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Teens with part time jobs and money


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#1 Silvers

Posted 19 December 2019 - 09:12 PM

My DS15 has just started a casual job and usually makes between $100 to $200 per week.  He has two bank accounts, one for everyday transactions and another online saver account where I encourage him to save at least 50% of his pay.

He now has an ATM card and he seems to be doing a lot of paywave transactions and not withdrawing actual cash to pay for things (mainly buying junk food, school canteen, online steam games etc).  Just wondering if this is normal amongst teens?  He has only been working for a month so I understand that having money of his own is exciting but I’m concerned about the mindless spending.  I haven’t said anything to him as I know it’s his money but am after a few tips to encourage responsible money management.

#2 littlepickle

Posted 19 December 2019 - 09:18 PM

At 15 he must be working a significant number of hours to earn that amount of cash. Anyway he can have work divide the earnings up and pay into two seperate bank accounts - spending (with debit card / eftpos) and savings withouT?

#3 Jingleflea

Posted 19 December 2019 - 09:19 PM

My Dh used to take out a set sum of money each fortnight and make it last for the 2 weeks.
He never used his card at all for paywave or anything.

Now he says he's using it all the time so I think it's normal for a teen to do it. It's a sign of the times with a lot of people I suspect.

I think your son should keep track of his spending over a few weeks or he'll find himself without any money. All the little transactions add up!

#4 LiveLife

Posted 19 December 2019 - 09:30 PM

View Postlittlepickle, on 19 December 2019 - 09:18 PM, said:

At 15 he must be working a significant number of hours to earn that amount of cash.

Huh? Not really. Mine are earning close to double that for 3 shifts a week.

Mine spend very little and are saving for a car.

When they do purchase it’s payWave app on phone and online banking app on phone to check account balance, we are a cashless household.

Edited by LiveLife, 19 December 2019 - 09:31 PM.


#5 The new me

Posted 19 December 2019 - 09:32 PM

DD15 works
50% goes to long term savings, 20% comes to me for all the petrol I use running her back and forth (regional) and 30% is available for her to spend, but in reality this also gets mostly saved.  

We have a budget spreadsheet that we look at every couple of weeks and map get spending

We need to teach kids about managing money

Good luck



#6 BusbyWilkes

Posted 19 December 2019 - 09:37 PM

Silvers, you must be a dinosaur like me!

My DS is very similar age/wage. I encouraged him to take out a set amount of cash each pay to spend, and then save the rest. He did this for the first couple of months (to appease me) and now uses payWave all the time. The school canteen discourages use of cash.

Some months he would spend the majority of what he makes, other months he spends nothing. I would give your DS a few months to settle in, then sit down together and look online at his expenditure and talk about it.

If he's struggling to save and is just spending, perhaps encourage him to transfer a set amount each pay to an account that is more difficult to access (no keycard).

#7 Mrs Claus

Posted 19 December 2019 - 09:38 PM

My dd is 17 and when she first started working I kept 50% in an account she can’t access and she had the other 50% to spend. After a year when she got her first group certificate and saw how much she had earns/spent she asked me to keep 75% and has managed to save quite a bit.

If she wants concert tickets or something $$ she will ask me and I will give her the extra money (hers) but hasonly done that twice

#8 limakilo

Posted 19 December 2019 - 09:47 PM

Do you mean is not withdrawing cash normal? Yes, absolutely, with technology there's no need for cash.
I rarely have it as it's dirty, only I touch my card, so many people touch money.

#9 Silvers

Posted 19 December 2019 - 10:00 PM

He is transferring approx 50% of his pay to savings but I noticed he has transferred some back to the everyday account that is linked to his card.  It may be a good idea to transfer the savings to an account that only I have access to but I don’t want to be too controlling at this stage.

I think I might get him to total his income and itemise his expenses each month so he can see exactly where his money is going.

