Our eldest child is looking forward to getting a part-time job soon. She's not yet old enough, but she has mentioned a few places she can work with us signing a consent form this summer, with a limited amount of hours.
I'm all for teenagers getting a part-time job when they turn 16 (or 15 in some places). It's a great lesson that money doesn't grow on trees, time management (work, friends, home, etc.) and much more. We give our kids an allowance now to help teach financial responsibility, so hopefully, it will carry over when they begin making their own money and truly help them understand the value of a dollar.
When I was sixteen, I had a part-time job and loved making my own money. I started working the summer of my 16th birthday and continued throughout the school year.
The reason I worked was to make my own money and to get a car. Once I got a job, I was gifted a car. I was required to keep gas in it and pay $60 a month. The $720 was given back to me after the first year. Having a job also forced me to make some real-life decisions. I had to make some sacrifices. I had to give up hanging out and sleeping in. Those days were long gone. For some strange reason, I had this bright idea of requesting to work from 6:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. every Thursday. This was the day the regular opening cashier of the store took off. It was summer time, so why not go in early and have my day to be with friends. It kicked my butt.
A few weeks ago, our daughter came home stating she wanted to apply for a job. I told her she wasn't old enough to work yet, so what was her plan. This was when she mentioned that some places could hire you at 15 with parental consent. Summer part-time job? Okay, let's chat girlfriend!
Reasons my teenager wants a summer job.
- To make more money than what she receives for an allowance. I quickly told her that once she starts working, her allowance is cut off. The goal is to live within the means you have. Nothing wrong with wanting to make more money, but if you don't learn to live with what you already have, you will always be chasing the dollar.
- Save money. Not as in cash in the bank, but to work at a store she loves to shop and get the employee discount. Hmmmmm...... ok. The employee discount is a perk, but you're going to spend your entire paycheck there.
- To spend the money when and where she wants. You do realize you're not free to travel the world and do whatever you want? The same rules still apply. Having a job doesn't make you grown. Grown is when your name is on the dotted line, and you're paying bills.
- Talk to people. Having a job over the summer will get her out of the house and boredom shouldn't set in. I told her that working in customer service will allow her to talk to different people and have a chance to meet new people and learn how to deal with all kinds of folk.
Yes! I'm excited she wants to work. Regardless of her reasons, we think it's great! Taking the initiative to earn money this summer, SCORE!
Will she continue working through the school year? We will determine this at a later date. She's pretty active in clubs and sports, so her school schedule may not allow unless she decides to cut those things out.
Oh, how will she get to work since she won't have her license yet? I will drive her. Told her it would cost her $20 a month. Welcome to the real world girlfriend! Will I keep it? Hmmmm......we shall see.