When should your kids get their first job?

It can feel like children grow up in the blink of an eye. One day, you’re changing nappies and wiping noses; the next, you’re slap bang in the middle of the teenage years, likely dealing with an adolescent's demands for spending money. 

Whether they want cash to spend on clothes or social activities, it’s important your children learn the value of money. One of the best ways of teaching them this lesson is by having them earn their own paycheque.

But at what age should your kids get their first job? Well, the answer to that depends on several factors such as:

●      Where you live

●      Whether your kid’s schedule allows for an extra commitment

●      Whether your child is emotionally ready to have a job

What’s the minimum age your child can legally start work

The legal minimum age for starting work depends on the state or territory where you live:

●      ACT: No minimum age, though employers have to follow certain rules for children under 15 years

●      NSW: No minimum age, though there are limits on the number of hours children under 15 years can work

●      NT: No minimum age, though employers have to follow certain rules for children under 15 years

●      QLD: Generally, the minimum age for starting work is 13 years

●      SA: No minimum age, though paid work can’t interfere with school

●      TAS: No minimum age, though employers have to follow certain rules for children under 14 years

●      VIC: Generally, to be employed without a permit, a child must be 15 years

●      WA: Children can work in some jobs from 10-12 years with parental/adult supervision; written parental permission is required for some jobs from 13-14 years; otherwise, the minimum age is 15 years

The benefits of letting your teen get a part-time job

Having a part-time job can be great for your child, and not just because they can make their own money to spend as they see fit. Working should also teach them valuable financial and social skills and prepare them for life out in the real world.

The benefits of a part-time job include:

●      Developing a sense of responsibility

●      Learning money management skills

●      Easing the transition into adulthood

●      Boosting self-confidence

Finally, working will give your child valuable experience and transferable skills, which should look good on their CV. Depending on the job, working could also help them build connections that may prove useful in the future.

On the other hand, it’s possible to have too much of a good thing – particularly when it comes to balancing the demands of working with education. Another potential concern is adding unnecessary pressure to your child’s life.

Should they spend or save their paycheque?

Unsurprisingly, money is the main motivator for teens working in Australia, with most looking to earn “everyday spending money”, according to a 2016 Australian Institute of Family Studies longitudinal study.

However, they can enjoy the fruits of their labour while still saving money.

When they start working, talk to them about their goals. Then, encourage them to put aside money towards meeting these goals, rather than blow their money on a whim.  

That said, it’s never too early to start learning how to manage money responsibly. So before they get their first job, teach them how to earn, save and spend with the FLX prepaid card and savings app.

The FLX App lets you set up pocket money transfers so you can reward your child for completing chores. You can then monitor your child’s spending with real-time notifications to your phone or Apple Watch.

Your child can also use FLX App to set savings goals and track their progress.

Help your kids learn money management skills by joining FLX here. FLX is linked to your Flexischools account, so you’ll be able to keep track of how much your child is spending vs. saving.

This is general advice. Read the PDSs & TMDs at www.flexischools.com.au/legal before deciding if FLX is right for you. The FLX Services & Flexischools are provided by InLoop Pty Ltd ABN 27 114 508 771 AFSL 471558 (trading as Flexischools). The FLX Prepaid Mastercard is issued by EML Payment Solutions Limited ABN 30 131 436 532 AFSL 404131 pursuant to license by Mastercard Asia/Pacific Pte. Ltd.


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