Many parents are hesitant to let their high school student work, worried that it will interfere with their grades or extra curricular activities. In some cases this may be true, but for most students, working while in school will actually help them learn how to budget their time and money. They will learn successful habits that will set them up for success as adults.
The Benefit of Work
In lots of ways kids are expected to do more than children of the past. However, by limiting their work experience we are hindering their financial development. The earlier they can learn the skills of time and money management, the better. If we allow our children to make small, supervised mistakes now, they will undoubtedly be more responsible adults later.
Finding the Right Job
Before applying for a job, have your teen consider the following questions with you:
- What do I enjoy doing?
- How many hours a week can I work?
- What days and times am I available?
- How will I get to work?
This will give you both a great starting place when looking at job openings. A school counselor may also be beneficial to speak with as they may they know of jobs that help fulfill your child’s school requirements and interests.
How to Budget Time Successfully
Here are some tips to make sure your teen can keep up in school and work.
- Plan ahead- Do weekly and monthly calendar planning as a family so your teen knows when to ask for time off or is aware of any conflicts.
- Keep in contact with school teachers and counselors so your student doesn’t fall behind.
- Sleep – Between school, work, homework, and other activities their days are going to be long, but it is vital that they get enough sleep so they can maintain their schedule.
- Study Time – Have them devote time each day for studying and homework.
- Learn to say no – It’s important for them to understand their time limitations in order to avoid burnout and over scheduling.
Budgeting Money Together
Now that your teen is earning a paycheck it’s time to teach them the basics of money management as well. Give them the best start possible by working together with them when they get paid. Here are a few things you can do to teach them this valuable life skill.
- Open a checking account and/or a credit card in their name
- Create a small budget. I.e. Savings, spending, lunch money, etc
- Plan a monthly budget meeting with them to check progress
Most likely, your teens aren’t being taught adequate time and money management in school; it’s up to you to prepare them to fly high from the nest. Begin the lessons when your kids are young and then work together as they earn their own money and you ensure that they will be able to support themselves as an adult.