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Please share about how you transitioned to having your teens pay for stuff themselves


Janie Grace
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I am not sure how to handle this and would love to hear how others have approached it. Our oldest is 16 and I feel like she should start paying for more things, but I am not sure when, how and what.

 

She has worked the past two summers and but that money seems to go fast. She tends to spend it on going out with friends during the summer (food, movies) and clothes. Probably we should have been stricter about saying "you must save XYZ for the school year to pay for XYZ" but we haven't.

 

I buy her uniforms (she attends private school) and basic clothing for outside of school. If she wants pricey, trendy shoes or jeans, I require her to pay the "overage" (i.e., I will pay $60 for a homecoming dress, you can chip in the balance if you want a pricier dress.) We pay for her books for school, for groceries and for food when she is required to eat out (after a track meet with the team, for example), for field trips, for her cell phone, and for toiletries/makeup. She pays for her entertainment, gifts for friends/family and anything else extra.

 

The other day I was in the grocery store and put mascara in the cart for her and realized that at 16, I would have been buying my own mascara (if I had worn it). My mom was a single mom and money was VERY tight. However, we have five kids and money is very tight for us, too! I don't mind getting dd the things she asks for (certain brands of conditioner or shave gel) but then I wonder if I'm spoiling her. 

 

Dd attends a rigorous high school and runs track. She doesn't get home until dinner time and she does homework until bedtime (she's a very diligent student, much more so than I was!). So she doesn't work during her sports season, and we are okay with that. Even when her sport is over, I am not sure if she will... she has a volunteer position and there is an internship she wants to do that will help her figure out if she wants to go into a field she's considering. But maybe that's too soft; maybe we should require her to work. I'm just not sure of how to make these calls. 

 

She isn't driving yet but that's another consideration. We were thinking we would pay for her gas to and from school and she'll be responsible for the rest (social stuff). We haven't decided about insurance. 

 

We are feeling more and more financially strapped. If we were rolling in dough, this would be less of a consideration but we are struggling. But really, even if we had extra, we would want a well-reasoned plan for transferring some of the financial responsibility over time. 

 

Okay, so please weigh in. What have you done? What worked and what didn't? What principles do you think we should consider? Thanks!

 

 

 

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My husband sat down with them and made them come up with a budget. That helped. As for the transition to paying for things themselves, I can think of a couple of things that helped.

 

Instead of taking them shopping for clothes, at 15/16 we started giving them a monthly clothing allowance. The funds had to be spent on clothing (couldn't be spent on entertainment!) and was sufficient to cover basic needs. They could decide to pitch in their own funds for brand name upgrades and accessories. The clothing thing was a big teacher!

 

Auto insurance - they could get learners' permits, but couldn't get a real license until they had saved enough to pay for the additional driver rider to our auto policies.

 

Cell phones - admittedly my kids think we are in the dark ages in this regard! - they did not get one until they started driving. We set a dollar amount for a basic phone & phone plan with text. If they wanted to upgrade to smart phones with data plans, they had to pay the difference each month to my dh. So, they got used to monthly bills.

 

Auto - they each saved to buy cars. However, dad would help them do maintenance and those costs had to be incurred as needed rather than when the funds were available. DH kept an account for these things, too. This was another learning opportunity for how to plan/pay for unanticipated expenses, how to negotiate a payment plan when such costs sprung up.

 

I must add that DH is generous and helped them out while still requiring them to be financially responsible. It was a tough lesson for the kids sometimes, especially because we live in a community where kids are generally limitlessly supported in clothing, cars, electronics, entertainment and college costs.

 

As a parent, I struggle with not being able to lavishly provide for my kids' needs and experiences. But I believe it's been a good thing for them that their parents aren't rolling in cash; they've developed good work ethics. Each of our young adult children - though not at first! - has thanked us for this method of teaching finances. They're starting to see friends graduate college and sort of flounder when their parents say, "Ok, you're on your own now!" but the kids haven't been provided direction on how to navigate practical personal finances. My kids have earned a great sense of self-worth from their ability to earn and manage funds, and an appreciation for earning an education that will increase their means to live independently.

