saving money as a teen harder.
Having a spending’s account will make you think – that’s all the money you have. You won’t think about your savings account unless absolutely necessary. Following this strategy will help you avoid this pitfall, and you will be able to save more money as a teen.
Create Smart Saving Goals
Having a savings goal will motivate you to save the money you have. But a goal doesn’t necessarily have to be to buy an item, you can also aim to save a certain amount of money or plan to go for a trip overseas.
Simply saving money without a goal is not efficient since all you do is save some here and save some there. But if you have an actual amount to save, that helps to be more motivated and focused towards reaching that goal.
You can also set a end target as a date when you will need to finish saving a certain amount. This way, you will know how much money you will need to be putting away each week, or you can be putting away more money to reach your goal faster. It just gives you more motivation, and helps you save money as a teen.
Following this strategy will also help you avoid impulse buying. If you go shopping and there’s this really cool shoe or cute purse for $50, and you have the money, you might want to buy it. But if you have a goal in mind, you will hesitate. Then you will realize that saving the $50 will help you reach your goal a lot faster and it will probably be more beneficial.
This will help you save money towards reaching your goal.
Keep Your Target In Mind
Whether its buying something new, or saving 1000 dollars, keep your target in mind. This will definitely help you save money. You can keep your dream car as your wallpaper, or paste your savings target on your wallet. Always keep it in mind.
You know the saying:
Out of Sight, Out of MindFrom John Heywood’s 1546 work
The opposite is true as well. If you keep your target in sight, you will have a constant reminder that’ll remind you and help you achieve your target.
A good starting point can be to make sure to save half of the money you earn. But if you have a lot of things you need to pay for – phone bills, car bills, or internet bills and similar things – then there’s something else you can do.
Keep what you ‘need’ and a bit extra, and save everything else. Keep the rest of the money in a savings account and keep what you ‘need’ in your spending account.
Keep Track Of What You Spend
Track where you spend your money. Tracking what you spend is one of the best things you can do to save money as a teen. If you track what you spend, you will find out the items that you mostly spend money on and this will help you in many ways.
You will notice whether you’re spending money on things that you need, or just things that you want. This way, you can cut out on unnecessary spending and you will be closer to your target.
Pack Your Own Food & Snacks
Most of us don’t like to eat the food we bring from home in school/college/university, we like to eat outside. But buying food day after day, and week after week is going to end up costing you a lot.
Rather than spending like $8+ daily to eat outside, its a much smarter choice to bring your own food and snacks so you don’t spend unnecessarily. This might not be applicable to some, but I believe following this tip will help you save money as a teen and become an expert at it.
After all, if you do this day by day, you’re going to get the habit of not spending unnecessary money, and again, it’s going to help you in reaching your targets.
Look For Coupons When Buying Online
We all love buying stuff online. Who doesn’t? But there is a smarter way to do it.
Many stores have coupons during festivals, national holidays and similar events. You can make use of this chance to save some money as a teen. There are many sites where you can get coupons and you can keep track of which festivals have the best discounts.
The best way is to use honey. It comes as a free Chrome extension that lets you choose the best coupons available online from over 5000 stores. You’ll now be saving money even while shopping online.
Look Out For Best Deals
With anything you buy, there’s always an option to look out for. Whether the time-limited offers on amazon or less well-known things like watching a movie before 12 am, you can always get the best deal as long as you look for it.
Many stores also have student discounts, so be sure to check them out.
Be Careful Before You Buy
Now I’m not telling you to stop buying something. But what I am telling you is simple- make an informed decision (like what we do here at The Fortune Blog – We keep our readers informed).
- Is this thing I’m about to buy important for me?
- Is there no other free alternative for it?
- Is it worth it to buy this?
- Is this really the best offer I can get for this item?
- Do I know all I need to know about this item?
Cut Out Unnecessary Spending
I could go on and on about how important this tip is, but I like to make things simple.
“People who are good at complaining about not having a lot of money are generally bad at not wasting money.”Mokokoma Mokhonoana
The quote above should give you a general idea of this strategy. The best way to follow is – buy what you ‘need’, not what you ‘want’. It will immensely help you in the long term.
Pay With Cash
This is a very important tip that most find stupid. I know paying with a card is the norm these days. But that way, you don’t have that feeling of ‘loosing’ or ‘spending’ money. You don’t feel that money is ‘leaving’ you.
Ask those who pay with cash. They can easily tell you that paying with cold hard cash is much better than paying with card. You can see it and feel that you are giving money away.
But with cards, you just have to swipe, swipe and swipe some more. It’s just that simple to spend money (and something you shouldn’t do if you’re aiming to save money as a teen).
Choose Good Alternatives
It might be hard for you, but this tip can save you hundreds, if not thousands in the long run. There’s always the preferred opiton, and the right option. You might ‘prefer’ to buy a new short jeans, but if you’re aiming to save money, you know there’s a better opiton.
Just take out one of your old jeans in proper condition, and cut the excess part to turn it into a short jeans. This example might not resonate with everyone, but the concept remains the same. Here are some things you can do:
- Choose Free Options for Outdoor Recreation
- Reuse, Redecorate- Make It “New” Again
- DIY it
You don’t have to buy anything new, as long as you can make it yourself. Don’t give yourself excuses to buy something new when there’s clearly a cheaper, better option that’ll help you save money as a teen.
Know what you are buying, before you actually buy it. Many store have samples you can try and test out. Whether they are makeup products, smartphones, you name it. There’s always a place you can get samples to try out before buying the actual thing.
Here’s another cool, but sneaky hack regarding makeup products. If you’re not a heavy user of makeup products, you can always get more samples from the stores, and just use them instead of buying those products. Well, this might not be ethical to some, but if you don’t care about how you save money, you can try this out.
Tell Your Parents
Most parents want good for their children. Now, I don’t know your parents. But if you’re living in a normal family, they most likely care about you. It might just be a good idea to share your saving plans with them. Not all the plans, just the ones you need help with.
Most likely, they’re constantly going to remind you. If you take it positively, you’re gonna have another support helping you towards saving money as a teen. But, in the unwelcome event that their remainders began to feel annoying, you don’t need to tell them to remind you anymore.
Still, this will really help. Most parents will appreciate the fact that you want to learn about money since this will really help you as you grow up and I don’t think any parent would want to reject more money in the family.
Read Money/Financial Books
I know most teens don’t like reading books in general, let alone these self-help books. But let me tell you something – they are incredible. There’s this amazing book I’d like to recommend to you that’ll help you become a pro at saving money as a teen – The Barefoot Investor.
It’s an incredible book that’ll teach you everything you need to know about money, interest, retirement funds, and a lot more. Many adults who read this book wished they had read it earlier. Believe me. You won’t regret taking my suggestion of getting The Barefoot Investor.
If you’re a parent whose looking to teach your kids to save money, I’d recommend this book to you- The Barefoot Investor for Families
Now that you have 16 ways to save money as a teen, you’re free to try and apply them to your life. I know all of them might not be suitable for you. But choose what suits you best and began applying the strategies in your life.
If you’re not sure about which tip works out for you, feel free to use the comment section to ask me. I’ll be happy to help.
What strategies are you using or plan to use to save money as a teen? Do you think this article helped you?
Please let me know in the comments.