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Guess Who Got a Job!?!


All my kids started working as soon as they turned 16…

For History Buff, it was Little Caesars Pizza

For Sea Cadet, it was Marble Slab

For Princess, it was Zaxbys

(For Beauty, it was Ingles, but she didn’t live with me then)

For Gymnast, it was “You can’t make me work” and “You owe me, I didn’t ask to be born”…

And I have learned the hard way with my baby boy that he is going to have to make the decision, there’s no forcing him. So I stepped back.

Yes, that is how it went…until this week.

How it went

School started at the beginning of August. I held firm with no more allowance.

And then with not a word to me, he changed his school schedule to include work based learning. Which REQUIRES the students to get a job. What?!? I had been encouraging him for months to get a job. (Maybe he thought I was going to give in.)

He had a few interviews and continued with his stubborn requirements…

  • I won’t work weekends
  • I have to be off every Friday for the football games
  • They don’t pay enough
  • It’s too far away

But then, again with no word to me, he applied at the Zaxby’s his sister started at last spring (2020) and took the job without a word about needing weekends off, etc. He’s making $10 per hour. And already scheduled for 40 hours per week. I believe this is too much…but I’m going to give it a couple of weeks and see if he self corrects before I step in.

Will he save?

I’ve given him the same “requirement” as the others…save at least 10% of all income. It’s to be used to whatever is after highschool…housing, technical school, college, etc. Just save. We will see how he does.

Princess’ savings is being used as her monthly allowance for this year. And she continues to work and save even now as she has started the semester. In fact, she comes home today and will work all weekend at her local job. She hasn’t gotten a job on campus yet…but I imagine she will. I won’t push it though, for now. She is still working here on weekends when she comes home. And has a very healthy savings account, even outside what is allotted (and now in my account) for her monthly spending.



  • Reply Kari |

    40 hours seems a lot to take on with school but like you said hopefully he will figure it out!

  • Reply Nan |

    I’m not keen on kids working during high school. I’d rather see them participating in school clubs. I guess with Covid things are different but my grandsons both still play in the band. Does your HS have a gymnastics team or maybe enough interest to start one? It seems to me the kids who work during the school year aren’t taking challenging classes and the money they earn goes for designer clothes, a car, fast food or who knows where?

    • Reply Hope |

      Gymnast is taking all Honors classes with the exception of one block off for his work.
      I would disagree with your sentiment about kids working in high school. I think it teaches time management, money skills and responsibility in general.
      Would I prefer he do a sport…yes. But I also think they can do both, I always did. He will probably do track and field in the spring.
      But 40 hours is way too much. But I’m going to give him a few weeks to figure it out for himself before I step in.

  • Reply Budgeter |

    Have you considered having Gymnast open a Roth IRA with this new job? I know you have the kids save a portion of their earnings, and placing these savings into a Roth IRA should have some great returns and give him a head start on retirement savings. I definitely wish I opened one with my first job!

    • Reply Hope |

      Great idea. Would love to hear suggestions for provider. And at what point can they really start seeing a return here. I know I was advised to just leave my ROTH IRA alone until I had $10K in it. And frankly, I still have no idea what to do with it since I’ve reached that point.

      • Reply Budgeter |

        I personally went with Vanguard since I found it a little easier to navigate than Charles Schwab (I think these are the big two providers?). Since starting ~2.5 years ago, I’ve put in ~14k and made $3500 from the market just by investing in the S&P 500 (typically considered a safer, less risky investment as it follows the stock market). The good thing about Roth IRAs is that you can pull out the money YOU put in without penalty (you just can’t pull out the dividends without paying taxes…so I could take out the 14k I’ve put in if I really needed it). Although leaving it alone to continue growing is best. In the case of Gymnast, he could contribute monthly, have it grow a bit within the next few years (typically around 7% returns), and then pull out any needed funds for post-high school plans.

        • Reply Hope |

          This is exactly the kind of information I needed. Since he is a minor, I suppose there’s some sort of guardian account or something.
          And would he start investing immediately or wait until he got to some threshold?

          • Budgeter |

            Yes, it appears that Vanguard (and Schwab and Fidelity) all offer custodial accounts. For Vanguard, you can contribute immediately to the account but in order to buy shares you need to reach a certain amount (for example, S&P 500 shares are around $400 each). For mutual funds, some of them require minimum investments of $1000 which can take a while to save up to.

So, what do you think ?