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To not understand why teenagers are said to be quite so expensive

(529 Posts)
theduchessstill Wed 16-Aug-17 13:08:51

On here I often see it written that having teenagers is so incredibly expensive and I don't understand why.

It's actually getting me quite anxious as ds1 is 10 so the teen years are fast approaching. I followed one of those links people post last week where you put in just your income and how many dependants/adults live with you, and apparently I am better off than 81% of people now but that will plummet to 51% of people when both dc are 14 +. Obviously this is a crude tool, but it has been niggling at me.

Why are they so expensive and are none of the costs balanced by the absence of childcare fees with this age group ? Childcare is easily my biggest cost after my mortgage and I often think I will be better off when I don't need it anymore. Exactly what takes its place? I know food - and am already seeing it with ds1, but food can only cost so much, surely. What else is so expensive with teens? I know I probably sound stupid, but, hey, I want to know.

booellesmum Wed 16-Aug-17 13:12:13

With mine it's the magazine subscriptions, concerts, band merchandise, wanting branded clothes, extra pocket money for going out with friends etc etc

Underthemoonlight Wed 16-Aug-17 13:12:49

Growth spurts= expensive clothing, shoes (especially boys)
School trips - seem to be more adventurous
School uniform = for secondary school cost more
School dinners in secondary school cost more as they eat more.
Food= larger portions for older dc
Hobbies
Pocket money
Family days our cost more
Family meals out cost more

Ingles2 Wed 16-Aug-17 13:13:09

Really ?you can't imagine? Well technology.. phones, contracts, top ups, wifi, Netflix, sky, etc etc etc
Clothes, shoes, cosmetics, uniform, sports kits, etc etc all in adult sizes and at adult cost
Trips, outings, clubs, DofE, hobbies ,sports gym membership, social life again all at adult prices
Transport, school coaches, driving lessons, cars, insurance, petrol, taxis

NikiBabe Wed 16-Aug-17 13:13:34

With mine it's the magazine subscriptions, concerts, band merchandise, wanting branded clothes, extra pocket money for going out with friends etc etc

All of which you are most welcome to say no to.

They dont have to given everything they want.

NikiBabe Wed 16-Aug-17 13:14:53

driving lessons, cars, insurance

You dont have to buy your teenager a car and pay for lessons.

Letstryagainshallwe Wed 16-Aug-17 13:15:22

Clothes are a big thing I would say as if it's not branded there likely to be teased for bullied. Like trainers. My sister just bought my nephew some trainers and they were £75

AllTheWittyNamesAreGone Wed 16-Aug-17 13:15:32

Mine dont cost me much. Most of what's listed above are things most working adults don't get let alone kids.

PollyPelargonium52 Wed 16-Aug-17 13:15:59

I don't spend a fortune on mine but he is still only 12.

I don't encourage spend spend spend.

He understands the cost of living a bit by now I think. He hears me moan sometimes about the bills lol.

Even designer name branded size 8 football boots don't cost more than £40 in Sports Direct if you don't go too mad.

Pickleypickles Wed 16-Aug-17 13:16:09

I dont really think gym memberships and driving lessons are essential spends if you have a teenager hmm

The80sweregreat Wed 16-Aug-17 13:16:10

It doesnt stop if they go to University either - its relentless with children/ teens etc and money.
Food bill is a lot higher too as they grow.

Ingles2 Wed 16-Aug-17 13:16:13

Course you don't,.. but then you need to ferry them round yourself to sport/music/school/gym

PollyPelargonium52 Wed 16-Aug-17 13:17:12

School trips ds only goes to a very few they are too overpriced.

School dinners for some reason he eats like a bird and only spends £1.50 a day at the moment. He comes home starving and eats three meals here from 330 pm though lol.

He hates buying clothes so I just get a very few from Next and the rest Sports Direct. I spend far more on me than ds!

Ingles2 Wed 16-Aug-17 13:17:47

Haha! I think you'll find 17/18 yr old boys think they're essential .. and by that time you want them to have both otherwise they're in the house, glued to the PlayStation/sky using all your bandwidth

Handsfull13 Wed 16-Aug-17 13:18:35

I've found with my 14yo DSS that he grows ridiculously fast and wants to choose his own clothes, hygiene products. Now he wants designers or fancy things which just keep adding up. He wants the latest tech. We try not to spoil him but even keeping it to the basics seems to cost a lot.
Don't let it worry you though

ShoesHaveSouls Wed 16-Aug-17 13:18:39

Mine cost a fortune - not really sure quite how!

I thought it was a myth, but they really do eat me out of house and home (teen boys) - I cannot believe how much they eat confused And they're both thin as rakes. They're like locusts - raiding the shopping bags before it's even put away.

Other things are clothes, trainers! hmm school uniform, residential school trips, and spending on their hobbies/interests which is v variable, phones and other tech that must have... the list goes on.

