How to save for a new car for teens

Turning 16 is especially sweet for one reason: driving. A driver’s license is your passport to friends’ houses, the movies or a late-night donut run. But without a car, you’re not going far. Maybe your parents plan to get you a car, but until the keys are in your hands, you don’t really know for sure. That’s why, if you want your own set of wheels to get around, you need to know how to save up for a car as a teenager.

Whether it’s new, used or a hand-me-down, a car is no small expense and saving for a car as a teenager isn’t going to be easy. With school, any extracurricular activities and a part-time job, you’ve got a lot going on, so scratching enough cash together to buy a car will probably take some time. With some simple savings tips and good spending habits, you can be cruising behind the wheel of your own ride soon.

Try looking at this savings journey as a road trip. It’s going to take a while, some interesting events will take place along the way, and in the end, you’ll arrive at your destination ready to enjoy your time there.

Know the destination

Your first step is to set a savings goal. Just like a road trip, you need to know where you’re going if you’re ever going to get there. When it comes to a car (or any other major purchase), it helps knowing what you’re saving for and how much you need. Do you want to buy a reliable used car? You’ll need a few thousand dollars. Want a newer ride? You may need a bit more cash for a down payment so your monthly payments are reasonable. These online tools can help you figure out how much you can expect to pay for the car you want—you’ll even be able to find potential financing options. Only then will you know of how much you should put away in savings.

Plan your route

Once your savings destination is set, you can start figuring out how you’ll get there. Obviously, if you want to save money, you need to have some money coming in. A part-time job is a reliable source of income if you can manage it with your schedule. Where you live could affect how much you’re making. The minimum wage varies from state to state, so find out how much you could expect to earn in a traditional part-time job like retail or food service. Whatever job you end up finding, it’s important to know what to do with the money coming in.

If you can start saving before turning 16, you could have save less per paycheck and have a bit more money to spend however you like. For example, if you’re 14 and put aside $300 per month for 2 years, you’ll have $7,200 to put toward a car by the time you’re old enough to drive.

But how do you save for a car at 16? Maybe you couldn’t find a job before or you didn’t start looking for one until you turned 16, but you can still save. You may just need to be more aggressive in your saving and put more of your paycheck toward your goal. If you save $600 month, you will have $4,800 in your account in just 8 months. You may not find the most glamorous car for that price, but you could certainly find a practical used car online.

Have a place to park your money

When you’re on a road trip, it’s easy to be tempted by tourist trap detours. You have to ask yourself if seeing the world’s largest ball of yarn is worth the delay to your destination. And you should ask yourself the same questions while saving. Is going to the movies every week worth having to wait another month or 2 to save enough for a car?

Consider opening a savings account dedicated to your savings goal. You could even name the account something like “My Future Ride” or “The Matt-mobile.” (Pro Tip: “Your Name”-mobile works no matter what your name is—even if it doesn’t rhyme with “bat”). You can avoid the temptation of dipping into your savings and getting off course by having your money in a safe place. That way your savings are ready when you are.

Rules of the road

You wouldn’t drive without knowing the basics—which lane is for passing or what those yield signs are for. Much like the rules of driving, the basics of saving may seem simple, but they could help you avoid big mistakes.

As mentioned before, a savings account can help you avoid the temptation of spending your money on something else. Once you put money in the account, consider it off limits. Then, if you’re earning a consistent paycheck, consider putting the same amount in your savings each payday—no matter what. For example, you could save $150 of every paycheck, whether the check is for $175 or for $500. That way, you’ll see consistent progress toward your final goal.

Another simple way to stay on the right path to reaching your savings goal is to spend smart. Instead of spending close to $20 at the movie theater, split the cost of a $5 movie rental with friends. Or maybe buy a used video game system instead of a new one. Also avoid impulse purchases. Just think, every dollar you spend on something else is a dollar not going toward your new car. Just making some slight adjustments to your spending behavior really help your savings grow.

Pick up speed

Once you start saving, you may be looking for more ways to put money away toward a car. Consider selling some things you won’t miss. A gaming system you haven’t played in a year, clothes you may not wear anymore or old toys some kids might like could all make a dent in your savings goal.

You could also offer to pick up some extra chores around your house or for your neighbors if they need any errands or work done. Wash a car here for $10. Mow a lawn there for $25. These small paydays can add up if you’re willing to put in some extra work. When you look, there are lots of ways you can save as a teenager.