 

I give my dh the credit for so much of this. I am such a softie, he is also a softie BUT can hold a line well when he sees it sharpening iron.

 

[Please take the above as our personal experience. No judgment on those who can and do pay for everything for their young adults. Just pointing out that it is important and profitable to help them learn self sufficiency.]

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This is difficult. We're in the process of figuring this out as well. I want my girls to be able to hang out with friends, spend a little extra on clothes they want that I don't want to pay for, things like that. We just started giving them a monthly allowance that isn't tied to any chores or anything they have to do. They just get it. This money pays for anything extra they want. They no longer are allowed to come to me asking me to cover things for them. I will pay for basic stuff, food, clothes, etc. Sometimes there's negotiation going on about who covers something. My daughter was at a debate tournament this last weekend and needed money for food. Because debate is a school activity and having to buy food wasn't optional, I gave her the money out of my account. She was to give me any change she had left over. If she wants money for snacks at school beyond her lunch account, that comes out of her money.

 

My daughters are 13 and 14, and don't have the opportunity to earn money outside the house. I totally understand it can be hard to draw the line between what the teen should be doing with her money and what the parents should be covering, especially when you want them to be able to have fun and be able to get extras here and there, but also want them to be responsible. Right now I'm encouraging my 14 year old to save up for a more expensive cell phone because the one we got her was very basic and she wants a better one.

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I think it is a wonderful idea to have your dd start to be responsible for some of her ordinary, day to day expenses! I really wish my parents had done that for me, because I made some really stupid mistakes when I was on my own for the first time. The money I earned at my part-time jobs had always just been spending money, so I was completely unfamiliar with how to budget for expenses. I mean, it sounds simple in theory, but the reality of *doing* it is quite different!

 

About a year ago, I was reading Dave Ramsey and listening to his podcast, so that's when it finally dawned on me that I needed to start teaching my daughter how to handle money while she is still living with us and can learn from smaller mistakes (rather than having to pay big time for larger mistakes when she's on her own later). So I talked it over with my husband, and we decided to give dd a big increase in her allowance, but to also make her responsible for buying her own clothing, entertainment, food for her pet lizard, and to pay for her own haircuts. (She doesn't wear makeup, but I buy her ordinary toiletries like soap and shampoo as part of my weekly shopping. Anything extra, she buys. We also pay for her cell phone, but she has a super cheap pre-paid plan. She doesn't use it much, but we want her to have it for emergencies.)

 

We discussed all of this with her, of course, and gave her some suggestions for setting aside a certain percentage for long-term savings, and also for tithing and giving to charity. She was 15 when we did this. It hasn't been all that long, but she has done incredibly well! She has spent a fair amount of money on video games, I won't lie. But she has budgeted for her clothing, she has put aside savings as we suggested, she pays for her own haircuts and tips generously, and her lizard has never gone hungry. :lol: I think it's been a success, and I think it's really important to practice budgeting with little things like this before she's paying rent, utilities, car insurance, etc.

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My husband sat down with them and made them come up with a budget. That helped. As for the transition to paying for things themselves, I can think of a couple of things that helped.

 

Instead of taking them shopping for clothes, at 15/16 we started giving them a monthly clothing allowance. The funds had to be spent on clothing (couldn't be spent on entertainment!) and was sufficient to cover basic needs. They could decide to pitch in their own funds for brand name upgrades and accessories. The clothing thing was a big teacher!

 

Auto insurance - they could get learners' permits, but couldn't get a real license until they had saved enough to pay for the additional driver rider to our auto policies.

 

Cell phones - admittedly my kids think we are in the dark ages in this regard! - they did not get one until they started driving. We set a dollar amount for a basic phone & phone plan with text. If they wanted to upgrade to smart phones with data plans, they had to pay the difference each month to my dh. So, they got used to monthly bills.

 

Auto - they each saved to buy cars. However, dad would help them do maintenance and those costs had to be incurred as needed rather than when the funds were available. DH kept an account for these things, too. This was another learning opportunity for how to plan/pay for unanticipated expenses, how to negotiate a payment plan when such costs sprung up.

