Family Money Saving Tips

Frugal Teenagers: Top 10 Tips

Frugal Teenagers: Top 10 Tips
Written by Oana Schneider

If you’re a teenager, you are definitely lucky if your parents taught you the value of saving money while you were still a kid. But what if they did not? How can you train yourself to have good money management skills, something that will benefit you once you grow into a full-fledged adult? Fortunately, you can still teach yourself how to become a frugal teenager.

Simply put, frugality is being wise with money. If you strive to have this characteristic, you will find yourself being able to handle and manage your own funds once you venture out to college, all the way to when you start joining the workforce or maybe establish your own business.

Why it Pays to Be a Frugal Teenager

Before dishing out tips on how you can manage your money wisely as a teenager, let us first learn why it pays to be a frugal one. Even if you come from a well-off family, the money that your parents have is not necessarily yours. Sure, they might give you a trust fund or inheritance as a daughter or son – but if you want to make your own mark in the world, you need to know how to make your own wealth through sheer hard work and determination.

Those who were not necessarily born with a silver spoon in the mouth would need to work doubly harder – and the earlier you start, the better.

Now, check out a list of the reasons why it pays for teenagers to be frugal with their money:

  • Frugality teaches you how to manage your own money.
  • You can use the funds that you will save for emergency purposes, or even luxury purchases in the future.
  • If your parents cannot afford to send you to college, you can use your own savings to give you a head start at school.
  • Handling and saving your money is a good training ground for personal finances, a skill that you can take with you once you grow old.
  • You can gain more leeway financially even as a young teenager.
  • You can buy the things that you want using your own money without having to ask your parents for it.

Teenagers have different domestic circumstances and come from varying financial backgrounds. By learning how to be frugal, you can take your money management skills with you as you grow old and start earning a living for yourself.

Frugal Teenagers: Top 10 Tips

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Top 10 Tips on How Teenagers Can Be More Frugal

Here are the top ten tips on how teenagers can become more frugal:

1. Monitor the ins and outs of your finances.

Teenagers are still financially dependent on their parents so they won’t have a lot of money to handle in the first place. However, you can use your school allowance as a starting point in managing your own money.

If your parents are giving you a certain amount per week, where exactly are you spending it? Creating a budget is an excellent first step to take in becoming a frugal teenager. This will help you monitor the ins and outs of your expenses.

You can use an Excel file, download an app or simply use pen and paper to record your expenses. To start, make a list of how much money is coming in which would serve as your income.

Next, deduct your fixed expenses such as lunch, transportation, school supplies and similar items. You would also have flexible expenses which includes snacks, entertainment, personal grooming, personal accessories and others.

Finally, make it a point to include savings as part of your budget – because saving money is the first step towards learning how to be a frugal, money-wise teenager.

2. Make it a goal to spend less and save more.

This rule applies not just to teenagers but anybody who would like to manage their finances better. When you make it a goal to spend less, you can set aside more money towards your savings account.

If you haven’t opened up a bank account yet, ask your parents about the possibility of having one. If not that, simply have a money jar where you can put all your savings in. If you are saving in order to buy an item that your parents cannot afford to buy for you, label the jar so that you can have a visual representation of what you are actually saving up for. The result is that you will be inspired to spend less and save more.

3. Use your student ID to save on purchases.

Next, be frugal by saving money on purchases using your student ID. Aside from your school, you can also use your ID to earn discounts at Urban Outfitters, J.Crew, Charlotte Russe and other establishments which offer discounts for students.

4. Earn money to save more money.

To be a frugal teenager, you need to learn not just how to save money – but also how to add up to your own savings. More than just working at a fastfood chain or babysitting, there are actually a lot of jobs that will allow teenagers to save up. You can go pet sitting, work part time for your parents or relatives who have a business, tutor, be a lifeguard, do household chores for neighbors, caddy at a golf course, deliver newspapers or sell your skills in computers, crafts, etc.

Market your services to relatives, friends and neighbors so that you can let them know that you are available for such specific work. Once you’ve made some money, save some so that you can reach your financial goals – be it adding to your college fund or buying the latest gaming console.

5. Do an inventory of the things in your room and hold a garage sale to make some extra money.

If you have a toys collection or if your mom went overboard shopping for your clothes last year and they don’t fit you anymore, you can earn money by holding a garage sale. Make an inventory of the things in your room that you don’t need anymore. The proceeds can be added to your savings account, or you can simply use the money to buy something that your parents cannot afford to buy for you.

6. If you want to buy something really bad, negotiate with your parents.

Frugal Teenagers: Top 10 Tips

How About You Cut Back on Buying T-Shirts for a While?

If you really want that latest gaming console or if you’re dying to have a new laptop computer, why don’t you negotiate with your parents? Tell them about your efforts to save money and make a deal with them that when you manage to save up a certain amount, they can match it with their own money so you won’t have to work twice as long to save up for it. This will usually work, although it might not for families who are on a strict household maintenance budget.

7. Have a change jar.

When your parents are asking you to run errands for them, always ask if you can keep the change for yourself. Even a few pennies per day would add up to a lot, especially if you add your own coins savings into the mix.

