Author Topic: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student  (Read 3030 times)

Cooper62

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Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« on: February 21, 2017, 11:18:47 AM »
Really struggling with how much to provide my 16 year old daughter with.  She's a great kid.  Straight A student, AP classes, follows the rules at home and excels at extracurricular activities.  Teachers all love her.  The problem is the cost of all her activities and social life.  I feel like everything is overdone and high school kids don't need to be spending so much money.  The coaches and instructors don't help either.  For instance, she's on the varsity cheer team and the girls think they need to go out to eat after every home game.  Same once practice starts in the summer.  They are constantly going out for lunch, coffee and ice-cream after practice.  Going to get their nails done and some go tanning.  They tryout separately for basketball season and football season.  Some girls do both and some just one season.  They have different sweatshirts for each season.  I'm thinking can't they just get one for the entire year?  Multiple bows and socks.  I'm thinking one or two bows is enough.  The coach says they need all this stuff so we pay for it so she can be on the team.  Plus the weekly tumbling classes to keep up her skills to be on the cheer team.

On top of the cheer team she's on academic team, fall and spring musicals, student council and band.  The academic team is not that costly.  However, drama adds up and the band and their every other year trips to Universal is too much in my mind.  They were supposed to go on one trip every four years.  Now it is one trip every other year. 

We made her get a job last summer because she wanted to go to Universal Studios with the band, but with her tough class schedule and all the activities she only has time to work 1-2 shifts per week during the school year.  At least it is something to contribute, but I feel everything these high school kids are doing has become overdone.  Got a text today that she wants to know if she can get her hair and nails done for prom.  On top of the $300 dress she wants.  She told me she only has two proms in her life.  Sure, we can tell her to pay for it out of her job.  I keep thinking the prom hair money should be used for college or even the excessive activities.  I did not have the best experience in High School and she is very happy so have an internal conflict there, as well.  I keep thinking she has her entire life to work and if I put a stop to the activities and make her work more she's not going to be enjoying herself. 

Not sure how to deal with this as she is such a good kid at school and around the house.  I know the AP classes and activities will benefit her when applying to college.   We told her the job has to cover her meals out, Starbuck runs and presents she buys for friends birthdays parties.  We've been covering pretty much everything else; whatever she needs for school, clothing, used car, insurance, cell phone plan, haircuts etc. 

Anyone else dealing with this?  I feel like the crabby parent.  Many of the parents are in support of all the trips and activities and I keep thinking the money would be better spent on college. I also don't want her to think all these things are necessities and if she has so much now how will she deal with this when she is on her own on entry level wages.  Although she wants to be an engineer so she may be just fine as starting salaries appear to be higher in that field.

Chrissy

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2017, 11:51:52 AM »
I'll say it!  The money IS better spent on college.

What year of high school?

I do not have a teenage daughter... yet, but, I say, wear the Crabby Parent persona with pride!  It's your job to put a little adversity in her way now, so she's not shocked by it later.  This kid is gonna peak too soon.  High school should NOT be the best years of your life.

Don't let her guilt you!  Ask her which she would rather have:  two proms or one wedding?  Tell her to buy a white dress, 'cause she's gonna use it for all three.  No, she can't get her nails and hair done, she can do them herself.  She has YouTube to help her, which is a lot more than we had.

I'm IN the music/entertainment industry, and I'd ask her to consider dropping band.  If she's that interested in it, there are plenty of opportunities for players outside of school.

mm1970

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2017, 11:52:23 AM »
Quote
I also don't want her to think all these things are necessities and if she has so much now how will she deal with this when she is on her own on entry level wages.  Although she wants to be an engineer so she may be just fine as starting salaries appear to be higher in that field.

This is a toughie. It's really hard to know where to draw the line.  I was in a lot of extracurriculars as a teen also, but they were cheaper and the school was poorer.

So.  Volleyball.  We had one uniform (it actually belonged to the school).  I had to buy my own ball and knee pads.
Bus trips to games were included.
IF WE WON THE AWAY GAME, we would stop at Burger King on the way home.  I would get a $1 order of fries.

The other things I was in were free - yearbook and national honor society.


My older kid is 10, and he's in a lot of activities.
Baseball
- cost about $200 spring, $120 fall.  Equipment (mostly 1 time cost).  Uniform - pants and cleats, every couple of years when he grows out of them.
- Baseball "treats" - $12 once each season ($24 a year) when it's our turn to be the snack parent
- Snack shack during the games, $3 x 10 because the kids want a snack at the games anyway.

Band
- instrument is free
- extra lessons are free
- white shirt, black pants, black shoes

Chess
- $120 x 3 times a year for chess class

Little guy so far just in swim lessons.


So, there is a need to separate needs from wants, but also "wants" from "wants".  It seems like you have to determine which wants are closer to needs - like some of the uniform requirements for cheer.  It's hard to tell without being there how many of them really are optional. 

And then you have to determine which wants are really, well, wants.

There's nothing wrong with going out to dinner after a game, or getting ice cream.  The thing that *I* struggle with is that it can feel never ending. So I limit it.  How?  2 ways:
1.  Decide to attend every 4th time, or once a month
2.  Set a budget, and when the money is gone, it's gone

(You could do one or the other, or both).

When it comes to prom, I think you should just set a budget.  "I will give you $300".  She can choose to spend it on nails, haircut, dress, whatever.

Your concern about living when she starts out is a good one, even in engineering.  I'm an engineer and was pretty independent right off.  But I've worked with 24 year old engineers who talk about their younger brother "getting their upgrade" because they are still on daddy's phone plan and younger bro lost their phone.  I think it's a really big risk.  Have you discussed the cost of the cell phone, insurance, etc?  Make a budget?


As an aside - I have a friend with one daughter.  Very bright, great grades, involved in lots of things. Skipped a grade.  Went off to Ivy League at 17.  Not sure if parents were instilling frugality or if she was just like this, but she bought a dress from E-bay for $25 and altered it, cooked dinner for her date, and had a really cheap prom.  She worked while in school, and paid for many of her own flights back.  (She's now a mom and an OB/GYN.)

bognish

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2017, 12:44:49 PM »
Maybe set an extra curricular budget and let her decide how she wants to spend the money. Instead of you picking which is not worthwhile let her prioritize her wants.

ysette9

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2017, 12:47:09 PM »
If I were in your position I would sit down with my husband and agree on a monthly budget for her. I have no advice on what "reasonable" is, but enough to pay for some of these bazillion extra-curriculars but not all, or even half. Then explain to her that this is how much money she can get to support her school activities and it is up to her to budget it and decide where to spend. That will make your costs predictable and teach her a good lesson about money management.