 

I must add that DH is generous and helped them out while still requiring them to be financially responsible. It was a tough lesson for the kids sometimes, especially because we live in a community where kids are generally limitlessly supported in clothing, cars, electronics, entertainment and college costs.

 

As a parent, I struggle with not being able to lavishly provide for my kids' needs and experiences. But I believe it's been a good thing for them that their parents aren't rolling in cash; they've developed good work ethics. Each of our young adult children - though not at first! - has thanked us for this method of teaching finances. They're starting to see friends graduate college and sort of flounder when their parents say, "Ok, you're on your own now!" but the kids haven't been provided direction on how to navigate practical personal finances. My kids have earned a great sense of self-worth from their ability to earn and manage funds, and an appreciation for earning an education that will increase their means to live independently.

 

I give my dh the credit for so much of this. I am such a softie, he is also a softie BUT can hold a line well when he sees it sharpening iron.

 

[Please take the above as our personal experience. No judgment on those who can and do pay for everything for their young adults. Just pointing out that it is important and profitable to help them learn self sufficiency.]

 

So how did they save up enough money for car insurance, cars, cell phone upgrades, etc? Did they work during the school year?

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As for your particular situation - I think you're on the right track! For us it helped to be very up front and say, this is where we stand financially. These are the things we can afford to pay for for you - these are the things we can't. You are in the position to be paying for stuff for all the kids down the line - expenses like cars and phones, etc, don't just come up for the oldest kid, they come up for each kid in turn. So, you are wise to face the fact that money is tight! My dh took our family budget and sat down with each teen and went through it line by line. That showed them the very real picture of how we provided not for just them individually, but for the family as a whole. I don't know if you're open to sharing that with your dd - we emphasized the confidential nature of the information - but if you are, it helps with shaping a right perspective. It is what it is, you know?

 

Again, the hardest part was being immersed in a community with folks whose bottom line is MUCH larger than ours.

 

Understanding and having a budget requires one to make choices. How to spend money is a choice. How to reasonably and strategically take on debt (ie for college or a vehicle to get you to a job) is a conflation of choices. Help dd understand this part of growing up by being straightforward with the info she needs. Not in a tone that says, "oh no, we're broke," but one that says, "here are the resources we have available, how can we best use them? what can we do to increase those resources and/or minimize expenses?"

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I did not want DD to work during high school, because I felt that she needed to focus on school to secure her future.

 

So we paid for everything.  

 

In college we transitioned to a deal--we pay for food and protective, basic clothing, she pays for stuff beyond that, we pay for tuition and room and board and transportation, and she takes out the Stafford loan amount and pays that.  I send her some fun money, but it's not a regular allowance.  The Stafford loan amount seemed trivial to me, but apparently she stressed about it quite a bit.  But it motivated her to get and do well at a job selling computers this last summer, which was excellent experience for her, and she sent her loan company a big chunk of money in September which was deeply satisfying to her.

 

However, from an early age we taught her to save for things, and to divide her money between spending and saving and donating, and to be generous.  And we also led by example.  

 

I have, over the years, showed her how to balance a checkbook, and how to set goals and break them down into short term plans.  If I thought she needed more tough love or more instruction I'd adjust, but for this particular kid, this has been all she needed.

 

One thing I have done that I think lots of other parents do not--I've been very clear about what I will and won't pay for.  For instance, last year she cooked up an idea of moving out of a dorm apartment into a separate apartment.  I told her she could do that, but that I would not sign the lease (because I will not be liable for the whole amount if someone flakes) and that she still had to come home for the summer unless she has a very specific resume building position available there for the summer and that I would not pay toward summer rent, since she can live at home rent free.  So that means that she can do this, but she is clear on which risks she is and isn't assuming.  

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I would probably start with setting her an allowance, and letting her know that beyond basic toiletries (soap, shampoo, cheap razors), she was responsible for her own makeup etc. from now on. You could also build in her eating out when required/lunch money/fun money when she's not working into it. And then make it clear that when shes working, that money is going to go into a savings account instead of her pocket, to save for college. That lets you set a fixed budget for discretionary money for that child.

