Spending money is now as easy as just one tap on a smartphone or a tablet, or a click on a computer. An ad appears you like the product, and just like that, you have successfully made a purchase! Today’s technology has made self-control thousand times more difficult to exercise, especially for adults. For teenagers, it’s a whole other story. Since typically adults have more responsibilities than teens, they are usually forced to control their overall spending in order to afford a living. Teenagers, on the other hand, don’t usually take responsibility for the cost of living just yet, but their young age doesn’t mean that they don’t need to worry about money or have adult-like obligations as well. The good news is that there are many practical ways to help teenagers spend less and save more. Here are some of the easiest, most effective tips to balance finances for teens.
Be Aware of How Much you Have
In order to know what you can and cannot afford is to know how much money you have and always keep track of what you spend. Knowing the amount of money that you can spend helps create a budget for yourself so you know if you’re about to trip into the danger zone of being in debt to a friend or family member. Owing money to anyone can give you a headache on many levels since worrying about when you are able to pay that person back alone is stressful, what more if you are late and the person needs to keep reminding you about the money. Another downside to borrowing is that you never get to enjoy the money you earn. A perfect example would be in the case that you owe your brother a significant amount of money so you probably need to pay him back immediately once you get your allowance or salary if you have a job on the side. This mostly happens in the household and takes away from the joy of getting money.
Have Your Personal Account
No matter how old you are, you can always start your own bank account. Many banks offer special student banking services to help teens save money and manage their finances. Starting your own account helps you gain control over your finances and life in general so you can be prepared for whatever comes next. A student account comes with many pros, including a debit card, and some banks offer reward points that give you pretty cool offers and discounts. Most banks will also allow you to track your transactions so you are always in the know about what you spent and how much you have left.
Sort Your Priorities Wisely
Here’s a hypothetical scenario: your sneakers are torn and you need to get a brand new pair, your phone is an outdated model from last year and you want to buy a new phone that’s just been released. The money you have at hand is enough to buy a nice pair of shoes and still get to keep some, while at the same time the money is only just enough for a new phone. The question of which item should you choose to buy is simple, and so is the answer: definitely buy a new pair of shoes. You may be thinking twice about the item that you should buy between the two but choosing to purchase a new pair of sneakers is best because you need the shoes more than getting a brand new phone when you still have the old one that’s functioning very well. The next step you should do is to weigh your options on which type of shoes you need and how much you can spend on one. You can always buy excellent footwear brands at reduced prices if you know the right place to buy them from. There are many outlets where you can buy excellent brands at cheaper prices, just find time to hunt for the right pair.
Plan Based on Your Budget
Now you know how much money you have and how much you can afford to spend, you can start making plans based on your budget. Make a list of the things you want to buy, and include in your list the average price of each item. Though you have an amount set to spend on your listed items, keeping a portion of your money as your savings will never hurt as well. Remember that spending is as good as saving. The next step is to check which ones you can afford now and which ones are for later. You should also assess which items require you to save money first before you buy and make sure you always plan that in your budget.
Finances are a tricky thing to manage and keeping up with the increasing cost of living is pretty challenging, but the simple tricks listed here can guide you in the long run. The best thing to do is to manage with what you have, even if you don’t have much. Managing your expenses based on what you can afford gives you control over your life and helps you grow into a responsible adult. You can always get a side job to earn a little extra money, just keep a close eye on how much you save and how much you spend. Sticking to a budget may seem like a lot of work, but it really isn’t. Once you start, you’ll get used to it, and you will save yourself a lot of unnecessary hassle.