The ‘invisible-money generation’ may be in financial trouble, says Financial Planning Association

In between updating their Snapchat or Instagram, it’s no secret that Aussie teens also love to spend time using their debit cards for their next transaction.  

And according to recent data from the Financial Planning Association (FPA), the ease of cashless transactions could be doing more hard than good.

The research found that children born since 2000 fall into the ‘invisible-money generation’, meaning cash has become unseen with methods of payment only involving online transactions or ‘tap and go’ through a credit or debit card.

The result? Two thirds of Aussie parents now believe digital money is making it harder for children to understand the value of money.

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Three in five parents also agree that the ‘invisible-money generation’ will be financially worse off than their own generation.

And when it came to parents working towards regularly speaking to their children about money, a massive 66% said they were reluctant to do so.

But according to FPA CEO, Dante De Gori, the new technology itself could be the reason Aussie parents are being held back from talking to their children about money.

“The hard reality is many of us simply don’t know when or how to talk to our kids about money because the technologies, language and online possibilities are so very different,” he said.

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Mounting financial stress was another issue, as 32% of parents were reluctant to communicate with their children because they didn’t want them to worry about money. Mums were were reportedly more likely to be financially stressed (56%), than fathers (45%).

However, not all parents kept their lips zipped, as the data found that parents who seek or have sought advice from a financial planner were more likely to regularly talk to their children about money than those who didn’t.

“A stand-out insight from our research this year is that parents who seek the advice of a financial planner create a lasting positive legacy for their kids too, in matters of money and life,” said De Gori.

So if you’re a parent ready to change your attitude about talking to your children about money, here are our top four tips to get you started:

  • Instant gratification - Impulse spending happens to the best of us, but it’s important that your child understands the difference between giving into something they needed two seconds ago, instead of saving up for something they really want, like a game or even a car.
  • The value of hard work - But in order to get themselves a set of wheels, they’re going to have to earn it. Encourage them to help out around the house through chores, or by getting part-time or casual work. This will help them understand the value of money that is earned.
  • Debt isn't always the bad guy - As they get older, teenagers may have a few questions about credit cards. Teach them the difference between good and bad debt by pulling out your credit card statement while reminding them that as long as you use a credit card responsibly, it can help them build up a good credit score.
  • Speak up - Keeping quiet about money matters, like the household budget or bills can do more harm than good, as it implies that financial struggle should be kept a secret. Sit them down and explain why financial difficulties aren’t something you shouldn’t be ashamed of and that help is available if you need it.

Ready to kickstart your teen’s financial freedom with a debit card? You’ll need our debit card comparison tool to help you on your way.