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It's Summer Job Season!

Posted by Julia W. Rogers Posted on June 20 2017

Does your teen have a job this summer? Most teens can claim exempt status on their employee forms (IRS Form W-4 and VA Form VA-4). Claiming exempt status will put more money in their take home check and eliminate the need to file a tax return in the spring to claim a refund. 

And, this is a great time to introduce your child to the banking system. If they are old enough to work, they are old enough to learn how to manage a bank account. These are important life skills.

I have fond memories of my Father proudly taking me to the bank on a regular basis when he would handle his weekly banking and visit with the bank manager, who was a family friend.  And, occasionally, my Father would have reason to visit the bank president, who kept a parrot in his office. Allegedly, the parrot was in charge of loan approvals!

Once, while away at a summer teen camp far from home in Montana, I was short on funds. As I had always done, I went to the local bank to cash a check (yes, kids, this is before ATMs). When the bank teller politely explained that they didn't accept out of town checks from teenagers, I politely asked to see the bank manager. Again, the bank manager politely explained that they didn't accept out of town checks from teenagers. With full confidence, I simply explained that a phone call to the manager of my local bank would confirm that my check was indeed good. The surprised manager made the call on my behalf and the check was approved! 

The moral of this little story is that the many years of accompanying my Father to the bank gave me the confidence to handle this situation on my own at the young age of 16. The simple act of including your teen in your financial activities will help them to be confident and financially smart when they are on their own.

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