Real "take-home" Money
Children can begin to get their working papers at age 14 (in NYC); that's about when they are in the 9th grade. Let's begin around this same time to increase their awareness of the money they will take home when they get a real job. Let's help them understand that a salary of $40,000 will result in (at most) a real "take-home" pay of $28,800. About 28% ($11,200) goes for federal and state taxes, and FICA (Social Security and Medicare). These numbers are estimates, the percent taken from the salary can be as high as 37%. Help them understand that the $28,800 take home pay is about $554/week ($2,400/month). Helping young adults understand money matters in their early teen years can shape how they view and select careers, how they prepare for education/training beyond high school so that they can develop personal and financial independence. With independence comes responsibilities and the every 30-day commitment of rent, utilities, transportation, etc. I think you get where I am going with this. Help them understand that their learning, skills, and ability to get along will contribute to their "real take-home money".