Are you financially prepared for the teenage years? Plans should be made if you have children approaching their adolescent years. This can be a turbulent time, not just the emotion and drama it can bring, but also the associated expenses that get added to the family budget. When you think of your family financial planning, it is wise to consider each and every phase of life. Many families don’t consider just how expensive the adolescent years can be and that can be their downfall.
New Situations Mean New Expenses
When you consider all of the obvious alone, the adolescent years can be quite costly. You may think that the baby and toddler years drain the bank account, but consider “normal” expenses that adolescents can bring.
Consider starting a savings program now for future expenses like extracurricular activities, summer camps, school trips, sports teams, clothes, increased food costs, and lessons and tutors that may be required for school. Don’t overlook the car and driving lessons that can be a huge financial drain, even though necessary. Remember, many of your regular expenses can expand just because you are adding a teen to your list. Insurance, fuel, maintenance, these things and many others can quickly strain a budget.
Those are the standard expenses assuming that your child doesn’t require any additional help in the way of counseling, summer school, or even more extreme measures depending on their ability to adjust to changing and turbulent times. There really is no telling what the teen years bring. Just beyond them is setting your child up for life beyond your walls. Suddenly the list is growing indeed.
Let’s face it, adolescence can be a tough time! It’s not just tough for kids going through it but often for the parents as well. Many parents think about their monthly expenses and consider the one thing they have to save up for in their childrens’ future is post-secondary education. Setting up an RESP in your children’s early years will go a long way toward reducing the debt they come out of university with. While this is true and is a great thing to consider in advance, you could be in big trouble when all of the expenses need to be met. As you consider all your financial planning needs and look at the years ahead, giving special attention to the adolescent years can be greatly important.
Planning Ahead Can Mean Peace of Mind
Financial planning, should incorporate all the important phases of life, particularly those that will be full of additional expenses and unforeseen circumstances. The adolescent years are a time of uncertainty in every sense of the word. When you look at your family and consider all the financial needs that lie ahead, include adolescent years in your overall plan. Teach your kids about money. Get them to start saving when they get that first job. If you could somehow make the adolescent years a little bit easier for them, you would do anything.
Thinking through the financial needs of this turbulent time of life can be a great start toward making things much smoother. – M Dumond
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