Summer is the perfect time for your teen to get real-world experience with a job. By the time your kids hit high school, their piggy banks are collecting dust, and their desires are beyond the reach of a weekly allowance. It’s time for them to get their first job and learn some responsibility with money. Aside from the cash reward, there are lots of life lessons to be learned in the process too. As a banker, and a mom of three young adults, there are many values I tried to instill with their first jobs. It’s never too early to start teaching money lessons.
Open an Account
Now is a good time to teach some basic money management skills by establishing a savings or checking account. Teaching practical uses of their account like setting up direct deposit and mobile banking will be great foundations for the future. Luckily, they can do a lot of it from their phone, which will be a good selling point.
Even with digital tools, it’s important to teach teens how to do the basics, like reading a bank statement and reconciling their account. These skills can help them develop a connection to their money and their spending.
Learning to Budget
Talk to your teen about creating a budget and how they are spending what they earn. Establish boundaries for what they are expected to pay for on their own. Things like trips with friends, entertainment, and some other items should be covered by your teen once they have a summer job. This is another place technology can come in handy. Connecting their bank account to a personal finance app lets them see a clear picture of how they are spending their money. Are all those trips to Starbucks costing more than they realize?
The “10% rule”
The rule recommends you set aside 10% of every pay check into a savings account. Many of us can speak from experience, the importance of having a little money set aside for the unexpected, especially after the pandemic in 2020. There’s a lot to learn from this habit and hopefully it will pour over into their adult life.
Value Beyond the Dollar
In addition to the money lessons, the benefits of a part-time job for a teenager are countless. That independence is not something you can teach in school or around the dinner table. No matter the type of job, they will also figure out things they like and don’t like to help with career choices down the line. Life lessons will come at them from every angle like, respecting their boss, teamwork, and how to handle criticism, just to name a few.
Teaching your teen about money may not be the subject they want to tackle on their summer vacation but they will thank you later. A summer job is a valuable tool to help them move forward. The lessons learned this summer may impact them for decades to come.
My customer service colleagues and I are here to help you start the conversation.
Call or visit us today to open an account with your teen.