Another note: absolutely do not ever let her go to a tanning studio. They are so incredibly dangerous for everyone, but especially to young kids/teens. She should be wearing sunblock every day and protecting herself, not going out of her way to pay money to inflict damage. Every single person in the generations above me in my family has had cancerous and pre-cancerous things frozen off, cut off, and surgically removed. My parents' tile designer died of melanoma because she used to love laying out in the sun. This shit is dangerous and 100% preventable.

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http://www.teenvogue.com/story/fda-ban-teens-indoor-tanning
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2Birds1Stone

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2017, 12:58:27 PM »
I was essentially your daughter growing up.

Honors classes, AP classes, varsity lacrosse, academic clubs, as well as jazz band.

I still managed to work 20-30 hours a week. My parents paid for a few odds and ends that were non negotiable in terms of activities. But, going out with team mates, voluntary trips, etc were paid for by yours truly.

I worked at a Carvel 2-3 days a week from the time I got home from school/practice till close ~9 PM, as well as 1 10 hour shift on the weekend. Earning that $150-200/week taught me to budget my money and forced my to prioritize spending. While peers were receiving cars for graduation or college acceptance I bought my own car with my own money, I treated that $2,500 car better than anyone who got a brand new car as a result.

You obviously should reward your kid for doing well in school and life, but the value of earning money goes far beyond the actual spending power of that money.
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merula

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2017, 01:04:11 PM »
+1 to the "set a budget" idea. My kids are young (and boys!) but the memories of being a teenage girl are strong ones.

My parents set a "one extracurricular" rule. I had to choose between 1x/week gymnastics class and 2x/mo girl scouts. Meanwhile, my brother was in hockey and had 3x/week practices, plus games and tournaments. A dollar budget would've been a more equitable solution.

Another rule my parents had for my brother and sister was a clothing budget. (They didn't get this idea until I was out of the house.) My sibs could buy whatever clothing they wanted, until the budget ran out. This made for far fewer fights about clothing than I had. (My mom wouldn't buy me clothes unless she approved of them.)

So I'm a big fan of giving teenagers budgets and letting them make their own choices. You might set a dollar amount for prom, a dollar amount for extracurriculars, etc., or you could give her a set amount of money on a monthly basis.

Does she get an allowance currently? If so, I'd just roll that into this money. I would also not discount that providing her with a car and paying for insurance and her cell phone plan are very generous of you.

If she's never had any major budgeting before, you'll probably need to give her some support there. When my brother and sister started their clothing budget, they thought that $50/month was SO MUCH MONEY. It went fast. This would also be the place to walk through what you expect her to pay for and what you will pay for. (She picks up haircuts, you'll pay for college application fees next year, etc.) Being clear on that point will make things easier down the road when she runs out of money. And she will run out of money.

marty998

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2017, 01:11:38 PM »
Read this. Again.


Another note: absolutely do not ever let her go to a tanning studio. They are so incredibly dangerous for everyone, but especially to young kids/teens. She should be wearing sunblock every day and protecting herself, not going out of her way to pay money to inflict damage. Every single person in the generations above me in my family has had cancerous and pre-cancerous things frozen off, cut off, and surgically removed. My parents' tile designer died of melanoma because she used to love laying out in the sun. This shit is dangerous and 100% preventable.

Too many people get cancer from these machines.

GizmoTX

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2017, 01:36:56 PM »
This is not going to go away in college unless there's a budget.

Granted, our HS student was a boy without the girly stuff, but the demand for expensive activities is still there. We did not expect him to be employed during the school year but did expect him to work a summer job, preferably in his field of interest. (He did go-fer work at a small computer company.) We paid for defined educational expense, school clothing, food at home, anything medical, basic cellphone, & gave him a basic monthly allowance for anything else, including clothing, gas, & fun. If it was gone, he tapped his savings or went without. He had his own checking account & credit card that he had to pay off in full every month; since we had to initially be on those accounts, we could monitor them online.

We didn't require that he contribute to a college fund because we already had one. He did get 2 merit scholarships that covered 60% of the cost. We did essentially the same funding for college: paid the remainder of direct university cost, bought used or rented textbooks whenever possible, & expected him to cover anything else out of his summer earnings. When he moved from the dorm to an apartment, we provided a monthly allowance for the same R&B, but he made all the spending decisions. He tutored for extra money during the school year & got engineering internships for the summers. We now pay nothing because he graduated last May. He started using YNAB last summer. He's finishing graduate school this May, & we expected him to tap his remaining college fund for it, but he obtained a teaching assistantship that pays all his tuition & fees plus a stipend.

The point of this is that it's critical that HS students take control of their spending while they're still home to be monitored & that parents shouldn't pay out on demand. Even when very young, it was amazing to me how discriminating DS was when he had to use his own money to buy something, which was most of the time; he recognized that what he had was finite. He chose what he really wanted & took good care of it.

trashmanz

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2017, 01:43:39 PM »
Have you calculated the costs for all this?  Would be better able to deal with it if you run the actual numbers.  Once she sees what it is costing it may be eye opening for her too.  Otherwise, maybe it isn't quite so bad, hard to decide without running the actual numbers. 

OthalaFehu

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2017, 01:47:29 PM »
Your child will be this age in high school once. The memories and bonds she is making with her team are well worth the price of social admission. Soon enough she will out of your house and on her own, help her out while she is under your roof.
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pbkmaine

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2017, 01:58:57 PM »
Maybe set an extra curricular budget and let her decide how she wants to spend the money. Instead of you picking which is not worthwhile let her prioritize her wants.

This.

caracarn

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2017, 02:09:17 PM »
We have six kids, four in high school, so this was certainly something we needed to address. 

We have a limit on the number of activities for the year, and also have made it clear that they can ask beyond that but depending on logistics etc. they may be told it cannot happen.  Both my wife and I work and the kids share one car, so the can't be two places at once comes in to play quite often.  For example, our son (who's not in high school yet) started music lessons (which he has to wait two years for) this month but had to drop out of the other activity he was in to do that. 

We pay the school fees and for the shirt or outfit that is needed but anything beyond that is their cost.  Not had any cheerleaders, but we have had marching band members, and they had to pitch in for their food etc.  We rarely provided money to go out to eat afterwards.  If it was important enough they could get a job for that just like we did.  We also do a weekly allowance (you can search for my Bank of Dad posts for details on that) so they can utilize that however they please.  If they have spent it on something else, they go without the activity or the perk if they do not have the money. 

Simple and it has worked for us.   Basically everything beyond food, shelter and clothing is optional on if we cover it.  If they want it bad enough they find a way.

