12 Ways to Become Financially Independent as a Teenager

How to become financially independent as a teenager.

There are many reasons for wanting to become financially independent as a teenager. No matter what your reasoning behind wanting to do so is, this article will cover it all. Below you will find the 12 best ways to become financially independent as a teenager.

You can become financially independent as a teenager by having a reliable way to make money. Additionally, you will also want to start building credit, learn how to save, invest and stay away from bad debt.

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How To Become Financially Independent as a Teenager

Here are the 12 best ways to become financially independent as a teenager.

1. Have a Reliable Way To Make Money

Having a reliable way to make money is the most important step to becoming financially free as a teenager. Luckily, today there are more ways now than ever before to make money.

One of the more common ways to make a reliable income is by working a standard job in your local area.

If you are looking for something remote or online, teen freelancing jobs are an option. These are jobs that can pay as much as a regular 9 to 5 job. Although keep in mind you will have to still put in the work to make a decent income.

There are many ways to make a reliable income online. Paid social media jobs or writing jobs are a couple of examples.

2. Start Building Credit

The next step to becoming financially independent as a teen is beginning the process of building credit. If you are able to, the easiest way of doing so is by getting a credit card.

There’s a lot of stigma and criticism around credit cards. If used incorrectly credit cards can easily turn into a liability.

However, if you pay everything off immediately, you should never run into any problems. You can start building credit as a teenager which will help you later on.

A good credit score typically means lower interest rates and a better chance of being approved for various loans such as a mortgage. Those with a bad credit score usually will end up paying more on a loan due to higher interest rates, than those with a good credit score.

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3. Understand College Expenses

As a teenager, going to college has probably been something you have considered. The extremely high cost of college tuition alone can mean tens of thousands of dollars, if not hundreds of thousands in student debt to an individual.

The companies that dish out these loans make it extremely easy as well. Initially, it might seem like a great investment. I mean, most of your friends are probably going to college. You have been told all your life “college is an investment in your future”.

In some ways, it can be one hundred percent an investment. But this really depends on what your career path and major are.

Alternatively, you might have also been told “if you don’t know what to do, take the year off”.

This can be good advice to some. But others might not be fortunate enough to be able to do so.

This is why for those unsure of what to do with their life, I recommend starting a side hustle and potentially attending a community college part-time.

Community colleges are much cheaper than state or private universities. Most even offer you the ability to transfer credits to finish a 4-year degree if that is something you want to do.

While you attend this community college, you should learn a high-income skill, start a side hustle, or even a business. Just start something on top of college so you can find out what you really enjoy.

Related: 23 Easy High Income Skills You Can Learn [Without College Education]

4. Passive Income

Another huge factor in becoming financially independent as a teen is how much passive income you can make.

Passive income is the amount of money you can make without putting in much work. Money or income you make from stocks is an example of passive income.

Another form of passive income might be a business you started that does not take much to maintain anymore.

The end goal is to make enough passive income to live off of so you do not have to rely on anyone and live life on your terms.

5. Save Money To Move Out

If you are a teenager still living in your parent’s house and want to move out, you will want to save up some money initially to do so.

Aim to save enough money for a few months worth of expenses. This can be money from your job, side hustles, or other passive income sources.

Ideally, you will want to have enough income saved up to last you at least six months after you move out.

6. Look Into Investing

There are many different forms of investing. All have their benefits and downsides. Real estate, stocks, and crypto are each their own forms of investments.

Whatever the case is, you should be aware of the different ways you can invest your money.

This way, you will not only make money from your current job, or side hustle. You will also know how to make your money work for you.

7. Consider Starting a Business

Teenage business owners have become much more common in recent years with the rise of online businesses.

Teens have been rejecting the notion of working a 9 to 5 job for 40 years just to retire and live an ordinary life. Teenagers, especially this up-and-coming generation, are here to make a difference and work jobs or start businesses that they see value in.

Anyone can start their own business. Most ideas or passions can be turned into a business in some way.

If you like taking photos, start a photography business. If you like dogs, start a dog walking business.

The fact of the matter is that teens are opening up to the idea that it is possible to make a living online by starting your own business.

If you are a teen looking to start your own business, check out our articles on starting a business with different budgets.

8. Calculate Total Living Expenses

Living expenses are something every financially independent individual will have to deal with at some point. By calculating them right away you will know how much money you need to make just to pay the bills and put food on the table.

You can calculate your total living expenses by adding up how much you will spend on rent, food, transportation, and utilities each month.

If you are living on your own, use the numbers you currently pay each month. If you are living with your parents still, research how much you will need to spend monthly on each category in your area.

9. Stay Away From Bad Debt

It’s easy to get into debt to purchase something you really can’t afford. A new car for instance might sound like a good idea. But in reality, it will financially hinder you for many years.

All for what? To impress your coworkers or friends with that new fancy car?

The reality of the situation is that many people dream of becoming financially free or want to become financially independent as soon as possible. But they are not willing to say no to things that will hurt them financially in the future.

Debt can be good if used correctly. However, it can also be very bad and cripple you financially.

By staying away from the bad debt you will be able to save, invest, and even spend more in the long run.

Think about it this way; instead of spending all your time paying off loans and interest, you could instead spend your money wisely and make smart purchases.

10. Purchased Used

If you are looking for one of the easiest ways to save money and work towards financial independence as a teen, consider purchasing used.

Whether this is by purchasing a used car or used clothes. You can save a ton of money by purchasing used vehicles, items, and clothes. The list goes on!

Related: How to Buy a Car as a High School Student

11. Live Like a Student

Have you ever heard of the phrase “live like a student” or “live like a college student”? Well, it’s actually some pretty good advice for teens looking to save up some money and work towards financial independence.

Living like a student might mean getting a roommate to help lower the amount you pay in rent. It could also mean keeping the food budget low or going on trips that do not cost a ton of money.

By living within your means and not going on spending sprees, you could save a substantial amount over time.

Related: 13 Easy Ways To Save Money as a Teenager

12. Have a Plan of Action

Having the goal of becoming financially independent is great. But it means nothing if you are not willing to act on it.

Go out and start that business you have been thinking of. Start putting money in a savings account so you can eventually have enough to move out.

Everyone will have a different game plan when it comes to becoming financially independent as a teenager. Reading this article is just the start of your journey. Now it’s time to take action and put in the work.

How To Become Financially Independent At 16?

You can become financially independent at 16 by having a reliable way to make money, a plan of action, and a source of passive income. Along with that, you will need enough money saved up to move out and be able to cover living expenses on your own.

How To Become Financially Independent At 17?

You can become financially independent at 17 by having a consistent source of income that covers your living expenses. This might be from working a standard 9 to 5 job, side hustle, or even from a business.

On top of that, you will also need to save enough money to cover any unexpected expenses that might occur.

How To Be Financially Independent Before 18?

You can be financially independent at 18 by saving up enough money to move out of your parent’s house and cover a few months of expenses. Additionally, you will also need to start building your credit and look for ways to save as much money as possible.

Purchasing used and living like a student can be a good way to save a ton of money with very little effort.


It is entirely possible to become financially independent as a teenager. There are so many ways to make, save, and invest more money as a teen. All of which will eventually lead to financial independence.

If you enjoyed reading about how to become financially independent as a teenager, consider checking out our other articles below!

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