Are you a teen who wants to be better with their money? Here are 10 money management tips for teenagers that actually work!
I’m sure you’ve heard that it’s important to learn about money and know how to manage it, but do you know why it’s important?
Let’s get into that first…
Why You Should Manage Your Money as a Teenager
As a teen, it’s important to develop new skills and knowledge to help you advance further into your adult life.
Money management is one of those skills that you need because the whole world revolves around it! Here are a few things managing your money is good for:
- Getting better at saving
- Learning the value of money
- How to set budgets in the future
- Letting money work for you
- Becoming a responsible adult
- Getting better at organizing your life
As you can see, learning to manage your finances is not only to become rich or to know how to buy a house. Sure, those are benefits, but there’s a much bigger picture to look at here.
Now that you understand the purpose to it all, let’s get into the 10 money management tips for teenagers…
Setting goals is important in almost every aspect of your life, and money is no exception.
Think about the amount of money you make/get and how you want to eventually use that money in the future.
Do you want to save up for a car or a house, or would you rather think short term and save for a video game or new clothes?
I recommend thinking big and not spending your money so quickly on stupid things. You may regret a lot of purchases you’ve made as a teen when you get older.
Write down how much you spend and when you spend it. Figure out if it’s worth saving a little more of that money or not.
I recommend setting a goal to save at least half of your allowance or income.
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Get a Credit Card
When you turn 18, getting a credit card of your own would be an excellent idea. If you’re not 18 yet, start practicing with a debit card set up through your parents.
Most people don’t recommend teenagers to get credit cards because they come with dangerous consequences when used irresponsibly.
While this is correct, a credit card can also help you learn to build credit, spend less than you make, and keep track of your money every month.
If you pay your credit card off in full every month, you won’t have to pay interest and go into debt. That is the biggest consequence to bad credit card habits.
Spending wisely comes with being frugal. Frugal doesn’t mean cheap. It means knowing when you should save and when you should spend.
Learn to work with what you got. In other words, don’t blow all your money just because you have it. There are better places to put your money.
Here are a few ways you can spend your money wisely as a teen:
- Avoid eating out often
- Buy things that you need
- Set a budget for things you want
- Invest in yourself (skin care, massages, etc.)
- Don’t bet/gamble with friends
Spending money is inevitable… we all do it. However, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a right and wrong way to go about it.
Think about it this way – a dollar saved is a dollar earned.
Related Post: 18 Things to do When You Turn 18
Have a Budget
Having a budget is one of the best money management tips for teenagers who have trouble keeping track of their finances!
A common budgeting strategy is called the 50/30/20 rule:
- Use 50% of your money on necessities
- Use 30% of your money on things you want
- Put 20% of your money into savings/investments
While this budgeting system is excellent for adults, I recommend tweaking it a little since you don’t have many necessities as a teen.
Instead try saving 50%, spending 30% on things you want, and 20% on things you need. That way, you still have room to get fun stuff, while also being able to save a lot.
Try keeping track of where your money goes as well. For example, if you notice most of your money goes towards buying food, see if you can cut down those trouble areas.
Without saving, you can’t properly manage your money. The whole point of managing your money is by using it responsibly!
I highly recommend giving yourself a number (ex: $20) and sticking to that number to put aside every month.
If you have a savings account at a bank, ask your parents to take that amount and deposit it for you. That way you don’t have to think about it being around.
As you make more money, increase the amount you save and pretend it was never your money in the first place. By the time you look at your savings account, you’ll have so much saved up!
It’s important to save for specific items as well if you have goals to buy a car, video game, clothing, or jewelry.
Related Post: 15 Valuable Life Lessons Every Teenager Should Know
Investing is often overlooked when money is discussed around teenagers. If you’re a teen reading this, please understand the importance of investing.
Investing doesn’t need to be complicated. There are stocks that track the 500 largest companies in the world and it goes up an average of 6-12% per year.
Example: If you invested $50/month at a 10% annual return from the age of 13-21, you would have over $8,500!
If you just saved that money, you would only have $5,400. Still impressive, but you missed out on an extra $3,100!
The more time you have in the stock market, the more money you will end up making in the future!
Related Post: How to Invest in the Stock Market for Teens
Make Money Your Friend
It’s a common trait in a lot of people to treat money like the enemy. Don’t be that person.
Sure, money can suck and who knows.. maybe the world would be a better place without it. However, money exists and it’s your duty to learn how to make it work for you.
At your age, you can start a small business and sell things that you make or buy for less and sell for more.
You can also invest (which we discussed earlier) and open a high-yield savings account (basically just a savings account that gives you more money than an average one) for the rest of your money.
Understand the Value of Money
Understanding the value of money is one of the most valuable money management tips for teenagers to remember.
What does it mean to understand the value of money? It means to appreciate what it takes to earn and spend a certain amount of cash.
For example: when your parents buy you a $150 pair of AirPods, that would cost you over 10 hours of work earning minimum wage!
Start appreciating what you have and being grateful for the things you’ve been given. Believe it or not, but this will make you 10x better with money.
Use Apps and Browser Extensions
If you’re too lazy (like me) to go out of your way and find a coupon code, discount, or referral bonus when you’re shopping online, then you should use some online help.
There are tons of apps and browser extensions that not only help you save money, but manage it as well!
Here are a few apps and browser extensions for teens to save money:
- Honey (Finds discounts automatically when shopping online)
- Paribus (refunds you money when a price drops on something you purchased)
- Drop (Earn cashback on popular brands)
- Mint (money management app to track spending)
- Step (banking for teenagers)
- Venmo (free money transferring app)
Give them all a try and see how each one can benefit you in managing your finances.
Related Post: 10 Money Saving Tips for College Students
Making money may sound like a no brainer, but it’s just as important to start upgrading your income as it is to upgrade your savings.
The more you can make, the more you can save. All in all, you’ll have a much better appreciation for the value of money as well.
Here are 5 ways to make money as a teenager:
- Sell Your Stuff
- Flip Items
- Sell a Handmade Craft
- Do neighborhood chores
- Online sites/apps
Each one of these is discussed in detail in this post.
Don’t be afraid to get out there and ask people what you can do to help them. You’ll be surprised… you might get a really good job out of it.
Hopefully these 10 money management tips for teenagers have helped you understand how to be better with your finances.
If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions leave them down below. Thanks for reading!