Teenage Money Hacks: 7 Ways to Save and Spend Wisely

You don’t need to wait until you are an adult to save money! Instead, you can start to save money as a teenager to pay for the things you want and to get a handle on your financial future now.

Make Money as a Teenager

young adult girl with baseball hat and tattoo
Image Credit: AndrewLozovyi via DepositPhotos.com.

While some teens are lucky enough to have their parents fund their expenses, not everyone has that luxury. From new PlayStations to the latest MJ sneakers, there are many things your parents won’t pay for.

However, you can start saving money as a teenager and start saving your money. If you don’t know how to start saving money, don’t worry – here are some of the many ways to help you save money as a teenager.

To help you learn some easy ways, we’ve come up with this short guide. Here is how to start saving money as a teenager!

What’s the Ideal Age To Start Saving Money?

Three teenagers sat together
Image Credit: photography33 via DepositPhotos.com.

According to recent studies, about 83% of American teenagers don’t know how to manage money. Well, money management begins when you know when’s the right time to start saving money.

Most financial experts say you should start saving as soon as you get your first job. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an increase in employment for the 16 to 24 age bracket from 2.4 million to 21.2 million in 2019.

First Job at 16

Closeup portrait of a funny redhead teenage girl with childish hairstyle sticking her tongue out
Image Credit:
bilanol.i.ua via DepositPhotos.com.

The report shows that many teenagers begin their first jobs at the age of 16. Consequently, if you’re already making money (whether it’s through a traditional part-time job or creative entrepreneurial projects), you should start saving immediately instead of leaving money management and personal finance for the not-so-distant future.

If you start saving money at 16, you will start your financial life off on a strong foot. In fact, you will be way ahead of so many adults. Saving money as a teen is a great way to ensure financial success.

Why Save Money as a Teenager?

Three teen girls smiling and shoots a video on a pink background
Image Credit: videoforyou0304 via DepositPhotos.com.

There are many reasons to start saving money as a teen. For one, it’s a good habit to get into, especially when you start your career. For another, you learn about financial security, which many people (even adults) don’t know very well.

Saving money allows you to:

  • Be more financially independent (you don’t need to ask your parents if you need money unexpectedly)

  • Save up for bigger purchases instead of splurging on many smaller ones (for example, going on a trip or buying an iPhone or a video game)

  • Also, save for college or school tuition/expenses.

  • Learn how to plan and set goals

  • Lastly, find out how to deal with banks and learn bank terms such as simple/compound interest.

Seven Ways To Save Money as a Teenager

happy teen african american schoolboy looking at camera with blurred school bus on background.
Image Credit: LightField Studios/Shutterstock.

Moving on, let’s get to the point. Now that you know why saving money is important, what are some ways you can do it?

You may be wondering how to save money as a teenager. If you are like any teenager, I know you want to know how to save money fast and easily as a teenager. Everyone wants to know how to save money quickly! Remember, saving money as a teen is already the first step towards a great financial future.

It’s not hard, so you don’t need to be wary. It’s a simple process of planning and considering certain savings goals. Although, before you look at our tips, think about why you want to save money. This will help structure your finances and aid you in deciding what steps to take.

However, if you’ve already done that, here are seven ways to save money as a teenager:

Keeping Track of Your Expenses

top view photo of female hands holding open craft paper envelope with hundred dollars banknotes
Image Credit: evphoto48.yandex.ru via DepositPhotos.com.

Of course, our parents take care of necessary expenses (food, shelter, clothes) when we’re teenagers. However, unnecessary expenses (such as paying for a night out with friends) are left up to us.

Make a detailed account of how much you make and how much you spend every month. Once that’s done, think about how you can curb those expenses. We recommend making an Excel sheet to make it easier to keep track. Alternatively, you can try apps like Good Budget and YNAB. (Here is a basic budgeting system you can use to get started).

Learn More About Personal Finance

woman holding book in front of her face with only her eyes visible.
Image Credit:
deagreez1 via DepositPhotos.com.

As mentioned, even adults lack proper financial literacy in the US. Consequently, it’s up to you to educate yourself. Get some books on financial literacy or take an online course. For example, Coursera has some free courses you can take. Understanding basic personal finance will already put you ahead of the curve.

The old saying is correct: knowledge is power. Knowing how to handle expenses makes you less likely to make financial mistakes.

Open up a Savings Account

Portrait of a happy young afro american man in sweatshirt isolated, showing money banknotes, taking selfie of his extra money.
Image Credit: Dean Drobot/Shutterstock.

Savings accounts are advantageous. Even if you’re saving $10 per month, it’s a good start and prevents you from recklessly spending money. So how does one open a savings account? Well, it’s straightforward.

Go to a bank (most of which have special packages regarding minor savings accounts) and get references to the fees and requirements. Usually, they ask for identification and parents/guardians’ approval if you’re under 18.  This is where you will be keeping the money you will be saving.

Select a Portion of Your Check To Spend

Portrait of cheerful flirty woman with wavy hairdo wear pink pullover doing selfie tongue lick lips isolated on blue color background.
Image Credit: deagreez1 via DepositPhotos.com.