 

I probably wouldn't expect her to take on her phone bill herself until she's done with school and working. It's perfectly reasonable for her to not be working year round. For insurance, I would probably follow my parents' lead--cover it as long as some of her driving is for your benefit (picking up groceries, giving rides to siblings), unless or until she gets into an accident that increases the rate--then make her pay for the increase.

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So how did they save up enough money for car insurance, cars, cell phone upgrades, etc? Did they work during the school year?

They saved birthday and Christmas money, and we switched over to giving cash instead of all tangible gifts. They babysat and cut lawns, and got jobs at 14/15/16. They did work during the school year, because in our world, the need to work is a reality. I will tell you that they were all also varsity athletes (with diminished work hours during their sports season), great students and two have gone to college with scholarships for academics & leadership. Time, like money, is a commodity that one must learn to manage well. It's not easy, but when it's necessary, you make it work. There were some tough times of learning to get everything done, and days I thought I'd die if I had to drive a kid to or from one more shift at a minimum wage job. But hindsight is everything - those hard times were worth it for what they taught my kids. They didn't get to go to every event or party or whatever that their friends did. It would have been great fun to have been free of work obligations. But they're not sorry now.

 

Oh, as for saving up - one of ours got a really great summer job before starting college. We saw an increase in free spending - new clothes, lots of out to eat with friends, etc - so we had a little sit down. DH went over her debit card transactions with her and helped her calculated what portion of her expenditures had lately gone to restaurants! We laid down that she had to have xxx in savings to apply to certain college costs before we would kick in our part and sign her financial aid agreements. She was a little miffed but agreed to the amount and deadline. After stressing a bit she soon realized it was actually a pretty easy requirement and curtailed her spree to a reasonable level. It was a great bump in confidence for her to see that she could reach the goal with continuing to earn at the same pace but paying closer attention to her spending.

 

All of my college age kids now have jobs while in school.

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DD 14 has an allowance - there is no chance of working here.

 

This year we have transitioned to her paying for going out with friends, spending on birthday gifts for friends, buying clothes if she is out shopping with friends, etc.

 

If we go out shopping together and she wants some item of clothing, I will offer what I am willing to spend and she can chip in the balance if she really wants to get the item.

 

Turns out she is pretty frugal with her own money!

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I honestly don't require them to pay for much outside of their video or board games.  Other than that, I pay.  I don't want them working right now.

 

Middle says he wants to do an internship this summer, for the whole summer.  It may not be paid at all, but hopefully will give him experience.

 

 

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JanieGrace - please take what I've shared in stride. We did what we did not only because it was necessary, but because it worked for our family's values, dynamics and temperament. I'm sure you will come up with a formula successful and unique for your own. It's great that you're thinking it through.

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JanieGrace - please take what I've shared in stride. We did what we did not only because it was necessary, but because it worked for our family's values, dynamics and temperament. I'm sure you will come up with a formula successful and unique for your own. It's great that you're thinking it through.

 

Thank you for saying this, but you don't come across as preachy at all. I am in awe at the way you have managed this (and a little jealous of your/dh's skills in structuring it). We are kind of by-the-seat-of-our-pants when it comes to money. We aren't big spenders and so far that has been good enough to keep us afloat. But it's becoming obvious that we need to grow in this area or we aren't going to be able to afford all these teenagers, nor will we pass along good habits. So I am grateful that you'd share from your experience. Thank you for the encouragement.

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I think you have to make that decision for yourself based on your family values, the ability of your teen to earn money, and your income.

 

For example, I would never charge a child rent if he or she was enrolled in school full time. I wouldn't make my teens pay for their own shampoo or hygiene products, such as razor blades etc. But some people do.  I don't want my teen to work b/c school and dance are a huge commitment so we give an allowance.

 

My BIL, who has a lot more money that most, gave his kids a very generous monthly allowance on a debit card. But out of that they expected their kids to pay for most of their expenses. Not food in the house, but school lunches, winter coats, haircuts, activities etc.  In essence, they figured out just about how much money was going to kid expenses and gave the kids that money and made them budget. He says it was one of the best things they ever did.  They also had expectations, for example, they did expect appropriate winter clothing to be owned, their older child was the sort who would never spend money on clothes and had to be told directly that he needed to monitor his own wardrobe for signs of wear and stains etc.  They also had to do things like tell him that 1 pair of pants wasn't acceptable, lol.

