Are your employed teenagers mooching off of you just because you are the parent? Do they feel like any money they earn should be used exclusively for whatever their little heart desires? Should they be required to give a portion of their earnings towards the household expenses?
Having a job as a teenager creates a teaching moment that parents would do well to take advantage of for the following reasons:
Teens who are employed have a great opportunity to learn a lot about responsibility. If they want to keep their jobs they have to learn to be on time and adhere to what their employer asks them to do. And as a result they are rewarded on pay day.
A working teen also has the chance to be responsible by contributing to the home in which they live. While their parents shoulder the brunt of paying the bills, assigning them a small portion of their earnings for household expenses is a good thing. This is why:
Rent – When your teenager moves out of the home, it is a good chance that they may go to college to further their education. And if all goes well, they will eventually get a place of their own after graduating from college. Getting their own place teaches them that rent isn’t free. This lesson will have already been learned if they have been in the habit of setting money aside for the family household as a working teenager.
Utilities – Whether the heat is running to remove the chill from the air or the air conditioner is used to cool you down, it costs money. It isn’t free. If a portion of their check goes towards the utility bills they will learn to make better choices when they are out on their own having to pay the bill themselves.
Groceries – Have you noticed how much food teenagers consume? That’s just what they do for their growing bodies. By charging them a reasonable amount it will remind them that food isn’t free. It can be quite costly.
Car Insurance if they own a car – Many parents give their teenagers cars when they get their license. Insurance is something they should contribute to for the privilege of driving a car.
Clothes – While they may want to keep up with the current styles it can often be costly if they fall prey for every fad that comes out. There is nothing wrong with keeping up with current trends but it isn’t necessary to buy a wardrobe of clothes every single paycheck.
When all is said and done, teens will still have the majority of their check to spend as they want. However, by contributing a set amount to their household and saving a portion while spending some, they will become well-versed in matters regarding financial matters. It isn’t to be looked upon as a penalty but as a means of becoming responsible as they reach towards adulthood.
And while they might not necessarily appreciate or understand the importance of what you’re trying to teach them, they will get it eventually. Who knows? They may even thank you.