ETA:  Sorry, I missed the other expenses.  We provide a basic cell phone plan with unlimited talk and text but cap the data on each line.  We are on Verizon so the Family Safeguards let us set those limits.  They hit the data limit two weeks in?  Sorry.  Find wifi or do without.  Each kid get 1.5GB, and we do have the poor planners who do suck up their data very quickly.  We pay car insurance for the first three months after their birthday, then the increase is on them.  It amounts to about $25/month for the two drivers we have so far.  One had an accident.  She had to pay half the deductible and when the insurance increase comes along we'll determine how much of that she has to cover.  Since they run errands for us with the "kid car" as well as use if for their own activities we only have them pay for every third tank of gas, we cover the other two.  We will cover a gift under $20 for a friend's birthday party for a couple friends per child.  If they are more charitable than that then the other gifts are their responsibility.  In short, it is teaching them responsibility while they are still there trying to not create an entitled brat like many of the other kids I see out there and who then come to work for me after college and still have that entitles attitude and are upset the world does not cater to them like mom and dad did.  I disagree with high school having some magic place in life and think perspective is a good thing. 
« Last Edit: February 21, 2017, 02:24:09 PM by caracarn »

FLBiker

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2017, 02:15:53 PM »
Your child will be this age in high school once. The memories and bonds she is making with her team are well worth the price of social admission. Soon enough she will out of your house and on her own, help her out while she is under your roof.

I agree with the sentiment here, but I also feel that a big part of helping our kids out is helping them realize how money works.  There are few things more helpful in terms of long term happiness than basic financial intelligence.  I definitely want my daughter to understand that spending money on one thing means not spending it on another (even if we have the money) because that is an important lesson to internalize.  I remember sometime in highschool (I started working at 15) I realized that every dollar I didn't spend was time I didn't have to work.  I've had that approach to spending for the past 25 years, and it has made my life MUCH easier than many of my peers.

caracarn

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2017, 02:26:54 PM »
Your child will be this age in high school once. The memories and bonds she is making with her team are well worth the price of social admission. Soon enough she will out of your house and on her own, help her out while she is under your roof.

I agree with the sentiment here, but I also feel that a big part of helping our kids out is helping them realize how money works.  There are few things more helpful in terms of long term happiness than basic financial intelligence.  I definitely want my daughter to understand that spending money on one thing means not spending it on another (even if we have the money) because that is an important lesson to internalize.  I remember sometime in highschool (I started working at 15) I realized that every dollar I didn't spend was time I didn't have to work.  I've had that approach to spending for the past 25 years, and it has made my life MUCH easier than many of my peers.

Totally agree.  Perhaps the poster did not mean to just cover whatever they want, though that is how I took it.  You then create people who enter the work force and want an office and a six figure salary two years out of college because of the entitlement attitude this belief creates.  I do not think paying for their every whim "helps" them while under your roof.  You can meet in the middle and still teach responsibility.

Cranky

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2017, 03:18:47 PM »
Honestly, this is when I'm glad that we're in a pretty low income neighborhood. A lot of those expenses didn't come up because they were waaaay beyond the means of most families at our high school. Drama club cost nothing. Every kid in band had a fundraising account - we just paid for stuff rather than sell candy bars, but our kids knew they were lucky.

I think it's a big adjustment for a lot of kids to go from an environment were everybody had everything, to the Real World.

Anyway, I'd give them a budget and let them choose.

skp

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2017, 04:45:29 PM »
I get the idea of giving the girl an allowance and letting her decide.  But with my kids it was My priorities because it was MY money.
There is no way I would OK a $300 dress.  Or nails. Do your own nails.  Hair OK (reasonable- not highlighting or keratin treatments  And NO NO NO to tanning. 
But I think activities are important. And if you are going to do an activity you have to consider the costs or not bother doing it.  My children ran cross country with a child whose parents wouldn't buy the child proper running shoes.  Good running shoes are expensive. So,  she ended up injured. I wonder if it would have been cheaper to just buy the running shoes instead of spending money on X rays and medical bills.  Our school had pay to play plus you had to supply the running shoes.  IMO if she wasn't going to buy the shoes why bother paying to play.
I would not mind spending on the "extraneous" parts of activities.  Eating out after the game would be OK with me within reason. Ice cream and coffee OK after the game .  Steak and lobster.  No way   I think an important part of an activity is the social aspect. Also IMO Bows are part of the activity.  Just like the running shoes.  I'd have no problem buying bows.
My children had a basic cell phone.  They didn't have a car .  We all shared our car.  They could borrow it if it was available. I didn't see any point in buying a car so they could work a minimum wage job.  I thought school was their job.  And activities.

LiveLean

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2017, 01:48:34 PM »
Two boys, 14 and 11.

I'm convinced you save 50 percent overall not having girls. No hair, make-up, bags, salon and spa trips. No accessories of any sort. My guys would wear the same clothes every day if we let them. We have to drag them kicking and screaming for any sort of clothes shopping.

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Bliss

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2017, 01:55:36 PM »
This is what my parents did when I was in high school and college... I had to prepare an annual budget and then present it to them. We agreed on a dollar amount, which they doled out to me on a regular basis. By college they just gave me one lump sum for the year. It was up to me to prioritize my wants/needs and make up any shortfall through part-time work.

pbkmaine

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2017, 02:08:35 PM »
In high school, I would get my clothing budget for the year in cash in an envelope and it was my job to make it work.

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #20 on: February 22, 2017, 02:27:22 PM »
I had some very expensive hobbies as a kid (glassblowing as an example), and my parents would cover those costs.  In that sense my sister and I were quite spoiled, however there was very little pointless consumption in our household and I think it turned out fine.

Its important to differentiate between activities that require commitment and learning versus empty consumption.  Support the former, and provide a limited budget for the latter.

My parents were quite open about household finances and were prudent with their spending so I developed an awareness of the value of money.  I think you can instill good habits without enforcing a budget on school activities.

jeninco

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2017, 03:08:02 PM »
Two boys, 14 and 11.

I'm convinced you save 50 percent overall not having girls. No hair, make-up, bags, salon and spa trips. No accessories of any sort. My guys would wear the same clothes every day if we let them. We have to drag them kicking and screaming for any sort of clothes shopping.

16 and almost-13 boys here, and this. Although mine get more opinionated about what they wear as they get older. (It's still pretty cheap, though.)

I love the clothing allowance idea, and we'll implement it as soon as we take the time to figure out what the number already is (it's low...).  Other than that ... we pay for things we think are worthwhile, but when the older kid asked for a ton of expensive stuff for Christmas, we gave him an envelope containing enough cash to choose some  of the things he wanted. That way he got to prioritize. (None of it was things to which we were opposed, so we were comfortable with him making the decision.) Can you, preferably with your daughter, set a budget for some of these activities that allows her to choose her own priorities? (And can you then let go, even if her priorities are different than yours? *)

* I'm firmly on the no-tanning side, however. Yuck!

libertarian4321

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2017, 03:31:45 PM »
I'm always stunned at how much parents pay for their kids these days.

