How a Teenager Works 5 Hours … and Gets $1,500


Hi Scott,

I am an 18-year-old and have been laid off from my job at a swim centre because of the coronavirus. The company had applied for the JobKeeper payment, which I have tagged along on. I just found out that, even though I only worked five hours a week, I will be getting $1,500 each fortnight! How do I go from managing $150 to managing $1,500? I was thinking of keeping the $150 I normally make and saving the rest. What would you do?


Scott's Answer

Hi Sabrina,

Now that’s what I call Corona Cash!

I have to tell you, as a taxpayer, I’m a little peeved about this.

But, as the Barefoot Investor, I’m proud of the fact you’re contacting me to do something smart with it.

Most 18-year-olds in your situation would go to Bali!

(Oh actually, you can’t do that, can you? Ha! Well, at least you can go take a trip on Bendigo’s world-famous Talking Tram, so long as you adhere to social distancing … only four people per carriage. Rock on!)

Still, you’ve got the right idea: keep living off the income you’re used to, and use the rest to set yourself up financially.

My advice would be to stash away $2,000 in a Mojo account, for when it’s time to move out of your parents’ place.

Then, set up your buckets (including one you nickname ‘Sabrina’s House Deposit’) and start saving for your own place.

You may feel that’s a long way off, and it is.

However, each time you flick open your banking app you’ll see it slowly growing.

Thanks for making my tax dollars actually do something productive!