teens and $$$$ - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 08-31-2006, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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First of all I have to admit that I am having a really hard time with my dd turning 18 and the changes in our relationship. She still totally needs me, but also needs to spread her wings and make her own experiences. I'm trying to let go, but it's soooo hard.

Anyway, now that my dd has a job...what should she be responcible to pay for? Her hours change weekly, so she may work 5 hours a week or 20 hours, so she is never sure how much her check will be (I mean she can't plan on a certain amount). I am having her pay for her cell phone as well as the video membership. Should she pay for her own clothing (or at least a portion)? She does pay for any activities she does with her friends.

I am really having a difficult time with how she is spending her money. She's made about $400 so far and I let her spend that however she wanted (that was in a months time). She hasn't bought anything tangable. She's gone to a movie or two and the rest is spent on food!!!! Junk food and fast food! I have a really hard time watching her drink Mountain Dew (which is against Dr. orders...health issues) and it's even hard to watch her eating McD's, Burger King and Taco Bell. We never eat at fast food places...she was pretty much raised on organic/whole/natural foods. She's gaining a lot of weight already and her stomach issues are all returning (I'm guessing due to her eating all this crap).

How do you know when to let go and when to hold on? How do you still make an 18 year old understand that you are not trying to control them, but help them? Do you let them spend their $ however, or do you try and guide them?

Any help or suggestions would really be appreciated! I'm really lost here...which I've never experienced as a mom before.
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#2 of 15 Old 08-31-2006, 01:16 PM
 
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I think part of it is t he intial stage of just having your own money and being able to do things without asking, like eating junk food and pop. It should wear off though. Can you suggest she start saving half of every check for college? Or ask if there is something she is really eyeing that she could be saving for? Its hard to say. I know when I started working my mom still bought school clothes but if jeans were $20 and I had to have the $50 jeans than I had to pay the difference. This worked out good, because I could never had afforded all of my clothes. Good luck.
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#3 of 15 Old 08-31-2006, 02:45 PM
 
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Does she have any plans for her short and long-term future? Is she planning to go to college or for vocational training? Is she hoping to rent her own apartment or buy a car? If she has any goals like this, perhaps you could sit down with her and help her draw up a saving/spending plan so that she can be working toward the goals.

Has she just graduated from school? If so, I wouldn't make her pay you rent. You are her parent and part of your job is provide her with a place to live and food.

However, at her age if she has a job, anything beyond shelter and food can be her responsibility.

Another possibility is that you could tell her that a certain percentage of each check is her "rent" to you, and you could put that money in a savings account for her for later.

Namaste!
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#4 of 15 Old 08-31-2006, 02:59 PM
 
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I think whether or not she has graduated from high school makes a big difference in what is appropriate. Given the timing of birthdays I imagine she might just be starting her final year (if she attends a school) or doing her final year of study (if she is homeschooled).

Mom to Kira March 2009
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#5 of 15 Old 08-31-2006, 06:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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She graduated last June. She is going to a Transition school (for kids with special needs) which is free...she may take a course at the college but again, it's paid for (the high school kids taking college courses thing...can't think of the name PSEO?). Because she has special needs and on county programs, she can't have more than $2000 in her bank account (and it's near that now).

I'm not planning on her paying rent...yet...but I'm wondering what do you have your kids pay for? I'm used to taking care of everything.
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#6 of 15 Old 08-31-2006, 06:36 PM
 
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When I was 18 and still at home, I paid for my cell phone, extra and personal food (ie if I stopped at Boston Market for a snack or instead of the prepared dinner or bought something for the fridge that was just for me-not to share), entertainment (if I went to the movies or to a concert), plus $50 a week in rent (my father was holding a $50 grudge on me--long story). I bought all my own clothes with the exception of a few times my mother came home with a shirt or pants for me.

Kelly, mama (12yoDS), doula, RN, and writer.
There's no where you can be that isn't where you were meant to be, its easy
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#7 of 15 Old 08-31-2006, 08:50 PM
 
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My kids pretty much pay for their own clothes unless I see something in ds's size at the thrift store that I can't resist. They also pay for their own cosmetics, a fair amount of their own food, music, video games, and movie rentals, and their transportation.

