Teenagers lose jobs and pocket money during COVID-19

By: Financial Basics Foundation
BRISBANE, Australia - Aug. 16, 2020 - PRLog -- Tens of thousands of Australian teens have lost their jobs, pocket money and even their mobile phones, according to a new survey on the financial effects of COVID-19.

The national survey of 1000 parents of teenagers, conducted by the independent non-profit Financial Basics Foundation, showed 13% of teenagers had lost their jobs during the pandemic and 15% had their work hours cut.

Foundation chair Brigid Leishman said the economic shock was having mixed effects.

"While 13% of parents admitted struggling to make ends meet since the crisis began, another 17% said they were able to spend less and save more during lockdown," Ms Leishman said.

"A quarter of respondents had completely overhauled their budget during COVID-19 and, for some, their teenagers have to miss out on pocket money or their mobile phone."

The survey has been released at the launch of the 2020 Suncorp ESSI Money Challenge, a free online financial literacy competition for high school students, from 17-28 August.

Ms Leishman said these volatile times made it more important than ever to arm teenagers with financial literacy skills.

"The survey shows 25% of parents feel very anxious about their child's financial future and 24% have not shared their money concerns with their children," she said.

"The Suncorp ESSI Money Challenge is a fun, easy way to teach teenagers valuable lessons around earning, saving, spending and investing."

The survey also showed half the parents had accessed financial support during COVID-19, such as government payments, rent relief, superannuation and even fast cash loans.

"Some had to arrange school fee payment plans, suspended car leases and even received food from a charity," Ms Leishman said.

Chris Fleming, Suncorp Executive General Manager Consumer Banking, said money and household finances had been top of mind for most customers since the COVID-19 crisis began.

"The current economic environment reinforces the importance of teaching young people how to make good financial decisions including how they can handle any positive or negative shocks to their finances," Mr Fleming said.

"Understanding and managing finances is an extremely important skill and helping teenagers build their financial literacy is part of our commitment to providing inclusive financial services and increased financial resilience within our community."

Students who are doing remote learning during COVID-19 restrictions can participate in the challenge online from home.

Teachers must register their students to play at www.financialbasics.org.au

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