What is the true cost of raising a teen?

16 Jan

What is the true cost of raising a teen? Obviously the correct answer should be that money is no object, after all this is our children we’re talking about.  While I do agree, I wanted to have a little fun adding up the normal day to day expenses that we incur as parents of a high maintenance [and expensive] teenager.

Group of teens with arms around each other


a. First and foremost, the cell phone is an extremely important appendage for the average teenager girl.  We kept her away from the “smart” phones for 15 years but finally decided it was essential to her livelihood [at least that’s what she told us] to purchase one.  So for the current version of iPhone, the insurance that she won’t break the iPhone and the monthly data plans that are required to operate said smart phone, it totals $260 each month.

b. Clothing is a major expense for our little fashionista.  I’m quite certain the local mall knows when my vehicle enters the parking lot and the stores go on high alert.  Warning!  Big Spender!  Warning!  Big Spender!  Girls seem to need a new outfit for every activity deemed important in their life. Prom, birthday, summer break, back to school, all require a new look.  As many times as she tells us that she has only that certain outfit in mind, we never seem to leave with just that one outfit.  Every trip turns into a shopping marathon and this occurs on most weekends so let’s just round that to $600 each month.

c. We consider ourselves lucky that Beloved will also shop at the consignment stores targeted towards teens.  We save a ton of money there and she does earn money in return but I’m pretty sure it still ends up around $50 each month.

d. A truly horrifying cost is that of a high school yearbook.  What are they up to now, about $300?  I pulled my old check register out [our high school hasn’t jumped on the debit card band wagon] and it revealed a price of $95 for last year’s book.  So that equates to $8 each month.

e. Throughout the year, we fully fund all of the extracurricular activities such as movies, skating and concerts; more frequently over summer break.  Let’s just say $100 each month.

f. Over the summer months, we give an allowance of $100 each month for her to use as needed while out and about.

g. Let’s not forget that we still have to feed these children.  Grocery bills are high and over summer, kids love to eat out.  Whether they eat natural wholesome food or processed junk, it’s gonna cost you about $600 each month.

h. We have to maintain her home and the roof over her head.  Her portion of that fee is about $500 each month.

In total we’re out $2000 each month and feel so blessed that we are able to provide for her and her friends.  We used the numbers above to poke a little fun at the typical costs of raising a teenager.  As everyone knows, building up this precious child to an incredible adult is PRICELESS.

Hovering high and low, Helicopter Mom and Just Plane Dad

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