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Teaching Teens to Save Money

Category Saving Money
Learning to manage money is important for all young people to know. This page is about teaching teens to save money.


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November 18, 2011

Like every teen, I wanted the latest clothing trends plus all the other things teens think they can't live without. At 16, my parents put me on a monthly "clothing allowance", which was seemingly quite generous until I learned what all I had to pay for out of this.

My first shopping trip and I came home empty handed. I could buy that item or I could hang on to my money. After a few days, I realized the item didn't mean all that much to me. As the months passed, my values began to swing in a different direction. I'd become quite proficient in handling money and had learned to be frugal. My parents had made it clear that I was not to ask for more money as it wouldn't be forthcoming. What better life lesson could a parent give a child?


By joan from NW ON

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April 12, 20180 found this helpful
Top Comment

This is just great to read! Thank you for your passion about helping kids with financial skills. When I was younger, I didnt have anyone to teach me financial stuff. The book that helped me was, Rich Dad Poor Dad. This is also a good site:

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Kelly Ann Butterbaugh
May 15, 2007

For the budget conscious teenager there are ways to save costs and still enjoy the perks of being a teenager. While limitations on frivolous activities are an obvious answer, there are ways to enjoy some of those frivolities while saving some pennies.

Music Selection

Music is important, and so is having the newest hit. However, opt for a download of one or two favorite songs instead of buying the entire CD. Often download packages can be purchased which allow a person to pick and choose the best songs. However, do some planning. Listen to the samplers online and see how many songs on the CD appeal to you. If you like five songs, it pays to buy the CD. If you only like two or three, download them.

Similarly, shop around before buying a CD. Don't buy the CD (or movies!) the week that it's released; prices are highest. Be patient and wait two or three weeks. The price will drop by $5 once it's not a "new release." Then, check if online prices offer free shipping for combined purchases. Compare this to store prices and choose the best deal offered.

Cell Phones

Cell phones are possibly the biggest budget breaker. Simply said, monitor your usage. If your plan allows you 1,000 minutes, don't use more than that. Text messages add up quickly as well, and the more you make them a habit the more friends will text you, costing you money each time. This is your chance to learn a valuable budgeting lesson which will be used the rest of your life. If that's too much to do, consider a pay ahead plan that limits your usage for you.

Need the coolest case for your phone? Changing cases to the stylish, yet expensive, cases available at the mall actually voids any warranty or service plan on your phone. So, even if you've found the dirt cheap cases on-line avoid cracking open your phone to keep it stylish. Instead, check for phone tattoos (available at Cingular stores among others.) These are similar to stickers except they leave no sticky residue when they're removed. With a computer and a printer you can create custom skins for your phone, and change them on a whim. Four skins are available for $10, half the price of a designer case.


Fashion Cents

It sounds undesirable, but get past the initial thought of second hand shops and see what they offer. Designer duds are too costly, but some people can afford to purchase the newest styles and replace them on a regular basis. What do these people do with their clothes once the fashion of the month is over? They sell them to consignment shops. No one will know where from where the outfit came if you don't tell them.

Another current fashion trend is the independent retro look. This look can only be gotten from thrift store finds. Think of it - be the most fashionable person in class AND have the most money in your pocket!

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May 16, 20070 found this helpful
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A part-time job at a store gets you at least a 10% discount on almost everything they sell, and you learn about the merchandise - what sells, what gets returned, what isn't worth your hard-earned money.

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By Ashley (Guest Post)
August 29, 20080 found this helpful
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I do babysitting. I made a notebook filled with things (mag clipping)s of what i admire & want So I put $20 -$30 bucks every time I get paid or if you cant afford that much put $1.00 a day away I glued and stapled an envelope to my book.


I write down how much I put it and the date. I am trying to reach $500 in just a few weeks. Good luck.

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January 19, 2006

Does it seem your son or daughter always "needs" (or wants) money? One way to save YOUR money is to help your preteen/teen develop a small business. Your son or daughter will learn the life skills of work, responsibility, and accountability. He/she will experience the pros and cons of independent business ownership/management, learning self-reliance and customer service. Recognizing the value of money and making better purchase decisions can result.

