Hey, Bill here. As always, thank you for the nice mentions on social media.
Yes, I pay for many of my teens’ everyday expenses. Even though they each have savings from summer jobs. And I’m happy to do so, like many parents.
But, I want to make absolutely sure my teens know exactly how much those everyday items cost. Even if I’m paying for them. Financial ignorance might feel like bliss now, but it sure won’t later.
So, how do I make sure my teens are fully mindful of the money I’m spending on them?
- Make them spend it first using their own account, card, or cash.
- Make them itemize the expenses.
- Make them formally request a reimbursement after subtracting out any items or portions of items we’ve agreed are their responsibility.
- Only then will I send them money to cover — or partially cover — the transactions.
So what’s covered? I might fully cover toiletries, partially cover the gym membership, and not cover entertainment at all. You might have an entirely different set of rules. Do what makes sense for your situation.
So, your teens may not be able to afford everyday items yet, but they still need to learn exactly how much those items cost.
Make them active participants in the everyday expenses you’re picking up. That way, your teens will already know — and appreciate — the real value of a dollar when the day comes for everything to be on their nickel.
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