Australian tweens and teens are shopping online in secret, spending thousands of dollars without their parents’ knowledge or consent.
A new survey undertaken by Financial Basics Foundation revealed more than half of the 1,000 parents surveyed (54 per cent) have covered the bill for unapproved online spending for mobile phone data (56 per cent), in-game purchases (33 per cent), music (18 per cent) and video streaming (14 per cent) and apps (22 per cent).
“In today’s cashless society, it’s vital parents teach their kids the importance of earning and saving before spending by speaking openly about balancing the household budget,” said Financial Basics CEO Katrina Birch.
These insights echo the findings of new Suncorp research which revealed around 57 per cent of parents don’t talk to their kids about the weekly family budget.
This is cause for concern, with 62 per cent of Australians carrying some form of debt, including 59 per cent with a mortgage and 43 per cent holding ongoing credit card debt.
“Technology makes online shopping easy and accessible, and a simple matter of hitting the buy button on a screen from anywhere at any time, without really understanding the consequences,” Ms Birch said.
Buy now, pay later services have also influenced online shopping, particularly for millennials, with 15 per cent of 18- to 34-year-olds confirming they’re in debt to this new type of credit facility. In contrast, only 6 per cent of 35- to 54-year-olds and 1 per cent of those aged 55+ reported they owed any money to buy now, pay later services.