It’s never too early to start saving money. From the time you’re old enough to appreciate what having money can accomplish, you would be well advised to try and put some of it aside. Your parents should encourage you to find ways to save a bit of money–it’s a life lesson that will help throughout your working years and into retirement. It may not be easy to think that far ahead, but as time goes by, you’ll be glad you learned how to save money. Following are a few money saving tips for teens.
Make a Commitment
Saving money won’t be easy. There are way too many things you can spend your money on–things that are exciting or trendy. Everyone wants to be ‘one of the crowd,’ and own the latest and greatest toys, but hopefully you’ll realize the importance of putting some of your money away for the future. One of the best ways to do that is to make a commitment to saving money–a conscious decision not to blow everything you have on an impulse purchase. The best way to do that is to put some money away before you have the chance to spend it.
Saving Money is a Skill
For most people, putting some of your money away for the future seems unnatural. Instead, the urge is to rush out and buy things. If you force yourself, or teach yourself, to put some of your money aside before you run to the mall you’ll soon notice that the amount of money you’re saving continues to build. By repeatedly setting aside a portion of any money that comes in you’ll be acquiring a skill–a talent for saving money–that will become extremely useful as you grow older.
Get a Job
Although many people begin doing odd jobs, such as mowing lawns, babysitting, or raking leaves when they’re very young, there’s nothing like having a regular income to boost the desire to save money. As soon as you’re able, you should try and get a job that will bring in money regularly. Once you do, you should always set aside a portion of that income. Saving money, like anything else you do on a continual basis, can be habit forming, and saving money is one habit you’ll be glad you have.
Open a Bank Account
Your parents should encourage you to open a bank account as soon as you begin earning money of your own. Having a savings account is a good way to keep track of how much money you’ve set aside. It can be a good feeling to watch as the numbers continue to grow in your savings account passbook. Although interest rates on savings accounts aren’t as high as they used to be, if you leave the money alone for awhile it will earn more cash. It may also be a good idea to open a checking account, as well. Most banks offer a form of interest-bearing checking account where your money can earn more money, providing you don’t spend it on frivolous things. Having a checking account can also help you learn how to handle money, and pay your own bills, which are also skills you’ll be using for the rest of your life.
Set a Goal
Some people believe that it’s easier for teens to save money if they have a specific goal in mind. In fact, setting a goal is something that most adults find useful as well. Having something definite in mind to save for, such as saving enough money for the latest iPhone, or having enough in your savings account for a healthy down payment on a car by the time you’re 16, or putting enough money aside to pay for a ski vacation when you turn 18, are specific goals that teens can be encouraged to meet. Saving for college is a good goal, and it’s never too early to start. Having a purpose can give a reluctant saver the incentive to put some money aside instead of spending it as soon as it comes in.
Hand-in-hand with saving money is learning how to budget your income. In fact, creating a budget will help you save money if you include it as a budget item–and stick to it. One of the first items on your budget should be money set aside for a savings account. If you learn how to do this as a teen, it’ll be much easier to save money as you grow into adulthood.
[Guest post from Pat Singer. Pat writes about accredited online colleges for AccreditedOnlineColleges.com.]