Saturday, April 19, 2008

Getting a Teenager motivated to work

No real news flash here, but being a parent of a teenager can be expensive. As a recent letter writer to Business Week wrote, if the government gave teenagers the money from the tax rebates, watch out economy! That money would be gone in the blink of the eye. On what? Fast food, electronic devices, games and like everyone else, gas.

Currently we have a 17 year old that needs to get back out working and I think I finally came up with the best incentive yet. (My nagging just wasn't working!) He wanted to go to a Magic card tournament today and first I had him work for part of the money by sweeping the sand from our garage and driveway. Secondly, I then lent him the rest and wrote it down. Yes, I wrote it down, it's now a permanent IOU. When I mentioned there might be jobs at the Hospital in the food services, he actually seemed interested.

The next incentive will be the colleges we will be looking at next week. His brother with great grades is going to our state university, thanks Loyola, but we decided to pass on the 26,000 loan for each year. Second guy knows how we feel and it's up to him to figure out the college options. We tried to save some, but somehow life got in the way. Our retirement fund is much better, because as they say, you can borrow for college, but you can't borrow for retirement.

But there is a part of me that feels badly for all young people right now. The price of gas is beginning to limit other purchases. Can this administration get away with saying we are better off after these 8 years......I don't think so! Younger people will have to learn how to budget their money, there's hope yet for my second. My first is doing really well with limiting purchases and not spending much while at college. Call him cheap, but he won't be facing massive loans.


  1. Good for Son #1! I wish I had paid greater attention to my credit and debt when I was younger. My gums, too. But that's a whole other topic.

  2. Good for you! He'll thank you one day. . .

  3. My first job I got as a teenager was at a soda fountain. (No, I'm not kidding.) I went back every week just to "check in" until they hired me. It is a proven technique. Also, volunteering and hoping someone notices how hard you're working is always a good way to get a foot in the door.

    I feel bad for kids, but I don't feel *that* bad, y'know? Paying the bills feels awfully nice.

  4. hang in there... getting teens motivated to work is always hard. LOL

    kudos to #1 :) I'm a cheapo too. ;)

  5. As terrible as we are as parents for trying to teach our children to work and actually save some money, I find comfort in the fact that they will thank us someday. I hope so, anyway.

    My oldest finishes high school next year. I suggested and she agrees that community college for the first two years is the way to go. It's just so darn expensive and I don't have to worry about her away somewhere.


Any thoughts or musings of your own to add?