Raising Teens: Six Costs You Should Be Prepared For

Raising Teens: Six Costs You Should Be Prepared For  via  www.productreviewmom.com

When it comes to financial matters, it is always important to plan ahead before its time to pay the bills. Children might be one of the best investments out there, but it is important to be aware of the costs that will come with raising them. Here, you will find the six common costs all parents should be prepared for when raising a teenager.


That brand new smartphone might seem like a necessity for your teen, but don’t let their pleas break the bank. In a generation that is busier and more connected than ever, having a means of communication is important, but that means doesn’t have to double as a tablet, compass and fingerprint scanner. Remember that simply buying the gadget isn’t enough as there will be monthly service charges and contracts associated with it. Also, with schools expecting every student to complete a significant amount of their homework on a computer, expect to invest in a personal laptop for your teen too. 

Car Costs

Every teen’s dream is to see that shiny, new car on their sixteenth birthday. New or not, having a personal form of transportation is becoming a necessity these days. Your teen’s high school schedule may or may not agree with public transportation. However, teen drivers will spike your insurance simply due to their inexperience, especially if they have their own cars. If your teen gets into an accident, then the premium may be raised even higher. That, coupled with the cost of accident repair, could make the damage a very costly ordeal. To save on expenses, go to a reputable auto body shop for repairs. Prices can vary drastically, and it’s important to choose places that can get the repairs needed a great price. Besides insurance and car repairs, don’t forget to consider the extra cost of gas. 


Whether your teen wants the latest designer piece or prefers shopping at thrift stores, he or she will probably undergo several growth spurts. That pair of pants that seemed to fit just fine last season will no longer work the next. This will obviously require replacement of clothes and shoes much faster than expected and raise costs in the clothing department higher than expected.

Extracurricular Activities

High school students are continuing to be more involved in their communities as they fill out their resumes and pursue their passions. There are many costs associated with these clubs, sports teams and private music lessons. Consult your teen about his or her interests so you can plan for these expenses appropriately. 

School Trips


Parents often overlook these excursions. This lack of awareness may be fine for the local field trips, but the monumental senior trips towards the end of a teen’s high school career cannot be paid for last minute. Often lasting several days, these trips are usually paid for in installments. However, you can’t put a price on memories. Discuss with your teen what trips are most important to them. They should know that going on every trip may not be possible for the family budget. 

College Applications

Even before the hefty tuition bills start coming in, there are fees associated with the college application process. With competitive colleges expecting more than just SAT or ACT scores, the costs of standardized testing have risen to new levels. Application fees can also add up. Scholarship applications, however, are usually free and should be taken advantage of. This is another topic to discuss with your teen.

These costs may seem daunting now, but you will be prepared for them when the time comes. There are always ways to save by taking advantage of student discounts, buying used items or by simply compromising with your teen. Encourage your teen to find a part-time job that he or she enjoys. That way, they can take care of their small personal expenses without the need for an allowance. Save when you can and spend when you should.

Guest Post by Anita Ginsburg

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