What You Should Buy With Your Money As A Teenager in 2022

Welcome to what you should buy with your money as a teenager!

When you clicked on this post, you probably expected to see the newest technology and coolest cars that you should spend your money on. But, the reality is, you shouldn’t spend money on those things. 

What To Do With Your Money As A Teenager

Cars only depreciate in value and there’s always newer and better technology to buy. There will always be something new to buy and you’ll find yourself never satisfied with what you have.

You’ll get stuck in a cycle of endless consumer spending, which can negatively affect your financial situation. 

When you make these types of purchases, your money will be gone forever once that object has lost its value. 

It’s better to spend your money on things that increase in value. An increase in value can be within your financial situation or can come in the form of self improvement. 

When you spend your money, you should invest in yourself. You should spend money now to reap the benefits later. 

Without further ado, here is what you should buy with your money as a teenager!

What To Save Up For As A Teenager

Before you go and blow all of your money, it’s important that you save some first.

Saving and investing as a teenager is the #1 key to a long life of financial success.

A lot of people regret not saving and investing earlier. After all, the earlier you start, the earlier you can reach financial independence and retirement!

If you don’t have a job, here is how to save money as a teenager without a job.

Emmergency Fund

One thing you should definitely do before you spend your money is make sure you have a decent emergency fund built up.

You never know what expenses are going to pop-up, so it’s a good idea to save money in an emergency fund.

You could have a sudden car repair or phone replacement to make, and without some money saved up, you won’t be able to make that payment.

Financial experts suggest having 6 months worth of income in your emmergency fund.

This is also useful if you suddenly get laid off and find yourself without an income. This way, you’ll be able to survive for a couple of months.


spend money on a car

As a teenager I’m sure one of your main savings goal is a car. A car is a huge symbol of freedom and independence for teenagers, which is why so many teens are excited to get one.

But, cars aren’t cheap, and you’ll have to save for a long time to be able to afford one.

I’d recommend buying a used car and paying for it all in cash to avoid interest.

Maybe you already have a car, and in that case, you should still be saving for car-related expenses.

Some day your car will need repairs and eventually you’ll need a new car all together, so it’s never too early to start saving.


After you have a car, your next saving goal is probably college. College isn’t cheap, so it’s best to start saving as soon as you can.

Student loans can be a huge burden to your financial situation after college, so try to avoid them as much as you can!

Save for college, pick a cheap school, and apply for as much financial aid as you can!

If you started applying for college a little late, here’s how to save for college in 4 years!


invest as a teenager

If you are on your way toward saving for college, you could also consider investing some of your money.

The earlier you invest, the more compound interest you get in the long run.

The difference of just one year can make a major difference of thousands of dollars.

If you don’t have a lot of money to invest, here are the best ways to start investing with little money.


Assuming that you are working toward all of the previous savings goals, you could start saving for a house.

Even though buying a house is years away from your current age, it’s never too early to start saving.


The last goal you should start working toward is retirement.

The earlier you can open a retirement account, the better!

Don’t Over-Save

I think a lot of financially-savvy people have the tendency to over-save.

What does this mean? It means living so far below your means and making so many sacrifices that you have a really low quality of life.

There’s people out there who eat rice and beans, never use AC or electricity, and work 24/7, all in an effort to save as much money as possible.

These people really do save a lot of money which is great for their future, but the sacrifices they are making right now are making them miserable.

The reality is, although you probably will make it to 90, you could die tomorrow. And then what?

And then you would regret living miserably for all of your life without being able to reap the benefits of your sacrifices.

So it’s all about finding a balance. You should save money and prepare for your future, but you should also live a little right now.

What To Spend Money On As A Teenager – Invest in Yourself

Now that we’ve talked about saving and not over-saving, we can talk about what you should buy with your money as a teenager.

Every single one of your purchases should be about investing in yourself one way or another.

Food can be an investment as you should be fueling your body with the energy it needs.

Education is an investment as you are gaining knowledge in exchange for paying for books and courses.

Even video games and technology can be an investment if it brings you happiness.


One of the best things you could spend money on is books. Whether it’s a self-improvement book or just one for entertainment.

