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Parenting Teens/Young Adult- Financial Costs

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    Parenting Teens/Young Adult- Financial Costs

    What is your opinion about the costs in these years? I know that some do not think you should buy your child a car or pay for their insurance. Or, that you should pay part or all of their college expenses. Did you require your teens to work?

    #2
    I'm not to that point yet (my boys are only 3 & 5 years old), but I mostly plan to follow similar to what my parents did with my brothers & I... In general, pay for most of their costs, with the caveat that they will have skin in the game. For example, cover half the cost of a car & pay their insurance, but they have to save up for the car, and they pay for gas. Work will depend on the child -- if they're able to time-manage well & do well in school while working, they're welcome to it. If not, I won't push it beyond odd jobs around the house/neighborhood & summer jobs (generally expected, once old enough). I'll definitely help pay for much (if not all) of their college tuition, but expect that they'll have to work for living expenses & entertainment money. I'm already saving for them, and they each have something in the $15k range (+/- $3k? I don't check it often) in a 529, plus a UTMA investment account with a few thousand more.

    The biggest thing, I think, is just teaching them to be responsible with money. I've only got 13-15 years to get the basics of personal finance pounded into their heads, so we're already teaching them a bit here and there about how money works -- buying stuff, shopping around, saving money, giving for tithing/charity, etc. Obviously at a VERY basic level right now, but we bring stuff about smart money habits into conversation periodically. Hopefully it sinks in...
    "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"

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      #3
      I think it depends on your situation money wise...some people just can't do those things and some can...our girls bought their own first cars...because they wanted to they werent the flashiest cars but they paid cash for them, we paid their roadside assistance (RAA here) and they paid their insurance...which was around $300-400 a year which they budget for...they were taught to budget when they were younger and I think it has served them well...if they don't have money for something they save or do without...as for college its a bit different over here than over there...also you can get a payment over here from the govt that helps you while you study, look for work etc...so its a bit different in some areas...but I think it all starts when they are young learning how to budget...our with their pocket money at aged 5 we would charge them 10% savings, 5% tax and then 5% sick pay...then they could do what they wanted with the rest they hated paying tax told them thats life get use to it...of course we put it all into their account but when they got sick and couldn't do their chores they still got paid...it was a learning curve for them and my oldest said she is going to do the same with her kids when she has them...so I guess it worked...she is a great budgeter

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        #4
        We bought cars for all of our kids. They didn't have that much time to work in HS. They could have worked more I suppose but I wanted them to focus on school, sports, band, etc. And I don't see how they were going to save enough money for a car on minimum wage. Also, I didn't want to buy an old car with a lot of potential problems. We purchased them newer cars that would last through their college years. So, far, that approach has worked out well and our oldest son ran his car until he joined the Air Force then when he was working he traded that and bought himself a new car. Our younger son as a car that we purchased before he started college and he will be graduating next year and that car has held up well. He needed a car since he went to a commuter branch campus for the first 2 yrs. Then for DD, who is 18, we purchased a 3 yr old car for her last year and believe that will last her for years. As for paying insurance, if they pay the insurance, then we will just be giving them money for other expenses, so to me, it's easier for us to just pay that and then money they make working can be used for personal expenses, clothes, gas, food, etc.

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          #5
          My wife and I pretty much felt that our daughter was our responsibility at least until she graduated college. Her "job" was to be the best student she could be. We didn't want her weighed down with work responsibilities and money worries during her teen years. We also wanted her to be able to participate in typical school and teen activities. In her case, she was very active in our synagogue youth group. Then in college she was active in a co-ed service fraternity. She was

          She didn't get a car until she was about 19 or 20. It was $5,000. She paid $3,000; we paid $1,000; grandmom paid $1,000. We paid insurance. She mostly paid for gas.

          She did work in high school but not because we forced her to. She babysat 2 days a week after school. That gave her spending money and helped her save for the car.

          She didn't work during college although her situation was somewhat unique. She and my wife were in an auto accident when she was 6 and she was pretty seriously hurt. As a result of the ensuing legal action, she got a settlement in the form of an annuity that began monthly payments when she turned 18, so she has had that money coming in ever since (she's 24 now).

