Wednesday, 31 August 2022

DS2 started his first proper job

DS2 is in Year 10 and recently picked his subjects for Year 11 (and hence what he will be studying for his HSC exams/ATAR score for uni - English (with Extension 1 and possibly Extension 2), Mathematics (with Extension 1), Software Design & Development, Economics, and Business Studies). Unlike DS1 he has cut back on a lot of his previous extracurricular activities - dropping out of piano lessons and Judo classes (he still does Kendo) and not wanting to bother doing the Duke of Edinburgh awards via school (which involves some volunteering, skills activities, and some weekend/short camping/hiking trips). He has a girlfriend and is quite keen on Volley Ball (the school junior team he is in won the zone final and will be competing in the District comp next term) and he seems to spend a lot of time chatting with friends via Discord and playing online games (how he manages to still get good grades at school is a mystery).

He has reached the age where he would like some extra 'spending money' and decided that earning $10-$20 doing a bit of busking on the weekends just wasn't adequate. Unfortunately the local newspaper has gone 100% digital, so a 'paper round' was no longer an option. He had a brief go at letterbox 'junk mail' delivery last year, but decided that spending many hours over two evenings each week collating bundles of hundreds of flyers into individual sets (OK, I actually ended up doing most of the collating!) to be delivered, and then spending 3-4 hours walking around a local suburb delivering the individual sets was too much time and effort for only earning around $50-$60. I've frequently regaled him with my tale of working on weekends at a market garden for only 60c an hour when I was in high school - but for some reason I think that gave him the impression I was an idiot, rather than the intended example regarding the value of hard work.

So he dropped the delivery job and decided to get a job at McDonalds instead (the minimum wage of around $15/hr for his age group is a lot better than the 'piece work' rate paid for letterbox delivery work). In his first attempt (last year) he got through two rounds of interviews with McDonalds, but was then never offered a position (probably due to having limited shift availability at that time, plus the reduced staffing needs during the Covid pandemic lock-downs). He recently applied again, and this time he was offered a position and did his first 'training shift' (3 hours) last Tuesday. In future his shifts will be at the local Maccas that is only a five minute walk from our house, but for this initial training session he had to attend a specific McDonalds store that is about 30 mins drive from our home. I drove him there, and since it wasn't really worth driving home again when I'd have to return to pick him up a few hours later I did a couple of hours of Door Dash delivering in that area while he was doing his 'shift'.

DS2 expects to do two or three 4-hour shifts every week, so he should earn around $180 per week for about 12 hours work. He's agreed to only spend 25% (roughly) of his wages on "everyday" spending (games, movies, whatever he fancies) and to save 50% (roughly) for longer-term goals eg. saving up for an overseas trip when he finishes his HSC exams (I bought DS1 return airfares for a trip to Europe when he finished the HSC, but he had to cover his own spending on backpacker accommodation, train fares, food etc. and will do the same for DS2 as a 'graduation present'), a new laptop computer, a second-hand car when he starts uni, etc. After a bit of "negotiating" (aka disagreement) DS2 agreed that the final 25% of his earnings should be invested, with $1,000 being contributed into super as an undeducted personal contribution (so he will receive the $500 government co-contribution). Depending on how much he actually earns, that might be around half of the agreed 25%. Once he has put aside $1,000 for his annual super contribution we'll have another chat about where he might invest that portion of his wages.

As he will also receive the mandatory 10.5% employer contributions into his superannuation account (he already has about $9,000 is his superannuation account due to 'child super' contributions I had made over the years) he will end up adding around $2,500 to his super balance each year, which is quite significant considering it will then compound for around five decades before he retires ;)

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