We are happily child free, which I suspect is a big reason we are multimillionaires.

But I watched my brother and his wife spend blow so much money on their kids.

The "sports" were the worst.  Even before HS, his kids were spending big money on something called "travel teams."  They'd travel all over New England for soccer tournaments and the like (with associated hotel, food, gas costs).  These were for kids who could be charitably described as mediocre athletes. 

I never "got it."  Back when we were kids, if we played anyone outside our hometown prior to HS, it would be, at most, a 20-mile trip to one of the other small towns nearby.  As a former mediocre athlete myself, I never felt "gee, if we had only spent big money travelling hundreds of miles, I would have been in the Major Leagues."   I'm quite sure mediocrity stays mediocre, whether travelling 10 miles or 300 miles.

And this stuff about "you need it for college" is mostly BS.  Sure, looking like you did something other than study helps on a college application, but unless you are a great athlete looking for a full-ride athletic scholarship, merely putting something on the  application is good enough.  Fourth string kicker on the football team is just as good as first string running back, because both show up as "Varsity Football" on the app.  You don't need special coaching to be a crappy football player.  And if you aren't good enough to be a crappy football player, there are almost always sports where any kid with a pulse can make the team (Golf, Tennis, cross-country, etc).

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2017, 06:44:42 PM »
I am agreeing with everyone else that there has to be a budget set for total activities, and that needs to include the proms.  It might make it easier if you get together with the other cheerleader/drama/whatever activity parents and agree that all this restaurant stuff is getting out of hand, and from now on you guys are going to rotate who hosts a pasta party for the kids after each event.  My cross-country team in high school did a rotating pasta party before each race meet, and it was a lot of fun.  Pasta + sauce + bread + lemonade or other beverage is a quick and cheap way to feed a lot of high school kids and won't put to much of a burden on the hosting parents.

If the dress for prom is $300, you better believe the other costs are going to mount up, but you may not find out about them until the time draws nearer.  Hair, makeup, manicure, shoes, jewelry.  Are they going out to eat before?  Is there an after-party?  Does her friend group want to go in a limo?  Is she going to buy a boutonnière for her date?  Who is paying for tickets to this event?  I paid for my own prom in high school.  I got a $100 dress for prom #1 and a $40 dress for prom #2.  Tickets for each were close to $100.  My share of the limo for each was probably >$100.  I did my own hair and makeup and didn't do anything with my nails.  And it was still expensive. 

If she does not have to contribute or ration out any of this money for prom and other activities, she will have no incentive to reign in costs.  Right now, her job is just one more activity because the money she earns has almost no bearing on the money she spends.

And I agree completely with everyone who is saying to cut out the tanning entirely.  I have two female relatives in their fifties now.  When they were in their forties, Older Sister (who didn't lie out much) looked like she was in her forties.  Younger Sister, who worshiped the sun, looked like she was in her mid-seventies (no exaggeration).  Younger Sister very early developed old, worn-out skin and has had precancerous patches removed.  If you can't convince your daughter to give it up for health, encourage her to give it up for vanity.  Your daughter might not be lying out on a regular basis in the summer, but she is using a tanning bed (possibly year-round) and is getting far more concentrated blasts.
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Blonde Lawyer

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2017, 08:16:50 PM »
I'd let her do hair and nails for prom budget style.  She can go to one of the walk in asian nail places and get a manicure for $15.  Not a $50 spa manicure.  Hair can also be done at a reasonable rate at a local hairdresser, not an overpriced spa.  I recently had my hair curled for a black tie event and it cost me $25.  An updo would have been $75.  She can get her makeup done for free at department store counter but it is customary to buy something for their time - a lipstick or a mascara for example. 

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #25 on: February 23, 2017, 10:07:37 AM »
Maybe set an extra curricular budget and let her decide how she wants to spend the money. Instead of you picking which is not worthwhile let her prioritize her wants.
+1!

Sounds like you have built a fantasy land for her.  She gets to do all this stuff, much of which is complete fluffery, while you stress over the cost.  At some point in the alarmingly near future she will be on her own at college and will be lacking budgeting skills.  Basically she will be setup to be another kid who will take out horrendous student loans to support a lifestyle that all her friends have, probably pick a major based on anything but earning and employability, and will be back under your roof withing a few short years whining about onerous bills and crappy pay.  I had a hard time reading your story without wanting to facepunch you.

So unless your goal is to send her to college to get her MRS, I'd impose a budget ASAP.  Maybe even hand her a bank account and checkbook and let her write EVERY check.  Make sure EVERYTHING, including her lattes, lunches, and sweatshirts are coming out of that same account.  Keep contributing to it at the agreed upon monthly amount so she has to budget for upcoming lumpy expenses.  Expect crying begging, and shouting, all good signs of financial weakness leaving her body.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2017, 10:20:15 AM by moof »

caracarn

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #26 on: February 23, 2017, 10:29:30 AM »
I'd let her do hair and nails for prom budget style.  She can go to one of the walk in asian nail places and get a manicure for $15.  Not a $50 spa manicure.  Hair can also be done at a reasonable rate at a local hairdresser, not an overpriced spa.  I recently had my hair curled for a black tie event and it cost me $25.  An updo would have been $75.  She can get her makeup done for free at department store counter but it is customary to buy something for their time - a lipstick or a mascara for example.

On idea on all this.  See if there is a local beauty school/college.  Many times they operate a salon as part of that and the costs are low.  We paid $10 for manicures that were as good or better than anything at the full business.  Two girls in and out for hair makeup and manicures for $50.  Not each.  Total. 

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #27 on: February 23, 2017, 10:55:48 AM »
Maybe set an extra curricular budget and let her decide how she wants to spend the money. Instead of you picking which is not worthwhile let her prioritize her wants.
+1!

Sounds like you have built a fantasy land for her.  She gets to do all this stuff, much of which is complete fluffery, while you stress over the cost.  At some point in the alarmingly near future she will be on her own at college and will be lacking budgeting skills.  Basically she will be setup to be another kid who will take out horrendous student loans to support a lifestyle that all her friends have, probably pick a major based on anything but earning and employability, and will be back under your roof withing a few short years whining about onerous bills and crappy pay.  I had a hard time reading your story without wanting to facepunch you.

So unless your goal is to send her to college to get her MRS, I'd impose a budget ASAP.  Maybe even hand her a bank account and checkbook and let her write EVERY check.  Make sure EVERYTHING, including her lattes, lunches, and sweatshirts are coming out of that same account.  Keep contributing to it at the agreed upon monthly amount so she has to budget for upcoming lumpy expenses.  Expect crying begging, and shouting, all good signs of financial weakness leaving her body.

