Being a teenager in today’s world is an expensive proposition. While in grade school the needs for money were usually few and far between and the amounts were quite modest, by the late teen years money is a regular need and the amounts required are no longer saved by putting pocket change into a piggy bank. Some of the most important reasons for a teenager getting a job however go far beyond simply a need for cash for purchases and activities.

10 – Individuality

While letting parents choose your wardrobe is fine as a child there will come a time when the tastes of the teenager and the parent no longer are the same. The easiest way for the teenager to demonstrade the value the selection of clothes has to them is to use their own time and money in purchasing. This is also an opportunity for the parent to help a teach a teenager of the value of money when they decide a pair of $160 sneakers is a must have and it means all of their free time spent working for a week or more to get them.

09 – Prom and Home Coming Dance

These important social functions are your first real forays into the world of dating. You do not want to be the date that says I did not buy you a corsage because my mother would not lend me the money to.

08 – Dating

As above, if you have the opportunity to go on a date you do not want to be choosing the activity or explaining the choice of venue based on what your parents will lend you. A primary purpose of dating is to demonstrate how grown up you are – that s not accomplished by lamenting the size of your allowance not being enough for a soda at the movie.

07 – Image and Pride

To say that image is important to a teenager is like calling the ocean wet. The last image any teenager wants is that of the person mooching off everybody else and always looking for somebody else to pay.

06 – Self Esteem

Perhaps more important than what others think of you if getting money for all needs from somebody else is how it makes you feel about yourself.

05 – Automobile

Every teenager wants to have their own car for the independence and pride in ownership it brings. Buying a car or having a choice in the car purchased requires money.

04 – Insurance

Whether their own car or that of their parents a teenager is quickly introduced to the extra expenses of insurance for new drivers that will likely cost more across the course of a year than the car itself.

03 – Preparing for College

College is more work than high school and even if you made it through high school with no job for spending money it is more difficult to do that in college. Adding work to the mix earlier makes you better at time management when you get to the university.

02 – Preparing for Adulthood

A real job is typically 8 hours or more a day. School is seldom more than 6 hours. By adding a part time job a teenager learns what a full day actually is.

01 – Learning about Themselves

Of the many things a teenager needs to learn, the most important is about themselves. If they have never had any type of work experience it is difficult to say what they will honestly like or not like for the 40 or so years of working adult life. Even if they learn nothing more than that they do not want to work a minimum wage job forever, they have given themselves motivation to do more and try harder in further education and training programs.

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