 

For the first couple months, their daughter burned through every penny in days.  BIL had access and control of the accounts and watched her do it in real time. And she had to quit dance lessons for a quarter because she didn't budget for it. Oh well, her problem. They made her live with the consequences. But she's a smart girl and figured it out.  She screamed about it, but she learned. Better in high school than after college and it was her rent.

 

I know that won't work for everyone, but I thought I would put it out there as one possibility. I am pretty sure we are going to start that soon with our older boy. It won't be as generous, lol, but it will get the job done. BIL said to work together to make it really clear what the teen is and is not responsible for. It took them about 6 months before things were working smoothly.

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It sounds like you are doing a good job to me.  

 

Honestly, we are in the same boat.  It is really hard to figure out what to do.  We pay for most DD's expenses.  She makes stellar grades and takes the hardest AP classes.  Her academics will come back to help us out later when she is in college.  I don't think she can work during the school year because of how much she studies.  Last summer, she worked at an unpaid internship.  So, she doesn't have much money coming in, and we pay for most things except for her entertainment.

 

Sometimes I wonder if we are doing things wrong……but she seems to be turning out fairly responsible and doesn't seem to spend lavishly.

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It sounds like you are on the right track now. All the people who suggest sitting down and talking about car and college costs are probably right on. My younger two kids are so independant that they want to pay for all their own stuff so that they have choices. I require my kids to put away a large chunck of every paycheck away for college. That is probably not the smartest thing because the money they save for college counts against financial aide a lot more than money we save, but I want them to feel like they support themselves as much as possible.

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We have done sort of a combination of much of the above.

 

Always gave the kids an allowance, and required them to save minimum of 20%, give minimum of 10%, use the rest as needed/wanted.  As they have grown their allowance has grown so they could pay for more of their own stuff:  movie tickets, extra food on youth group outings (we pay for the outings themselves).  I have never paid for my daughter's makeup; by the time she was using makeup she was also making a little money babysitting.  I do buy necessary toiletries though.

 

Now my daughter has a part-time job and I would like my son to get one too. I think jobs during high school are a very personal decision and don't think that working has to interfere with academics.  I still buy her basic needs and some of her wants but she buys more of the wants.  We will often negotiate on a needed article of clothing, with her paying some part if I think it's too expensive.  However, my perception of "too expensive" is skewed, just as my mother's way.  "Ack, how can a pair of socks cost that much?"  "Mom, look, they all cost that much."  Yeah, I remember those arguments as a teen.  So I try to be realistic on that. 

 

I like a lot of the ideas I'm reading here. Interesting how many ways there are to handle it.

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You might be able to better sort this out if you plan a budget for yourselves first. That way you will see where your priorities are, where your money is going and changes you want to make. Once you have that and start a savings acct for yourselves you will know what kind of extras you can afford or not.

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We pay half of the cell phone bill. (this started when she got the phone.)

 

She pays the extra our insurance increased when she was added as a driver.

 

She pays for her own gas (sometimes requiring mileage tracked, since she doesn't have her own car)

 

She pays for makeup.

 

I buy hair stuff. She can take or leave the brands I get. If I don't have a coupon on her preferred brand and she doesn't like the off brand, she can pony up or deal with it.

 

She pays for going out with friend expenses and birthday gifts.

 

By the end of the year, she;s going to buy a car and be on her own insurance policy. She knows this, and she's had several months warning. She'll figure out how to juggle the time commitments.

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Yes, make a budget. 

We started by turning over the cash to our kid to then pay.  And when he got a checking account, we gave him lump sums to use on things: tests, uniforms, parties, clothes..don't care how he used it, the money was earmarked in our account and so then it transferred to his with that intention.  We give him a small sum each month for all those running expenses because he doesn't have a job yet (and we won't let him get a license until he has a steady job to pay for insurance, so transportation costs are minimum).  As he gets older, less will be given, more will be expected for him to cover.

