Should Kids Contribute to Family Finances in Tough Times?


teens getting a job

Photo by momtiara

Hi everyone! Cafe Cynthia here paying a visit to Big Kid Buzz today.

I got my first job at age 14, mucking stalls, lugging grain, and grooming dirty horses. I was paid $3.50 an hour, and worked harder than I have my entire life. And I was in paradise.

Okay, so I loved horses and would do anything to be around them. I'm from a blue collar family where money was always tight, and having a horse of my own was just not in the cards.

With the job, I was not only making extra cash and deriving all the psychological benefits that come from self sufficiency and independence, I also got the great fringe benefit of getting to ride anytime I wanted! I may not have been rich, but I sure felt that way.

My money was my own -- I got to spend it any way I liked. After all, at $3.50 an hour, the salary was pretty much symbolic. A week's worth wasn't even enough to buy bread, milk and cheese for the week.

But I wonder, in this economy when jobs are so scarce, if tweens or teens should be asked to chip in to the kitty to get the family through? Are your kids contributing in some way, or is this just plain old medieval?


Should working tweens and teens be required to pay "rent" or pitch in to family finances in tough times?

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Total Votes: 56

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jobs & money, teens


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butte... butterfly-jo

i voted is my thing.  if both parents work outside the home..maybe the older children could focus more on helping around the, cooking..things like that to make everyone's life a little better, but i don't know about a regular job. dd is almost 10...and i do child care in my home...and she helps out a lot, throwing things away or helping w/ kids while i'm cooking or whatever...and i have her some money for helping me out..the house hold chores that she has are her own..but this is extra stuff she does to help i give her some money.

s.teph s.teph

No, I feel that if my child works for something it's his money, unless he's been punished for something and is paying off a "fine" of some sort. I think it promotes a better work ethic. If he works, and saves, and makes decisions about how his money is spent he will have a better basis for good spending habits in the future. "Do I really want to buy that CD this week or do I want to save that money and buy a video game next week? What if I save it a few more weeks and buy something even better?" If I take that money from him it defeats the purpose of him understanding what it means to work for your money.. you take away the end prize. Then again my son is still young so I may see things differently later on.. but I feel that it's his money, he decides how it's spent.. for better or for worse.. he's in control. It's a good learning experience for him. The only exception to this is his savings and that we WILL have a say in.

Jeram... JeramiasMom

I voted other. When I was 8 I got a job babysitting and when I came home and told my single mom of 4, she said "good now you can start buying your own s&^%!" (yes, her exact words!) I don't think they should have to pay rent, and not as young as 8, but older tweens and teens for sure, I see no problems with them working and paying for their extras, and some necessities. They for sure should be paying for their own gas and insurance, if they have a car. They can pay for their own deodorant, and other personal hygiene items. They can also help pay for their clothes and such as well, especially if they are wanting expensive brands. I think this should be the case whether we are in economic hard times or not.

I do think however, that if a child is excelling in school and involved in after school activities, such as sports, theater, church activities, youth leadership, ect, I think they should be excluded from helping. I think that great grades and being in positive activities that take up a lot of time is hard work, and it keeps them out of trouble. Or if they are taking care of younger siblings while the parents work. If they are just sitting on their butts playing video games, they should be required to get a job.

And ALL children should have to help around the house. Even if both parents are not working. They live there, they should help.

LoveM... LoveMyDog

If the family is truly going through tough times, if they are about to lose their house, or are skipping meals, then the parents would be fools to not raid the piggy bank if it was enoughto get out of a jam.  Maybe give the kid an iou for when you are back on your feet again.  But not required to pay rent just because they happen to have a job, unless they are over 18 and not in school.

Robin... RobinRose222

Yes, I hope the parents will take that money and use it for college fund. My girls are going to college and both waste their money on junk and how many pairs of jeans and clothing do they need? Kids today are so wasteful and need to learn to save for a rainy day. RobinRose

mssemmy mssemmy

I put other. I don't think that they should have to pay rent but they should have to pay for their own stuff. I wouldn't hesitate to say if you want new school clothes then you can pay for it. =)


I think  if they have a job then yes they should pitch in.

qtmomof2 qtmomof2

My SD is 14 and she's old enough to work. I think the law is she can do like 15 hours a week or something. We won't make her pay "rent" but if she wants new CD's, money to see a movie, then she's on her own. I don't see why she can't pay for stuff like that herself. I did and actually liked having my own money to do as I please.

monro... monroesmum

I voted no, but I feel that a parent should support their child and give them the basics - food, shelter, and (affordable) clothes. But if the teen wants a Wii or clothes that the parent can't afford, then the kid needs to get a job. I got my first job at 14 and saved $ for a trip to England, a really crappy car, and clothes and make-up. of course my first job was at a DQ. Most teens today have a high sense of entitlement and think fast food is beneath them.

May-20 May-20

I voted other, too. If the family is in dire straits, then yes, the child might need to help with family expenses. But, if that's not the case, then the child should be responsible for his own "extras" (DVDs, games, more expensive clothes than the parent wants to buy, etc.).

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