How to Save Money at 18 and Still Have Fun

Turning eighteen is a huge milestone for teenagers and it’s a big rite of passage. In some countries, this age means that you can visit nightclubs, it means you can vote, it means you can open a bank account on your own and take out loans, plus a lot more.

But these teenage years are also a great time to save money, not just spend it. If you want to save money as a teenager, you’ll find tons of super useful advice on this page.

If You Want To Save More Money as a Teenager, There Are 2 Things You Can Do…

Earn More

  • Earning more money will make it easier to save money. If you’re a student and you’re busy, you won’t always have time to earn more, but on he plus side you probably have lower expenses compared to when you’re older.
  • The easiest way to earn more money is by getting a job or a second job, or asking for more hours. Do you have co-workers who offer up shifts? Take them when you can!

Spend Less

  • The other side of the equation is to spend less money. Looking for ways to spend less will enable you to save more. Also, since you’ve paid taxes on the money you spend, you need to earn more than $1 to spend a $1, so spending less is crucial to saving.
  • Sometimes, this means not buying things that you want (having to make sacrifices).
  • Also, finding ways to spend less on the things you need is also helpful.

With that in mind, here are some tips for saving money as an 18 year old. If you’er around this age, or you’re looking up advice on behalf of someone around this age, you’ll find plenty of useful advice for teenagers and young adults of all ages.

How to Save Money at 18: 7 Tips

1. Use Your Student Card

In many cities, there are businesses all around town who will give you a student discount on your purchases.

Use this on things you were already going to buy, otherwise it will end up costing you money. Going to a place just because you have a 10% discount on it and spending money on something that you weren’t already going to buy is not going to help grow your savings…

But saving a few bucks on things you already need to buy? That’s a win!

2. Set Aside a Portion Of All The Money You Earn

Pick a small amount of, like five or ten percent, and put that portion aside every single time you get money. Whether it’s birthday money, a paycheck, a tax refund, whatever – put the same percentage of it into a separate savings account.

Throughout the course of your life, this will end up being a lot of money. When you’re in your 20’s or 30’s, you’ll be glad you started doing this when you were a teenager.

3. Be Smart With Credit Cards

credit cards and saving money

Credit cards can be very useful, but only if you’re smart about them. Don’t buy things you can’t afford and always pay off your balance as soon as possible.

If you’re carrying a balance, you’re paying a ton of interest. Pay off your credit card ASAP, and then if you’re earning points, it can actually be a good way to save some money.

There are also advantages like extra warranties on some of your purchases, discounts on hotel and travels, and a lot more.

4. Be Mindful of Your Credit Score

Getting off to a good start in terms of having a high credit score will save you a lot of money later in life.

A better credit score means you’ll pay less money in interest when you take out a loan for a car, or a mortgage to buy a house, or nearly any other time you need to borrow money.

Make sure that you don’t miss your payments on your credit cards or any other money that you we. It’s also a good idea to check your credit report every now and then to make sure it’s accurate.

5. Create a Budget

Planning a simple budget is a good skill to have and an essential tool in managing your personal finances, so why not start while you’re still a teenager?

Are there certain expenses you have each money? That’s the minimum amount for your budget.

6. Track Where Your Money Goes

If you don’t want to keep to a monthly budget (maybe your income and expenses vary a lot from month to month?), you should still track what you’re spending money on.

For example, would you give up Starbucks for a month if it meant having an extra $150 in your savings? At least if you pay attention to what you’re spending on different things each month, you’ll be able to make an informed decision. Go ahead, spend your money on whatever you want, just know how much you’re spending!

7. Sell Your Old Stuff

Do you have some old collectibles that could be worth something today? Some old Disney VHS movies are worth a small fortune, for example. Some older videogames have skyrocketed in price over the years, too.

You can list your things for sale online, and put the earnings directly into savings. Don’t sell your stuff just to spend the money on new stuff if your goal is to save money.

Saving Money at 18 and Still Enjoying Life

Being responsible doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy yourself. In your younger years, it’s good to have fun, enjoy yourself, and not save every single penny. It’s okay to spend money on things you enjoy, just try to fit it into a budget and you’ll have a lot more to show for it.

Other Ways to Save Money at 18

Save Money at 18

Some of the major costs for an 18 year old include car expenses, rent if they move out, and entertainment/meals. Learning to cook certain meals for yourself can help save a good amount of money, and getting roommates can save you a lot on rent.

Saving money as an 18 year old is just about the best time to get started. Spend less when you can, earn more when you can, and you’ll be off to an amazing start.

Mat Woods

Author Information

Mat Woods is the lead writer at He works tirelessly alongside the rest of the team to create useful, well-researched, trustworthy articles to help parents and their teens.