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Teen Article: What My First Job Taught Me About Earning Money


SLFCU Teen Member Rebekah Payne

I have always been a very independent person, so when I turned 16, I applied for my first job. After completing the interview, I got a phone call telling me that I had gotten the job! This was super exciting for me. After two weeks of working, I got my first paycheck. While it was not a lot of money, it was an accomplishment that made me proud. I had earned that money myself, and it was mine to use accordingly.

Since I was 15-years-old, I have been saving for college. I know I am young, but I have learned of the hardships that can come when one doesn't save their money to help them when things get tight. Every paycheck that I get, I try to put over half of the money that I earn in savings. Since I am still in high school and living at home, my parents support me in a lot of expenses that most adults have to pay for themselves, like rent and car payments. As a teenager, not having to worry about these things gives me the perfect opportunity to save for when I do have these expenses. The more that I save now, the less problems I will have in the future.

At each shift that I work, I try to remember what my goals are and how they can help me in the future. When each paycheck comes, it is sometimes hard to put money in savings, because there are a lot of things that I would like to buy. When I take a long-term perspective, I can set financial goals that can help me greatly when I graduate high school and move out to live a more independent life on my own. When it is time to pay rent on an apartment and insurance bills arrive, savings from my first job can help to keep me afloat. While this money I am saving now won't last forever, it can help me develop good saving habits that can help me financially for years to come

Teens Can Get $100

SLFCU members age 13-17 are invited to submit an article on a ?nancial topic to be considered for publication in our Dollars & Sense newsletter and on our website. Teens are awarded $100 for published articles. Visit for details, topic suggestions, and to submit an article. SLFCU will review all submissions and respond within 30 days.

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