Arriving at your destination

Once you have saved enough to buy a car … Congratulations! You did it! Now comes time to buy the car. Don’t be afraid to ask for a better price. The worst a seller can say is “no,” and you’re no worse off. Then you could put any leftover savings toward insurance, gas and maintenance.

Bringing it home: How to save for a car as a teenager

  • Set a savings Goal
  • Find a renewable source of income
  • Avoid needless spending
  • Find additional sources of income when possible
  • Buy your car

Saving for a car as a teenager may seem daunting, but with patience and consistency, you can reach your goal before long. With these simple car-saving tips, you’ll soon enjoy access to the open road. Then you can choose a new destination to start saving. Now that you know what you need to do to save, you’re ready to tackle anything.

This site is for educational purposes. The material provided on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice or to indicate the availability or suitability of any Capital One product or service to your unique circumstances. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.

How to save for a new car for teens

Buying your first car is an exciting milestone. It’s also a big financial decision—and a chance to gain some real-life money skills. Follow these tips to find your first set of wheels—and to understand all the costs and considerations.

Set your budget

Determine your budget. Knowing how much you can spend will help you focus on cars you can actually afford. You may be planning to pay for the vehicle outright with money you’ve already saved up.

Be sure to factor in additional costs like upfront fees for the registration, inspection and license plate. Then there are ongoing expenses like insurance, maintenance and gas. Some states charge a yearly tax for owning the car, too.

If you’re planning to finance the car with a loan co-signed by a parent or guardian, your monthly payments should also be included in your budget. Your specific costs will depend on many things (the car you choose, where you live, your insurance rate, how much you drive, etc.).

What it costs

Whether you buy the car outright or plan to get a loan, be sure to factor these other expenses into your budget.

Insurance
About $2,000 annually for a young driver
Gas
Roughly $1,650 a year
Maintenance
$1,350 a year for oil changes, replacing air filters and other repairs
License, registration & taxes
About $851 annually
Parking charges and road tolls
Expenses vary

Sources: Carinsurance.com, AAA; 2020

Get preapproved for an auto loan before you even begin car shopping. Knowing your approved interest rate and the amount you can borrow ahead of time will help you stay on budget.

Find the right car

Now for the fun part. Start researching online to see what kind of vehicle you can get for your budget.

As a new driver, you’ll have to consider car safety and reliability. As a general rule, bigger cars are often safer than smaller ones. A midsize sedan might withstand a crash better than a compact vehicle, and its low center of gravity generally makes it less likely to roll over. Also, look for cars that don’t highlight horsepower. Cars with smaller, more practical engines and drive trains (and hybrid or electric cars, too) can encourage safer driving and also save you money on insurance and fuel.

You’ll also need to make certain trade-offs to find the right combination of features at the right price. One obvious option to consider: Will you buy new or used? While new cars are more expensive, of course, they may offer safety features that aren’t available in older vehicles, but are especially valuable to new drivers, from backup cameras to driver-assist technologies such as automatic braking. You can also consider a certified pre-owned vehicle. It may cost more than other used vehicles but may come with a limited warranty and, potentially, lower insurance costs.

How to save for a new car for teens

A new driver in the household can really impact your auto insurance rates. This is because teen drivers ages 16 -19 are more likely to be involved in accidents than any other age group. If you’re the parent of a teen who just got their license, learning how you can save on your auto insurance is a necessity.

Here are 7 ways you can control your car insurance premiums and get discounts with a teen driver.

1. Shop for coverage with free quotes

Whether you stick with your current auto insurance carrier or you plan to shop around, make sure that you go with an insurance company that will quote your new driver for free and let you know upfront any benefits or discounts that you may be eligible for.

2. Enroll them in a driver safety education course

Most insurers will reward teenage drivers who complete a driver’s education or safety course with a discount. By passing the course your teen can prove they have the knowledge and skills behind the wheel to avoid an accident.

3. Take advantage of good student discounts

Good grades don’t only help your teen out in the classroom, they can also qualify for a ‘good student discount’ with your auto insurance provider. Talk to your insurance agent to see how much you can save by turning in your child’s report card.

