Should working students give their earnings to their parents?

Saige Gitlin, Staff Writer

Between homework, studying, sports and extracurricular activities, you might think that high school students would not have the time to sustain a job.  However, many Schreiber students manage to squeeze part-time jobs into their busy schedules.  These jobs, which range from babysitting to working in restaurants, allow students to become more responsible and accountable for their actions.

Of course, having a job allows students to make money on their own, but where should the profits go?  Many debate if students should keep the money they earned to themselves, or if they should turn it over to their parents in order to help out at home.  No matter what they choose, high school students should be responsible for managing their own money because learning how to spend money wisely is one of the most important aspects of adulthood.

“When I first started working and had my own money, I was a little careless with my spending,” said senior Sarah Gottesman.  “As time has gone on, I’ve learned how to save my money and only buy the things that really matter.”

When students have jobs, they learn about the value of money as well as how to handle their finances.  If a student is actively managing their own money, they are more likely to understand when it is appropriate to spend, and when it is best to save.  If a parent is the one in control, adolescents miss out on acquiring these important life skills.  When students have their own money, they become less reliant on their parents, which is an important first step before students begin living on their own.

“This year, knowing that college is coming so soon, I’ve been making saving a priority,” said senior Davida Harris.  “Managing my money over the past years has taught me that saving now will have a better outcome than spending frivolously.”

Holding a job teaches adolescents many significant lessons, such as showing up on time, being accountable, and well as budgeting money properly.  Some students may choose to save their money, and others may contribute to a family fund.  If a student feels that it is important that they should allocate some of their earnings to their family, then they should learn how to do that in conjunction with all of their other purchases and expenses.  Students should remember that they are a part of a family unit and should contribute when necessary, but they should still be managing their own money when they do so.  If they feel it is necessary to give twenty five dollars of their weekly salary to the family, for example, they should then budget their money and take into account those twenty five dollars.

“I can remember the first time that I was able to give my mom money and chip in for something that I typically couldn’t help with,” said senior Celia Christake.  “It was very rewarding to make that contribution and I was so glad that I could help out.”

It is important to note that students can still help out with a family fund while they are managing their own money.  Parents should not feel responsible for managing the money that the students earn.  Having a job in high school is an important way to discover life skills that may prove to be crucial in the future.   Before parents go to bring their children’s money straight into the family fund, they should consider the ways that the student can learn how to manage their own money.