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Desperate for dollar$

Teens say the economy is making it harder for them to pay their bills

Teens say the economy is making it harder for them to pay their bills

July 07, 2009|By KEIRA CALE / Pulse correspondent

It used to be when our parents were teenagers, they could turn to their parents for money. But today's teens say even weekly allowances are no more. Instead, they often have to beg Mom or Dad for a few bucks.

Many local teens say they would like to get a job to help with their expenses, but they say it's even harder in this economy to get hired. Especially, they say, if you don't have any experience.

The economy and teens

So have teens felt the effects of the economy?

Cheyanne McDonald, 14, of Martinsburg, W.Va., who will be part of Hedgesville High's class of 2013, said she's seen a little bit of the effects.

"Sorta," she said, "I have seen gas prices and foreclosures on the news."

Teen interviewed have said they themselves haven't felt the effects of the economy but have seen adults react to it.

For example, Bailey Kershner, 14, of Falling Waters, W.Va., is an incoming freshman at Hedgesville High. She said her family hasn't been doing things together as much as they usually do. She has noticed they aren't eating out to restaurants as much.

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Getting a job

Everybody has been hearing about adults losing their jobs because of the economy but even teenagers are having a hard time when it comes to getting employed.

Zach Graham, 15, of Spring Mills, W.Va., an incoming freshman at Hedgesville High School, has experienced that first hand. He recently applied for a job at a sandwich shop chain but didn't get the job. He was told that business was not hiring at the time.

"If I was a manager, I wouldn't hire a teen either," he said.

Most teens interviewed, like Zach, said they think it would be harder for teens to get a job because they don't have as much experience and skills as an adult would.

Bills and expenses

Because it is harder to find a job these days, what are teens going to do about their expenses? Do teenagers even have expenses? The answer is yes.

Aishu Saluja, 14, of Falling Waters, W.Va., an incoming freshman at Hedgesville High, does not have a job, so she has to do odd jobs around the house.

Teenagers who own a car are always worrying about gas, car payments and car insurance. Because there are fewer opportunities to earn money, some teens have to wait to get a car.

"I don't have any bills but I do have expenses like iTunes and clothes," she said.

The social life

So if teenagers are given less opportunities to earn money and they have things to pay for, what happens to their social life?

Allison McCauley, 14, of Falling Waters, who will be a freshman at Hedgesville High in the fall, said she has to ask for money. She said she is not given an allowance.

"I ask my grandfather most of the time and he will give me money," Allison said.

Zach and Aishu also said they don't get an allowance but ask their parent or guardian for money. Aishu noticed that she has been given less money recently but not due to the economy. She said she has been given less money as a way to show how to be more independent.

Money for college

Teens would much rather spend their money on a new Bring Me The Horizon album or go shopping at Pac Sun instead of saving money for college.

Bailey has a saving account for college. She said that there is only a little money in there and would like there to be more. She is trying to make more of an effort to save more money in her savings account. Her plan is to get into a good college.

But Bailey said, "I'm a little worried."

Keira Cale will be a freshman this fall at Hedgesville High School in West Virginia. She enjoys reading and talking with friends.

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