How to Pay for University or College

Graduating from high school is an exciting time in a teen’s life—they’re getting ready for prom, getting their first car, and preparing to make some pretty big life decisions. And while your teen may be ready for the next step, their savings may not. 

Whether your kid dreams of going to college, university, or a trade school, post-secondary education is an invaluable learning experience. Getting the schooling they need to take on their future career requires some preparation⁠—both mentally and financially. 

Luckily, there are a number of options available to both you and your teen that can help them pursue the school of their choice. We share some of the ways to pay for post-secondary education, such as using their RESP; applying for scholarships, government grants, and loans; and ways your kids can earn extra money while studying. 

Key takeaways

  • Starting a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) early can help you save for your child’s post-secondary education, and you can apply for government top-ups to your child’s fund. 
  • Your teen may be eligible for entrance scholarships when they apply to certain programs, or they can apply for grants, most of which don’t need to be repaid.
  • The government has a variety of provincial and territorial loans and grants available to students based on financial need.
  • A student line of credit is an option to access money quickly, and your teen can defer big payments until they graduate.
  • Internships, co-op placements, and apprenticeships are great ways for teens to gain valuable experience in their field, while being paid.

How much will post-secondary studies cost?

The average price of tuition for the 2022–23 school year in Canada is between $3,852 to $7,437, depending on the program and school. For an undergraduate degree at a Canadian university or a college, the price tag rings in at around $6,800 per year. But there’s more than just tuition to cover when it comes to going to school. There’s also the cost of living in a student residence or off-campus housing, a meal plan or buying groceries, transportation, textbooks, plus the fun stuff, like socializing with new friends. If you’re not sure how it will all add up, a budget calculator can help you and your teen see big-picture costs.

How to pay for post-secondary education in Canada

Here are three ways families can help fund post-secondary education in Canada: 

Use savings 

Maybe your teen has been working part-time or has had summer jobs and now has a decent nest egg in their student bank account. Or maybe you’ve been stashing away their birthday money in a kid’s savings account since they were little. Either way, it’s important to remind your teen that putting aside a little bit every month or year can make a big difference when they have big education goals in mind. Evaluate how much you’ve both put aside to see how much more you need to make your budget work.


One way to give your child a head start is to save for their schooling through an RESP, which allows you to earn interest tax-free on up to $50,000 per beneficiary. (You can also apply for top-ups to your yearly contributions from the Canadian Education Savings Grant [CESG] up to a lifetime max of $7,200.) When your child enrolls part-time or full-time in an eligible post-secondary education program, you can start withdrawing money for expenses related to their education, for things such as tuition, transportation, and books, as determined by your RESP provider.

Scholarships, grants, and bursaries

If you and your teen haven’t saved as much as you’d both hoped, there are scholarships, grants, and bursaries that students can apply for to help cover the difference. The best part about these is that your teen won’t have to pay back the money. Here are a few options:

University and college scholarships 

Your teen may be eligible for entrance scholarships based on merit simply by applying to the university or college of their choice. Even if they’re not eligible, there are many different types of school scholarships available to students Canada-wide, focused on things such as athletic ability, community leadership, or for Indigenous youth. There are many places to search for the best fit for your teen, such as Scholarships Canada.

Private grants 

Some non-profits and businesses offer private grants to students. Some are based on academic interests, financial need, or grades, while others support communities such as Black or Indigenous youth. Some of these may require an essay or proof of community service, but it’s worth the effort—private grants can offer them access to the program they want, and the money won’t need to be paid back.

How the government helps students pay for post-secondary education

The government has a program to help students pay for school: the Canada Student Financial Assistance Program (CSFA Program), which works with the provinces and territories to provide grants and loans. Eligibility varies, but money is available to full- and part-time students, from low- and middle-income families who may have dependents, or who may have permanent disabilities. 

Provincial grants and loans 

The CSFA helps eligible students connect with financial options, such as grants and loans for full-time and part-time students. Each province and territory has its own government loan program. For example, the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) and British Columbia’s StudentAid BC have grants (which don’t need to be repaid) and student loans (which need to be paid back—with interest—once your kid is done school). You can also use the government’s Student Aid Estimator to figure out how much you could receive.

