Tips for controlling teen spending?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by blairbeckwith, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. blairbeckwith macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    #1
    Hey guys;

    I'm 16, and I'm pretty sure I am addicted to spending money. I have an addictive personality, and I know that. I know I have a problem, but it seems like no matter how hard I try, I can't seem to control it.

    I currently make about $600/month through my part time job, am supposed to be banking half of that to put towards my university education. I had about $3000 saved up at one point... but now my savings account contains a measly $175. I'll spend money on everything.

    In the last month alone, I have spent about $250 on iTunes purchases, mostly in the App Store for my iPhone. It's also not unusual for me to buy a $15 lunch every day at school for a week. It's just out of control.

    I need to control this before my parents find out that, when I graduate in two years, I have absolutely nothing saved up.

    I know in the end this is my problem, and I have to deal with it... But does anyone have any tips, words of encouragement, etc. that could help me?

    Thanks so much...

    Blair.

    P.S. I'm not your typical spoiled kid. My parents don't support me at all, and it's all my money that I'm wasting.
     
  2. swiftaw macrumors 603

    swiftaw

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    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    Omaha, NE, USA
    #2
    If the money you are saving is for college, then look into "529 plans".

    There are penalties for using money in this account for anything but college, so you might think twice about withdrawing money from it to spend.
     
  3. blairbeckwith thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    #3
    I'm in Canada, and I've never heard of anything like this;

    The only fee associated with my college savings account is $1.50/transaction :(

    And that sounds loike the kind of thing I'd need to do with my parents.

    I need things that I can do on my own to control this without getting them involved.
     
  4. Nick D macrumors member

    Nick D

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    #4
    if you have someone to help you, set up a visa buxx program, this will restrict the amount of money you can use a week
     
  5. Gray-Wolf macrumors 68030

    Gray-Wolf

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  6. swiftaw macrumors 603

    swiftaw

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    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    Omaha, NE, USA
    #6
    Sorry, they are US only.

    How are out getting money out of your savings account?
    You may be able to ask your bank to place a withdraw limit on your account so you can only withdraw so much.
     
  7. blairbeckwith thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 14, 2008
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    #7
    I'm getting money out of my savings account because it's attached to my debit card. Whenever I use my debit card, I have the option of withdrawing from Chequing or Savings. When my chequing is empty, naturally, I take from savings. because I'm addicted.

    And I don't have credit cards to cut up :(

    I buy things from the App Store using Credit Card-branded Gift Cards.
     
  8. swiftaw macrumors 603

    swiftaw

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    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    Omaha, NE, USA
    #8
    The bank may let you disconnect your savings account from your debit card, or set the allowable withdrawal limit from that account to something small or zero. That way, you can't get money out of your savings account easily, thus removing the temptation.
     
  9. blairbeckwith thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    #9

    Well, what I did for a while was made it so I didn't have ABM or store access so I actually had to go in to the bank to withdraw money. Eventually, I broke down and reversed that. because there was always a bank around.

    Do you think there's a way that I can just make it deposit only, with no withdrawl?
     
  10. swiftaw macrumors 603

    swiftaw

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    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
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    #10
    Call the bank and ask.
     
  11. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    Oct 9, 2006
    #11
    First off what the hell are you doing spending $15 a day on LUNCHES. Cut that back to at most 5 bucks a day and look you have over 200 a month saved up.

    DO NOT BUY ANYTHING OFF ITUNES. You are just wasting money on things you do not need nor can you afford.

    Also you saving account is not there for spending. It is there for savings. If you do not have anything in checking then damn you are out of money.

    Also tell your parents because clearly you do not have the self control to do this yourself. They need to cut you off access to your own money.
     
  12. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    Mar 22, 2008
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    On tenterhooks
    #12
    Stop with the instant gratification, already!!! :mad:
     
  13. blairbeckwith thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    #13
    I'm sorry, but I know I'm buying things I can't afford; however, I think it's up to me to decide what I can and can't afford.

    At 16, besides my phone bill ($85/month, which I do pay for myself), I have no bills. if I bank half of my income, which is what I'm supposed to do, that leaves me with $215/month of disposable income. I think I can afford some stuff off iTunes.

    Thanks for your input though.
     
  14. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #14
    call the bank up and ask them. I have all my money go into a high-interest saving account (read: 3% interest) but I have to accounts. One that I routinely run into the ground, and one that I never withdraw from. Ever. I pretend it doesn't even exist. If I only have $50 in my account a week, I know I'll never spend more then $50 a week :)
     
  15. swiftaw macrumors 603

    swiftaw

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    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    Omaha, NE, USA
    #15
    Except you specifically came on here and said you needed help because you were spending too much money, it's a bit late to get defensive when people give you advice.
     
  16. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hartford, CT
    #16
    I dont understand why people that recognize a certain flaw, in this case spending, think they cant simply end it, especially when its as easy as not buying things.

    But good for you on getting a job. Im 17 and its been rediculously hard looking for a job, an ENTRY LEVEL job for christs sakes. Ill be your freaking whipping boy for minimum wage, just give me the freakin chance! I was turned down 4 times in a week due to "cutbacks, not having the certain time slots, waiting for applications to be reviewed". Entry level jobs should not be hard to come by no matter what state the economy is in, you will always need someone to do the "bitchwork".
     
  17. duncyboy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    #17
    When I find myself spending too much cash on stuff like lunches etc I ration myself to a set amount for the working week- say £20?- and leave my cards at home. If I want to treat myself to an extravagant lunch, I have to do so by saving money other days.

    Also, the problem with iTunes etc is you maybe anchored to the Net/your computer/iPod/iPhone too much. Instead of spending all that money on apps and music etc, spend $20 on a couple of good books and whenever you get itchy fingers, go for a read.
     
