Teen Saving

Cole Decker

Saving. The idea of putting money away can bring about mixed reactions from young adults, from frustration to hope to eye-rolling. But why is it so hard for teens to save?

Teens often find it hard to save money for many reasons, ranging from low income to other obligations. For some teens, though, it comes down to making the right choices with their money. “Teens do not save because they want to hang out with friends and try to be cool by spending money,” said Cameron Bahring, an 11th grade student at Batavia High school. “It’s always hard to save money when you don’t have a job. You can’t save what you don’t have,” Cameron added.

According to Business Insider, teens spend 23% of their money on food, followed by 20% on clothing, 10% on accessories, 8% on videos games, 8% on cars, 8% on electronics, and 7% on shoes. The rest is spent on smaller costs such as movies, events, and music.

But teens today do have a variety of resources to help them save. One example is the advice of prominent author and financial speaker Dave Ramsey. Ramsay suggests five foundations to follow to be financially sound: Save $500 for an emergency fund, get out of debt, pay cash for your car, pay cash for college, and build wealth.

Now, most teens are probably not in debt, and some are years away from college, but the advice still stands. Not all students are averse to saving. Some students tend to resist spending money. “For me, I hate spending money. I have over $900 in my bank account. I just get money from my parents for gas and food or make friends pay for me,” said Noah Patel, a 12th grader. Borrowing and saving can pay off.

Unfortunately, the issue of trying to save money not only affects teens, but many adults as well. The same struggles that they face during their school years continue into adult life, and teems who are surrounded by people who don’t know how to save or choose not to end up unprepared to do so as adults. One possible solution is for schools to be required to teach students about money, with some school districts even going so far as to schedule financial literacy classes for parents as well. Many parents need to learn how to save and deal with money and to also teach their children how to spend and save money, and meeting that need is one way to improve the lives of students.

Though it’s been said that money is the root of all evil, it might be more accurate to say that debt and lack of savings is the root of it for high school students. The challenge of finding a way for the next generation to learn how to save and spend is a cause worth investing in.