Canada Student Grant 

The Canada Student Grant is an option for full- or part-time students in financial need who are attending a qualifying program, and who have a family income that is below a certain threshold. Full-time students could receive up to $4,200 per year, depending on their financial need.

Canada Apprentice Loan

If your kid dreams of becoming an industrial electrician or a carpenter, there are lots of avenues to get financial assistance while they learn the tricks of the trade. The Canada Apprentice Loan is available to cover the cost of technical training for $4,000 per training period, for up to five periods. There are caveats, though: their apprenticeship needs to be with a Red Seal Program. If a student meets all the qualifications and is accepted, the loan could also remain interest-free for up to six years.

How financial institutions can help pay for post-secondary education 

If you’re considering borrowing to cover the costs of your teen’s schooling, talk to your bank or financial institution about the available options for both you and your teen.

Student line of credit

A line of credit for students is one way that your teen can borrow the money they need, when they need it, and pay it back when they are done post-secondary school. (Most financial institutions require students to start paying back the principal two years after graduation.) It also allows them the flexibility to use it on the things they need right away—like a new laptop or even a study trip abroad. Just make sure to remind your teen that unlike a student loan from the government that doesn’t accrue interest until they graduate, a student line of credit will have monthly interest payments to keep up with, and the interest rates can change. Plus, they’ll need someone (usually a parent or guardian) to co-sign the loan to guarantee that someone will make the payments if for some reason your teen can’t. 

Bank loan 

Taking out a personal line of credit or bank loan is one way for parents to help pay for their child’s education without affecting their teen’s future financial situation. Plus, it should allow you to access more cash for big tuition payments, quickly. Depending on whether your loan is secured or unsecured, interest rates may vary. There can be additional fees and credit score repercussions, so before you borrow, ensure you can pay it back on the agreed-upon schedule. And don’t let your kids completely off the hook. If you’re taking on a loan for their financial future, they can chip in when they can through part-time work or a summer job.

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) 

A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) is another option for parents who want to cover their kid’s education costs. A HELOC is based on the current value of your home minus your outstanding mortgage balance, so it could be a way to borrow at a lower interest rate. Also, more credit should become available to you again as soon as you pay it off. When borrowing against your home, though, you’ll want to take a good look at your financial situation to make sure it’s the right move, that you’ll be able to pay off the minimum, and how you’ll manage the accumulated debt

How students can pay for post-secondary education while attending school

There are other ways for young adults to pay for school and related costs if they need additional cash flow.  

Part-time job

A part-time job can top up your teen’s bank account, provide flexibility around their class schedules, and be a source of valuable work experience. Some schools have opportunities for on-campus employment—just make sure your future student applies far in advance (when they accept a placement is a good time to look), as sometimes the jobs for the coming year open early (and fill up fast). A side hustle is another way to make money. From selling artwork on social media to tutoring in the evenings and/or on weekends, finding a gig that your teen enjoys (and can get paid for) is a great way to pad their bank account. 

Co-op work terms or internships 

Consider a co-op program, where students have a paid work term in an industry in their field. They get hands-on experience alongside an opportunity to network. Internships are another great option. These can take place in summers or during the academic year and may even lead to a future full-time gig. Internships used to have a bad rap for being unpaid (Remember?), but they’re now covered under the Canada Labour Code, so interns will at least be paid minimum wage.

Read more: What teens need to know about getting an internship.


Becoming an apprentice, where your young adult can learn a trade, art, or job under the formal supervision of an experienced professional, is another way to get some paid experience and gain valuable networking contacts. Your provincial or territorial employment office will often have resources for applying for apprenticeship roles.

Signing up for Mydoh is an easy way to help kids and teens learn how to save for school, or manage their money while they’re away from home learning. It’s a great resource for important skills that will help them excel in the real world. 

Download Mydoh and help build the foundation of financial literacy for your kids and teenagers.

