Working Teens as Contributors to the Family

Personal Finance February 26, 2009 Print Friendly and PDF

Many teens work for extra money but rarely are their earnings used as a contribution to the family’s economic wellbeing. Research of teen employment reveals that costs for transportation, clothing, and food away from home actually increase with teen employment. Involving teens in family problem?solving helps teach them the reality of managing money and distinguishing between needs and wants. Asking teens to help with household expenses will need to begin with an open sharing of a family budget, income, and needs. They need to know that their financial help is appreciated. Help your teen:

teen cash

• Analyze expenses and income from their job. Do the costs outweigh the benefits to themselves or the family?

• Develop a budget that includes earnings going toward savings, family budget (if appropriate), and teen expenses.

• Plan and budget for wants like entertainment, vacation, or trips. Consider what part the teen's money will play in family vacations or other purchases. Teens will learn the value of saving over time for wants.

More Tips for Parents:

• To reduce potential negative impacts for employed teens, limit their work hours during the school months to 10 hours a week.

• If a teen is contributing to family efforts, consider reducing them from some family chores.

• Ask their help to problem?solve/determine other cost?cutting goals for the family.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.