3228-3230 Eastern Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21224
May 17

Helping Teens Navigate Their Summer Earnings

Help your teen make the most of their summer job

Whether your child is stepping into their first summer job, or has been holding a part-time job for a while, it’s important that you talk with them about managing their earnings. Budgeting is is the most important skill you can teach your child before they leave home. Homewood Federal Savings Bank has savings accounts, checking accounts, MasterCard debit cards, and mobile banking that can all be customized to help your teen learn to manage their money responsibly and save for their future.

When talking to your teen about money, it’s also important to talk about your values as a family. Help them understand that every family earns, saves, and spends money differently.

  • Comparisons to their friends’ families are not productive.
  • Impulse purchases rarely lead to happiness.
  • Learning delayed gratification and saving for what you truly want lead to greater satisfaction.
  • Budgeting and smart banking tools will help keep your spending within your limits

However you approach it, the goal is to teach your teen about the value of working and saving for their purchases; the importance of budgeting; and how to separate “needs” from “wants.”

A good way to get started is by including your children in basic financial decisions that directly affect them. Help them make a budget for back-to-school items including: school supplies, clothing, extra-curricular equipment and fees, and any additional expenses like transportation or technology. Discuss with them what their share of these costs will be. Do this at the beginning of the summer and help them budget and save throughout the summer to cover their share.

Helping your teen understand “overhead” expenses like housing and utilities is important, too. Share your water (or other utility) bill with your children. Have them brainstorm ways the whole family can work together to reduce the bill throughout the month. Review the next month’s bill. If there are savings, put them in a family savings fund for something fun like a trip to the ballpark or a new television.

If your teen is college-bound, you are likely worried about how you’ll pay for it.

It’s ok to share a certain level of concern with your student, but don’t overwhelm or frighten them. Help them understand that if they want to pursue a college degree, all of you, as a family, need to work together to save. You need to help them understand the basics of student loans and interest accrual. This is another good time to help them understand the value of savings, delayed gratification, and a good budget. Buying the latest model cell phone right now may take away from their ability to pay their bills in college later.

A summer job, or part-time job throughout the year, is a good way for your teen to not only learn money management, but also time management and customer service skills. These will help set your student up for success in the classroom, in an internship, and in a full-time job after graduation. The benefits of a student’s on-the-job experience will yield rewards for a lifetime.