Teen workers are saving for the three Cs: Cars, Computers and College. Plus building emergency funds for unexpected expenses.
This is according to the teenagers who took the First Time Worker Pledge in our new class Making the Most of Your First Paycheck. The class uses materials from America Saves.
Extension has partnered with three groups to provide savings classes for teen workers this year. More than thirty teens pledged to save part of their paycheck. For example, one teen is saving $200 a month for 60 months to buy a $12,000 car. Another is saving $500 a month for six months for school costs.
Bicycling nonprofit Phoenix Bikes has a community bike shop in Arlington and its Earn-A-Bike program teaches bike repair to youth. Master Financial Education Volunteer Will Mason led four Phoenix Bikes employees through the savings orientation. Thank you to Phoenix Bikes’ Executive Director Meg Rapelye-Goguen for making the event happen.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington’s Dunbar Alexandria-Olympic Branch in the City of Alexandria provides youth programs and mentoring. At the Dunbar Alexandria-Olympic Branch, 14 teens pledged to save: 11 young men and three young ladies. Thank you to Dunbar staff Alston Waller and Patrice Hall for recruiting participants. Master Financial Education Volunteers Judith Kom and Katrin Kark gave a well-received presentation.
Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation’s Teen Entrepreneurial Amusement Management (T.E.A.M.) workers manage amusement rentals, including bouncy castles, cotton candy machines and rock climbing walls. Fourteen T.E.A.M. employees pledged to save: nine young men and five young ladies. Thank you to Parks and Rec staff Desi Jerry and Charlie Eby for help setting up the event. Charlie, who worked for the county when he was a teenager, gave a pep talk at the event. Master Financial Education Volunteers Bill Ross and Star Henderson lead the presentation.
Another crop of T.E.A.M. hires will participate in Making the Most of Your First Paycheck later in July. We expect more than 25 teens to pledge to save at this class.
Last Monday we ran a Kids Marketplace simulation with 23 kids attending a summer program at Arlington’s Patrick Henry Elementary School. The kids enjoyed chatting with each station’s volunteers, who either coaxed them into spending wisely or into buying more than they needed. Some kids found they could afford multiple pets, while others shared housing to reduce expenses. One kid saved nearly 50% of his doctor’s salary.
For more pictures, visit our Facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/VceFinancialEducationProgramArlingtonCounty
If you would like to organize a Kids Marketplace at your elementary school, please contact Jennifer Abel at email@example.com or 703-228-6417.
What type of spending makes you happiest? Cash or credit?
The New York Times reports on an interesting study comparing prepayment to repayment. Researchers gave 99 people the opportunity to buy a gift basket. Some study participants refrained from purchasing the basket until they could pay in full. Others got the basket right away and paid later.
Participants then rated how much happiness the purchase provided. So, who enjoyed the gift basket more?
“Although the gift baskets were identical, they provided more happiness to those who had paid in advance,” per the Times opinion column “Happier Spending.”
So how do you get more happiness for your buck?
Try this. Determine how much you want to spend on various items in a given month, e.g., $40/month for movie tickets, $100/month for restaurants, whatever. Using envelopes marked “movies,” “restaurants” or “embarrassing personal hobby,” put that much cash inside. Use only what it is in the envelope for the designated purpose for the month. By paying in cash — and paying up front — you have no chance of charging more than you can afford.
And your embarrassing personal hobby may become that much more fun.
By Megan Kuhn, Master Financial Education Volunteer