When dd was working and I wasn't, I didn't charge her for rent or ask her to pay a share of the grocery bill, but she voluntarily gave me a lot of presents that I couldn't normally afford and/or wouldn't have bought for myself: clothes that express my personal style and aesthetic sense rather than the cheapest crap that almost fits, a nostril piercing I'd wanted for over ten years, the first restaurant meal I've eaten in over six years, and almost weekly "coffee shop hopping" and trips to local art galleries. She was still able to save up enough to cover tuition for two classes last summer.

Now that I'm working and she's a full-time student, money is even tighter. ds generally buys her little treats with his pay when he works: food treats that are a bit more exciting than potatoes and dried beans, a movie rental, and last night they shared a tub of Manic Panic. They were planning on getting a roll of film developed as a surprise for me, but he didn't have quite enough money.

I'm right there with you about not wanting to charge my children rent, even though dd will be eighteen in March.
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#8 of 15 Old 08-31-2006, 10:23 PM
 
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When I was an older teen, I paid for most of my clothing, part of my car insurance (when I had a car), and aside from occasional gift money/gift certificates I paid for anything "fun" I was doing.

This was while in HS and later while in college, when I'd live with my family for a few months of the year.

Mama to Raina (9/06) and Peter (8/09)!
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#9 of 15 Old 08-31-2006, 10:26 PM
 
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i paid for everything when i was that age...of course i worked a lot more than it sounds like your daughter works. you mention special needs, i imagine those have to be factored into the decision you make. that didnt help you at all did it?
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#10 of 15 Old 08-31-2006, 10:45 PM
 
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My dd is 19 now. When she first started working, I told her that I would continue to pay the normal things that a parent provides for their child: food, school clothes at the beginning of the school year, and doctor visits etc. She pays for car insurance, gasoline, clothing throughout the year that she buys to be in fashion or whatever, and she pays for all her entertainment expenses.

I have a family plan for the phone so I keep paying that because it is in my interest that she have a cell phone so that I can reach her and vice versa.

It is VERY difficult to know when to hold on and when to let go. I'm still trying to figure it out, and mine has moved into the dorm a couple of weeks ago.
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#11 of 15 Old 08-31-2006, 11:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonconformnmom
It is VERY difficult to know when to hold on and when to let go. I'm still trying to figure it out, and mine has moved into the dorm a couple of weeks ago.
Well that makes me feel better...at least I'm not alone. I'm telling you, this is so hard!!!
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#12 of 15 Old 08-31-2006, 11:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissAbbyRosesMamma
i paid for everything when i was that age...of course i worked a lot more than it sounds like your daughter works. you mention special needs, i imagine those have to be factored into the decision you make. that didnt help you at all did it?
Didn't help much...but made me laugh!! Thanks!!!
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#13 of 15 Old 09-01-2006, 12:00 AM
 
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I paid my mom 50% of my paycheck for rent and I paid of my long distance phone calls. When I moved out on my own my mother gave my about 75% of what I'd paid her back. She'd been keeping a small amount for utilities (poor single mom) and saving the rest for me to have when I needed a deposit for an apartment

Heather married to my highschool sweetheart 6/7/02 :cop: Mother to Dani age 14 and Timmy age 10 Nadia 1/29 :
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#14 of 15 Old 09-01-2006, 12:01 AM
 
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Oh, and I ofcourse paid for my own clothing and car and gas. She fed me and provided a roof over my head.

Heather married to my highschool sweetheart 6/7/02 :cop: Mother to Dani age 14 and Timmy age 10 Nadia 1/29 :
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#15 of 15 Old 09-03-2006, 10:18 PM
 
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I lived at home until I was 22, and from the time I entered college (at 19) I pretty much paid for my own tuition, books, food, clothing, etc. My parents still bought me personal items like shampoo because I shared with my sisters, and they provided a roof over my head, as well as some extra money occasionally to help me out, a dinner out here and there... you get my drift. They did not charge me rent, because I was in school. If I had just been living at home and working, they probably would have charged me rent. They also took me to school, and gave me access to a car for work and fun purposes, but I paid them back by being a chauffeur for my younger siblings a lot.
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