Author Topic: Teens and spending money  (Read 1528 times)

Alf91

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Teens and spending money
« on: September 01, 2021, 06:38:19 AM »
Hey all, just wanting to see what other folks do with their teens in regards to spending money.

My kid is going into grade 11 this year. My first thought is that he can get a part-time job and spend whatever he wants from that. However...he has had some mental health stuff lately, and with school starting up again, he struggles academically and will definitely need to be spending some evenings/weekends on school work. I think adding a part-time job would bring a lot of unnecessary stress at this time. That being said, it seems like at this age there can be never-ending requests for money, whether it's for clothing, video games, going out with friends to the movies or a restaurant, etc. Lately, I have been giving him a set amount of money each month and he can do with that what he wants, but once it's gone, even if that's 5 days into the month, he doesn't get more until next month. I'm not sure if I should be doing weekly instead. And I never know how much is reasonable!

If you give your teens spending money, how much do you give them? Or do you take each request as it comes?

Gone Fishing

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Re: Teens and spending money
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2021, 07:08:43 AM »
Working while I was in high school was one of the best things I ever did.  My school offered a work/study program that counted as class credit, so I left school around lunch time every day and went to work.  In addition to the cash, it exposed me to the real working world, it got me away from the teen drama, and I walked to work so I got a good bit of exercise.  My grades actually improved. I saved most of my money, big surprise, not that he needs to, but I would encourage him to save a solid portion, maybe 20-50% for post high school expenses.

GuitarStv

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Re: Teens and spending money
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2021, 07:16:45 AM »
Make up a list of odd jobs and tasks around the house, and the ticket price to do them.

Mow the lawn - X$
Clean all the bathrooms - X$
Windex all the windows - X$
Do all the laundry - X$
Weed the garden - X$
Wash the cars - X$
etc.

Less commitment than holding down a job, but this way he's still earning the spending money he has and associating spending with doing work.  Side bonus - you get a lot of stuff done around the house.

CupcakeGuru

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Re: Teens and spending money
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2021, 01:06:30 PM »
My teen, currently 12th grader also has some mental health issues. Always begging for money to do things.  We debated about letting her get a part time job due to some academic struggles. She ended up getting a part time job and it was the best thing for her. It took a couple of weeks for her to learn how to manage her time between work and school, but she did it. It has also taught her alot since she had a boss other than me and her dad telling her what to do. She has also shown alot more sympathy with my husband and I when we have a bad day at work.

DaMa

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Re: Teens and spending money
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2021, 03:53:39 PM »
I have 4 kids who are now 28-34 yrs old.

The one who usually had the lowest grades did better during his athletic season and when he had a job.  He did a better job of managing his time when he was busy.  He also knew he had to maintain a certain GPA to stay on the team (school requirement) and to continue to work (our requirement).

Similar to GuitarStv, I had a chart of jobs and what they were worth.  Everyone in the house had regular chores -- the things that have to be done daily/weekly.  Anything that wasn't regular had a $ amount associated with it.

We gave them an allowance of $20 per week in high school (2000s).  This was also their lunch money if they chose not to pack a lunch.

A part-time job working just 4 hours a week on the weekend would give any teenager enough spending money without impacting their study time.

Of my 4, one did not work an outside job in high school, but he was the one who did most of the job chart work.  He was also very careful with money and still is.  He had social anxiety and was afraid to work.  Once he finally did get a job shortly after graduation, he liked it a lot and really liked making money.   Two of my kids got jobs shortly after they turned 16*.  The 4th started working when he was 14.  They have all worked ever since and paid or helped pay for their own college.

*They could not have their own cars until they could pay for their insurance (additional charge on my coverage) and operating costs.  So they had to have jobs to have a car.  Otherwise they shared the family car, and their priority came after mom and dad.  We did buy them each a car, spending about $3k, once they were working.


MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Teens and spending money
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2021, 04:30:27 PM »
My 14.5 year old is just starting to ref soccer games, which is a perfect "pick up what you'd like" schedule & pays really well. He has a ton of experience with soccer, and is excited to earn money to buy mountain bikes & parts. ;-)

My 15 year old plays competitive club soccer, and has a learning disorder. We would like him to get a job, and he applied for one recently that didn't pan out due to logistics. We will continue to encourage him to find something that fits with his schedule. I think it will be useful to learn how to juggle everything.

jeninco

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Re: Teens and spending money
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2021, 07:52:57 PM »
My 14.5 year old is just starting to ref soccer games, which is a perfect "pick up what you'd like" schedule & pays really well. He has a ton of experience with soccer, and is excited to earn money to buy mountain bikes & parts. ;-)

My 15 year old plays competitive club soccer, and has a learning disorder. We would like him to get a job, and he applied for one recently that didn't pan out due to logistics. We will continue to encourage him to find something that fits with his schedule. I think it will be useful to learn how to juggle everything.

You probably know this, because you're driving him (I presume), but you may want to go watch a couple of his games. If your parents are anything like some of the ones here, they're going to be yelling abuse at the ref. In which case, I'd suggest going over his options (which are actually myriad, including carding the parents and ending the game if they don't leave) and potentially actually having him act them out, with you or a neighbor or friend playing the part of the angry parents.

Both of my kids reffed briefly, but decided they weren't getting paid enough for the abuse. And they were getting paid a lot, especially by young teen standards!

ketchup

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Re: Teens and spending money
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2021, 08:33:34 PM »
Speaking only as a non-parent and former teenager (30 now), I didn't have an allowance past elementary school (and even then it was fairly unstructured).  The only thing I really ever spent my own money on in middle/high school was video games and a computer, and the money for that came from birthday/Christmas gifts or working (Dairy Queen at 14).  Helped that I was a cheapass and didn't care about common things like clothes or restaurants (big time picky eater until my 20s).  My parents paid for things like movie tickets (usually) and clothes (thrust upon me in an ungrateful-teen way, I already thought I had too many clothes).

