My oldest son started working at a local grocery store chain last Spring. He’s actually working for the same store manager I worked with when I was worked in the grocery business in the mid 90s.
Anyway, with his first job, came his first income tax filing.
I have to say it was kind of fun teaching him how to file his taxes. Fortunately, they’re really easy to do. He was even able to file for free via the H&R Block website (I’m sure all tax preparers offer free filings). And, because he has a checking account, he was able to get electronic deposit.
A few days later, he told me that he told a classmate and fellow coworker to bring his W-2 and iPad to school and he helped him file his taxes in their physics class. I thought that was pretty cool (as long as they weren’t supposed to be doing something else). It also sounded like something I would have done in high school.
All of this got me to thinking about how different things are than they were back when I was a kid. We had to file paper returns and wait several weeks to get the refund if there was one. Now they can be filed online and the money deposited directly into a checking account.
I have always tried to be proactive in helping my teenage boys learn about finances. I took them to get debit cards before they were teenagers. Then, as soon as they became teenagers, I took them to get their own checking accounts. It’s kind of funny because most of their friends do not have debit cards so they will pay my boys to order stuff for them from Amazon.com.
Over this past Summer, both boys worked to save up money for the new iPhone. As soon as they came out, both of them were able to order their phones and pay for them with their own money. Their friends at school were asking lots of questions about how they were able to do all that without their parents’ help.
Yeah, I’m bragging. It’s this part of parenting that I like.
I’m hopeful that they’ll be able to function financially once they’re out in the real world. They still don’t do everything the way I wish they would but that’s part of growing up.