10 money tips for teens
Spending, Saving, and Earning Tips for Teens
by Alyssa Liljequist
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Once we enter into our teen years, we suddenly seem to have a "need" for more money. Whether it's for a computer, car, or college, there are expensive purchases we want to make. How do we afford it? A key part of the puzzle can be found in our saving and spending habits.
Benjamin Franklin's saying "A penny saved is a penny earned" is true. If we can keep our eyes on a big purchase we hope to make, it will help us refrain from buying smaller things we don't really need. Five dollars here and ten dollars there will add up. Let's try to keep them adding up in our bank account, not in someone else's.
Here are some tips:
- Avoid debt like the plague. Stay away from credit cards. It may seem tempting to be able to buy things you can't afford, but there will always be consequences, such as huge headache-inducing bills and going flat broke.
- Ask yourself questions before you buy. Is this useful? Will I still be using it a year from now? Can I live without it?
- If possible, wait for awhile. Impulsive buying is often regretful buying. After a few days or weeks, you may not even be interested in it anymore. If you are, it is still wise to wait until it is on sale. Always try to keep from buying products at full price.
- Compare prices. Especially in preparation for large purchases, check different stores, in person and online, before making your decision. Don't neglect to consider buying used.
- Don't leave much money in your wallet. Keep it in your bank account or tucked away at home. If you don't have it with you, you can't spend it.
Obviously, you can only save money if you have money.
Here are some ways to make money:
- Use your talents. Do you play an instrument or sing? You could make CDs, give lessons, etc. Are you good with kids? You could babysit, help out at a mom's group, etc. Are you knowledgeable in the area of html? You could design websites, graphic buttons, etc. Develop an entrepreneurial mind set. There are opportunities all around you!
- Consider internships. Some pay; some don't. Either way, you get experience and something significant to put on your resume, which can easily lead to paying jobs.
- Enter contests. There are writing contests, drawing contests, photography contests, filmmaking contests, and more. Again, this is resume material if you are a finalist or winner. I have entered over thirty contests in the last six months alone and I am beginning to see my hard work pay off. A poem was picked to be published in an anthology, an essay was a semifinalist, and a short story was a finalist. I encourage you to enter as many contests as possible that fit your interests!
- Take surveys. You won't get rich doing it but even a few extra dollars is nice. TeensEyes is a trusted survey site for teens. Their surveys are not frequent but you always get points from them and they pay well for the small amount of time that they require. I have personally earned $53 from them over the last few years. They send you checks in the mail. Surveyhead is another survey site. Their surveys are more frequent. They pay with gift cards and/or PayPal. They also give you the chance to donate to charities. In a little over two years, I have earned $66.20.
- Use Swagbucks for your search engine. This will prove especially beneficial if you surf the Internet a lot. When you search for information, why not get paid in gift cards and prizes?
Calculator: What It Takes To Save For College
I hope this has helped you think of even more ways to earn, save, and spend money wisely!
Alyssa Liljequist is a 17-year-old homeschooler who loves God and enjoys writing and filmmaking for His glory.
Take the Next Step:
- Help your teen get a smart financial start. Compare savings and money market account rates and open an account for them today.
- It's tough raising kids today! You need every time and money saving idea you can find. That's why you'll want to get our free weekly Dollar Stretcher for Parents newsletter. You'll find great ideas designed just for parents that will help your family 'live better...for less'! Subscribers get a copy of our ebook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better...For Less for FREE.
- Find new ways to reduce the family budget each week on our page dedicated to frugal families like yours.
Share your thoughts about this article with the editor.
We're still paying off last Christmas and worry how we'll afford the holidays this year without charging it again! Tell us: Yes, we could use help getting out of the debt trap we're in! or No, debt is not a problem for us but I'm always looking for ways to trim my family's expenses further!
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