Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Pre-Negotiate Your Teen’s Summer Paycheck Savings Split

Teen On Job In Rickshaw Bagworks Factory

Parent: “How much did you save from your summer job last year?”

Teen: “Umm, nuthin’.”

Sound familiar?

Time for a preemptive strike before summer rolls around again.

As Warren Buffett says, “Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.”

So, negotiate a savings split deal ahead of time.

If your teen agrees to save 27.68% of every paycheck this summer, you will agree to do one or more of the following...

OK, so that last one makes the arrangement more of a directive than a negotiation. It reminds me of Chris Rock’s definition of allowance.

With the negotiation (or directive) firmly in place, make sure your teen has separate spending and savings accounts (or cards) ready to go.

When the job starts, help your teen automate the paycheck split if possible. Many employers support splitting direct deposits percentage-wise between multiple accounts. If not, turn on activity alerts for your teen’s main account so you’ll know to manually transfer the right percentage to savings as soon as each deposit hits.

The added payoff for these summer paycheck splitting experiences? Your teen will be more likely to get an early jump on employer matched retirement savings plans later as a young adult. It will just feel natural. Smart move.

So, what should your teen do with all the accumulated savings at the end of the summer?

Start a Roth IRA, of course.

Then, 50 years from now when someone asks your teen: “How much did you save from your summer jobs?”

The answer could very well be: “Oh, about a hundred thousand dollars.”

Compounding over decades for the win!

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  1. We ask our kids to contribute 25% of their summer earnings to an IRA, then we match $3 for every $1. It's a little painful for Mom and Dad's budget, with multiple teens, but I know it will pay off in the long run.

    1. Kate, I think that's an awesome arrangement. Kudos!

  2. Saving money is one of the biggest tips that I can give anyone when it comes to managing their money and finances. Honestly speaking, people underestimate the power of a properly planned out budget that includes putting money aside for a rainy day!