I saved 95% of the money I made working in high school, and then pissed it all away in my first year at college.  My mistake was budgeting.  My (well-intentioned) mother made me put together a "budget" for when I went away to school, and I used it as license for myself to burn through that entire budget every month to the dollar for no reason at all (underbudget $100 this month on food? Better go blow it all on DVDs!).  Looking back, it was really stupid, but 18 year olds aren't known for making the best choices in any aspect of their lives.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Teens and spending money
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2021, 07:23:44 PM »
My 14.5 year old is just starting to ref soccer games, which is a perfect "pick up what you'd like" schedule & pays really well. He has a ton of experience with soccer, and is excited to earn money to buy mountain bikes & parts. ;-)

My 15 year old plays competitive club soccer, and has a learning disorder. We would like him to get a job, and he applied for one recently that didn't pan out due to logistics. We will continue to encourage him to find something that fits with his schedule. I think it will be useful to learn how to juggle everything.

You probably know this, because you're driving him (I presume), but you may want to go watch a couple of his games. If your parents are anything like some of the ones here, they're going to be yelling abuse at the ref. In which case, I'd suggest going over his options (which are actually myriad, including carding the parents and ending the game if they don't leave) and potentially actually having him act them out, with you or a neighbor or friend playing the part of the angry parents.

Both of my kids reffed briefly, but decided they weren't getting paid enough for the abuse. And they were getting paid a lot, especially by young teen standards!

He's only signing up for an assistant ref position (side line, not center) & will start with the ref leagues. But yes, parents can get absolutely crazy in some of the leagues. He received really good guidance on which leagues/age groups to avoid.

lutorm

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Re: Teens and spending money
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2021, 12:51:16 AM »
I thought Nords' book about kids and money had some really good info about how to think about this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08C9G4LXC

Nords

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Re: Teens and spending money
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2021, 09:43:42 AM »
I thought Nords' book about kids and money had some really good info about how to think about this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08C9G4LXC
Thanks, Lutorm!

Hey all, just wanting to see what other folks do with their teens in regards to spending money.

Lately, I have been giving him a set amount of money each month and he can do with that what he wants, but once it's gone, even if that's 5 days into the month, he doesn't get more until next month. I'm not sure if I should be doing weekly instead. And I never know how much is reasonable!

If you give your teens spending money, how much do you give them? Or do you take each request as it comes?
At this age, @Alf91, you guys could talk about how he wants to handle it-- weekly is one option, "two-week paychecks like other adults" is another, and "learn to stretch a budget" could be monthly or quarterly.

The allowance part is designed to provide these teachable moments when you can talk about money management.  Otherwise the allowance is typically big enough to make choices but small enough to force some thinking about those choices, and possibly some deferred gratification.

If his lifestyle runs out of money five days into the month-- that's a wonderful opportunity for him to earn some money around the house doing whatever jobs you have for him, or whatever of your chores you don't want to do.  He could also expand that to the neighbors with washing cars or mowing yards or whatever else is appropriate for their needs and his time commitment.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Teens and spending money
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2021, 10:22:19 AM »
I don't have kids, but growing up and working a job throughout all of HS was the best thing possible. It taught responsibility, humility, the value of money, and skills that carried on into college and the business world in adulthood. My family was lower-middle class, so parents didn't doll out any money at all. Scooping ice cream, then delivering pizza when old enough to drive, and sr. year of HS with only 2 periods of school (yes, NYC wouldn't let me graduate without 4 years of phys ed and english) I worked a FT office job from 10 AM to 5:30 PM.

If that's not an option, then tying money to some other goals like school work or even volunteering could be beneficial IMHO. I thought my friends whose parents gave them money had it great growing up, now as adults I realize what a terrible outcome that had on many of them.

sonofsven

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Re: Teens and spending money
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2021, 12:36:13 PM »
My teen is in college now but she started working summers at 14, so I never had to give her money. I used to drive her almost an hour to work (her job was closer to her mom's house but as a co-parent I had her half time). Instead of driving home I would often stay in the area of her job for her shift, then we'd drive home together. Go to the library, visit friends, go fishing, sit in the sun...it was not something I would have chosen but it turned out to be fun. The next summer she chose a job within walking distance of her mom's, and only forty minutes from my house, and the next summer she was 16 and driving. I found a cheap Toyota Avalon; I pay for insurance, she is responsible for gas and repairs.
It was funny because it cost me time and money to get her to work, I often curtailed my own work schedule to accommodate hers.
It's a tourist town so there are lots of summer jobs available for kids, paying almost $12/hr. When I was her age in the 80's minimum wage was $3.35/hr.


Steeze

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Re: Teens and spending money
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2021, 01:58:16 PM »
I don't have kids, but growing up and working a job throughout all of HS was the best thing possible. It taught responsibility, humility, the value of money, and skills that carried on into college and the business world in adulthood. My family was lower-middle class, so parents didn't doll out any money at all. Scooping ice cream, then delivering pizza when old enough to drive, and sr. year of HS with only 2 periods of school (yes, NYC wouldn't let me graduate without 4 years of phys ed and english) I worked a FT office job from 10 AM to 5:30 PM.

If that's not an option, then tying money to some other goals like school work or even volunteering could be beneficial IMHO. I thought my friends whose parents gave them money had it great growing up, now as adults I realize what a terrible outcome that had on many of them.

MA was the same, I got around this by dual enrolling in the community college for English 101 & 102, which counted as English 12 and was only 1 day per week, then did an internship at the local ski area which counted as PE.