8. Learn about the ways that young people waste money – and do your best to avoid them!

As a teenager, you would be dealing with a lot of issues – and you don’ want to add money to the equation. To manage your money better, steer clear of the things that young people waste their money on.

Some examples include: going on a spending spree the minute that any amount of money is received; spending too much money on eating out, getting designer coffee, buying trendy clothes, etc.; being influenced into spending money on things you don’t really need.

By being aware of the things that teenagers do to waste their money, you can actively not follow suit and actually do the opposite – which is be wiser in saving and spending your money. 

9. Look for activities that will not cause you to spend money mindlessly.

If your friends frequently hang out at the mall, there is no way that you can spend a lot of time there without spending any money – even for a cone of ice cream. Instead of hanging out at the mall, look for other activities that will not cause you to spend money mindlessly. Engage in sports activities, volunteer at a local shelter during weekends, take on a hobby or even part-time work. Do alternative activities that will not cause you to spend money mindlessly, considering how you are not even earning enough money to support yourself just yet.

10. Write down your long-term and short-term financial goals.

Finally, it would help a lot if you can write down your long-term and short-term goals. You might say that you’re too young to do all that but when it comes to money management, the earlier you start developing your skills, the better. Follow these tips and you can become a frugal teenager who excels in managing your own finances. Such is a skill that you can definitely take with you once you grow old.

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About the author

Oana Schneider

Oana Schneider is a published author located in Chicago, Illinois and was part of our team as a communication specialist and blog editor. She writes about lifestyle, family budget and has a degree in Communications.


  • As the mother of kids who are soon going to be teens in a few years, these tips will surely come in handy! I’m already starting to teach my kids to be more careful with their money. I give my kids allowances, and I generally pay them for doing chores. This is a pretty controversial topic, but I do encourage paying my kids for chores because it starts them early in thinking about earning money for themselves and promoting responsibility. I do have them keep track of all their spendings, so that’s helpful. I haven’t opened a bank account for them yet, as they’re still young, but I have them keep their finances in a box. I’m happy to say that they save a lot more money than they spend. One thing that I’m not doing so well with them is having them write down their short and long term financial goals. I kind of just let them decide on their own, but writing down their goals will definitely help them manage their money and skills better. Thanks for the informative guide!

  • These are great tips for anyone! As a university student myself although just out of my teens I’ll admit that I’m guilty of doing some of the things I shouldn’t be doing with money! (Particularly the spending money as soon as I receive it!)

    Being in quite an academically demanding course, it’s almost impossible to have a part-time job and it’s not something my parents want me to do anyway as they want me to succeed with my studies and not worry too much about money at this stage. But as a student it can be difficult, especially with the huge loans we know we will be burdened with once we leave university.

    I do somewhat monitor my finances, I keep all my receipts and never overspend what I can afford. However I am guilty of impulse purchases and I probably don’t need everything I own so I should keep a closer eye on this.

    Sometimes though shopping is a really nice break from the studying and there is a fleeting but nice feeling when you get a lovely new dress or lipstick. It gets even harder when you factor in the discounts that you can get! A great site for student discounts is UniDays which has lots of discounts on brands like ASOS, Topshop etc. (Which definitely won’t help you save money!) It’s probably not worth it in the long run though and I should really keep that in mind when I’m shopping.

    Thank you for the eye opener, I probably don’t scrutinise my purchases enough as I don’t really think about them at the time. I should definitely set some goals (car!) to save up for, maybe that will help me curb my spending.

  • I really loved a lot of these tips especially the ones that many teenagers just look past like using the student ID. There are many ways to save money and sometimes teens just need an extra reminder on ways they can save. Putting a goal in front of them is very helpful as well so they know that for each dime they save, they can put an extra one towards something that they really want. Not to mention, recycling items is “in” and gives them something to do while they save money!

  • Nice tips all around. I find that planning for the long term and learning to appreciate long-term investments is the best thing you can really teach your kids, especially when they’re at that age. Teenagers have very complicated lives, and their focus is all over the place, so they might need a little help when it comes to being frugal as a discipline.

  • Today’s young people are well-versed with internet technologies and have huge friends circle on their social networking sites. They must learn to leverage internet to make some additional cash. Instead of wasting time, they can learn valuable life skills, English and communication skills and put them to good use. Start a blog of their own and spend an hour or two daily and it would subsequently pay all their fees. There are thousands of opportunities for young guys to make some decent cash.

    Diligence and responsibility are important for these young people to realize their dreams. If they can stay organized, sky would be the limit.

  • i am a 14 yr old and i think all these tips are very helpful. I have been told by many people and people I don’t know that i have a very wonderful voice. I’m not exactly sure what to do with it, any tips on how that could help me get a job? please respond back as soon as you can.

  • Excellent post telling us how it is. I guess I lucked out a bit as a teenager. I was made to work to earn money and rarely was just given money. I also learned from a young age how to budget and save money. I also kind of lived in solitude not doing much that cost money so I guess that helped in a big way.

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