/Teaching kids to budget and getting on the property ladder.

With the Bank of Mum & Dad being the benign constitution it is, it’t likely your children are due for a significant financial culture shock when they find themselves responsible for managing their own money. And to be fair, it can be pretty complex, especially for hormonal teens, driven by peer pressure and their continual lust for the latest clothes and gadgets.

Teaching your kids about the importance of financial planning is critical to their long-term financial well-being and the sooner they learn and understand the value ratios of the dollars they earn versus the dollars they spend – and the cost of those all-important teenage ‘necessities’ the better for all concerned. 

As a parent I often marvel at how my children are ever going to be able to purchase an investment property, let alone their own home. Ensuring your children have an understanding of how to budget and save for their first property could be the difference between them stressing about money their whole life or reaching financial freedom well before their peers.

State of Independence

There is no independence without financial independence. For any young adult, it is all about being in control of his or her own destiny (or at least feeling as if they are in control – even if Mum and Dad are still their personal chef, cleaner and taxi driver). Giving a child, full control of their own budget is an incredibly important step on their path to self-sufficiency. 

Goal Setting

Talk to your kids about setting goals how to put them in place, and the steps they need to take to achieve them. This is a vital skill and one that is crucial to happiness in every aspect of life. Get them to agree to a savings goal and help them work out what they need to do to action a plan to reach that goal. Start small and achievable and work up to that first investment.

Sense of Worth

There is no better way for a person to learn about the true value of money than by spending his or her own money. When your child has saved, or earned the money to buy that new pair of expensive runners, they feel so much more precious than when they magically appeared with the swipe of your credit card. They understand just how long it took for them to attain that new item and are compelled to take better care of it. As well as giving them a greater appreciation of their possessions, this also gives them a boost to their own self-worth, for being trusted to control their own finances. 

Imagine the thrill and confidence that your child will feel when they purchase their first property.

Resisting Temptation

By learning to budget, teenagers learn about setting personal barriers and resisting temptation. They will be more likely to avoid frittering their money away on smaller desired items on a whim and feel compelled to save money toward the specific targets they have set for themselves. This is also a great lesson in avoiding unnecessary waste. Christmas and birthdays are often rich with money in envelopes from relatives who have no idea what to buy. Encourage your children to save this cash (or at least a good portion of it), rather than blow it on even more new stuff when they’ve just had an influx of gifts. 

Budgeting 101:

Set your kids on the road to better budgeting by:

  • Lead by example: sit down and go through the family budget with your child, so they can see how and where the family funds are allocated. They will probably be shocked to see the true cost of running the household, and it might just make them more appreciative of all your hard work (we can’t promise this, but you never know your luck!)
  • Show them how to get onto the property ladder: lay out the plan and research what needs to be done to get that first property. Look at all the costs associated, and the income they can create. Don’t forget to discuss passive income. This generation of teenagers aspire to create passive income more than any generation before them. They want to work less and make more money. I wish we had thought of that!
  • Make money part of everyday life: if you’re feeling brave, once they’ve got their head around the family budget, let them have a go at controlling it for a while. Hand over the reins of the family shopping for a week. Or if you don’t feel like risking Uber Eats seven nights in a row, how about starting small by allowing your child to plan for a family day out? Or even plan the budget for your family holiday. You can get creative with this, allocating the budget to them for any activity, and allow them to figure out how to spend it. You might be surprised that their objective view on things could help you make some valuable changes in your approach to family spending. 
  • Earning money feels even better than spending it: your kids might not be aware of this yet, so encourage them to get a part-time job. If they are too young just now, you can prepare them in advance by paying them to do certain jobs around the house. Once they have a regular income, they will be able to budget and save for big-ticket items.

Encouraging and supporting your children to be fiscally aware is essential, today more than ever, if they want to get on the property ladder. Next week we will be looking at Fractional Investment and how this could be the platform to transform the next generations ability to buy property. 

Thank you to our partner Zippy Finance for their content contribution.


As co-founder of Sydney-based property management agency Property Alchemy, it is my goal to ensure our clients (both property investors and tenants) experience property management services well beyond their expectations. From a personal point-of-view, I make it my responsibility to identify the best opportunities from investment to tenancy selection while mitigating and carefully managing risk along the journey. Our end goal is positive financial outcomes for our clients with minimal risk and maximum enjoyment!