I have three kids—my eldest is now 24 and recently graduated from college, while the others are close behind at almost 21 and 18! I focused on financial literacy with them during their high school years, aiming to foster their independence while instilling responsible money management. During a session where I was assisting my daughter in completing her W-4 for a new job, she remarked, “I wish they taught this stuff in school. It’s frustrating that they spend time on less important things and skip over what’s truly essential—like how to handle a job or file taxes.” Her insight struck a chord with me. It dawned on me that there’s a genuine need for curriculum materials not just for my kids but for all teens who could benefit from this knowledge.

I sat down to compile a list of vital skills essential for high schoolers or college beginners—a rundown of the key aspects I’ve been guiding my own kids through. Beginning with the basics, like setting up a savings account to manage allowance or gift money for their future wants and needs.

Next, it’s a good idea for a teen who is ready to embark on their first job to open a checking account so that they are all ready to be paid via direct deposit when that job offer comes in!

stick figure holding a pen and check

Securing that initial job feels like a major milestone, yet once the offer is extended, teens often find themselves confronted with a stack of paperwork—W-4s, direct deposit forms—and no clue where to begin!

Then comes the eye-opening moment when they receive their first paycheck, facing taxes for the very first time!

After the initial surprise of paying taxes settles, teens realize they might have a chance to reclaim some of that money through a tax refund! But here’s the catch—they need to file that 1040 form to claim it! Introducing Jobs and Taxes for Teens, a product designed to guide teens through each step: completing the W-4, deciphering a paystub, comprehending their W-2, and filing their 1040 return to secure their refund.

calculator and wallet laying on desk captioned with Jobs and Taxes for Teens

Students will delve into the realm of credit and debit cards, understanding the critical concept of how interest charges can swiftly escalate into overwhelming debts. The crucial lesson here lies in moderation and responsibility to maintain control over finances.

credit card dominoes

Having financial literacy at the outset of adulthood is crucial for embarking on a responsible path, leading to the establishment of a positive credit score. This, in turn, paves the way toward affording significant milestones like purchasing cars, homeownership, and attaining the various aspects of the American Dream!

You can find these units bundled together for 20% savings!


Are you interested in reading about and sharing ideas with other educators on using children’s literature in your classroom? My goal is to bring together teachers and homeschoolers who teach grades 3-8 and use novels with their students. I’d love for you to join me to learn, share, and grow together!

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