In today’s society of reality television, cell phones and relative luxury being quite the norm on many school campuses, parents often suspect and fear that their children have a distorted sense of the value of money. Children see “stuff” as things that they just “have” rather than work to have. As they get older, children are able to start working for their spending money, first as allowance and then as part-time jobs. While an allowance can help teach kids about money and money management, many experts believe that an allowance fosters a false sense of work ethic. Children benefit from performing chores simply because it’s necessary to the household. But children can-and should-find ways to earn money so they can learn about money as well. Not sure the time is right for your teenager to get his first job? We have some reasons why now might be the perfect time.
A job will force your teenager to plan study and social times around his or her work schedule. If, for example, the concert he or she wants to attend falls during work hours, it becomes a great learning opportunity in how to prioritize. It’s also a good reminder that, without the job, he or she won’t be able to afford the next set of concert tickets.
Learning a good work ethic likely starts in the early days of kindergarten, but now is the time it will pay off financially. Teens with a good work ethics get noticed by current and potential employers, and this could mean the difference between earning a raise or being stagnant in their salary and roles. Your teen will soon see that if he or she works hard and goes above and beyond expectations, he or she could see financial rewards.
Even the most mundane job is likely to be part of a team environment. Communication skills and teamwork are necessary life skills that will serve your teens for years to come, both in the workforce and in their personal life. A first job is the perfect place to learn, practice, and hone those skills.
With his or own hard-earned money in hand, your teen will learn the value of money and how to budget it so he or she has some on hand when it’s needed. And he or will quickly find out why Mom and Dad often turned requests down in the past.
As summer is set to begin, now is the perfect time for your teen to start hitting the pavement to find his first job. Encouraging him to do so and providing some simple guidance will set him up for success in the future.
Information by Holly Bernal, CCUFC, Chief Operations Officer at Midland Credit Union, 2891 106th St., Urbandale, 515-278-1994.