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Tips to improve your kid’s spending habits

20 September 2018

This article is part of the Suncorp ESSI Family Challenge series, in partnership with the Financial Basics Foundation, an independent charity working to educate young people to better understand money and finances.

Australians spend approximately $820 million every day on their clothes, cars, homes and food (including takeaway coffees!). While many of these expenses might be unavoidable, managing your money and making informed decisions about how you spend it is well within your reach.

The spending habits adults develop can be passed onto their kids, so it’s important that you teach your kids how to spend money appropriately as it will help them later on in life.

Types of spending

There are many different ways to spend money, but being savvy about how you spend your hard earned dollars could save you thousands every year. Educating your kids on the different types of spending will help them understand how money can be used.

Here are three types of spending to be aware of:

  • Fixed expenses: these are regular expenses, like rent or insurance, or streaming services such as Netflix or Spotify, that are the same amount every month.
  • Flexible expenses: these are expenses you have a certain amount of control over but they are essential items you regularly use, like groceries or electricity.
  • Discretionary expenses: usually non-essential items, like concerts or eating out at a restaurant, where you can choose how much to spend.

Tips for spending better

Here are a few ideas you can share with your kids on how to spend better:

  • Shop around before you buy
  • Use comparison websites to choose what’s best for you
  • Get the total cost of what you’re buying (including shipping, handling or delivery fees) to help you decide whether or not you can afford it
  • Before you make a purchase, sleep on it – this will give you time to delay your decision so you can factor everything in (with less emotional attachment)
  • Pay attention to your spending habits by using online tools such as Suncorp’s Budget Planner Calculator
  • Create and follow a budget
  • Determine the cost per use of an item by asking yourself: ‘how often will I actually use this item?’
  • Review regular financial commitments, like your electricity provider, to see if you’re getting the best deal.

To learn more about how to improve your spending habits, download our factsheet below.

Spending Habits - Fact Sheet

Read more:


Financial Basics Foundation

The Financial Basics Foundation is a non-for-profit charity focused on educating young people in money and personal finances. Their vision is, “that all young Australians are financially capable and can manage their finances now and into the future.” For more information visit

This is general information only, current as at 20 November 2017 and is not legal or financial advice, nor is it intended to be legal advice or financial advice. It is not a recommendation or advice in relation to the Suncorp Group or any product or service offered by any company or entity in the Suncorp Group and does not take into account a person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information you should consider the appropriateness of this information having regard to your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. The information is intended to be of a general nature only. We do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it – please make your own enquiries.