Best Summer Jobs for Teens in Canada

The summer job is a rite of passage for many teenagers. After all, it represents one of their first big steps towards independence. Not only does it help teach important money lessons for kids (and some dough in their back pocket), but it’s also an opportunity to learn valuable skills that will serve them in their future career.

Here’s what you need to know about helping your teenager land their first summer job—from writing a resume to Canada’s labour laws to some of the best jobs for teens.

Three benefits of having a summer job

At some point, kids grow out of summer camp and hanging out with their friends all summer doesn’t hold the appeal it once did. Enter: the summer job. While some teenagers can’t wait until they’re old enough to work, others take, well, a little more convincing to leave the coziness of their bed. Here are three benefits of working as a teenager and having a summer job:

1. Gain valuable work experience

Right now, your teen may not see the connection between serving ice cream all summer long and their first professional job. But, as parents, we know how valuable that very first work experience can be. Not only does it help your teen build their resume, but it’s an opportunity to develop soft skills like customer service, teamwork, and adaptability. In addition, they’re building a professional network that can help serve them in the future.

2. Earning an income

When it comes to money, one of the best feelings is knowing you went out there and earned your own money. While your kids may be used to receiving an allowance, it’s a whole other ballgame when that money doesn’t come from mom and dad. It’s empowering to know that the money in your kid’s bank account is theirs. Plus, there are all the lessons teens learn along the way—like opening their very first chequing account, reading a pay stub, understanding how income taxes work and paying taxes as a teen.

3. Work ethic

The term “work ethic” probably sounds as outdated as “floppy disk,” but unlike flares, it’s something that never goes out of style (scratch that, flares are back in). Dedication and determination are something your teen can carry with them throughout their life. It’s what separates the can-do’s from the couch potatoes.

On the flip side, the benefits for parents when teens score their first summer job include a bit of financial relief. Teens earning income allows parents to focus on their own wants and needs, while the teens of the household can begin paying for things like their cell phone bill, in-app purchases, clothing, the latest tech gadgets and more.

How old do you have to be to get a job in Canada?

The minimum age to get a job varies by province in Canada. Before your teen starts dropping their resume off at every store in the area, it’s important they understand what the labour laws are in their province or territory.

Teen labour laws in Canada by province

Here’s a breakdown of when teens can start working, the minimum wage and how many hours they’re legally entitled to work in Canada*:

ProvinceEmployment ageMinimum wageHours teens can legally work
AlbertaMinimum age is 13 and parent or guardian consent is required. $13Students aged 13 to 14 can work up to
two hours on school days and 8 hours on
non-school days.

They can’t work from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Students aged 15 to 17 who work in retail or
hospitality can work from 9 p.m. to 12
a.m. with adult supervision.
British ColumbiaMinimum age is 16, but youth aged 12 to 15 may work with written consent from a parent or guardian.$16.75Students aged 12 to 14 cannot work more than four hours on a school day or more than 20 hours a week during school.  
ManitobaMinimum age is 13 and youth aged 13 to 15 must complete a Young Worker Readiness Certificate Course.$15.30Students aged 13 to 15 can only work up to 20 hours during a school week and cannot work between 11 a.m. and 6 a.m. 
New BrunswickMinimum age is 14.$14.75Students under 16 cannot work more than three hours on a school day or more than six hours on any other day.

They also cannot work between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. 
Nova ScotiaMinimum age is 14 and there are restrictions on the types of work students aged under 16 can undertake. $15.00There are no restrictions for students aged 14 and up who meet the legal requirements to work. 
OntarioThe minimum age to work is 15. Although
some jobs allow teens to start working at 14.
$15.60Students under 18 who work 28 hours or less when in school or during holidays.

Students under the age of 16 can’t work during school hours.
Prince Edward IslandThere is no minimum age to work, but students who want to apply for the Jobs for Youth Program must be at least 15.$15.00A student under 16 cannot work for more than three hours on a school day or eight hours on any other day.

