I have three kids. One is now 20 and in college, the others aren’t far behind at almost 18 and 15! I have been working with them on financial literacy topics to help them become more independent while being responsible with their money. One day my daughter commented to me as I was helping her complete her W-4 for her new job, “I wish they taught this stuff in school. It’s so dumb that they waste time on other less important things and they never help us understand the things we need to do for a job or how to file our taxes.” Of course, she is 100% right! It was a lightbulb moment for me in seeing that there is a real need for some curriculum materials to create for my kids, but also to get out there to help all the other teens that need this!
I sat down to make a list of the critical things a teen in high school or starting out in college needs to know. Really, the key skills I have been helping my own kids with. First, just setting up that basic savings account to save some allowance or gift money for some of 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 it!
Being offered that first job seems to be the big hurdle, but once the offer is made the teen walks away with a pile of paperwork such as a W-4 and direct deposit form and they often have no clue how to proceed!
Then, the shock of that first paycheck hits them when they come face to face with FICA for the first time!
Once the shock of paying taxes wears off, teens discover that they might be able to get some of that money back in the form of a tax refund! However, they need to file that 1040 to do it! This product, Jobs and Taxes for Teens, will help teens complete all these steps: fill out the W-4, read a paystub, understand their W-2, and file their 1040 return to get their refund.
Finally, students will learn about credit and debit cards and most importantly, how interest charges can easily snowball out of control very quickly! Moderation and responsibility is the key!
Being financially literate is so important to start off adulthood in a responsible manner so that a credit score is built in a positive way to lead them to be able to afford to buy cars, homeownership, and the other riches of the American Dream!
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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