          Once she graduated college and moved back home and got a job, we sat down and agreed upon a monthly amount for her to pay us to cover some of her basic living expenses like auto and health insurance, cell phone, etc. She's been paying that ever since. We hardly ever give her money for anything at this point, and if we do, it's as a gift because we want to, not because she's coming and asking for it. We've taught her to be very responsible with her money. She has plenty in savings. She funds her Roth (which she opened at 17 with babysitting money). So we're happy to help out with big expenses from time to time.
          Steve

          * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
          * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
          * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

          Comment


            #6
            I feel the same DisneySteve, that our children are on our dole until they graduate from college. If i make them pay for x, then I am going to be funding y anyway, so we just go ahead and pay x, the car, insurance, etc. We spent a lot more on cars. We bought DD a 2016 Honda CRV last year. A program car coming off lease. Same with our son. I believe those will hold up well. Even when our oldest son was transitioning to true adulthood (aka paying all of his own bills and being truly independent) we helped him fund his first car. He is low income and in the Air Force as enlisted. We offered some financial help in the terms of putting a chunk up front so his monthly payments would be lower. However, we offered that conditionally in that we will help you if we agree on the type of car you buy. I mean, if he was going to buy a Hummer or some type of car that wasn't practical in fuel and owner costs, then no, he could buy on his own. He settled in on buying a Honda Civic so we plopped some down up front. We have zero interest to ever cosign a loan, so it was a gift and he wound up with a great car that was affordable to him. He now is totally self sufficient and we are very proud of him.

            Comment


              #7
              I think about the only requirement we have for our kids is they have to work. I suppose that, and pay for their own stuff. We started that when they were like 5. It makes it so much easier as they get older. Because instead of asking us for things, they just figure it out. (We gave them an allowance and said if they wanted anything they could buy it. We turn off the allowance when they are old enough to make their own money).

              I am more middle of the road, I guess. The first car I bought in high school cost me about $1,000 but it lasted me all through high school & college (7 years). My son was given a 16-year-old car by his grandparents (with 200k miles) but it is in excellent condition. It will easily last another 10+ years. As to working, my husband and I always worked more during summers. (I think my husband *only* worked summers, through high school and college). So my son wanted to do sports all year and work zero. My husband was a little put off by this. To be fair, we had longer summers and had different job opportunities, my husband made $$$$$ during those summers. BUT, we are in a better position to help. I told hubby to let it go and that he will have to just work harder during the summer. In the end with this whole pandemic thing, my office offered my son a 50% raise to come back and he started in April and will have a very long summer. All is well that ends well. He did sports all year and had a 5.0 GPA. Which is why I said "middle of the road". Middle ground.

              As to the car gift, it's a car for both our kids to use and doesn't really belong to our son. (He turns 18 the same week his brother turns 16, so it gives them both a car for two years). But we are having him pay *all* of the gas/insurance/expenses. Why? So he knows how much a car costs. When he chooses a college, we are going to sit down with him and ask him if he wants a car still. It's going to depend on his college choice. If it can wait a while, more time to save up money to buy his own car. He may decide, "I don't want a car right now, it's too expensive." That is fine. If he wants to buy a car, he will have the cash to buy a nice used car, something newer than his loaner car right now.

              College is probably going to be mostly paid for. I don't know, haven't crossed that bridge and it will depend. I am not opposed to kids helping pay for college. But in this case, grandparents want to help and I don't think this is anything we will ask of our kids. The only exception I can think of is that my older son's #1 college choice is a private college. Something I didn't think we would ever seriously consider. We are considering only because the school does not have a Graduate program (I've otherwise always said, "Save your money for Grad School." But man this got complicated real quick). & we are also considering because of grandparent help. That may be a case where we say yes but he has to contribute some of his assets/income. Will see how it shakes out. If he goes to college choice #2/#3/#4 (all very affordable) then I would personally not see the point of asking him to contribute. He would be responsible for all of his spending money (needs some motivation to work), car expenses, etc. Might start shifting room/board to him at some point. OR, maybe he could easily afford those colleges and we just cover the room/board.

