Teens at work

A couple of weeks ago I read an article saying teens want an average of £25 a week pocket money these days.

With gadgets and gizmo’s costing money to buy and then all the extra’s needed do go with them I’m not surprised – mobile phones, music, games, DVDs etc all cost money and lots of it.

My frustration is teenagers just cannot get jobs these days until they are school leavers (unless you count a paper round) …….there is a waiting list in our local newsagent with over 50 names on it!

I had my first job at 12 doing a paper round, at 13 I was in a nursery planting and packing flowers.  At 14 I worked in an ice cream kiosk on Bournemouth beach and BHS before progressing to a local tea rooms and Tesco at 15.

Most of the work was in the school holidays but I did do a few hours at the weekend too.  It gave me independence, taught me the value of money and gave me my own money to spend without having to rely on parents.  Hubby was the same, working in a green grocers boiling beetroots – oh the glamour.

I do want my kids to enjoy their teenage years, but I also think jobs teach them responsibility, its fun and gives them money for the things they want.  I certainly cannot afford to subsidise them, especially to the tune of £25 a week.

School holidays are the worst time, even bus fares to the beach are £3 for a return ticket, add an ice cream and that’s £5 gone straight away.  Forget cinema, bowling etc as they are super pricey.  I often hear people telling us to get them to do chores around the house for money.  That’s all very well, but I can’t afford to pay them to do all these chores, plus any form of job is experience which will help them find a good job when they finally leave school.

Now that my 16 year old is old enough to work he doesn’t feel inclined to.  He is used to the bank of mum and dad funding him.  He was adamant that a supermarket wouldn’t employ him at 16 until I pointed out that having worked in one for years and still having contacts that they would.  He has found a job in a chippy which he enjoys, but it’s only 3 hours a week…..that’s hardly going to pay for a trip to the cinema, never mind petrol for the moped he is lovingly restoring with his dad!

I understand why businesses won’t take them on with all the restrictions regarding how many hours they can work and breaks they must have……even at 16 the rules are still strict and I used to have a nightmare scheduling breaks at the checkouts, not to mention the elder employees moaning that the “kids” get longer breaks than they did, but that doesn’t help the work shy teenagers of today that expect everything handed to them on a plate and that the world (and their parents) owe them a living!

4 thoughts on “Teens at work”

  1. How frustrating! I also started working at 13, doing paper rounds and babysitting, and at 15 I worked 5 hours on a Saturday in a local bookshop, which I loved. It’s such a shame if teenagers can’t get work as it helped me appreciate money, and gave me some kind of a CV when I was looking for a “real” job.

  2. I also started working early and had a saturday job in a local shop by 15! Even when I was on a YTS scheme I got a Xmas job on Thurs eve’s and saturdays when I was 17! I think your right there certainly should be more opportunities for them to earn their own money as paying out for all their socialising is difficult to fund 🙂

  3. This isn’t a stage I’ve reached yet as my eldest is only 10. But I am glad you’ve raised the issue as I can see it causing financial strain in our household when my three get older. I wouldn’t be able to pay them to do chores either. I didn’t work til I was 16….but there weren’t the expensive gadgets then and trips to the cinema was special occasion only. Maybe kids just expect more these days?

  4. My kids have never been paid for chores in the house. Other than the fact i can’t afford it – if there’s money around for washing up – I’ll do it myself and keep the cash! Chores are part of family life and they just need doing. Pocket money was an as and when affair base don our incomes and bills. Always encouraged my 2 to get a job as soon as they were able and they’ve been pretty good about it. I was honest and said that there wasn’t money for lots of things because we just didn’t have it and I have to say they haven’t asked! It is a minefield though!


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