Despite the bank of mum and dad, teenagers say they need more money

Three quarters of teens spend money on snacks Photo:

Children of secondary school age have more money than ever, but over half say they can’t make ends meet, a survey by family spending institute Nibud has shown.

Some 2,000 youngsters between the ages of 12 and 18 participated in the four yearly survey into the finances of Dutch teens. In total, the average teenager’s income from Saturday jobs, clothing allowances and pocket money has gone up by €35 to €147 in four years.

Three quarters of teens spend money on snacks and sweets while the highest amount, an average of €48 a month, goes towards clothing and shoes. The number of parents who pay all of the costs connected with days out, phone bills and holidays has also increased in the last four years.

Despite the parental support, over half of teens in the survey said they didn’t have enough money and 43% asked their parents for more. This is a worrying trend, Nibud said, because children do not experience the feeling of ‘that’s it, there’s no more’.

Social media is also influencing children’s perceptions of what is enough, Nibud financial expert Wilco van Dijk said. ‘A perceived lack of money is more a question of what children see other children do. Looking at your peers spending more money than you can on a daily basis breeds frustration.’


Parents play an important role in teaching their children to handle money responsibly and people who were taught about budgeting as children run fewer risk of getting into debt when they are older, Nibud said.

The agency recommends that parents make clear arrangements about who pays for what, give children a fixed clothing allowance and tell them about the pitfalls of buying and banking online.

They must also prepare them for financial independence, Nibud said. While 18-year olds are financially independent in the eyes of the law, yet only 81% of 17 and 18-year-old have their own DigiD, or online ID to access financial services. And one third of 17 and 18 year-olds said they didn’t know what a tax return is.

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