Financial tips for students as tax season begins

Christian Gonzalez, Staff Writer

One of the most important life skills that a high school student can begin learning about before graduating is finance.  Especially interest rates being raised, it is more important than ever to be mindful of how we invest our money.  There are many things students can do to better their finances ranging from finding a job to start saving up money and taking time to learn about taxes or investing.

Finding a Job

In high school, most students begin to join the workforce through low-experience entry-level jobs which include anything from being a cashier at a fast-food restaurant to stocking inventory at a retail store.  It may seem hard to find a job when you’ve never had one before, so start by applying for part-time positions at big stores that are hiring close to your home as they’ll have the best flexibility with your work schedule and won’t break your bank in transportation costs. 

Sonic, Chick-fil-A and many other area restaurants are always looking for high school helpers.

Keep in mind that some of the easiest jobs to get are gonna be either in retail or fast food and also use online resources to find more open positions around the town. is a great online tool that you can use to find jobs around your area as well as what qualifications you need to get the job and it even lets you filter out options by wage or location. 

Something to remember while working a job is your boundaries, don’t let any manager talk down to you or treat you with disrespect because there are plenty of other places looking to hire.  If you’re looking around town, there are many local businesses desperately needing employees especially in the food industry; restaurants are some of the businesses that are looking to hire more than others.

Investing Accounts

Investing is something that not a lot of people even as adults learn about, so it is really crucial for teenagers to learn about it.  Many financial investment accounts are offered by brokerages to students who are 18 or over who can invest on their own.  The most common brokerage accounts are tax-advantaged accounts that help your money grow through compounding dividends over an extended period of time.  These brokerage accounts are known as IRA’s and Roth IRA’s allow you to put your money into Exchange Traded Funds (ETF’s) and other financial securities that can help your monetary savings grow. 

One of the easiest investment brokerages to use is Robinhood a popular investing application among young investors who are getting started.  The benefits of using Robinhood include getting free stock when you sign up, commission-free stock trading, and a very easy user-friendly interface.  Investing can be risky and may not be for everyone, so remember to do your own research before coming to any financial conclusions.

Teen Tax Trick

For the students who have already been in the workforce since last year, there is a chance you may be able to get money back through a tax return even if your parents claimed you as a dependent on their taxes.  Just remember to file for a tax return if you worked at all last year and they held out income taxes. Claim zero dependents if your parents are claiming you on their taxes (which is most likely).