How do students of the work-force budget their earnings? 

Weston Liang

Staff Writer

     At some point, we have all considered or been told about getting a part-time job. Getting a job, even if it is part-time, allows you to earn some nice pocket money along with vital work experience for future careers and jobs.

     “I started my first job at Party City as a cashier around the end of my junior year…to help my mom out with any extra stuff she needed to pay for, along with also buying food and extra necessities for my pets,” responded Nitalia Camilosa (12).

     Camilosa started working part-time for a pretty understandable reason: helping family. However, she ended up leaving the job due to a combination of large amounts of homework and badly timed work shifts. This is a problem that many student workers face. You could hate or love the job, but there will always be times where school work will overtake your ability to do job work. 

     “My advice would be to stay on top of your school work if you want to balance school and a job, even if that means finishing some assignments early to get them out of the way,” advised Camilosa.

     Another common reason for students getting a job is the fact that they can now receive a paycheck of money from someone that is not their parents or relatives. However, the way the money is dealt with depends on person to person. An unemployed student will have a different money-spending plan than an employed student. 

     “The only time I ever spend my earnings is when I have tips, and it’s just for food and stuff. Everything [else], like paychecks [for example], I just put in my bank account and save,” answered Andy Zhang (11).

     Zhang has been working at the boba store iTea for over a year now. It is clear that he only wants to spend his tip money on what is necessary to him. However, there are also other, more finance-heavy reasons for applying to jobs. 

     “I started working because I needed to pay off my marching band bills…the total cost of the season was about $600, and I really did not want to [be unable] to pay my parents back, because that’s a lot of money,” explained Audrey Yu (11).

     Yu is working as a tutor in Newark’s P.E.L Learning Center. Her reason to work is less about getting pocket money and a bit more on paying back money owed to her parents. She does spend some of her earnings on typical things like food. That is not to say that she has no limits, though.

     “I try to restrain myself from buying things by asking myself if I really need it. I try to be mindful of how much I am spending by thinking about how many hours I would have worked to buy something.” 

     When planning to get a job, everyone’s priorities are different. Some will find a job for the experience, while others will find a job for the money. If you expect to get more pocket money, it may be better to find a higher-paying job. If you just need work experience in order to move further into the workforce, find a job that can actually give you what you desire. 

“It’s mostly minimum wage stuff, so if you’re actually looking to get an actually good paying job, just start off [part-time] and then once you actually graduate, get an actual job. This is all just minimum wage stuff.” Andy Zhang (11) said.

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