Taking control of your finances when you turn 18

Dec 5, 2019
take control of finances As an adult

Taking over your finances when you turn 18 years old

In many countries turning 18 is when the Government treats you like an adult. Your parents may think you're still you're still a kid but being 18 suddenly means you can do lots of things.

Like drink a pint of homebrew.

Vote in an election.

Join the army.

You can watch Pulp Fiction

Be on a jury or be tried as an adult. 

You can also tell your parents to fuck off and create your own bank account. 

We get it, personal finance can be a tough ride and your individual circumstances may vary but the event of your 18th birthday signals the time you need to start becoming less beholden to your parents and more responsible for yourself. 

Or maybe you are sick of having parents take money from YOUR bank account because their name is on it too. 

Yep, parents spending the kid's college fund is almost a cliched story but stories of parents or step-parents (no surprise there) taking money from their children's bank accounts are all too frequently shared online. 

Here's a story I found on Reddit:

I experienced the old fashioned greed while I was still in highschool where my stepfather stole $1,800 I had saved to go to Europe with friends. He told my mother that I had spent it all on frivolous things even though I was saving for over two years for this trip. A week and half later he had a $2,200 set of brand new golf irons. Got a new account the day I turned 18.

If that's not a call for action for any 18 year old to get their own bank account that their primary caregiver or parents can't touch, I do not know what is in one. 

Sure, the vast majority of us have decent parents who want nothing for the best of us and would never steal our hard earned money from after school jobs or that small inheritance we got when our beloved Nana died. 

But for those that don't, or for those with good parents but who have bad problems such as drug and alcohol dependencies, then you need to get your finances squared away.

Take your two forms of identification into your local bank and open a new account. The bank should be delighted to have a new customer (they'll, of course, try and issue you a credit card which is probably not a good idea at your age but that's a story for another day).

You've now got a bank account which only you control, your financial destiny is now in your hands!

If you have funds in another account that you think your parents may try and dip into, then now's the time to quickly transfer those funds into your new account. Sure your parents may be pissy with you but what are they going to do? 

Buy some golf clubs? 

Now you have started your path to financial independence, you'll have to have a conversation with your parents about the change. You are now officially an adult under the eyes of the law and you get to decide how you manage, save and spend your money.

You'll also want to start to think about starting a retirement or superannuation fund...

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