Forget those lazy, hazy days of summer. Summertime is a great time to start your first job. You will still have lots of spare time and you won’t be putting your school performance in jeopardy. From the money you make at your job, you can start to save it in an account for your future. You may already have an account that your parents started for you. There are lots of different opportunities for teens to explore in their job search. My favorite job when I was in high school was babysitting. I was a regular sitter for one family and I even babysat on snow days and school vacations. It was nice to have a regular source of income. I also worked in some retail stores and learned numerous work-life skills. If babysitting isn’t your idea of fun and you don’t relish the thought of working at the local mall or burger joint take a look at these ideas:
- Pet sitting/walking/washing
- Lawn mowing/yard work
- Reading to the elderly
- Tutoring younger students
- Camp counselor
- Lifeguard/pool monitor
- Paper Route
- Sharing your skills – Teach your next door neighbor how to play an instrument. Or maybe you speak two languages and can give lessons to share your knowledge.
Now that you have your job lined up, the next question is what to do with the cash? Everyone’s paycheck will be different. Your pay, hours and deductions can vary. You may only work during the summer and not the school year. So, for our purposes, we will say that you bring home $150.00 a week. Here are some common expenses for teens:
- School supplies
I’m sure I’ve left out a few but the most important expense you should pay is yourself! Make your savings account your most important “bill” while you can. Later in life you may have a mortgage or other larger bills to be concerned with so making the habit to pay yourself first is super important now. Your savings can add up fast! Set up a savings account (if you don’t have one). Be honest, if it’s in a jar in your room you are more tempted to grab a handful. Also, if your money is in a savings account, even if interest rates are low, your money is still multiplying. If you are being paid $150.00 a week and you commit to yourself that you will save 10% of each check, in a month you will have saved $60 dollars, and after a year, $720! Keep with it for ten years and you’ll have saved $7200! This calculation does not include interest and it doesn’t account for increases to your income as you get older. Your savings could grow exponentially once you factor in those elements. Check out our earlier blog post: Why Interest Rocks for info on how interest works. What are your plans for summer work and why do you want to save money? Let us know in the comments below.