4. Purchase a reliable vehicle with a good safety rating

We all know that the costs of our vehicles directly influence what we will pay for auto insurance. Before you go car shopping with your teen talk to your insurance agent and see how much it would be to insure a newer car vs. an older car. Don’t forget to ask about any discounts or rewards for safety ratings or features like airbags, anti-lock brakes, seatbelt alarms, and power steering.

5. Limit the miles they drive

Miles driven can also affect the cost of your insurance. This is because the longer you are on the road, the more likely you are to have an accident. So, one of the best ways to avoid a rate increase is to keep mileage to a minimum. Limit your teens driving to work, school, and only in-town functions and you may qualify for low-mileage discounts.

6. Bundle your protection and save

Instead of getting your teen their own suit insurance policy, you can save by adding them to your existing policy. And you can save even more each month with the ‘insurance bundle discount’- when you add your auto insurance policy onto other policies that you have with your carrier, like your homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance policy.

7. Drive SAFE!

The best way to save money (and stress) is to teach and emphasize the importance of safe driving. It will not only prevent a costly accident, but it will give you peace of mind, as a parent, that your new driver is doing everything they can to stay safe on the road.

There’s no greater value than knowing your family is properly protected while saving money.

How to save for a new car for teens

Teenage drivers often consider an auto loan — financing — as a way of getting the car they want. But it isn’t always easy or the best solution. It might be no solution at all, especially for those under 18 years old. For those 18 or over, there may be a number of financing options.

Be Careful Taking a Dealer’s Advice

Many teens make the mistake of taking dealers’ advice regarding financing and trade-in situations. For example, if the teen has a trade-in and is still paying on a loan, there’s a good chance the loan is “upside down” which means the loan balance is more than the car is worth. A dealer will offer to “help” by “paying off the old loan” and rolling the negative loan balance into a new vehicle loan, instantly creating an even worse upside down situation — a cycle that is often repeated multiple times, making the problem worse at each turn of the cycle.

This is a bad way for a teenager to begin a lifetime of buying cars and managing money. It can easily result in loan defaults, repossessions, and credit problems that will haunt them for years to come.

Stay Away from Problem Financing

Teens often have limited finances and are desperate to find a way to buy and finance a car.

The most common method for teens under the age of 18 to get a car is to have their parents buy it for them, possibly with an informal family loan arrangement. The car must be in the parents’ name, as must the registration, title, tags, and insurance. When the child becomes 18, the parents can “sell” the car to him/her to change ownership. If financing is involved, the teen could get a conventional car loan from a bank or credit union, although without a credit history, parents would have to co-sign. It’s a great way for young adults to begin building credit for themselves.

For those 18 years old and over, it is common for parents to co-sign for the young buyer on a conventional auto loan, assuming the teen has an income sufficient to repay the loan. Even though a parent co-signs, the car and loan are in the teen’s name. See, Do I Need a Co-Signer?

Avoid Buy-Here-Pay-Here Car Dealers

Unless it’s the only option open to you, try to avoid “buy-here-pay-here” (BHPH) car dealers, who sell older cars, charge high interest rates, and are very intolerant of late or missed payments. Much of their business is selling, repossessing, and reselling the same cars. These types of dealers don’t use banks or finance companies to provide customer loans, as do conventional dealers, and therefore can ignore customer’s credit problems. However, many customers soon realize the disadvantage of buying from such dealers — unreliable and overpriced vehicles, no warranty or return policy, super-high loan interest rate, and strict repayment policy.

Teens and Credit – Bad Credit or No Credit

Many teenage first-time drivers have not had time to establish a credit history, which can cause financing issues. Some do have a credit history, but have had late payments and loan defaults which reflect negatively on their history and creates a low credit score.

Getting approved for a loan and buying car insurance are based on credit scores, which are determined by consumers’ borrowing history. This information can often be wrong or outdated.

It’s always wise to know your latest credit score before looking for financing.

Don’t let a car dealer surprise you with credit and financial information about you that you don’t already know about yourself.

A poor credit score can result in very high interest rates, high insurance rates, high down payments, and even loan refusals.

Where To Get Financing

Auto Credit Express and InstantCarLoan.com are excellent companies from which to get online car loans, especially for people with no credit, poor credit, repossessions, or even bankruptcies. They specialize in providing auto financing for people with unusual circumstances. Compare rates and go with the best deal.