Last fall our 12 year old daughter started a pet care business for the neighbors on our street. With just a few regular customers, she now has her own spending money.


She tithes to church and contributes to her savings account, developing positive life habits - all with no monetary cost to me. She bought her own Christmas gifts this year and even took us to lunch. My only investment is parental support.

Now she is researching her earning limits before paying taxes to the IRS- another life lesson in the making and I open my own purse much less!

By Meritmom from Byhalia, MS

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By Lindajeang (Guest Post)
January 19, 20060 found this helpful
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As a single mom of 4 I got checking and saving accts for each of the kids at an early age. Their $15 / month allowance went into the checking account and birthday, holiday $ went into the savings acct. They tithed 10% to the church from their earnings--we all worked together for the good of the family and were all entitled to have allowance for working together.

Every Friday we did Friday Jobs which rotated weekly: 1) dust, vacuum kitchen, laundry room, dust and vacuum their room; 2) dust and vacuum the living room, hall bathroom, and their own room; 3) "Blue Juice" --the youngest's name for windex! --all the mirrors, glass doors, tv screeens,etc., their room, ; 4) Kitchen Helper--set table, clear dishes and load/unload dishwasher daily., and spot clean tile floors.

Extra jobs--yard work, polishing silver, etc. could earn extra $, as well as babysitting, and part time jobs at age 16.

The little ones got strange looks at Christmas time when they wrote checks at Walmart and had no ID--my license worked fine! They grew up knowing how to balance a checking account, never bouncing, being very responsible. They got a credit card to take to college, which they then build credit in their own names.

The 25 yr old was 9 when I started this, the baby is now 16 and they all are very savy with money!

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

December 2, 2010

Do you know how a young teen can save money? They always want to spend, spend, spend, but she wants to save now!

By Sally Time from FL


December 2, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Open a savings account for her at the bank.
Do the old envelope system which is putting amounts of cash in each envelope labeled for a certain bill or goal. Distribute to that cause and it's best to have some cash less than what's in the envelope(s) to spend as mad money for starters. It takes a very disciplined and determined teen to begin saving all of it right away.

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December 2, 20100 found this helpful
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One simple way would be to encourage her to save her spare change in a jar. Anytime she has a dollar or so, stick it in the pot. She'd probably be amazed at how much is in there after a few months!

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September 4, 2007

What creative ways do your teach your children to save money?



September 5, 20070 found this helpful
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You start by paying them to do some/certain house chores around the house, and requiring them to do monthly statements(showing how much was spent, and how much is left) At the end of the month, if more money is spent, they will receive less money for allowance, and if more money is saved, they will receive more for allowance.Talk to them about compounding interest, how they could be the next ..

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July 8, 2005

Tips to help teens learn about budgetting and finance. Post your ideas.


July 8, 20050 found this helpful
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Budget and finance are a shock to young people just starting out. I suggest parents have their child start a checking account in their senior year of high school and learn to balance their statement. They should use the check books that have the copy slips, so they can see what checks they have written. Encourage them to prioritize. It's a great thing to learn, if not a shocking experience. But it's the first thing they need to know about budgeting

By Ardis Barnes

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

September 4, 2007

My daughter was complaining that she did not know how she was going to teach my grandson how to save money. He likes to spend his alloted amount each week and then ask for more. His Grandpa's suggestion was to take a five gallon water jug and start putting his change in it at the end of every day.

Joshua has become very proud of his savings in the bottle, he can actually see the amount grow each week. Now, every time we go to visit, Joshua will ask if Grandpa has any change in his pocket to add to his savings bottle.

Once the jar is filled he will also have fun rolling the money to take to the bank. Do not use the machines at the grocery stores to roll your change, as they end up costing you about 7% of what you have rolled. That is, of course, unless you have an account at an institution like Commerce Bank, which offers the service gratis - a rare commodity these days in banking.

By Bobbie G from Rockwall, TX

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Budget & Finance Saving MoneyJanuary 21, 2013
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