Teenager’s awareness of family financial issues seems to be on the rise. Concern over parent’s ability to put food on the table, a decrease in the availability of part time work has been reflected in the Auckland university survey. Does this really mean the problem is getting worse? Or are parents communicating to their teens more about financial matters than they have in the past?
A recent university of Auckland survey of 8,500 teenagers in 91 secondary schools as quoted in the NZ Herald has found some interesting (but maybe not surprising) results around what is happening in the household around money. Teenagers are less likely to have a part-time job than the teenagers in 2001, where 49% of them had jobs compared to 26% in 2012.
It is quite easy to look at this statistic and say it is simply due to the global recession so there is less work around for teens, although I am sure there is an element of truth to that.
An interesting question would be how many of the teenagers surveyed actually wanted part-time jobs now versus those in 2001 and how much impact did that have on the declining statistic?
Money worries are also on the increase; our teens are picking up on the concerns parents are having about the cost of living, particularly food.
As any parent knows, when children hit their teens (particularly boys), their food consumption increases and I can certainly recall my parents using the term ‘eating us out of house and home’ on several occasions during my teenage years.
I am not saying that there aren’t families in NZ that aren’t struggling to put food on the table, we see that through the numbers of children coming in for meals in schools, however a teenagers perception of the world tends to be very ‘me’ focussed .
So whilst this is a very interesting survey, I would challenge the reader to have a look at their own household spending and see what you are doing with your income and how you are allocating it between the needs of the family and the wants.