As a teenager, saving – and sometimes, making – money can often be a struggle. For many teens who are still in school, employment is out of the question, whilst others who attend sixth form college may not be able to work as much as they would like to, due to revision for exams and a huge amount of coursework. Whilst education should always come before earning money as a teen, admittedly it can be difficult to do things such as socialise with friends or buy yourself new items of clothing when you’re living off pennies for most of the month. That’s why I’ve thought back to my teenage years and have put together my best tips for saving and making money when you’re a teenager. Driving Lessons
If you are sixteen or seventeen, you might be hoping to go in for your driving test soon and get your driving license. But, learning to drive doesn’t come cheap – on top of the hefty cost of actually taking a driving test these days, don’t forget that you’ll also have to pay for lessons, the theory test, and learning materials to help you pass first time. Oh, and the provisional driving license itself! I’m sorry to say that the costs do mount up but if you’re well-trained and fully prepared you’ll pass your test first time and save money on the re-test fees at least! When it comes to practicing for the driving theory test, don’t waste your money on paid CDs and books – there are numerous free practice materials available online, including apps and dedicated websites. You can also save money on your lessons by booking an instructor who offers a student discount if you are still in education. Packed Lunches
If you pay for your lunch at school or college, taking in a packed lunch instead can be a much cheaper alternative that can free up a bit of spending money for you in the week. Check with your parents first, and use foods from the family cupboards to make yourself tasty lunchtime meals each day rather than spending a few pounds per day on canteen dishes. This might not seem like a huge saving, but it definitely adds up over time. Let’s say, for example, that you spend £5 each day on your lunch at school or college – by taking in a packed lunch instead, you’ll save £25 a week. And parents should take heed of this tip; they too could save money on their lunch at work by taking a packed lunch too!Sell Your Things
If you have any clothes that you have grown out of or items such as old toys, games and gadgets that you never use anymore, selling them is a great way to earn yourself some extra money. Although it’s best to check with your parents first – especially if they bought the item – listing anything that you no longer need on auction sites or other selling sites such as Gumtree can be a great way to earn yourself some extra spending money. Of course, you have to be over 18 years old to be a member of Ebay so perhaps work ‘in collaboration’ with your parents or older siblings and ask them to help you – for a cut of the profits, of course! Remember, though, it’s important to be reliable – nobody wants to buy something online for it to never turn up, or turn up weeks late, so be prepared to go to the post office every Saturday with your parcels. Great examples of things that you could sell online include nearly-new clothes, good condition shoes, unwanted (but brand new!) Christmas and birthday gifts, old gadgets (remove all your documents and photos first), and even textbooks after exam season.
Are you a teenager? How do you manage to have enough spending money to do the things that you want each month? Whether you have a part-time job, ask your parents, or are simply very thrifty, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below so please do get in touch and let me know your own money-saving tips.