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.
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.
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.