SHARE

Increases to basic costs of living such as petrol are having a social drip›down effect on teenagers’ sporting and social lives.

This week petrol prices have risen across Central Otago and the Upper Clutha, ranging between $2.85 and $3.02 in Alexandra, in Cromwell that range is from $2.94 to $3.06 and in Wanaka from $2.99 to $3.02.

For teenagers living in rural communities, driving is an integral part of socialising and independence, essential in alleviating boredom.

Recently a podcast episode by Kahu Youth highlighted negative roll›on effects of teenage boredom within rural communities.

Presenters Tao Hawkey› Hight and Cuba Pavlovich said due to limited social activities and places to hang out, teenagers became bored and made poor choices.

Sports were engaging and social but typically required travel to Alexandra, Cromwell Queenstown or Dunedin to play in older teenagers’ competitions.

Rising petrol prices reduced teenagers’ and parents’ capacity to travel.

Wanaka locals Hunter Wilton (16), Ben Hawkins (16), Sebastian Rhind (16) and Luke Horrocks (16) said a lot of teenagers worked really hard to earn their spending money. What they could earn determined their ability to travel and socialise.

Hunter said the majority of his peers’ income went towards a car and fuel, but said despite having a job, the money did not go far.

‘‘The depreciation of our dollar is killing us, even earning $20 an hour is not going to help long term,’’ he said.

In year 12 at school, the four teenagers said they were beginning to consider costs surrounding university study, alongside cost of living.

Sebastian said accruing student loan debt was a concern.

‘‘I need to figure out a way to go to university and get that education, without being in debt,’’ he said.

Ben said he was concerned about future repayments.

‘‘With the cost of university, I don’t want to be paying it for the rest of my life, cause there’s a lot of people out there in hospitality who end up having to pay it back for 15 years,’’ he said.

Hunter, Ben, Sebastian and Luke acknowledged being educated about finances would help them feel better prepared for the future.

‘‘If you know more about finances, you’re set up for life,’’ Ben said.

In his financial studies at school they are currently learning about recent cost of living challenges.

Drive Accounting managing director Hayley Hobson said teenage financial awareness differed between every generation.

‘‘I know for my generation we left home alot earlier, so we had to understand the value of money. I had to get a job to support myself. Now with this generation, things are so expensive. People aren’t leaving home as early,’’ she said.

One option was a tool being widely used in schools across Central Otago and Wanaka — Banqer —developed in 2015 by Christchurch woman Kendall Flutey who has a commerce degree and a masters degree in entrepreneurship from the University of Otago.

The financial education platform is designed to inspire school›aged pupils to be curious, creative, and confident with money and is tailored for primary, intermediate, and secondary schools.

Cromwell College year 11 pupil Asher Thomson (15) who has used the platform at both the college and Cromwell Primary School said it taught the basics of investments, and more grass› roots spending surrounding household budgets and mortgages.

He was 10, 11 years old at the time and wished that it had continued because it would been more useful as he matured, he said.

Wanaka librarian Eve Marshall›Lea noticed a gap in financial literacy support, for school leavers entering university life and decided to organise a workshop at Lake Wanaka Centre on June 9.

‘‘It will cover how to make a budget, types of expenses incurred flatting, as well as how easy it can be to get into money troubles. It will talk about student loans, how to pay it back, understanding interest and credit history,’’ Ms Marshall›Lea said.

The workshop aims to demystify banking terminology that some youth might not understand.

The Money Skills for Students workshop starts at 5.30pm and will be run by facilitators from Family Works Otago.