They are not allowed to work more than 40 hours in a week, nor between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.
QuebecMinimum age is 14, youth who want to work before age 14 need written permission from parents.$15.75Students aged 16 and under cannot work during school hours or work between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. 
SaskatchewanStudents aged 14 to 15 must have written permission to work and complete a Young Worker Readiness Certificate course, otherwise minimum working age is 16.$14.00Students 14 to 15 cannot work more than 16 hours a week and cannot work after 10 p.m. on a day before school. 
*Information current as of February 2024.

Before your teen begins their job search, it’s important they’re properly prepared. Part of that preparation is tackling their job search like any of us would. That includes researching, building a resume and preparing for their first interview.

Building your first resume as a teen

Writing a resume as a teen doesn’t have to be daunting. Teenagers probably don’t have a great deal of work experience they can include, but it’s still worth taking the step to show their professionalism by putting together a polished resume, and following common dos and don’ts of resumes for students.

Here are some of the most important things to include in a teen resume:

  • Name, hometown, and contact information
  • Highlight any experiences that show a willingness to work hard, be committed, or take a leadership role
  • Involvement in extracurricular school clubs or activities
  • Academic achievements, awards, or recognition
  • Leadership programs or roles (e.g. Leadership In Training or assisting as a coach)
  • Any volunteer experience
  • Unofficial jobs, such as babysitting, gardening for neighbours, or a paper route.
A teen applying for a summer job online

Do your research to find summer job opportunities

Good part-time jobs for teenagers are out there! While as parents, we may want to do the leg work for them, encourage your teens to look for opportunities themselves. If they’re interested in retail work, it’s as simple as taking a walk or drive around the neighbourhood and seeing which stores are advertising for part-time assistance or popping into the local supermarket. Similarly, online job boards are an easy way to see what’s available.

Another avenue for your teen is to tap into their network. Do they have friends who are already working? Great! Ask if there are any positions available. They can also contact neighbours or family friends, especially if it’s someone who works in a field your teen is interested in. They may have a great lead or make an introduction to others. That saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” exists for a reason.

Prepare for your first job interview

Whether you’re 14 or 40, job interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience. The more your teen can prepare for their interview, the more confident they’re likely to feel when the time comes. Their interview may even be virtual; however, it’s still important to dress the part. It doesn’t have to be any more formal than a shirt or dressy top. But think head-to-toe, from well-groomed hair to minimal makeup to a presentable pair of shoes (now isn’t the time for Crocs, even if your teenager insists they’re back in fashion!). Another way your teen can prepare for a job interview is to practice answering common interview questions ahead of time with a friend or parent.

Some common interview questions teens may expect to be asked include:

  • Tell me about yourself
  • Why do you want this position?
  • Tell me about a time you took initiative
  • What are your strengths or weaknesses?
  • What are your future goals?

Also, encourage your kids to think about telling stories to answer a question and demonstrate skills and strengths, such as how they took a recognized babysitting course or how they started a brand-new club at school because they’re passionate about improv.

A teenager working part-time as a barista in a coffee shop

Here are seven of the best summer jobs for 13 to 17-year-olds:

1. Virtual tutor

Video conferencing platforms like Zoom and Skype have transformed our face-to-face interactions, and learning is no different. If your teen is a math whiz, fluent in French or passionate about English lit, they can earn money during the summer as a virtual tutor. The average hourly rate for a tutor in Canada is $20, so working as a virtual tutor is likely more lucrative than a summer job that pays minimum wage. Teens can look for tutoring positions online on sites like LinkedIn or job boards.

2. Gardening

A teenage student watering flowers while working as a landscaper

Let’s be honest, most of us would rather pay someone else to mow the lawn than waste half a day doing it ourselves. Mowing laws or general garden work is a great summer job for any teenager willing to put in a bit of hard work (and loves to be outside). It can also be a lucrative gig. Your teen can set their own rates, and depending on how quickly they work, literally rake it in. To get started, your teen can canvas the local neighbourhood and drop off leaflets advertising their services. Alternatively, they could check with independent lawn companies to see if there are any positions available.

3. Start their own business

While there are plenty of summer jobs out there, another avenue for teens is to start their own business. There are way for teens to make money online, from selling homemade crafts or original photography to making money on YouTube videos. How much they can expect to make will depend on what they choose to do and how they price their goods and services.

