9 Money Management Tips for Teenagers
If you want to know how to manage money as a teenager, you're not alone. More than 80 percent of teens say they worry about their financial situation and nearly half confess that they don't "feel financially secure." So what steps should you take? Here are some great tips from experts on how to save and spend your dollars wisely:
#1 Decide Now How You Want To Approach Money In The Future
Do you think it will be easy for you to reach all of your future goals if you have no idea how much money is going in and out of your bank account every month? Make sure now that the way you approach spending your hard-earned cash as a teenager will work with any career or lifestyle change that may happen in the future.
#2 Create Financial Goals For Yourself
If you want to be a millionaire one day, it's okay to say so. If you need some help setting up some short and long-term goals for yourself, visit this site. There you can set up six different goals under four categories including daily, weekly, monthly, yearly.
Once your goals are set up, it will automatically calculate how much money you'll need in order to accomplish each goal.
You can also make several spreadsheets with all sorts of different financial/goals worksheets by visiting this website and applying them to your current situation! The best part? They're completely free!
So what are some good, realistic goals?
Short Term Goals
- Save money for a car in the next 6 months.
- Have enough money to go on vacation with your friends in 3 years.
- Have $300 by the time you graduate high school to put towards college tuition.
Long Term Goals (By 45)
- Have $1,000,000 saved up and ready to invest over the course of 30+ years.
#3 Open Your Own Checking Or Savings Account!
As Soon As You're 15 Years Old!
This one is pretty important so listen up: When you turn fifteen (or maybe even fourteen), it's time to open up an account at a bank so you can start managing your own money!
Many banks require an adult to sign for your account, but if you're using it for all of your spending money anyway, there's no reason not to get it now.
Just make sure you can eventually gain access to the ATM in case you need more cash!
#4 Don't Spend All Of Your Money On Stupid Things!
When I was in 8th grade I bought a pair of $200 Nike shoes because everyone told me they were "rad." They really weren't that great compared to other shoes and especially all of my friends thought they were dumb. *Don't be like me...save your money!*
#5 Don't Be Afraid To Splurge Once In A While
On weekdays before school starts back up, I like to splurge on breakfast at McDonald's or some other fast food spot before I go to school.
Sometimes, you need to treat yourself for all of your hard work! I get a happy tummy, and it's much cheaper than $200 shoes. 🙂
#6 Set A Monthly Income And Expense Goal For Yourself
This tip is especially important if you're living with family and receiving money hand-over-fist; set a monthly income/expenses goal that will help you save more money for the future.
For example: If your parents are giving you $50/week, try setting up an expense sheet so you know how much cash should be going in and out of your account every month. After all, working should always bring in more than it spends!
#7 Set A "Date To Buy" Before You Start Shopping
Before you run off to the mall with your friends after school, decide on a date that's three weeks away for when you want to purchase whatever it is you're looking for. When the day comes, if you don't have enough money saved up or if those jeans aren't selling at the thrift shop by then, it's probably time to give up and wait until next time. Start telling yourself "no" as soon as you start feeling tempted: "If I'm going somewhere where there might be things I can buy and I don't need them, it's easier to say no right from the beginning."
#8 Save Money Whenever You Can
As previously mentioned, try using the app " Pennies " to help you save money by rounding your purchase up to the nearest penny. If you have a lot of pennies in your wallet, this might not feel like much at first, but every now and then it adds up!
If you're shopping for clothes with friends, split the cost evenly if they can't afford an item. By splitting costs equally between items that are too expensive, everyone is happy!
#9 Go Thrift Shopping As Often As You Can
When I was little my parents bought me name-brand expensive clothing all the time because it looked nice on me...I never thought about where those clothes were coming from or how other kids might not be able to afford them. I cringe when I think about it now...
Thrift shopping is an excellent way to find items like name-brand clothing for a much smaller price than buying new ones! The best time for this is usually after the summer or winter holiday season because that's when many families are cleaning out their wardrobes and getting rid of old clothes they don't want anymore. (More money saved!)
#10 Invest Your Savings
I know I said before "try setting up an expense sheet so you know how much cash should be going in and out of your account every month." Saving is great, but saving isn't enough if you have no idea what you're saving for. Setting up an investment plan will help you save money with purpose! Investing can also be a little harder than just depositing your cash into the bank, but it is well worth it in the long run.
#11 Look Into Saving For College
Even if you're only 10 years old, you should start thinking about where or what college you might want to attend. Not all colleges cost $50k+...some are cheaper and offer better quality education.
Your high school guidance counselor should be able to tell you more about local scholarships and financial aid packages available to students like yourself looking for higher education down the road. Save up now so that college won't feel like such a burden later on!
If you need a little more guidance, check out Financial Genius for Kids for tips and tricks on how to make smarter financial decisions when you're in school.
#12 Don't Go Into Debt With Credit Cards
Credit cards are the plague of the millennial generation: We all want to have nice things without working hard for them!
In reality, though, credit card companies have been trying to trick younger generations into believing that owning a lot of stuff gives you status or makes you cool.
The truth? It's doing nothing but accruing debt...which is impossible to get rid of if not kept under control!
If your parents aren't strict enough about credit cards and you have one lying around, cut it up immediately so you can't use it and spend money you don't have! (I know, this is an anti-climatic ending compared to the rest of the article, but this really does need to be said. Otherwise, there's no point in any of my other advice...)
Thanks for reading, let me know if you have any questions! 🙂