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Falcons In The Workforce

Although it is likely we will be working for the majority of our lives, many Christian Brothers students decide to get ahead and apply for part-time jobs at age sixteen. What could possibly be so important that we take on the responsibility of balancing work and school? The popular answer is financial freedom. From the […]

Although it is likely we will be working for the majority of our lives, many Christian Brothers students decide to get ahead and apply for part-time jobs at age sixteen. What could possibly be so important that we take on the responsibility of balancing work and school? The popular answer is financial freedom.

From the moment we were born, our parents have already began investing into our futures. Baby formula, diapers, and clothes suddenly become cell phones, tuition, and, well, more clothes. At a certain point, our wants and desires start racking up a bill, leaving it up to us to decide whether it’s worth it to even ask.

Though many students are not working to pay bills, the expenses that follow our trends and dreams are motivation enough to start building savings. At first we might try babysitting, mowing lawns, or offering to wash the car, but that’s not necessarily a steady income.

Jasmine showing off her updated wardrobe all thanks to her budgetary skills.

Her sophomore year of high school, Jasmine Ohki (’22) applied to work at T4U in West Sacramento for $13 an hour. Juggling school, volleyball, and her part time job as a boba-barista, she felt proud to start saving money and spend a little too.

When taking a look at Jasmine’s Instagram, you can tell immediately that she has an insane closet. “I had to buy another dresser a few months ago because two was seriously not enough,” she laughs.

After getting her first job, Jasmine’s wardrobe expanded quickly. The excitement of her first paycheck led to many impulsive purchases, some she would later regret when she realized there was only a small fraction of that deposit left. The following checks came and went the same way, but once the excitement phase ended, Jasmine was able to set aside more money into a savings account.

I was surprised to hear how much Jasmine had saved over the summer going into her senior year. On top of her job at T4U, she did a paid internship at Kaiser Permanente, earning an additional $1,200 in six weeks. With her side business selling clothes on the shopping app Depop, Jasmine keeps getting closer and closer to her dream apartment in New York next year.

“I usually split my paycheck and send half of it to my saving account,” she explains. “I keep the other half and use it how I want.”

AJ Avalos (’22) saves the majority of his deposits, only using a small fraction of it for food and essentials. Only two months into his first job at Leatherby’s, AJ has already saved over $2000 in hopes of buying himself a car before college. However, this was not his only motivation; he actually started working to gain experience in the work force and make friends outside of school.

“I wanted to start making money for myself, and I liked the work environment at Leatherby’s,” he explains.

With so many high school students entering the workforce this past summer, the idea of a job now presents itself as a way to meet people from other schools and make the most out of tiresome shifts. Taking that first step towards financial freedom can help teens build their time management, and budgeting skills all while developing their social lives.

Like Jasmine, it took me a long time to outgrow my constant spending. I had worked long, tiring hours for the money I was earning, and by the time it was deposited into my account, I already had plans about where it would be spent. It wasn’t until the beginning stages of writing this article that I realized just how much students my age were saving each pay period and that it was time for me to start doing the same.

I am, however, grateful to have experienced this wake-up call at such a young age. Although I am nowhere near financial freedom, I feel far more prepared for life after high school now that I have faced the trials and tribulations of my own spending habits.

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