I don't think this is necessarily true.  I got basically everything I could have ever wanted or needed in high school (I mean the free car I got was from a dead relative, not a new lexus, but still- free car). I went to college 90% on scholarship, with my parents paying the rest. They did not allow me to work, though eventually relented my junior year and let me work part time.
I have been debt free my entire adult life. I have lived well within my means, to the point where I was able to to pay for my master's degree out of pocket without having to change any of my lifestyle. We've easily saved up for 25% downpayments on houses. I don't think my savings rate has ever been below 40% and sometimes has been as high as 60%.  As a young adult I fully recognized my PARENTS had money and that didn't mean I had money.  As a not quite as young as I used to be adult, I have plenty of money, but I recognize that I don't have the same spending habits as my parents and would rather side towards being frugal.

If the parents want to spend less, it makes sense to make the daughter prioritize; not do it for her.  But to say spending money on her sets her up for failure as an adult is ridiculous.

And I fully agree to get rid of the tanning.

Cooper62

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #28 on: February 23, 2017, 01:13:58 PM »
Thanks all for the comments.  You have given me a lot to think about!!  Going to really review it over the weekend and come up with a plan.

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #29 on: February 23, 2017, 02:37:20 PM »
I have been doing my own mani-pedis for the past 60 years and do not find that my quality of life has suffered as a result.

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #30 on: February 24, 2017, 04:56:20 AM »
We live in an affluent community and I expect this to be a problem.

My coworker has teenagers, whom she made get jobs and whom she denies things that are common in the HS. Her daughter especially is pretty bitter about it.

I went to a blue collar school. There was none of that because no one had money except the three doctors kids. And everyone had jobs.

My H went to an affluent school and was happily oblivious but his sister was very negatively effected- she cared a lot about fitting in, and was "poor".

I tried out for dance team (similar to cheer at my school) and they gave us a list of 300$ worth of outfits we had to buy. I knew my mom would say NOPE! All other sports had uniforms provided. Not dance/cheer.

Our band did trips but because many kids couldn't afford it, we did a TON of fundraising. In wealthy districts the parents are expected to just write a check. We are like 3% free and reduced lunch, and those few kids will go for free, but the bottom fourth who can't really afford it (and the mustachians who just don't want to!) are screwed.

No great answers except that I am trying to instill in my kids now that we'll give them some.mo EY for allowance, and pay for some activities, but they have to contribute and get jobs, and save their Christmas money, etc. I don't have much problem paying for the activity itself, but coffee or eating out after practice? Guess you better work enough at your summer job to pay for that all year round! For the record I worked more than full time.in the summer, but only 5-10 hours a week during school. I saved all my mom EY for school year expenses.
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kanga1622

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #31 on: February 24, 2017, 08:08:59 AM »
Maybe set an extra curricular budget and let her decide how she wants to spend the money. Instead of you picking which is not worthwhile let her prioritize her wants.
+1!

Sounds like you have built a fantasy land for her.  She gets to do all this stuff, much of which is complete fluffery, while you stress over the cost.  At some point in the alarmingly near future she will be on her own at college and will be lacking budgeting skills.  Basically she will be setup to be another kid who will take out horrendous student loans to support a lifestyle that all her friends have, probably pick a major based on anything but earning and employability, and will be back under your roof withing a few short years whining about onerous bills and crappy pay.  I had a hard time reading your story without wanting to facepunch you.

So unless your goal is to send her to college to get her MRS, I'd impose a budget ASAP.  Maybe even hand her a bank account and checkbook and let her write EVERY check.  Make sure EVERYTHING, including her lattes, lunches, and sweatshirts are coming out of that same account.  Keep contributing to it at the agreed upon monthly amount so she has to budget for upcoming lumpy expenses.  Expect crying begging, and shouting, all good signs of financial weakness leaving her body.

I don't think this is necessarily true.  I got basically everything I could have ever wanted or needed in high school (I mean the free car I got was from a dead relative, not a new lexus, but still- free car). I went to college 90% on scholarship, with my parents paying the rest. They did not allow me to work, though eventually relented my junior year and let me work part time.
I have been debt free my entire adult life. I have lived well within my means, to the point where I was able to to pay for my master's degree out of pocket without having to change any of my lifestyle. We've easily saved up for 25% downpayments on houses. I don't think my savings rate has ever been below 40% and sometimes has been as high as 60%.  As a young adult I fully recognized my PARENTS had money and that didn't mean I had money.  As a not quite as young as I used to be adult, I have plenty of money, but I recognize that I don't have the same spending habits as my parents and would rather side towards being frugal.

If the parents want to spend less, it makes sense to make the daughter prioritize; not do it for her.  But to say spending money on her sets her up for failure as an adult is ridiculous.

And I fully agree to get rid of the tanning.

I have to agree with IowaJes. I was handed everything I ever asked for as a kid (youngest child by 10 years so I was SPOILED). I didn't have a job until I was out of high school other than babysitting. I paid my way through college and never asked my parents for money once I was out of the house. While they didn't make me pay for anything in high school, I have very vivid memories of my dad saying that you only use a credit card if you can pay off the balance as soon as the bill comes (this was before debit cards). He never had a loan on a vehicle while I grew up and bought his house for a whopping $1000 when he and my mom got married. All repairs were done with cash and often having help from a grandpa.

However, our goal with our kids is to give them a budget and let them determine how things are spent. We talk about budgets with our kids already (almost 7 and 3.5). They understand when I tell them whatever treat they want isn't in the budget. We talk about realistic expectations (the $150 Lego set is not in my Christmas budget) and help them save up their money toward those expensive items. Probably by the time they are 10 I want to give them a budget for back to school supplies and clothes and let them choose where to spend.

I'd rather let my kids fail on the budget now than when it has major consequences. Having only one pair of "fashionable" jeans as a teenager and learning that washing them every day wasn't worth blowing the entire clothes budget is a great lesson.


Poundwise

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #32 on: February 24, 2017, 09:02:58 AM »
Thanks so much for starting this topic!  I have no answers yet, but this is a subject which has been very much on my mind over the last year.   Oldest son is in three orchestras (music school, regular school, and All-State), travel soccer, Science Olympiad, and church confirmation class/youth group.  Fortunately the dollar cost of most of these activities, except music school, is free or nominal.  But the scheduling is crazy despite the car pools I have set up, and I am tired of all the parties, potlucks, and fundraisers which do add up in terms of time and resources.

I want to sit down with my son and set up some dollar and time budgets; however I have not decided yet on the amounts I'm willing to cover. 

swaayze

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #33 on: February 24, 2017, 10:02:03 AM »
I don't think I have any good advice, since we struggle with the same issues. Twin 16yo girls in marching band, theatre, and all (pre)AP classes. They get up at 5-6am to go practice band early then usually stay a bit late as well. Once home it's pretty much straight to homework, often enough until 12-1a.

