|A teen preparing for work|
Do you remember your first job, was it in an office, a fast food restaurant, or maybe somewhere working with kids? My son started his first job about a month ago. I’m proud that he is learning responsibility, but at the same time I know that a learning curve exists.
When my son received his first paycheck, I told him he needed to put a portion of his money toward college tuition. He looked at me and said, “But I worked hard for my money. Why can’t I use it for something I want?”
I could totally empathize with my son. I too wanted to use my paycheck for something I wanted. I tried to explain the concept of delayed gratification to my son and how he should find a balance between saving and spending. My explanation fell on deaf ears.
My son said, “Can I give you something out of my next paycheck?” When I told him no, his frustration really set in. “Well. I just won’t work then.” My sarcasm set in as I thought, oh yeah that’s really teach me a lesson. Instead of saying anything else, I let my son have the last word. A few minutes later my son begrudgingly brought me $50 then went in on his way.
I didn’t ask my son to contribute anything else from his paychecks. I just wanted him to understand that sometimes there are obligations that must be taken care of. He assured me that he wanted to save some of his money to get something fixed on his car. How can I argue with that?
My son and I had reached an agreement. He would use his money for car repairs, school clothes and other small items he needed to start the fall semester. I would handle the tuition (with his help finding scholarships and other resources).
When my son received his next paycheck, I believe he stashed it away without telling me ever received it. Smart thinking. One day he will look back and laugh at this whole situation, but that day isn’t today.
When you landed your first job, what did you use your money for?