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What to Save For as a Teenager

It’s totally up to you! Here is some inspiration to get your savings goals started.

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Ok, we get it. You’re at the age where you can practically taste freedom. You’ll be away at college or gainfully employed in a few short years, and you’ll have your own money. But what exactly should you be saving for today that can make you happy? Listen, your teenage years can be great, and managing your money right is a big part of that.

So, we’ve put together a list of the most popular things your peers are saving for and that you should be saving for too!

Car

Top of the list, hands down, is always going to be a car. Even if you live in the city, having a car is a great mode of transport. You’ll gain a certain level of freedom and, of course, responsibility with owning a car. Also, if we’re being honest, having a car makes finding and maintaining a job so much easier.

Clothes

It’s totally fine if your parents still buy your clothes. But even if they do, we’re sure you still have an eye on a few jackets, tops, etc. You can save your own money to buy them and get the brands and styles you really like.

Vacation

Ok, picture this. It’s summer before high school starts, and you and your friends want to plan a day trip somewhere or talk their parents into a vacation. You’ll need money for that, even if it’s only a few hours away. 

Electronics

Electronics are everything from phones, tablets, computers, whatever. And in today’s world, more and more things are going electronic. That means you’ll need replacements, upgrades, and repairs. It’d be a shame if you couldn’t send a text due to a cracked screen or miss out on the latest song because of a lousy ear jack. You get the picture. Stay on top of your electronics and stay in the loop.

College/Application Fees

Obviously, applying for colleges will make any worthwhile list of things a teen should be saving for. College is important, and every school you want to get into will have application fees. And believe us, those fees vary wildly. Don’t limit yourself or your future – have money set aside for application fees.

Prom

Low-key, prom is always around the corner. It’s never too early to start saving for the biggest high school dance. And let us tell you, many cool things come with adulthood, but none of those things is prom. Take the opportunity to make a memory and be prepared for it financially. Prom means you’ll have to buy any combination of corsage, tux, gown, transportation, tickets, food, manicure, pedicure, etc.

The Glow Up

The glow-up is real. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. If not already, you’ll discover an incredible sense of style at some point. And it doesn’t have to be with expensive clothes, but you’ll still want options to express the new you. With that in mind, you’ll need to afford your glow-up because even cheap clothes cost money when you buy enough of them. 

Plus, the glow-up isn’t just clothes. It’s an entire way of being with hobbies and such specific to you. So yeah, save a few bucks for the new you.

Games

Everyone knows that video games cost money. New games are typically $60.00 a pop, and that’s before DLC and microtransactions. You know how fun a good game launch day can be if you’re a gamer. Save a couple of dollars and indulge in your next campaign. 

Savings

Oh no! How could we betray you? One moment we’re talking about video games, and the next, we’re mentioning savings again. Listen, it’d be irresponsible of us not to remind you how important savings are. Make sure to pay yourself first anytime you have money. Tuck a few funds away to get used to savings – it’ll play a significant role in how successful you are when you’re an adult.

Date Money

Dating costs money. That’s always going to be true. Even if you don’t pay during dates, money still goes to transportation, preparation, etc. Also, dates are nerve-wracking enough as is. If you can help it, save some money for your next date. Trust us; it’s one less thing to worry about. 

Apartment Money / Application Fees

Not everyone lives on campus. It’s a good idea to be prepared to rent a room or go all-in with your friends. Plus, finding the right apartment takes time and multiple applications. At the very least, have money saved for a backup place or two in case the apartment you really want goes to someone else.

The Big Trip

Some people take a gap year. Some people move across the country to follow their dreams. And others, just take a really big vacation. In any case, the big trip is a great choice to save toward. Especially if you’re an adventurous person, you’ll need money for gas, room, food, emergencies, general shopping, and more.

Tutoring Fees

High placement tests, Good SATS, and help maintaining grades can all be done with a quality tutor. But a good tutor costs money. If academics give you issues, setting aside funds for help is a good idea. 

Spotify

Joking, but not really. Being able to stream music is a fun little privilege that isn’t too expensive. It doesn’t have to be Spotify, of course, but just make sure you put a few bucks aside for the things that make you happy. 

Gyms

Look, not every gym is centered around weight lifting. There are martial arts gyms, yoga studios, running clubs, swimming clubs, etc. And besides the fitness aspect, gyms are a great place to meet new people and make connections. If you’re a teen that wants to spend more time out of the house, then you’re going to want to plan for gym dues.

Serious Clothes

Formal clothes cover everything from job interview clothes, holidays, big events, proms, dances, and more. No matter how well you may or may not pull off a t-shirt and jeans, formal clothes are still necessary. 

Ads

Ads are kind of niche, but for any teen that’s trying to start an influencer brand, small business, raise awareness, etc, then ads are a major tool. And, we’ll be honest, ads can get expensive. So if entrepreneurship is something you’re interested in, then set some change aside for ads. 

Go Fund Me’s

Go Fund Me, and other platforms are a great way to support your friends and support causes you believe in. Note: You have to be at least 13 with permission from your parent to donate, but it’s still worth saving for if you want to practice giving back!

A Really Nice Thing

At some point, if not already, something really expensive is going to catch your eye—something you really, really want but would take you forever to save enough for. Start saving now so you’ll be able to treat yourself with a reward when the time comes.

A Rainy Day

Having a rainy day fund means having money stored away for the little things in life. Sometimes that’s just going to the movies or buying an extra bag of snacks. Either way, having a rainy day fund is a big part of growing up.

There we are, 20 things every teen should save for. You don’t have to save for all of them, of course. Pick one and start saving towards it slowly. As the old saying goes, a penny saved is a penny earned. Stay committed to your money goals, take the time to make smart choices, and you’ll reap the benefits of financial planning!

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About the Author

Chadhurst Sharpe

Chadhurst Jainlett Sharpe spent over six years working as a personal finance banker. He's passionate about giving young minds the tools and resources they need to succeed with money.

Last updated on: April 12, 2022