IT'S ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS THE TIME AND MONEY "they" expect of these kids now! If you don't have kids now you likely don't understand how it has changed from when we had similar activities.

The kids often mention a job, which quite frankly is ludicrous to consider given their lack of free time. Sure, they could stop some activities, but I find that to be unappealing to us all, as they have a good group of like minded kids and so far seem to have steered clear of much trouble and drama. We try to pull them back on school ("maybe not an AP class of x this year?" No way! Everything is a competition when you have driven twins - plus they are bored and frustrated in on-level classes with a few distractive, unmotivated classmates and the slow pace).

So, I continue to tell them that school is their job, and as long as they do their best and stay out of trouble they will be supported. Adult life and all of it's, um, joys, will be theirs far too soon. I was always (and still am to a large degree despite my efforts) looking to the future and not appreciating the present. I don't want them quite as obsessively focused out front.

We have one free spender and one way too tightwad. Moderating those traits is my bigger concern than spending on them now - how do we get them both to the happy medium?
« Last Edit: February 24, 2017, 10:04:24 AM by swaayze »

totoro

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #34 on: February 24, 2017, 10:36:40 AM »
We live in a high socioeconomic area of the city and kids at the high school have a lot of financial support for the most part.

Our approach to these things has been to pay for most reasonable expenses around extra-curricular and we didn't have a limit on what they could join or do.  We didn't have cheerleader group-type expenses as we have boys, but we did pay for many sports trips and music lessons and all sorts of other lessons.  I packed lunches and snacks, but on multi-day trips we gave spending money.  Our eldest went to South America with rugby and we paid half - they fund-raised the rest.  For graduation I bought my son a suit.  I also had a big garden party for parents and friends.

The kids do have pt jobs but they have used their savings for travel with us mostly.  I know this might not be the best MMM-style example, but it has worked extremely well for them and us and they are very aware of finances and responsible with money.  They don't take things for granted.

Where I have drawn the line is with education expenses and cars.  Unlike many of their friends, we won't be buying the kids a car.  I've also told the kids that they are welcome to live at home rent-free while at school but we will not be paying for them to live elsewhere or for extra expenses, although we will pay for tuition and books.  We live in a university town and I just don't see the point in paying 10k a year or more for them to move across the country and live on their own - they can do this if they want to.   The result is that my oldest will stay at home and his engineering degree will be paid for with scholarships and coop this September.  I don't expect he will graduate with any debt.

I'd say the example you set in how you manage your household finances is extremely important for the kids, more important than a strict budget in high school - although I would definitely not be paying for nails and tanning ever.  Nails can be done at home, or paid for by the kid, and tanning is linked to skin cancer.

I see our overall level of frugality manifesting in the kids when they are spending their own money.  My son told me he only realized how careful we were compared to his peers with things like meal planning and budgeting now that he is responsible for this on his gap year trip abroad (paid for by himself) and he let me know how much he appreciated the small lessons on these things along the way have helped him to enjoy six months of travelling with money to spare.


Gin1984

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #35 on: February 24, 2017, 10:38:24 AM »
I don't think I have any good advice, since we struggle with the same issues. Twin 16yo girls in marching band, theatre, and all (pre)AP classes. They get up at 5-6am to go practice band early then usually stay a bit late as well. Once home it's pretty much straight to homework, often enough until 12-1a.

IT'S ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS THE TIME AND MONEY "they" expect of these kids now! If you don't have kids now you likely don't understand how it has changed from when we had similar activities.

The kids often mention a job, which quite frankly is ludicrous to consider given their lack of free time. Sure, they could stop some activities, but I find that to be unappealing to us all, as they have a good group of like minded kids and so far seem to have steered clear of much trouble and drama. We try to pull them back on school ("maybe not an AP class of x this year?" No way! Everything is a competition when you have driven twins - plus they are bored and frustrated in on-level classes with a few distractive, unmotivated classmates and the slow pace).

So, I continue to tell them that school is their job, and as long as they do their best and stay out of trouble they will be supported. Adult life and all of it's, um, joys, will be theirs far too soon. I was always (and still am to a large degree despite my efforts) looking to the future and not appreciating the present. I don't want them quite as obsessively focused out front.

We have one free spender and one way too tightwad. Moderating those traits is my bigger concern than spending on them now - how do we get them both to the happy medium?
I found this funny because what you describe was very similar to what I experienced in high school, in Catholic school about 15 years ago.  My mom bought me a $300 prom dress, I had my hair done for prom.  We had homework till midnight or one am.  I had a job and it really hurt my grades.  My grades jumped when I stopped working for a quarter to the point I was asked what caused the jump. 

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totoro

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #36 on: February 24, 2017, 10:58:20 AM »
I'm always stunned at how much parents pay for their kids these days.

We are happily child free, which I suspect is a big reason we are multimillionaires.


Yeah, I wonder about this.  Despite having four kids we've land up the same way. 

Don't get me wrong, kids cost money, but I'm not sure that we are not wealthier because of having kids.

My theory is if you are a strategic thinker you adjust to your circumstances and seek out the best option.  Sometimes having kids will propel you in a direction that pays off financially - perhaps more than you would have otherwise because financial security may become a stronger motivator.   

Because we had kids we went back to school.   Because we went back to school in Canada the childcare was almost free for those years.  In addition, we received a child tax benefit that was very generous because our incomes were low.   Schooling paid off and because we had kids I started my own business so I could work from home and it was way more lucrative than working for someone else.  Because we had kids we bought bigger houses and earlier and the market here appreciated like crazy.

As far as post-secondary, there is also room for strategic thinking there.  In Canada where I am it is a little easier than the US but rootofgood seems to have a plan that will work in the US: http://rootofgood.com/pay-for-college-while-retired-early/

mm1970

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #37 on: February 24, 2017, 06:30:18 PM »
I'm always stunned at how much parents pay for their kids these days.

We are happily child free, which I suspect is a big reason we are multimillionaires.

But I watched my brother and his wife spend blow so much money on their kids.

The "sports" were the worst.  Even before HS, his kids were spending big money on something called "travel teams."  They'd travel all over New England for soccer tournaments and the like (with associated hotel, food, gas costs).  These were for kids who could be charitably described as mediocre athletes. 

I never "got it."  Back when we were kids, if we played anyone outside our hometown prior to HS, it would be, at most, a 20-mile trip to one of the other small towns nearby.  As a former mediocre athlete myself, I never felt "gee, if we had only spent big money travelling hundreds of miles, I would have been in the Major Leagues."   I'm quite sure mediocrity stays mediocre, whether travelling 10 miles or 300 miles.