  18. Legolamb macrumors 6502a

    Legolamb

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    Nov 27, 2006
    Location:
    North of where I'd like to be
    #18
    Are you paying rent? Do you eat at home? Who's paying for cleaning your clothes? Of course your parents are supporting you by subsidizing basic needs. You may not be spoiled, but you are not really independent.

    Maybe you are letting things get to this extent because you think that you can make the bulk up during the summer and holidays. If you're going to a university in Canada, say, McGill, we're talking between $3,000 - $7,000 not including dorm or rent. If you want to go to the states, add a zero to the above.:eek:

    If you really want to take control, make a budget that deducts a certain amount for savings for college based on how much it will cost (go on to the university web site for costs), for technology, for music, food, clothing. Transfer your "addictive personality" to something less expensive (I'm putting this in quotes because you may not be addictive but really just lack impulse control like most teens). Good luck :D
     
  19. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    #19
    You can always grab a lawn mower and put flyers up around your neighborhood. I did that when I was 12 and was bringing in around $100 a month. 20 years ago, that was big potatoes to a pre-teen. Granted that won't work year round - you might want to try a show shovel too.

    To the OP, get one of those safes that have a key plus a numerical code. You get the key, your parents get the number code. Put your cash and cards in there.
     
  20. Chandler Adaway macrumors 6502a

    Chandler Adaway

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Location:
    Beaumont, TX
    #20
    Champagne taste on a diet coke budget. :rolleyes:

    I love spending money.
    I shop a lot, but being 15, and not having ANY obligations to save and or spend that money else where makes it okay in my mind.

    But in your case, you DO have an obligation.
    If you want money for college bad enough, you will save it.

    Dude, school lunches SUCK!
    Go to Subway or something and pick up some lunch the day before.
    That is ridiculous. 15 dollars? On what?!

    If you don't settle this problem now, just wait until you get a credit card in your hand. In the minds of people that are addicted to shopping, that's like an unlimited supply of money.
    That's when you become in debt so badly, that you cry every night thinking about it.
    You'll never be able to buy a house or car on your own, it's just not worth it.

    I have more money in my banking account than you right now, and I don't have a job.

    I also just spent two hundred on a pair of jeans, two hundred on a ring, and one hundred on a watch. ALSO, one hundred and forty for my best friends birthday.
    Your doing something majorly wrong if I still have more money than you.

    Do you have your iTunes account set to where you have to click "buy" after you click the buy icon in the store?
    Maybe that would help you think about what you are doing first and you'll hit the cancel button.

    And lets tell the truth, are you really going to be using those apps that much? I seriously doubt it. There are just a handful of amazing apps that are worth the money in that store. I would go ahead and set the shopping cart feature up in iTunes as well. That way, when you go to buy it all at once, you can see how much you would be spending all together.

    Sure, you make six hundred a month.
    But your only allowed 300.
    That's not enough to tie you over until next pay check?

    I can tell you for one, that when I get an income, a lot of it will be going to savings.
    Maybe not for college, but you never know when a cool new toy comes out that you have to have. It's good to just have a few g's put back.

    I don't know what you have against your parents, but I suggest going to them for help.
    Other wise, members on a Mac forum are probably not going to get the point clearly into your head that you need to stop this now, and how.

    Good luck.
     
  21. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    #21
    You're getting awfully defensive here, you came and asked for advice. Let's get one thing straight, you can't decide what you can afford, you said so yourself and you have no money.

    Grow up. Sit down with your parents and tell them where you're at. Set up a savings plan where you pay them and you can't access the money.
     
  22. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hartford, CT
    #22
    I already make around $85 a month doing exactly that (the mowing & shoveling). Its time (at 17) i get some real job experience.
     
  23. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    #23
    You don't want to ask your parents (who presumably have your best interests in mind), but you'll ask strangers. That should tell you a lot.

    Buck up, go to Mom & Dad (together), and own up that you have a problem. Don't ask for them to take over, but for help and realistic guidance. That's why they spent all this time raising you. They want you to succeed in life more than you probably realize or admit. If they've got someone of your age that has a job and pays their own phone bill already, it's apparent they did something right so far.

    Unless they're unbelievably horrid control freaks, trust their love and wish to see you do well, and ask for advice now. It's a lot easier to take, and certainly less embarrassing than asking to move back in when you're 30.

    The lessons you learn and make part of your existence now will be with you for the rest of your life.
     
  24. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    #24
    I'd hire a kid that put that on his resume. It shows initiative and that you're a self-starter. Use your customers for references.

    And it may sound snobbish, but find out if your parents have any friends that need help in the office. You'd already have a foot in the door as it were.
     
  25. TheAnswer macrumors 68030

    TheAnswer

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2002
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #25
    I used to have a pretty bad iTunes Store addiction, so hopefully the following will help:

    1. Hide the Genius Sidebar
    2. Use Secrets to turn off the iTunes Store link arrows
    3. Move the iTunes app on your iPhone to the last page of your apps.
    4. Switch from 1-Click to Shopping Cart mode for the iTunes Store
    5. Put items in your cart whenever you want, but only allow yourself to push the buy button on Fridays.
    6. Review your cart carefully before you push the buy button.

    For the Debit card. I'd open a checking account and link the Debit card to that. Don't link your checking account to your savings account (no overdraft protection) at this time. Then put only a small amount of your money into the checking account each payday, put the majority into the savings.

    Additionally, you might try leaving your debit card at home most days and only allowing yourself a set amount of spending money a week.

    And it seems to me your food costs are a bit high. Consider cutting back a bit in that area. It'll mean that less of your college career will be spent eating instant ramen noodles.

    Hope this helps. Good luck. :)
     

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