Last night I received a comment on my old post suggesting that high school kids should have jobs.
Why was I reading comments on a 6 month old post? Because every comment comes directly to my email and I read all of them. Because I love you.
So Danny found my site because he was trying to figure out if it makes sense for him to get a part time job while he’s in high school and on the wrestling team. Here’s the situation in his own words:
So I came along this because I was looking for answers on my problem which was pretty much could I handle high school wrestling and a part time job. I figure I stay at school tell 5pm and the rest of the day I’m free but I would only be able to work 3 hours a day and do homework and sleep. It seems almost impossible. And I just wanted to know because I have to pay for my insurance my mom said because my parents are divorced and my dad doesn’t want my mom having part with my car. So would I have enough for insurance and gas money and some left over?
I could be wrong, but it looks like Danny can’t drive right now because he isn’t insured. He wants a job, but that would mean paying for insurance and gas to get to get to work. If he’s going to work, he needs to make enough money to cover insurance and gas, AND have something left over.
What should he do?
Should Danny Get a Job?
Let’s break it down. He says he can work 3 hours a day on weekdays and maybe more on weekends (it wasn’t specified). Let’s pretend we are looking at a 15 hour work week. Let’s also pretend he’s getting $7.50 an hour.
He’s looking at $112.50 a week or about $450 a month. Now let’s not forget about taxes. He’ll have to pay 4.2% for social security and 1.45% for medicare. Then some federal tax will come out of his paycheck, and maybe state taxes depending on where he lives. Let’s pretend he pays a total of 15% taxes on the money he makes, bringing his new monthly total down to $382.50.
Is that enough for insurance and gas, plus some leftover? I think so. If you find the right insurance, it should cost you between $50 and $150 a month. Gas will depend on how far you live from work and how often you use the car outside of work, but let’s call it $100 a month in gas.
Worst case scenario, you pay $250 for the insurance and gas and still have over $100 left over. Plus you get the valuable life experience of working hard for your money, as well as the freedom of having a vehicle to drive. Is it worth it?
That’s up to you Danny boy. I think it’s a good idea, but you have to make your own decision.
More Money with Less Freedom
Another solution that I think you should consider is finding a job close enough to home where you could walk or ride your bike there. Or maybe you just have your mom drop you off or you take public transportation.
If you can find a way to get to work without having to pay for gas and insurance, you’ll get to keep an extra $150-$250 a month. That’s $1,800 to $3,000 a year.
The problem is you have to give up the freedom of being able to drive yourself anywhere you want. When I was your age I went with the car, and I was happy with that decision because I’m a very independent person. However, if I had realized that I could save thousands of dollars without the car, maybe I would have changed my mind.
Readers, I can’t be the only one with an opinion here. What should Danny do?
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