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Choose: dollars or time

In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “A penny saved is a penny earned.”  Many know that a vital step to building wealth is frugality, but many of us struggle with being frugal, especially teenagers.

By far, children are the most expensive investment a parent can make. Whether in a monetary sense, or spending time, raising children takes a lot of devotion. It’s true that most teens, including myself, ask for too much from our parents. We ask for new cellphones, new tablets, or new clothes. In an effort to keep up with the newest things, we spend a lot of money.

Although it may be true that many teens are spendthrifts, teens shouldn’t be responsible for supporting their needs and desires. This sounds like a spoiled thing to say, but there are many reasons why.

When parents tell their kids to get jobs, they are taking away from their children’s futures. Parents are saving a couple of dollars by utilizing the time and energy of their kids.

Working a minimum wage job for a couple of hours each day will definitely take away a student’s study time. With college becoming more and more competitive these days, students need all the time they can get their hands on. Spending an extra half hour each day reading that APUSH textbook can turn that B+ into an A. Thus, your chances of getting into college get that much better.

If students take four hours of their afternoon to work at a yogurt shop, how can parents expect their kids to excel in academics? Even determined students can only take so much. Finishing that APEL essay at two in the morning after a four shift of work is both hard and detrimental to your health. And for what, $36 (more like $28 after tax)?

After supporting a child for 14 or 15 years, three or four more years is doable for most families. By supporting the desires of their kids, parents are making their kids both happier and saving them time. Students will be more focused in their studies, and committed to getting into college. When your kids are making six figures each year after graduating from a UC, they’ll pay you back.

Some parents may say that getting a job teaches kids about the value of a dollar and good work ethic.

Despite never working before, I still know that a dollar doesn’t go very far. I know that parents work hard to give their kids a better life than they had.

Unfortunately, some teens have no choice but to work. Not because of a dearth of personal spending money, but because their families are struggling. The world isn’t fair. Some people are born to well off families, and others are not. From a young age struggling teens look out for themselves and need to be able to take care of themselves for their own well-being.

Schools mold the minds of students. It sharpens their mind and increases their knowledge. In the 21st century, people make money using their mind, being experts in certain fields, and doing things others can’t. The antiquated life style of making a living by manual labor is decreasing.

So, parents don’t push your kids into getting jobs. Colleges are getting more and more selective with whom they admit. Let them work towards that dream college. They don’t have time to worry about how they’re going to pay for gas money.

As Ben Franklin said, “Lost time is never found again”.


About Steven Hong

Steven is now a senior at MC, and Co-Editor-In-Chief of the MC Sun. He enjoys playing volleyball and has been playing it for a number of years now. Besides volleyball, Steven enjoys to eat in his free time. He loves Italian food, Hot Cheetos, and anything that's high in sodium.

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