Last updated: November 23, 2023
Looking for things to save up for as a teenager? Something to build up that savings account for in the hopes of having enough money for something worth waiting for in the future?
Whether you are in elementary, middle school or high school, there are tons of important things you should be looking to get when you are older, from luxuries to essentials.
There are plenty of ways (such as a part-time job or weekend side hustle) which those in their teen years can use to build up a bank account for your short and long-term goals and dreams. Not all will take a lot of work and effort, some are almost as easy as snoozing on your couch, so therefore there are no excuses why you can’t find a way to earn some money for later on in life.
Naturally, some of the best things in life cost a lot of money, so it is crucial you look to earn money and save it from your early teenage years.
From video games you want for the time being, to a house or car necessary down the line, there’s endless things you should be saving up for. Why not start now?
Things for a teen to do to earn money to save for the future
You may be curious how you can earn money as a teenager in order to achieve your saving and financial goals later down the line. It can range from something you do from time to time (including side hustles and part-time jobs), or a full on small business you are trying to build up from the ground yourself.
Some of these will take a long time to profit from, yet others will have short-term objectives you need to accomplish to earn money. So, what can you do to earn some saving money?
There are various things a teenager can do to get some savings for the future. Some of the easiest sources of income for a teen are passive income.
This could include content creation and selling online. If you are interested in learning more about passive income ideas for teens, we have written a whole article about it.
Not all income sources have to be passive however, so look out for other ways you can make money, such as selling things at your school.
For more information on this, please look at our article on things to sell at school.
Why start saving early?
You may wonder why it’s necessary to start saving as a teen, you’re still so young after all. Why shouldn’t you just spend money as soon as you get it on days out with friends and enjoy yourself?
Well, it’s quite simple really. Saving your money early allows you not only to work towards big things in the future, but it also gives you freedom later on to choose your path with less worries relating to your financial situation.
As well as this, it allows you to develop good money habits which you can use continue to build on as you grow. It can help keep healthy spending habits so you don’t rack up debt when you’re older.
It is such a good idea to start saving early, so why not start some good financial habits now?
So, without further ado, here are the best things to save up for as a teenager:
1. A Car
An essential element of modern day living is our transport, most notably cars. Arguably the most important thing a teen should be saving up for, cars provide a great way to travel.
While generally seen as one of the most expensive things, not all cars have to break the bank. Your first car doesn’t need to be new and shiny, many have a used car at first, which is a great option for those looking for an option where they can pay a bit less money.
2. College / College application fees
Many hope to go to college to further educate themselves on topics which interest them. Yet, unfortunately, college expenses can look very overwhelming, and for good reason.
It is common for college to wind people into mountains of seemingly endless debt, so it is crucial you begin saving now.
Opening a savings account is the first key stage of the matter, then try to limit your spending and focus on saving instead for a better future and stress-free lifestyle.
Imagine that you and your friends are going on a vacation before high school starts, during summer break. Doesn’t that sound brilliant? We’re sure it does, but it certainly will take some money, no matter whether the trip is a day or a week.
So, if this sounds like something you’d like to do, it’d be a great choice to save for it now. Allowing you to have a lot of fun in the future.
This definitely is one of the most exciting things to save up for as a teenager, so why wait? Save now.
So much money is spent on footwear, especially for teens following the newest style trends.
It’s likely it’ll take some extra money to get the new Nike, Puma or Adidas sneakers, and, as you get older, you’ll likely need to use your own money to get them. So, it’s a great idea to start saving up for some new shoes; definitely one of the best things to save up for as a teenager.
Accessories can make a large dent in your credit card, and handbags are certainly no exception.
With leading brands including Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Michael Kors, it most certainly will not be cheap. So, if you’re looking to get a classy handbag soon, you may want to consider your money management.
Maybe in future you’ll be having a good time with a brand new handbag.
Whether it’s a local restaurant, or just fast food like McDonalds, KFC or Chick-Fil-A, you’ll always want to enjoy a meal. No matter whether alone, with your mates or your family, you will need at least quite a bit of money for this.
And, while it won’t be one of your long-term savings goals, it is good to look at managing your personal finance for your meals.
7. New Phone
Technology is essential nowadays. Perhaps the most necessary is a phone.
It is multi-purpose; whether you choose to use yours for communication, entertainment or both phones are a must have in every day life. This is what makes them one of the best things to save up for as a teenager.
Of course, brands vary in cost and availability, common ones including Apple, Samsung or Google.
You don’t always need to find a ton of money for phones, as you can get an older model or get one second-hand. Whichever phone you get, you certainly won’t regret buying it.
8. School Trips
As a teen, you may dread going to school each day. I mean, who wants to spend hours of their day absorbing information anyway?
This is why school trips act as a much needed vacation from the stress.
One of the only ‘cool things’ about school, they can vary from a day out to a museum, or a full on travel experience to another country, you will need some money to go. This is why it’s best to start saving up for them sooner than later.
Gaming is a true stress reliever. Whether online video gaming with your friends, or a board game with your family, everybody adores games.
Yet still, all this great fun and memories come with a price, especially when talking about video games. So, you better be looking for the best money-saving tips, because you’ll need them!
‘Subscriptions’ are a very broad term. It could refer to a subscription to a video-streaming site, such as Netflix or Disney Plus, or it could be talking about gaming, like a Playstation Plus subscription, or Xbox Live.
