How One Aussie Mum Is Teaching Her Kids The Value Of Money

"It's so they get an idea that there is a value in earning money."

Deborah, a single mum in Sydney's inner west, is teaching her kids the importance of financial independence.

She pays their $35 monthly phone plan and for their public transport costs, but everything else is covered by them. Matilda, 17, was working part time in retail and fast-food, but quit as she heads in to her HSC. Benedict, 15, earns $15 an hour money doing odd jobs for his mum around the house, and is looking to get an after-school job soon.

They spend their money on little luxuries -- jewellery for Matilda; games for Ben -- but are also saving for financial independence, future happiness, and possible overseas trips.

What they're not saving for, is a house.

"They're part of the generation where they're not expecting that there's any point in saving for a house deposit," Deborah told ten daily.

"I think that's a bit sad for them, but probably realistic."

Deborah is making sure her kids are money smart. Photo: Supplied.

It comes off the back of new ING research, which found that the teens of today -- where they can be -- are placing a huge importance on financial independence.

Almost all of the 600 teens surveyed (95 percent), who were between the ages of 13 and 18, living at home, and earning money in some capacity were saving for the future.

More than half (56 percent) were saving for expensive items such as a new phone, clothes, a bike or video games, while 47 percent said they're saving for the long-term future, and 38 percent said they were saving for further education or university.

Curiously, the state with the highest percentage of teens placing an importance on saving for their long-term future was Queensland.

About 69 percent of teens said it's important to save in case something goes wrong, while more than half (55 percent) said saving will help their future happiness.

Three-quarters of teens say they're putting away more than half of what they earn each week. Of course, being a teen living at home means that -- usually -- big ticket items such as rent, food and bills are covered by parents, but that doesn't mean teens are without the opportunity to spend; they just choose not to.

For Deborah, it's important that her kids learn the value of money before they reach an age where they can be totally independent if they wish -- particularly in the digital age.

"So much of what they do is virtual," she said.

"They don't actually see the money. It goes straight into a bank account."

Matilda on her first day at school, with little brother Ben by her side. Photo: Supplied.

It's why, for example, when Benedict had a friend's birthday party at Luna Park a few weeks back, she was happy to buy a birthday present, but made sure he earned the money for rides and food by doing a few hours work around the house.

"It's so they get an idea that there is a value in earning money," she said.

"It also means they don't have the humiliation of always having to ask and get approval [for ways to spend their money].

"I like the fact that they have social independence as well as financial independence."

"It's really for their sense of empowerment for themselves -- not just in terms of financial empowerment, but building that confidence before transitioning into adult life."

Contact the author: abrucesmith@networkten.com.au