7 Ways to Encourage Teen Summer Jobs—Starting Now

Teens tend to think summer jobs are all about the money—but parents know different.

The very act of getting off of the couch, identifying job opportunities, and then actively going after those opportunities builds life skills into your teens that they’ll need long after their summer jobs are over.

If you find your teens resisting the idea of applying for summer jobs, here are 7 strategies that will help. (Even if weeks of summer have already passed.)

1. Let your teen feel the sting of poverty.

If you hand your daughter plenty of money to satisfy her every wish and need—she’ll never feel motivated to work hard and earn money for herself.

Give her a tiny allowance and ask her to stretch it to cover all her own teen life expenses, though—and a grocery store job might start to look pretty good to her!

See my clear instructions for parents on exactly how to implement this “tiny allowance strategy” here.

2. Remember—even June and July are good months to look for summer jobs.

The month of May was insanely busy for your family, just like it is for all families. If your teens didn’t have time to look for summer jobs then, that’s OK. June and July are not too late. Employers are still adjusting staffing in June and July—and some of their summer hires aren’t working out. Your teen may be applying just in the nick of time.

3. Encourage teens to go in person to ask about summer jobs.

Teens who fill out job applications online and then wait passively at home for phone calls are a dime a dozen.

Show up in person and talk to managers, though? Let these managers see a bright, eager-to-work face? That’s something not everybody does, so it can make a powerful impression.

Your teen will likely still be asked to fill out an online application, but the initial in-person, face-to-face contact will give him or her an edge over all other applicants.

4. Have your teen list 6 local businesses where she might like to work. Then…

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So, You’re Dipping Into a 529 College Savings Plan?

A college bill has just come due, and you think, “No problem! We’ve been saving up money in a 529 college savings plan, so let’s just dip into that!”

Wait, wait—wait just a second.

Here’s an important question to ask before you do.

529 college savings plan

Before dipping into a 529 college savings plan, ask yourself:

Where, exactly, should I have the 529 money sent?

Try not to have 529 college savings plan money sent straight to the college.

The reason, according to this article by CPA Joseph Hurley, founder of SavingForCollege.com, is that some colleges might treat 529 money as a “scholarship” and use it as an excuse to strip your son of some or all of the financial aid money he’s been awarded. Yikes!

Not every college will do this—but some will.

Before you take action, call the college financial aid office and ask this:

“If some money from a 529 college savings plan lands in my daughter’s account today, will that in any way diminish her financial aid award?”

Write down the answer you’re given, along with the name of the person you’ve spoken to.

If the college’s answer is yes, then transfer the 529 money to your own account first—and then on to the school.

I urge every parent with a 529 plan to read this cautionary article provided by SavingForCollege.com.

In it, you’ll learn:

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5 Ways Teens Can Save Earnings—Without Damaging Financial Aid (AUDIO)

Your daughter’s 15 or older, and she’s earning and saving her own money. Whooo hoo! But wait—just a minute. Could the money she’s saving in her own name end up sabotaging future college financial aid awards?

Learn the sobering answer here—along with 5 safe, legal ways your kids can keep their own money under their own control during the college years.

debt-free college podcastJoin me, Jeannie Burlowski, for episode 5 of the Launch Your Teens podcast, and you’ll learn:

1. Why it’s important to think carefully about student earnings after December 31st of the 10th grade year

2. Why January 1st of the sophomore year of college is liberation day, the day no parent or student financial decisions can hurt undergraduate financial aid ever again

3. Why putting the cash your family hopes to save for college into a grandparent-owned 529 college savings plan can be a brilliant idea

4. Which kinds of student income will never hurt college financial aid awards

(14 min.)

You’d rather read than listen? OK you can do that here!

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4 Amazingly Easy Steps To Get Out Of Debt

If you as a parent are out of debt by the day your kid starts college, you’ll have more cash on hand to help with college bills. If you start the process of getting out of debt years before your kid starts college, you’ll have more cash on hand to save for college.