A teen working as a part-time associate in a retail clothing store

4. Retail

Whether it was stacking shelves at the local supermarket or folding t-shirts at a clothing store, many of us probably started out our working lives in retail. And despite the pandemic, retail outlets continue to need students to work part-time. If your teen is interested in retail, they should expect to earn the provincial minimum wage and be scheduled for shifts on weekends or evenings. A retail position is a great introduction to working life. Not only does it demand a certain amount of autonomy and responsibility (like showing up for shifts on time!), your teen will learn about teamwork and customer service.

5. Babysitting

Depending on the social distancing guidelines in your province this summer, there is probably an opportunity for your teen to find work as a babysitter (or one-person camp counsellor!) for parents who are juggling young children with work-from-home life. There are no hard and fast rates when it comes to babysitting, and, on average, your teen can earn around $14 to $16 an hour in Canada. Alternatively, your teen may be offered a flat daily rate. Babysitting is an opportunity to learn and build a range of skills, from leadership and responsibility to creativity and conflict resolution.

A young boy working a job as a dog walker in the summer

6. Dog walker

Another great summer job is dog walking. If your teen is confident and capable of handling dogs (and not squeamish about picking up after them), they can earn money by walking dogs or pet sitting. The best way to find clients is through word-of-mouth, the local neighbourhood flyer, or post on social media. While your teen could set their own rates, they might want to do some research and see the going rates for their area. To give you an indication of how much your child could make, the average rate for a dog walker in Canada is $18.95.

7. Food service

Another traditional job for teens is working in food service. Fast food outlets usually hire teens, and like retail, they’ll learn a lot about responsibility, customer service and teamwork. Alternatively, your caffeine lovin’ teen might be able to score a job as a barista at a coffee chain or an independent cafe. Most coffee chains don’t hire teens until they’re 16-years-old and they can expect to make the provincial minimum wage. However, depending on where they work, they could also earn tips.

How to help your teen save money from their summer job

It may not seem like it, but your teen’s first summer job can lead to great things down the road. A University of British Columbia study found that teens who worked in the summer had better job satisfaction and greater future earnings than those who didn’t. With a little bit of advanced preparation, your teen should be able to land a summer gig that puts some cash in their back pocket and might even be a steppingstone to their future career.

And speaking of cash, now that your child is earning their own money, they should also be learning some smart money saving habits. Speak to your kids about how they plan on spending their earnings and what their future goals are. Perhaps they want to save for post-secondary education, buy their first car, or take a gap-year to travel abroad.

Tip: Our free savings goal calculator does the math for you! See how many weeks or months it’ll take to reach your savings goals.

Mydoh is a digital app with a Smart Cash Card that helps kids learn and practice money management while giving parents transparency and oversight.

Download Mydoh to help your teen manage their hard-earned, summer job money.

The Gender Pay Gap Explained for Kids and Teens

Picture six kids—three boys and three girls—standing in a gym. They’re given a simple task: sort coloured balloons into separate hampers. Chaos ensues and at the end of the game (cue fist bumps and high fives), the kids close their eyes and wait for their reward: a cup of candy. 

Only some cups had more candy than others. 

“You got more than me,” quips one girl.

“How come you got that much when we have the same job?” asks another girl.

In the end, the kids share their candy to make it equal. “Because there’s no real difference in what we did,” says one of the boys.  

The point of this video? It gives kids a simple explanation for a not-so-simple issue: the gender pay gap. In this article we cover equal pay, the causes of the gender pay gap, and how to talk to your kids and teens about it. 

What is the gender pay gap? 

When people talk about the gender pay gap (or gender wage gap), they’re referring to the difference in average earnings between men and women. The gap can be measured using different metrics, including average annual earnings, hourly wages, and part-time work. This gap—usually expressed as cents on the dollar that women earn compared to men—helps reflect inequities in our society. Inequities that can last throughout a woman’s life. That’s because the gender pay gap is shown to be one of the main causes of poverty for women. 

Is there equal pay in Canada?

