I’m a teenager and worked at my mom’s summer camp. My dad won’t cash my check unless I agree to save 85%. How to make him change his mind?

I should preface my question by saying that I am a minor, but of legal working age. Last month I worked for my mother at her summer camp and earned $660 in salary. My check was written and I told my dad I had to go to the bank to cash it. My father refuses to cash the check without agreeing on a percentage that I am allowed to spend.

He insists that I only get 15% of my money to spend as I wish, while the rest goes to savings. I already have 00 in savings and have nothing to spend my money on except hobbies and personal products. I tell him that I should be allowed to spend all or at least 50% of my income, but he won’t hear it.

How can I convince my dad to let me get more of my salary and stop forcing me to save so much money?

Mr. Save it or Spend it

You can email The Moneyist for all coronavirus-related financial and ethical questions at [email protected], and follow Quentin Fottrell on Twitter.

Dear save it or spend it,

Show your father that you want to use your earnings ambitiously.

On the one hand, you have earned it. On the other hand, you live in your parents’ house according to their rules and they pay your expenses. So you are in a dilemma. I don’t think this is a right or wrong person, just learning to negotiate, compromise and listen.

Where, for example, did your father get the 15%? Did he choose this percentage at random? My hunch is that he decided on a whim and as such he may be open to moving the needle. But first you would need to come up with a compelling argument to move the needle.

You could tell your dad that you think the way you divide your money should reflect real-world conditions more, and that not many people can afford to save 85% of their income. However, under the circumstances, you would be willing to save 33%, invest 33%, and keep 33%.

“Do ground work”

Your dad will be impressed if you do some groundwork first and come up with a proposal. You can open an account with a credit union and/or search for banking apps here it might help you decide. A 529 blueprint is a tax-free investment vehicle for university expenses.

I also don’t believe you should then go out and spend that 33% on the first thing that catches your eye. Your father has probably learned from experience that the desire to have what you want when you want it often leads to a need to buy more and more.

If I was 16 again, what would I do? I would probably like to do three things: read more, listen more and travel more. The latter is a great outdoor education. I would also have liked to stand up for myself more – not by saying “I want to”, but by asking more questions about “why” adults do and say certain things.

I also wish I had known about compound interest. For example, not only does your initial $660 earn interest, interest earns interest. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it does provide a compelling reason to invest for a long time. Read more here.

I shared your letter on the Moneyist Facebook group. There were lots of suggestions on what you should do – spend it, save it, invest in a Roth IRA because your future self will thank you — but this woman’s story struck me as worthy of quoting:

Her grandson spent his money on things that would up his game. “My grandson got his first job last year when he was 16,” she wrote. “He did a virtual school and worked. He is a photographer (taught by his father). He bought a camera, an iPad and a Macbook (student discount) and the rest of his money was saved.

The best part of this story? It paid off for him. “He graduated and left for college last week,” she added. “He will be 18 on August 28. No one must have saved him his money. He worked hard in school and received a scholarship for college. Sometimes you have to let children find their own way.

Whether you’re 16, 26, 36, 46, or even 56, we’re all subject to the same peer pressure and messages from society about the things we need to feel better about ourselves and feel good about ourselves. our place. Whether it’s a certain type of car or a designer brand.

Companies make product, charge a big markup on that product, and convince you and your dad why we need that product, what it says about the kind of people we are, and how it will make our lives better. easier and happier. They owe it to their board of directors or to their directors and to their shareholders.

Ask your dad about his own spending choices. You’ll have a better chance of gaining his trust if you plan to spend that 33% on an experience rather than things: maybe putting it in the plane ticket for a trip abroad at 18, something that expands your life experience.

As good as they feel on day one, a pair of sneakers just won’t do.

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