Young Money: Dad was right

Mariah Clark is a 17 year old high school student from Palmerston North. She wrote this post as part of a task for the Massey University Business Boot Camp – BNZ was a Gold sponsor of the Boot Camp and hosted students at BNZ sites across Auckland to meet staff and gain insights into how the bank operates. Continue reading…

Young Money: The art of managing money – tales from a teen

One of a series of blogs from real people sharing real experiences, observations and advice about being good with money. 

Michelle Feng is a 17 year old high school student from Auckland’s North Shore. She wrote this post as part of a task for the Massey University Business Boot Camp– BNZ was a Gold sponsor of the Boot Camp and hosted students at BNZ sites across Auckland to meet staff and gain insights into how the bank operates.

The first time I went grocery shopping by myself I was so excited. It was a mission, and I was alone. I was sure of the product I wanted to buy, and I even planned out my route to get there. However, when I arrived at the supermarket, my planning and good intentions went right out the window.

I became distracted and overwhelmed. You know the feeling when you just cannot stop your eyes scanning the shelves? The shiny, plastic-packaged products shouting ‘Me! Me! Me! Buy me! I am totes way better than the other brands!’ It can be so hard to look away from these beautiful products, sitting nicely on the shelves waiting for you to take them home. How are you supposed to know which brand is the best?

The reality is, of course, that there is not much difference between products. On that ill-fated shopping trip I, a naive and inexperienced shopper, became side-tracked and eventually bought everything that struck my fancy. Upon leaving the supermarket I realised I had left without buying the very product I went to the store for in the first place.

And yes, this is a true story.

Putting aside the trouble I got into at home, I learnt some important lessons about being good with money. Determining which desires are needs and which are wants is often the last thing on the mind of a money-wielding teen, and the importance staying focused can have on positive money management.

The big challenge then is: how can we be good with money in the face of distraction and confusion around needs and wants? How can we deal with all the temptation around us and get the most value out of the limited resources we have?

Let’s look at people who are good at dealing with money. It seems clear that older people are better than their younger counterparts in terms of managing money. They may have a better understanding about what is really important, have their priorities straight, have developed self-control and made wiser financial decisions. Younger people, on the other hand, may be much more frivolous and lack the same level of discernment about what they actually need.

Big assumptions and grand generalisations, I know. But run with me on this one.

So it seems that, in order to be good with our money, we first need to identify what our needs are, and what our wants are. As I slowly move out of the sheltered world of home and school into the ‘real’ adult world, I begin to realise that managing money is more than just doing the maths and calculating how much we have earned. Instead what really matters is how we can use money effectively within the constraints we have.

The popular saying “money is neither good or bad; it is what you do with it” applies to managing money. In essence, we are responsible for what we do with what we have.

A common mistake parents make in today’s society is not trusting their kids with money from an early age. What they don’t realise is that the sooner they allow their kids to get in touch with money, the sooner they’ll know how to manage it effectively. They need to learn to control their wants in order to meet their needs.

The fact is that resources are limited and our wants are unlimited. Therefore, the art of managing money is shown through our ability to control our wants and desires in order to satisfy our needs, not the other way round.

If you are studying or training and want to know how BNZ can help you manage your money, read more about our tertiary benefits for students and apprentices.

Young Money: The struggle is real – when to save and when to splurge

One of a series of blogs from real people sharing real experiences, observations and advice about being good with money. 

Samantha Mottram is a 17 year old high school student from Auckland’s North Shore. She wrote this post as part of a task for the Massey University Business Boot Camp – BNZ was a Gold sponsor of the Boot Camp and hosted students at BNZ sites across Auckland to meet staff and gain insights into how the bank operates.

Checking my emails is part of my daily routine. I wish I could say it’s to check my work roster or email my teacher completed homework, but I’m guilty of falling into the trap of clicking on emails from online shops, most which I don’t even remember signing up to. Once I’ve been linked to their website, I spend hours scrolling through pages, adding items to my cart, watching the total price increase. Not once do I question whether I actually need that expensive necklace or a pair of over-priced shoes. Instead I click BUY and the money is sucked from my bank account, never to be seen again.

