Budget Planning for Kids & Teens Getting Their First Pay Cheques

Enlightening Young Minds: Budget Planning for Kids & Teens Receiving Their First Earnings


Is your adolescent stepping into their first job and receiving those initial pay cheques? It’s an ideal opportunity to equip them with the knowledge of managing their earnings, a skill that will serve them for life.

In our lives, we receive guidelines for even the simplest tasks, yet crucial aspects like handling a pay cheque or a credit card are often left for us to decipher. Even if your child is academically bright, there are measures you can take to prepare them for their financial journey ahead.

1. A Parent’s Role in Imparting Financial Literacy

Investing your time in teaching your children money management is a significant contribution towards their future. Although it can be disheartening to see them stumble, a small $100 mishap can be a valuable lesson compared to a high-interest credit card debt or a long-term car loan.

Here are some steps you can take to guide your teen to handle their earnings effectively:

1.1 Understanding a Pay Stub

Start by teaching them how to read a pay stub – a skill many adults do not fully comprehend. Explain the difference between gross and net income and the purpose of various deductions. Make sure they understand that their budget should be based on their net income, not their gross income.

1.2 Setting Realistic Spending Criteria

Establish a clear understanding of what they should pay for with their money. If you’re footing the bill for their living expenses, perhaps they should take care of clothing, entertainment, and cell phone costs. You’ll be surprised how meticulous they become once they start paying for their necessities!

2. Crafting a Teen Budget

Assist your teen in creating a sensible budget based on their expenditure. Part of this process involves deciding how much to set aside for short-term and medium-term expenses. Remember, their budgeting system may not mirror yours, but as long as it’s logical and serves their needs, it’s a good start.

3. The Importance of Independent Bank Accounts

It’s essential for teens to have two separate bank accounts – a chequing account for regular transactions and a savings account for setting money aside. Even if your name is on the accounts for backup, they need to practice managing their finances. As their savings increase, a portion can be transferred into an investment account for larger goals and long-term savings.

4. Setting Goals and Saving for the Future

Encourage them to set targets for their savings so they can work towards a tangible goal, assess their progress, and celebrate their accomplishments. Saving for retirement might seem far-fetched for a teenager, but saving for an iPad or contributing towards a car is a goal they can relate to and strive for.

5. Monitoring Expenses

Urge your teen to keep an eye on their spending habits and adjust their budget accordingly. This practice will help them stay aligned with their objectives and control impulse purchases. They can use a free mobile app, a spreadsheet, or the traditional pencil and paper method to track their expenses.

5.1 Boost Their Savings Together

Consider matching a part of their annual savings to help them grow their funds quicker. If they’re paying rent, save it to assist them with moving expenses when they decide to live independently. You could even set a mutual savings goal to work towards together.

6. Encouraging Teens to Stay Motivated

Parents wear many hats, and one of them is motivating their children to save and manage their finances responsibly.

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