Working for a Living

Teens learn money management while holding down an after school job

Jordan Colunga, Report/Writer

Many teenagers work to start getting ready for their future, buy a car, step up their game, help their parents, earn a salary, learn money-management skills such as saving, get an idea for their career path, and decide what they like and don’t like.

Teens have lower-paying jobs such as serving food in restaurants, mowing lawns, and doing maintenance work along with babysitting. 

“When I have free time, I go do jobs with my dad and visit client’s properties,” freshmen Israel Aguilar said. “Other times, I help my dad wet down concrete so we can expand on our new pathway, we go to locations to put down dirt to help build the foundation on houses and inspect clients’ homes to see what work needs to be done.”

Most teenagers build self-confidence and a sense of responsibility while they are learning how to be independent.  

“I work at Smithfield’s Barbeque, and I clean, take customers’ orders, pack orders, cash customers out, stock products, and makeover 50 gallons of tea sometimes,” junior Mackenzie Krajan said.  “The most stressful part of my job is dealing with customers who have no respect for me.”

Teens make friends by working together and efficiently completing their orders. College students use the extra money to pay off debts or pay for transportation since college is expensive. 

“The minimum wage should be raised, but I don’t believe we should raise it to $15/hr,” Mackenzie said. 

She also believes that the pay is way too small for the work she does. 

“I don’t think I need a raise,” Israel said. “I have a tiny position, and I don’t plan on using the money for anything. I would only stress out about getting something done wrong, but that rarely ever happens.  It’s straightforward to follow instructions.”

Kids find other ways to save money by doing surveys online, doing tasks for people in their neighborhood, and taking care of children. Getting a job can also help a friend and family relationships.

“Sure, I like my coworkers,” Israel said. “It’s only my dad. He’s, of course, nice to have around. Working with my dad helps our relationship grow more. He was always working when I was little, and it’s good to see him more often now.”