The short answer to whether there is equal pay in Canada is: no.

Currently, women do not receive equal pay. In 2021 part-time and full-time female workers earned 89 cents for every dollar earned by men. And according to 2019 statistics, if you factor in annual wages, salaries, and commissions, that amount is reduced to 71 cents for every $1 a man takes home. While 89 cents compared to $1 doesn’t seem like a big deal, over a woman’s career, that seemingly small difference adds up. 

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), at 16.1 per cent Canada has the eighth-worst gender pay gap out of 43 countries (Costa Rica takes first place with just 2.6 per cent). And in 2015 the United Nations Human Rights Committee noted concern over Canada’s “persisting inequalities between women and men,” especially the “high level of the pay gap,” which gets worse in Alberta and Nova Scotia.

But the wage gap isn’t just about gender. Discrimination can be a huge factor, and for women of colour, LGBTQ2S+ women, Indigenous women and those with disabilities, the gap is even wider. Compare the annual salary of non racialized men in Canada vs Black women

On average, white men earn $56,920 vs $31,900 for Black women. That’s a difference of almost 44%. While the gap isn’t as pronounced between Black and non racialized women in Canada ($31,900 vs $38,247), the racial wage gap still adds up to a huge difference over a lifetime of working. 

What is Equal Pay Day? 

Equal Pay Day is a symbolic day dedicated to raising awareness of the gender pay gap by highlighting that women must work longer than men to earn the same amount.

When is Equal Pay Day in Canada?

This year, Equal Pay Day falls on April 16, 2024. It symbolizes how far into the next year the average woman must work in order to have earned what the average man had earned in the previous year.

What causes the gender pay gap? 

Historically, the wage gap could be explained by the belief that men were the breadwinners and women caregivers. Women had lower levels of education, there were fewer women in the workforce, and those who worked were concentrated in traditionally female (and therefore lower-paying) industries, such as clerical and factory work. 

There were also cultural assumptions that women had better aptitudes or were more suited for menial and repetitive clerical work (Check out this podcast on how that idea still exists. Siri… Alexa. What do they have in common? They’re the modern version of a clerical assistant. And they’re female voices).

Then the 1960s and 1970s saw a world of firsts for women—first female Prime Minister, first woman in space, the first female Supreme Court appointment— and women pursued post-secondary education in droves. This higher education opened doors to professions traditionally dominated by men. 

Human capital (the idea that skills, talent, experience, and knowledge helps a person be productive) could no longer be the reason for the pay gap. And yet while the wage gap narrowed, it hit a plateau and stayed there. 

There is no one reason for the wage gap, but many. According to a recent study from Denmark, the disparity isn’t from being a woman, but from being a mother. Due to cultural norms that childcare is primarily “women’s work,” research shows that it’s more often women who switch to jobs and industries seen as more “family-friendly,” that is, more flexible for parents. This translates into lost opportunities for more hours, promotions and increased wages, commonly known as the “motherhood penalty.” Here’s the rub: the wage gap shrinks substantially for women without children.

Another study from Cornell in the U.S. found that women-dominated occupations and industries (“women’s work,” such as education and social services) pay less than men’s (think engineering, technology and business), despite accounting for similar education and experience. Even women in skilled trades earn about half of what men do, mainly because they are concentrated in lower-paying fields, such as cooking, baking and hairstyling. Then there’s women’s reluctance to negotiate over salaries, raises, or promotions, due to conditioning that it makes them pushy or overbearing.

The wage gap doesn’t only affect adult women; according to a study by Girl Guides of Canada, the wage gap starts much earlier. Girls between 12 and 18 reported earning $3.00 per hour less for full-time summer work than boys. Girls were also clustered in lower-paid “pink ghetto jobs,” such as caring for others (babysitting or eldercare), food and beverage, and retail, while boys dominated the maintenance, gardening or grounds-keeping job sector.

Read more: What is the pink tax? A guide for teens.

How does the gender pay gap affect society? 

