|The high cost of raising a teenager
If you thought raising a baby was expensive, just
wait until those bundles of joy hit their teenage years. Diapers
and baby food may have added significantly to your monthly grocery
bill, but providing clothing and food for your growing adolescent
will set you back even more.
But it's more than just their growing bodies and expanding
interests that burn up the green. Increasingly, spending on and
by teens is driven by the pressure to have what everyone else has
and do what everyone else is doing.
"With the increased affluence of our society
today, that [pressure] means that name-brand clothes, exotic vacations
and the latest technological gadgets are much more common, expensive
and in demand among teens than ever before," says Ellen Rogin,
CPA, CFP, and president of Strategic Financial Designs Inc.
John K. Bacci, a certified financial planner in Linthicum,
Md., believes that children can be a financial cancer to parents
and are often the No. 1 danger to the long-term plans of his clients.
"I've had more than one client sow the seeds
of their own financial destruction by catering to the ever-expanding
financial needs of their children, and I've learned that it all
starts with that first bike, the first iPod or the first car,"
Of course, discretionary spending can be reined in
with a little financial discipline. However, there is a lot of spending
you can't control. You might be able to buy cheaper clothes and
do without the horseback-riding and guitar lessons, but you have
to buy food, pay school fees and take teens to the dentist. Some
expenses are just unavoidable. Here are a handful of the top teenage
|Financial costs of a teen
|Every parent knows that raising
a child is an expensive job. And when the child is a teenager,
it gets very expensive indeed. Teenagers eat a lot, wear
a lot and just plain spend a lot. Here's a look at
some of the costs the parents of a teenager face.
|7 costs of raising
The most significant, and often the most crippling, expense looming
over parents of teens is a college education. The 2005-2006 average
cost of tuition at a four-year public university will set you back
$5,491, according to the College Board. Include all of the nontuition
expenses (room and board, books, fees, etc.) and that figure climbs
Tuition at a four-year private institution averages
$21,235, with total charges increasing that figure to $29,026. Think
you're escaping unscathed because your teen isn't planning to pursue
a full four-year degree? Well, think again. The price tag on a two-year
associate's degree including tuition and fees will still cost you
$2,191 and your teen may still be living under your roof and eating
Financial experts advise parents to start saving as
early as possible. Setting up the college savings funds while Junior
is still in diapers is the best way to get that compound interest
to work for you to maximize your savings. The number of options
and products available to help you save for college has exploded
in recent years. A consultation with a financial planning professional
can get you going down the right path.
It's not just the uniform and the registration fees that make sports
costly. Some parents, whether trying to develop the next Andre Agassi
or give their kids an edge in college admissions, spend thousands
of dollars each year on private coaching and personalized training
programs for their teens. Training facilities like Athletes Advantage,
a 24,000-square-foot training center in Wellington, Fla., offer
high school kids the opportunity to work with a private trainer
for $65 per hour, spend an hour in the batting cages for $45 or
hire a baseball pitcher for $32 per hour.