Books like Mindfulness for Teens and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens are great books for self improvement.


Another great source of education is courses. There’s online courses out there for almost anything. So pick a course about something you’re interested in, and purhcase it!

Often times these courses are jam packed with information and a great purchase to make.



A great thing to spend money on is conferences and events. Although these conferences can be expensive, the inspiration that comes from these events is incredibly powerful.

One of our writers, Terry, loves going to conferences and events and that is actually what he spends most of his money on. If you want to read more about Terry’s financial situation and how to mange your money as a teenager, check out this post.


One of the main spending investments you should be making is your health. The best way to do that is by working out.

A great way to work out more is to either purchase equipment for yourself or to get a gym membership.

Once you spend money on either of these you are much more likely to work out because now you feel obligated to get your money’s worth.

Here are 7 Habits of Successful Teenagers if you’re interested in reading more about this.


If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and own your own business, than I suggest you spend money on your business.

You know that saying, “You have to spend money to make money”?

Well it is especially true in business and a great choice to make to start increasing your business success.

If you want to start a business, here are 12 business ideas for students with low investment.

Give To A Good Cause

Another incredibly rewarding spending habit is to give to a good cause.

This can be tithing to your church or giving to another non-profit organization.

There’s a lot of good causes out there, so pick one that you are passionate about and start donating some of your money.

Don’t Spend Money On

Now that you know what you should spend your money on as a teenager, here are a few things that you shouldn’t spend money on.

But remember, if these things bring you happiness, then it’s okay to spend money on them.


don't spend on food.

As I mentioned earlier, food can be a good thing to spend money on if you are focused on fueling your body with the energy it needs.

But people get caught up in spending lots of money on junk food or buying coffee or energy drinks everyday.

Although these items may taste good in the moment, they don’t satisfy you in the long run and you always find yourself wanting more and more.

I know people who will buy a coffee or energy drink every single morning at school. Then on top of that, they also go out to lunch at fast food restaurants.

Although it may seem like a lot of money in the moment, it adds up. $3 for a coffee and $5 for lunch and all the sudden you are spending $40 a week, or $160 a month, or $1,920 a year as a teenager!

It’s okay to treat yourself sometimes, but you need to watch your spending habits.


A lot of teens often have the tendency to spend a lot of money on technology as well. Getting the latest phone, computer, video game, or accessory is a common theme.

But, this is a bad spending habit to get into. Why? Because there is always newer technology out there. And just like with food, you are never satisfied with what you have.

You can spend $1000 a new phone, but then the next year there’s a new phone out and you find yourself wanting to buy this new phone instead.

Don’t get me wrong, some of this is necessary and does bring a lot of joy to people’s lives, but you don’t always need the newest and best tech on the market.

Wait a few months and buy it for a reduced cost. This will also help you determine if you really want it or not.

New Cars

This isn’t super common for teenagers, but it’s good to keep in mind. A lot of adults like to go and buy brand new cars for thousands of dollars.

But the reality is, some of the people who do this can’t afford it.

It’s not a smart financial move to buy a new car which requires a monthly car payment with interest.

It’s better to buy a used car and pay for it in cash.

Unless of course, cars bring you happiness, in which case, spend away!

Things You Don’t Use

This is a broad category, but an important one. Many people, myself included, buy things that we won’t actually use.

Or maybe we will use it for a little, but not for as long as we should.

So when you are spending your money, ask yourself, is this something that I’m going to use in 1 month, 6 months, and 1 year?

Depending on how expensive it is, you will be able to tell whether or not you should purchase it.

The Takeaway

When it comes to what you should spend your money on as a teenager, there’s three main things to consider. First, are you saving enough money to work towards your goals? Second, are you spending your money on things that are an investment back into yourself? Finally, are you spending money on things that you shouldn’t be? For more information on this topic, I highly recommend reading: Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter. Best of luck!

Next Steps

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Disclaimer: We are not experts or certified financial advisers. Our advice for you based on what has worked and continues to work for us. If financial problems occur we are not responsible for them and advise that you speak to a professional. That being said, we believe wholeheartedly that the advice we give to you will help your financial situation greatly.