Of course, if you’re going to save, you need to decide how much. You can use a savings calculator to decide what percentage of your paycheck you should save.

For this, refer back to the first step: keep track of your expenses. As per your expenses, how much money do you need out of your check, and how much can you leave for the savings account? Think about these factors. The more you can save, the better off you are.

Get More Income

Happy hipster gen z teen girl fashion designer, stylist with pink hair and piercing wearing hoodie looking at camera in front of modern clothes wardrobe closet, face head shot close up portrait working job to save money as a teenager.
Image Credit: Ground Picture/Shutterstock.

This is a classic step in financial management: have dual modes of income. In this way, you get to save more money. However, only get a second job if you can. Don’t compromise on your studies, extracurriculars, and other responsibilities.

One thing almost everyone can do is pick up a few extra chores around the house. Many parents don’t give money as is but reward hard work. If you do that, you have another source of income. There are plenty of ways to earn a small income on the side. You can use survey sites to make easy money. It won’t break the bank, but every small amount helps.

Use Discounts Where You Can

Coupon Purchase Order Discount Concept.
Image Credit: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock.

If you’re going to spend, spend wisely. Buy things at sales or thrift stores rather than at full price. Utilize coupons and buy-one-get-one-free offers, as doing so helps you be more frugal.

Also, you can use your student status to take advantage of student discounts. In addition, many places, such as cafes and theater parks, have student nights, making them better hang-out options.

However, don’t spend on something you don’t need. You can probably manage without the latest Kate Spade bag or MJ sneakers. Instead, it’s better to save for something big like college. These apps will give you free money simply by signing up.

Focus on Summer Jobs

smiling hipster woman in sunglasses. Girl in summer clothes with inflatable.
Image Credit: alexhalay via DepositPhotos.com.

Lastly, getting multiple summer jobs is a good way to save money for the fall. Since school is off, everyone is free for a solid three months. That’s why employment rates skyrocket in the summer months.

Working is a productive way to spend your vacation, and it looks good on college applications. While it’s important not to overexert yourself, you can still work at least two jobs in the summer. If you want to earn extra income, think about making money while at school to earn a few extra bucks.

How to Save Money as a Teen

happy teen african american schoolboy looking at camera with blurred school bus on background.
Image Credit: LightField Studios/Shutterstock.

In essence, it’s not hard to save money as a teenager. By applying these simple methods, you can start saving lots of cash. Whether it’s for college or something else, saving money is very important. It teaches you how to handle money more responsibly, which is a lesson you’ll be grateful for in your adult life.

Being financially capable is a strong asset to take into adulthood. Consequently, we strongly urge you to try out some of these techniques and start making money-saving a habit.

7 So-Called “Frugal” Habits That Are Actually A Waste Of Time And Money

woman laying under knitted blanket
Image Credit: serezniy via DepositPhotos.com.

Not everything is frugal! I am sure you have read articles and tips that promote frugal living and give some ideas that are just not frugal! These frugal myths float around and sometimes even cost people a lot of money!

7 So-Called “Frugal” Habits That Are Actually a Waste of Time and Money

The 20 Things People Used To Cheap Out On, But Now They Swear By The Expensive Versions

woman with cheese in mouth
Image Credit: avgustino via DepositPhotos.com.

When budgeting and saving money, trying to cut corners wherever possible is tempting. However, some items are worth investing in due to their better durability or quality compared to their cheaper counterparts.

The 20 Things People Used To Cheap Out On, but Now They Swear by the Expensive Versions

Frugal Living Tips From The Great Depression That Are Relevant Today

Vintage Street Peasant Boy In Flat Cap Eating Baked Beans From A Can In A Depiction Of The Great Depression
Image Credit: jorgophotography via DepositPhotos.com.

How frugal were people during The Great Depression? It was a time of hardship and uncertainty and a time when people were forced to be extremely frugal.

Money-Saving Secrets from the Great Depression: Frugal Living Tips from the Great Depression That Are Relevant Today

Sorry Millennials, These 20 Skills From The 90s Are No Longer Relevant

Millennial Hipster Girl Holding an Audio Tape Cassette and a Pencil
Image Credit: nicoletaionescu via DepositPhotos.com.

The 90s saw a tremendous shift in technology, and many skills that were once essential have become irrelevant in today’s world.

Sorry Millennials, These 20 Skills From the 90s Are No Longer Relevant

Eye Rolling Intensifies: 28 Boomer Comments Gen Z and Millennials Can’t Stand

Senior beautiful couple standing together
Image Credit: Krakenimages.com via DepositPhotos.com.

Older generations love giving advice and telling younger people things. While there are plenty of life lessons to learn from older people, young people are tired of hearing some of what boomers have to say.

From OK Boomer To Eye Roll: Gen Z and Millennials Are Sick and Tired of These 28 Boomer Comments


Financial Wolves is a blog about making money with side hustles to help you achieve financial freedom.

Leave a Comment