How to save money when you live with teenagers

Written By Mary Beth Eastman
Last updated December 1, 2020

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Money Saving Tips
May 1, 2018

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

Trying to save money with a teenager in the house can seem like an uphill battle. Between designer clothes, special events, and all those expensive gadgets, the requests for more never seem to end. This doesn’t even account for school supplies, field trips, fundraisers, sports camps, yearbooks and more. Then, there’s the dreaded grocery bill — the one that seems to grow bigger by the week.

If this sounds all too familiar, there is hope. These tips can help you save money even with a teenager living in the house.

While you can’t do much about your growing teens’ huge appetites, you can save money on food with these simple tricks.

  • Buy in bulk. Purchasing regularly used items in bulk can help you save money in the long run.
  • Make a list. One of the best ways to save money is to set a food budget and plan your weekly meals and grocery list ahead of time.
  • Use coupons. Coupons are a great way to save money on your grocery bill. In addition to standard paper coupons, many stores also accept and offer e-coupons.
  • Avoid eating out. No matter how you look at it, eating out costs more than cooking at home. Ask your kids to pitch in and help you cook. Not only will this save time, but you will be teaching your teenagers important life skills.

If your child is of driving age, the increase in your auto insurance may have come as a shock. Make sure you are getting all the car insurance discounts you qualify for, such as the good student driver discount. Many parents also insist that their children work if they want to drive. Teens learn responsibility when they have to pay part of the car expenses, such as their share of the auto insurance, gas and maintenance.

Your kids are never too young to learn the importance of budgeting. Look at your household budget and decide how much money you can set aside to pay for your teenagers’ extra expenses. Go over this budget with them. Then, the next time you have to make a tough budgetary decision, such as between buying new sneakers or the school yearbook, you can make your child part of the discussion.

With a teenager in the house, it’s almost impossible not to worry about how you’ll pay for college. Turn this worry into action and encourage your child to be proactive about applying for as many scholarships as possible.

About the Author

Mary Beth Eastman

Mary Beth Eastman serves as the content manager for Simple. Thrifty. Living, where she is dedicated to helping readers use money and credit wisely. Mary Beth believes that access to the right financial information paired with a growth mindset are essential tools for getting out of debt and building wealth. Mary Beth has a degree in Journalism from Bowling Green State University and has focused her 20-year journalism career on putting readers front and center, carefully considering their concerns and presenting information that will help them in their everyday lives. She has won numerous statewide journalism awards. Her writing on personal finance as been featured on numerous websites in addition to Simple. Thrifty. Living, including Huffington Post and Lexington Law blog. Mary Beth resides in Pittsburgh, Pa., with her family and two rescue dogs.

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