Teenagers often get started in car financing by having a family member co-sign for them. This is the best way to get off to a good start and establish a good credit history for future financing.

Teens should realize the importance of not overextending themselves financially and of making payments on time. A single late payment can result in credit score reductions that can take months, even years, to fix. A single repossession or loan default can damage one’s ability to get loans and other credit for up to seven years.

Calculate Loan Costs

To help decide on a price range for a new or used car, it’s best to use a car loan calculator to experiment with vehicle prices and options that produce an affordable monthly payment. It’s important to understand the relationship of interest rate, loan term, and loan amount to monthly payment amount. Loan finance costs can be a substantial part of the overall cost of buying a car. Novice car buyers are often surprised that the total cost of buying a car is much more than the price of the car itself.

When buying a car, teens should make sure they can not only afford the monthly payments but also the cost of auto insurance (very expensive for teens), gas, maintenance, annual fees, and minor repairs not covered by insurance.

Where to Find Cars for Teens

Although teens car easily find cars online at sites such as Craigslist and eBay, buying cars that you can’t go see, can’t drive, can’t inspect, and can’t talk to the seller face-to-face is not recommended and is an invitation for disappointment and even to be scammed. It’s safer and smarter to buy locally and from an individual or reputable dealer. We recommend using our Car Deal Finder to find cars in your area.

Although it might seem unfair to charge higher rates based on age, it’s actually a matter of statistics. Because teens are young and don’t have much driving experience, they are among the highest risk groups for traffic infractions and car accidents.

However, there are plenty of ways you can save money on car insurance for teens. We’ve listed five of the most common solutions below.

1. Get On Your Parents’ Policy

As a teen driver, technically you don’t need your own car insurance policy; actually, having two separate policies (your parents’ and your own) generally costs everyone more money in the long run. In most cases, paying for one policy beats paying for two policies.

Consider having your parent or guardian add you to their policy, and then take advantage of some of the other money-saving tips below to make sure their new rates don’t skyrocket.

2. Make Good Grades

Lots of car insurance providers offer discounts to students who make good grades (think the A- to B-average range). Usually called good student discounts, these premium reductions recognize students’ hard work and make it easier for teens to get cheap car insurance.

Depending on your car insurance company, you might even be eligible for good student discounts several years after you leave high school.

3. Buy a Safe Car

Driving is exciting, but your vehicle doesn’t have to be. We know it sounds boring, but sensible vehicles with high safety ratings usually earn you lower rates on your auto insurance than expensive, flashy vehicles.

If your parents buy you a car, consider a simple sedan with plenty of safety features. It might not impress your friends, but it will pay off when you get cheaper car insurance.

4. Take Driver Training

Even if your school curriculum or state doesn’t require driver’s education, completing Driver’s Ed is often a way to save money on car insurance.

These courses teach you your state’s rules of the road as well as give you valuable behind-the-wheel experience. Your auto insurance company might even offer an additional discount for taking an extra driver training course. Just make sure it’s one approved by the provider.

5. Drive Safely

Your driving record (a record of your driving history) includes every traffic infraction, violation, and accident in which you’re involved. These incidents appear on your driving record and play a huge role in determining your auto insurance rates.

Car insurance companies see you as more of a risk if you have a less-than-stellar driving record. Furthermore, they can raise your current rates (i.e., the rates you already pay) and even lead to license suspension or revocation, depending on your state’s teen driving laws.

Keeping a clean driving record is vital to your insurance premium and your safety. Practice safe driving each time you get behind the wheel.

How to save for a new car for teens

When you and your teen are shopping for a new car, safety should be top priority. The increase in smart technologies in vehicles means there are more ways today to help keep young drivers safe.

The 10 small and midsize cars listed below are top safety picks by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, which Nationwide is proud to be a member group of. These models earned advanced or superior ratings for front-end crash protection. Looking for a first car for your teen? Check out some of the safest cars for teenage drivers:

Vehicle model Safety features
Subaru Legacy Subaru Legacy safety features
Hyundai Elantra Hyundai Elantra safety features
Mazda CX-5 Mazda CX-5 safety features
Subaru Impreza Subaru Impreza safety features
Toyota Camry Toyota Camry safety features
Kia Forte Kia Forte safety features
Honda Insight Honda Insight safety features
Kia K5 Kia Optima safety features
Hyundai Sonata Hyundai Sonata safety features
Subaru Outback Subaru Outback safety features

Not everyone has the budget for a new car, so be sure to look at the safety ratings for used options as well. Vehicle safety features change over time, which means a car that’s highly rated now might not have scored as well a few years ago. And remember to teach your teen common sense and good driving behaviors, like limiting the number of friends in the car and keeping the music off or at a level that won’t be distracting.

