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Money Habits

6 tips on how to save money as a teen


It's not easy saving for your first important purchase, especially when cashflow is tight. The good news is that it is possible – all you need is a plan and some determination. Whether you're dreaming about upgrading your phone or getting to the next big gig, check out our tips and tricks to help you save money as a teenager.

1. Create a teenager budget to keep track of where you spend your money

A budget may sound a little scary. But keeping track of your money can be as simple as writing down everything (yes, everything!) that you spend money on over a week or a month. Most of us tend to spend more money on the weekends, so you may find this is a useful place to start.

Once you have an idea of where your money goes, setting limits and targets is the next step. If you have a Suncorp Bank everyday account, you can download the Suncorp App and try Dollar Tracker. This is a free and simple service that will sort your spending into 14 different categories such as clothing, entertainment or food.

2. Supercharge your savings

It doesn't matter if you want to keep up with the latest tech or buy a car, start with a goal and break it into small parts that can add up over time. Here are some ways you may be able to supercharge your savings:

  • Replace any regular spending which a cheaper option, such as bringing your lunch to school or work instead of buying it every day.
  • Consider odd jobs that friends or family may need help with, like lawn mowing, babysitting or dog walking. Before taking on any jobs, be sure to chat with your parent or caregiver first.
  • Love fashion? A trip to your local op shop is the perfect way to get your style fix without breaking the bank.

Feeling good about something is the key to maintaining it. It's the same with saving. Personalise your account names to remind you of the great experiences you're saving for or keep photos of your goals nearby to stay motivated. Visualising your goals may help you to avoid any impulse spending.

3. Find the right bank account

Finding the right bank and type of account is an important step in building your savings. Some accounts like Suncorp's Everyday Options account provide features for both everyday banking and saving. It's an everyday account with the flexibility to open up to 9 additional savings sub-accounts. Features like this can help you to budget for certain expenses in their own sub-account which might earn you interest while your balance grows. By setting money aside in a sub-account you may also be less tempted to spend it.

Explore Suncorp's Everyday Options Account

Bear in mind that, for younger account holders, you may need the consent of your legal guardian to open an account. Additionally, with any Suncorp bank account, you'll have access to Suncorp Benefits and be able to take advantage of discounts of up to 15% from over 100 retailers such as Event Cinemas and JB Hi-Fi.

4. Make the most of student discounts

Your student ID is more than just a card featuring an embarrassing photo of you. It's also your means of accessing discounts – think cheaper movie tickets and public transport. Many businesses and services will let you know they provide student discounts but if you're curious about what's on offer, or you need more information, it doesn't hurt to ask or do a bit of Googling.

Whether or not you're not currently enrolled as a student, if you're eligible for payments or services provided by the government, the Department of Human Services can help you research what monetary benefits might be available to you as a young person. As an example, Centrelink's low-income Health Care Card allows you to take advantage of discounted community services in the same way a student ID does.

5. Consider getting a part-time job

Part-time work is a rite of passage for many young Australians. If you're a student, you may be able to find regular part-time work in administration, hospitality or retail, or, if these fields sit outside of your interests, you could investigate an area that is and see who's hiring.

Generating your own income is the perfect way to help boost your savings, plus knowing how long it's taken you to earn $50 might be enough to curb any compulsive spending (making you think about whether you really need those new sneakers).

6. Sell your unwanted stuff

It doesn't take much to accumulate stuff you no longer need or use. The good news is that you can very quickly turn unwanted items into extra money by selling them. You might choose to use an app, the web, or set up a good old-fashioned garage sale – it doesn't matter – you may be better off having the cash (to deposit straight into your savings account, of course), and knowing that your old books are being read rather than taking up space on your shelf. Don't forget to ask a trusted adult for help if you need it.

Saving money can be fun, and it's an important part of growing up. The boring (but important) benefit of saving now is that it could help develop your ability to manage your money, which can make it more likely you'll have savings when you're older.

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Information is intended to be of a general nature only and any advice has been prepared without taking into account any person's particular objectives, financial situation or needs. You should make your own enquiries, consider whether advice is appropriate for you and read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or Product Information Document before making any decisions about whether to acquire a product.

Deposit Products are issued by Suncorp-Metway Ltd ("Suncorp Bank") ABN 66 010 831 722 AFSL No 229882. Please read the Product Information Document Personal Deposit Accounts before opening an account. Fees, charges, terms and conditions apply and are available on request.