Saving for a rainy day can wait for teen
By Dr. Robert Wallace ’Tween 12 and 20 May 17, 2013 10:24AM
Updated: June 20, 2013 6:08AM
Dr. Wallace: I’m a 15-year-old young lady. I’m very active in school, and I get very good grades. I’m very thankful that my parents give me an allowance of $15 a week, and I do all of my assigned chores faithfully. But, now comes my problem. My dad is forcing me to put $5 of my weekly allowance in the bank. He says that he is teaching me the value of saving for a “rainy day.” Well, for me, it rains every day. When my friends go to the mall on a Saturday afternoon, I rarely go because I don’t have any funds. Whenever I attend a school function, including athletic events, plays, musicals, dances, etc., I have to buy a ticket. I also have to pay for my school yearbook out of my allowance. So I usually need all of my weekly allowance money to survive.
My parents read your column more often than I do, so I know they will read your answer to my question which is, do you think I should be allowed to spend my allowance for whatever I need to survive and enjoy school activities?
Katy, Philadelphia, Pa.
Katy: I’m not disagreeing with the way your parents’ rule on your allowance that $5 must be saved for a “rainy day.” They set the rules, not some guy who writes a teen column in the newspaper.
I believe that allowance money, if family funds allow, should be given with no restriction on how it is spent, except for those things that are forbidden. The time to save for a rainy day will arrive when you get a job. If you earn $25 for babysitting, then $5 should be saved, and your allowance should continue until you graduate from high school.
Dr. Wallace: I read in a recent column about a teen who was unable to get a job until she got rid of a tattoo. I am one of many employers who will not hire someone with a visible tattoo. Not only does it make us uneasy, but we worry that it makes customers uneasy, as well, and that affects our business. People need to consider this before they get a tattoo. Although it might be the “cool thing to do,” is it worth it to be unemployable?
Teens, I also want you to know that there are a few other taboos: pierced eyebrows, noses, lips and tongues, and pants that hang down on the butt looking like they’re falling down. Most employers won’t tell you that they are turning you down for these reasons; they just don’t hire you. Be forewarned.
Employer, Willmar, Minn.
Employer: Thanks for sharing your requirements for hiring. Some employers do hire regardless of the applicant’s appearance, but I believe some qualified employees lose out because of their appearance.
Dr. Wallace: Until a few days ago I had a super boyfriend whom I loved very much, and I know that he loved me. The problem is that his mother made him break up with me because of something I said to his younger sister. I now realize my mistake. What can I do to change his mom’s opinion about me? I’m really not a bad kid!
Nameless, Lake Charles, La.
Nameless: Call your boyfriend’s mother and do a lot of explaining and a lot of apologizing. Most people are forgiving. Much depends on the content of the conversation you had with your boyfriend’s sister. If it was “serious stuff,” then you might start looking for a new boyfriend.
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