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What Your Kids Can Learn From Working Their First Job

 

 

There’s always one question at the forefront of parents’ minds: How do I teach my kids about being financially responsible? 

 

There are a lot of steps to be successful in this effort, and today’s message is all about step one, which focuses on children and jobs. Luckily, Zach, our tenured expert on the subject, joined me today to help offer insight. 

 

In high school, there generally isn’t a huge difference in mentality between those kids who have jobs and those who don’t. There is, however, one type of mentality that begins to show around this age. Some kids who don’t have jobs in high school may feel less inclined to work hard and value every dollar because they trust that their parents will always be there to provide for them financially. 

 

If you’re a parent who tends to always give things to your kid rather than encourage them to work for it, there is a significant chance that child will adopt this mentality. It’s a nightmare scenario that any parent would hate to see. 

 

As soon as a teenager starts to work for their own spending money, they begin to translate prices into hours. For example, if something costs $50, that may equate to three hours of work, so the teenager may ask themselves, “Is this item really worth those three hours where I worked hard and got gross and sweaty?” 

 

If they had simply been given $50, there’s less of a hesitation to spend it. But knowing what it takes to earn $50 influences their spending habits. They will start to perceive money differently, and likely be cautious about what they purchase. 

 

Every parent strives to instill their kids with that kind of financial discretion, but there’s no amount of explaining that can be done to get them to truly understand it—they have to experience it. Without putting in the hours and the sweat at a job of their own, it’ll be hard for kids to grasp the real value of money. 

 

As soon as a teenager starts to work for their own spending money, they begin to translate prices into hours.

 

Doing a job successfully requires a strong work ethic, and building a strong work ethic early on may allow your child to see school as a means to their other life goals. They’ll begin to understand that attaining what they desire means putting work in somewhere; if college opens up career paths, then they’ll see school as a means to larger goals in life. 

 

For those parents wondering how to incentivize your kids to work harder in school now, perhaps having them work a job on the side could help. 

 

Stay tuned—our next installment in this series will focus on helping your kids establish healthy saving and spending habits. 

 

If you have more questions about this or any other finance-related topic, please feel free to reach out to us at Henry + Horne. We’re always here to help.