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Is your teen struggling to save money? Or, are you a teenager trying to figure out how to save?
It can be hard to save money if you don’t have the right tools in place to help you towards your savings goals. Don’t worry, we’ve put together 10 amazing save money ideas for teens!
You’ll be able to execute your savings plan starting today. These actionable tips are free, easy to use, and will soon become habit, helping you continue to save into adulthood.
Why Is Saving Important?
Saving money is so important.
The unexpected can happen and when it does, you want to be prepared for those times. As a teen, here are some examples of unexpected events that can cause financial burden:
- Car repair
- Unexpected book or school supplies expenses
- Travel for school functions and activities
Then, going into adulthood, more unexpected happenings can cause you to reach for your savings, like:
- Home repairs
- Travel expenses for visiting sick family or funeral leave
- College expenses, tuition, and fees
If you start the practice of saving now, you’ll form some healthy financial habits that will make saving when you’re an adult, even easier. Take a look at this roundup of money saving ideas for teens.
Money Saving Ideas for Teens
Saving money will be a breeze with this roundup of save money ideas for teens. Check it out.
1. Monitoring Food Spend
For teens who are usually living at home, you might wonder why food spend makes the top of the list.
Food is a necessity but, it’s also an expense that can rake up sky high if not monitored, even for teenagers. Food can be a social activity. It’s a convenience. And, it’s everywhere.
Here are some ways to monitor and reduce food spend:
- Eat school lunch or pack a lunch from home and avoid eating out at lunch
- Limit the number of leisure food activities like popcorn at the movies or hitting the mall food court on the weekend
There are ways to enjoy eating out while on a budget. Try using apps. For example, many cell phone apps for fast food restaurants will offer you a coupon or freebie for downloading the app. Here are some examples to take a look at:
- Auntie Anne’s gives you a free pretzel after first purchase
- Baja Fresh lets you get a free chicken taco with any purchase
- Denny’s will give you a free Grand Slam meal on your next online order
- Quiznos gives you a free small sub or Gyro flatbread with any purchase
Looking for more ways to earn free or discounted food? Here are 25 restaurant apps that give you free food for downloading.
2. Start Budgeting
Creating a budget is a great thing. Look at your income, expenses and spending habits all in one place. If it proves too challenging for your teen to get into the habit of budgeting, put them onto an app that does it for them!
Mint is a free personal finance app that will handle your budget for you! Linking bank accounts and cards will allow Mint to monitor and track spending to help your teen see where they are spending their money every month.
Then, goals can be created and each month your teen can see on the Mint app if they are staying within their spending threshold for each category (food, gas, fun, etc.).
You can even budget consistently without a consistent income. Here’s how!
3. Try the Cash Envelope Method
Dave Ramsey’s Cash Envelope method is a budgeting strategy practiced by many. Getting back to basics and using a cash budget really forces you to stay within your budget or risk living on zero until you’re the next paycheck.
How it works?
Your budget is divided into categories, with an envelope for each category like, a gas envelope, a food envelope, a fun/entertainment envelope, etc.
Cash is stuffed in each envelope to represent that budget categories limit until the system resets, on the next payday.
If you spend your entire envelope, you’re out of luck. If you don’t, you have extra to put into savings or use in other ways.
It’s a really great system for teens to try out. Learn more about it here.
4. Practice a No-Spend Weekend
This is perfect for your teen to put into practice so they can get used to not having to spend money every weekend. It’s a nice habit to start building into adulthood.
Spending no money doesn’t have to mean a boring weekend.
Here are some free activities to try:
- Reading a book at the local public library
- Having a movie marathon at home
- Cooking or baking for the family
- Exercise at home
- Taking a stroll in the neighborhood
- Go for a walk in the park
- Practice meditation
- Organize a bedroom or closet
These are just some examples of fun things to try over the weekend. The more no-spend weekends are put into play, the easier it gets and soon it’ll feel normal to not spend money on the weekend.
This doesn’t have to be done every weekend either.
Starting with one weekend a month and adding to that gradually over time, is a great idea.
5. Get a Weekend Job
A nice way to save money for a teen is to make more money. Looking into a part-time weekend job can help with this.
If your teen has entrepreneurial spirit:
- Mowing lawns for neighbors
- Washing cars
- Doing errands for parents, neighbors, or local business owners
- Pet sitting
- Baby sitting
- Pet washing
If your teen likes to work with their hands:
- Selling crafts online
- Baking sweets and selling in local grocers and retailers
- Attic, garage, or home organization
- Cleaning houses
- Hanging pictures
- Furniture assembly
If your teen is a tech:
- Repairing computers, tablets, and phones for neighbors
- Tutoring for tech/computer classes
If your teen drives a car, some major savings can be had by carpooling. I used to do this in high school. I would carpool with my best friend and we would pool money for gas. Back then it only took about $10 to fill up a tank of gas in a sedan so it was pretty cheap anyway but every little bit helps. Consider having your teen give this a try to save money on travel costs.
7. Selling Outgrown Clothes and Shoes
Has your teen outgrown their clothes? Instead of throwing them away, sell them! Here are some places to sell apparel and footwear, for cash:
- Local consignment shops
- Online consignment shops like ThredUp
- Marketplaces like Ebay
8. Become YouTube Famous
In 2018, the highest paid YouTuber earned $22 Million and the channel was owned by a 7 year old! They reviewed toys on their channel!
Yes, the child was getting paid to play with toys and there are many channels just like this!
Today, some of my favorite YouTube channels are owned by millennials that started their channel when they were a child! I also seen teen YouTube creators buying their own car, paying their own way through college, and living a very comfortable living because of YouTube.
Starting a YouTube channel is free and it can be monetized through YouTube’s ad network once you reach 4,000 watch hours and 1,000 subscribers.
Aside from earning through ads, income can also be made working with brands. So, brands will pay your teen to feature them on their channel, just like the story shared above.
Read more about becoming YouTube famous.
9. Start an Online Business
This teenager turned their love of watches into $13,500 per month with their own online store!
More and more teens are opening their own online store. It can be a very fulfilling and lucrative experience. More money earned means more money that can be saved.
Here are 11 ways to build an online store.
10. Get Paid to Take Surveys in Your Spare Time
Surveys are a flexible, fun way to make extra money. If your teen is interested in getting paid for their opinion, try surveys.
- No fees to get started
- Earn money 24/7
- Get paid as often as weekly
It’s definitely a nice feeling to earn money in your free time:
- While laying in bed, checking messages on your cell phone
- Waiting in the lobby for your dentist appointment
- While you are microwaving your meal
- Any time you have a free moment, or a dedicated time you set weekly
Surveys are so easy and if you treat it like a business, you can make a nice part-time income. Check out these 25+ survey sites to earn an extra $600/month.
Here are some of our favorites:
It’s not as hard as you think for save money as a teen. Here’s a quick recap of the above, 10 save money ideas for teens:
- Monitoring Food Spend
- Cash Envelope Method
- No-Spend Weekend
- Weekend job
- Selling outgrown or unwanted clothes and footwear
- Become YouTube Famous
- Start an Online Business
- Online surveys
Try one of more of these ideas and see how much your teen can start saving.
Do you have a money saving idea to share? Comment below so we can hear from you.