Either way, you’ll dramatically increase the chances that your child will graduate from college and begin adult life debt-free.

Today I’m featuring four amazingly easy steps to get out of debt, from best-selling author Dave Ramsey. These steps to get out of debt are so easy, you can fit them on a post-it note.

get out of debt

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Genius Strategy for Giving $20 in COLLEGE SAVINGS As Holiday Gifts

I post this important article every December. This year, it contains a brand new resource! A free downloadable bonus article with super helpful information for grandparents. To get straight to the free downloadable article, click here:

How to Give College Savings As Gifts and Get Happy Hugs in Response

Most grandparents love to dote on their beloved grandchildren, but let’s face it. Older kids and teens are notoriously hard to shop for.

How can grandparents give a relatively inexpensive holiday gift that will be remembered with tears and great appreciation for years down the line?

No matter your income level or budget, Grandma and Grandpa, here’s an ingenious idea for deeply impacting the kids you love this holiday season.

grandma

This idea will help you to take the $20 you were planning to spend on a holiday gift, easily put that money into the best possible kind of college savings account, and still have something meaningful and beautiful for the child or teen to unwrap at your family’s holiday gathering.

All without nicking your own finances or damaging the teen’s future financial aid eligibility in any way.

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Grandparents, Here’s How to Give COLLEGE SAVINGS as Holiday Gifts

This article on how grandparents can give college savings as holiday gifts was updated on November 21st, 2019. 

Most grandparents love to dote on their beloved grandchildren, but let’s face it. Older kids and teens are notoriously hard to shop for.

How can grandparents give a relatively inexpensive holiday gift that will be remembered with tears and great appreciation for years down the line?

No matter your income level or budget, Grandma and Grandpa, here’s an ingenious idea for deeply impacting the kids you love this holiday season.

grandma

Write a letter, put the letter in a box, and wrap the box.

Now imagine this scenario.

The child or teen opens a wrapped box from you, and inside he finds an envelope that says, “Brad, read this later. Love, Grandma and Grandpa.”

In this special letter you tell him how much you love him, what admirable good character and potential you see in him, how proud you are of what he’s accomplished the previous year, how excited you are to see him have a successful future, and that you have made a contribution to a fund where you’re saving for his future education.

You don’t have to tell anyone the actual amount you’ve put into this college fund.

Any amount, even $10.00, is generous.

If you like to write, you can add more detail to this letter.

The letter could also include stories from your own life, along with wise advice for this boy’s future. Letters like these become increasingly precious to kids as the years go by—even if you’ve invested only a small amount in the college savings account each year.

Parents who’ve read pages 23–25 of my book will carefully save these letters.

On those pages, I strongly urge parents to carefully save these letters (along with photos of you and the child together), and then eventually use an online service to create a scrapbook out of them.

When this child is an adult, this scrapbook will mean more to him or her than a hundred sweaters and plastic toys.

What if your savings for this kid’s college ends up being over $100.00, and you want to invest it?

As this special college savings fund gets larger, you may want to invest it so that it can grow and increase in value while you’re sleeping. You shouldn’t do this until you’ve had a financial advising professional help you with your own retirement planning of course—but if you’ve got that taken care of, here’s what to consider as you invest this college savings money.

Invest in such a way that you protect the child’s future financial aid eligibility.

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How Much Can Kids 15+ Earn—Without Sabotaging Future College Aid?

These 6 Strategies Will Keep More Money in Your Kid's Pocket.

You’re proud of your daughter for working hard and saving her money—but could her little pile of cash actually reduce the amount of financial aid she’ll receive when it’s time to go to college?

Yes.

If your daughter has a nice little stash of cash in her own name during the time your family finances are scrutinized to see how much you can afford to pay for college, she’ll be asked to contribute a significant portion of that money to pay her own college bills.

How can you help your daughter keep as much of her hard-earned money as possible?

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