Once you find the right car for your teen, make sure to add a driver to your car insurance policy.

As a parent of a teenager, you face numerous challenges.

One of the minor ones involves finding affordable teen car insurance. Because teens are considered higher-risk drivers by car insurance companies, they face higher rates to offset the risk. With that in mind, let’s look at some viable ways to keep your auto insurance premiums in check with a teen driver.

Saving on Car Insurance for Teen Drivers

To stop your auto insurance premiums from skyrocketing when your teen starts driving, try a combination of the following money-saving tips.

1) Comparison Shop to Find the Best Rates

With so much competition between insurance carriers and the ease of obtaining online car insurance quotes, it’s silly not to take advantage of the situation. Some sites allow you to evaluate quotes from multiple providers at once, which speeds the process. Comparing at least 3 quotes will let you find the best rates. Remember not to sacrifice coverage for price, though. Cheap insurance doesn’t always mean the best insurance.

2) Look for Teen Driver Discounts

While online, discover what discounts may be available to your teen. Do this for your current carrier along with other providers. Common teen discounts include those available for drivers who have:

  • Taken a driver safety education course.
  • A good report card. Insurers usually offer savings for teens who’ve gotten at least a “B” average.
  • Low annual mileage.

3) Add Your Teen to Your Policy

See if it’s cheaper to add your teen to your policy, or to purchase a separate policy. In most cases, the first option is less expensive. This is especially true if your carrier permits you to assign your teen to the car that’s least costly to insure; if you do so, make sure your teen primarily drives that vehicle.

4) Choose a Car Wisely

If your teen will have his or her own car, be smart about the vehicle. Putting a teen behind the wheel of a flashy sports car can be really expensive and potentially unsafe.

Instead, opt for a car model with a strong safety record and the latest safety equipment. This will help protect your teen driver and should help keep your auto insurance premiums affordable.

5) Stress Safe Driving

Be sure your child understands that driving recklessly endangers lives. And, that breaking traffic rules or causing an accident could result in a suspended drivers license and even higher premiums. Make sure to:

  • Be a good role model. If you expect your teen to drive safely, model the right behaviors behind the wheel.
  • Set ground rules. Be explicit about what your child can and can’t do when it comes to driving. If you don’t want him driving after a certain time of night, make sure to say so and enforce the curfew. Set rules for cell phone use, implement a zero tolerance drug and alcohol policy, and make sure to follow your graduated driver’s license laws.
  • Educate your child on safe driving. Continually monitor your child’s driving and teach them the right behaviors when you notice the wrong ones.

6) Consider Usage-Based Car Insurance

Usage-based, or “pay as you go” insurance lets the driver plug a vehicle into the device that monitors the driver’s habits. Good driving can save you money on your premiums. Additionally, this system allows you to monitor your teen’s driving when you’re not in the car. You can notice risky patterns and correct them before they lead to an accident.

7) Increase Your Deductibles and Adjust Your Coverage

Choosing higher auto deductibles carries some risk, as paying a deductible after an accident could outweigh any premium savings you might have accrued prior to that point. But, it’s something to consider, as it might get you a lower premium.

Also consider which coverages your teen really needs. If he has an old, hand-me-down car, does he need comprehensive coverage? The monthly cost may not be worth it if the vehicle is low-value.

8) Find Other Car Insurance Discounts

Leverage all the potential savings that may be available to yourself as a policyholder, including discounts such as:

  • Multiple-car. Insuring more than one vehicle on the same policy can reduce your rates.
  • Bundling (multi-policy). You can often save money by bundling your policies, such as your homeowner’s and car insurance policies.
  • Good driver. Having a record free of violations and at-fault accidents can help you maintain affordable rates. Once your teen has been driving for some time, she is also eligible for this discount if she keeps a clean record.
  • Safe vehicle. The more safety features on your vehicle(s), the more likely you are to pay less.
  • Safe driver class. Defensive driving classes can help you save. It’s not just for students; anyone can take a safe driving course. Many insurers offer savings for driver training.