#10 xjrx

Posted 19 December 2019 - 10:32 PM

DD16 keeps 1/3 to spend however she chooses via her ATM card. The other 2/3 she transfers to her long term savings goal (a car). I don’t check the accuracy of her 2/3 transfers but I do see her statements occasionally and know her long term saving is growing. I think it is invaluable to teach these lessons when young rather than waiting till old enough to take out loans and credit cards with no real experience of saving. Her car will much better than my first car at this rate.

#11 ~THE~MAGICIAN~

Posted 19 December 2019 - 10:56 PM

DD16 has only been working a couple of weeks, but get 5 shifts a week, around 21 hours.
Her pay is DD into her savings and she transfers what she wants to spend. She's a saver by nature , she actually only spent her first bit of her savings tonight. $25.

#12 ExpatInAsia

Posted 19 December 2019 - 11:07 PM

My teens don’t like to carry much cash and prefer to paywave everything if possible.

We encourage our eldest to save half and keep half to spend. She is usually quite good but occasionally splurges. We get her to keep track (roughly) of what she is spending and think about how much she is spending on junk food and everyday spending.

#13 ImperatorFuriosa

Posted 19 December 2019 - 11:17 PM

I think my DS17 is the only kid who doesn't spend his money. Even when we go to the city he just doesn't buy anything, which is a good thing I guess as he has built up quite a nice little bank account since starting his job a couple of years ago considering he only works one day a week.

The biggest spend this year was a GShock watch he bought in November.

#14 onetrick

Posted 20 December 2019 - 06:25 AM

So the good thing about these transactions is that in a couple of months, when savings has grown but the spending is account is minimal, you can suggest that dS goes through both accounts and looks at what he has spent money on. Seeing the difference between one with a couple.of thousand and one almost empty and lots.of tiny things might be a reality check?

#15 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 20 December 2019 - 06:59 AM

Ok so here’s the theory - I think the Barefoot Investor explains it well.  

Primates get the concept of exchanging one thing for another, and can even get the idea that a meaningless token has a value.

https://www.bbc.com/...-us-about-money

So our brains have evolved to understand the concept of an exchange (I lose something and I gain something) and to weigh up the advantages.  

But the credit/debit card messes with the signal, because you get the thing and you keep the card.  So your primitive brain doesn’t register the loss only the gain.  

Similar to craving sweet and fatty food - evolution hasn’t caught up with our modern lifestyle.

So you have to come up with a way to register the loss of the money at a basic level.   Taking out a fixed amount of cash works.  But I’d rather not carry much cash so I use the bank app and have a look at the balance every time I tap and go.  That seems to work as well.

#16 tily

Posted 20 December 2019 - 07:29 AM

Mine did that for about 3 months then realised how stupid it was and started saving for a car. We have always talked about money with him and he has always been an “if I’ve got it I’ll spend it” despite my nagging and annoyance at him. In our house letting him make his mistakes with the money he has worked for has worked. Might it in yours?

#17 SummerStar

Posted 20 December 2019 - 07:34 AM

My boys have never really used cash. Always tap and go, usually with their phones. They do have separate savings so as long as they're saving the rest I don't care what they do with their spending money. And to be honest we advise they save but I don't check up on that either. I can only give them advice on it I can't control their money and spending.

#18 cstar

Posted 20 December 2019 - 07:35 AM

View Posttily, on 20 December 2019 - 07:29 AM, said:

Mine did that for about 3 months then realised how stupid it was and started saving for a car. We have always talked about money with him and he has always been an “if I’ve got it I’ll spend it” despite my nagging and annoyance at him. In our house letting him make his mistakes with the money he has worked for has worked. Might it in yours?

Yep I was coming in to say the same thing. DS didn’t realise how much he was actually spending until his first bank statement came, he now is very careful how much he spends, eats at home as much as possible etc. He is saving up for a car.

#19 Silverstreak

Posted 20 December 2019 - 07:37 AM

Hi OP, I was your son when I first got a regular job! I liked the idea of savings, but no real set goals. I would put money aside, then withdraw it, then put it aside, then withdraw it!