And this stuff about "you need it for college" is mostly BS.  Sure, looking like you did something other than study helps on a college application, but unless you are a great athlete looking for a full-ride athletic scholarship, merely putting something on the  application is good enough.  Fourth string kicker on the football team is just as good as first string running back, because both show up as "Varsity Football" on the app.  You don't need special coaching to be a crappy football player.  And if you aren't good enough to be a crappy football player, there are almost always sports where any kid with a pulse can make the team (Golf, Tennis, cross-country, etc).
There are some very good points in here.  I think things have changed a lot from when I was a kid - partly because I moved from a rural area to a wealthy one, but also partly because "times have changed".  For example, I made the volleyball comment, above, but even my home town has "club" volleyball now, so you can play even more!

A couple of years ago, our really good friends (that we had grown apart from), asked me: "When are you going to LET your son play sports?" 

LET HIM?  I mean, what?

See, here's the background. We used to play vball with these folks and have dinner together at rotating houses every week.  Then they had a kid, and it was once a month.  Then we had a kid, and it was 6 times a year.  Then they had kid #2.  After  a couple of years, their kids were in 2 activities each.  So they were NEVER available to get together.  It became an annual thing, and actually last time we saw them for a get together was 2 years ago because we all got sick when we were supposed to get together.

In any event, their kid #1 was in soccer.  Liked it, got bored, wanted to quit.  Parents wouldn't let him.  Fine, I see the point in making them practice things they aren't good at and not give up too early.  He got good at it.  Now he's on 2 soccer teams, including traveling soccer.  So, yes, weekend trips away many times a year.  $$.

My kid tried soccer.  Took some cheap classes, played on the school team (they lost one game 0-19).  Didn't like it.  At age 9, decides to try baseball.  REALLY likes it.  So he's playing baseball.  But...he's not on the traveling team.  He *likes* baseball.  He doesn't *love* baseball.  He's not that good at it, because he started at 9, not 4.  This is PERFECT for me.  Just a regular, 3 month, cheap season.  He gets better every year.  When he catches a ball or hits a ball, it's a big deal!  He's learning teamwork and skills.  I have friends elsewhere whose kids have actual baseball scholarships.  That's great.

My kid might get an academic scholarship.  He likes chess, is great at math, nerdy, plays flute.  But for him, sports are fun, not a means to getting into college.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #38 on: February 24, 2017, 11:53:04 PM »
Maybe set an extra curricular budget and let her decide how she wants to spend the money. Instead of you picking which is not worthwhile let her prioritize her wants.

This.
I think this is good advice.
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Dee18

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #39 on: February 25, 2017, 03:07:39 PM »
I am the parent of a now 20 year old daughter.  When she was 16 I was already financially independent, but I consciously chose to not pay for many things I could afford. I belive many teens are being taught that a life of extravagant consumption is normal and I did not want that for my daughter.  (I was also appalled at the waste and environmental consequences of thinking everything had to be new every year...from school supplies to a new dress for every dance.) As a college professor I see young adults struggling because they have been conditioned to a level of consumption they cannot match without debt. 

I did pay for a good tennis racket and one tennis team uniform each year, cello lessons and rental of a cello, in-state school trips (her school had a fall project week where projects included local, national, and international travel), and a trip to the Grand Canyon with her senior class (I taught her deferred gratification: you can go on a big trip your senior year,; until then choose a local project).  I also paid her car insurance.  I did not buy her a cell phone, a car ( as almost all her friends had) or an expensive prom dress.  (We had a great time shopping second hand stores in another city.) She received $25/ month and had to earn the rest of her spending money for eating out with friends, movies, makeup, etc.  I took her clothes  shopping in August (about $150) and for a bit else as needed throughout the year. 

I taught her how to apply for a job, to use a 30 day list (write what you want on a list on the fridge and see if you still want it in 30 days), where the best thrift stores were (she had fun browsing those with friends), and paid her way for all activities we did as a family including extensive travel (except any souvenirs).  I also taught her how to file her taxes and set up a Roth (that I funded).  Oh, and how to wash and wax a car, paint her own nails, and how to repair/mend things.

Now that she is at college, she has frequently commented about how little others know about money, using a coin laundry, grocery shopping, etc.  She chose a college that offered her a full tuition scholarship; I pay her dorm and meal fees and upped her allowance to $100/mo.  On her own, she found a very part time job in her college town so she could travel on weekends and during break.

Do not feel bad about teaching your child your values.  When my daughter did not like a financial decision I made, I often told her "when you are an adult you will get to make all the choices about how to spend your money, just as I get to now."

Aside from the financial aspect, I think teens today are often over committed and over scheduled.  Many arrive at college exhausted (we call them crispy critters) from the heavy academic and extra curricular load they carried.  Those who had little truly free time often have trouble deciding what to do and trouble managing unstructured time; they are so used to being told by a coach, band director, teacher, etc. what to do and when to do it.

I do not mean to suggest you should do what I did.  I just present what I did as a contrast to what upper middle class American society seems to tend to do these days.  Do whatever is right for you and your family.  And enjoy these last few years of having her home full time.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2017, 07:53:54 AM by Dee18 »

Sydneystache

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #40 on: February 26, 2017, 04:55:56 AM »
She "wants" a $300 prom dress, she doesn't "need" one. Do what other savvy girls her age do - buy a used one off ebay, craigslist and have it altered. At 16, you don't buy a $300 dress unless you want to show the world you/your parents have more money than sense. Vintage is in.

Apart from a few of the activities you've listed, some of them eg band travel and cheer accessories (nails should be done by cheermates/friends as a rite of passage) are purely indulgent. You don't want her to grow up to be another spoilt, entitled millennial.

A friend is dealing with her 20 year old who got everything growing up including a car. Totally gone off the rails now eg money doesn't grow on trees/bank of Dad has limits. Now that she's rebelled and disparaged her family, the parents have cut off the money supply, took her car way and she's getting a heavy dose of reality. Friend lamented she's spoilt the kid and does not know what hard work entails.

act0fgod

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #41 on: February 26, 2017, 08:19:25 AM »
For all those that are saying set a budget and let the kid decide, what if you have a kid that chooses to spend their money on the frivolous things and not things you want?  For example decides to get the nails and eat out instead of extracurricular activities.

I get it might teach them a lesson, but they might not care or realize the negative consequences until it's too late.  I've observed most people don't understand choices in the past influence future results.  Often these same people if pushed in the right path just keep on the right path.

Tasty Pinecones

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #42 on: February 26, 2017, 09:31:13 AM »
Great suggestions here. We have not gotten to these stages yet but thanks for the prep work.

My only suggestion is to make sure you can communicate with your teenager - as best as the age allows anyhow.

My parents made alot of choices for us growing up that were not well defined nor were the reasons for these choices well explained.