The impacts of the pay gap are far-reaching: not only do women have less money to spend and save during their working years, but their lower incomes and intermittent career paths hurt them into retirement. Women typically have access to lower savings and benefits, such as the Canada Pension Plan, as payouts are determined by your contributions over your working life.

This disparity was made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a report by RBC Economics, by April 2020 an estimated 1.5 million women had lost their jobs and workforce participation dipped to only 55 per cent—the lowest since the mid-1980s. 

The majority of losses happened in hotel, food services and retail—industries dominated by women and less conducive to working from home. In comparison, men in professional, scientific, and technical businesses fared better, where working from home was much easier, or in industries deemed essential, such as construction. 

Women are also more likely to “fall out” of the labour force; by October, almost 21,000 women chose not to return to work, largely because of childcare responsibilities with kids learning from home.

Tips for talking to kids and teens about the wage gap

As the Girl Guides study shows, the wage gap could start as early as adolescence. But even at home, some parents may unconsciously assign chores along gender lines (cleaning or cooking for girls, yard work and home maintenance for boys). Chores are a great way to start teaching kids about gender equality. When assigning tasks, ensure both boys and girls are helping equally and complete tasks inside and outside the home–mowing the lawn for girls, laundry for boys. 

Talking about money is often seen as “taboo,” but pay transparency, or openly sharing details about compensation, can go a long way to help narrow the wage gap. Teaching tweens and teens, especially girls, that asking potential employers about pay rates before accepting a job isn’t unladylike, but a necessity.

Teaching kids (especially girls) to negotiate helps them learn a valuable skill that can significantly affect their income over their lifetime. 

Job hunting is tough, regardless of age, so reminding kids of their value is key. If your tween or teen is thinking about a summer job traditionally dominated by boys (maybe landscaping or a soccer referee), tell her to go for it! Then coach them to ask for an outline of expectations, so they are clear on their duties—and what they’re being paid for.

Girls are a huge part of our future workforce and teaching tweens and teens about the pay gap now helps to build a future where they won’t need an Equal Pay Day.

Download Mydoh and help build the foundation of financial literacy for your kids and teenagers.

What Teens Need to Know About Loud Budgeting

The number of things we currently learn about from TikTok is wild. From curing the hiccups to making the ultimate vegan nachos perfecting a go-to photo pose, TikTok has an answer or an opinion on nearly every topic.

Want to find out what’s in elephant toothpaste? TikTok is your platform. Need to figure out how to make your money go further and meet your savings goals? TikTok has you covered. And while advice that you find on the app is probably worth fact-checking (especially financial advice), the 2024 TikTok loud budgeting trend is one that’s worth some extra attention.

Read more: How to make money on TikTok

What is loud budgeting?

Think of loud budgeting as boundary-setting for your bank account.

The trend kicked off with a post made in early January of 2024 by Lukas Battle, a comedian with more than half a million followers on TikTok. His post, which currently has 1.5 million views, positions loud budgeting as the polar opposite of the quiet luxury or stealth wealth trend. If stealth wealth is about stockpiling expensive but understated items, then loud budgeting is about openly stating your budget limitations in a way that takes the shame or stigma out of not being able to spend, spend, spend.

Loud budgeting isn’t squirming around the fact that buying a frapp and pastry each morning would 100% drain your bank account, it’s about rejecting the kind of spending habits that are keeping you from achieving your savings goals. As Battle explains in his video, it’s not about the idea that you “don’t have enough,” it’s about saying loudly and proudly, “I don’t want to spend.”

In just a few short weeks, this trend, which has a hashtag with over 10 million views, has basically achieved the status of a genuine, emerging financial philosophy. And it’s being adopted by Gen Zs who are realizing that overconsumption and overspending beyond their means isn’t good for them.

Timing is everything. Loud budgeting has popped up during a period when cost of living and inflation are on the rise. Everything, it seems, is getting more expensive—from rent all the way down to a carton of eggs (which, btw, you can learn to poach with precision on TikTok).

Loud budgeting pairs perfectly with the wave of de-influencers who are also taking over TikTok right now. These are the creators telling us, no, we don’t need the $800 viral hair dryer, the overpriced travel mug, or the skincare fridge. They’ve bought or been gifted these things and they have REGRETS. Their message? We don’t have to have these things, even when the rest of social media is trying to convince us that we do.

