Teens are busier than ever these days. However, it is still critical that they have time to find a first job. Whether it is at the ice cream shop down the street or helping in your family business they need work. For many families, establishing a culture of hard work starts with establishing a “family economy.”
Most of us have seen different variants of a family economy system. They range from a simple swear jar to complex points systems expressed as polynomials for algebra learners. There are many benefits to a family economic system. The most important is that it encourages children to ask for work instead of money.
Every system has to have a governing document. Call it the Constitution or the Terms and Conditions. Maybe call it the Employment Agreement or even the Sokovia Accord. It would include the basic rules of the economy. I’m a bit of a denizen of parenting blogs, and I think it would be wise for every agreement to include the following clauses:
- Some chores are unpaid.
- 10% of earnings should be deposited into a savings account.
- Bank accounts must be reconciled monthly.
Speaking of bank accounts, our teenagers really are getting a pretty cool deal with teen checking accounts — not to be confused with children’s savings accounts. CapitalOne offers a teen checking account that allows comprehensive parental controls while giving your teen the flexibility of having a debit card. The card can be turned on or off at any time, offers parents detailed spending reports, and includes an app that tries to make banking fun.
The hidden benefit to getting your child up and running in the financial world is independence — for you! If you need help establishing a family economy, we’re at your service. Remember, although the confidentiality of our clients is our utmost concern, we do speak from a place of experience.