It's tax time and if you have a part-time job you may need to lodge a tax return. To check if you do, complete this quick and easy online form at the Australian Tax Office website. Instructions on how to lodge your first tax return can be found here. The MoneySmart website also has information on completing your tax return. Tax returns must be lodged by 31st October to avoid a fine.
Wally is a free budget app that allows you to track your spending and provides graphs so that you can track what you're spending your money on. There are no ads, all information is private and you can save photos of receipts. Whether you have a part time job or just get pocket money, budgeting is a useful life skill. It is a good habit to develop before you get a 'real' job and start earning big bucks.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, philanthropy is an act or gift done or made for humanitarian purposes. Just because you are a teenager who does not have thousands of dollars to give away does not mean you can't be a philanthropist. West Australian based organisation Impact100 gives people the opportunity to put their money together with other people and choose which charities to give it to. They have a YoungImpact100 program for 12-18 year olds where the teens collect or save $100 to donate then attend a fun grant event where they pool their money with other teens and together choose a charity to donate the money to.
Generosity magazine has an article on other organisations in Australia with a similar purpose. You can find it here.
A common misconception that you may have is that your parents are made of money. Your parents may make sacrifices such as working two jobs or going without so you can have what you need. You may not think that you're asking for much (perhaps just $30 for the movies and a meal) but remember they have also had to fork out for groceries, electricity, gas and phone bills, fuelled up the car, paid the rent etc. Next time you ask your parents for money, offer to do extra chores to earn it. Learning to save up from your allowance is a valuable skill that will help you in adult life.
Dollarsmart is a money guide for teens with information about setting goals and budgeting with examples. They talk about the 3 Rs of money:
1. Be realistic - unless you inherit a fortune, you are likely to have a limited amount of money
2. Be responsible - don't waste your money
3. Show restraint - you can't buy everything you want (or you'll end up in a lot of debt).
You can find the document at www.beachsidefinancial.com.au.
If your bank balance is constantly at $0 and you're constantly asking your parents for money and scabbing off your friends, perhaps it's time to do a budget. It's very helpful to write down what you spend you money on each week and see if there are any areas you could cut out or reduce. There are several good apps that are free. Here are some recommendations:
1. Wally - helps you understand where your money goes, you can set financial goals.
2. Daily Budget - allows you to set a daily budget and create wishes for large purchases.
3. Quick Money Recorder - simple to use, helps keep track of your what you spend your money on.
4. Toshl Finance - this award winning app helps you manage your money.
If you are aged 16-24 and are either looking for work or are undertaking an approved activity or course you may be eligible for Youth Allowance. Find out more here.
Credit Card debt is no laughing matter. Find out more information at www.moneysmart.gov.au including on how to get help if you are in debt.