What could have been learning moments just came off as "orders" and discussions sometimes seemed like "you're a kid, what do you know?".

That classic trope of "okay, tell me what you think" only to be followed by crickets b/c the kid is intimidated by the tone of the conversation.


Poundwise

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #43 on: February 26, 2017, 04:00:59 PM »
Dee18, I would love to replicate your success!  I am going to copy your post to a file and use it as a model for how to teach my kids good financial habits. 

JustTrying

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #44 on: February 26, 2017, 10:47:19 PM »
I agree with the budget idea, though I'd make it strictly a budget for the essentials for organized extracurriculars (in other words, if the coach or director says she MUST have it, it comes out of that budget, anything else should she paid for with her own money that she earned). Bonus: She'll then have to drop some of her extracurriculars which will give her time for a job to pay for prom and other non-extracurriculars. I would advise that you definitely not pay for prom or other fun things like that, but I'm clearly a hard ass. Being a "good kid" does not obligate ones' parents to spoil you. I also can't figure out what being in AP classes has to do with the budget...which I just want to point out to help you, OP realize that they are not related.

Gin1984

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #45 on: February 27, 2017, 06:08:11 AM »
I agree with the budget idea, though I'd make it strictly a budget for the essentials for organized extracurriculars (in other words, if the coach or director says she MUST have it, it comes out of that budget, anything else should she paid for with her own money that she earned). Bonus: She'll then have to drop some of her extracurriculars which will give her time for a job to pay for prom and other non-extracurriculars. I would advise that you definitely not pay for prom or other fun things like that, but I'm clearly a hard ass. Being a "good kid" does not obligate ones' parents to spoil you. I also can't figure out what being in AP classes has to do with the budget...which I just want to point out to help you, OP realize that they are not related.
First, AP classes cost money so that is part of the budget.  Second, dropping things you already agreed to randomly is a great way to cause an longterm issue with your child. Third, dropping things like that has an adverse effect on college applications.
And why would you not give her money for fun, most adults make sure we have money for fun because it has benefits for us as human beings.  I don't think you are being a hardass, I think you are being unreasonable. 

secondcor521

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #46 on: February 27, 2017, 07:07:04 AM »
Lots of great advice on this thread.  I have things to ponder.

One comment that I believed has not yet been made:  Proms have become over-the-top in my opinion.  I personally do not value letting 16-year-old boys and girls rent or buy fancier clothes that most adults wear 99.99% of the time, ride around in limos, have fancy dinners, go to an after-party (that would be a party after a party, right?  How many of those do you go to as an average adult if you're not at the Oscars or a presidential inauguration?), etc.

What is the value of this activity?  I get that fancy parties are nice, and I've been to a few as a grown up.  I've ridden in a limo; sure, they're nice.  But to have the parents and teachers enable the kids to have such an activity is wrongheaded in my opinion.  I have also heard that it is an opportunity that the kids take to lose their virginity, which I personally think is something they are not ready to handle in a mature way at that point in their lives.  There is then also the comparison pressure for the girls over their dresses/makeup/hair/etc, and the pressure of the asking/accepting/who-are-you-going-with stuff.

I know people will probably think I'm wrong on this.  That's OK.  I am just providing the idea for people to consider.
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iowajes

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #47 on: February 27, 2017, 10:12:45 AM »
I agree with the budget idea, though I'd make it strictly a budget for the essentials for organized extracurriculars (in other words, if the coach or director says she MUST have it, it comes out of that budget, anything else should she paid for with her own money that she earned). Bonus: She'll then have to drop some of her extracurriculars which will give her time for a job to pay for prom and other non-extracurriculars. I would advise that you definitely not pay for prom or other fun things like that, but I'm clearly a hard ass. Being a "good kid" does not obligate ones' parents to spoil you. I also can't figure out what being in AP classes has to do with the budget...which I just want to point out to help you, OP realize that they are not related.
First, AP classes cost money so that is part of the budget.  Second, dropping things you already agreed to randomly is a great way to cause an longterm issue with your child. Third, dropping things like that has an adverse effect on college applications.
And why would you not give her money for fun, most adults make sure we have money for fun because it has benefits for us as human beings.  I don't think you are being a hardass, I think you are being unreasonable.

AP classes cost money? 
Woah! I've never heard that.

Taking the test usually costs money, unless your district subsidizes it, but I've never known anyone to pay for the class.  Where are you located?

BeanCounter

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #48 on: February 27, 2017, 10:31:16 AM »
The BEST thing my parents ever did for me in HS was to give me a healthy allowance each week and let me work out all the details. 20 years ago I was getting $50 a week to cover EVERYTHING. Every single thing I needed or wanted. Lunches, snacks after practice, gas for my car (they did pay for half the used car and 100% of my insurance), my school clothes, school fees, dresses for dances, hair care etc. That covered a lot, but I still had a part time job and did a lot of babysitting during my offseason (played two sports) and I worked full time during the summer.
This really taught me how to manage money and balance a work/school/sport/social schedule. In college I had to cover all my living expenses by myself, they gave me $1,000 per year for books and however I could make it stretch and that was it. I was more than ready for this.
IMHO teens should be working. And they should be learning what things cost. When I was in school girls didn't get highlights, nails and tanning. We didn't have cell phones. Those things are part of the adult world. I understand that there is some need for teens to feel like they belong. But they need to work for some of it and make choices. If you say yes to everything, then they'll have a hard time making ends meet in the not so distant future and may end up in debt or in your basement.

Gin1984

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Re: Struggling with how much to provide a high school student
« Reply #49 on: February 27, 2017, 12:16:21 PM »
I agree with the budget idea, though I'd make it strictly a budget for the essentials for organized extracurriculars (in other words, if the coach or director says she MUST have it, it comes out of that budget, anything else should she paid for with her own money that she earned). Bonus: She'll then have to drop some of her extracurriculars which will give her time for a job to pay for prom and other non-extracurriculars. I would advise that you definitely not pay for prom or other fun things like that, but I'm clearly a hard ass. Being a "good kid" does not obligate ones' parents to spoil you. I also can't figure out what being in AP classes has to do with the budget...which I just want to point out to help you, OP realize that they are not related.
First, AP classes cost money so that is part of the budget.  Second, dropping things you already agreed to randomly is a great way to cause an longterm issue with your child. Third, dropping things like that has an adverse effect on college applications.
And why would you not give her money for fun, most adults make sure we have money for fun because it has benefits for us as human beings.  I don't think you are being a hardass, I think you are being unreasonable.

AP classes cost money? 
Woah! I've never heard that.

Taking the test usually costs money, unless your district subsidizes it, but I've never known anyone to pay for the class.  Where are you located?
I lived in California.  The school required that you put the cost for the tests up from, upon registering for the course so they did not have students who would not take the exam in the course.