Teen guide: How to make your cash last

If you’re like most teens, managing your money can be challenging—especially if you don’t have a lot of it. You might find yourself barely scraping by as you approach payday or running out of money before your next allowance. This simple plan can help you pace yourself.

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My income

Start by adding up the money that comes in regularly.

  • Paychecks from my job
  • Cash or checks from babysitting or mowing lawns 
  • Allowance

Ask if I can do more chores around the house to earn extra allowance.

My savings
Next, put some of it aside (Link: https://bettermoneyhabits.bankofamerica.com/en/saving-budgeting/saving-money-as-a-teenager) for future goals.

First car
Senior trip
College

Have my parents help me open a savings account so my money can earn interest.

My spending
Now, take what’s left over and use it for necessary expenses—and maybe even some fun stuff.

Needs:

  • Gas (Link: https://bettermoneyhabits.bankofamerica.com/en/saving-budgeting/estimated-driving-costs-for-teens)
  • My portion of the cell phone bill
  • Meals

Wants:

  • Designer T-shirt
  • Video game
  • Movie or concert tickets

Keep track of all the money I spend by using an app or recording everything in a notebook.

Numbers not adding up?
Some ideas to try if I’m running out of cash too fast:

Earn more:

  • Get more hours at work.
  • Find a side gig. Check online postings for jobs.
  • Earn more allowance by doing additional chores.
  • Sell old clothes with a free consignment app.

Spend less:

  • Use gas apps to find the cheapest fill-up.
  • Bring lunch and snacks from home. 
  • Swap clothes with friends.
  • Find free activities: Picnic in the park? Visit the art museum?

Ask my older sibling or cousin what I can do to manage my money better. How did they do it at my age?

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The material provided on this website is for informational use only and is not intended for financial or investment advice. Bank of America and/or its affiliates, and Khan Academy, assume no liability for any loss or damage resulting from one’s reliance on the material provided. Please also note that such material is not updated regularly and that some of the information may not therefore be current. Consult with your own financial professional when making decisions regarding your financial or investment options.

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