What works for me now is "paying myself first", so treating savings like a not negotiable bill that I don't touch. So I have to be careful I don't put too much into savings. This has taken me years and years to work out, by the way and I'm still learning.

I think sitting down with your DS and having a chat about expenses and savings goals is a good idea, so he can work out wants versus needs e.g. if he would like to save for a car, holiday, new phone, or just a rainy day. Maybe even look into some term deposits etc, to remove the temptation to spend.

As for Paywave, yep, it seems to be the way of things nowadays, it's just so easy to do. I very rarely carry around physical currency. In fact, I only withdraw from an ATM etc if I need paper money or coins, which is very rare (e.g. for a school raffle or something.)

#20 Backtoschoolchef

Posted 20 December 2019 - 08:42 AM

View Postlimakilo, on 19 December 2019 - 09:47 PM, said:

Do you mean is not withdrawing cash normal? Yes, absolutely, with technology there's no need for cash.
I rarely have it as it's dirty, only I touch my card, so many people touch money.

I only carry about $20 cash on me for emergencies and apart from that I paywave / cc  everything.  That way if I lose my wallet or it gets stolen Ive only lost $20 not $200.  If that's what Op is asking is it normal not to carry cash.

We have an offset so it work out better for us to put everything on CC.  I also find putting it on CC theres a record of what was spent where which can be useful for warranties and keeping track of money. I go through my bills every fortnight and check it all adds up.

#21 hills mum bec

Posted 20 December 2019 - 03:40 PM

I think that's pretty normal, I can't remember the last time I had cash in my purse.

I have two teens with part time jobs.  They both get paid into accounts that don't have a card attached and transfer half of their pay to another account for spending, mostly with paywave.  I'm not sure if either of them even know what their pin numbers are if they had to withdraw cash.

#22 JomoMum

Posted 20 December 2019 - 07:09 PM

View Posttily, on 20 December 2019 - 07:29 AM, said:

Mine did that for about 3 months then realised how stupid it was and started saving for a car. We have always talked about money with him and he has always been an “if I’ve got it I’ll spend it” despite my nagging and annoyance at him. In our house letting him make his mistakes with the money he has worked for has worked. Might it in yours?

I think given it is his first job and first time earning money, it would be fair to have just a general conversation with him about earning spending. Assume he doesn’t realise what he’s doing and maybe just mention it.

“So you’re earning money now and it’s great that you’ve become more independent with your spending. It can be really difficult to keep track of spending when you’re using a card like we do these days. How about we leave things as they are with the card and accounts for the next X number of months and then maybe we could have a look together at how you’re going, see whether you’d like to start saving for a car/holiday etc and we can help you work out a way to spend and save accordingly”.

I don’t think it’s fair to let him go ahead and “waste” it all when, with a simple, gentle suggestion, he may realise and be more aware?

#23 EsmeLennox

Posted 20 December 2019 - 07:28 PM

I put my kids pocket money in an account that they have a keycard for and they PayWave everything. I don’t see the issue?

My eldest who has a job does the same.

They use the bank’s app to monitor their spending vs saving.

#24 **Xena**

Posted 31 December 2019 - 05:26 PM

My son uses EFTPOS to pay for everything (he turned paywave off in case his card got stolen at school).
He puts 50% of his pay and pocket money in his savings account though which isn't linked to his card.

#25 Ocean waves

Posted 31 December 2019 - 05:42 PM

View PostSilvers, on 19 December 2019 - 10:00 PM, said:

He is transferring approx 50% of his pay to savings but I noticed he has transferred some back to the everyday account that is linked to his card.  It may be a good idea to transfer the savings to an account that only I have access to but I don’t want to be too controlling at this stage.

I think I might get him to total his income and itemise his expenses each month so he can see exactly where his money is going.

Do you have the barefoot investor for families book? He covers this really well about how to get kids of all ages motivated to save. If you don’t have the book and are interested then please reply, I was sent one as a random act of kindness but already have one.

Edited by Ocean waves, 31 December 2019 - 05:43 PM.





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