So, while the rich and famous embrace “recession core” where celebs are embracing a minimalist style and fewer accessories, loud budgeters are saying “thanks, but no thanks”—to all of it. They’re focussing on their savings goals and rejecting the idea that they need to spend to keep up with trends.

Teen girl against yellow background carrying yellow shopping bags

How does loud budgeting work?

You know how it feels when you tell a friend you’re trying to make the track team or get an A on your upcoming chemistry test? It’s like, “Okay, I said I wanted to do it, now I have to really work to do it.” Sharing your goals, whether they’re related to school, your personal life, or your budget, makes you accountable. Talking about your budget goals and spending limits (whether it’s IRL or on social media) helps you stick with them. It also helps to get over the ick factor you might feel when it comes to talking about money, budgets, and spending.

When you say “I’m not going out for sushi this week, I’m saving for my first car,’” you’re communicating your excitement about your savings goals (that car, a college education, or a spring break vacation) and taking pride in the steps you’re making towards that goal.

“When I think about budgeting or living below my means,” says TikTok finance influencer Jenny Park, “it’s really important to reframe and focus on how my future self is winning by making these decisions now as opposed to focusing on what I can’t get.”

Loud budgeting is as much about the way you think and talk about spending as it is about how you actually spend. If you’re not sure how to do that, a good place to start is to have a conversation with your friends or your family about your savings goals. If they know you’re saving up for a study abroad program, a new computer, or even a pair of sneakers, they’ll be less likely to put pressure on you to spend money when you don’t want to. The next time a friend wants to go out for a pricey meal or splurge on premium seats at the movies, you can remind them about your goal (that new laptop) instead of making up an excuse for why you can’t go (the imaginary exam you have to pretend to study for).

Remember: it’s not “I can’t spend money,” it’s “I don’t want to spend money on that, I’m saving money for this.”

Young teen girl with pink tshirt and pink headphones holding pink piggy bank

The benefits of loud budgeting

Okay, so the obvious benefit to loud budgeting is, well, saving money. This is a money skill that’s great to practice when you’re a teen and SUPER IMPORTANT to have once you’re an adult. Practice setting savings goals now and it’ll be much easier to do when it comes time to set aside money for big things like your first home.

Another benefit of loud budgeting is one we mentioned earlier: accountability. When you share your goals, you’re more likely to stick with them—thanks to support and encouragement from friends and family.

The less obvious benefit of loud budgeting is that by asking us to get loud in our conversations about money, the trend is helping to break down the stigma and shame that surrounds finanances. Being open and honest about money, your goals for saving, and your budget shouldn’t be something that you feel embarrassed about. The more you talk about it, the easier it gets—for everyone!

Okay, but how do I budget?

So we’ve nailed the loud part, now it’s time to actually budget. For real. Figuring out where to start can be a little confusing. One really simple strategy is to set up your spending and savings around a zero-based budget or ZBB. It’s a budget where you find a spot for every dollar you earn, whether it goes into your expense category or into savings. In other words, you subtract your savings and expenses from your income until you end up with a nice, round zero.

Finfluencers on TikTok also talk about “cash stuffing” or “envelope budgeting” which is a method that can be useful as your expenses grow and you have to pay for things like your phone bill, your internet, groceries, or your Spotify subscription. You don’t have to use actual physical envelopes and cash to do this (though some people do). You can create categories or “envelopes” on a spreadsheet or budgeting app and allocate (aka stuff) your cash there instead.

Mydoh can help you set savings goals and organize and track your spending. With Mydoh, you can better understand your budget and start saving for up to three different goals at a time. New runners? Check. Spring break? Done. Headphone upgrade? Yep! You’ll be able to monitor your progress and celebrate when you get there.

It’s your money and that means you are in control of where and when you spend it. Loud budgeting helps you communicate your financial needs to your friends and family so that you can save for the things you want instead of spending on stuff you don’t really need.

Welcome to your loud budgeting era.

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