The Auto Insurance Savings Add Up

By acting wisely, you can significantly cut the cost of your teen car insurance premiums.

Always remember, however, that it’s important not to skimp on coverage. With a teen driver, sound auto insurance protection is essential.

Insurance companies figure that drivers between 16 and 24 are most at risk for accidents. Insurance rates for that age group reflect the industry’s feelings.

Those of us who own cars understand that buying one is just the beginning of the strain that a vehicle can place on your pocketbook. Most teenagers understand that it takes significant money to buy a car, but are uninformed about the continuing costs.

Keeping a car is expensive business. You’ve got to buy gas and pay to have the car maintained. Gas prices are already astronomical. Our shaky world political situation at the moment, however, makes it impossible to predict what gas prices will be like in the future.

An oil change, depending on where you live, can cost anywhere between $25 and $50, and then there are all the little costs such as washing the car, inspection fees, parking fees, tolls, and so forth. And then there are registration fees, costs to have your driver’s license renewed, and the big one—auto insurance.

When your teenager starts driving, he’ll either have to buy his own auto insurance or you’ll have to add him to your policy. Most insurers will require your teen to be added to your policy or to have his own policy as soon as he gets his learner’s permit. However, because a licensed driver is required to be in the car with a learner, some insurers don’t consider a learner to be a significant risk, and will charge only a minimal amount to add him to your policy. Other insurers, however, will up your rates significantly as soon as your teen gets the permit. Insurance companies consider teens to be high-risk customers, because they’re inexperienced and make more frequent mistakes than those who have been driving for longer. Unfortunately, statistics show that while teens make up 10 percent of the general population, they’re responsible for 14 percent of all motor vehicle deaths.

Money Morsel

Remember that many insurance companies offer lower rates to teens who have completed a high school driver’s education course, who earn good grades in school, or who meet other requirements. You may save up to 10 percent of the additional premium for a new driver, so be sure to ask your agent what’s available.

While it’s common practice for parents to add their kids onto their policies, it isn’t always the least expensive way to insure your child. If you’ve got two or three expensive cars in the garage and your kid is going to drive one of them, it’s going to cost a hefty sum to add him onto your policy because expensive cars cost a lot of money to fix. If your kid is driving a used car that didn’t cost an arm and a leg, however, and you buy him only basic insurance coverage, it may be less expensive to get him his own policy than to add him onto yours. On the other hand, if you have discounts on your policy, such as safe driver or multi-vehicle, adding your teen to your policy might be the way to go. You’ll need to sit down with your agent to determine the best plan for you and your teen.

Ask your agent to run the policy costs of adding your child to your current policy and the cost of having him insured under his own policy. Many insurers will require your child to be included on your policy for a certain amount of time after he’s started driving. That can be fine, but if your teen has an accident or commits a traffic violation, your policy will reflect that. And an accident or violation may prevent your teen from being able to get his own policy.

When considering what to do about your teen’s car insurance, consider all the options and ask a lot of questions.

An important consideration to keep in mind if your teen is included on your policy, is the designation of the car he’ll be driving. You sure don’t want to designate your brand-new Volvo as the car he’ll be driving when you can just as easily designate the eight-year-old Honda Civic. The rates will be increased on the car your teen will be driving, and you don’t want to have to pay even more to insure a new car than you’ll already be charged. Also keep in mind that, just as with your own auto insurance, insurance rates for teens vary depending on where you live. Insuring a teen driver in Los Angeles, for instance, can cost many times more than insuring a teen with the same vehicle in a rural area of Kansas.

Explain to your child that owning a car is expensive business, and that the costs do not end the day the car is purchased. Teach her the value of taking care of her car, and make sure she understands what needs to be done in the way of maintenance and daily care. And, be sure that he or she knows exactly what to do in the event of an emergency. Come up with a plan in case of trouble like a flat tire or engine trouble.

Teens and cars can be a worrisome mix, and paying for the vehicle is just one of those worries. If your kid has a car, do what you can to educate him in every applicable area— from finances to safety. Then sit back and try not to worry too much. Remember that most teens make it through to adulthood relatively unscathed, and your teen most likely will, too.