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Old November 20th, 2014, 05:24 PM
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What does your teen pay for?

Hello. Other than my introduction, this is my first post. I'm just curious what other parents of teens do when it comes to expenses like gas, car insurance, cell phones, entertainment, etc. Do you pay for these items or does your teen? Up until recently we've been (stupidly) paying for all these things but the drain on our account has been extreme. We finally got smart this month and told the kids they need to start paying for their own gas, food and entertainment. My oldest works part-time and goes to college but I think he could handle this financially as he doesn't have any other expenses and lives at home. However, my youngest who is 16 doesn't even have a job. So, needless to say I've recently been pushing him pretty hard to find one. I feel bad that we didn't start this earlier and my oldest got to have a couple of "free" years over his brother, but we just can't afford it anymore. Besides I think it will be good for them to learn how much things cost and help prepare them for when they move out on their own some day.
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Old November 20th, 2014, 06:18 PM
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Re: What does your teen pay for?

Both of my boys started working at 15. Since that time, they paid for their own entertainment, clothes, shoes, and haircuts. When they got drivers permits, they bought their own cars (with some help), and pay for their own insurance, gas, and repairs. In college they pay for their books.

I pay tuition and public transportation for school. I don't charge room and board.


And they still save money!
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Old November 20th, 2014, 08:08 PM
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Re: What does your teen pay for?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LucyVanPelt View Post
Both of my boys started working at 15. Since that time, they paid for their own entertainment, clothes, shoes, and haircuts. When they got drivers permits, they bought their own cars (with some help), and pay for their own insurance, gas, and repairs. In college they pay for their books.

I pay tuition and public transportation for school. I don't charge room and board.


And they still save money!

Wow, that's good to hear. That seems like a lot to pay for, but I bet they learned a lot of self control with their spending because of it. I'm not sure my kids could pay for all of that with part-time minimum wage jobs, but I do plan on adding more expenses with time. Baby steps. 😌
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Old November 21st, 2014, 03:53 AM
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Re: What does your teen pay for?

It was all baby steps. They didn't pay for all of it at one time and they aren't at minimum wage jobs now. In fact, the older one made more than I did last year. I asked him why I was working to pay for his tuition.

But they have learned self-control and budgeting. They shop sales and use coupons. They know the value of hard work, and the value of $1. I have heard them say,"That's a week's pay! I don't want it that bad."

But it was baby steps!

Last edited by LucyVanPelt; November 21st, 2014 at 08:37 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old November 21st, 2014, 07:50 AM
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Re: What does your teen pay for?

Ah, okay. Well that makes sense. That's very encouraging and even though we're a little late starting this I think it will be a good thing for all of us. Baby step #1: have my youngest find a job.
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Old November 21st, 2014, 10:29 AM
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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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Old November 21st, 2014, 12:21 PM
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Re: What does your teen pay for?

That's okay KK... Lots of parents pay for everything. To me it depends on the kid, what they're doing, can they dedicate the time for a job...

My oldest wanted more than I could give her so she was forced to work. That was actually a blessing because we actually worked together. I had a part time job as a banquet coordinator and she asked me if she could apply where I worked. I told her yes... She went there the next day, filled out an application for a waitress position and the Manager hired her. I didn't even realize it and the manager didn't put two and two together with the last name. Anyway, it was fun working with her. Anyway... I'm rambling as usual...

Cell phones... I would probably pay since they have family plans. Then again, to add an extra phone is usually a small fee so the teen could possibly afford it.

Auto Insurance... Other than me having a bone to pick over any and all insurance rates (they didn't become milti-trillion dollar businesses for nothing - then tack on the 2008 housing crash -- Then they call themselves "The Best and the Brightest." Yeah... Right... Insurance companies can kiss my... Foot... ).

If I could afford to pay auto insurance for my kid I probably would. One wreck and they get the ticket... that's it. No mas!

Gas was usually their problem. So I say anyway... It's been awhile... a couple of decades. I think I paid for gas most of the time.

I think the bottom line is if you can afford it... Go ahead. If it puts a strain on your budget, then there's nothing wrong with the kids providing those things for themselves. I know where you're coming from... You would like to do it, but it's really hard to afford to. Try not to feel guilty if you can't. That's the way life is...
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Old November 21st, 2014, 02:16 PM
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Re: What does your teen pay for?

But I do appreciate the life lessons and feeling of accomplishment that kids get from working. I know I did as a teenager. I didn't "need" to work but chose to. It's just that times were so different then.

My DD puts in 12 hour days (on average - some are much more!) at school between classes and after school activities. She then comes home, eats dinner, then puts in 3-4 hours of studying per night. I mean, I never did that!!

I kind of feel like they are missing out by not having jobs, but I'm not sure that *they* (with their personalities) are suffering.
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Old November 21st, 2014, 03:26 PM
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Re: What does your teen pay for?

I don't know that they are suffering, KayKay. They are learning about responsibilities and money in another way. Your DD is VERY involved with all kinds of extracurriculars. YDS was not; he counted work as his extracurricular. The bonus is that he knows he doesn't want to end up at that dead-end job he's working and he is applying himself in college. Your DD doesn't need that.

I think every child within every family is different.
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Old November 22nd, 2014, 12:40 PM
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Re: What does your teen pay for?

So true Lucy. I think the important thing at this age is to keep kids busy working towards something. Whether that's school, sports or a job is irrelevant (unless you can't afford to pay for all those extra expenses...like me). Our children will get to immerse themselves in a job soon enough and for many years to come. I think it's good if they are just committed to something.

One thing I do worry about though is that inevitable transition from living at home and having to never pay for anything to moving out on their own and having to pay for everything. That's another reason why we are having them start paying for some expenses. I want them to get their feet wet before taking the big plunge. We're also looking into setting up their own checking accounts so they can learn to track their spending and balance a checkbook. I know we're a little late on this but I guess it's better late than never.
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