Teenagers can be expensive, but with some careful planning, you can reduce their impact on your budget and have a less stressful year.
If your family has a tight budget and bunch of upcoming teen expenses, a good first step is to put together a list of the big expenses your teenager might incur this year. Next, come up with a plan of attack for each.
In no time, you’ll be able to figure out the best way to handle the whole family’s finances.
Prom and other school dances
Over the course of a year, the typical high school will offer 3-6 school dances, each requiring a different outfit.
A good way to reduce the impact on your wallet is to visit local thrift stores for jackets, dresses, shoes, jewelry, and other accessories. If thrift stores prove to be fruitless, check discount retailers such as TJ Maxx and Ross.
Another great option is to match your teen’s contribution to this expense. For every dollar they contribute towards the dance, offer to match it with 50 cents or even a dollar. This puts the responsibility of paying for expensive clothing on them, and may encourage them to spend less.
Vision insurance is still not mandatory in the United States and eye care expenses can add up quickly even with vision insurance, making this one of the largest categories of not just teen, but entire family expenses.
One way to cut spending here is to visit your local All About Eyes ophthalmologist for your prescription, then ordering frames and lenses online. While you sacrifice the ability to try on frames prior to purchasing, you can potentially save hundreds of dollars this way.
The easiest way to save lots of money in this area is to simply not buy your teenager a car. Making them fiscally responsible for their own wheels, from the first purchase, to gas, to tires, to insurance is a great way to teach teens some real-world money lessons.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always a solution for every family, especially if you live somewhere rural or very cold. In that case, shop around for a decent used vehicle with extensive safety features. Avoid flashy vehicles as they are generally more expensive to insure.
With a quick visit to your insurance agent, you can ask their advice on what to look for and save big bucks as well. Some will even clue you in on the cheapest cars to insure. Finally, make sure you’re getting all the discounts you deserve.
Overall, thinking ahead on big expenses can pay off big time for your family. Take some time to sit down with your teen and plan out your financial year to avoid costly surprises and un-budgeted expenses.
Image from Pixabay
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