From going shopping every week with friends to eating out almost every day, the idea of saving as a teen doesn’t sound very fun. In fact, saving is something not many people find fun, as it doesn’t let you spend money left and right. The things you learn and the skills you develop at a young age while saving money teaches responsibility. Saving doesn’t have to be hard – and the more you do it, the easier it is to figure out what fits for you. The following tips can help you create a great lifelong saving habit.
The first tip is to embrace the Pareto principle (the 80/20 rule), which states that 80% of effects come from 20% of the causes. There is much more to this principle, and it can be applied to many aspects of life, but let’s apply it toward saving. Putting 20% of your money into savings and spending 80% on everyday costs is a useful tactic. You can put more into savings, but having a simple rule for always depositing 20% of your profit/income into your savings is a great start.
Second, have two separate accounts for your money. Having only one account can make it hard to save money, because you never feel you have actually saved much. For example, say I just got a paycheck for $200. Depositing all that money into one account would make it hard to feel like I have actually saved it, since I will be withdrawing constantly from that same account. If you only have one account, deposit 20% of your money into it, and keep 80% in your wallet to spend. It’s important to keep the money you save separate from the money you spend.
My third tip is a basic one: set a minimum amount for your savings account, and never let it drop below a certain amount. Be it $20 to $400, consider your lifestyle factors when setting this minimum balance. My goal is to always have at least $200 accessible on my debit card. Dropping below that number tells me I have spent too much. This helps prevent me from withdrawing too much from my savings account.
Savings is not a “no touch” account. After all, what is the point of saving it if you never spend it? It’s important to know why you save – to have a safety net, or maybe to splurge occasionally on something you have really wanted. Don’t think of saving as a chore; it could save you from possible hardships later in life. Set up the savings habit now to avoid money problems down the road.
Teens Can Get $100
SLFCU members age 13-17 are invited to submit an article on a ﬁnancial topic to be considered for publication in our Dollars & Sense newsletter and on our website. Teens are awarded $100 for published articles. Visit slfcu.org/TeenArticles for details, topic suggestions, and to submit an article. SLFCU will review all submissions and respond within 30 days.
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