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Old November 21st, 2014, 10:29 AM
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KayKay KayKay is offline
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Re: What does your teen pay for?

I am embarrassed that I am on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. My teenagers pay for nothing.

Neither of them have jobs, but in all fairness that is preferable to me. My kids are very hard workers and excellent time managers but all of their energy goes in to their school and extracurricular activities. My husband and I can afford to support them and I explained to them at a fairly young age that school WAS their job. My son is in college now (lives at home still) and has started expressing a desire to get an internship, which I think is appropriate. He does pay for his own tuition, but it is out of money that was put in savings for him to do so. He has scholarships that cover most of his tuition, so the running joke is that (because of his prudence) he'll graduate from college with enough money left in his savings to buy a small house. I paid for his meal plan at school so he can eat on campus as he wishes rather than make the drive home or eat fast food.

Neither of my kids really spend any money either. It is the strangest thing. I offer them money every so often for lunch or donuts or some "treat" and frequently they say "Nah, I'm good. Thanks." They both have checking accounts, and my son's debit card doesn't even work because his account goes in "inactive" state too often. He is 100% cash basis... if he doesn't have cash to pay for something, he doesn't get it. He never goes out with friends, and has basically no interest in any material goods. My daughter doesn't have the typical teenage girl interests; she wears uniforms to school so doesn't have much interest in clothes, doesn't go out with friends much, etc. About the only activity in her checking account are debit withdrawals for fast food and around my birthday and Mother's Day.

Both my husband and I had jobs when we were their ages, and paid for our own entertainment (I bought my own clothes). We had simpler lives though. We didn't play sports and have hours of homework at night and everything else that my kids have. I feel like my kids are spoiled, but they don't have that "spoiled" mentality. They both understand and are grateful for their good fortune.

I'm sort of at a loss about how to change the situation or even if I need to. I think they are both pretty good about understanding the value of a dollar. Neither of them are the kinds who would spend above their means. They get money from relatives for birthdays and Christmas and it gets stockpiled... they just never have anything they really WANT. I have a hard time even coming up with things to give them for Christmas and birthdays. It is a little bit frustrating.

We have had lots of discussions about all kinds of financial decisions. I have gone over the concept of budgeting with them, but it is kind of hard to explain that with no tangible examples. I hope it won't be too late to give them lots of advice "real time" when they are out in the world on their own.

My family is just SO strange.
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