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Money is always tight so both my teens spend a fair amount of their own money on the "I wants" and some on the "I need".  We sat them down.  Told them the lay of the land and what we can and can not pay for.

10% of their earnings goes into a savings account that will be converted to a retirement plan when they turn 18.

My oldest drives and he contributes towards the car payment for the new car we purchased. He buys gas when he uses the car.  He also has his friends pay for some of the gas and tolls for road trips.

We have a clothing budget.  Once that is gone if they want something they spend their money on it.

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We are not really typical parents, but we do not let our kids have their own money. Any money they earn goes to us to save for them or spend as we see fit. Family is family and all income from everyone goes to the family.

 

I really do not see how giving a kiddo an allowance, a paycheck, or large gifts really teaches him about money management. Unless, one is taking away 50 % for taxes, 40% for housing and 20% for food so the kiddo is behind every month, then it doesn't match real life, at least my life.

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For us it started when they were each about 6 yrs old.  They were given a list of age appropriate chores and how much each paid...IF done property, willingly and diligently.  And ONLY if done that way.  They'd get paid twice a month (if all requirements were met) like we did.  They initially were to take out a % for savings FIRST.  The a % for contributions/donations, and the rest was theirs to spend.  I also explained that they would be buying their own toys from now on  (of course, there were exceptions, like large items, electronics, special events and celebrations and stuff).  They caught on QUICK and discerned how that very hard earned $3 didn't go far in the toy aisle.  I stayed super consistent and can truly say they have bought the majority of their own toys ever since.  Very soon after that we encouraged resisting impulses by walking away from pricey items in the store, and going home to save until you have the cash in hand.  OH the lessons this has taught.........

 

Now, it's changed in amounts and chores, naturally but it has progressed so that my 12 and 14 yr old buy everything they want for themselves in choices of entertainment, electronics, toys, etc.  My DD14 is saving up for a pair of Beats headphones right now; she has $99 saved for them, another $51 to go.  And they do NOT get much for what they do around here.  And by this age, I freely deduct for shoddy work, complaints and forgetting to do the work (I don't remind).  It's just on the bottom side of fair, probably. lol  To save for the headphones, my DD has detailed our cars, mowed grass, and tended to my mom's garden for a little extra money.  Last week my dad was laying some plumbing pipes and offered to pay her $20 to dig his ditches.  Fifty feet!  So she put on her big girl panties and dug a ditch for some cash.  These headphones will be used alongside the tablet she saved 6 months to get to play all the music she buys herself.  They don't love every aspect of this but they do feel capable and empowered and I LOVE the controls it puts on spending ***MY*** money on them and the wrestling I'd have to make it all work in the budget and giving them a few things they want.  Now, it's ALL theirs to decide.  DS12 buys his own electronics, gaming...everything, music, nerf guns, BB gun and ammo, etc etc etc.  It sounds like they get a lot of $, but they SOO do not.  They are just extremely careful with it because they were taught to be.  Yes, they've made mistakes, BIG ONES.  And we let them because that's all part of it.  

 

We also require them to replace and repair things when they are at fault with their own money.  DS purposefully picked at a window screen until it fell apart so he had to go into his wallet to replace it.  DD was told a thousand times not to throw my car keys around b/c of the expensive door-lock fob...welp she did one too many times and it busted. So she had to take the $80 she saved for a tablet and spend it on the key.  THAT was painful.  There has been a time or two that we have allowed them to borrow a little $ from us because a high priced item went on clearance or was otherwise a 'steal'...they were to make payments, with a little interest, with a simple contract that outlined how we wanted it paid back. They thought it was FUN, although they hated the interest part (good!  lesson learned!).

 

Because they see we are not their banks, it has prompted them to become entrepreneurs as well.  They make and sell things because they understand no one is every going to GIVE them money.  As soon as I get my chickens, they are excited to learn to take care of them so that they can sell the eggs.  I tried to mimic as much grown-up reality as I could in this process.  They have, seemingly on their own, learned a great deal of responsibility, patience, ingenuity, initiative and other valuable lessons that I never expected.  I have been lightly criticized in the past for this idea of 'allowance'.  I think people mostly see that as a term meaning 'free money'.  Not here.  If you want $ around here, you have to work hard for it, you don't ever see most of it (as you pay savings first, then contributions and other stuff..THEN you get what's left), but your savings should be building as you are fighting impulses and only spending a little on yourself.  I can take the criticism....  I really love what allowing them access to money they have worked hard for has done to life lessons already, at these young ages...yes please! 

