Practice Financial Restraint
How to manage money as a teen requires learning self-control. When you want something desperately, ask yourself how important it is compared to that bigger goal you are saving for. You will be practicing self-control if you can give up this immediate reward for something bigger later on. The importance of this cannot be stressed enough. It can help you to stay on course, not giving in to impulsive buying.
Learning financial restraint is important. This means learning to distinguish between needs and wants. Basic amenities such as food, clothing and housing are needs. A designer shirt or an expensive gadget is a want. When you crave for items in the want category, it is best to check out prices and do some basic research over a few days. Not only will it help you to decide whether you actually need it, but it will point the way to a cheaper alternative.
A shopping list prepared beforehand can help to curb unnecessary spending and not give in to the latest fad or pressure from friends. If you cannot afford it, don’t buy it. Our great grandparents who lived without credit cards were good at this. We can be too, by practicing financial restraint.
We can also learn something else from our forebears. Living in difficult times, they made the most of what they had. Life was more about enjoying the companionship of family and friends and living in harmony with nature than accumulating stuff. It is said that the best things in life are free. We can take a step in this direction by not valuing everything around us in monetary terms.