When you’re a teen, everybody wants to be you – believe it! It’s your time to shine, but there are plenty of people trying to market “must-have” bling and designer labels. While it’s great to rock the town in style, breaking your budget will have gloomy consequences.
Plus, you have your future to think of. If your parents aren’t loaded, you might need to chip in or face years of student debt just to get your career started. The answer? Make it a game. Get smart. Use strategies that amaze and make everything go further.
Build Lean, Money-Saving Muscle
No, we’re not going to recommend a no-spend month – unless you’re up for a challenge! We’re talking about having a frugal mindset. That means never paying more when you can pay less, doing things free, and saving all the way.
- OK, so you can get a name-brand item, but maybe you can get it at a deep discount – or find an affordable alternative that looks just the same.
- Sure, you shop online for clothes, makeup, and electronics – but are you using all the free discount options you possibly can? Check out online money saving platforms like DontPayFull and NEVER pay the full price again.
- Get bragging rights and use them. If you’re not returning home from every shopping expedition or logging off from your favorite online store feeling like you scored, you’re getting it wrong…
You can have fun. You can buy awesome stuff. But you don’t need to break your budget. You don’t have a budget? Then it’s time to get smart. Think about the things you need to spend money on, the things you’d like to save up for, and the things you’d like to do, but don’t actually need.
You might be surprised to see how many things are included in a teen’s budget. Depending on how much your parents expect you to manage your own finances, you might have to budget for a bunch of necessities before you can think of saving money or having fun.
Welcome to the real world – but if you use your frugal mindset to make money go further, you’ll be able to get more for every dollar spent.
Track Your Monthly Expenses
Do you know where your money goes? Having a budget and sticking to it are two different things. Once you have a plan that can work, your next task is to make sure you get what you want.
When it comes to budgeting, that means tracking expenses constantly so that you know just how you’re doing. It doesn’t even have to be hard work. Check out budget tracking apps that turn saving into fun.
Now, saving a few dollars here and there mightn’t sound exciting, but it all adds up – and if you’re saving for something special, that can make a big difference. Ideally, you should budget savings just like any other expense and then try to save a bit more on top of that by cutting costs on other items.
There’s a side-benefit to all this budgeting and saving. You’ll earn the respect of your friends and family – and family members will be far more inclined to add a cash injection if they know you’re likely to manage money well.
Make Use of Bursaries, Grants, and Alternative Education Opportunities
Some of us struggle to choose a career while we’re still in our teens while others have a definite calling for one or another profession. Whether you know what you’ll do for a living one day or not, consider your further education seriously.
If your parents haven’t discussed it with you, you should find out how much they can help you with college fees. Realistically, you’d like to earn a good income as an adult and although a few people have made it big without further education, they’re the exception, not the rule.
If you’re from an average household, chances are you’ll have to cover at least part of your education costs – and student debt is a burden you want to keep as small as possible. Start exploring ways to reduce your education costs.
You can look at enhancing your leadership skills and building your personal brand too. These skills will make you a likelier candidate for sponsorships, bursaries, and scholarships. As always, never pay the full price; for example, you can get discounted Tony Robbins courses.
There’s also no harm in looking for mentors among leading figures you respect. If you already have a career direction, try engaging with leading figures on platforms like LinkedIn. You might benefit from free advice and insider opportunities.
Start Right; Fly Right; Reach the Stars
As a teen, your parents should be letting you manage all or part of your expenses. This is the time to learn the financial lessons you need to know before you’re an adult and have to do everything yourself – including catching yourself if you fall.
No matter what your budget, developing money smarts is high on your agenda right now. Some of your friends might laugh it off – who wants a bet where they’ll be in ten years from now? As for you, you’ll be cruising, because getting it right is already second nature to you.