              I personally put myself through college, bought my own first car, etc. I don't have any strong feelings about it because it worked out fine for me. My parents didn't have the money to help, it is what it is. My kids are different people with very different circumstances. My husband had the free ride. We tend to just meet in the middle. It helps that two of the most financially conservative people I know (my two best friends) had the free ride and were handed a lot. They were also taught how to be excellent stewards of those resources. I don't honestly believe it will hurt my kids to help them more. But I also will put my retirement/future ahead of my kids, so only plan to help as much as I am truly able to. But because I had been completely financially supporting myself for 4 years already, by the time I was done with college... I suppose I like the idea of starting to shift more costs to the kids as they move through college. So that it is less of a shock when they do graduate. I am not sure if my husband will agree and it probably depends on him. But I do know we both agree our kids should be entirely self-sufficient by the time they are done with college.
              Last edited by MonkeyMama; 05-23-2020, 06:28 AM.

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                #8
                I really did not want my kids to work excessively in HS or college. In HS, my kids were very involved in athletics and I wanted them to be able focus on their sports. And, in college, they need to focus on their grades. If however, they were irresponsible, then I would have changed the approach but they were good kids and did the things they needed to do. So, for us, seemed like a good approach. YMMV

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Snicks View Post
                  I really did not want my kids to work excessively in HS or college. In HS, my kids were very involved in athletics and I wanted them to be able focus on their sports. And, in college, they need to focus on their grades. If however, they were irresponsible, then I would have changed the approach but they were good kids and did the things they needed to do. So, for us, seemed like a good approach. YMMV
                  It definitely depends on the kid. Our daughter was honor roll in high school and served on the Board of her youth group. She was in the honors program in college, on the Board of her fraternity, made Dean's list, and graduated with honors (and was in 2 honor societies). She was doing all the right stuff so we were happy to support her along the way. Had she been goofing off and causing trouble, it would have been a different conversation.
                  Steve

                  * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                  * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                  * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Also, I never could figure out what would be my kids' bills versus ours. In reality, we are paying all the bills. The money they earn isn't really significant enough to make much of a dent in anything. So, mostly, I had them use their money for gas, eating out, and those types of things. I mean, I do admire teens who are working and actually buy their own cars. DD's boyfriend is very self motivated and works very hard and bought himself a car. His parents don't make a lot of money so that is what he had to do. And, I think that is a great accomplishment. However, I do not feel my kids are slouches for not having to do this. I mean at some point in life they are going to be working and paying their own bills.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Snicks View Post
                      Also, I never could figure out what would be my kids' bills versus ours.
                      I figured out the easy ones. How much is the family health insurance vs. just my wife and I? How much is the auto insurance for her car? Stuff like that. I certainly didn't try to figure out her share of the electric bill or anything. When we arrived at an amount for "rent" that's what it was based on.
                      Steve

                      * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                      * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                      * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Our kids worked from pretty young ages, probably 13-14ish.
                        We bought their cars and paid the insurance, but it was up to them to buy fuel, pay for the oil changes, and take care of them.

                        When they were leaving the nest, we made sure they had a pretty decent reliable car, signed ownership over to them, and bought them a year of insurance.
                        Only thing we've done since then is give them a sweet deal on our own used cars if they wanted them, when we upgraded.

                        One went to college, we paid for that 100%, but she had to work if she wanted any spending money.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Snicks View Post
                          I really did not want my kids to work excessively in HS or college.
                          I highly doubt any one on this forum wants their kids to work excessively.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by MonkeyMama View Post

                            I highly doubt any one on this forum wants their kids to work excessively.
                            Agreed. It's not about forcing kids to work in order to earn an income & save & provide for themselves. The point is teaching them to value & enjoy & appreciate work, self reliance, and responsibility.
                            "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by MonkeyMama View Post

                              I highly doubt any one on this forum wants their kids to work excessively.
                              I know. I didn't mention anyone on this forum in any way. But, I didn't want my kids to have to drop out of any activities in order to work. Some of their friends did do that. Which was their choice and that's fine.

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