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Fetch’s Guide to Budgeting for Teens

By David

June 11, 2024

It’s essential for an adult to have a budget, but budgeting is for teens, too. Whether you’re having trouble deciding what to spend money on as a teenager or you’re a parent trying to instill some good habits, learning to budget for teens is smart. 

We’re here to break down how to start budgeting for a teen’s income (from allowance, hobby or part-time job), including some tips on how you can make money off of your spending using Fetch (the app is free!).

Track your spending and earn free gift cards - get the app

Why is Budgeting Important?

Even if you don’t keep a strict budget, it’s important to have an idea of where your money goes, because budgeting:

  • Helps you fix bad spending habits
  • Makes it easier to save for retirement
  • Reduces financial stress (and improves mental health!)
  • Helps prevent overspending and racking up credit card debt

Adults might have more serious expenses, but budgeting is important for teens, too. It’s good for teens to learn to budget for life after high school when they’re trying to get by in college or living alone for the first time.

What to Spend Money on as a Teenager

You probably don’t have trouble finding what to spend money on as a teenager so much as choosing what not to spend money on. Here’s a list of a few things to spend money on as a teenager, from fun to responsible:

How to Budget as a Teenager

There’s no secret to how to budget as a teenager, but it’s more than just looking at your bank statement and your paycheck, too. Here a 5 top tips on how to budget as a teenager:

  1. Decide what matters to you. “Value budgeting” is a good way to build up the habit, because it helps you spend in ways that feel right, and feeling good is a great incentive.
  2. Review what you spend money on. If you see a dozen fast food or coffee purchases in the last month, decide to cut back or find a way to save (like snapping that receipt in the Fetch app)
  3. Weigh wants vs. needs. You might want to spend money on some new headphones, but you probably need to spend money on gas to get you to and from school or work.
  4. Budget for fun. Like value budgeting, budgeting for fun ensures it’s not just a chore, and if you’re saving for something big, let that fun budget carry over to next month.
  5. Revisit your budget. If you can’t stick to your budget, it doesn’t mean you failed, it means you need to rethink your budget and be more considerate of spending. 

Sample Teen Budget Worksheet

You don’t need to start from scratch; we have a sample teen budget worksheet to get you started. If it seems intimidating, don’t worry: budgeting is as simple as subtracting your expenses from your income. You just want to track what kind of expenses you have, too. 

Just because this is a budget worksheet for a teenager doesn’t mean it’s just for teens; it’s also great when budgeting for life after high school, especially if you’re living alone and shopping for one.

Printable teen budget worksheet


Fetch Makes Budgeting for Teens Easy

Tracking your spending is the most important part of spending, but you don’t need another app. Fetch is your budgeting app for teens; just snap each of your receipts and let it total and group things for you.

A Free Gift Card App that Actually Works

Remember how we mentioned that budgeting for teens is easier with incentives? Snapping those receipts earns your points which you can redeem for gift cards in the app. There are no tricks, Fetch is a free gift card app that actually works and the smart choice as a budgeting app for teens. You could even track your Fetch points and gift cards in your budget to see how the app works to save you money.

Easily Track Your Spending in the App

So, you remembered to snap your receipts but forgot to put it into your budget worksheet. No worries, you can easily track your spending in the Fetch app. Just go into the “points” tab and see where your monthly spending goes. If you’re a parent trying to start your teens budgeting, this can be a good first step before a worksheet.

Shop Smart by Shopping Offers 

“Mindful spending” might sound like you’re budgeting for meditation, but it’s just ensuring you don’t make mindless spending decisions. When you view the “Offers” tab in the Fetch app, you can make smarter choices about how you spend your money, and that’s all budgeting is: making smart choices about money.

How to Get Paid for Playing Games

We told you that Fetch is a free gift card app that actually works, but it’s also how to get paid for playing games. Fetch Play is a whole new way to earn points in the app, and you’ll find it under the “Social” tab in the app. There you’ll find the latest games you can earn points with, including how many points total you can earn in each game. Trade in those points for gift cards and see how easy it can be to balance your budget.

What’s a better way to start a budget for a teen than telling them they can get paid for playing games on their phone? 

Text reading, "Have you snapped a receipt today? Take me to the app"

Budgeting for Teens Begins in the Fetch App

Now that you know how to budget as a teenager, download the Fetch app and use it to track your spending, then work on building out your budget. Budgeting as a teen might seem difficult at first, but it gets easier month after month until it becomes second nature.

Topics: Gift Cards, offers, Shopping Lists



David Fairbanks is a writer, science educator and Chicagoan fueled by coffee. He's written about everything from Ferraris to handcrafted pet urns to Superman, and he genuinely loves loyalty/rewards programs.