3 reasons why kids should have a job - pic

3 Reasons Why Kids Should Have A Job

My Strategic Dollar M$D Wisdom 12 Comments

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I’m at the point in my life where my friends are getting married and popping out children. This is an odd moment because, at the age of 27 (28 in November), I CANNOT imagine having kids. Not only am I nowhere close to where I want to be financially before having kids, but I’m still so focused on me and establishing a solid footing before jumping into something as scary as children. Props to those of you with kids, I applaud you. 👏

I’d like to make a few things clear before I continue: I do not begrudge people for having more money than me. I admire their hard work and seek to put in a tremendous amount of effort to get to where they are. I aspire to reach that same financial success someday.

As I write this article, I’m at the Starbucks in Highland Park, which is one of the wealthiest areas in all of Dallas. I’d like to make a few observations which led me to write this article because trust me it wasn’t on my schedule of post topics:

  • There are a ton of nice cars in the parking lot driven by 12-year-olds (ok, they’re probably not 12, but they look like toddlers 👶)
  • Everyone is wearing brand names clothing –  🙄
  • I’ve heard a lot of complicated orders – “Grande, Quad, Nonfat, One-Pump, No-Whip Mocha with an extra cup so I don’t burn my hands”
  • They’re rude

I’ll just stop there because I think I’ve made my point. Sh*t is annoying. I get a feeling that many people here have a sense of entitlement. Alright –  not EVERYONE here is like this, but it’s a significant majority. The sad part is that many of these people are under the age of 18. I wonder if these kids have ever worked for the things they have.

Aside from the fact that driving fancy cars and wearing expensive clothes goes against everything I stand for as a personal finance blogger, I feel that many young people who grow up in wealthy families don’t know a damn thing about hard work.

Jobs Teach Hard Work

From the day I turned 13, I’ve held a job. Sure, from 13-16 I didn’t work a w2 job because you know, it’s #illegal. But, I did find ways to make money. From a very early age, I had a Lawn Mowing business. When I say business, I mean I pushed the lawn mower around the neighborhood knocking on doors. I also worked on my mom’s best friends ranch bailing hay, fixing fences, shredding, and feeding and grooming horses.

Was all this work fun? Sometimes, but often it was simply JUST HARD WORK.

The work ethic I have today is 100% due to the hard work I put in when I was younger.Click To Tweet

Every child does not need to work 3 jobs at once, but they should prove they can hold down a job, work hard and make sacrifices.

3 reasons why kids should have a job - pinterest pic

They’ll Learn How To Manage Money

Working a job doesn’t correlate to KNOWING how to manage their money. If that were the case everyone would be a personal finance expert and I’d be out of a job. Bobby (aka Millennial Money Man) has strong opinions about what he’d teach kids about money and what would happen if kids were educated about money.

Having a job isn’t going to teach your kids about money, but it does set the stage to have the conversation. It’s every parent’s obligation to teach their children how to manage money. Your kid earning money is a great start. You can teach them the value of hard work, what to do with their money and the impact of spending now versus investing for the future. I’ve met several people whose parents refused to even talk about money. Saying those kids had a hard time understanding money as adults is an understatement.

Check out Erin Lowry’s book, Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together to understand your money psyche.

Your Kids Won’t Be Spoiled

There is nothing wrong will spending your hard-earned money on your kids. In fact, that’s probably one of the most rewarding ways to spend money, eh? But do it in a way that teaches them a lesson and encourages them to make the right choices. Give them choices of instant or delayed gratification. Show them the power of a dollar now and a dollar in 30 years. Help them save, set goals, work hard and invest. You and your kids will thank you later. Above all else, teach them to love.

Kindness, empathy, and compassion can never be replaced. Not even by money. Be a good human being.Click To Tweet

What are other reasons kids should have jobs?

-My Strategic Dollar

Comments 12

  1. Totally agree with all your points. To add on: if your kid is going the ‘traditional’ route (high school > college > job) I’ve found that it helps immensely in securing an internship if you’ve had previous jobs, and it helps landing your first job after you’ve had an internship.

    I have friends who, at 30, still have never had a job in their life and have no other source of income. They’re basically grown kids, and it’s sad; and puts a real stress on their family.

    I don’t think every kid needs to have a super demanding job, but I think it teaches them a lot and can hopefully help them set up a bright future for themselves both through external factors like I mentioned, or internal factors like you mention (better work ethic, more responsible, etc.)

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      Definitely! I’d recommend that kids don’t have stressful jobs, but rather jobs that can teach them necessary life skills.. And you’re totally right, having held a job before will help you get a “real” job out of college.

  2. I got my first job right when I turned 14. I worked in fast food and it was tough work. Fast paced, hot, sweaty, etc. But it absolutely helped teach me about money management at a young age. I loved looking at my paystub to see how much I earned in the last two weeks. I’ve always been able to save more money than I spent and this first job helped with that, as it was my first source of income. These jobs also helped me learn how to work as part of a team and time management (balancing work with school, activities, etc.).

    1. Post

      Thank you for sharing your experiences. I too worked from a young age and believe it helped me immensely as I got older and responsibilities piled on.

  3. Is it wrong that my daughter is just 5 weeks old and I’m already thinking about jobs she should get? Seriously though, I agree with your points. I had a job since I was 16 and it taught me so many life skills.

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  4. Haha! Good stuff, man. I know what you mean about your observations. We see entitled, spoiled brats all over here in Minneapolis. When I was growing up, I had a paper route, worked the grill at McDonald’s, and drove a rusty Chevette when I got my license. It was my sister’s car. Even in college, I worked shit jobs – paint crew in the summer, pickle factory one summer, and figured I hit the jackpot with the department store gig my senior year. I’m glad I have those experiences to relate to on my challenging days in Cube Land.

    1. Post

      I worked for a tanning salon, 2 grocery stores, a research lab and on a ranch. Those are all so different but each of them provided a different perspective and taught me different things.

  5. Great article! Though I don’t have kids, and probably won’t for awhile, I will definitely make them (or strongly encourage them?) to get a job at a young age. So many of my friends didn’t get a job until later years of high school or college and once they did they were shocked at what work is actually like. It definitely helps a ton with learning money management skills as well – something that is more important now than ever with the student loan situation going on in the U.S.

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      Kids HAVE to learn about money or they will end up not understanding basic concepts. I know several people that just don’t understand things like credit cards or student loans and the impact they have on their lives. If every kid left school with an understanding of basic concepts, we’d be in a much better financial place as a country!

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