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What your teen should know before they get their first job

From newspaper deliveries to washing dishes, first jobs have always been a rite of passage into maturity. Although one teenager’s first job may vary significantly from another’s, there are a few key points that your child should know before they start their life in the workforce.

To ensure your teenager has everything covered and can concentrate on their new responsibilities at work, make sure you talk them through the following factors any new worker needs to consider. You can also download our handy first job checklist to ensure your teen is fully prepared before applying for a job.

By the time your kids are teenagers, they should have a good idea of what tax is. You may, however, have to guide them through how they will be taxed. Start by helping them get a Tax File Number. It’s an easy process and it will be required before they start work and fill out tax forms.

For teens who earn under $18,200 per year, tax will not need to be paid, however you will need to remind them to claim the tax-free threshold on their tax declaration form. This can only be claimed for one employer, so if they have two jobs, advise them to claim it on the job that earns them more. Employers will be required to withhold up to 50% of their income in tax if they don’t claim the tax-free threshold, but not if they give them a Tax File Number.

Get them up to speed with superannuation

They’re young, but even teenagers have to think about superannuation. Fortunately it’s not too complex for them to navigate and most of it will be handled by their employer. For teenagers under 18 to be eligible for an employer to pay superannuation contributions, they’ll need to work a 30 hour week and earn over $450 gross in a calendar month (this may occur over school holidays).

You should encourage your teenager to do some research around which super account is right for them now, so they can ensure all future contributions go into it. That way, they won’t end up with lost super in multiple accounts down the track; a trap many adults can fall into.

Help them manage their day-to-day spending

Now that your teen has their own money coming in, it’s a great time to talk to them about managing their finances. While you’ll probably want to encourage them to save some money, it’s also a good idea to discuss how they can use their earnings to cover everyday expenses. This may be the right time for them to open an Everyday Account to help them track their spending and keep on top of their day-to-day financial commitments.

Encourage them to become a saver

It’s likely your child will have a savings account by the time they’re a teenager, but when they get their first job they’ll start using it like never before. With regular income streaming in for the first time, there will be far more spending temptations and savings might fall by the wayside if they’re not careful.

Help them develop a savings plan and use the tools available in NetBank to set savings goals that keep them on track. Help them monitor their spending with My Spend and if they’re eligible, help them set up a high interest savings account for long-term goals like a holiday or car.

For more tips about money and kids, head to The Beanstalk.

Teaching your kids about different forms of money

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If you bank online with us, you can open the account for your child now. You'll just need the child's birth certificate.

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If both you and the child are new to CommBank, please come and visit us in any branch to open the account.

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Things to know before you Can: This advice has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of that, you should, before acting on the advice, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances. Terms and conditions for transaction and savings accounts mentioned are available here (PDF 660KB). Please read our Financial Services Guide (PDF 60KB).

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