DS15 is now the size of DH, only more slender, and so needs adult clothes/shoes - all more expensive.

PollyPelargonium52 Wed 16-Aug-17 13:18:49

If you are worried about food just keep giving lotsa carbs they seem to like loads of bread and jacket potatoes. Ds does anyway. And those don't cost much. 60 pence whole loaf their own brand at Tescos and jacket spuds cost very little.

Childcare stops at age 15 too.

Crumbs1 Wed 16-Aug-17 13:20:24

But everyone is going.
But everyone has one.
I need..."
Phones, contact lenses, school trips, clothes they grow out of rapidly, shoes, tampons, school bags, transport costs, sports equipment and fees, musical instruments and lessons. Holidays where they can't share the hotel room anymore. Meals out because the children's meals are for under 12s. School fees sometimes or tuition fees. Driving lessons and car perhaps. The amount of food a few teenage boys can consume is unbelievable until you've been there. Socialising - either feeding lots of friends or paying for cinema and Costa/Wagamama. Birthday presents. Haircuts where a pair of scissors in the bathroom is no longer acceptable and where salons charge a small fortune. Toiletries in general. Makeup, potions and lotions. Electrical items. Nails and Spa days. Traveling. Festivals

BlurryFace Wed 16-Aug-17 13:21:30

While my sisters and I were fairly cheap, my DB had a real taste for designer threads. The supplies for his art and photography courses were also pretty expensive.

YellowPrimula Wed 16-Aug-17 13:21:40

i have had three teens , all boys only one still a teen.None of mine have been into branded clothes , trainers etc they are all happy to wear jeans and t shirts etc.

Expense comes from the rate at which they grow, remember practically all their clothes and shoes have VAT on.Shoes are very expensive and mine play impact type sports so I do buy good quality supportive trainers as too many seem to get knee and ankle injures.Other costs are musical instruments for one guitars etc , although again mine have saved birthday money etc and tech like computers and phones although mine again have hand me down phones and £10 per month contracts .

Cinema tickets are full price once over 14 and trains and bus around here at 15 , do get a railcard though.Other expenses for me include things like kit for Duke of Edinburgh award , cadets etc .We live rurally so petrol costs mount up with lifts etc to places.

The biggest expense by far though is food , I am always at the supermarket , both the boys at home now are over 6 feet and have 30 inch waists so its not like they are overweight but sometimes it feels like as fast as I fill the fridge its empty.

RandomMess Wed 16-Aug-17 13:22:31

Clothes - they continue to grow but can no longer choose what you want and buy 2nd hand

Shoes - cost a fortune and get worn out with a long walk to school and back

Uniform - expensive, a lot more than primary plus proper PE kit!

School - lunches, bus, trips, equipment - a lot more than primary

Hobbies/Activities - I don't want my DC hanging out on the streets/drinking/smoking so I do pay out of their hobbies

Car - needed to get one that fitted them in better as they became adult sized

Food - they eat SO much

Pocket money/birthday gifts - peer pressure does come into it

School holidays - ok so no childcare but they have still 6 weeks at home with no school and it is nice for them to get some opportunities to go out and do something.

Bus fare/taxi duties - I ferry a lot to activities/friends who now live further away

I think if you are used to paying a lot out in childcare it won't raise, it's just you won't be any better off either! Yes you can so no to things but my DC don't get much tbh but the money still adds up. Then you have long term boyfriends/girlfriends to include as well...

NC4now Wed 16-Aug-17 13:24:29

They'll spend as much as you give them and then come back for more.
I keep it fairly cheap with mine but still they cost a lot. No kids meals in restaurants, school uniform, trips etc.
Just spend what you can afford.

SandyDenny Wed 16-Aug-17 13:24:40

If you can persude your teenagers to continue to wear clothes from supermarkets, not go out, not have a smartphone, eat like a toddler, go to a school that doesn't have a uniform and be happy to spend their time reading library books I'm sure you won't notice an increase in costs.

In the real world teenagers on the whole aren't like that.

paradoxicalInterruption Wed 16-Aug-17 13:24:54

Food. Really couldn't believe how much teenage step sons ate (and drank). Whole packets of bacon and sausages.

BoredOnMatLeave Wed 16-Aug-17 13:26:04

I don't have a teen but it was only 10 years ago that i was and things i remember:
School trips- turn from zoo (£30) to Paris (£300)
Clothing- to be fair i wore a fair bit of primark but due to that needed new clothes every few weeks and to keep up with fashion
Cosmetics- make up, perfume, hair products all add up
Socialising- school holidays were the worst. Mum wanted me out the house everyday but my pocket money for doing chores only lasted a week or so by the time you go in to town get a drink, cinema etc. Activities that 14/15 year olds want to do aren't cheap e.g cinema, bowling etc
Holidays- usually have to pay adult prices from 12/14?

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