Essential Money Management for Teens

Don't save financial literacy for adulthood. Start teens off on the right foot with these money management resources.

For teenagers, finances and money management might not seem like approachable topics, let alone exciting.

But it doesn't have to be that way.

These resources cover the essential concepts of finance in a way that teens can appreciate, and even (possibly) enjoy. Find games, podcasts and articles on budgeting, financial literacy, saving, and debt, below.

Financial Literacy Basics

Everyone's level of financial literacy is different. No matter where you're at, having a solid foundation of the basics is crucial.

Who taught you first how to manage money?

Get acquainted with the fundamentals of money management in your own way with the below podcasts, games, articles and more.

Articles, Podcasts, and Videos

Games and Online Tools

  • SPENT: A decision-making game that stimulates living paycheck to paycheck and players has to adapt to survive.
  • The Uber Game: Players role-play as a Uber driver to earn $1000.
  • Financial Football: A free interactive 3D game that utilizes football to teach finance skills to the player.
  • Hit the Road: A simulation game that challenges players to budget money to reach the destination.
  • Payoff: An experimental game that involves using fake mobile bank accounts and challenges players to make the correct financial decisions.
  • Your Money, Your Goals Toolkit: A toolkit focused on teaching money management, credit and debit, and choosing necessary financial products for teens.
  • CashCourse: A tool provides financial lessons through instructor assignments or self-study.
  • Money Think Coaching Program: A program that provides financial coaching to students via text and call.


Many people open their first checking account as a teen, making it an important milestone in your life-long relationship with money and finance.

If you're about to open your own account (or have one already), brush up on the ins and outs of banking and how to prevent fraud with the resources below.

Fraud Prevention

Making (and Sticking to) a Budget

Budgeting doesn't have to be as boring as it sounds. Once you've planned out your expenses and goals, it's actually really satisfying to watch your smart spending fall into place. Gear up for your own budget with the handy links below.

Articles, Podcasts, and Videos

Games, Apps, and Online Tools

  • Money Magic: A game focused on short term gratification versus long term plans.
  • Budgeting 101: Videos, articles, and quizzes that help teens learn budgeting skills.
  • SAM Budget Wizard: An online tool of SAM for creating a budget plan to help in managing finances.
  • BudgetTracker: Budget management tool that keeps track of expenses, spending, and notifications of due dates of bills.
  • Ohana: A simulation bank mobile app that helps prepare teens for banking with incentive programs.
  • Money Lover: Finance app that can be used to track money and set-up budget plans including debt management features.
  • Toshl Finance: An app used to manage finances, track expenses, and set-up a monthly budget plan.
  • Mint: A multi-platform app that provides access to all finances, a budgeting tool, and free credit score reports.
  • Wally: A finance app that helps monitor spending and expenses with a budgeting tool to help increase savings.
  • YNAB: A budgeting app that helps track expenses and spending of teens with a monthly report to monitor progress.
  • Money Mavericks Game: A game for helping teens understand how to manage their finances.

How to Save Money

Saving, like budgeting, is one of the most important and helpful practices you can incorporate into your money management. But it's important to remember that saving is hardly 'one-size-fits-all'.

Whether you're looking to save on small purchases or ready to make regular savings contributions, the below resources are a good place to start.

Articles, Podcasts, and Videos

Apps and Online Tools

  • Arnexa App: A saving app tool used to set up short term goals as a motivator to learn proper money habits.
  • Bankaroo: A virtual bank that provides experience for young adults in handling a savings account.
  • Famzoo: A finance app with prepaid cards that can be used to load real money and helps teens manage money.
  • Teen Spending Plan: A weekly sheet for teens to help manage money and control spending.
  • Redesign Your Financial Habits: An online course about how to save money and how to budget efficiently.
  • SmartyPig: FDIC-insured savings account with a high-interest rate for high school students.

Intro to Borrowing: Credit and Debt

Talking about credit reports and incurring debt can feel a bit like opening Pandora's box.

But demystifying these subjects goes a long way to make them more approachable and less scary. Use the links below to learn how credit works, what makes up a credit score, and understand debt.

How Credit Works

Understanding Debt

Earning and Investing Money

Earning and investing are definitely the more exciting topics when it comes to money. But there are still best practices and tips to consider.

Whether you're looking to earn some spending money in your spare time or try out a new investing app, the below resources are a good place to start.

Ideas and Tips for Earning Your Own Money

Investing 101

Extra Credit: Insurance and Taxes

Now that you've nailed the basics, it's time to tackle more complex financial subjects like insurance and taxes (we know, you're thrilled.)

Having a solid understanding of these concepts is essential. And you'll find that the better prepared you are now, the better you'll feel working with these subjects in the future.

Insurance: What It Is and How it Works

Taxes for Teens

Bottom Line

We all have that friend (or maybe we are the friend) that has a complicated relationship with money. And when many school curriculums neglect these subjects, it almost feels pre-destined to turn out that way.

With this list of resources, we can help teens foster a more positive, informed view of financial literacy that can pay off in the long run.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

How to Invest Money

Tips for Investing
Invest smartly, even if you're new to the game. Discover how to begin investing in stocks and real estate with little money.

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