 

For now, I still pay for outings, like movies, going out to eat or hanging with friends and the side cost that involves.  But, DD will be going to work sometime in a little over a year (she's ALMOST 15) and I will stop paying for that stuff at that time.   Right about then she will start paying car insurance as well so the struggle for stretching her buck will continue.  And that's life.

 

OP, I think you are ahead of most people I know IRL in teaching money management to their teens.  Most people I know have just been taking care of their kids and haven't thought to teach them how to pick up the money thing on their own.  If you want her to start paying for more, tell her that and pick something to hand over to her.  Maybe it's makeup...tell her from now on, she'll just have to get that on her own.  In a little while, pick something else and require her to buy it from now on, until she is doing most of it.  One thing at a time.  I'd even freely include that things are tight and sacrifices always have to be made for finances to work out....throughout alllllll of life.  Let her know you all are tight and you all are adjusting.  That will teach her by example to do the same.  Good luck!

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Not sure how much this applies to your dd, but with our guys, we've told them well in advance that this is the expense scale for them.  They have all worked casually in the summers and during the school year so they have spending money.

 

Grade 9:  We pay basic clothing, all youth group fees and general fuel amounts.

 

Grade 10:  They receive $500 for clothing (assuming their clothes from last year still fit, but are worn) or more if they've grown too much,  3/4 of youth group fees, and fuel.  They are responsible for all entertainment costs.

 

Grade 11:  By now they've been working.  We pay $250 for clothes, 1/2 youth group fees.  They pay fuel only for driving to and from work.  The rest of fuel is on us to a reasonable point.  They've also been in school at this point and have one free ride to school per month.  After this they pay a $5 rate per trip.

 

Grade 12:  They buy all their clothes and pay all their extra fees.  By this point they have paid all expenses on their vehicles (either theirs or ours).

 

ETA:  They've all been able to save for post secondary school each year even with these expenses.

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My kids started working summers @ 16, at which point they began paying for their own phones, clothes, and fees--and discovering the joys of the thrift store and K-mart shopping. We've tried to keep the promise that as long as they are f/t students with a B average or better we will pay for car insurance (they pay repairs and gas). My son makes very good money at his p/t job and works f/t over summers, so he is now paying his own car insurance (thank God), and oldest dd is paying us for her insurance. Hopefully she will soon transition to her own car insurance. They are all still on our medical policy.

 

Middle daughter is driving the beat-up "teen car" until she can save enough for her own vehicle, and she has a ways to go. She inherited the car from her brother when he bought his own....much nicer than anything his parents own, by the way, LOL. The older 3 now basically pay everything but insurance on their own. Nobody got a license until they turned 18, because we just couldn't swing it. Hopefully we'll get a bit of a break before #4 child hits driving age.

 

It's the long-term financial planning stuff that I have the most trouble getting them to think about. Middle dd has a retirement plan because she's working p/t for the city, which automatically set it up. The other two really need to get started on some long-term savings, though.

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We started before the teen years. Needs are always on us until you are 18 or graduated. Food (not junk), shelter, clothing (not bling). Always, until you move out. Oh, and we pay for a sport, an art, and a language. That's all inclusive.

 

Full time students get free room and board. Good students get their loans co-signed.

 

Besides that, when they want something we encourage them to ask for it on Christmas / birthday.

 

If they want it now, they buy it.

 

As their wants grow, so does their ability to earn. I'm thinking, it started with ice cream and pop lit and Pokemon cards, and moved to makeup and a go phone plan and a used phone, and now DSD is saving for a car. DSS is planning to get a phone plan.

 

The needs/wants seems to be working for us.

 

Funny... Generally I feel like not paying for a phone plan and a car makes me such a hard asterisk but in this thread, I'm the softie. I hope that means I'm a moderate!