Whatever it is, subscriptions come with a hefty price tag, so if you are interested in signing up to something that won’t be too kind to your debit card, then you better start saving.
There are countless types of gyms. A martial arts gym, yoga studio or running club are just a few of many.
While gyms can be much fun and bring good news for your health, it may require some hard work and dedication to get the money for them.
This is why we recommend early saving to get you a head start on the payments for your next gym membership.
Prom isn’t miles away, like you might be thinking. It’s likely that it’s just around the corner, and while it may be the best time of your life, the expenses are no laughing matter.
First, your outfit. Are you really going to show up to your prom in a hoodie and jeans? No, you need a sleek suit to show off your style.
Secondly, transport. Don’t have a car? You might be looking to book a taxi to take your date to prom. With inflation, that surely won’t be cheap.
You can’t forget about flowers! You can’t show up to your date door without a sweet, loving gift like flowers! Obviously, that isn’t all. With the price adding up, this is one of the crucial things to save up for as a teenager.
You can’t be the coolest kid on the block without some sick fashion! Whether you’re into sports brands like Nike, Adidas, Puma or even Under Armour, or some more fancy stuff like Gucci and Louis Vuitton, you definitely won’t be getting free clothing from your parents much longer!
Even if you’re buying from a thrift store it’ll cosy you some money, so better start saving up the money on your credit card!
14. A House
It is likely that a house will be one of if not the most expensive thing you will ever purchase, even if you are getting a down payment.
With the current market, you’re looking at around $200,000 for an average home: ridiculous! Even with these absurd prices, it is necessary for your life, so cut down on your spendings and start a checking account.
15. A Pet
A pet is the symbol of a household built on love and stability. They ease anxieties and just make you feel so much warmer inside.
Dogs, cats, hamsters and even some more obscure pets are a great way to boost your mood. One thing they won’t be boosting, however, is the money in your bank account.
Taking into account vet bills, feeding them and all the things you may need like toys, leads and collars, most pets are likely to cost you thousands of pounds. If you save up enough to get one, it’s one of those things which is undoubtedly worth the money.
16. An Apartment
Don’t feel like paying the prices for a house, but still need somewhere nice to stay? Look no further, my friend, an apartment is perfect for you.
Instead of a large payment, you pay rent each month you live in the apartment.
However, if you were expecting this to be cheap, you are deeply mistaken. Especially in more built up urban areas such as cities, an apartment could cost you thousands of dollars a month. Despite the price, apartments are one of the great things to save up for as a teenager.
Yes, while it may be dull, unfortunately, taxes aren’t something you can ignore (although some people don’t seem to realise that).
It is necessary that you are capable of paying your taxes no matter who you are. This is why we recommend having a bit of money put aside for future issues with taxes, as they can be quite pricey.
18. Drivers Licence Fees
In our modern world, a way of personal transport is pretty much a must have. As you surely know, the most practical and common version of this is cars, vans and other vehicles similar. You don’t just get to go on the road straight away, that is a major safety hazard.
Instead you must train and pass a test in order to have the legal right to drive on the roads. Sadly, these lessons and tests are not free.
They are just an early warning of the prices to come when buying a car, and also require quite a bit of money. However, they are essential, making them one of the best things to save up for as a teenager.
Laptops are innovative pieces of tech which are multi-purpose. You can use them for entertainment, work, school and so much more. The brands vary, from Google’s Chromebook to Apple’s Macbook.
As you surely expect, they will run you a lot of money and it is therefore necessary that you start saving up for one soon.
20. An Instrument
Are you into music and looking to learn to play an instrument yourself? Piano, guitar, drums, violin, claronet and more; the options are endless! While they can be great fun and a fantastic learning experience, they don’t, as well as most things in life, come free of charge.
Make sure you, your credit card and your bank account are prepared for the prices by saving now in your teenage years.
Frequently Asked Questions
In an ideal world, all teens should be saving money. The amount can vary, but we advise you look to save around 20 percent of your income for the future. It is a good idea to do this as it can support you in an financial problems which you may face when you are older.
Many fourteen year olds enjoy splashing out on new technology and gadgets including Playstation 5s, Xbox Series X and S as well as Nintendo Switches. However, they may also look to purchase tickets to go to events with their friends, like concerts or movie tickets, or just going out to eat or ordering take out.
To accomplish the saving goal of reaching two thousand dollars saved in a year, you can look to cut down on eating out and ordering in, as well as the amount of coffees you drink (you could also look to make them yourself instead of getting them from expensive coffee chains like Starbucks). You could try and entertain yourself at home instead of going to events and parties. Also, look into good apps which save you money with shopping groceries and download browser extensions which save you money whilst shopping online.
You may have heard of the 50 30 20 rule due to its usefulness in money management and finance. To put it simply, the 50 30 20 rule refers to you putting 50 percent of your income towards needs. This could include hygiene products, foods and clothing. Then, use 30 percent of your income on wants. This could be entertainment, unnecessary meals out and expensive gadgets. Finally, try to save 20 percent of your money for the future. This will allow you to afford more expensive products when you are older.
As a thirteen year old, considering that you are a younger teen, you will most likely be needing help and permission from your parents to start your saving journey. They could help you open a savings account if you do not already own one. This will be a safe place for you to keep your money to avoid theft. You can try to do some chores around the house in order to earn some money to save as you are unlikely to have another source of income, like a job, at that young age.