21 answers

16 Year Old Son and His Paycheck... Advice Please

Hey Mommas, my 16 year old son worked fulltime the past 2 summers and we took half of his paycheck and put it in his education fund, he was allowed to keep the rest for himself. Now that he is just starting a regular parttime job, 8-20 hours a week, depending on the time of year ( more hours in Dec and less the other months), what do you consider fair to put aside for education? He thinks he should keep most or all of it to spend. He pays for school lunches (many kids take a lunch and he could too), movies, and general spending money. We buy clothes and pay for any activities (band, spots etc). He has his learners permit and we will be driving and picking him from work, no expenses there either. I agree he needs spending money, but where do I draw the line. For example if he works 10 hours and makes $9 an hour, he will take home about $75-80. He will make $9.00 an hour which is a good income, suggestions please....

I love your thoughts so far, keep them coming. I don't pay for school lunches, about 50-60% of the kids in the junior and senior high schools bring their lunch from home on a regular basis. We have plenty of snack foods such as granola bars, cereal bars, pudding, cookies, yogurt etc that he can take for snacks and he can easily make a sandwich to go along with the snacks.He can take a lunch from home for $1-1.25, rather than the $5 to buy it. For those who don't agree with having him put HIS money into his education fund, how do you expect his education to be paid for. We have 3 children and at a cost of $8-10,000 a year, we have no intention of paying for college completely. My parents didn't pay for mine, I worked 2 jobs each summer and part time through the year to pay tuition etc.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for your opinions, we will likely continue to make him save half for college (he knows what he wants to do and where he wants to go). I would buy his lunch once or twice a week but he doesn't do anything around the house to help out. We have had this discussion several times with him. He also spent all his money on food, junk, and video games during summer jobs, so I don't feel sorry for him and not having money for lunches at this point. He has to learn that once he spends it, it is gone. I have a home daycare and a home business, so I don't spend money on lunches, coffee etc and my husband takes his lunch to work as well. He sees what we do, and we don't buy coffee etc when we are out. I will check out a dave ramsey book for kids, I have the adult one, and will have him read that (he loves to read). I hope he learns to manage his money and budget for what he wants, he is starting to get better.

Featured Answers

I would let him keep his money. He worked hard for it, it's his. I also think you should work with him and teach him how to budget his money. You aren't teaching him anything if you take it and put it away for him.

3 moms found this helpful

I don't think it's really fair to make him pay for his own lunches. Yes, he could pack, but aren't you spending the money either way? Maybe say that you will give him X amount of money a week or day for lunch. I like what the previous poser said about him saving half and matching it. That's an awesome idea! I really wish someone had taught me how to manage money when I was a teen. It's something that's taken me most of my adult life to get under control. As a result, I'm paying (literally) for my mistakes.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I would let him keep his money. He worked hard for it, it's his. I also think you should work with him and teach him how to budget his money. You aren't teaching him anything if you take it and put it away for him.

3 moms found this helpful

When I was this age, my mom made me a deal..

For all of the money I saved, she would match it so I could purchase a car. I would then be responsible totally for the car.. gas, maintenance, insurance etc.. It worked out great for us.

She allowed me to keep the money, but did make suggestions that I continue to place half of it in savings.. I was glad she did because I had my own money to spend in college.

Remember he is in High school so things add a up. Yearbooks, class ring, the graduation announcements, Prom, Tux rentals.. Remind him he will want to make sure he is saving for this stuff.

I had a checking account and a savings account. I cannot recall the percentage once I purchased the car I saved, maybe 25 or 30% percent and the rest. I could spend in any way I chose..

Remember it is his earnings. He needs to learn to budget on his own, not just because his parent told him to.

3 moms found this helpful

My 15 yr old babysits and gets cash plus she gets money from us for working with our family business (nominal) but enough to sustain her.