The following week I find out I need to go to an important event for school which is at an expense. Yet to my realisation, I have no money for a ticket to the event or even for transportation to get there because I’ve spent it on items I don’t really need. Only now does the question of ‘should I really have brought those unnecessary items online?’ occur to me.

A lot of teens are challenged with money when it comes to making the choice about spending on necessities as opposed to just satisfying their wants.  So when is the appropriate time to spend my hard earned money? This is a question that young people are regularly challenged by. The struggle is so real, so let’s break down what we can do about it.

Teenagers have a busy lifestyle. School, sporting, other commitments, and maintaining a social life are all time-sucks, so around the clock shopping can seem like a good option. If used effectively, you can economise your time and money, however many teens fail miserably at this and end up spending too much time and money on the addictive excessive. In a world of ever-developing technology, it is hardly surprising that online shopping can become a bad habit for young people.

Advertisements are everywhere! Every web page you visit is over done with money hungry online outlets, tempting offers which many of us fall for. It only takes one click and you’re sucked into a world of beautiful clothes and expensive accessories that are hard to resist. “Oh looking at one more page won’t hurt” I say to myself every time, and every time I manage to find something more I want – ‘want’ being the key word in this sentence.

Do I actually need it? ‘No’ is the sensible answer, but with little self-control, ‘no’ is not the path I will take, nor will many other teenagers, as their parents will know. Self-control is a big factor that young people struggle with when it comes to money. When pay day comes around, seeing all those digits appear in your bank account can be overwhelming. It’s easy to make the assumption that spending it on things you want is the best idea, and doing so online is the easiest way to that. However, as I’ve experienced, spending it all impulsively is not the most sensible option. As mentioned above, you may unexpectedly need to buy something essential but if you’ve spent it the instant you received it, you’ll be left with no cash in hand. So what should you do to minimize the likelihood of this scenario?

As someone who has had to face the truth when it comes to needs and wants, I would suggest save, save save! Logging into YouMoney and seeing all your hard earned money saved up is much more satisfying than that dress you impulse-bought and never wear. I have learnt to set aside some of my paycheque into a savings account so I have something tucked away to pay for unexpected expenses, because not everything can be planned for in advance. Of course, keeping some to spend on the things you want is okay too because teenagers need to have fun! Just remember: have some self-control, learn to say no and, most importantly, monitor your spending. Do so by setting yourself financial goals. When you achieve these financial goals, the feeling of success beats any shopping spree.

If you are studying or training and want to know how BNZ can help you manage your money, read more about our tertiary benefits for students and apprentices.

Young Money: Fortune favours the thrifty

One of a series of blogs from real people sharing real experiences, observations and advice about being good with money.

Amelia Petrovich is a part time waitress and full time uni student at AUT in Auckland. Originally from Wellington, the 20 year old moved to Auckland to complete a Bachelor of Communications degree and is currently in her second year of study. Continue reading…

Young Money: Own it, don’t loan it

One of a series of blogs from real people sharing real experiences, observations and advice about being good with money. 

Simon Palfrey is a 22-year-old student at Massey University in Auckland. He is studying towards a degree in Communications majoring in Public Relations and Journalism. Simon currently works in the health and safety sector and enjoys sport and spending time with family and friends in his spare time. Continue reading…

Young Money: Big cities on small budgets

One of a series of blogs from real people sharing real experiences, observations and advice about being good with money. 

Zoe Russell is a 22-year-old student at Victoria University of Wellington. She is studying towards a double degree in Law, Public Policy, and International Relations. Zoe also enjoys science writing and activism. Continue reading…

Young Money: Haunted by the ghost of mismanaged finances past

One of a series of blogs from real people sharing real experiences, observations and advice about being good with money. 

Matiu Workman is a 26-year-old journalism graduate who has covered sport for three years. He’s also spent time as a general reporter in the Cook Islands. He currently works in the online news media industry. Continue reading…