How to Save Money as a Teenager – 46 Actionable Tips

Last Updated on July 28, 2021 by cmoarz

Need some tips to save money as a teenager? We put together a list of 46 actionable tips you can use today! If you’ve got any more, lets us know in the comments below.

1. Save money by buying clothes at thrift stores

2. Eat breakfast at home and save money instead of buying out

3. Use coupons for groceries and other items when shopping

4. Get a part-time job or work over the summer to make extra cash

5. Learn about credit cards, how they work, and what interest rates mean before applying for one

6. Make sure you’re not spending more than you can afford – don’t charge more than $200 on your card in a month unless it’s an emergency!

7. If you have debt, pay off your highest-interest loan first  (this will save you the most amount of money)

8. If you buy something on sale, save the receipt so you can return it if it’s not what you wanted

9. Don’t borrow money from friends or family unless absolutely necessary  (they’re more likely to have hidden charges and interest rates than a bank)

10. Avoid payday loans at all costs – they’ll end up costing you more in the long run!

11. Set goals for saving money – say $3000 by your next birthday or graduation! This will help motivate you and keep you motivated toward saving money!

12. If there are things/places that seem like splurges but really aren’t (ie: fast food, movie theater), only go when it is an event like a birthday or a holiday movie.

13. Keep cash around for impromptu shopping trips – it can be quicker than using your credit card and you won’t spend as much money!

14. If you get paid every two weeks, open a separate checking account that has only what you need to pay bills for the month in it. The rest of your paycheck goes straight to savings or investing if possible! This will force you to not overspend! (This is also good for creating some accountability!)

15. If there is something that you really want but can wait for, put it on your Christmas list and see if anyone buys it for you, or ask friends/family if they would mind getting it for you as their gift.

16. Cut out things you don’t really need in your life like soda, fast food, energy drinks, eating out, smoking, etc.  These can add up to hundreds of dollars a month!

17. Keep an eye on what you spend your money on – if you bought something and it’s still in the bag/box when you get home from the store or wherever else you bought it from (price tag included!), that’s likely because it wasn’t a NEED item but more of a WANT item. Think about these purchases before you make them next time! Have fun with this process though; remember that spending money is not necessarily bad if used wisely!.

18. If there is an item that costs too much for what it is, don’t buy it — find a better deal or wait for the item to go on sale!

19. Set a goal for yourself with regards to saving money – this could be $50 in your account by next month! When you’re working toward accomplishing something like that, you’ll feel more motivated and less likely to spend money carelessly and impulsively.

20. If buying used items is an option (ie: furniture, electronics), always opt for these! You can find fantastic deals at places like Craigslist and eBay.

21. Read all consumer-related literature provided at businesses before making purchases of any kind – usually, there are small things you can do to save money when purchasing something!

22. Look at every possible place you could save money: gym memberships, cable/internet providers, shopping around for better interest rates on loans and credit cards, lowering your insurance rates…  There are countless ways to save money!

23. Explore a few different job opportunities – look at what the benefits packages will be like and find out what salary would be best for you.

24. If it’s an option, go with a cash-back rewards credit card – these usually give you anywhere from 2% to 5% cashback on every purchase! This is great because in addition to getting some of your own money back when using the card, it encourages responsible spending habits (and much less impulse buying).

25. Always pay your bills on time. Late payments will result in additional fees and interest which you will have to pay for later!

26. If there’s a new store or restaurant opening up nearby, check out their loyalty program – these are usually an incentive to come back and make repeat purchases!

27. If possible, ask family members and friends if they would be willing to help you save money by watching the things you buy while you’re shopping – typically, they will be more conscious about it.

28. If you are not okay with your salary and work environment, talk to your boss or the HR department about it. Sometimes, companies will offer incentives if several employees are willing to take on a new role/responsibility.

29. Keep track of the money you spend using an app (like Mint) or pen and paper so that you can keep an eye on where all of your money is going. This alone can save you hundreds of dollars!   (For more information, check out Reddit’s  Money Saving Tricks  thread!)

30. So many things we buy have expiration dates on them – make sure you know what yours are so that you don’t end up throwing away money! On that same note, just because it says past expiration doesn’t always make it so!

31. Try to avoid impulse buys;  things like candy, gum, and fresh-baked goods usually aren’t good for our health (and henceforth not always the best things to spend your hard-earned cash on).

32. If there is an item that costs too much for what it is, don’t buy it — find a better deal or wait for the item to go on sale!

33. Buy cheaper alternatives of products when possible – for example: if you’re going grocery shopping and want to get shampoo/conditioner, consider opting out of buying this expensive brand name one in favor of a different kind from another company.

34. If you’re not using them, sell your old items to get some cash back! This could be anything from clothes to toys/electronics.

35. Look up free events that may be in your area – these can range from farmers markets and concerts to plays or sporting events, etc. Going to something like this is a lot cheaper than spending money on a movie night; along with it being significantly better for the community too!

36. Pizza does not have to be something you eat all the time ;  try making it at home instead of buying takeout – there are tons of recipes available online! This is also good because it encourages cooking (and eating) healthier meals — always a plus when trying to save money!

37. Cut your own hair or trim it with a pair of scissors if you’re okay with having a less-curled look to it – this can save you up to $100/month depending on how often you get your haircut and what type of styling you like doing!

38. If you have any skills, consider teaching them in exchange for payment;  from sewing lessons to guitar lessons and beyond, there are all kinds of things that people would be willing to pay for in order to become better at! (This is also good because it gives one something productive to do when bored!)

39. Don’t throw away perfectly good items just because they don’t work anymore – along with selling them online or locally , always consider donating them to a place that would be willing to repair and/or reuse these items. (This is good for you, the environment, and your wallet!)

40. Rely on public transportation as much as possible;  it’s free after all! Not only this but buses/trains usually come more frequently than cars do thus saving time trying to organize rides or get somewhere in a hurry.

41. If you’re feeling ambitious, try making some of your own cleaning products – there are many guides online that can teach people how to do so themselves with natural household ingredients, just be sure not to make anything deadly! Always look it up before mixing chemicals.

42. See if any of your local businesses offer rewards programs – oftentimes, when we spend money at these places, we do so without a second thought but this could be a great way to save some money! You’ll find deals being offered to you along with maybe even earning free food or discounts on items.

43. Always look for coupons before shopping anywhere – the internet is a wonderful place and likely has many of these available online, sometimes directly from the store itself.  It will definitely pay off in the long run!

44. If you’re cooking something that requires milk/eggs/etc., try making it using something else like rice, soy/almond milk, or water – not only does this taste just as good (maybe better) but it will also reduce costs significantly!

45. Unplug electronics when they aren’t in use or buy battery-operated versions – not only does this save electricity, but it also prolongs the life of these items. (It’s a win-win!)

46. Pack your own lunch instead of buying something from a restaurant during the week – it’s healthier for you and will save a lot of money!  Make sure to double check what is on sale at the grocery store though prior to going; this may allow for some cheaper options.

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