How to Save Money as a Teenager

Are you trying to save money as a teenager? 

If you’re a teenager, chances are you’re on the brink of getting your first job. You might be wondering how to start off on the right foot financially.

However, if you’re the parent of a teenager, you might be looking for ways to teach your child good money habits. Either way, you’re in the right place.

I’m going to walk you through a few ways teenagers can stretch their hard earned cash while learning good money management skills.

Here are a few ways to help save money as a teenager:

1. Create a Budget to Save Money as a Teenager

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The first step in saving money as a teenager, and learning responsible financial habits, is creating a budget. Even as a teenager, with minimal expenses, you still must learn how to live on what you make.

As you get older, your income will hopefully increase. Unfortunately, so will your bills. Therefore, you must learn how to manage money now.

Start by understanding how much money you make in a month, how much money you spend in a month, and start this new stage of your life living within your means.

2. Giving is Important When Learning to Save Money as a Teenager

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Saving money is important. Understanding how to manage your finances is also important. However, giving to others is important, too.

Start the habit of giving now. Whether you give 10% of your income to your church, sponsor a child, or give to another local organization, add this to your budget.

Why is giving so important? It helps to keep you humble. Pride is an ugly thing and when we feel as though we’re making plenty of money, and the world is ours, we get a little full of ourselves. Give part of your income away because money is only a tool.

It isn’t our value, and it can leave us as easily as it came. Therefore, ensure you always remain humble, help others, and give.

3. Only Use Cash to Save Money as a Teenager

One of the worst things you can do, as a teenager, is use a debit card. Why do I feel this way? When you swipe a card, it isn’t the same as looking at a wallet full of cash and watching it dwindle.

The more frequently you swipe a card, the more detached you get from how much you’re actually spending.

Therefore, I recommend using the cash envelope system. This will help you remain mindful of how much money you have to work with and how much you are spending.

4. Spend Half, Save Half

This was a helpful mentality for me when I was younger and trying to save money as a teenager. When I received a paycheck, I took it to the bank.

I’d create a budget based upon how much money I made within the last pay period. From there, I’d divide my money in half.

Half of my paycheck would go into savings while the other half was meant for entertainment, gas money, and any other expenses I had in the near future.

5. Avoid the Splurge When Saving Money as a Teenager

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When my husband was younger, his mother told him he could blow his entire first paycheck. This was a huge mistake because it instilled the wrong thought process in him from the start.

He never learned good money management skills because he had the “splurge mentality.” In reality, there’s no such thing as a splurge.

You either budget for something, or you’re blowing your money. Don’t treat yourself with gifts. It’s temporary happiness. Instead, know the things you might like to have, budget for them, and this will also help you gain wisdom.

After you work hard, save, and budget for something, it might not be as important to you as it once was.

6. Pack Your Food to Save Money as a Teenager

Eating out is not only a huge waste of money, but it’s rarely good for you. Therefore, I recommend packing your lunch.

Even if you work fast food, consider bringing food from home. This will allow you to avoid spending any money while at work.

You’ll feel better when you make healthy choices. Not to mention, if you don’t get in the habit of eating out, you won’t waste your money in this area.

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7. Choose Free 

As a teenager, there seems to be many things to do. You could go to the movies with friends, get a gym membership, and much more.

When possible, choose free forms of entertainment and exercise. Instead of going to a movie, watch a movie at home with friends.

Instead of purchasing a gym membership, go for a walk in the park or work out using YouTube videos. There are also many fun community events that are free, healthy, and entertaining. Check your town’s social media pages to see what’s happening near you.

8. Appetizers are Great 

There are occasions when friends want to get together, catch up, and go out to eat. What should you do then?

Don’t fall into the trap of ordering a full meal. Instead, drink water and order an appetizer. This is not only saving you money, but it will help you make healthier choices.

Appetizers are usually the appropriate portion for a meal. Therefore, you’re avoiding overeating while saving money.

9. Save Your Change to Save Money as a Teenager

I never did this until I was in my 20s, but I wish I had started sooner. When you use cash, don’t provide exact change.

Instead, let the cashier give you change. When you go home, place all of your coins in a container. Save them until the container is full and cash it in.

You’ll be amazed at how much your change can add up to. Even as an adult, I save my change and end up with hundreds of dollars at the end of each year.

10. Take Care of What You Have to Save Money as a Teenager

One of the easiest ways to save money is to not spend your money. The top way of avoiding spending money is taking care of what you have.

Buy a durable case for your cell phone. This could stop you from breaking yours if you accidentally drop it.

Be sure to perform regular maintenance on your vehicle, so your car will last. Be gentle on your clothing to extend their lifespan. There are many ways you can care for what you have to avoid needing new things.

11. Less Might Actually Be More 

Dave Ramsey said, “The more stuff you own, the more repair people you must know.” The amount of truth in this statement is overwhelming.

Basically, the more stuff you own, the more repairs you’re going to need done. Keep this in mind as you ponder over everything you think you need.

Maintenance is a reality when we own, and care for, our belongings. If you want less, you’ll need to pay less to maintain it. Therefore, saving yourself money.

As a teenager, it can be difficult to save money. You’re working for the first time in your life, it’s exciting to make your own money, and you want to buy everything.

Control your spending urges, practice budgeting, and make a few different choices on entertainment with friends to save money and develop good spending habits.

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