Proactively managing your money and saving when you are young is one of the best gifts you can give your future self. Establishing positive money habits when you’re in your teens or early twenties can help you avoid unnecessary debt and reach your financial goals faster. Now is the perfect time to start saving if you’re making money from an allowance, a side hustle, or a part-time job. Here are 7 strategies you can use to set money aside as a young person.

1. Open a youth bank account account

If you want to start saving for your future, a good first step is to open a bank account. There are plenty of youth bank accounts available in Canada. Many offer special perks for students and young people, such as no monthly fees and unlimited debit and e-Transfer transactions.

2. Separate spending money from saving money

Storing your savings in a separate bank account can help delineate your savings from your daily spending. Having separate accounts for different goals (saving vs. spending) can make it easier to monitor your money and stick to a budget. A savings account also offers the added bonus of earning interest over time. The longer you leave your money, the more you can earn.

3. Make a Budget

A budget is used to track your income and your expenses. If you’re spending more than you make, you’ll have to adjust. You can do this by cutting expenses or making more money. A budget can help you track your expenses to keep your spending under control and reach your financial goals faster.

4. Get a Job

If you need to make more money to balance your budget, consider getting a part-time job or starting a side gig. You can babysit, start a lawn care company, shovel sidewalks, wait tables, or become a camp counselor. Find a job that fits your interest or start your own entrepreneurial endeavor. Not only will a job help you make more money, but it can also teach important life skills like time management and how to interact with customers.

5. Set Savings Goals

Motivating yourself to save money is easier when you have a particular goal in mind. Maybe you want to save for a trip after high school graduation, buy a new car, or put money aside for post-secondary. Knowing why you’re saving can give you the focus and drive you need to keep working.

6. Stop Trying to Keep Up

It’s hard not to compare your situation to others, but if you want to save for the future, you need to focus on yourself and your financial situation. You will always find someone with nicer clothes, better shoes, or a more expensive car. What you don’t know is how they paid for it. Buying something new provides a positive feeling, but it’s fleeting. Saving for your future can provide sustained peace of mind and, eventually, the freedom to live the life you want.

7. Start Today

When it comes to saving, there is no time like the present. The sooner you get started, the sooner you can grow your savings and achieve your financial goals.