What is the best way for teenagers to obtain money? Let's look at some possibilities. The usual ways are a regular allowance, part-time jobs out of the home, jobs done at home, gifts, and just asking parents for money.
What is an allowance? An allowance is a definite amount of money given to a person at regular intervals to use for his wants or needs. In many families the teenager's allowance is looked upon as his share of the family money and not as pay for work that he does at home. It is given to him so that he will learn more about handling money. He should feel that this is his own money and that the spending of it is his responsibility. As a family member, he should be expected to do his share without being paid for it.
A regular allowance from the family income gives the teenager an opportunity to plan for his own spending. Wise parents realize that having the opportunity to handle money is a necessary step in growing up. Only by learning to handle small amounts of money now will you be able to manage larger sums later on.
Of course you will make mistakes and even waste some money, but you cannot help learning better money management through the experience of trying. Most teenagers who get allowances can not make the money last until the next allowance. Many spend all their allowance in two days and have nothing left for the rest of the week.
Money given upon request
Some teenagers do not get an allowance, but asked for money when they need it. This may seem like an ideal way to meet your needs for money, but actually there are many things wrong with this practice. For one, the money may not be available, so you can't plan for it. Two, you are likely to spend it faster, and three, it is likely to cause problems between you and your parents.
Gifts of Money
Sometimes maybe your aunts or uncles will send you money as a gift or for a special occasion. But since this only happens on an infrequent basis, you really cannot count on this as a satisfactory way of acquiring spending money.
Part Time Jobs
Many teens do some part-time work during the year. The reason for some teens, is that they like to have the extra money to add to their allowance. Others use the extra money to buy clothes and to pay some of their school expenses.
Doing jobs at home
Many teens are paid for doing jobs at home. In other families teenagers are expected, as family members, to do their share of the household work without pay. Do you think you have a right to expect pay for jobs done at home? What home duties should be done for nothing as part of your responsibility as a family member? Since parents feel that it is a good idea to pay a young person only for doing a satisfactorily a job for which they would otherwise employ an outsider. What would happen in a family if every member demanded pay for what he did? For instance: Suppose your mother were paid for cleaning, sewing, cooking, driving the car, or all the other work she does for the family? Suppose your father were paid for keeping accounts, making repairs, painting, taking care of the yard, or whatever else he may do at home.
So, it seems, the best way for a teenager to acquire spending money is to ask for an allowance. How much of an allowance would depend upon your family's income. But the question is, would you learn how to spend it wisely?
Can you think of other ways to earn spending money?
Do you feel that you should get an allowance? Then the best thing to do would be to speak to your parents about it. The big problem arises when you try to determine how much allowance you should have.
How large should a teenager's allowance be?
No one can say off hand how much a teenager's allowance should be. There are too many things to be considered for each person. For example:
1. Family Income. The amount of income the family has and what it has to cover certainly affects the amount available for individual allowances.
2. Size of Family and ages of the children. Older boys and girls usually get a larger allowance than do younger ones.
3. What the allowance is expected to cover. Is it to include clothing as well as school expenses and personal items?
4. The community in which one lives. Is it urban or rural? Is it necessary to pay bus fare to and from school? Is there free recreation?
The first thing you must do to find out what your allowance should be is to keep a record of the money you have spent, and what you have spent it for. Do this for at least two weeks, and include the money you get from all sources.
The next step is to make a list of the items your allowance should cover.
Finally, working with your parents, you should decide upon an amount that is reasonable. Then try it out for awhile to see if it covers your necessary expenses.
Your Needs Include
Your Wants Might Include
-hobby and sports equipment
-things for your room
-magazines and books
-movies and other entertainment
-jewelry and other accessories
Do you think that...
... teenagers should account to their parents for every cent of their allowance?
... teenagers should give their earnings to their parents?
... teenagers who work should not have an allowance from their parents?
... parents should punish teenagers by cutting their allowance?
... the money that a teenager earns should be spent on what ever he wants?
... a teenager's allowance should be cut in times of a family's financial emergency?
... a teenager should save some of his allowance every week?
... you should be required to spend within your allowance?
... you might be able to better save if you had more money?
Learning how to handle money will help you to avoid worry and frustration and to live more happily. You probably will also have more money to use in doing things for others as well as for yourself.
Of course, important as it is, money isn't everything in life. Some people concentrate so much on money that they miss many of the joys of living. So, while good handling of money may help you to be happy, too much emphasis on it may be a source of unhappiness.
One thing is certain, it is a good idea to know how to get the greatest value from the money you spend.