Browsing Tag:

money

  • Lifestyle

    Coping with Short-Lived Poverty

    Coping with Short-Lived Poverty

    To this day, I refuse to eat spaghetti in any form. When boxes of noodles are 2 for a dollar and the pasta sauce is only 95 cents, you just have to suck it up. I remember my mom would jokingly ask us what we wanted for dinner at night, and before we could even say anything she was halfway finished with cooking another pot of noodles. Sometimes she would switch it up and we would have four canned vegetables and maybe some mashed potatoes.

    Though the food situation was not ideal, it was manageable. The real problem came with needing clothes, school supplies, and wanting to do extracurricular activities. Our household income was only a thousand dollars more than what the state considered to be in need of free lunches and EBT cards. At the time I prayed for that to be the case because I was so embarrassed that I would have the lunch lady say aloud how poor I was every time she rang up my food. But as I get older, I understand that it would have been better for my parents and for me had we been offered those assists.

    When you are used to one life style and then quickly have to adjust to a new one it’s never easy. I ended up taking on two after school jobs and an internship to help pay for the things I wanted most, and then did without the things that were not so important. I joined my school’s Show Choir and was able to make the $60 monthly payments by doing fundraisers. I won every fundraiser that my group did, because I knew that I had to in order to stay in it. If you can’t find a job or don’t have the ability to fund-raise properly, then seek out sponsors. I asked a local restaurant to sponsor me and my softball team throughout school, and never had to worry about paying for equipment. When I wanted to go out of town with my friends, or even just go to the movies, I did odd jobs like gardening for my neighbors or cleaning some friends’ houses.

    If you are embarrassed of your situation, just consider that maybe you are not alone. Only one of my friends in high school knew how bad my situation was, and the rest were completely oblivious. It always made me wonder how many of them were just as good at hiding it.

    If you are worried about working and keeping up with your grades, then don’t seek an official job. Most part-time employers will work with your schedule, but sometimes you may need to look into less obvious work. I worked events on the weekends for companies that paid $20 an hour. I had little experience and was making a killing. I will add some links to those jobs down below if anyone is interested. The pay comes every 1-2 months, so make sure not to count on living paycheck to paycheck unless you work a ton of events back to back. Check with your local football or baseball stadium, sometimes the catering companies are hiring 15 and up to work weekends. Starting pay is typically pretty good and the work is not hard.

    Always make sure to ask a parent of guardian before starting a new job, because they deserve a say in what you are doing. If you are 15 years-old, then you will need a work permit that is approved by a legal guardian and your school. If you have a shopping addiction, then try working for a retail store that you like so that you can get that 15% or more discount.

    You should not be embarrassed to have a job while in school. It looks great on resumes, and lets future employers know that you can handle multiple tasks at once. If you pantry looks anything like mine did when I was in high school, you might want to consider the above suggestions.

    Links to employment:

  • Articles, Money

    What Teens Should Know About Taxes

    What Teens Should Know About Taxes

    If you have ever gone shopping then you know about sales tax, but do you know about every other tax under the sun? When you buy a house, rent an apartment, buy land, buy a car, pay for license plates, get a job, or have dinner, you are bound to pay some sort of tax. For some reason, general education does not focus enough on things that are relevant to students once they graduate high school, such as hidden tax fees.

    I recently purchased a car from a private seller and knew a little bit about taxing and that I should expect to pay it heavily on my new car. Yet, when I arrived at the dealer, I was met with a smaller amount to be paid than anticipated. Why was that, you may wonder? I was under the impression that sales tax (being around 9% or 10% in my state) was the average amount of taxes taken out of everything. I had been working multiple different jobs since graduating high school and never once stopped to ask what the percentage was being taken from my paychecks. I just accepted that the money would be automatically withdrawn and moved on.

    If someone had never purchased a car before (I.e. a recent graduate of high school or college), then finding out a tax needed to be paid at all might come as a shock. Fortunately, I had bought a car prior to this instance with my mother and had to pay taxes on it. The only problem is that the first time I bought a car, the tax was 10%, but this time it was only 3%. I asked the lady at the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) why the tax was different, and she explained to me that the state I live in only does a 3% tax on vehicles, and this was a recent change. I accepted the information, paid the due, and once again moved on.

    Here is some useful information to consider when making large purchases in Alabama:

     

    1. The sales tax in Alabama is pretty high compared to other states in the nation, and in the counties nearest me it is either 9% or 10%. This means that for every dollar you spend, you pay 10 cents in taxes. If you spend $10, you will pay $1 in taxes. This only applies when shopping.
    2. Do not assume you know the exact value of the taxes on your vehicle purchase. The state now assigns an estimated value for your vehicle and taxes it according to that. So, if you purchase a car for $5500, but it is valued at $6900, then you will be paying a 3% or 4% tax on $6900.
    3. Always, always research your local taxes before making large purchases, because taxes can change. Or there could be additional taxes that you may not have even known about.

     

    Here is a link for further knowledge of taxes:

    https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-offers-tips-for-teenage-taxpayers-with-summer-jobs

  • Articles, work

    4 Ways To Earn Money As A High-School Student

    4 Ways To Earn Money As A High-School Student

    by Hanna Sha

    When you’re in high school, sometimes extra money really comes in handy. Maybe your allowance isn’t enough, or your parents just don’t give you any at all. There are many costs that need to be covered in high school: school dues, clothes, entertainment, etc. As a teen, you might want to earn some more cash, but it can be difficult trying to figure out where to get the money.

    Here are 4 simple ways to earn some cash.

     

    • Tutoring: If you enjoy teaching others and understand the material, tutoring is a great way to earn money and help others. Many students struggle with their subjects, and a lot of parents are looking for reasonably-priced tutors for their children. Find a tutoring organization to join, or just offer your tutor services to your community.
    • Babysit: Many parents often need others to look over their young children, especially if both work. You can ask your parents if their friends are in need of a babysitter, or ask around your neighborhood.
    • Turn your passions into a business: For example, if painting is a hobby of yours that you are super interested in, you could paint some that are for sale, and start a small business. You can sell it online or in person. Take things that you find joy in and make some money off of it.
    • Get a part-time job: Many restaurants, movie theaters, pools, and other small businesses accept high schoolers as their employees. Look for ads around your community, and ask upperclassmen or other friends about places looking for employees. If you’re 16 or older, it’s not hard to find one that will accept you. If you’re still 15 (or 14), then it becomes a little more difficult, but it is still possible.

     

    So, if you’re a teen in need of money, it’s definitely not impossible to earn some extra cash. Hope this helps your future endeavors!