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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 guide is about teaching teens to save money.


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By 7 found this helpful
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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By 2 found this helpful
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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Kelly Ann Butterbaugh1 found this helpful
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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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.

By 0 found this helpful
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

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

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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December 7, 20100 found this helpful

If you know anything about tithing (10% off the top,) you could try that. My pastor says give God 10%, hubby says then "pay yourself" 10%. That 10% should go into an interest-bearing savings account at the highest annual percentage yield (APY) you can find. (My credit union pays me 7% APY.) Depending on your religious philosophy (that is, whether or not you're giving God 10% that leaves your teen 80-90% of any money. So, if he or she has $100, that's $80 left as "mad money!" Of course, you can adjust figures according to how disciplined and motivated your teen is to build a nest egg. Best to you and your teen!

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By 0 found this helpful
September 4, 2007

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



September 5, 20070 found this helpful

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, 20050 found this helpful

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


July 8, 20050 found this helpful

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, 20070 found this helpful

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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