*Photo: istock photo
Window shopping: Teens shouldn’t fear shopping in the sales aisles when looking for that new outfit.
*Photo: istock photo Window shopping: Teens shouldn’t fear shopping in the sales aisles when looking for that new outfit.

Most teenagers have some financial goals or at least a list of things they would like to buy. But it is important that money management, budgeting and saving are a priority.

Determine what your goals are, write them down and establish how much to save each week and what will be left to spend. List your needs and your wants separately.

It’s okay to save a little for the latest fashion must-have, but your savings are for your needs first and what’s left can be used on those items on the ‘want’ list.

* Start by keeping a ledger of daily spending and save all receipts. Do this for a couple of weeks and the unnecessary expenses should become obvious - then you can determine where cuts can be made.

* Pay yourself first and put at least 10 per cent of your earnings into a savings account for emergencies.

* Have a money-saving strategy that will work for you and try not to make too many changes at one time. There are key areas where we all can save money; entertainment, clothing, transportation, cell phones and food and beverages.

* Consider sharing DVDs with friends instead of buying new ones. Share magazines and look for second- hand CDs and movies. However, do not download DVDs or CDs and make copies for distribution.  

* Don’t be afraid to shop the sale racks when looking for that new outfit. Most local stores have good sales and if you are patient and shop around, there are savings to be had. Check the labels and try to buy clothes that are washable rather than dry clean only.

* Motorbike riders can really save on gas if they walk around the corner to your friend’s house instead of revving up the bike for a two minute ride. Get a peddle bike if you’re working close to home.

* Cellphones, and more specifically, iPhones, Samsungs and BlackBerrys, seem to be the must-have item for all teenagers. Be careful, this is one area where many a tear has been shed when the bill arrives. Especially those teens that take their device  abroad and come back to an up-close and personal encounter with a large roaming bill. Data roaming is expensive. Take the time to find out how to save money while roaming with your smartphone.

* Make sure you are on the right cellphone plan, get unlimited nights and weekends, unlimited text messages, use your device during off-peak hours and always check the bill.

* Eating out takes a big chunk of any budget. Pack a lunch, use up those left-over’s and cut back on eating out every day. A lot of restaurants serve large portions that most people can’t complete, so instead of everyone ordering separately, share meals amongst your friends.

Budgeting and saving money doesn’t have to be difficult. Find easy ways to cut unnecessary costs and save on a regular basis.

At Consumer Affairs, we offer guidance to consumers, businesses and other organizations. If we receive a complaint and believe that a violation of the law has occurred, we present the complaint to the business and request its assistance in resolving the problem. 

Before contacting us, we recommend that you first visit our web-site, www.ca.gov.bm and read the relevant information. If you are unable to find the information you require on our web-site please email us at consumers@gov.bm.

Honey Adams Bell is the education officer for Consumer Affairs.