We would never have her put HER money in her education fund. I realize we are much different minded that many people but we feel that we owe her the education fund as a parental obligation. We started the fund when she was born and right now she is fully funded and ready for college. College is not an option at our house either, it is in your brain. The option is which college do you want to go to.....which is any of them.

That said...it is very important for her to learn to manage her money. We are a very numbers oriented couple, no debt, and we believe in delayed gratification. She has grown up with this mind set of knowing to think before you spend, don't spend more than you have, and the importance of saving.

She buys most of her clothes, makeup, hair ( I pay 1/2 for salon trips). She is not responsible for paying for school lunches. We pay everything related to school.....ex: violin, private violin lessons, all cheer expenses which run around $2000+ a year, private cheer coaching, etc.

At 16 she will get keys to a very nice car. t that point, she will be expected to help pay for the added insurance and some of the gas.

She has a lot of optional spending money but she spends very wisely. She does not go to the movies as much anymore because??? "Mom, did you know it is $10 to get in and the food pricing is insane".

Good luck. They have to learn how to budget their money and when they are buying things with their money, they think twice about it.

I also strongly agree with matching the savings.

2 moms found this helpful

I don't think it's really fair to make him pay for his own lunches. Yes, he could pack, but aren't you spending the money either way? Maybe say that you will give him X amount of money a week or day for lunch. I like what the previous poser said about him saving half and matching it. That's an awesome idea! I really wish someone had taught me how to manage money when I was a teen. It's something that's taken me most of my adult life to get under control. As a result, I'm paying (literally) for my mistakes.

2 moms found this helpful

Get him a savings/checking acount. This is a good time to learn to budget his finanaces.
Ask him what kinds of things he would like.
Tell him to achieve these goals he needs to save so much.
Sit him down with Dave Ramseys's books and let him read through them.
At 16 my son had his whole paycheck to budget and did a great job. He now is 21 with an IRA in place and watches his pennies. He will have to fall and you cannot bail him out of this year's prom. Or the car he really really wants. This is how he learns. If he doesn't have enough because of foolish spending help him learn to reign in and budget cut but do not bail him out.
If his lunches are on him make sure you provide easy foods, granola bars, etc to take to school as he might have to go hungry for a week.

2 moms found this helpful

i make my son cut it into 1/3 1/3 goes into education fund.. 1/3 into his bank account.. so he can buy something really nice when he needs it.. and other 1/3 is spending.. for movies, downloads of music, pick up a drink or snack after school.. i pay for his lunch and his clothes things like that.. he pays for things.. he already saved enough to buy a 400 bike and he is only 14.. he did this when he was 13... we donated 100 to the bike.. he wanted a good ipod again he saved .. and then he bought it.. i have a rule that his bank account has to have at least 50 after he buys things.. i tell him you never know when you will need this money.. he will be taking a class on stock soon with my husband.. and will start to invest with my husbands help.. so he can see his money grow..

2 moms found this helpful

I don't think he should have to pay for his lunches (maybe extras but not the lunch itself). Maybe he can save that money. During the school year, I would let him keep most of it. It isn't that much money.

2 moms found this helpful

Two ways to look at this... it's "his money" and he needs to learn about budgeting while he's still under your roof and you're footing the bill for most things! On the other hand... he may not put any away without some parameters.

When we started working, my parents had a 50% rule... at least that percentage had to go into our savings account. That wasn't optional. Beyond that, we could do what we wanted with our funds. Having said that, my parents were clear on what they would pay for and what needed to come from our incomes. They were pretty liberal on that front (paid for our education, books, room & board when we went to college, etc), but we had to have $$$ for our non-school related activities and purchases. When our own money was gone for the week, it was gone.

IMO, he needs to learn how to manage his "fun money" while recognizing the need to think long-term. I would continue to require a good chunk be put away b/c you are still willing to pay for more of his activities. If he would rather be in charge of his finances, then consider pulling back on what you are willing to pay for and re-evaluate it in a set period of time!

2 moms found this helpful

1 / 3
Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.