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Unless, one is taking away 50 % for taxes, 40% for housing and 20% for food so the kiddo is behind every month, then it doesn't match real life, at least my life.

8O

 

More on taxes than on housing??? 50% tax rate but then 40% on housing? That deserves a spinoff. We are at 30% taxes including sales, 20% rent. Our rent is awesome though. If you pray, pray for my honest, decent landlord. Just that she gets every good thing that is coming to her. Seriously though Minnie--I am sorry!

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8O

 

More on taxes than on housing??? 50% tax rate but then 40% on housing? That deserves a spinoff. We are at 30% taxes including sales, 20% rent. Our rent is awesome though. If you pray, pray for my honest, decent landlord. Just that she gets every good thing that is coming to her. Seriously though Minnie--I am sorry!

Please do not take my percentages literally. I just made something up quickly off the top of my head. And I really do not go in the hole every month. I was just trying to make the point that I do not think allowing kiddos to spend their own money on whatever they want is real life. Most people in the world do not have much, if any, discretionary income.

 

My kiddos always have been able to pay the family bills, if needed. They can make out checks, post into Quicken Books, get the checks to the mailbox, etc. DH and I work long shifts so everybody being able to get stuff done is a must sometimes.

 

DS35 learned his best money management from his wife. He basically just turns the paycheck over to her each month. Lol.

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In your situation, starting now, I would figure out a reasonable amount of allowance that you could give your dd. When my dd turned 15, we started giving her $50 a month (which was a stretch for us at the time), out of which she paid for her cell phone and any social expenses she had. She had a limited opportunity to earn extra money around the house doing extra chores (she NEVER took us up on that). We paid for the least expensive (yet still good-enough quality) clothing and shoes, and anything beyond that, she had to pay for. So, like you said, if the good-enough shoes were $50 and she wanted the I-have-to-have-these-to-be-trendy shoes that were $100, she had to pay the difference. I bought the reasonably priced school supplies (here's 24 yellow pencils for $2.00!) but if she wanted the but-these-are-cute-and-pink-and-mechanical-and-cost-$12 supplies, she paid the difference.

 

Come the turn of the year, I would begin talking to her about making sure she finds a summer job and that the money she earns over the summer will have to last her through the next school year. When dd was old enough to get a job (the summer she was 16), she refused to get one and was then shocked that I wouldn't give her an allowance. I had started talking to her in January about the necessity of finding a summer job, but she just couldn't lower herself to do so, so she had a long, boring, moneyless summer. She got a job right quick the next summer. After she gets a job, I would stop offering allowance and only pay her for big, extra chores around the house (such as staining the fence or whatever).

 

I gave my dd $100 in the fall and $100 in the spring to outfit herself. I told her she could buy 20 things at the thrift store or 3 things at Ab&Fitch; the choice was hers, but that's all she got.

 

We paid for all food, necessities (pads, deodorant, etc., but not toothpaste, as she would only use very expensive organic "kiddie" toothpaste, not the regular family kind we used), medical expenses, school-related fees, and sports fees. She paid for all social activities, optional school functions (such as homecoming etc.), and luxury items.

 

It worked well for us, and dd has grown to be a good steward of her money (after a few weeks of blowing her entire paycheck on Chipotle). ;)

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For us, paying for their own things has been tied to having a regular paycheck.  My oldest wasn't driving until 17, and didn't have a job until she was 18.  Once she began working regularly she had to pay for her own gas and car maintenance.  She also pays for all of her "fun" stuff, haircuts, snacks and extras.  We still buy all of her school books, food, toiletries and car insurance.  She buys most of her own clothes, but I do chip in occasionally.  That will probably be how it goes as along as she is living at home and going to school full time.  

 

The plan will go much the same for my twins, although it will start a little younger.  They plan on getting their licenses as soon as possible, and jobs this summer.  As soon as they have jobs they will begin the same plan as my oldest.  

 

We do buy them inexpensive cars to drive.  (I'm talking cheap...dh is an ex-mechanic and can judge wether a cheap, old car will be reliable)

I also tie their jobs in with being able to drive.  With my schedule X3 teens, I cannot possibly drive them to work regularly.

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